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63 minutes | a year ago
Criterion Close-Up 64: Hal Ashby
Mark and Aaron have the pleasure to discuss Hal Ashby with Amy Scott, director of the documentary “Hal” about the filmmaker, which is available on Oscilloscope. We discuss Hal’s aesthetic and the way he could tackle difficult subjects with realism and humanity. Among the films discussed are The Landlord, Coming Home, Bound for Glory, Being There, The Last Detail, Shampoo, and others. Episode Links Hal – Official Website Amy Elizabeth Scott – Personal Website Other Music – Official Website Facebook – Hal Instagram – Hal
99 minutes | 2 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 63: Notorious (1946)
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.
64 minutes | 2 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 62: FilmSpotting, Cold Water
Yes, you read your podcast reader correctly. Criterion Close-Up is back! For this episode, Mark and Aaron kick things back on, and then dig into a conversation with Adam Kempenaar from FilmSpotting. This was initially recorded for Criterion Now, but was a better fit for Close-Up and a good way to relaunch the show. Adam talks a little bit about Criterion and his own experience with director marathons. We then dig into Cold Water and the career of Olivier Assayas. Glad to be back! Show Links FilmSpotting Marathons FilmSpotting – Archives Marathons Social Media Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Letterboxd Adam Kempenaar: Website | Twitter
51 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 61: The Rose
Mark and Aaron take a trip down memory lane. This is not only the first Criterion Close-Up episode, but the first time that we had podcasted together. The episode is a little rough, as would be expected, but we hope you’ll enjoy hearing us as we learned our way. Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email
101 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 60 – Julien Duvivier in the 1960s
Mark, Aaron, David and Trevor return for part two of our exploration of the under-appreciated French director, Julien Duvivier. The first episode, Eclipse Viewier 54, looked at the first two films in his Eclipse set. This episode looks at the peak of his career, particularly La Belle Equipe, Pépé le Moko, and La Fin du Jour, along with an overview of his career and the availability (or lack) of his work in the states. Episode Links & Notes Eclipse Viewer 54: Julien Duvivier in the 1930s Part 1 Criterion Close-Up 50: French Series Part 1 Criterion Close-Up 57: French Series part 2 Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd David Blakeslee: Twitter | Website Trevor Berrett: Twitter | Website Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email Next time on the podcast: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
98 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 59: Late Spring and the Films of Yasujiro Ozu
Mark, Aaron and Matt Gasteier explore the filmmaking world of Yasujirō Ozu, centering on his pivotal masterpiece Late Spring (1949). It would be impossible to explore all of his dozens of his films in one episode, so we give an overview of his work, his style, and his contributions towards international cinema. 3:00 – Ozu Introduction 15:00 – Ozu biography & style 29:00 – Setsuko Hara 39:00 – Late Spring Criterion Current – Ozu and Setsuko Hara David Bordwell – Ozu Book Criterion Collected Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Matt Gasteier: Twitter | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email Next time on the podcast: French Series, Part Three
102 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 58: Punch-Drunk Love and the Films of Paul Thomas Anderson
Mark and Aaron get back to this century with a look at Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love. Naturally we talk about Adam Sandler’s dramatic acting jobs, and, well, what happened to them? We go further into PTA’s career, film by film, chronicling the evolution of his craft and style. We explore why he is so popular, and question whether he belongs in the conversation of greatest living filmmakers. 3:40 – Punch Drunk Love 47:40 – Paul Thomas Anderson Criterion – Punch-Drunk Love Criterion – Paul Thomas Anderson’s Favorite Films The Film Faculty – PTA Retrospective Mark’s Amazon Wish List. Happy Birthday, Mark! Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email Next time on the podcast: Late Spring
107 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 57: French 1930s 2 – Early Jean Renoir
Mark and Aaron continue the French 1930s series by exploring the early career of Jean Renoir, easily the most recognizable director from the period. We begin with the beginning, by looking at his origins and childhood. We look at his early silent films, his first sound adaptations, and a couple of films from the middle of the decade where we began to settle into his poetic realist style. 7:00 – Why Renoir? 9:30 – Origins of Renoir 20:00 – Silent Renoir (Catherine, Whirlpool of Fate, Nana, Charleston Parade, The Little Match Girl) 51:30 – Early Sound (On purge bébé, La Chienne, Boudu Saved From Drowning) 1:21:30 – Poetic Realism in Mid-Thirties (Toni, A Day in the Country) French 1930s Episode 1 Jean Renoir Taschen book Republic of Images Renoir Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago DVD Beaver – Jean Renoir Collector’s Edition Aaron West – A Day in the Country David Blakeslee – A Day in the Country Recommended Films The Little Match Girl La Chienne Boudu Saved from Drowning Toni A Day in the Country Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email Next time on the podcast: Paul Thomas Anderson
63 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 56: Blood Simple
Mark and Aaron are joined by Keith Silva to look at the Coen Brothers’ debut to cap of #Noirvember. The film cannot be viewed without the exploring the context of the Coen library and their successful career to follow, but it stands alone as a debut film that sets the stage for their style. We focus quite a bit on the noir aspect, how they were going for a specific aesthetic that shows their film heritage. We evaluate why this film works, how these neophytes meticulously crafted a slow burning art film at the height of the 1980s mainstream blockbusters. About the film: Joel and Ethan Coen’s career-long darkly comic road trip through misfit America began with this razor-sharp, hard-boiled neonoir set somewhere in Texas, where a sleazy bar owner releases a torrent of violence with one murderous thought. Actor M. Emmet Walsh looms over the proceedings as a slippery private eye with a yellow suit, a cowboy hat, and no moral compass, and Frances McDormand’s cunning debut performance set her on the road to stardom. The tight scripting and inventive style that have marked the Coens’ work for decades are all here in their first film, in which cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld abandons black-and-white chiaroscuro for neon signs and jukebox colors that combine with Carter Burwell’s haunting score to lurid and thrilling effect. Blending elements from pulp fiction and low-budget horror flicks, Blood Simple reinvented the film noir for a new generation, marking the arrival of a filmmaking ensemble that would transform the American independent cinema scene. Episode Links & Notes Special Guest: Keith Silva from Interested in Sophisticated Fun, Comics Bulletin, and Psycho Drive-In. You can find him on Twitter. 1:50 – Welcome Keith Silva 4:50 – Blood Simple CCU10: House, The Shining Blood Simple – Criterion Blood Simple – IMDB Criterion Essay: Down Here, You’re On Your Own Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email Next time on the podcast: French 1930s, Part Two
82 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 55: Cronos
Mark and Aaron tackle Guillermo Del Toro’s debut film, recently re-released as part of the Trilogía boxset. Cronos is technically in the vampire genre, but even for his first film, has a distinctive Del Toro feel. We get into the character of Jesus Gris, and how Del Toro uses him as a tragic figure that touches on themes of mortality and religion. We also explore Del Toro’s passion and his “Bleak House,” showing that his passion for the medium informs his work. Episode Links & Notes 4:20 – Mark’s VTIFF experience 8:00 – Short Takes (The Interrogation, Santa Sangre, Evolution, Your Vice is a Locked Room and I Have the Key, Under the Shadow, Midnight Cowboy) 33:30 – Cronos Vermont International Film Festival Could Midnight Cowboy be Coming to the Criterion Collection? – Reddit Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro An Open Letter to the Criterion Collection Episode Credits Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email Next time on the podcast: Blood Simple
60 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 54: Hausu Party
We let our hair down for Halloween and celebrate the oddity that is Ôbayashi’s House (1977). Dave and Jessica join Mark and Aaron. We agree that House is the most random and the most bonkers “horror” film in existence. Rather than break it down thematically, we celebrate its weirdness by pointing out the WTF moments...
81 minutes | 4 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 53: The Vanishing
Mark and Aaron cover the Dutch and French horror/suspense classic, The Vanishing. Having experienced this film numerous times before, we are able to explore the foreshadowing and narrative structure that led us on a wild journey to an even wilder ending. We talk about obsession, control, that harrowing ending, and yes, we even get into...
98 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 52: Carnival of Souls
Mark, Aaron and Eric Ford begin a month of horror with the micro-budget cult classic, Carnival of Souls. We talk about what makes this such an enduring classic that has held up over time, the bizarre story about how it was made, its influences and what it has influenced, and what type of artistic aims...
103 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 51: Mystery Train & Jim Jarmusch
Mark and Aaron are joined by Marcus Pinn to explore the filmography of Jim Jarmusch, beginning with Mystery Train (1989). We explore the triple storyline, the coalescence of the director’s indie experience and arthouse sensibilities, and the film’s sense of place. We then dive into his library and style, and choose our five favorite Jarmusch...
110 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 50: French 1930s 1 – Silent to Sound, Jacques Feyder, Jean Vigo
Mark, Aaron and Scott Nye kick off the first of a seven episode series about French cinema i the 1930s. We give an overview of the decade and some historical context, and discuss the French silent tradition and how that it transitioned to sound. We also get into detail about two important filmmakers, Jacques Feyder...
91 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 49: Twilight Time Appreciation Show
We change things up by focusing on a boutique label, Twilight Time, that has found success through a unique business model. Mark and Aaron happen to be big fans, and feel that we have directly contributed towards some of their profits. We talk about the company, their business model, why they have succeeded, and we...
100 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 48: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman
Mark and Aaron are joined by Dave Eves to evaluate the massive Zatoichi serial starring Shintaro Katsu. We explore the character of Zatoichi, and how he’s an unusual type of superhero. We also share tips on the best way to watch the series, whether a little bit at a time or to go on a...
74 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 47: Downhill Racer & the Olympics
Mark and Aaron celebrate the Summer Olympics by exploring Downhill Racer, an independent film about the Winter Olympics. We draw parallels to what is portrayed in the Michael Ritchie with the actual sporting events that take place today, including the thrills of victory and the agony of defeat. We discuss the groundbreaking cinematography, the nature...
71 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 46: First Anniversary Show
Mark and Aaron podcast live and in person for the first time ever. During Aaron’s vacation up north, he visited “Casa Hurne” up in beautiful Vermont. While we weren’t drinking beer and eating delicious food, we decided to podcast a little about the experience we’ve had with Criterion Close-Up. Aaron also talks about his journey...
106 minutes | 5 years ago
Criterion Close-Up 45: In a Lonely Place & Humphrey Bogart Films
Mark and Aaron are joined by Matt Gasteier to explore Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950) and evaluate Humphrey Bogart’s body of work. We go into how Ray’s life informed the cinema, why he wasn’t celebrated during his time and subsequently appreciated later. We also go through Bogart’s entire career, from getting his lucky...
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