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Lost in Criterion
By John Dorgan
About this podcast
The Adam Glass and John Patrick Owatari-Dorgan, attempt the sisyphean task of watching every movie in the ever-growing Criterion Collection and talk about them. Want to support us? We'll love you for it:
Episodes (Total: 10)
Jan. 12, 2018 · 01:17:56
Tout va Bien (roughly translated: "This is fine"), is the 1972 culmination of Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin's Dziga Vertov Group, a production group focusing on Marxist/Maoist revolution mostly through documentary, though Tout va Bien is a narrative film. It is, however, paired with the didactic documentary Letter to Jane, a postscript to Tout va Bien the dissects the famous Hanoi photo of Jane Fonda, star of the film who in the months following the release of Tout va Bien became an international talking-point. Ultimately, the film stands to ask the question "What is the role of the woke upperclass in the revolution?" and how that intrinsic to finding the right answers is asking the right questions. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Jan. 6, 2018 · 01:06:17
Jules Dassin moved to Europe in 1950 to avoid the blacklist, and his first stop was London -- The City -- where he made Night and the City seemingly quite hastily -- he claims he never even read the script. Fortunately, Dassin could hit all the notes of noir in his sleep. Unfortunately, it seems like he did.Anyway, five years ago this week we put out our very first episode which introduced us to Jean Renoir and set us on our rollercoaster of a ride. Lost in Criterion as a name was just something that fell into place back then, but five years on we're still hacking our way through an endless jungle. Sometimes we even understand what we're doing. To those of you who have been here the whole time, have come along relatively recently, or, heck, left long ago, thanks for giving us frankly surprisingly high download numbers that convinced us this was a thing worth doing. Now we're stuck doing it forever! Yay! Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Dec. 29, 2017 · 01:14:00
After making Thieves Highway in 1949 Jules Dassin was blacklisted for being a communist. The movie is about working class men -- Army vets at that -- trying to use capitalism to pull one over on a small-time robber baron, and when that fails there's some violence. It's not quite Marx, but it's not quite not Marx.Anyway, Dassin would flee to Europe and continue working, first with Night and the City which we'll talk about next week, and later with Rififi, his masterpiece. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Dec. 24, 2017 · 01:08:27
We gather friends around for our traditional end of year non-Criterion film. This year it's In Bruges!
Dec. 22, 2017 · 01:04:52
An Italian neorealist film where the prostitute doesn't represent the state of the nation! Probably. I mean, you could probably interpret it that way if you wanted.Bernardo Bertolucci's debut, La Commare Secca is, in a lot of ways, clearly directed by a 20 year old first timer. But it's also got some really good stuff going on, even if it's a Rashomon-plot done by a guy who absolutely swears he's never seen Rashomon. We don't believe him, but it doesn't matter either way. La Commare Secca tells its story of on the ground life below the zooming highways, out of sight down by the river, and it's tells it well. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Dec. 15, 2017 · 01:04:04
We get one las film from Becker and it's a French gangster film starring the star of French gangsterdom: Jean Gabin.With Touchez pas au grisbi (1954) Becker does his Becker thing of focusing on the minor character elements instead of the plot points and manages to make one of the few French gangster films outside of Rififi that doesn't bore me. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Dec. 9, 2017 · 00:57:03
We really, really loved our last outing from Jacques Becker. Le Trou stands as one of the pinnacles of non-horror suspense films we've seen. It was also Becker's final film, so perhaps we should assume that his earlier work would be less impressive.We return to Becker this week with a period piece based on a real historical love triangle involving a woman with blond hair and some members of the notorious Parisian street gang Les Apaches. Wikipedia's article on the gang contains an image of what it claims is a commonly used weapon, Pat and I talk about it this week, but for those of you looking for better mental image of it, have an actual image of it.Casque d'Or (1952) suffers for not including that gunthing. It suffers for some other reasons, too. Maybe it just suffers for not seeming as innovative as Becker's other work. Maybe the fact that it is a base criminal love story is why it's so interesting as a Becker work. Though there's also that final sequence to redeem it. Maybe. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Dec. 1, 2017 · 01:08:18
The year is 1966 and Seijun Suzuki's relationship with his longtime studio Nikkatsu is strained to say the least. Tokyo Drifter left him on double secret probation and barred from using the companies color film stock. Branded to Kill would ultimately get him fired. But between those two brilliant pieces of art comes Fighting Elegy, an anti-"red pill" film attacking toxic masculinity and militarism. Written by Kaneto Shindo who directed Onibaba and, turns out, was a left-wing activist, Fighting Elegy is a farewell to arms and the ideas of manhood, sex, and power that fed authoritarian nationalism that led to nearly 3,000,000 Japanese dead in World War 2. It's also funny -- like Vonnegutianly so -- and shot with all the beautifully off-the-wall style we expect from Suzuki, but in this case those wacky visual choices actually land in a philosophical style, too. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.
Nov. 24, 2017 · 01:02:57
It's been 4 years since we last saw a Seijun Suzuki film.It's been too long.Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter were early favorites for Seijun's ridiculous sense of style and clear disdain for being told what to do. Made a few years and a few dozen films earlier in 1963 is Youth of the Beast, a Yojimbo-tale of an ex-Cop investigating his former friends death. Of course that plot synopsis glosses over the Seijun flare that makes it a film worth watching. And it is very much worth watching.
Nov. 17, 2017 · 01:12:06
Donovan Hill often joins us for discussions on the works of Akira Kurosawa because he has a long history with the films, having had them thrust upon him by his obsessive father from a very young age. Dr. Hill passed away recently and Donovan joins us in an episode dedicated in his father's memory, and dedicated to a discussion of the rose-tinted view of Japan's national memory. Kagemusha (1980) is one of the few Kurosawa period films that could be accurately described as historical fiction, not just being set in his normal nebulous samurai period, but specifically being about real people and real battles drawn from history, even if certain elements make it about as historically accurate as Inglorious Basterds. Oh, and subscribe on iTunes! And/or support us on Patreon? Or check us out on Facebook.