40 episodes

Alicia, Mia, Stephen, and Jeremiah – along with special guests – are discussing some of the greatest movies ever made. Who says? Sight And Sound magazine says. Every ten years, since 1952, the publication has surveyed critics and directors to determine which films, according to those surveyed, might be considered the best. The five film-loving friends take turns picking movies that have appeared on the list and then dig into them with an eye on their cultural impact, how they stand up today, and just whether they’re actually as good as all those critics and directors say they are.

Stereoactive Movie Club Stereoactive Media

    • TV & Film
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Alicia, Mia, Stephen, and Jeremiah – along with special guests – are discussing some of the greatest movies ever made. Who says? Sight And Sound magazine says. Every ten years, since 1952, the publication has surveyed critics and directors to determine which films, according to those surveyed, might be considered the best. The five film-loving friends take turns picking movies that have appeared on the list and then dig into them with an eye on their cultural impact, how they stand up today, and just whether they’re actually as good as all those critics and directors say they are.

    Stereoactive Movie Club Trailer

    Stereoactive Movie Club Trailer

    The Stereoactive Movie Club is discussing some of the greatest movies ever made. Who says? Sight and Sound magazine says. Every ten years, since 1952, Sight and Sound has surveyed critics and directors to determine which films, according to those surveyed, might be considered the best. The five film-loving friends take turns picking movies that have appeared on the list and then dig into them with an eye on their cultural impact, how they stand up today, and just whether they’re actually as good as all those critics and directors say they are.
    Listen at stereoactivemovieclub.com or anywhere you get your podcasts.
    And follow/subscribe to Stereoactive Media.

    • 59 sec
    Ep 37 // Beau Travail

    Ep 37 // Beau Travail

    It’s Jeremiah’s Round 6 Pick: Beau Travail, the 1999 film directed by Clair Denis.
    Beau Travail, which is something of a loose adaptation of Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, was commissioned by a European culture channel Arte as a film about foreignness. It updates the classic novella to feature French Legionnaires stationed in the East African nation of Djibouti, which at the time of the film’s production had only recently, relatively speaking, ceased to be ruled by France after nearly a century of occupation. The film received good reviews when it was released in the United States, even topping the Village Voice’s critics poll in 2000. It was also recognized at several film festivals and by critics associations.
    As for our purposes, Beau Travail made its first appearance in the top 10 of Sight and Sound’s “greatest films” polling in 2022 when it was ranked #7 by critics; it was also tied at #14 on the directors poll. Among the filmmakers who had it on their top 10 lists that year were Steve McQueen, Kirsten Johnson, Atom Egoyan, and Barry Jenkins.

    Produced by Stereoactive Media

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Ep 36 // Wild Strawberries

    Ep 36 // Wild Strawberries

    It’s Alicia’s Round 6 Pick: Wild Strawberries, the 1957 film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman.
    Wild Strawberries was Ingmar Bergman’s 18th feature film in eleven years. It was written while he was in a hospital for stress and gastric issues, then quickly produced as his personal life was in disarray.
    Critics in Sweden pretty much loved the film, while its reception in the United States was more mixed. But its influence has been strong over the years and directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Andrei Tarkovsky have listed it among their favorite films. 
    The film was honored at various international film festivals and awards ceremonies, including the Oscars, where, after opening in the US in 1959, it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay… though Bergman refused the nomination in a letter where he called the Oscars a “humiliating institution” for the art of motion pictures. The Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedy Pillow Talk is what eventually won Best Original Screenplay that year, while the big overall winner of the year was Ben-Hur. But to give a sense of what was popular in the United States when Wild Strawberries was released in Sweden a couple of years earlier… The Bridge on the River Kwai was the big Oscar winner for films released in 1957 – and it was also the top-grossing film of the year in North America.
    As for our purposes, Wild Strawberries appeared in the top 10 of Sight and Sound’s “greatest films” polling once – when it was ranked #10 in 1972. In the 2022 polling, it was ties at #108 by critics and tied at #72 by directors – and among the filmmakers who had it on their top 10 lists that year was Michael Moore.
    Produced by Stereoactive Media

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Ep 35 // Modern Times

    Ep 35 // Modern Times

    It’s Stephen’s Round 6 Pick: Modern Times, the 1936 film starring, written, and directed by Charlie Chaplin.
    Modern Times marked at least the 60th appearance of Charlie Chaplin in a film as the Little Tramp – and depending on whether you think the barber character in The Great Dictator is also the Tramp, Modern Times may be the last time Chaplin played the character. And while his previous film, 1931’s City Lights, featured synchronized music and sound effects, Modern Times was the first time Chaplin employed synchronized dialogue, though obviously minimal. At first, Modern Times was conceived of as a potentially full-on talkie, but eventually Chaplin decided that his famous character worked better in the silent format, so the film mainly adheres to that style, other than the final moments of the film, with the previously mentioned sung gibberish
    Reviews at the time were positive and the film was a financial success despite its anomalous nature 9 years after the debut of The Jazz Singer – which is a testament to the long popularity of Chaplin and his character up to that point. In 1998 it was ranked #81 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list – and it rose a few spots to #78 when they redid the list in 2007. It also ranked #33 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Laughs list in 2000.
    As for our purposes, Modern Times has never been in the top 10 of Sight and Sound’s polling of critics, but it was ranked #6 in the very first polling of directors in 1992. In the 2022 polling, it was tied at #78 in the critics polling and tied at #72 by directors – and among the filmmakers who had it on their top 10 lists in 2022 was documentarian Frederick Wiseman.

    Produced by Stereoactive Media

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Ep 34 // Battleship Potemkin

    Ep 34 // Battleship Potemkin

    It’s Mia’s Round 6 Pick: Battleship Potemkin, the 1925 film directed by Sergei Eisenstein.
    Divided into 5 acts, Battleship Potemkin, in commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of what is known as the First Russian Revolution of 1905, tells the story of a mutiny aboard the titular Russian naval vessel
    In the film’s telling, the crew’s refusal to eat borscht made from maggot-infested meat is the first domino in a series of events that leads to a sort of mini-revolution in the port city of Odessa.
    And in the reality of the time when the film was made and released, it effectively helps to connect the still very new USSR to the historical struggles of its citizens under the previous Tsarist regime by portraying the institutional power of those sailors as aligned with the people at a time when the Soviet regime had much to gain from its people believing in such an alignment.
    While the film was produced intentionally as propaganda, Eisenstein also used it as a vehicle to further his own experimentation with the concept of “montage.” 
    Of course, while he may have had his own personal, artistic motivations for this exploration, it’s also undeniable that his work was itself influenced by and part of the Soviet effort to use the medium of film for its own purposes.
    The film was considered shocking at the time for its use of graphic violence, much of which has been referenced in other films over the years – especially the Odessa Steps sequence.
    But even criticism of the film seems to acknowledge the power of its craft.
    As for our purposes, Battleship Potemkin was in the top 10 of Sight and Sound’s critics survey every decade, from the first poll in 1952 up until 2002. In 2012, it ranked at #11 making it a runner up, and in the 2022 poll, it was tied at #54. It’s never been in the top 10 of the directors survey and in the 2022 poll it was tied at #93. 
    Among the filmmakers who had it on their top 10 lists in 2022 are Michael Mann and Sally Potter.
    Produced by Stereoactive Media
    ===
    Mentioned in the episode:
    IN THE MOOD FOR EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE
    https://youtu.be/ekNG7cW-xXE

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Ep 33 // Round 6 Picks!

    Ep 33 // Round 6 Picks!

    In our next batch of movies, we'll be traveling from the Soviet Union to Florida with stops in Sweden, Hollywood, and Djibouti along the way...
    So, listen up as we reveal our picks for what we’ll be watching in Round 6 of the podcast! 
    Also, we introduce a special guest who’ll be joining us for all of Round 6!

    Produced by Stereoactive Media

    • 22 min

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Film fans and friends unite

Full disclosure: I know all these people, but just the same I respect their thoughts on film and enjoy the discourse. I also appreciate the idea of watching some classic films
I’ve yet to make time for and seeing what my smart and funny friends have to say about them. Hopefully any random listener will feel the same.

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