Episode 108 – The Battle of Algiers

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…

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Episode 107 – The Devil and Daniel Webster

Episode 107 – The Devil and Daniel Webster

The Devil and Daniel Webster (Dieterle, 1941) is truly one of my desert island films. You couldn’t have assembled a more perfect film for me in a laboratory. The cinematic and literary traditions it belongs to are among my favorites and it’s topped off with that unmistakably sulphurous scent of…

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Episode 106 – The Second Mother

Episode 106 – The Second Mother

Caring for children is sacred work, according to writer-director Anna Muylaert and her film The Second Mother (2015). It’s also very undervalued, under-discussed work. Decades ago, Muylaert envisioned a story about this work and the women who do it. At that time, she felt she wasn’t ready to bring the…

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Episode 105 – Invention for Destruction

Episode 105 – Invention for Destruction

There is simply nothing like Karel Zeman’s Invention for Destruction (1958). Taken from the pages of some of Jules Verne’s greatest adventures, these images combine to form one of the greatest cinematic pop-up books ever committed to film. The amount of painstaking detail that must have been involved in bringing…

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Episode 104 – Noir City Austin 2019 by Lantern Light

Episode 104 – Noir City Austin 2019 by Lantern Light

In this special episode, we discuss the films of Noir City Austin 2019 and its theme of “It’s a Bitter Little World”, featuring a program of ten stellar examples of the progression of film noir from the end of the 1940s through the start of the 1960s. Noir City Austin…

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Episode 102 – Betrayal

Episode 102 – Betrayal

I first encountered David Jones’ adaptation of Harold Pinter’s play about his extramarital affair, Betrayal (1983), when I was thirteen years old. Those were the heady days of the early cable television boom and my afternoon ritual was to walk to Head’s Grocery, get a Dr Pepper and some Hot…

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Episode 101 – Shoplifters

Episode 101 – Shoplifters

Shoplifters (Kore-eda, 2018) was a revelatory filmgoing experience. So much so that as we were walking out of the theatre, I proclaimed that I would cover it in an episode as quickly as possible. I can’t think of another film in recent memory that I knew immediately was my new…

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Episode 100, Part One – Paris, Texas

Episode 100, Part One – Paris, Texas

Paris, Texas (Wenders, 1984) is our first ever crowdsourced episode choice, and we’re so grateful to you, our listeners, for sticking with us for 100 episodes, and for choosing something so wonderful to discuss and celebrate! Wim Wenders originally envisioned this as more of a cross-country film, but Sam Shepard…

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