Mark and Aaron bring back Criterion Close-Up is back, this time with Jill Blake and Wade Sheeler from Drinking While Talking to dive into one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces. We look at the history with Selznick and how that helped develop Hitchcock’s later style. We also discuss Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in detail, including their friendship and the chemistry they showed in this film. We get into the gender politics, how the film pushed the boundaries of the code, how it built suspense without extensive action sequences, and also how it incorporates some surprising comedic moments. While we do not settle the debate, we also touch on whether Hitchcock’s 40s or 50s period was his strongest, and how this was a pivotal film between those periods.
Alicia goes backstage at the Noir City film festival to chat with its founder, the Czar of Noir, TCM host, Eddie Muller. They talk about his noir-esque father, how the film festival started and the possibly illegal things he’s done to save a movie from being destroyed.
The launch of the Criterion Channel called for an emergency podcast. Josh, Matt and Michael joined to talk about our first impressions, and Josh announces a new cast that’s in development.
Aaron is joined by Dave Eves and Matt Schlee. We begin the show by paying tribute to a master, the great Agnès Varda, who we lived a long life yet it still feels like we lost her too soon. We also talk about all of the titles that were announced as part of the Kino Lorber Studio Canal Deal, and we give a brief preview of the Criterion Channel that launches on April 8th. We cover a number of March releases with our Short Takes, and we cover the recent Criterion news.
Alicia visits the production office of producer Fred Berger, who talks about the type of obsession and passion it takes to shepherd an original film from concept to cinema, without sacrificing the vision of the director. And… what a producer actually does!
Alicia talks to Kent Jones in a loud hotel room. He is the former director of the New York Film Festival, who is now a filmmaker in his own right. They chat about being obsessed with film, taking time to achieve your goals and feeling the fear but doing it anyway.
As podcasters, we love our special round number episodes. It really is baffling because I’ve probably been on somewhere between 200-300 shows, perhaps even more, but having the numbers line up on your primary feed is an achievement and it calls for something special.
We had two such milestones reached over the past weekend, and our hosts unquestionably made the episodes special.
One of our flagship shows, The Magic Lantern Podcast went a little above and beyond. They started by asking their community to choose the film, which ended up being one of my personal favorites — Paris, TX. Additionally, they took listener questions and recorded a second part of their 100th episode. And then they dropped the mic and decided to leave the country. Enjoy the other hemisphere, Cole and Ericca.
Jamie and Doug also reached 100 and covered one of the worst best movies of the 1980s, Mac and Me. It is essentially an E.T. ripoff and a full-length McDonalds commercial all in one. Have I mentioned that it’s terrible and that I love it? While they didn’t go to the same extent as Cole and Ericca, they certainly prepared a tentpole title and had a lot of fun with it.
There are a couple of other podcasts that are nearing the same milestone. Just the Discs is currently at episode 98, and I happen to know that episode 100 is recorded and in the can, ready to be released soon. And I look forward to listening to it.
The next one up is Criterion Now which is at episode 82. At this rate, we will probably reach episode 100 by the end of the year, perhaps late fall depending on how things go. We will certainly do something special, but as of right now haven’t planned anything. Suggestions are welcome.
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