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Syndication

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST