Saturday, December 27, 2014

Episode 51: Love Streams, Streets of Fire and the Best of 1984

Continuing an annual tradition, Mike and Sean step away from the end of 2014 festivities to take a look at the best in film from 30 years ago, with Top Ten lists and Fake Awards for the movies of 1984. Alongside that, they discuss John Cassavetes's Love Streams with Gena Rowlands and Walter Hill's gangland rock epic Streets of Fire.

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Some notes:

We forgot to mention the amazing wipes in Streets of Fire, a Best Editing contender for sure.
Mike's Complete 1984 List
Sean's complete Fake Awards for 1984

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Episode 50: Coffy, Golden Chicken and 2014 Discoveries

This week Mike and Sean take a look back at their favorites among the older movies they saw for the first time in the past year, highlighting Pam Grier in 1973's blaxploitation classic Coffy and Sandra Ng in the Hong Kong comedy-drama Golden Chicken, from 2002.

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Sean's Big 2014 Discoveries List

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Episode 49: Awaara and Sholay

This week, Mike and Sean celebrate Thanksgiving with a pair of Bollywood classics, 1951's Awaara, starring Nargis and Raj Kapoor, who also directed, and 1975's epic Western Sholay starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. They also discuss the late Mike Nichols, Busby Berkeley, their Essential movie Buddies and, for some reason, an 80 second commercial for a movie that doesn't open for thirteen months.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Episode 48: Renaldo & Clara, Masked and Anonymous and Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2

This week's episode is recorded on location at an AMC theatre in downtown Seattle where Johnnie To has crashed Mike and Sean's celebration of cinematic Bob Dylan (on the occasion of the official release of the complete Basement Tapes). Before and after a trip into the movie theatre, they talk about two iterations of post-crash Dylan: his own four hour 1975 concert film/experimental indie drama Renaldo & Clara and his 2003 collaboration with Larry Charles and a cast of dozens, Masked and Anonymous. They also take a few minutes to talk about the To film, Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2, about which there is much excitement and little publicity.

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Sean on Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2
Mike on Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2

Monday, November 3, 2014

Episode 47: Toute la mémoire du monde and Russian Ark

This week, in celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the great film archivist, curator and programmer Henri Langlois, Sean and Mike take a tour of some cinematic libraries and museums with Alain Resnais's 1956 short film Toute la mémoire du mode about the Bibliothèque nationale and Alexander Sokurov's 2002 Russian Ark about the Russian State Hermitage Museum. They'll also talk about Langlois, Orson Welles, Princesses, the Internet and more.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Episode 46: Gone Girl and The Vanishing

This week Mike and Sean tackle David Fincher's big hit Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike along with the late George Sluizer's 1988 film about a missing woman, The Vanishing. They'll also recap Sean's trip to the 2014 Vancouver International Film Festival, celebrate Independent Video Store Day with their Essential Films You Can Only Get at Scarecrow Video, and discuss the concept of "It" while making their picks for modern day It Girls and It Boys on the 150th birthday of writer Elinor Glyn. All this and Mike finally watched Boyhood too.

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Sean's VIFF Coverage

Monday, October 6, 2014

Episode 45: How to Marry a Millionaire and Down with Love

Wanting a break from all the weird and dour movies they've been watching lately, Mike and Sean celebrate the bright and colorful of Fox Cinemascope romantic comedies, with 1953's How to Marry a Millionaire, starring Lauren Bacall and Marilyn Monroe, and Down with Love, from 2003, with Renee Zellweger and Ewan MacGregor. Also, on the 150th anniversary of the birth of cinema pioneer Louis Lumière, they make their picks for Essential Early Film. All this and the Mariners too.

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Some Links:

Jeff Sullivan on the Seattle Mariners

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Episode 44: Videodrome and Wavelength

With the Toronto Film festival just ending and the Vancouver Film Festival one week away, Mike and Sean celebrate the Great White North with a pair of the most-acclaimed Canadian films of all-time, David Cronenberg's 1983 mind-bender Videodrome and Michael Snow's experimental classic Wavelength, from 1967. Along they way, they preview VIFF 2014, make their picks for Essential Canadian Film and celebrate the life and work of the Greatest Canadian, Rick Moranis.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Episode 43: Top Ten Films of All-Time

On this very special episode, Sean and Mike make their third annual Top Ten Films of All-Time selections. Hitchcock, Hawks, Hong and much much more!

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Some Links:

Sean's 2012 Top Ten
Mike's 2012 Top Ten
The 2013 Top Ten Episode
A List of George Sanders Show Top Ten Films

Monday, September 1, 2014

Episode 42: Strike and Matewan

For this year's Labor Day episode, Mike and Sean take a look at a pair of movie about the organization and collective action of workers, Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 debut feature <i>Strike</i> and John Sayles's acclaimed 1987 film <i>Matewan</i>. They also pick their Cinemassential Films About Work, celebrate the career of the hard-working filmmaker Werner Herzog, rail against the travesty that is aspect-ratio cropping and discuss the latest essay from Professor David Bordwell.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Episode 41: Rock 'N' Roll High School and Pitch Perfect

This week Mike and Sean take on a pair of modern teenage musicals. First up is Roger Corman's Rock 'N' Roll High School, directed by Allan Arkush in 1979 and starring PJ Soles and The Ramones. Then they showdown over 2012's instant classic about the world of competitive collegiate a cappella, Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick. Also this week: the latest in the Scarecrow Video Kickstarter campaign, a lament for the Leonard Maltin Film Guide, a look at the career of Joe Dante and remembrances of the late Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.

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Some Links:

The Scarecrow Project

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Episode 40: The Genius of the System, Hellzapoppin' and The Barefoot Contessa

This week Mike and Sean discuss their summer reading, Thomas Schatz's seminal study of the Hollywood studio era, The Genius of the System. In between rants about misguided and wrong-headed critics of auteurism, they also take a look at a couple examples of the studio system at work: the anarchic 1941 Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson "film" Hellzapoppin' and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's stately 1954 melodrama The Barefoot Contessa, with Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

A George Sanders Alternate 100: #25 - 1

This is the fourth and final part of our alternate Top 100 Films of All-Time list. Part One, with films 100-76, an explanation of what this is and why certain movies aren't included, can be found here. Part Two, with films 75-51, can be found here. Part Three, films #50-26, is over here.

25. Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)

23. A Touch of Zen (King Hu, 1971)

23. Pennies from Heaven (Herbert Ross, 1981)

21. An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, 1962)

21. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (David Hand, 1937)

20. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)

19. I am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)

18. Lola (Jacques Demy, 1961)

17. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

16. Kiki's Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989)

15. Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata, 1991)

14. Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)

13. F for Fake (Orson Welles, 1973)

12. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994)

11. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)

10. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)

8. Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)

8. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964)

7. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau Kar-leung, 1978)

6. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)

5. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

4. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)

3. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995)

2. The Red Shoes (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1948)

1. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A George Sanders Alternate 100: #50 - 26

This is the third part of our Alternate Top 100 Films of All-Time list. Part One, with an explanation of what this is and why certain movies aren't included, can be found here. Part Two, with films #75-51, can be found here.

50. The Iron Giant (Brad Bird, 1999)

49. Good Men, Good Women (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1995)

47. The Lion in Winter (Anthony Harvey, 1968)

47. Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984)

45. Fort Apache (John Ford, 1948)

45. Dumbo (Ben Sharpsteen, 1941)

44. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)

43. The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930)

41. The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952)

41. Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (FW Murnau, 1922)

40. Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)

39. Peking Opera Blues (Tsui Hark, 1986)

38. The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg, 1928)

37. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)

35. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)

35. Ikiru (Akira Kurosawa, 1953)

34. Hard-Boiled (John Woo, 1992)

33. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)

32. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)

31. What's Opera Doc? (Chuck Jones, 1957)

30. All that Jazz (Bob Fosse, 1979)

28. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)

28. Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor, 1923)

26. Oki's Movie (Hong Sangsoo, 2010)

26. King Kong (Merian Cooper & Ernest Schoedsack, 1933)