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Filmspotting: Reviews & Top 5s
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Filmspotting: Reviews & Top 5s

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“...affable, insightful film analysis since 2005."–NY Times / New + classic reviews and top 5s. Also on WBEZ Chicago.

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Previous winners of the Filmspotting Golden Brick Award - Sean Baker's "Tangerine," Bing Liu's "Minding the Gap," Anna Rose Holmer's "The Fits" - didn't just tell compelling stories; they told stories in vivid and surprising ways. It's what Adam and Josh have come to look for in a Brick nominee and it's a quality that all eleven of this year's nominees display—in ways as various as their styles and genres: a time-bending documentary, a retro sci-fi flick, a pair of intricately directed and timely dramas, a Coen Brothers-style thriller, a little of the old ultra-violence - and more. Plus, Adam and Josh revisit their review of Sean Durkin's THE NEST, which is available to rent on digital after playing in limited release. 0:00 - Billboard 1:17 - 2020 Golden Brick Nominees Michigander, "Let Down" 47:12 - Next Week/Notes 56:51 - Polls ('80s Directing Debuts, Christmas Movie Death Match) 1:06:51 - Review: "The Nest" 1:34:07 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This year's 8 From '84 series - the sequel to last year's 9 From '99 - gave Adam and Josh a chance to revisit some nostalgic favorites ("Ghostbusters," "This is Spinal Tap," "Beverly Hills Cop"), fill in some blind spots (Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America," Coppola's "The Cotton Club") and complete a director's filmography (David Lynch's "Dune," check). This week, they wrap up the series with the film that launched the career of indie auteur Jim Jarmusch, STRANGER THAN PARADISE, and share their picks for the best performances, scenes and surprises from the 13-film series. Josh also recommends the latest from Cartoon Saloon and director Tomm Moore, WOLFWALKERS. 0:00 - Billboard 1:20 - 8 From '84: "Stranger Than Paradise" Screamin' Jay Hawkins, "I Put A Spell On You" 29:34 - Josh recommends "Wolfwalkers" 32:50 - Next Week/Notes 44:05 - Massacre Theatre 51:09 - 8 From '84 Awards 1:36:24 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
David Lynch's '84 adaptation of Frank Herbert's DUNE ended the director's flirtation with mainstream Hollywood, but it remains a singular - and still Lynchian - vision. (And oh so spice-y.) Six years later, Lynch achieved cult legend status with the massively popular network TV series TWIN PEAKS. The movie-length pilot episode celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Thanks to ArmorLock for supporting Filmspotting. Go to Getarmorlock.com to learn more and purchase yours. 0:00 - Billboard 1:23 - 8 From '84: "Dune" Angelo Badalamenti, "Falling" (feat. Julee Cruise) 34:05 - Next Week/New Poll ('80s Directing Debuts) 40:40 - Notes/Poll Results (Movie failures you defend) 53:18 - Review: "Twin Peaks Pilot" 1:19:41 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The remaining months of the year won't have the same volume of buzzy festival pictures, star-studded Oscar bait or holiday blockbusters, but that doesn't mean there isn't lots to look forward to—if you know where to look. This week, Adam and Josh have their Top 5 Questions About the Fall(ish) Movie Season. Plus, the final film in the Overlooked Auteurs Marathon, Julie Dash's DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, along with the Marathon-ending awards. 0:00 - Billboard 1:13 - Fall Movie Preview Andrew Bird, "Alabaster" 45:03 - Next Week/Notes 50:55 - R.I.P. Sean Connery 1:03:50 - Massacre Theatre 1:10:57 - Overlooked Auteurs #6: "Daughters of the Dust" 1:31:00 - Overlooked Auteurs Awards ("The Burnt Potatoes") 1:51:17 - Outro / Outtake Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Justin Simien, director of 2014's "Dear White People," has followed up that campus-set comedy with another, much bloodier, satire: BAD HAIR (currently streaming on Hulu). The film - about image and ambition in late '80s L.A. - features a homicidal weave with a mind of its own, making it a great example of a high-concept plot. Josh shares his Top 5 High Concept-Horror Movies and Adam - going high-concept himself - shares the five high-concept horror movies he most wants to see. Listeners come to his rescue. Plus Vampire v Zombie poll results and Adam recommends the Halloween-friendly THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW. 0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Review: "Bad Hair" 15:59 - Top 5: High-Concept Horror PUP, "Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley" 40:50 - New Poll ("Movie Failures You Champion") 47:58 - Next week / Notes 56:36 - Poll results (Vampires v Zombies) 1:00:13 - AK recommends "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" 1:04:55 - Top 5: High-Concept Horror, cont. 1:24:04 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Is there such a thing as too much Bill Murray? Seems like heresy to suggest such a thing, but it's a question Josh dares to ask during the review of Sofia Coppola's latest, ON THE ROCKS—a film Adam sees as a spiritual sequel to her Oscar-nominated breakout film, "Lost in Translation." Along with that, thoughts on the new BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM and the Sundance-winning doc TIME; plus, a split take on Lina Wertmüller's provocative 1975 film SEVEN BEAUTIES, part of the Overlooked Auteurs Marathon. 0:00 - Billboard 1:14 - Review: "On the Rocks" Wilder Embry, "Over It" 23:01 - Reviews: "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," "Time" 35:26 - Next Week/Notes 45:49 - Massacre Theatre 52:44 - Overlooked Auteurs #5: "Seven Beauties" 1:15:26 - Outro/Outtake Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With the pandemic forcing this year's Chicago International Film Festival (Oct. 14-25) to go almost all virtual, Adam and Josh's CIFF Preview will be a helpful guide to the fest wherever you happen to be. (More details about the fest lineup and how to purchase tickets here.) Also this week, reviews of David Byrne's AMERICAN UTOPIA, Aaron Sorkin's THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 and Cooper Raiff's SHITHOUSE. Plus, Josh watched HUBIE HALLOWEEN so you don't have to. 0:00 - Billboard 1:30 - Top 5: Chicago Film Fest Must-Sees David Byrne, "Once in a Lifetime" ("American Utopia") 31:51 - Josh on "Hubie Halloween" 36:13 - Polls / Notes 50:05 - Reviews: "American Utopia" / "Chicago 7" / "Shithouse" 1:26:36 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
You need music that's transcendent, soaring, or touched by God? Mozart is your man. This week, Adam and Josh share their Top 5 Mozart Movie Moments, featuring memorable deployments of the composer's music in films directed by Terrence Malick, Barry Jenkins, Ridley Scott and others. Plus, an 8 From '84 review of the Best Picture-winning AMADEUS, and Massacre Theatre goes to the opera house. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - Top 5: Mozart Movie Moments Andrew Wilkowske, "Deh, vieni alla finestra" ("Don Giovanni") 53:56 - Next Week/Notes 1:03:15 - Massacre Theatre 1:13:57 - 8 From '84: "Amadeus" 1:43:43 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When veteran documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson transitioned to directing with 2016's "Cameraperson," which was assembled from hundreds of hours of b-roll footage Johnson had shot over the years, it was unclear what a follow-up from her would look like. What we got - the new DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD - is a project both harrowing and whimsical: Johnson inviting her beloved father, showing early signs of dementia and failing health, to stage (and re-stage) his own death. Adam and Josh agree that the film is "a miracle." Also something of a miracle is Barbara Loden's first - and only - film, the verité-style WANDA from 1970, the next film in the Overlooked Auteurs Marathon. 0:00 - Billboard 1:07 - Review: "Dick Johnson is Dead" Tim Heidecker, "Fear of Death" 27:21 - Next Week/Notes 37:30 - Polls 45:32 - Overlooked Auteurs #4: "Wanda" 1:08:24 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gregory Crewdson's large-scale, cinematic photos have been compared to the work of filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. His latest exhibition - "An Eclipse of Moths" - is currently on display in L.A. Inspired by Crewdson's work, Adam and Josh - along with Crewdson himself - share their Top 5 Landscapes as Characters. Plus, thoughts on Miranda July's latest, KAJILLIONAIRE. 0:00 - Billboard 1:16 - Top 5: Landscapes as Characters The Flaming Lips, "At the Movies on Quaaludes" 51:08 - Review: "Kajillionaire" 1:01:35 - Next week / Notes 1:16:03 - Massacre Theatre 1:25:37 - Top 5 cont. 1:54:24 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When the tense marriage drama THE NEST debuted earlier this year at Sundance, there was understandable excitement about the return of director Sean Durkin, who hadn't directed a feature since 2011's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (a Filmspotting Golden Brick nominee). Durkin doesn't disappoint in his return, giving his movie a pervasive sense of unsettling dread—but the real fireworks belong to stars Carrie Coon and Jude Law. In addition to that review, Josh recommends the divisive new horror thriller ANTEBELLUM starring Janelle Monae, and Adam shares thoughts on the not entirely successful THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME, directed by the very talented Antonio Campos and starring Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson. Plus, the Overlooked Auteurs Marathon continues with Chantal Akerman's JEANNE DIELMAN, which Adam and Josh both found more than deserving of its masterpiece status.  0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Review: "The Nest" Noga Erez, "You So Done" 30:52 - Josh on "Antebellum" 35:01 - Adam on "Devil All the Time" 38:37 - Next Week / Notes 51:24 - Polls 1:01:13 - Overlooked Auteurs #3: "Jeanne Dielman" 1:25:15 - "Jeanne Dielman" Spoilers 1:34:34 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When Ennio Morricone passed away back in July at 91, Adam and Josh were quick to commit to a Top 5 Scores from the master film composer. From his early iconic work on Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns to Oscar-nominated collaborations with Terrence Malick, Brian De Palma and Quentin Tarantino, Morricone's best work reflects the astonishing breadth - and wild inventiveness - of his talent. Adam and Josh pair their Morricone Top 5 with 1984's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, Leone's epic gangster tale—the director's final collaboration with Morricone, and final film. 0:00 - Billboard 1:12 - Top 5: Morricone Scores Ennio Morricone, "Ninna Nanna Per Adulteri" 50:25 - Next Week/Notes 1:08:10 - Massacre Theatre 1:15:51 - 8 From '84: "Once Upon a Time in America" 1:55:04 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Christopher Nolan's TENET. The film that inspired our recent Nolan Oeuvre-view - the film that the entire movie theater industry has been resting its hopes on - was bound to disappoint some. Unfortunately, some of those disappointed moviegoers include Adam and Josh, who both found Nolan's film to be more style than substance. But there is considerable style, and its clever, if perplexing, time inversion plot offers a fascinating counter-point to Nolan's breakthrough "Memento." They also get a mental workout from Charlie Kaufman's latest, I'M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS, which hit Netflix this weekend. Rising star Jessie Buckley is a young woman whose identity comes into question when she takes a road trip with her boyfriend to visit his parents. Plus, Adam recommends the new BILL & TED sequel and the new doc FEELS GOOD MAN. 0:00 - Billboard 1:18 - R.I.P. Chadwick Boseman 6:54 - Review: "Tenet" Dehd, "Desire" 36:48 - AK recommends: "Bill & Ted Face the Music," "Feels Good Man" 47:56 - Notes 58:00 - Polls: Kaufman Movie Performances, Long Movies 1:03:16 - Review: "I'm Thinking of Ending Things" 1:21:24 - "Ending Things" Spoilers 1:29:59 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adam and Josh have no disagreement about the charismatic powers of THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD star Dev Patel—but they do butt heads over the effectiveness of director Armando Iannucci's farcical and fast-paced take on the Dickens novel. That review, plus the second film in the Overlooked Auteurs Marathon: Czech New Wave pioneer Vera Chytilová's DAISIES, which has Adam and Josh competing to find the perfect way to describe the irreverent antics of the film's Marie I and II (Groucho Marx, Bugs Bunny or... Harley Quinn?) 0:00 - Billboard 1:11 - Review: "Personal History Of David Copperfield" Justin Townes Earle, "Give Me Some Money" 28:00 - Next Week/Notes 37:37 - Massacre Theatre 44:06 - Overlooked Auteurs #2: "Daisies" 1:02:01 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
"That's what I love doing more than anything: really getting to know people and let them tell their story." That's legendary documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple from her interview with Adam on this week's show. Kopple's latest doc - DESERT ONE - opens in limited release this weekend. Kopple talks about how she came to make a film about the failed 1980 mission to rescue American hostages in Iran—and humors Adam by letting him ask her questions about one of his favorite docs, 1977 Oscar-winner "Harlan County, USA." Plus, Kopple plays along with The Filmspotting 5. Also on the show: Adam and Josh kick off their Overlooked Auteurs Marathon with films from Ida Lupino and experimental director Maya Deren. 0:00 - Billboard 0:56 - Interview: Barbara Kopple ("Desert One") Land of Talk, "Footnotes" 27:56 - Next Week/Notes 45:20 - Polls: August Releases, Charlie Kaufman 51:24 - Overlooked Auteurs #1: "Meshes of the Afternoon" / "At Land" / "Ritual in Transfigured Time" + "The Hitch-Hiker" 1:26:31 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
While the world waits for the release of blockbusters like "Tenet" and "Mulan," smaller films continue to appear on the regular and on a variety of platforms. This week, Adam and Josh recommend a few of them: Amy Seimetz's SHE DIES TOMORROW, Beyoncé's BLACK IS KING, Kris Rey's I USED TO GO HERE and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner BOYS STATE. 0:00 - Billboard 1:05 - Review: "She Dies Tomorrow" 29:22 - "She Dies Tomorrow" Spoilers Beyoncé, "BLACK PARADE" 37:48 - Next Week/Notes 49:33 - Massacre Theatre 57:25 - "I Used To Go Here," "Boys State," "Black Is King" 1:15:30 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Back in 2017, Christopher Nolan's DUNKIRK made both Adam and Josh's Top 10 of the year. (It was Josh's #1.) For this revisit - the final film in their Nolan "Oeuvre-view" - they praise the film's masterful technique and the way it offers a distillation of the director's obsessions—with time, professionalism, guilt and redemption. Plus, their Nolan Awards - "The Polaroids" - with Adam and Josh naming their favorite performances, scenes and 'Nolan moments' from the retrospective including their final rankings of Nolan's filmography. (edited)  0:00 - Billboard 1:14 - Nolan #8: "Dunkirk" Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, "Dreamsicle" 41:25 - Next Week/Notes / Poll 50:01 - Nolan "Oeuvre-view" Awards 1:33:14 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Kelly Reichardt's FIRST COW opened in limited release in March—and less than two weeks later the COVID-19 pandemic shut theaters down. The film, which Adam and Josh both named the #1 movie of the year back in June, finally arrived on demand earlier this month. In their conversation with Reichardt, Adam and Josh ask the director about her relationship with nature (she's "not a camper") and about her choice to shoot in a 4:3 aspect ratio ("the most flattering ratio for closeups"). 0:00 - Billboard 1:08 - Interview: Kelly Reichardt Angelica Garcia, "It Don't Hinder Me" 24:01 - Next Week/Notes 27:30 - Massacre Theatre 32:38 - Review: "First Cow" (from March 2020) 58:54 - Outro Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Christopher Nolan's INTERSTELLAR, Matthew McConaughey's Cooper battles the forces of quantum physics (and regular old physics) to save humanity. In the new existential romantic comedy PALM SPRINGS, Andy Samberg and Chritin Milioti have to navigate some quantum physics themselves (the Groundhog Day variety)—to save themselves and find some meaning in existence. Reviews of both films, plus Josh's recommendation of the new horror film RELIC. 0:00 - Billboard 1:07 - Nolan #7: "Interstellar" The Beths, "Don't Go Away" 44:53 - Polls 53:58 - Notes 59:44 - Josh recommends "Relic" 1:04:13 - Review: "Palm Springs" 1:18:55 - Outro  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Jun 9th
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G.A. Brown Jr.

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Dec 29th
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Joe Ayers

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Jul 5th
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Victoria Bert

As a reviewer you could you try to be neutral and not slam a movie before you even see it.... Rocketman is a honest moving effort to entertain and provoke. I hope you’ve see it .. because it’s far batter than the trailer indicates.

Jun 14th
Reply

R J

I would have thought Jessica rabbit, Gillian Anderson , Karen Gillan (Dr Who), Black Widow (Avengers), carice van Houten( game of thrones) would get honory mentions. Lastly the girl in 5th Element.

Apr 30th
Reply

R J

Very hard choice of crackpots. Doc Brown is the most obvious choice. Willy Wonka a good choice. But my other choice might be more Mad scientist eg. Dr Strangelove, The guy in rocky horror show . Most of the James bond villains. Lex Luther, people thought Noah was crazy. Most of Jim carreys characters. John Goodman in cool runnings.

Apr 30th
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Ralph Hunter

you hi jo hop

Jan 23rd
Reply

Victoria Bert

What kinda guy doesn’t like the Terminator.

Nov 3rd
Reply

Fuck Fuckery

I liked it

Oct 8th
Reply

Mintymoo

annoying when the female guest refers to everything as "uncomfortable". the virtue signaling is staggering.

Sep 20th
Reply

stephen carter

On 'Sorry to Bother You', as a "black" man for a change I'd like a "white" critic to have the balls to JUST SAY (when it's a so so film by "black" folks) that the film was second tier, mediocre or plain childish. Who are you to be patronizing? Nauseatingly so! Are you trying to see yourselves as Aryans (in the Hindu sense)? Stop playing the ROLE as the enlightened Brahmin. Just be honest and review the damned film.

Jul 29th
Reply (4)

Victoria Bert

Can you take anyone seriously who likes the prequels...I just can not.

Apr 26th
Reply

stephen carter

When did the 52yr old Viola Davis become "the Great Viola Davis", and why? I can't imagine the 53yr old Sandra Bullock being described as the "the Great Sandra Bullock" even though Bullock is a better actress, more beautiful and has a more established body of work. I don't think I've ever heard the 71yr old Charlotte Rampling referred to as "the Great Charlotte Rampling. What a nauseatingly patronizing discription.

Jan 26th
Reply (2)
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