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Syndication

Known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and Brokeback Mountain (2008), director Ang Lee's work in the late 1990's seems to have disappeared into the zeitgeist of America cinema.  This is particularly true of The Ice Storm (1997) an oppressive little film about two families living in New England in 1973, when Nixon dominated the headlines and the sexual revolution was gasping its final breaths.  Like so many films in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, this doesn't mean that a forgotten film is not good, because The Ice Storm is an American masterpiece.

Have a comment or a question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_79_The_Ice_Storm_1997.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

The second in Roberto Rossellini's "War Trilogy", Paisan (1946) is one of the first examples of Italian neorealism.  Split into six separate segments (or chapters), each written by a different screenwriter, the film tells the stories of the Italians and Americans in the final days of World War II.  Laced with tragic irony as well as bit of comic wit, the film is probably Rossellini's most popular films of the 1940's after Rome Open City (1945).

Have a comment or a question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or contact him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_78_Paisan_1946.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Director Bernardo Bertolucci stopped post-production work on The Spider's Stratagem (1970) to direct The Conformist (1970), a bizarre tale of an undercover fascist assassin in Italy in the years shortly before the resignation of Mussolini.  Perfectly crafted, the film is one of Bertolucci's less enigmatic movies, which does not mean that it doesn't inspire the viewer to pause and think about what he has just seen.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or contact him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_77_The_Conformist_1970.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

In the 1930's Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were Hollywood royalty, and it was a privilege for young director George Stevens to direct them in Swing Time (1936).  Although Astaire and Rogers would make many films together, this one remains a fan favorite, sporting several musical numbers which were carefully and skillfully choreographed by Fred Astaire, who built patterns with the music and dance steps from one number to the next.

Have a comment or a question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or contact him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_76_Swing_Time_1936.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

One of the first comedies produced by the prestigious Ealing Studios of London, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) is an exercise in cynicism as well as a bright spot in the early careers of Dennis Price and Alec Guinness.  The film was the pinnacle in the career of director Robert Hamer, an Ealing regular, and also marked the beginning of the career of cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, who would go on to film a number of Hollywood blockbusters.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_75_Kind_Hearts_and_Coronets_1949.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

If you see one Bollywood film in your life, it should probably be Mahboob Khan's Mother India (1957) a harrowing tale of the struggles of an Indian woman from her marriage to a doomed fieldworker to her disappointment in her two grown sons.

One critic called the film India's answer to Gone with the Wind (1939), and this pretty much hits the mark.  Mother India is exemplary of Mahboob Khan's work, featuring a female protagonist who defeats the odds (both financial and familial) to make it to the top.  A Technicolor masterpiece, the film unfortunately is rarely seen today except by classic Bollywood fans.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_74_Mother_India_1957.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Wanda (1970) is the first and last feature film written and directed by Barbara Loden, whose only other claim to fame was that she was married to Hollywood director Elia Kazan.  Her name probably would have been eliminated altogether into obscurity if a group of French filmmakers and critics didn't revive her film after her death in 1980.

Loden made the film as a sort of feminist anti-Bonnie and Clyde, but it was probably the way it was made (with a realist approach and intentional graininess) that probably appealed to its French fans.  Had Loden not later succumbed to cancer ten years later, there's a very good possibility that she would have enjoyed her revival and made more films.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_73_Wanda_1970.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

No Man's Land (2001) is the first film directed by Danis Tanovic, whose first exposure to filmmaking was as a documentarian during the conflict that broke apart Yugoslavia.  As much a commentary as it is a dark comedy, the film drips with Tanovic's sardonic view of the war he witnessed.

When a Serbian soldier and a Bosnian soldier find themselves trapped in a trench in the middle of the battlefield (the titular "no man's land"), they find themselves pawns in an agenda between the UN and the media that does not end well.  The film's promotional material marketed it as a commentary, but you won't be smiling when the credits roll at the end.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_72_No_Mans_Land_2001.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had already starred together in Howard Hawks' To Have and To Have Not (1944), but it was when Hawks reunited them in The Big Sleep (1946) that their onscreen chemistry really popped.

While the script is as confusing as Raymond Chandler's novel of the same name, Philip Marlowe is the epitome of the hard-boiled detective, an archetype that's been copied and parodied every since.  The real star of the film may be the witty dialogue between Bogart and Bacall, some of which went over the heads of those enforcing Hollywood's strict Production Code.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_71_The_Big_Sleep_1946.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Jean-Jacques Beineix's Diva (1981) is the first film to be labelled as Cinema du Look, a subgenre of French films featuring intense love affairs, a cynical attitude towards the police, and much location shooting in Paris Metro.

Diva is the bizarre story of a young man who unwittingly finds himself in a manhunt by both the police and the Paris' criminal underworld.  On the margins, sometimes manipulating things, is a strange man and his girlfriend who have a fondness for minimal spaces and jigsaw puzzles.  With Beineix's unique direction, the film becomes quite an experience.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_70_Diva_1981.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (1910) is a documentary made by legendary (and sometime controversial) filmmaker Werner Herzog, director of such films as Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982).  Herzog was given limited access to the newly-discovered Chauvet Caves in Southern France before they were closed up only to be studied by scientists.

Herzog shot the film with 3-D technology, maneuvering delicate equipment around the caves with a crew of only three people.  What resulted is one of the most hypnotic pieces of documentary cinema, something that will make you wish you invested in a 3-D television.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_69_Cave_of_Forgotten_Dreams_2010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

By the time 1983 rolled around, it seemed inevitable that someone would make a movie about the space race.  The Right Stuff (1983) is Philip Kaufman's practically exhaustive retelling of Tom Wolfe's book chronicles NASA's Mercury program, which trained the first seven astronauts how to travel in space.  Cast with a bunch of then unknowns (including Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, and the recently departed Sam Shepard), the film was a hit with critics (despite a disappointing return at the box office) but remains something of a cult classic today.

Look out for appearances by Jeff Goldblum, Harry Shearer, Veronic Cartwright, and Chuck Yeager himself as a bartender, not to mention special effects and sound editing that could blow your socks off even in 2017.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, or look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_68_The_Right_Stuff_1983.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Before he was known for comic book fare like Superman Returns (2006) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Bryan Singer directed a little something called The Usual Suspects (1995), which initially became an instant cult classic enjoyed mostly when it was released on home video but now stands out as one of the best dramas of its time, thanks primarily to an Academy Award-winning script by Christopher McQuarrie.

The Usual Suspects also cemented the career of Kevin Spacey, who also scored in the same year as the creepy killer in Se7en (1995).  Spacey won an Oscar as well.  The rest is in the history of cinema's most surprising plot twists.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, or look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_67_The_Usual_Suspects_1995.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Perhaps the world's first famous Scots filmmaker, Alexander Mackendrick was not much more than a set designer when he was hired by Britain's Ealing Studios to direct Whisky Galore! (1949).  If you were to ask Mackendrick himself, he would like not cite it as the high point of his career, as the production was plagued with problems between him and the producers.

Based on actual events, Whisky Galore! is the charming little story of an island village in Scotland whose inhabitants conspire to steal a boatload of whiskey from a sunken ship.  Traditional stereotypes may stand out, but at the end of the day most audiences won't help but smile to themselves at Alexander Mackenrick's directorial debut.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, or look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_66_Whisky_Galore_1949.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Mel Brooks was lucky.  The Producers (1968) earned him an Academy Award, and if it hadn't been for a chance screening by a popular actor, nobody would have even heard of it by now.

Whether or not you can enjoy its special brand of politically incorrect humor, The Producers marks the beginning of a wonderful career not just for writer/director Mel Brooks, but for actor Gene Wilder.  It was, as history would later prove, the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, or look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_65_The_Producers_1968.mp3
Category:1001 Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Anyone who is anyone knows something about Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946), even if it's just having seen a memorable scene or two.  Capra was fresh off of making propaganda films for the Armed Forces when he created yet another production and made the film, and it's likely the apex of his career.

Although it's cherished nowadays as a holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life came to be so popular seemingly by mistake, and deserves to be seen occasionally on its own merits rather than an annual holiday treat.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, or look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_64_Its_a_Wonderful_Life_1946.mp3
Category:1001Movies -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Before musicals ruled Hollywood, an unknown filmmaker named Rouben Mamoulian was making movies like City Streets (1931) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), both of which were successful exercises in inventive new types of camerawork and storytelling.  With Love Me Tonight (1932), Mamoulian tried his hand at a musical romantic comedy, and proved surprisingly successful.

Starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, Love Me Tonight is a twisted little musical romantic comedy which, while predictable, bends the envelope when you least expect it.  It's practically forgotten now, but the talent behind it can still be appreciated 85 years later.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, or look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_63_Love_Me_Tonight_1932.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

King of New York (1990) is probably the best 1990's gangster drama you never heard of.  Director Abel Ferrara was best known for cult hits like The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms .45 (1981) before he made this tale of a drug kingpin, played by Christopher Walken in an Oscar-worthy role, who is released from prison and dedicated to do good for the community.

The movie is a perfect vehicle for Walken, who to this today is primarily known as a supporting actor.  King of New York is one of his best roles (if not, hands down, his best), and should not be missed by even his casual fans.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_62_King_of_New_York_1990.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Since the 1970's, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin have gained cult status for their homegrown humor about counterculture and drug use.  Although nowadays their appearances together are intermittent, at best, they were probably never as popular in the early 1970's when they became arguably the most popular comedy duo in America with a strong of best-selling albums.

It was inevitable that the two would make a movie, peppered with both original pieces and moments from their albums and stage appearances.  Up in Smoke (1978) became the nation's biggest in-joke, mostly because it was directly marketed to those who would most closely relate to the humor, while those who couldn't relate went blissfully unaware.  Watch out for Tom Skerritt and Stacy Keach before they were known.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_61_Up_in_Smoke_1978.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

"I'm going to be a great film star!  That is, if booze and sex don't get me first."

One critic called Cabaret (1972) "a musical for people who hate musicals."  As someone who doesn't particularly care for films in which the characters spontaneously burst into song, I heartily agree with this statement.  Bob Fosse's film, which was based on the works of Christopher Isherwood, is snappy, witty, and knows exactly when to drive the plot with dialogue and when to dazzle its viewers with a dance number.

Cabaret was the breakout role for Liza Minnelli, earning her an Oscar and guaranteeing her a slot among Hollywood royalty.  She, Fosse, and supporting actor Joel Grey all took home statues on Oscar night, although the film lost Best Picture to The Godfather (1972).

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_60_Cabaret_1972.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

"That's why when somebody say, 'When you get to the NBA, don't forget about me,' and all that stuff.  Well, I should've said to them, 'If I don't make it, don't you forget about me.'"

When filmmakers Steve James and Frederick Marx set out to make a documentary about high school basketball that they hoped would be seen on PBS, they had no idea that it would become a three hour spectacle that inspired critics and audiences alike.

Hoop Dreams (1994) isn't really about high school basketball, but about the lives of two students and their families as they climb the ladder with hopes of becoming NBA stars.  Yes, those who enjoy basketball will not be disappointed, but there's more in this film that will make almost any viewer jump for joy or cry tears of frustration.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_59_Hoop_Dreams_1994.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

"I don't really know what the truth is.  I don't suppose anybody will ever really know.  Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we're just gambling on probabilities - we may be wrong.  We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don't know.  Nobody really can.  But we have a reasonable doubt, and that's something that's very valuable in our system.  No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's sure."

How do you make a 96 minute movie consisting of twelve people talking in a room interesting?  Based on a teleplay of the same name, Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men (1957) does just that, transforming a jury's deliberations into a taut thriller.  This may have been Lumet's first feature film, but it's a debut worthy of a master of suspense like Alfred Hitchcock.

12 Angry Men was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Picture, but lost out to The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).  It may have lost at the Oscars, but it certainly hasn't lost the test of time.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_58_12_Angry_Men_1957.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

"Here a woman wouldn't go in the house of a single man.  Just spending time together implies sleeping together."

For the uninitiated, Francesco Rosi is known as something of an artistic crusader for the poverty-stricken and hardworking people of Southern Italy.  Most of his films were political in nature, and often criticized the government's treatment of some of its more underprivileged citizens.

Christ Stopped at Eboli is no exception.  Think of it as a classic Italian version of Northern Exposure: a doctor is exiled to a small town in Southern Italy, where he learns to appreciate the lifestyle and morals of the people there.  It's long, it's languid, and it just might make you think.  Listen in to learn more!

Do you have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_57_Christ_Stopped_at_Eboli_1979.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 56: The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

"I told you he was a spirit. If you're his friend, you can talk to him whenever you want. Just close your eyes and call him... It's me, Ana... It's me, Ana..."

Hailed by some as the single best movie to ever come out of Spain, The Spirit of the Beehive (1973) is the directorial debut of Victor Erice.  Inspired by James Whale's Frankenstein (1931), this isn't a horror movie, but rather the story of the imagination and curiosity of a little girl in a tiny Castilian village in the early 1940's.

Deliberately paced and beautifully photographed, The Spirit of the Beehive was the debut of child actress Ana Torrent, who is now a household name in Spain and works extensively in film and television.  Despite the film's critical success, Erice has only made three movies since, including one in 2016.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_56_The_Spirit_of_the_Beehive_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 55: Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

Although he's primarily known for dark films like The Seventh Seal (1957) and Persona (1966), Ingmar Bergman skyrocketed to fame with Smiles of Summer Night (1955), a surprising quaint little farce in the nature of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Featuring a leading cast used in previous films (most notably Gunnar Bjornstrand and Eva Dahlbeck), Bergman's script explores the sexuality of a myriad of people from different social sets; of course, since this was made in 1955, the sexuality is conveyed in subtext beneath some clever dialogue and witty repartee, which is really where all the fun is in this film.  Bergman would go on to win an award for Best Poetic Humor at the Cannes Film Festival, and Swedish cinema hasn't been the same since.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page. 

Direct download: Episode_55_Smiles_of_a_Summer_Night_1955.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 54: Day for Night (1973)

"What is a film director?  A man who's asked questions about everything.  Sometimes he knows the answers."

Day for Night (1973) is probably popular in the history of cinema for creating a rift between two founders of the French New Wave, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.  Truffaut was accused by Godard (and others) of selling out with this film, presumably by catering to the masses and also lying about his own personal life in the script.

Either way you look at it, Day for Night is not a love letter to cinema, but the procedure of creating cinema.  Told in a documentary style, it depicts the drama among the cast and crew of a typical (and not very good) movie.  It is Truffaut's comical commentary on his professional world, and remains, at its very least, a delightful little trifle of a movie.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_54_Day_for_Night_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 53: Le jour se leve (1939)

"You're the type women fall in love with...I'm the type that interests them."

Poetic realism, which was embraced by a number of European directors in the 1930's and 1940's, is by definition an exercise in anguish; these stories often involved love triangles, backstabbing, and an ending that inevitably would spiral into tragedy.  In other words, not your typical Hollywood fare of the time.

Marcel Carne's Le jour se leve (1939) is the epitome of poetic realism, although nowadays it's most likely known for being one of the first films (if not the first film) to exercise the flashback method of storytelling.  A man has shot a man to death in an apartment stairway.  As the facts behind the murder unfold, we learn that the murderer is not the evil man he seems, and the victim may have deserved it.  Either way, it's not going to end well.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_53_Le_jour_se_leve_1939.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 52: Django Unchained (2012)

"Kill white people and get paid for it?  What's not to like?"

For those of you that were waiting for us to cover a film that's a little more "contemporary", wait no more!  We present a discussion on Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (2012), a story about slavery, revenge, and everything in between.

By 2012, Tarantino had grown from the new darling of independent features to a Hollywood behemoth, so far from the roots he planted with Reservoir Dogs (1992).  From Pulp Fiction (1994) to The Hateful Eight (2015), his films have delighted millions, but some have questioned whether or not he has taken his glorification of violence too far.  That still doesn't preclude Django Unchained from being one of his most popular masterpieces.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_52_Django_Unchained_2012.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 51: The Rapture (1991)

"Instead of doing heroin, you're doing God."

What does it take to get into heaven?  Do you need to go to church every Sunday?  Or do you just need to be a good person?  And what if you're a good person that, according to the rules set forth in the Bible, happens to be a huger sinner?  Are the two mutually exclusive?  Director and screenwriter Michael Tolkin tackles these questions (and much more) in The Rapture (1991), starring Mimi Rogers and David Duchovny.

Tolkin's contributions to movies have been scant at best: he previously wrote the screenplay for Gleaming the Cube (1989) and would later director his second and (to date) last film, The New Age (1994) Ironically, The Rapture remains a steadfastly strong film, although its popularity has dwindled in the 25 years since its release.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

 

Direct download: Episode_51_The_Rapture_1991.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 50: Jezebel (1938)

"I'm thinkin' of a woman called Jezebel who did evil in the sight of God!"

The late 1930's were quite a popular time for dramas about Southern belles.  Bette Davis had just come off winning an Academy Award for Dangerous (1935) when she jokingly passed on the role for Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), Jack Warner offered her the lead role in Jezebel (1938).

The film is the story of Julie Marsden, a New Orleans debutante who is shunned when she dares to wear a red dress to a ball.  For me, the film succeeds not as a drama, but as a showcase for Bette Davis, who seems to take so many more chances that her costars.  Jezebel would earn her a second Academy Award.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_50_Jezebel_1938.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 49: The Unknown (1927)

"No one will get her...no one but me!"

Filmmaker Tod Browning and actor Lon Chaney were a professional match made in heaven.  With part of his youth spent in the circus, Browning's stories centered mostly about the freaks and lowlifes of criminal society.  Chaney, who had thrilled thousands with The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) was known as "The Man of a Thousand Faces", and his abilities uniquely matched the needs of Browning's bizarre little scripts.

The Unknown (1927) was one of several collaborations between Browning and Chaney and, aside from being the film that began Joan Crawford's road to stardom, it's also a film that remains deeply murderously morbid to this day.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_49_The_Unknown_1927.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 48: Stagecoach (1939)

"If there's anything I don't like, it's driving a stagecoach through Apache country."

It just doesn't get more American than John Ford.  Starting his career during the silent film era, Ford soon became the father of the American Western, from silent epics like The Iron Horse (1924) to classics like The Searchers (1956).

Stagecoach (1939) is the first film Ford made starring John Wayne, and it was a partnership that would last throughout both men's careers.  Although Stagecoach is a Western at heart, it's also a fascinating little character study, plucking several seemingly unrelated and different people and having them interact.  Thomas Mitchell won an Oscar for his portrayal of the drunken Doc Boone.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_48_Stagecoach_1939.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 47: Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

"Why must fireflies die so young?"

Long before Studio Ghibli put itself on the map with Spirited Away (2001), the production company's co-founder, Isao Takahata, made a little animated film called Grave of the Fireflies (1988), a simple but remarkably depressing story about two sibling children struggling to survive after their Japanese town is firebombed.

Often overlooked for some of Studio Ghibli's other productions, Grave of the Fireflies delivers an emotional gut punch that is surprising effective for an animated feature.  Bring tissues.  You have been warned.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_47_Grave_of_the_Fireflies_1988.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 46: Ace in the Hole (1951)

"It's a good story today.  Tomorrow, they'll wrap a fish in it."

Billy Wilder is one of Hollywood's most popular classic directors, and many of his films continue to amuse and thrill audiences to this day.  Ace in the Hole (1951) was a bit of a departure for Wilder, with an unsympathetic protagonist (played brilliantly by Kirk Douglas) and a tragic ending that's a far cry from Wilder's Some Like it Hot (1959).

Ace in the Hole is about blind ambition and how far some would go for fame and fortune, as well as crossing the line without knowing it until it's too late.  The film bombed on its release, but is now regarded as one of Wilder's most influential films.

 

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_46_Ace_in_the_Hole_1951.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 45: The Golden Coach (1953)

"At the end of the second act, when Colombine goes, driven away by her masters, there is a tradition you seem not to know.  The comedians bow to her."

Known primarily for his films like Grand Illusion (1937) and Rules of the Game (1939), Jean Renoir left France in the 1940's to make movies in Hollywood.  Europe eventually drew him back, however, and in the 1950's he made a trio of films which were later called his "Stage and Spectacle" trilogy by some.  The first of these was The Golden Coach (1953).

A fable about wealth and opulence when it's injected with humility in the form of a charming actress named Camilla (played by Anna Magnani), The Golden Coach is not widely known as one of Renoir's best films, but this doesn't lessen the fact that it's a delightful little drama peppered with sweet comedy.  It is indeed a surprising little gem.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_45_The_Golden_Coach_1953.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 44: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

"Goodness is something to be chosen.  When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man."

Stanley Kubrick dropped his plans for making an epic biopic about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte to make Clockwork Orange (1971), based on the novel by Anthony Burgess.  Today it remains one of Kubrick's most infamous films, with images rarely seen in popular cinema, but nevertheless stunned critics and audiences alike with its artful prose and cinematography that has since become a Kubrick trademark.

Although it was popular (snagging Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing), the film had its fair share of controversy, and until Kubrick's death had a self-imposed ban in the United Kingdom.  Today it is held up as one of the greatest works of 1970's cinema, and for obvious reasons.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_44_A_Clockwork_Orange_1971.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 43: Vampyr (1932)

"Accounts from many ages and lands tell of terrible demons called vampires.  Under the bright light of the full moon, they rise from their graves to suck the blood of children and young adults and thus prolong their shadowy existence."

Just after Dracula (1931) haunted American theaters, a Danish filmmaker named Carl Theodor Dreyer was testing the waters of European horror with Vampyr (1932), a simple tale with a paradoxical hallucinogenic plot that some argue topped Dreyer's previous masterpiece, The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928).

Vampyr is the story of a girl who is bitten by the titular monster and her family's efforts to cure her of the resulting disease, but it is told in such a way that viewers are challenged to figure out if what they are seeing is actually part of the plot, or a fever dream on the part of the protagonist.  Watching it is an experience not to be forgotten, and second viewings can be even better; even if one were to criticize its simplistic story, it still stands alone 84 years later as a bizarre work of art and an outstanding early contribution to the horror genre.

Have a comment or a question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_43_Vampyr_1932.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 42: Le samourai (1967)

"He's a lone wolf."

"He's a wounded wolf; now there will be a trail.  He must be disposed of quickly."

French director Jean-Pierre Melville may not be known to modern audiences, but in France in the 1960's he was a true popular and independent filmmaker, two things that could paradoxically spell success for a director at that time and place.

"Le samourai" (1967) features nary a samurai (nor anything else Japanese, for that matter).  It's about a hitman named Jef who finds himself the target of a client after completing a job for him.  A thriller with obvious neorealist influences, it's a tight portrait of a lonely professional with bare necessities...and a twist ending!

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_42_Le_samourai_1967.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 41: To Be or Not to Be (1942)

"The named a brandy after Napoleon, they made a herring out of Bismarck, and the Fuhrer is going to end up as a piece of cheese!"

Ernst Lubitsch was one of Hollywood's biggest imports in the 1930's and 1940's, directing comedies starring Hollywood names like Ninotchka (1939) with Greta Garbo and The Shop Around the Corner (1940) with James Stewart.  He titillated the censors with films about sex...without scripts that hardly mentioned sex at all?

As Europe became embroiled in World War II, Lubitsch made To Be or Not to Be (1942), a film that would poke fun at another taboo: Adolf Hitler.  Audiences and critics at the time hated it, but through the years it's become Lubitsch's most popular film, earning cult status with a script filled with innuendos and dark humor and fantastic performances by Jack Benny and Carole Lombard.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_41_To_Be_or_Not_to_Be_1942.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 40: The Battle of Algiers (1965)

"It's hard to start a revolution.  Even harder to continue it.  And hardest of all to win it.  But, it's only afterwards, when we have won, that the true difficulties begin.  In short, Ali, there's still much to do."

In our post-9/11 world, it's difficult to understand a culture that would be willing to kill innocent people for its cause, and to sympathize with it is downright impossible.  It's confounding that someone made a film in the 1960's about Muslim nationalists that is unbelievably sympathetic to their cause...and, more importantly, makes the viewer feel the same.

"The Battle of Algiers" (1965) was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo at a time when Algeria was occupied by France, and the citizens of Algiers found themselves resorting to terrorism to fight for independence.  It's depressing, shocking, and jaw-dropping...to say the least.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_40_The_Battle_of_Algiers_1965.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 39: Amarcord (1973)

Enough can't be said about the life and films of Federico Fellini.  One of the greatest filmmakers of all time, his movies merge bizarrely between the autobiographical and the surreal.  He was taunted by both women and fascism, and both of these were expressed in Amarcord (1973) his most autobiographical of all his films.

Amarcord is the picaresque (and picturesque) story of a year in the life of the tiny Italian town of Rimini, Fellini's birthplace and his home throughout his youth.  Although none of the events or characters depicted in the film directly reflect anything in reality, they are the result of a 52-year-old man's jumbled memories of many years before.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_39_Amarcord_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 38: The Conversation (1974)

The 1970's were good for Francis Ford Coppola.  In 1972 he made movie history with The Godfather, followed it with the sequel two years later, and closed the decade with his bleak outlook on Vietnam with Apocalypse Now.

Only Coppola purists seem to remember The Conversation (1974), a suspense thriller starring Gene Hackman as Harry Caul, a paranoid loner of a surveillance man who hears more than he bargains for when he tapes a conversation between a cheating wife and her lover.  The film would go on to be nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_38_The_Conversation_1974.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 37: Sleeper (1973)

"I'm not really the heroic type.  I was beat up by Quakers."

Before the scandal that almost ruined his career and before he wrote and directed enough films to fill a library, Woody Allen was (next to Mel Brooks) the king of American comedy cinema.

Sleeper, his sardonic take on the evolution of lifestyles and politics in the distant, has all the trademarks that made Allen so popular: his self-deprecating and sardonic wit, slapstick, and common co-star Diane Keaton.  It's a hilarious look at the early career of one of the most prolific American directors.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

 

Direct download: Episode_37_Sleeper_1973.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 36: Ariel (1988)

"What shall we do now?"  "Let's get married and have a child."  "I already have a child."  "That's good.  We'll spare some time."  ""Are you always so self-confident?"  "This is the first time."

You've probably never heard of Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki, but if you enjoy the dry, black humor of directors like David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino, you're in for a treat.

Kaurismaki made films about the struggle of blue collar workers, usually in industrial cities like Helsinki and La Havre.  Ariel is his second in his "proletariat trilogy", preceded by Shadows in Paradise (1986) and followed by The Match Factory Girl (1990).  All three films are available in a set on DVD from the Criterion Collection.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

 

Direct download: Episode_36_Ariel_1988.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 35: Captain Blood (1935)

"It's a truly royal clemency we're granted, my friends...one well worthy of King James.  He spares us the mercifully quick extinction of the hangman's rope...and gives us the slow death of slavery.  He grants us our lives in exchange for living death.  Faith, it's an uncertain world entirely."

Before Errol Flynn became a household name as a handsome and swashbuckling Hollywood star, Warner Brothers rolled the dice and cast him, an unknown actor from Tasmania, in Captain Blood, its answer to the up-and-coming craze of pirate pictures among audiences at the time.

Flynn instantly became a Hollywood darling opposite the already popular Olivia de Havilland, and the two would have the beginnings of a wonderful career together.  Flynn's life and popularity were short-lived, however, when his wild lifestyle caught up with him at a relatively young age.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

 

Direct download: Episode_35_Captain_Blood_1935.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 34: Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

"I thought we'd be together only in death."

Danny Boyle's film about a poor teen from Mumbai who wins big on India's version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire won the hearts of viewers everywhere, and it was released just in time to be nominated and snag a number of Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Featuring a yet-unknown Dev Patel, the film is a love story and a drama wrapped up and presented to Western audiences as a Bollywood fairy tale.  Boyle walked away with an Oscar, proving to his critics that he could do more than make movies about drug addicts and zombies.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

 

 

 

Direct download: Episode_34_Slumdog_Millionaire_2008.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 33: The Blair Witch Project (1999)

"I'm afraid to close my eyes, I'm afraid to open them."

The term "viral marketing" wasn't known in 1999 in the months before The Blair Witch Project premiered, but it practically invented the process.  With a rumor mill that began at the Cannes Film Festival, a creepy website, and stories that the film was actual found footage discovered in the woods after the disappearances of three hapless film students, it was destined for greatness.

The film began the "found footage" craze, and founded a sub-genre that is generally frowned upon today as lazy and cheap.  Nevertheless, props should be given to the film for its influence on horror and the effect it still has on audiences who dare to watch it in the dark.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_33_The_Blair_Witch_Project_1999.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Episode 32: The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short (1965)

Based on the novel of the same name by Johan Daisne, Andre Delvaux's The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short (1965) is quite possibly Belgium's most critically acclaimed film.  the first of Delvaux's short directorial career, it's a story of obsession, anxiety, and loneliness, all couched in the facade of a psychological thriller.

Delvaux would go on to make a handful of films (including Un soir, un train [1968], also based on a book by Daisne) until the late 1980's, although none would bring him as much acclaim as The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short.  He died in 2002.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_32_The_Man_Who_Had_His_Hair_Cut_Short_1965.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01pm CDT

Episode 31: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

After making A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965), Sergio Leone outdid his European contemporaries who were churning out spaghetti Westerns with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).  After the trilogy was released across the Atlantic, Leone revitalized the Western, a genre that was born with The Great Train Robbery (1903) but was dwindling by the mid 1960's.

Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach starred as the film's three titular characters, and everyone involved eventually went on to prosperous characters, particularly Clint Eastwood and composer Ennio Morricone.  The movie is widely available on Blu Ray and DVD.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, "like" the podcast's Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_31_The_Good_the_Bad_and_the_Ugly_1966.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm CDT

Episode 30: Mad Max (1979)

With audiences still reeling from the success Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), we turn our sights to the one that started it all, George Miller's Mad Max (1979), which turns out to be a revenge flick set in a dystopia rather than a post-apocalyptic action movie, much like its sequels.

Not only did Mad Max jump start Miller's career, but it was also the breakthrough role for a young and handsome Mel Gibson, who was cast to play Max.  Inspired by the injuries Miller observed while working in an emergency room, the film still remains a breathtaking glimpse of "guerrilla filmmaking", with remarkable onscreen car crashes and close calls with the stuntmen.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's page on Facebook.

Direct download: Episode_30_Mad_Max_1979.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46pm CDT

Episode 29: Babe (1995)

If you ever want to see a grown man cry, show him Chris Noonan's Australian Babe (1995), the hit movie about a little pig that went a long way.  The movie flew under the radar until it was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and it's been called "the Citizen Kane of talking pig movies."  While the special effects are groundbreaking (it won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects), the tale of the unprejudiced heart of a baby pig and how he changes the world of those around him is touching and timeless.

Babe is currently widely available on DVD and Blu Ray and can also be seen for free by Amazon Prime members.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and follow the podcast on Facebook.

Direct download: Episode_29_Babe_1995.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm CDT

Episode 28: The Great Train Robbery (1903)

The birth of the American Western, as well as the birth of narrative filmmaking, began with Edwin S. Porter's The Great Train Robbery (1903).  A product of Thomas Edison's production company, it was the first breakthrough film since George Melies' A Trip to the Moon (1902).

With a running time of only ten and a half minutes long, multiple versions of The Great Train Robbery can be seen on YouTube and it's also available on DVD.  It is only the second film listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter @1001MoviesPC, and "like" the podcast on Facebook to keep track of new releases.

Direct download: Episode_28_The_Great_Train_Robbery_1903.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm CDT

Episode 27: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

Vittorio De Sica may have been nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in A Farewell to Arms (1957), but he's remembered for directing Italian neorealist films like Shoeshine (1946) and Bicycle Thieves (1948).

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970), made just four years before his death, was De Sica's last great film, made at a time when critics were beginning to think that his career as a great director had screeched to a halt.  It brought his name back into the spotlight and, among others, earned the film an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviepodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC, and be sure to "like" the podcast on Facebook.

 

Direct download: Episode_27_The_Garden_of_the_Finzi-Continis_1970.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm CDT

Episode 26: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)

When you think of the Soviet Union, their accomplishments in filmmaking will probably not come to mind.  In fact, prior to 1964, Soviet cinema consisted almost exclusively of social realist films, until director Sergei Paradjanov made Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, which told the tale of a Carpathian love story in the 1800's.

Paradjanov, who would later make The Color of Pomegranates (another film on the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list), was blacklisted for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, which was just one tragic milestone in his tumultuous life.  It remains a landmark in Soviet cinema.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_26_Shadows_of_Forgotten_Ancestors_1964.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm CDT

Episode 25: The Great Escape (1963)

Known for Bad Day at Black Rock (1950) and The Magnificent Seven (1960), director John Sturges had established his career making dramas with strong male ensemble casts.  The Great Escape (1963) became his pet project after he established himself in Hollywood, and it's no exception to Sturges' other films, letting the actors shine brilliantly.

The Great Escape is an amazing true story based on the book by an actual prisoner who was involved in the events.  The film was a resounding success, and earned an Oscar nomination for editor Ferris Webster.  It is currently widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_25_The_Great_Escape_1963.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:07pm CDT

Episode 24: Beau Travail (1999)

On the outside, Claire Denis' Beau Travail (1999) is slathered with homoeroticism, which is exactly why the French Legion wasn't too happy that she made it.  However, it's really a film about alienation and one man's downward spiral into isolation, insanity, and tragedy.  (And, yes, I've just described every other French film prior to 2000 ever made.)

The film is currently available on DVD, and those of you who frequent speciality shops (or want to drop $30 for a copy of your own) may be able to find it.

Look for us on Facebook, follow the podcast on Twitter via @1001moviesPC and email Sean with comments or questions at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_24_Beau_Travail_1999.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:49pm CDT

Episode 23: The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

The Outlaw Josey Wales is the result of Clint Eastwood's former collaboration with director Sergio Leone on "The Man with No Name Trilogy", a tender Western with an ensemble cast and a non-traditional ending.

The film was the fifth one directed by Eastwood and was the beginning of his trail-blazing career which continues to this day with films like American Sniper and Jersey Boys.  Jerry Fielding received an Oscar nomination for his score in The Outlaw Josey Wales.  The film is currently widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC, and look for the podcast's Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_23_The_Outlaw_Josey_Wales_1976.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:03pm CDT

Episode 22: Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Independent cinema has been around as long as cinema itself has, but in the 1990's it burst into neighborhood movie houses and was given as much credit by average filmgoer's as the standard Hollywood fare.  Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, his first film, arguably started it all.

Although Tarantino didn't make himself a househould name until two years later with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs is the film with which he cut his teeth on the humorous and naturalistic dialogue he's known for today, as well as his style of non-linear storytelling.  It is now widely available on DVD and Blu-Ray and, as of this writing, is streaming on Netflix.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviesPC@gmail.com, look for the podcast on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_22_Reservoir_Dogs_1992.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

Episode 21: Beauty and the Beast (1946)

Beauty and the Beast has been interpreted by filmmakers many times, and although the most popular is probably the 1991 Disney movie, in 1946 French director Jean Cocteau put his own interpretation on film.

Haunting and surrealistic, Beauty and the Beast marks an important point in French cinema history, having come just after the War when many filmmakers were finding their footing after the German occupation.  It's a well-loved classic, and the images will be hard to forget.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001MoviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_21_Beauty_and_the_Beast_1946.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm CDT

Episode 20: Red Psalm (1972)

If I asked you to name the biggest contributor to Hungarian cinema, you'd probably be at a loss for words.  Miklos Jancso is probably the answer, and his work included a number of films that dealt with themes of wartime and revolution, always with a historical backdrop.

Red Psalm is certainly no exception to Jancso's work.  Part musical and part historical commentary, it weaves a spell that I have never seen in a movie before, and Jancso fills it with rich themes and imagery.  Take a listen and, if your interest is piqued, I would recommend getting your hands on the DVD, which is readily available online.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC, and look for the podcast's (relatively new) Facebook page.

Direct download: Episode_20_Red_Psalm_1972.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:23pm CDT

Episode 19: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Mutiny on the Bounty is the true story of the falling out between Fletcher Christian and Captain Bligh, a falling out with disasterous results that resulted in many men fleeing England and many other without heads.  Frank Lloyd's 1935 epic was the third rendition for the big screen and was produced by MGM for a whopping record-breaking $2 million.

A testament to the production values of one of Hollywood's golden ages, Mutiny on the Bounty went on to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, and was nominated for seven others: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone were all nominated for Best Actor, and the picture was also nominted for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Music, and Best Film Editing.

Email the host with questions or comment at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC, and also look for the podcast on Facebook.

Direct download: Episode_19_Mutiny_on_the_Bounty_1935.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Episode 18: Wild Reeds (1994)

Wild Reeds is Andre Techine's coming-of-age story set during the backdrop of the Algerian War in the early 1960's.  The film was a smashing success in France, and is lauded by many as one of the masterpieces of queer cinema from the 1990's, although it's unlikely that Techine intended the film's gay character to be a subplot that involves the lives of three other characters.

The film snagged a number of the top prizes at the Cesar Awards (France's equivalent of the Oscars).  Although it is currently out of print and no longer on DVD, you can find a cheap used copy on the internet.

Have a question for the host.  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow the podcast on Twitter via @1001moviespc.

Direct download: Episode_18_Wild_Reeds_1994.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Long before 50 Shades of Grey or any of its ilk, there was Last Tango in Paris, the sultry erotic drama starring Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider.  Most people probably haven't seen it but know it by reputation; that reputation usually involves something involving a stick of butter.

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, the film revolutionized the genre and art house cinema.  It resulted in a debate over censorship, a short prison sentence for Bertolucci, and two Academy Award nominations.  In this episode we take a look at the history of the film and the careers of its director and lead male star up to the point it was made.

Have a question or a comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001moviespc.

Direct download: Episode_17_Last_Tango_in_Paris_1972.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Frank Sinatra had just won an Oscar before he signed up to star in Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, but who knew he could really act?  In a day when films about [insert drug name here] addiction and abuse seem like a dime a dozen, Sinatra delivers a top notch performance that has aged like a fine wine after 60 years.

Performances aside, Preminger delivers the goods with the film, which was arguably part of his crusade snubbing the Hollywood production code which would never permit mainstream studios to release a picture about drugs.  Indeed, the chemistry between Sinatra and Preminger, two Hollywood celebrities who everyone predicted would never bond, is part of the magic of this production.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him in Twitter via @1001moviespc.

Direct download: Episode_16_The_Man_with_the_Golden_Arm_1955.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Director Tran Anh Hung is arguably the biggest name in Vietnamese cinema, which is unfortunate because film is not one of the country's popular exports.  What Vietnamese cinema lacks in quantity, however, it makes up for in quality with Cyclo, a fascinating little gem of a gangster picture that sprouted up just when Quentin Tarantino was becoming a household name.

It's fair to note that Cyclo is not technically a Vietnamese film: Tran was born there, but has lived most of his life in France and much of the production team is French.  Nevertheless, the film captures the essence of metropolitan Vietnamese life, an admirable accomplishment without the common backdrop of wartime.

One note: sometimes in this episode I refer to director Tran Anh Hung as "Tran" and sometimes as "Hung".  Since he and I obviously aren't friends, I prefer to refer to him formally using his family name.  I understand that in most Asian cultures this would be his "first" name, which would be "Tran".  My apologies for my confusion on that part.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviespc.  Also, if you're enjoying the show, please leave some love for it on iTunes to help get us some more listeners.

Direct download: Episode_15_Cyclo_1995.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

We'll linger a little longer on Italian neorealism with a film by another one of the movement's proponents, Michelangelo Antonioni.

When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, L'avventura was jeered at by the audience, probably because during the entirety of its almost two-and-a-half-hours running time it has only the bare semblance of a plot.  However, critics and filmmakers later embraced the film as something new and ambitious, and by the 1980's it may have unwittingly become one of the most influential films of all time.  Antonioni's sixth film and his first to reach critical success, it's a masterpiece of cinema and something that (for me anyways) should probably be seen more than once to appreciate the scope of what was created.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.  Also, if you're enjoying this journey into the world of film so far, please leave us some feedback on iTunes!

Direct download: Episode_14_Lavventura_1960.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Luchino Visconti was known for dabbling with neorealism, but Senso mixed his love of the opera and melodrama with the film movement that his name is attached to.

Italy's first Technicolor film, Senso is a love story set during the Austrian occupation of Venice in the 1860's.  The film is a visual feast, with sweeping setpieces that reflect Visconti's love of the opera.  Alida Valli and Farley Granger (whose English was dubbed into Italian for the film's Italian release) give stellar performances as the leads, particularly Valli, who won a Golden Globe for her effort.  This is another title currently readily available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the Criterion Collection; viewing the heavily-cut American version of the film from the disc's special features is to experience an exercise of how not to edit a film.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast.com.  Also, if you're enjoying our journey, please leave some positive feedback on iTunes!

Direct download: Episode_13_Senso_1954.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Continuing with the theme of Holocaust dramas (yes, each film really is drawn at random), we jump back three years to 1987 and Louis Malle's Au revoir les enfants.

This story of secrets, innocence, and eventually mistaken betrayal is one of my undiscovered favorites so far on this podcast, and is sadly one of Malle's final films before his death of lymphoma in 1995.  This story of a French schoolboy who slowly learns that his best friend is a Jew sheltered by the schoolmaster is provacative, sad, and mesmerizing.  It would go on to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.  Au revoir les enfants is currently avaialble on Blu-Ray and DVD via the Criterion Collection.

Have a question or comment for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.  Also, if you're enjoying the journey thus far, please leave a favorable review on iTunes!

Direct download: Episode_12_Au_revoir_les_enfants_1987.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Film is not exactly rife with female Polish directors, which makes Agnieszka Holland exceptional.  She focused primarily on television and documentary work before writing and directing the epic Europa Europa.

Dozens of films have been made about the Holocaust but, as The Washington Post put it, "[there are] only a handful as passionate, as subtly intelligent, as universal as this one."  Europa Europa tells the true story of Salomon Perel, a Jewish boy who finds himself jumping from the frying pan into the fire after he accidentally enlists in the German army and moves from one situation to another to hide his identity and escape alive.  Not to be confused with the Lars von Trier film Europa, the film is available on DVD, although scrupulous purchasers might consider buying a used copy: a new copy is currently available for about $65 on Amazon.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_11_Europa_Europa_1990.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Fresh off of our discussion of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, we set our sights on My Man Godfrey, another comedy from 1936.  Directed by Gregory La Cava, the film is a satire of the lives of the naive and wealthy family residing in their Park Avenue and the merry misadventures that occur when they employ a new butler, Godfrey, who teaches them a few life lessons before the film's conclusion.

La Cava's films are laced with similar social and political satire, such as Gabriel over the White House (1933) and She Married Her Boss (1935).  Commentary aside, My Man Godfrey's true charm is that it still holds up today.  Several editions, many with questionable quality, have been released on DVD, but obviously the Criterion Collection edition remains the best.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_10_My_Man_Godfrey_1936.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

When you mention Frank Capra, most people will thank of It's a Wonderful Life, or any of a handful of other movies starring James Stewart.  In the 1930's, however, Capra was probably Hollywood most prolific director, earning a string of Oscar nominations for his charming screwball comedies with traditional American values.

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town was another notch on Capra's belt after his film It Happened One Night hit the grand slam after winning all four major Academy Awards.  Featuring Gary Cooper as the titular character from a small town who is thrown into a frenzy of money-grubbing New York lawyers and businessmen, the movie was hugely successful and earned Capra another Oscar for Best Director.  Fun aside fact: it's also fetaures the first instance of the word "doodle", which soon found itself in the English vernacular.  The film is readily (and cheaply) available on DVD.

Have a comment or a question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_9_Mr._Deeds_Goes_to_Town_1936.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

After penning Dogme 95, a manifesto urging filmmakers to subscribe to a particular method, Danish director Lars von Trier made Breaking the Waves, about the ways of rigidly living by a particular religious dogma.  The film follows the rules set down by von Trier, but for a select few shots that are beautifully touched up by computer imagery and graced with pop music from the 1970's.

Based on a fairy tale von Trier read as a child, the story follow doe-eyed Bess (Emily Watson) as she marries oil rig worker Jan (Stellan Skarsgard) and copes with the tragedy that follows, both with the rigid religious rules laid down by the elders of her small Scottish village and the frustrations of sexuality.  The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.  The film is now available on Blu Ray and DVD via the Criterion Collection.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001movies@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_8_Breaking_the_Waves_1996.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Considering the number of films that Bollywood has spawned, it's surprising that there's a dearth of them in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.  One of the few inclusions is Deewaar, a 1975 (somewhat musical) drama directed by Yash Chopra and featuring Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan.

"Deewaar" translated into English means The Wall, in this case referring to the divide between two brothers, one who has joined the police force and the other who has chosen a life of crime.  Whether you consider yourself a fan of Bollywood or not, you have to admit it's a great drama, even if you don't enjoy the musical bits that are so characteristic of the genre.  Deewaar is available on region-free Blu Ray from some international retailers.

Have a question or feedback for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_7_Deewaar_1975.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Greta Garbo has long been in the American cultural zeitgeist as the actress who "wanted to be alone", as her early retirement from Hollywood precluded her from a long career as an actress.  Ninotchka was her penultimate film, and it was billed as "Garbo Laughs!", as it was her first comedy, a fact that she had quite an issue with, particularly the scene in which she appeared drunk.

Garbo was in the good hands of Ernst Lubitsch, a German-born director who had made a string of successful comedies before and after Ninotchka.  The film became a critical and box office success, and remains surprisingly witty even today.  It is readily available on DVD and Amazon Instant Video.

Have a question or feedback for Sean?  Email him at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter via @1001moviesPC.

Direct download: Episode_6_Ninotchka_1939.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder were pretty much a staple in my home growing up; at an early age I was indoctrinated with History of the World, Part 1 and Young Frankenstein, but never really got around to watching Blazing Saddles until years later.

This is the one that really put Mel Brooks on the map and, as I explain in the podcast, it paved the way for future comedies like Airplane!  Blazing Saddles was also, in a way, the last of a dying genre: since the 1980's comedies have seen box office success but, like horror movies, are often shunned by critics.  This film stands out as a testament both to Brooks the writer and director, and also to the time it was made.  It was recently released in a special edition on Blu Ray to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Direct download: Episode_5_Blazing_Saddles_1974.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

The French new wave movement of the 1950's and 1960's may not appeal to the majority of audiences today, but the genre is required viewing for any film fanatic.  Jean-Luc Godard's Week End came at the tail end of the movement, which may not make it an ideal introduction to the genre, but it's nevertheless a spectacle that needs to be seen to be appreciated.

Week End is currently available on Blu Ray and DVD via the Criterion Collection as well as on Hulu (don't confuse it with the 2011 Andrew Haigh film of the same name), and the transfer has probably never looked better since its initial release.

Have any questions or comments for Sean?  Feel free to email him at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_4_Week_End_1967.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Long before he began churning out Hollywood fare featuring Johnny Depp, Tim Burton had been known for directing two movies, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice, before he took the helm to direct Batman.  Those that were familiar with the kitschy 1960's television show likely didn't expect Burton to add such a dark twist to the material, and it became an instant hit, securing Burton on the map as filmmaker.

Despite its three sequels (some of which cause intense eye-rolling among film buffs) and an even darker reboot, Burton's Batman remains a classic spectacle, with wonderful performs and gothic set pieces.  It went on to win an Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

Want to email the host with comments or questions?  Drop Sean a line at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_3_Batman_1989.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Known as a "Hong Kong Second Wave" director, Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express paints the city and its denizens in lyrical strokes, belying the dirt and grit lurking just underneath what we can see.

Part action, part romance, the film is an excellent introduction to the director's work, with a unique narrative style; it's no surprise that it caught the attention of Quentin Tarrantino, who made it a mission to market the film to Western audiences.

Chungking Express was released on Blu Ray and DVD by the Criterion Collection, but unfortunately it is out of print at the time of this writing.  Tenacious film buffs in the U.S. can spend upwards of $100 for a copy or alternately purchase an imported edition if they have a region-free player.

Have a comment or question for the host?  Email Sean at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_2_Chungking_Express_1994.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

After the successful Back to the Future (1985), director Robert Zemeckis turned his sights to something even more ambitious, a full-length feature combining live actors and animated ones.

We start our journey through 1,001 movies with lighter - albeit technically groundbreaking and comedic - fare, with the story of an alcoholic private eye on the quest of saving an animated bunny rabbit.  The movie was a box office smash and won Oscars for Best Film Editing, Sound Effects Editing, Visual Effects, and a Special Achievement Award for its technical advancements.

Want to email Sean with comments or questions?  Drop him an email at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_1_Who_Framed_Roger_Rabbit_1988.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm CDT

Inspired by the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, this podcast will examine films picked randomly from the book.  Nearly every genre will be covered, with movies from 1902 through 2012 and made throughout the world.

Want to send Sean feedback?  Email him at 1001moviespodcast@gmail.com.

Direct download: Episode_0_Introduction.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:46pm CDT

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