Ep56 Contemporary Film Criticism

We’ve been compiling this episode for about 6 months now and we’ve conducted interviews in New York, Bristol, The Shetland Islands and via Skype. We hope our delve into film criticism is worth the wait. Thank you firstly to our participants, so generous with their time and thoughts. A huge thank you also to our roving reporter Charlotte Crofts for the amazing interview with Tara Judah featured in the episode, and others we couldn’t manage to get in. Thank you finally to our listeners who suggested this episode.

The wealth of material we got was overwhelming so look out for all the interviews being uploaded in January while we are on our winter break. That should keep you going in the cold winter months.

Participants

Tara Judah https://tarajudah.com/ @midnightmovies

Sam Fragoso http://talkeasypod.com/ @SamFragoso

Simran Hans https://www.theguardian.com/profile/simran-hans @heavier_things

Ashley Clark http://www.bfi.org.uk/people/ashley-clark  @_Ash_Clark

Violet Lucca https://www.filmcomment.com/author/vlucca/ @unbuttonmyeyes

Mark Kermode https://www.theguardian.com/profile/markkermode @KermodeMovie

Prof. Linda Ruth Williams https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/film/staff/lwilliams/ @lindaruth1

Tom Shone http://tomshone.blogspot.co.uk/ @Tom_Shone

Roll of Honour

All the critics given shout outs across our interviews...

Sophie Mayer, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Cerise Howard, Emma Westwood, Thomas Caldwell, Josh Nelson, Jack Sargeant, Dana Linssen, Kees Driessen, Rüdiger Suchsland, Adrian Martin, Catherine Grant, Cristina Alvarez Lopez, Kevin B. Lee, Michael Wood, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Robin Wood, Victor Perkins, David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Hadley Freeman, Marina Hyde, Ren Zelen, Christina Newland, Molly Haskell, Ashley Clark, James Baldwin, Graham Greene, Cahiers Critics, Bogdanovich & Schrader, Toby Hazlet, Violet Lucca, Doreen St. Felix, Jia Tolentino, Vinson Cunningham, Hilton Als, Wendy Ide, Simran Hans, Guy Lodge, Pauline Kael, Kim Newman, Roger Ebert, Andrew Sarris, Alan Jones, J Hoberman, Anne Billson, Kate Muir, Kay Austin Collins, Ira Madison, Alyssa Wilkinson, Scott Tobias, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robertson, Tim Grierson, Anjelica Jade, Nathan Heller, Jeremy O’Harris, Hunter Harris, Wesley Morris, Nick Pinkerton, Eric Hynes, Badlands Film Collective, AO Scott, Anthony Lane, David Edelstein, Elvis Mitchell, Amy Taubin,  Christian Lorentzen, Senses of Cinema, Four Columns and Reverse Shot.

The incidental music for this episode is from Giorgio Gaslini's score for Antonioni's La Notte.

Ep55 Post-Weinstein (plus an interview with Dr. Tamsyn Dent.)

The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein revelations has been seismic, dramatically exposing the well-known but largely silent culture of sexism in the film industry. Various high profile names have followed in being accused of historic and recent abuses in what could prove to be a watershed moment, not only for Hollywood but Western culture more broadly. In this episode, Dario and Neil discuss the possible dynamics of the post-Weinstein era with a contribution from Dr Tamsyn Dent (@tamsyn_dent), a lecturer in Media Production at the University of Bournemouth. Tamsyn has worked with the Raising Films organisation in producing the #Rasingourgame industry report,  a framework of accountability to ensure that diversity and inclusion are widely adopted in the Film and TV industry.

Show notes

Raising Films

Salma Hayek on Weinstein

What do we do with the art of monstrous men? by Claire Dederer

Interview in Variety with Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor on how they broke the Weinstein story

Ep54 La Notte (featuring film critic Robert Koehler)

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Michelangelo Antonioni is generally recognised as one of the seminal directors of the European Art House tradition. In this week’s episode, The Cinematologists return to the Electric Palace Cinema to screen his 1961 film La Notte. The central film in his classic trilogy of modern alienation – L’avventura and L’eclisse being the other two - La Notte features three of the most iconic European stars - Jeanne Moreau Marcello Mastroianni and Monica Vitti - in a tale of strained relationships set in the abstract architectural spaces of Milan and the rarefied yet superficial circles of Italian high society.

This episode also features an interview with the renowned film critic Robert Koehler who discuss his love and admiration of Antonioni's film particular focusing on the film that he sees as the filmmaker's masterpiece L'avventura.

Show notes

Senses of Cinema review of La Notte

LA Times article on La Notte restoration

Robert Koehler's Sight and Sound article on L'avventura

Dear Antonioni documentary

 

(Bonus) Alex Barrett & London Symphony

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London Symphony is the latest feature film from director Alex Barrett. This bonus episode features a short interview with Alex and a post screening Q&A both recorded when Alex visited the School of Film & Television at Falmouth University recently. 

Below are links to the film and where to see it. 

London Symphony (Official Site)

London Symphony on BFI Player (with Mark Kermode intro)

London Symphony at Flicker Alley (Worldwide DVD)

(Bonus) Brighton CineCity Co-Director Tim Brown

Brighton Film Festival (CineCity) 2017 begins Friday 10th of November. In this bonus episode Dario talks to co-director Tim Brown about the history of the festival, its position and status in UK Film Culture and the partnerships with venues around the city. Dario and Tim then pick out their highlights from a packed and diverse programme.

For information and to book tickets go to: http://www.cine-city.co.uk/

 

Ep53: A New Leaf (w/ The Ballad of Shirley Collins filmmakers)

In the new episode, Number 53, Neil and Dario screen and discuss Elaine May’s hilarious and acerbic 1971 comedy masterpiece A New Leaf, co-starring Walter Matthau. Neil screened the film at Falmouth University’s School of Film & Television with his colleague Kingsley before a live audience of staff and students.

Discussions in the episode cover writer/director/performers in Hollywood, the belatedly secured reputations of women in film, what comedy should be used for and when, and the genius of Walter Matthau.

The second of those topics is pertinent to the interview for this episode, which Neil conducted with Rob Curry and Tim Plester, the filmmakers behind the new documentary The Ballad Of Shirley Collins. The film is a wonderfully lyrical film and it’s now on general release - http://www.shirleycollinsmovie.com/

Key Moments:

10Mins            A New Leaf Screening Intro

34Mins            The Ballad of Shirley Collins (Interview & Chat)

1hr 5Mins        A New Leaf Post-Film Discussion

Links to articles on A New Leaf:

BFI

RogerEbert.com

NY Times (Original Release)

New Yorker (DVD Release)

 

(Bonus) Blade Runner 2049

With the original Blade Runner being a formative film for both Dario and Neil, they take the time to discuss the 2017 sequel directed by Denis Villeneuve: Blade Runner 2049. A lot has been said and written about this new incarnation, directly about the aesthetics, philosophical themes and narrative, but also regarding the wider ideological readings related to gender, race and class. We hope you enjoy our contribution to the discourse around a film which, if nothing else, reminds us of cinema's ability to provoke thought and exercise passion.

References

Are audiences to Lazy to appreciate Blade Runner - Wired

Male Stars Get to Age, While Women Live On in Digital Re-creations of Their Younger Selves - Nate Jones Vulture

‘Blade Runner 2049’ is about learning that you’re not the main character in your own story - Alyssa Rosenburg - The Washington Post

Blade Runner 2049 is an uneasy feminist parable about controlling the means of reproduction - Helen Lewis - The New Statesman

 

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Ep52: Crossings 2017

Episode 52 finds Neil and Dario discussing the ICA and School of Film & Television season Crossings, a programme of films, talks and events focused on the theme of migration. The season took place from June to September and looked at how cinema represents the stories of those who seek to leave their homeland for a new land, through choice or through necessity. Full details of the project can be found here.

Two films coming under the Cinematologists spotlight in this episode. The 2016 documentary Fire At Sea directed by Gianfranco Rosi and set on the Italian island of Lampedusa and John Akomfrah’s provocative and poetic essay doc The Nine Muses, from 2010. These films were screened at the Newlyn Filmhouse and The Poly in Falmouth respectively.

The focus of the chat between Neil and Dario looks at the representation of migration and migrants and refugees in cinema and whether these films are ‘preaching to the converted’, amongst other topics.

Thanks to Dr. Laura Canning (SoFT) and Nico Marzano (ICA) for inviting us to do this episode. Thanks also to Kingsley Marshall and Mark Jenkin for helping host the Newylyn event with Neil.

Links:

http://newlynfilmhouse.com/

http://thepoly.org/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3652526/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706701/?ref_=nv_sr_1

https://www.crossings2017.co.uk/

https://www.ica.art/

https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/school-of-film-television

AUDIO NOTE: Please excuse some of the peaking issues in the inserts, and some of the low volume audio in the post film Q&A sections. Still on the learning curve as a recorder and editor. NF.

 

(Bonus) Social Realism?

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In the first of what will be a regular feature, free for now but soon to be exclusive to Patreon subscribers, Neil and Dario hold a discussion about something cinematic that sits outside the regular programming. In this instance the pair chat about British social realism and in particular the work of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh as the BFI releases some of their seminal titles on Blu-ray.

The discussion covers Leigh's Life Is Sweet (1990) and Loach's Riff-Raff (1991), Raining Stones (1993) and Ladybird Ladybird (1994) and the recent I, Daniel Blake (2016), which is not in the Loach set - asd well as getting into a more general chat about the spectre of social realism in British film history. 

Neil writes about Raining Stones in his chapter on Manchester Movies in the Directory of World Cinema: Britain 2. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: I know there's a lot of erms, you knows, stutters, and ands, but buts and what sounds like we are doing Hannibal Lecter liver bean impressions. I assure you in future Neil edited episodes this will be resolved and you'll be back to listening to the smooth sounds of the Cinematologists in no time. Thanks for your patience while I learn this new skill. NF.