Month: July 2019

Just The Discs – Episode 117 – STRAIT-JACKET & THE WASP WOMAN (with Brendon Small)

This week, Brendon Small is back to talk William Castle, Roger Corman, Joan Crawford and Susan Cabot as we dive into some crazy 50s and 60s lady horror films! There’s much to discuss with both of these beyond the excellent Scream Factory Blu-rays – lots of insane behind the scenes tales to tell that we hope fascinate you as they did us!

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The Magic Lantern: Episode 109 – Drug War

Johnnie To’s Drug war (2012) is one of those great cinematic cases of having your cake and eating it too. On one hand, you have To bringing his decades of experience making Hong Kong action films to bear on this project. On the other hand, we find ourselves on the ground floor of an exciting new phase of To’s career. This is his first action collaboration with mainland China and what an auspicious beginning it is. There are all the requisite flying bullets and twists and turns, but this time To is creatively weaving those in the margins left to him by Chinese censors. Much the way that some of Hollywood’s best stories were told with a wink during the time of the Hays code, To employs that same cleverness and attaches it to this ice cold rocket of an anti-procedural.

It’s those same qualities that I think make Drug War an excellent entry in To’s catalog for longtime fans and neophytes alike. There’s never a lack of compelling action. It moves like lightning, so it’s easy to get caught up in, no matter your experience level. At any moment, To could take the genre conventions we are used to and turn them inside out. He even keeps old genre hands on their toes with his inversions and doubling down. The sly subtext slipping through the censors’ fingers? That’s just the icing on the bullet-riddled cake. Whether you are coming at this wide-eyed, or you think you’ve seen it all before, Johnnie To has something up his sleeve for all of you!

What you’ll find in this episode: Zero tolerance for drugs, extreme tolerance for violence, doubling up, doubling down, and China as To’s new frontier.

– Cole

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Drug War on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Mission.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Election.
Johnnie To’s top ten films.
An evaluation of China’s anti-drug efforts.

Criterion Now 91: October 2019 Announcements, Lee Kline, Fellini

Dave Eves and Mark Hurne join Aaron to talk through the October 2019 Announcements. Please note that the was recorded prior to the Godzilla reveal, but as you’ll hear, we had an idea. We also dig into the Lee Kline podcast that was recorded for Home Theater Forum and talk about some of the titles that were mentioned, the potential for UHD and also the 2020 year of Fellini. We also talk Kalatazov, Herzog, Losey, Pagnol, Wyler, and even Fleabag.

Episode Links

Bill Plympton coming to Shout Factory
Lee Kline Video about Teal and Cyan
Home Theater Forum Podcast – Visiting Criterion Collection
Monsieur Klein Restoration

Movies Silently Podcast Episode 03: Making Beautiful Music with David L. Gill

The third episode of the Movies Silently podcast with host Fritzi Kramer and special guest David L. Gill. The subject: silent film music, the good and the bad.

A huge thanks to Orlando and Alex for helping my pronounce Chilean Spanish and Egyptian Arabic!

Patreon backers get podcast access a week early and other exclusive goodies. You can find lots of great silent film content on my site, Movies Silently. And I am on Twitter, heaven help you all.

Show Notes

Well, since the last podcast episode, I have had to replace my computer, deal with two earthquakes and assorted ailments but we did this thing, darn it!
Here are some of the things that came up in conversation:

GTGM Episode 109: Explorers (1985)

In this episode, Jamie and Doug are giddy to see a very young River Phoenix act like a middle aged scientist and follow around an adorable baby Ethan Hawke. Sadly, interesting subplots involving Dick Miller and Meshach Taylor go un’explored’ and the movie devolves into nonsense during the last third. Also, Amanda Peterson’s just hanging around with nothing to do. Most of this is a good film…most of it.

 

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Just the Discs – Episode 116 – A Warner Archive Fiver

On this episode, Brian looks at a small stack of five releases from Warner Archive – specifically: GASLIGHT, DOLORES CLAIBORNE, BIG WEDNESDAY, THE SWARM and DOC HOLLYWOOD!

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Film Baby Film: Episode 32 – Bergman’s Music Films

Film Baby Film is back! This episode brings together Ingmar Bergman super-fans Becky D’Anna and Dave Eves for a Bergman Music episode. We discuss three of the director’s films that have a musical focus, namely TO JOY, THE MAGIC FLUTE, and AUTUMN SONATA. Topics discussed include: why Dave was a total failure as a professional musician, Becky’s love for the sappy side of Bergman, as well as which movie Jon thinks he will rewatch the most. We also discuss an upcoming spin-off podcast, where the three of us talk nothing but Bergman gossip.

Bergman is the patron saint of this podcast, and Becky and Dave are the two best people to discuss him with. If you have half as much fun listening as we did recording… you’ll still have a lot of fun.

Magnificent Obsession with Alicia Malone: Lawrence Sher

Alicia chats to her friend, cinematographer Larry Sher, under a flight path in LA. They talk about how he decided to become a director of photography, what his job entails, working with Todd Phillips and what audiences can expect from The Joker…

Just the Discs – Episode 115 – NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (with Joe Lynch)

Director Joe Lynch (WRONG TURN 2, EVERLY, MAYHEM and the currently available Netflix film POINT BLANK) guests week to get passionate about NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (& the new Blu-ray from Scream Factory), Tom Atkins and so much more! We definitely get into spoilers here, so make sure you’ve watched this 80s gem beforehand! Enjoy!

Follow Joe on Twitter: @TheJoeLynch!

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The Magic Lantern: Episode 108 – The Battle of Algiers

Would it surprise you to learn that The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo, 1966) is on the top ten lists of countless film critics and filmmakers, and was also the favorite film of Andreas Baader, leader of the left-wing militant organization the Baader-Meinhof Group? That the film was banned in France and not shown until five years after its release? That it has been screened around the world for military organizations, including the Pentagon in 2003, as preparation for urban guerrilla warfare? The film clearly has lost none of its power in fifty years. Shot in a documentary style, the film so convincingly captured the Algerian independence movement that upon its American release, it carried a notice that “not one foot” of newsreel footage had been used.

The director, Gillo Pontecorvo, consciously chose non-professional Algerians to maintain this verisimilitude. The film was inspired by an account of the campaign by Saadi Yacef, a National Liberation Front (FLN) military commander, and he very effectively plays an FLN leader in the film. The use of Algerians in these key roles is all the more incredible when you think about the forces at work on the film. At the time, there was a push to have a white Westerner shape the key narrative of the story and to be the audience avatar. This would have kept Algerians as the exotic other, rather than telling the story from their perspective.

When you watch the film, let us know if you think the filmmaker succeeded in his goal to show the truth and the means to which both sides of any conflict will go to prevail.

What you’ll find in this episode: how Jean Martin was uniquely qualified to play his role, how the filmmakers planned and executed the major crowd scenes, and the actor initially proposed to play a lead character.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out The Battle of Algiers on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The New World.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Is Paris Burning?
More on Gillo Pontecorvo’s process.
The Casbah of Algiers’ last breath.