24 episodes

A podcast about trading films with friends. Each month I choose a film for a friend to watch and they choose one for me. Then we discuss. Two episodes a month, first my choice and then theirs.

Cinema Gadfly Arik Devens

    • TV & Film
    • 5.0, 3 Ratings

A podcast about trading films with friends. Each month I choose a film for a friend to watch and they choose one for me. Then we discuss. Two episodes a month, first my choice and then theirs.

    24. The Happiness of the Katakuris

    24. The Happiness of the Katakuris

    My guest for this month is Christa Mrgan, and she’s joined me to discuss the film she chose for me, the 2001 surreal horror-comedy film The Happiness of the Katakuris. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.


    Show notes:



    Takashi Miike has made an astonishing 90 films in his career, but none quite like this one
    Thematically it would be hard to have two films as different as this one and our last episode on Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon
    Arcadia, California was home to at least one video store, in 2004
    It really is quite hilarious that both An Autumn Afternoon and this were released by Shochiku, how the world changes
    Shochiku were, of course, also the sometime home to films by Nagisa Oshima, and Mikio Naruse
    As well as the phenomenally goofy films of their horror period, so brilliantly captures by Criterion in the When Horror Came to Shochiku Eclipse set
    Those films were inspired by the likes of Godzilla, and Jigoku
    House, by Nobuhiko Obayashi, is a much watch film if you even kind of enjoy this one
    The RankinBass production of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has undoubtedly caused its share of nightmares
    The Big Lebowski is one of my all-time favorite films. I can quote it endlessly
    I’d really like to see The Quiet Family someday, just to see how far this adaptation strayed
    Sadly you won’t find this film on Netflix
    As of this writing, you can still watch the film on Fandor though
    The film is also coming to iTunes, as of the end of August, 2016
    It was also released on Blu-ray by Arrow in a Region A and B edition
    If you can find a copy of Nowhere you’re in for a treat, there has never been a Region 1 DVD
    If you’re ever in Portland you should absolutely check out Movie Madness, it’s an incredible store
    And, yes, they have the knife from Psycho
    I love Letterboxd
    Civil Comments is amazing. You should all check it out!


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    • 30 min
    23. An Autumn Afternoon

    23. An Autumn Afternoon

    My guest for this month is Christa Mrgan, and she’s joined me to discuss the film I chose for her, the 1962 Japanese drama film An Autumn Afternoon. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.


    Show notes:



    This was the last film that Yasujirō Ozu made, after a career that started in the silent era
    His most famous is probably Tokyo Story, but he made 53 others, 19 of which are considered lost
    Christa’s husband is Neven Mrgan who was a guest on this podcast as well
    Chishū Ryū, who plays the lead here, was in 32 of Ozu’s 54 films
    Manga, J-pop, and Sushi are all examples of prominent cutural exports from Japan
    Toyko Story is based on Make Way For Tomorrow, a depression era film by Leo McCarey that touches on a lot of Ozu-type themes
    No one knows who wrote Caro mio ben, but it was probably Tommaso Giordani
    Before this podcast, I’d never even heard of Italian voice method
    Civil Comments is amazing. You should all check it out!


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    • 33 min
    22. Bob Roberts

    22. Bob Roberts

    My guest for this month is Herb van der Poll, and he’s joined me to discuss the film he chose for me, the 1992 American-British satirical mockumentary film Bob Roberts. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.


    Show notes:



    The cast is seriously insane, with Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, Ray Wise, Gore Vidal, John Cusack, Peter Gallagher, Alan Rickman, and Susan Sarandon
    Oh and also James Spader, Helen Hunt, Jack Black, Jeremy Piven and his sister Shira, and Bob Balaban
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know we have an election happening
    The film shows some strong parallels to the presidency of George W. Bush
    Ray Wise, of course, was famously Laura Palmer’s dad on one of my all time favorite shows, Twin Peaks
    In this film, he and Alan Rickman play Dick Cheney and Karl Rove type figures
    Folk music is often in the service of liberal causes, and the subversion of that idea is one of the reasons this film is so compelling
    Specifically the music here is in the style of Bob Dylan, with Bob Roberts naming his albums The Freewheelin' Bob Roberts, and Bob on Bob
    The Alan Rickman character also has a distinctly Oliver North vibe to him
    Strom Thurmond was a terrible human being
    This film feels like a satire of Ronald Reagan’s America
    Bob Roberts himself represents a response to the JFK and RFK eras
    The 24-hour news cycle is designed for 9/11 level attacks, not the daily news
    I still haven’t seen Toy Story 3, much to my shame
    The Mass Psychology of Fascism, by Wilhelm Reich, is the book I was referring to
    If for some reason you haven’t listened to Hamilton yet, you really should, it’s phenomenal
    Herb may be right that most people know Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad, I know him from Do the Right Thing, School Daze, The Usual Suspects, and King of New York
    This film is very different from other Tim Robbins directed projects, like Dead Man Walking or Cradle Will Rock
    The film has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, built on 36 positive reviews
    The Simpsons episode that is named for this film is Sideshow Bob Roberts, from 1994’s season six
    James Spader’s current show Blacklist is about to start its fourth season
    Technically Miramax is still a studio, but it’s changed hands several times in the last few years, and I don’t think they’re producing new films
    StudioCanal uses Lionsgate for their US distribution
    I think the involvement of Robert Altman and Gary Trudeau is probably why Criterion released Tanner ‘88
    This film was an influence on another of my favorite television shows, The West Wing
    I’ve never seen Tapeheads, so I’ll have to take Herb’s word that “Retake America” from this film came from it


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    • 37 min
    21. The Vanishing

    21. The Vanishing

    My guest for this month is Herb van der Poll, and he’s joined me to discuss the film I chose for him, the 1988 Dutch–French film The Vanishing. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.


    Show notes:



    The director, George Sluizer, didn’t really direct much else besides this film and its remake
    The soundtrack definitely has a Tears for Fears vibe to it, which is 100% ok with me
    Herb checked with his Dutch parents to make sure we pronounced Spoorloos correctly
    Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu is basically perfect as the villain in this film
    If you enjoy this film, you’d probably also love Alfred Hitchock’s The Lady Vanishes
    The actress who plays the second girlfriend Lieneke, Gwen Eckhaus, was randomly in a television series in the Netherlands called Spoorloos verdwenen, which I assume is unrelated
    Getting a compliment on your film from Stanley Kubrick is a big deal to me
    The first girlfriend, Saskia, is played by Johanna ter Steege. I think I would have enjoyed her in a Kubrick film
    I want to be very clear that this film is a billion times better than The Blair Witch Project
    Apparently Curious George is alternately called “Slimme Sjors” and “Nieuwsgierig Aapje” in the Netherlands
    This film is really nothing like Requiem for a Dream or Audition
    Seriously, please don’t watch the remake, it’s not even fun ironically
    I don’t know how much we can blame the remake on the adapted screenplay by Todd Graff, but I would hazard a guess that it’s a lot
    A more subtle mistake was the changing of cinematographers from the sublime work of Toni Kuhn to the mediocre adaptation by Peter Suschitzky
    The changes go way, way beyond those of Brazil’s Love Conquers All cut. Also, at least that one includes the entire original film to enjoy
    Jeff Bridges is usually pretty good, so I’m not sure what happened here. I tend to believe Herb’s Silence of the Lambs theory
    Milton from Office Space was played by the incomparable Stephen Root
    R.I.P.D. is really an underrated example of good acting in a terrible film
    Jeff Bridges is truly terrible here, while Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock are just really bad
    This film was two years before The Net, but a year after Love Potion No. 9, so I’m not sure how famous Bullock was
    Nancy Travis is terrible as well, but her character does provide a lot of the unintentional comedy, so I mind less
    The award Blood Simple got was the Mel Novikoff award
    Peter Becker and Jonathon Turell didn’t start the Criterion Collection, but they do run it today
    To my mind, the Coen Brothers, Barry Sonnenfeld, and Blood Simple definitely belong in the collection
    I am irrationally excited for the arrival of FilmStruck, and just wish it was here already


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    • 42 min
    20. The Front

    20. The Front

    My guest for this month is West Anthony, and he’s joined me to discuss the film he chose for me, the 1976 comedy-drama film The Front. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.


    Show notes:



    Not sure what happened to the audio in the introduction, apologies!
    The Hollywood blacklist is a term for the treatment of people in the entertainment industry who refused to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee from 1947 to 1960
    For a more in depth take on the blacklist, check out the latest season of the phenomenal You Must Remember This podcast
    WonderCon is a comic book convention that was held annually in SF until it was cruelly moved to the LA area in 2012. Yes I’m still bitter about it.
    West also recommends the Gabrielle de Cuir directed Thirty Years of Treason by Eric Bentley
    Among the people famously blacklisted were Lillian Hellman, Lionel Stander, Paul Robeson, and Zero Mostel
    This film was directed by blacklisted director Martin Ritt, who also directed the film from our third episode, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
    I’m just not a fan of Woody Allen. He’s too painfully neurotic for me, even before I start thinking about whatever the hell happened with his daughter and step-daughter
    Another Woody film where he only acts is the Paul Mazursky film Scenes from a Mall
    I’ve been a huge fan of Fiddler on the Roof, and Zero Mostel in it, since I was a little kid
    Elia Kazan is one of the more interesting stories of directors and the blacklist
    The writer of this film, Walter Bernstein, was also blacklisted
    As were many of its stars, including Herschel Bernardi and Lloyd Gough
    So was the father of actress Julie Garfield, actor John Garfield, which may have contributed to his death from heart problems
    West’s reference to bodily fluids is, of course, from the excellent Dr. Strangelove
    Hallie Flanagan ran the Federal Theatre Project, as part of FDR’s WPA program
    She gave Orson Welles the money to make his Voodoo Macbeth
    She also gave Marc Blitzstein the money to make The Cradle Will Rock
    Which was remade in 1999 by Tim Robbins
    LBJ said in 1966 “I do not believe that this generation of Americans is willing to resign itself to going to bed each night by the light of a Communist moon”
    Red Channels named 151 entertainers it claimed were communists
    Trumbo is a 2015 film about Hollywood Ten member Dalton Trumbo
    Another film about the blacklist is 1991s Guilty by Suspicion, directed by Irwin Winkler and starring Robert De Niro
    One of the co-writers of Guilty by Suspicion was Abraham Polonsky, who also wrote and directed Force of Evil with John Garfield, but he was so offended by what Irwin Winkler did that he had his name removed from it
    Guilty by Suspicion also stars Annette Bening
    Good Night and Good Luck by George Clooney is about McCarthyism, not the blacklist, but it’s also a great film about government overreach
    Panic in the Streets is a 1950 film, directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Zero Mostel
    Both West and I think that On the Waterfront, written by Budd Schulberg, was a justification for Kazan’s willingness to name names
    Lee J. Cobb was also forced to testify in front of the committee
    Leonard Bernstein wrote the score for On the Waterfront, and the film featured incredible performances from Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, and Eva Marie Saint
    I still haven’t seen Hail, Caesar! yet, which is a damn shame
    Nothing better than comparing the work of the Coen brothers to that of fellow Criterion Collection auteur Michael Bay
    Paranoid American films from the 70s include Three Days of the Condor, Klute, The Parallax View, and All the President’s Men
    Everyone who reads this needs to go subscribe to Musical Notation with West Anthony. Right now. I’ll wait
    It’s part of the awesome Battleship Pretension Podcast Fleet
    You can also follow West’s amazing show on twitter @notationpod


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    • 37 min
    19. ¡Alambrista!

    19. ¡Alambrista!

    My guest for this month is West Anthony, and he’s joined me to discuss the film I chose for him, the 1977 drama film ¡Alambrista!. You can follow the show on Twitter @cinemagadfly.


    Show notes:



    This film was written and directed by Robert M. Young
    We discuss a certain unnamed presidential candidate at length, who has since gone on to become an unnamed presumptive nominee. I’m not going to do this candidate any favors by linking to them
    Loving Cheeseburgers, Rock and Roll, The Beatles, and Blue Jeans, is pretty damned American
    Ned Beatty is one of my all time favorite “that guy” actors
    He was nominated for an Academy Award for Network, and appeared in All the President’s Men, Deliverance, and both Superman and Superman II, among many other films
    Edward James Olmos has been in quite a few of Robert M. Young’s films
    He was also awesome in the reboot of Battlestar Galactica
    Paul Giamatti is another of my all time favorite “that guy” actors, he’s just so great
    Don Cheadle is staring in Miles Ahead, which I’m fiendishly excited for
    He was in the second and third Iron Man films
    He was also in Oceans Eleven
    Jerry Hardin played Deep Throat on The X-Files
    His daughter Melora was Jan on The Office
    I don’t know if Ryan Gallagher is still re-watching the X-Files in HD or not. Hey Ryan!
    Everyone who reads this needs to go subscribe to Musical Notation with West Anthony. Right now. I’ll wait
    It’s part of the awesome Battleship Pretension Podcast Fleet
    You can also follow West’s amazing show on twitter @notationpod


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    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Dewey_Decibel ,

Cinefiles rejoice!

A good concept for a podcast and a good excuse to rewatch and think about old cool movies. Long live criterion!

GTGMcast ,

Great Content

I love the podcast. Keep up the great work. The format’s original and really fun!

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