Episode 112 – Jaws

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…

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Episode 111 – Evolution

Episode 111 – Evolution

Upon my first viewing of it, Lucile Hadžihalilović’s Evolution (2015) leapt to the top of the list of my favorite movies of this decade, perhaps of any decade. It’s a deft intermingling of modern body horror and much more ancient fears. Sometimes you’re not sure if you just saw an…

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Episode 110 – The Fits

Episode 110 – The Fits

Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits (2015) doesn’t reveal all its secrets. We as viewers don’t know the origin of the mysterious fits that one-by-one overtake the girls of the dance team any more than they do. That these fits seem to come with some greater understanding after they are over,…

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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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