Ep54 La Notte (featuring film critic Robert Koehler)


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


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:



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.


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



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.









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?


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.

Ep51: Screenplay Film Festival (With Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams)

Our first edition of the new season comes from the Shetland Arts Screenplay Film Festival. Dario speaks to a host of names including the festival curators Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams who discuss their history with the festival and this years' programme; actor George Mackay discusses his career and we hear him introduce a sing-a-long screening of Sunshine on Leith, along with giving a poetry reading performed in the Shetland accent. Friend of the show Hope Dickson Leach talks about the family film strand of the festival programme and we have an excerpt from the Q&A with Bill Nighy who discusses his role in The Limehouse Golum. Also on the programme is Prof. Phil Scraton who wrote Hillsborough: The Truth and was the factual consultant to the Hillsborough Independent panel. His work underpinned the documentary Hillsborough which screened at the festival. Dario's cinematic highlight of the festival was Chico Pereira's Donkeyote, he speaks to the film's producer Sonja Henrici about the context of the project and contemporary documentary more broadly. Read Dario's blog on the film here. Finally, we were delighted to welcome the dulcet Shetland tones of poet, filmmaker and musician Roseanne Watt who discusses her festival highlights gives an impromptu poetry reading. Not to be missed.

George Mackay, Kathy Hubbard, Dario and Hope Dickson Leach

George Mackay, Kathy Hubbard, Dario and Hope Dickson Leach

Show notes

Mark Kermode and Linda Ruth Williams - 10:55

Hope Dickson Leach - 21:05

George Mackay - 33:25

Sunshine on Leith Sing-a-Long intro - 43:55

Bill Nighy Q&A - 01:02:50

Prof. Phil Scraton - 01:09:20

Sonia Henrici - 01:20:47

Roseanne Watt - 01:38:20

Season 6 Trailer

After an enjoyable summer hiatus, when Neil got married and Dario got tanned, we preview the new season episodes and bring news of bonus content, Merch and our new Patreon page.