Big thanks once again to Aaron West for inviting me onto his podcast, this time onto his second episode of Arrow Now! Enjoy hearing me get thoroughly outclassed by the great Tim Leggoe while we discuss all things Arrow Films, give our respective Top 5s for 2017, and take a look at the year ahead.
And in an admission that will likely disqualify me from participating in the same review next year – be warned, it’s very likely that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark will be on my Top 5 for 2018!
Our next proposal is taking forever. Maybe with a little effort I can get it posted before Christmas!
While we all wait, how about a quick shout-out to The Magic Lantern podcast! It’s the end of the year, so that means that the show’s hosts, Ericca Long and Cole Roulain, have recently put up their latest “Ants In Your Pants” episode where they share their respective top ten first time screenings for the year (plus some honourable mentions). Included on their list are various MMC! favourites like Ruggles of Red Gap (Leo McCarey, 1935), ‘I Know Where I’m Going!’ (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1945), The Lineup (Don Seigel, 1958), and The Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1973). If you haven’t already discovered their wonderful podcast, go take a listen and maybe even buy one of their swell, glow-in-the-dark pins!
And because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (and because I’m incapable of restraint and of not making lists of my own), here are my top 20 first time screenings for 2017 along with my Letterboxd reviews.
Big thanks to Aaron West for inviting me on Criterion Now, his recurring podcast on the ongoing developments of all things Criterion! You can listen to us now on “Episode 11 – Blow-Up, Tiny Furniture, Gimme Shelter.”
Lucky listeners can hear me shrug off ’60s London, defend the aspect ratio of comic books, mistake Zelig as ’70s Woody Allen, declare myself the spokesman of a nation, and defend Lena Dunham, Michael Bay, and Point Break. It was a lot of fun, but MMC! followers should enjoy it now because a track record like that doesn’t encourage repeat visits!
(And for the record: I don’t dislike Blow-Up (I just have other Antonioni films I much prefer), I probably should have stumped for Take the Money and Run (1969) which I also enjoy, and I do have great tolerance when the Collection tries to represent cinema outside its typical fare, even when it results in titles like Armageddon and Jellyfish Eyes.)
The good folks at CriterionCast have introduced a new podcast to the family – Criterion Now – a round table discussion of current Criterion-related events hosted by Aaron West. Think of it as The McLaughlin Group for cinephiles, film nerds, and Criterion-heads, with Aaron as the straw that stirs the drink.
Episode 1 was released a couple of days ago with discussions of Criterion’s wacky New Year’s drawing, some Criterion titles, and the new streaming service FilmStruck. Joining Aaron on this episode is his Criterion Close-Up partner, Mark Hurne; podcasting power couple Ericca Long and Cole Roulain of The Magic Lantern; and administrator/lion tamer of the Criterion Considered Facebook group, Matt Gasteier.
Big thanks to the great Doug McCambridge for having me on his new Plain Cast podcast to discuss spine #3 in the excellent South Korean boutique label Plain Archive. There, we discuss Yeon Sang-ho’s The King of Pigs (2011) and its harrowing treatment of middle school bullying (spoilers abound!). In addition, Doug has episodes discussing Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011) with Emily Mackay of Movies & Mayhem and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler (2008) with Cole Roulain of The Magic Lantern podcast, should you be interested in some better known titles.
(One note on the podcast – should our discussion pique your interest, we should note that in the time since our recording this episode, Olive Films has released The King of Pigs for the North American market, along with the director’s follow-up The Fake.)
While we’re at it, let’s plug Doug’s other excellent podcast Good Times Great Movies where he and Jamie Lorello tour through the preeminent films of the ’80s! I recently had the chance to listen to their very entertaining discussion of Chopping Mall (Jim Wynorski, 1986), a film about deadly Roombas intent on killing a group of horny teenagers trapped in a shopping mall and, as Jamie notes, features no chopping.
Boutique label fans should make note that the great Doug McCambridge (of Good Times, Great Movies!) recently launched his newest podcast, Plain Cast. Each month, Doug and a special guest discuss a film from the Plain Archive label, a South Korean imprint notable for its small print runs and amazing packaging art. Plain Cast is proceeding through the Plain Archive collection in order, meaning that Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011), Plain Archive‘s first spine number, is the subject of the podcast’s first episode. So head over, subscribe, and have a listen!