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Filmspotting

Author: Filmspotting

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Weekly film podcast and WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews. Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen.

412 Episodes
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Paul Thomas Anderson followed up his breakout hit "Boogie Nights" with 1999’s MAGNOLIA, a 3+-hour ensemble film featuring a treatise on coincidence and frogs falling from the sky. It was nominated for three Oscars, but in the 20 years since, it has earned a reputation in some quarters as messy, melodramatic and overlong (an opinion that PTA himself appears to share). This week on the show, Adam and Josh are much more forgiving of Anderson's ambitious third film when they revisit it for its 20th anniversary, part of the 9 From '99 series.Also on the show, a review of Taika Waititi's JOJO RABBIT and Adam's thoughts on David Michôd's THE KING and THE REPORT with Adam Driver. Plus, the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon Awards.0:00 - Billboard1:08 - 9 From '99 Review: "Magnolia"Aimee Mann, "Save Me"42:19 - Next Week/Notes48:21 - Massacre Theatre54:42 - Adam on "The Report"59:52 - Review: "Jojo Rabbit"1:08:19 - Adam recommends "The King"1:13:20 - Chinese Cinema Marathon Awards1:36:26 - Outro   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A new film from Martin Scorsese is always an event, but THE IRISHMAN is one that, for many, won’t happen at a movie theatre. After a short theatrical run in select cities, Scorsese's latest - which reunites the director with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, and adds Al Pacino to the mix - will show up on Netflix. Adam and Josh, fresh from their own theatrical screening, consider the film in the context of Scorsese's work, specifically his career-spanning gangster movies. Plus, a review of Jia Zhangke's ASH IS PUREST WHITE (2019), the fourth and final film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon.0:00 - Billboard1:09 - Review: "The Irishman"Steve Earle, "The Last Gunfighter Ballad"32:52 - Donations35:36 - Next Week / Notes41:27 - Polls [Scorsese / Hanks]53:48 - Chinese Cinema #4: "Ash Is Purest White"1:15:15 - OutroLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 2014, director Robert Eggers brought 17th century Puritan New England to frighteningly vivid life in THE WITCH. For his follow-up - THE LIGHTHOUSE - Eggers skips ahead to the late 19th century and the results are no less unnerving. Adam and Josh debate the effectiveness of Eggers' formal gambits - black and white photography, immersive sound design, boxy aspect ratio - and the all-in performances from stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. Plus, the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon continues with 2017's OUR TIME WILL COME, a historical drama set in WWII-era Hong Kong. 0:00 - Billboard1:19 - Review: "The Lighthouse"30:45 - “Lighthouse” SpoilersJamie Drake, "When The Tide Comes In"37:41 - Next Week/Notes44:02 - Massacre Theatre50:40 - Chinese Cinema #3: "Our Time Will Come"1:12:27 - Outro / OuttakeLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Steering clear of plot details for one of the most praised films of the year is no easy task, but Adam and Josh managed to pull it off ahead of their screening of Bong Joon-ho's PARASITE. The subject of rave reviews since its Palme d'Or-winning debut at the Cannes Film Festival back in May, Bong's film tackles class warfare as only Bong can – with social commentary mixing freely with black comedy and even a little horror.That review and the second film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon, 2014's THE MIDNIGHT AFTER from Hong Kong's Fruit Chan.0:00 - Billboard1:42 - Review: "Parasite"King Grizzard and the Lizard Wizard, "Mars for the Rich"31:35 - Josh recs: "Pain and Glory"35:20 - Next week / Notes39:28 - Polls [Movie Mentors / Favorite Scorsese]49:52 - Chinese Marathon #2: "The Midnight After"1:15:22 - Outro / CreditsLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Back in '99, the trailers and movie posters for AMERICAN BEAUTY implored us to "look closer." For their 9 From '99 review, Adam and Josh give the divisive Best Picture winner the closer look it asked for, but they don't always like what they see. Is the movie hypocritical and mean-spirited? Is it merely an overwrought sitcom? Or is it redeemed by its sincerity and the strength of its supporting cast?Also on the show, Adam's conversation with Godfrey Cheshire, author of the new book "Conversations with Kiarostami." Cheshire's book is a companion to a 25-film Abbas Kiarostami retrospective currently touring the U.S.And the first film in the Contemporary Chinese Cinema Marathon, 2010's LET THE BULLETS FLY, a furiously paced action comedy directed by Jiang Wen.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Between its late-August premiere at the Venice Film Festival (where it won the festival's top prize) and its release in theaters here in the States, Todd Phillips' JOKER has provoked every possible response, with some calling it among the best films of the year and others calling it the absolute worst – not to mention the much-discussed fears that the movie was "dangerous." No surprise then that when Adam and Josh finally got around to seeing it, they split – not just on the film itself, but on everything from the film's score to star Joaquin Phoenix's take on the iconic villain.That review, plus listeners weigh in on their favorite Phoenix performances and a preview of the upcoming Chicago International Film Festival.0:00 - Billboard1:00 - Review: "Joker"Dehd, "Pushing the Crowd"36:13 - Next week / Notes42:00 - Polls (J. Phoenix Performances / 2010s Movie Mentors)50:43 - Preview: Chicago International Film Festival1:03:07 - CloseLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
It's always good news when an acclaimed director announces a new project, but it's somehow especially thrilling when that project is set in space. We started 2019 with two highly anticipated space missions: Claire Denis' HIGH LIFE with Robert Pattison (reviewed back on ep. 724) and James Gray's AD ASTRA, which has Brad Pitt traveling across the solar system to locate his missing father - and save the planet. In their review, Adam calls it the best film of the year, while Josh calls it "the most visually arresting session of talk therapy you can imagine." That's good... right?Also on the show, a celebration of Chicago theater with the Top 5 Steppenwolf Member Movie Performances. 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of the founding of the venerable Chicago company, whose ensemble boasts the likes of John Malkovich, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Sinise and Joan Allen, among many others. Also inspiring the Top 5 is a newly published oral history of Chicago theater - Ensemble - by Chicago writer Mark Larson.0:00 - Billboard1:17 - Review: "Ad Astra"Greg Felden, "Take You Back Home"27:20 - Next week / Notes36:11 - Massacre Theatre41:26 - Donations42:45 - Top 5: Steppenwolf Member Performances1:27:35 - CloseLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
50 years after Judy Garland's death at the tragically young age of 47, the movie musical legend is largely remembered for one iconic film role - Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. But Garland appeared in - and often starred in - nearly 40 films in her 30-year career; a career Adam and Josh attempt to come to terms with - along with the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips - for their Top 5 Judy Garland Moments.Plus, Adam and Michael spend a few minutes on HUSTLERS starring Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. And listeners weigh in with their picks for the directors who need to follow in the footsteps of High Life's Claire Denis and Ad Astra's James Gray and make their own space movie.0:00 - Billboard1:18 - Top 5: Judy Garland MomentsJudy Garland, "Americana"35:21 - Review: "Hustlers"43:34 - Next Week / Notes55:52 - Polls [Space Movies / Joaquin Phoenix]1:06:39 - Top 5 Judy Garland Moments, cont.1:46:29 - CloseLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Back in 1999, it was hard to watch EYES WIDE SHUT without thinking about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman as a real-life married couple participating in some sadistic form of therapy. Twenty years later, it's maybe still a little distracting, but it's easier to see the pair's performances in the greater contexts of their respective careers – and, in particular, how effective the casting of the cocky, entitled Cruise is as Dr. Bill Harford, a man who sees his confidence reduced to rubble by the end of the film. For their 9 From '99 review of Kubrick's final, controversial masterpiece, Adam and Josh talk about the brilliance of Kidman's few, powerful scenes, and the film's subtle formal brilliance. And how about that orgy scene, huh?Plus, Adam finally gets to share his Top 5 Kubrick Scenes six years after a late-breaking case of dysphonia kept him from joining Josh and Michael Phillips for their Kubrick picks (back on episode #459).0:00 - Billboard1:17 - 9 From '99: "Eyes Wide Shut"Chris Isaak, "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing"54:36 - Next Week / Notes1:05:30 - Massacre Theatre1:12:11 - Donations1:13:56 - Top 5 Kubrick Scenes1:33:42 - Close  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Adam and Josh left 2017's blockbuster IT at least mildly curious for more, but is the sequel film's almost three-hour running time and the addition of A-listers like Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy and Bill Hader enough to satisfy that curiosity? This week, Filmspotting returns to Derry and to director Andy Muschietti's epic - or at least epic in length - IT CHAPTER TWO. Plus, the Fall Movie Preview in the form of Adam and Josh's Top 5 Questions About the Fall Movie Season.    0:00 - Billboard1:21 - Review: "It: Chapter 2"Bleached, "Hard to Kill"22:38 - Next Week / Notes30:02 - Polls [TIFF / Unlikely Space Movies]40:06 - Fall Movie Preview1:21:09 - Close / OuttakeLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (8)

Joe Ayers

. .m. kikckd gvmc n mnew mm m ll m

Jul 5th
Reply

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
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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
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

Ben Murphy

get off the pretentious bandwagon. tedious boring unthrilling "thriller".

Sep 10th
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