Month: September 2019

Just The Discs – Episode 125 – September Announcements!

On this month’s episode, Brian talks about announcement news that (mostly) came out in September with regards to labels like AGFA, Arrow, Criterion, Indicator, Kino Lorber, Mill Creek, Scorpion Releasing, Second Sight, Shout Factory, Synapse, Vinegar Syndrome and more! Lots of things to talk about!

Listen to the August Announcements here:

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The Magic Lantern: Episode 113 – Los Tallos Amargos

Film noir simply doesn’t get darker than Fernando Ayala’s Los Tallos Amargos (1956). And when I say dark, I mean classical tragedy dark. Dostoevsky levels of wretched darkness. I have never seen a noir quite like this. It has all the normal chiaroscuro and double cross, but it goes much deeper into the psychology of our main character than we are often used to in the genre. His ambitions, his insecurities, his dreams, his mother, his father, his lover – it’s all grist for Ayala’s shadowy mill. And it’s a mill that indiscriminately grinds everyone, the naively loyal and the cunningly homicidal alike.

Not only is Los Tallos Amargos one of the greatest entries in the international noir canon, but it’s also a triumph of film sleuthing and restoration. It traveled a long way and endured a lot of hardships to make it back to us. It was on the verge of oblivion before the efforts of Eddie Muller, the Film Noir Foundation, the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Charitable Trust brought it back from the brink. It’s certainly a worthy candidate for that attention and treatment. This film changed the way I look at film noir. I hope you get the chance to see it and it does the same for you.

What you’ll find in this episode: the impressive pedigree of Los Tallos Amargos, oppression and censorship in Argentina, films falling prey to neglect and ruin, Silver Condors, vultures, and bitter stems.

– Cole

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Los Tallos Amargos on IMDB
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Spellbound.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Carancho.
A list to get you started with Argentine film.
A promotional video of beautiful Buenos Aires in the 1950s.

Criterion Now 96: Odorama

Dave Eves joins and we have a little fun with the recent release of Polyester and specifically the Odorama card. This is truly a unique film, and subsequently a unique release for Criterion. We discuss the best way to watch the film, answer questions about the experience, and talk about each of the smells. You could call it a smellebration.

GTGM Episode 113: No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

While Jamie fully embraces her love of JCVD as well as this genre of film, Doug can’t wrap his mind around the New York mafia’s plan to buy out the most successful dojos on the west coast. Also, this movie’s amazing! Do yourself a favor and watch it before listening to the episode. We wouldn’t want to ruin any of this for you…

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Just The Discs – Episode 124 – TEXAS CHAINSAW NEXT GENERATION + THE BEACH BUM (w/ Brendon Small)

Matthew McConaughey appreciation! Brendon Small returns to talk about two films from the man, the myth, the legend — one from the very beginning of his acting career (TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION) and one of his latest efforts (THE BEACH BUM) and it is a lively discussion of how much we love him almost no matter what roles he chooses. 

Follow Brendon on Twitter @_Brendonsmall

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Indicator Now – Episode 1 – Favorite Releases, Business Model, The Big Sale

Matt Schlee and Tim Leggoe join Aaron for the first episode dedicated to Indicator, which follows the Criterion Now format. We discuss the history of the label, how it compares with other labels, how their business model works, the way they handle supplements, and customer service and shipping. We also talk plenty about the films, including the upcoming and recent releases, and we all list three of our favorite releases from the label to this date.

Episode Links

Powerhouse Films
The Indicator / Powerhouse Films Blu Ray Collection Fan Group

Magnificent Obsession with Alicia Malone: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas

Alicia goes onto a studio lot to talk to producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas about her film “Hustlers,” why it was a hard sell, the perils of social media, her work with Jennifer Lopez and why its important to never give up.

The Complete Kieślowski 11 – Dekalog 6 & A Short Film About Love

Matt and Travis are joined by David Blakeslee of the invaluable Criterion Reflections podcast to discuss the second Dekalog episode that was expanded into a feature, episode six, which would be titled A Short Film About Love in its feature version. We discuss the morally sticky nature of both the story and the film itself, a portrait of a young man invading a woman’s private space and her complex and emotional response to the discovery of what’s happening.

This is the fourth part of our six part series covering the Dekalog, we hope you enjoy!

Just The Discs – Episode 123 – A Kino Bundle

John Cribbs from The Pink Smoke is back again to join Brian on this episode as they discuss a stack of six Kino Lorber Studio Classics titles! Starting with the outstanding thriller sleeper THE SILENT PARTNER — then, Doris Day is stalked in MIDNIGHT LACE, on to the chimps go crazy movie LINK and Anthony Mann’s BEND OF THE RIVER, followed by Roger Moore and Roger Moore in THE MAN WHO HAUNTED HIMSELF, finally closing out with Peter Yates’ masterful crime film ROBBERY.

Follow John Cribbs on Twitter: @TheLastMachine

Read his writing at The Pink Smoke.

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The Magic Lantern: Episode 112 – Jaws

Are you still afraid to go into the water? Does the specter of a killer shark still haunt you, 44 years after that monster first broke the water’s surface in Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)? It absolutely haunts me, though I love the water and still take every opportunity to get in it. Just like I still take every opportunity to watch this movie again and again!

When we are deciding on our film selections, especially with well-known titles, we question whether there is anything new to discuss and whether we will notice anything new after the umpteenth viewing. The great news with great films like Jaws is that we do find new avenues to explore. We closely explored its legacy, its themes, and its composition. We continue to marvel at how individual artists formed a team with Steven Spielberg on just his second feature film to deconstruct and reconstruct a story that shows no signs of losing its power to delight and scare us.

Take a moment to appreciate what Spielberg and company were able to accomplish in what would become the seventh highest-grossing film in the U.S. and Canada of all time: the most oft-quoted lines from the film were largely improvised, the shark only appears for a handful of minutes in the film, and first appears roughly two-thirds of the way through, the script was still unfinished as shooting began, and I’ll say it again–it was only Spielberg’s second feature film!

What you’ll find in this episode: the composition of threes used throughout the film, why the film stays interesting after all these years, and Ericca displays her full Virginia accent at one point.

– Ericca

Links and Recommendations:
Check out Jaws on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of All the President’s Men.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Duel.
Finding Bruce the Shark.
How Peter Benchley came to regret his creation.