74 episodes

We trace the Life of a Film from conception to production all the way to its release and reception. You know when you dive into a film's wikipedia and imdb after watching it? Then the director's page, then the actor's page. Our show does that for you. We use our nerd superpowers to obsessively tell the story of a movie: how it came to be, how it played out, and what it means today. It is a crash course on a single film filled with primary documents, lovely asides, and frequent guest voices. It is an investigation and celebration of films both great and small.

Film Trace Film Trace

    • TV & Film
    • 4.2 • 10 Ratings

We trace the Life of a Film from conception to production all the way to its release and reception. You know when you dive into a film's wikipedia and imdb after watching it? Then the director's page, then the actor's page. Our show does that for you. We use our nerd superpowers to obsessively tell the story of a movie: how it came to be, how it played out, and what it means today. It is a crash course on a single film filled with primary documents, lovely asides, and frequent guest voices. It is an investigation and celebration of films both great and small.

    Bones and All (2022) and Her (2013)

    Bones and All (2022) and Her (2013)

    The sixth and final film in our Risqué Romance cycle is Luca Guadagnino's meatlovers romance, Bones and All (2022).
    Coming off his break out art-house hit Call Me by Your Name (2017) and his wonderfully bizarre remake of Suspiria (2018), Luca Guadagnino rejoined with white hot Timothée Chalamet to adapt this young adult novel about the ills of eating human flesh. The book, a vegan polemic, is translated here by Luca with his normal grace, poise, and naturalism. Joining Chalamet is the splendid performance of Taylor Russell as the two young lovers crisscross the eastern half of the US. Also strangely a 1980s period piece, Bones and All becomes a gumbo of genre, style, and tone. It doesn't really work, but there is a joy in the experience of trying to make sense of it all. Mark Rylance shows up to piss off Chris and for me to fall in love again.
    For our chaser film, we reconnect with Her (2013), a techno-romance that captured the thirty something zeitgeist of the late Obama years as we became soulmates with our iPhones.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Top 5 Behind The Scenes Dramas in Film (2022)

    Top 5 Behind The Scenes Dramas in Film (2022)

    We decided to do an end of the year show for 2022. Life has been hectic so we haven't been able to post on our normal schedule, and we have a longer break coming up before Season 10 of Film Trace kicks off. So we decided to do a one-off show to give the people what they want: Drama!
    Chris and Dan present the top five behind the scenes dramas in film for 2022. The goal of our show is to tell the listener the story of how a film came to be. Sometimes everything goes right, and we get Top Gun: Maverick. Sometimes it doesn't go right and we get Morbius. The successes are fun to talk about but the abject failures are truly delicious.
    Join us as we trace the lives of five films that face planted in 2022.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Secretary (2002)

    Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Secretary (2002)

    The fifth film in our Risqué Romance cycle is Ang Lee's western romance, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    Special Guest: Amanda Jane Stern - writer, actor, and producer from New York City. She wrote, produced, and starred in the new erotic thriller Perfectly Good Moment, soon to be playing at a film festival near you!
    When Brokeback came out in the mid-Aughts, it was supported by effuse buzz and whispered homophonic jokes. This was not unlike the release of The Crying Game in the early 90s. Both films were from smaller studios and gained traction due to their misperceived salaciousness. Looking back on Brokeback, the film's reputation is bizarre and totally ill-fitting. The film is a quiet and slow mediation on how love blossoms quickly but then withers for decades only to constantly reemerge through turned soil, like a perennial bud. Its loss to Crash at the 2006 Oscars for Best Picture feels more and more criminal with every passing year. Brokeback Mountain is one of Ang Lee's enduring masterpieces alongside Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
    For our chaser film, we reexamine the 2002 film Secretary, which felt like a slight curiosity on release but plays totally differently now. Very much a hidden gem.

    • 1 hr
    Bound (1996) and Poison Ivy (1992)

    Bound (1996) and Poison Ivy (1992)

    The fourth film in our Risqué Romance cycle is Lana and Lily Wachowski's debut film, Bound (1996).
    Like the Wachowskis' more successful and canonical sophomore effort, The Matrix, Bound both works wonderfully on its own as a playful lesbian-centered noir and as a challenge to the WWII-era subgenre, as well as modern crime films writ large, to reconsider and deconstruct masculinity and femininity alike. Essentially a chamber drama with Hong Kong action-inspired flair, its lead performances from the still-underrated Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon leap off the screen with ferocity while also retaining a delicate sense of intimacy. The supporting cast, including reliable Wachowski mainstay Joe Pantoliano and a magnetically maniacal turn from Christopher Meloni, fleshes out the film's ahead-of-its-time graphic novel pulp sensibility too. The whole affair comes off as not just risqué but downright revolutionary.
    For our chaser film, we discuss the trashy erotic thriller Poison Ivy (1992). Directed by exploitation master Roger Corman protégé Katt Shea and largely a footnote of the decade's offerings, its queer undertones and Lolita riffing merit discussion, not to mention the fact that it somehow spawned three direct-to-video sequels.
    Dan is off this episode, but joining Chris in his absence is the insightful and talented freelance film writer and frequent Little White Lies contributor Lillian Crawford.

    • 57 min
    Valley Girl (1983) and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

    Valley Girl (1983) and My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

    The third film in our Risqué Romance cycle is the small yet delightful, Valley Girl (1983).
    Valley Girl, the paradigm of an indie film, transcended its own means of production to become an oddly dismissed 80s mall romcom. As one reviewer aptly stated, the influence of Valley Girl was so massive that it's hard to watch it without feeling a sense of deja vu. Helmed by Martha Coolidge, who went on to direct the classic Real Genius and to become the president of the DGA, Valley Girl features Nicolas Cage in his breakout lead role. Coolidge placated the indie studio's grindhouse expectations while at the same time deftly producing one of the more authentic 1980s romance films.
    For our chaser film, we explore My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), a homosexual love story that plays down any risque notions. Written by a playwright, this gem of Britain's Channel 4 glows brightly despite its three decades of age.

    • 59 min
    Badlands (1973) and Harold and Maude (1971)

    Badlands (1973) and Harold and Maude (1971)

    The second film in our Risqué Romance cycle is Terrence Malick's debut film, Badlands (1973)
    Loosely based on the real-life murdering spree committed by Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate in the late 1950s, Badlands quickly steers clear of true crime tropes and traditional story structure. While Terrence Malick is at his least idiosyncratic here, the vibe and flow of the film are resolutely unique and unexpected. Perhaps the strange pacing and narrative focus should have been expected from a Hollywood outsider who nearly got his Ph.D. studying the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger. The fully colored lens through which Malick displays the violent journey of Kit and Holly (Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek) has not been drained of its vibrancy despite being fifty years old. The film shows how fame can easily dislocate the guttural horror of violence, a sophisticated message that has only strengthened over the decades.
    For our chaser film, we discuss the twee-influence of Harold and Maude (1971). The gender roles are reversed in this March-December romance, and we debate how this alteration affects the whimsy that props up this pitch-black comedy.

    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

Alfcbury16 ,

Great film selection and conversations

Dan and Chris pick exciting themes for their seasons and fun films to talk about within those themes. They also do a lot of background research on the movies they discuss and ask each other and their guests poignant questions that encourage engaging conversations.

jwford ,

CineBro-Tastic!

A couple of posers with no taste, just look at the films they’ve covered so far. Daniel is the worst offender, claiming to have insight into the inner workings of Hollywood due to his other failed podcast, The Wild Line Podcast. He also hasn’t seen most of the directors’ other films yet still feels qualified to speak on their career filmographies, and just film in general. And lest we forget, he’s a self-proclaimed “horror nerd.” But only because he saw ‘Hereditary’ in the theater and likes the Conjuring Universe. If you asked him what his favorite Lucio Fulci film is, he’d probably stare at you blankly. Chris, on the other hand, is apparently a film teacher but has a basic knowledge of film history and seems not to enjoy most of the films they themselves choose to cover on the show. Go figure. 🙄 Do yourself a favor and listen to any of the hundred other movie podcasts available. They can’t be worse than this one.

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