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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

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