- 5 reasons you should watch Tamara Jenkins' "Private Life"
- Yes, "Halloween" is about a virgin, but not the way you think it is
- The Filmspotting Q&A: Why has the Cassavetes Marathon been delayed for 10 years?
- Sam's new dog
- New on DVD and streaming
- Movie Passes: A Private War
A little help navigating your Netflix homepage this week: direct your search bar to new films from Tamara Jenkins (Private Life with Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti) and Golden Brick-winner Jeremy Saulnier (Hold the Dark with Jeffrey Wright and Alexander Skarsgård). Reviews of both films coming on Friday's show.
5 Reasons to Watch PRIVATE LIFE
by Sam Van Hallgren, Filmspotting Producer
1. It's been 11 years since Jenkins' last film.
2. Maybe you knew that Kathryn Hahn was a great comedic actor. But did you know that she is one of the best actors period?
2.5 (Paul Giamatti is no slouch either.)
3. The joy of watching a young actor you've never seen before totally kill it in a really tricky part. (Welcome to the bigs, Kayli Carter.)
4. Cinematographer Christos Voudouris. For an intimate story that uses only a couple of locations, this guy puts on a clinic.
5. You wish there were more movies like Woody Allen used to make in the '80s that were funny and sad and smart and brilliantly acted.
Last week: In 2007, Josh called HALLOWEEN "woefully overrated." In 2005, Adam called it "a masterpiece." Well, now it's 2018 and... they were both wrong? Or maybe they're finally both right. For their Sacred Cow review of the John Carpenter horror classic, they were totally in sync on Laurie Strode's Michael Myers problem. That review, plus thoughts on David Gordon Green's Carpenter-approved new sequel. Listen here. Partial transcript here.
Plans are still kind of up in their air for this one, but it's looking like we'll have a review of Jonah Hill's directing debut MID90s along with some kind of '90s-themed Top 5. Maybe '90s Scenes? Or '90s Movie Cliches? Basically '90s-set scenes that best capture the looks, the sounds, the themes and the concerns of that decade. Got a pick or a better suggestion? Send feedback or audio file to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail: 312-264-0744.
THE FILMSPOTTING Q & A: ASK ADAM
Rex Basior (@rexbasior) I've always been curious about the order of recording. Like are the segments and tags all out of order? Does it depend on the week?
Adam Rex, the vast majority of the time we record show segments in the order you hear them, though we always save any sponsor reads and donations for the very end. There are exceptions, however. For the “First Man” show, we were taping the same night we saw the movie, so we recorded everything we could prior to the screening, watched the movie, then returned to the studio to tape the first segment/review. When we did the "Lawrence of Arabia” Sacred Cow show, there were 8-10 students from a college class observing. Rather than start with the review, I suggested we knock out segment two, which is basically just us riffing and having fun talking about future episodes, poll questions, Massacre Theatre, etc. With an audience watching, I wanted to ‘loosen up’ a bit before diving into the discussion of “Lawrence,” as I’m always the most tense about the review.
Jared Meddy (@jaredmeddy) Why has the Cassavetes Marathon been on hold for about 10 years?
[Editor's note: more like 12 years.]
Adam: Because reasons? I wish I had a definitive answer for you, Jared. In a recent newsletter, we shared "The Life and Death of a Top 5," and, well, I dug through our internal emails over the years to offer up this: "The Lives and (a Few of the) Deaths of the Cassavetes Marathon." Spoiler alert: blame Sam and Josh.
Jan. 9, 2012, 12:00 pm Adam: Check out the page on the site. You'll see the ones we've done and the ones we have listed as future options. The goal is to fill in blind spots in our film education. Before Matty’s departure, listeners actually voted for Blaxploitation as the next Marathon... but Cassavetes has also been in the mix for a while. I could see us starting the next one in February sometime, so look it over and give me your thoughts.
Jan. 9, 2012, 2:05 pm Josh: I would LOVE to do a Blaxploitation marathon. Perhaps in the last quarter, in anticipation of Django Unchained? From the proposed list, Satyajit Ray is a weak spot of mine I'd like the opportunity to correct.
In August, a few months before we do indeed embark on the Blaxploitation Marathon, I start a conversation with the subject line “Earrings of Madame de.” Why? I can’t remember.
Aug. 12, 2012, 11:27 pm Adam: Better add ophuls to future marathons list.
Aug. 13, 2012, 6:52 am Sam: Great idea.
Aug. 13, 2012, 7:32 am Josh: Definitely. Completely unseen by me.
Aug. 13, 2012, 9:32 am Adam: I'm thinking… Blaxploitation, Marx Brothers, Ophuls. We/listeners deserve two 'easy' ones after Bresson and Iran.
Aug. 5, 2013, 10:23 am Adam: ...thoughts on the next Marathon or two? Assayas is off... Chinese still an option... I'm still really interested in Cassavetes. Elaine May could be a nice, short 4-film marathon. Bilge Ceylan is a priority for me, too. Also fairly short as he only has 6 movies and we've seen Anatolia and I think two others aren't really available. I've also got some sizable Cronenberg blind spots.
Aug. 5, 2013, 7:23 pm Josh: As for next marathon, preference would be May, but I'm deficient in Cassavetes, so I'd be fine with that.
Aug. 7, 2013, 10:53 am Josh: This may have already been mentioned at some point, but Ishtar also just came out on Blu-ray if we want an Elaine May hook.
Aug. 17, 2013, 2:50 pm Adam: Which interests you more for our third and final 2014 Marathon... after May and Cassavetes (anyone take issue with that?):
Option D: I've got a better idea
Aug. 17, 2013, 3:30 pm Sam: What about something more in the classic vein as May and Cassavetes are more or less contemporaries? Like Satyajit Ray?
Aug. 17, 2013, 3:31 pm Adam: Interested. More than Greenaway, less than Kaurismaki or especially To.
(Ed. note: Kaurismaki is great, but being more interested in his work than Ray hasn’t aged well.)
Aug. 17, 2013, 3:33 pm Sam: But which is the more significant blindspot?
Aug. 17, 2013, 3:34 pm Adam: You know the answer.
Aug. 17, 2013, 8:41 pm Josh: Satyajit Ray would be my choice. If we look at these as ways to bolster our film education, he's a more fundamental figure than all the others. And I like Sam's point about going back further in time.
Watching: It's been a while since I've had a chance to watch anything that wasn't part of my weekly Filmspotting 'to do' list. But randomly, about a week ago, I was working on some show stuff/going through email with the TV on and landed on the "Veronica Mars" movie as it was just starting. (I never saw the TV series.) The extent of my review is: Veronica is a compelling character, played with ample spunk and wit by Kristen Bell and I was hooked enough to watch the whole thing to find out who did it. I'm a sucker for a murder mystery, what can I say?
Reading: I feel personally attacked by this question. The last book I read was “Astroball: The New Way to Win It All,” by Ben Reiter. That was the first week of August and I only pulled it off because I spent a few days on a lake in Wisconsin with the family and it rained one day. That said, I have been making my way through the audiobook of William Knoedelseder’s chronicle of the late ‘70s L.A. comedy scene, “I’m Dying Up Here.”
Have you got a question for Adam, Josh, Sam? Send it to email@example.com and we may use it for a future installment of the Q&A. Next week, Josh answers this question from listener Jeff Milo:
Which filmmaker challenged you as a viewer, but also as a reviewer/analyst? Someone that expanded your perspective or just gave you new ways at looking at film? Not a favorite per se.
FILE UNDER: Places and Dog Faces
Producer Sam here. My family has been in negotiations about getting a dog for years. In fact, my wife and I were discussing dog names before we even had kids. (Back then, we had settled on "Johnny Paycheck" for no reason other than it was amusing and of course all that money on dog food and vet visits and bandanas.) But then we had kids, three of them, and the dog idea was put on the back burner. The middle kid, now 7, has been making a hard press for a dog for the past year or so. There has been more than one persuasive essay outlining the benefits of adding a dog to the family and many promises of how much she would help walk and feed and pet a dog, and how the dog could sleep on her bed. Things kicked up a notch maybe eight months ago when my wife started making it her pre-bed ritual to scour Petfinder (aka Dog Tinder) for some mythic, perfect canine companion. Well, then it happened. A date was set to meet up with a lab mix nicknamed "Mama" who had been rescued from a Texas kill shelter and sent up north to Wisconsin. Before visiting her, I posted this Twitter poll:
Well, we met her. And she was kinda perfect. On the small side (so the 10 and 7 year-olds could walk her), affectionate with the kids, and what are you gonna do, drive 90 minutes to meet a dog that's been rescued from a kill shelter and not get her?
So we arranged to pick her up a few days later. And in the meantime, we got her dog tags printed up. I sent this to Adam and Josh:
Yes, that's my attempt to copy Agnes Varda's signature using an online draw tool. Dogs make you do dumb things.
She's been with us almost a week now and ok fine she's great. She really seemed to enjoy snuggling up on the couch and watching "Frozen" with me and my 4-year-old the other night and didn't even mind when we sang the "Love is an Open Door" duet together.
Before I go, I had to share these notes from some longtime Filmspotting listeners who heard about the dog on last week's show and wanted to take a shot at guessing her name:
Ken Linck in Flagstaff, AZ:
In regards to Sam's new dog...is it a German Shepherd? Is it also named Sam? Is it a Sam Shepherd? It's a Sam Shepherd, isn't it?
Is it Furner Herzdog?
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