Filmspotting

Filmspotting

United States

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

Episodes

#645: The Trip to Spain / Safdie Bros. (Good Time) / The Glass Castle  

Adam reveres the Coogan/Brydon "Trip" movies. Josh? Hadn't seen them. Until now. With Josh finally up to speed on Caine, Pacino, Connery and sixteen other* impersonations (along with Coogan and Brydon's career anguish and existential dread) - he and Adam review the third installment, THE TRIP TO SPAIN. Plus, Adam's interview with Josh and Benny Safdie, directors of the Robert Pattinson-starring GOOD TIME, and Josh's thoughts on WHOSE STREETS? and the new memoir-turned-movie THE GLASS CASTLE. Oh, and the return of "Hot Mics!"

0:00-1:53 - Billboard
1:53-31:37 - Review: "The Trip to Spain"
John Mark Nelson, "Little Notions"
35:10-54:07 - "Whose Streets?" / Notes / Polls
54:07-59:35  - "The Glass Castle"
John Mark Nelson, "Where Does That Leave Us Now"
1:00:21-1:09:38 - Donations
1:09:38-1:38:57 - Interview: Safdie Bros.
1:38:57-1:51:34 - Close / Hot Mics

*See Charles Bramesco's "Ranking All the Impressions in The Trip Trilogy" on Vulture.

New Argentine Cinema #1 - Extraordinary Stories  

Adam and Josh kick off their New Argentine Cinema Marathon with Mariano Llinas's epic and intricately plotted 2008 film that's as much about storytelling as it is an achievement in storytelling itself. At over four hours and featuring dozens of characters, Llinas maintains incredible control over his unwieldy beast of a movie.

This episode is presented by MUBI.

FS Revisited: Reservoir Dogs / Top 5 Films of 1992  

When RESERVOIR DOGS came out 25 years ago, Adam and Josh were movie geek teenagers. They were bound by their DNA to love it. But Does Quentin Tarantino’s debut still hold up? In this 2015 episode of the show, they reacquaint themselves with Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink and the rest of the gang for a Sacred Cow review of DOGS, plus share their Top 5 Films of 1992.

0:00-1:32 - Billboard
1:32-40:58 - Sacred Cow: "Reservoir Dogs"
Sandy Rogers, "Fool for Love"
41:47-1:17:42 - Top 5: Films of 1992
1:17:42-1:19:00 - Close

#644: Detroit / Top 5 of 1967  

In "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty," Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow explored the complexities of post-9/11 warfare. For her latest - DETROIT - Bigelow stays stateside but finds herself in another war zone. Looking back five decades to summer of 1967, Bigelow's film documents the racial tensions and police violence that exploded into the Detroit riots. A review of DETROIT, plus news on a new Filmspotting Marathon and Adam and Josh share their Top 5 Films of the landmark film year of '67.

0:00-1:23 - Billboard
1:23-30:27 - Review: "Detroit"
Simon & Garfunkle "Mrs. Robinson"
33:01-53:33 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
53:33-58:58 - Donations
58:58-1:36:23 - Top 5 of 1967
1:36:23-1:39:11 - Close / Outtake

#643: Valerian / Top 5 Alien Worlds  

You might be able to figure out your tolerance for the new VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS by the title alone. Got a soft spot for Flash Gordon and hallucinogenic drugs? This one might be for you. Directed by Luc Besson, the ambitious French filmmaker behind "The Fifth Element" and 2014's "Lucy," VALERIAN is the most expensive film ever made in France. The good news: the money is up there on the screen for all to see (for better and for worse). Don't know about hallucinogenic drugs, but one of your Filmspotting hosts does have a fondness for Flash Gordon, and finds enough in Valerian to recommend it. The other one is Josh. Flash, Ming the Merciless and the Planet Mongo also make their way into this week's Top 5: Alien Worlds. Cue Queen.

0:00-1:48 - Billboard
1:48-29:20 - Review: "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets"
B-52s, "Planet Claire"
32:31-35:25 - Donations
35:25-46:18 - Notes / Polls
46:18-1:20:28 - Top 5: Alien Worlds
1:20:28-1:24:52 - Close

#642: Dunkirk / Top 5 Films of 2017 (So Far) / War For The Planet of the Apes  

Christopher Nolan films are many things, but they are rarely straightforward (or short). So DUNKIRK - based on the legendary WWII rescue effort - comes as something of a surprise. Coming in at a tidy hour 49 minutes (an hour shorter than 2014’s Interstellar), Nolan's latest is a lean, old-fashioned war picture. Still vibrating from Hans Zimmer's score, Adam and Josh share their post-screening thoughts on the film and (live from a small town Wisconsin bookstore) reveal their Top 5 Films of 2017 (So Far). Plus Josh's take on WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and we note the passing of George Romero and Martin Landau.

0:00-2:03 - Billboard
2:03-47:54 - Top 5: Films of 2017 (So Far)
Pieta Brown, "Stopped My Horse"
51:22-1:08:24 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
1:08:24-1:16:52 - Josh Recommends: "War for the Planet of the Apes"
Pieta Brown, "Once Again"
1:17:52-1:39:44 - Review: "Dunkirk"
1:39:44-1:43:16 - Close / Outtake 






#641: Spider-Man: Homecoming / Baby Driver / A Ghost Story  

Spidey’s back. Again. After suffering through a disappointing reboot in 2012 (and its 2014 sequel), the webslinger returns - this time under the guidance of Tony Stark. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING finds Peter Parker in his natural habitat: high school - mostly to its benefit. Adam and Josh offer their review, plus some contrarian thoughts on Edgar Wright's BABY DRIVER and raves for David Lowery’s Sundance hit A GHOST STORY.

0:00-4:30 - Billboard / Donations
4:30-31:17 - Review: "A Ghost Story"
John Spencer Blues Explosion, "Bellbottoms"
34:07-58:30 - Notes / Polls
58:30-1:12:33 - Review: "Baby Driver"
Queen, "Brighton Rock"
1:15:51-1:31:53 - Review: "Spider-Man: Homecoming"
1:31:53-1:35:10 - Close

#640: The Beguiled / Top 5 Sofia Coppola Scenes  

Almost 15 years after its release, "Lost in Translation" remains Sofia Coppola’s best-known and best-loved film. But with the four films she's made since then, she's compiled one of the most distinctive filmographies of the 21st century. THE BEGUILED is a very Coppola remake of the 1971 Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood collaboration set during the Civil War at a Virginia girls' school. It stars Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell and Coppola regular Kirsten Dunst, and it won Coppola the Best Directing Prize at Cannes back in May. This week, Coppola skeptic Angelica Jade Bastien (Vulture) joins Josh for a review of the film along with their Top 5 Sofia Coppola Scenes.

0:00-1:25 - Billboard
1:25-28:25 - Review: "The Beguiled"
Siouxsie & The Banshees, "Hong Kong Garden"
29:30-38:46 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
38:46-1:07:41 - Top 5: Sofia Coppola Scenes
1:07:41-1:11:13- Close / Outtake

Kumail Nanjiani ("The Big Sick")  

Kumail Nanjiani may be a familiar face to fans of HBO’s "Silicon Valley" or "Portlandia," but the very funny and surprisingly moving THE BIG SICK should make him a familiar face to many more. The film - co-written with Nanjiani's wife Emily V. Gordon - tells the story of their unusual courtship, which, along with family tensions and cultural differences, also included a life-threatening illness that struck Gordon while the two were dating. 

Nanjiani talks about the art of co-writing a screenplay with your spouse (spoiler: it helps to have Judd Apatow mentor you), the most difficult scene he's ever had to shoot, and he shares his Top 5 Most Influential Movies. Plus, he and Adam chat about their college days - that they nearly spent together and answers the Filmspotting Five.

Ana Lily Amirpour ("The Bad Batch")  

Ana Lily Amirpour got lots of attention for her 2014 Iran-set vampire movie "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night." She's back this year with "The Bad Batch," a Sergio Leone-inspired western with cannibals and a double-amputee for a protagonist (Suki Waterhouse). The new movie features a cast that includes Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves and Jason Momoa. Adam and Amirpour talk the relativity of badness, the consequences of seeing inappropriate movies at an early age and their favorite Keanu performances.

#639: It Comes At Night / Top 5 Movies About Grief  

Writer/director Trey Edward Shults knocked a lot of us out last year with his indie debut KRISHA. This year, he comes to the multiplex with IT COMES AT NIGHT, an unnerving - and unconventional - horror film that has impressed critics and frustrated some audiences. Shults’ film is as much about loss as it is about scares, so along with a review of his film, Adam and guest host Michael Phillips share their Top 5 Movies About Grief. Plus thoughts on the late Glenne Headley and Adam's recommendation of the Sundance hit "Band Aid."

0:00-3:57 - Billboard
3:57-31:42 - Review: "It Comes At Night"
Angelica Garcia, "The Devil Can Get In"
34:12-40:18 - Adam Recommends: "Band Aid"
40:18-52:27 - Polls
Angelica Garcia, "Orange Flower"
54:30-56:33 - Donations
56:33-1:41:45 - Top 5: Movie About Grief
1:41:45-1:46:31- Close 

#638: Wonder Woman / Top 5 Movie Religious Experiences / Trey Shults  

As the first superhero movie directed by and starring a woman, WONDER WOMAN went into its opening weekend with more baggage than its male-centric peers. It came out of the weekend with critical raves and record box office - and at least one member of the Larsen household practicing Diana-inspired high-kicks. On this week's show, Adam and Josh - bound by the Lasso of Hestia - share their takes, then confess their Top 5 Movie Religious Experiences. Plus, Adam's conversation with "Krisha" director Trey Shults, whose new film "It Comes At Night" opens this weekend.

0:00-1:56 - Billboard
1:56-31:17 - Review: "Wonder Woman"
Secret Sisters, "You Don't Own Me Anymore"
34:06-46:43 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
46:43-1:14:27 - Interview: Trey Shults
Secret Sisters, "Tennessee River Runs Deep"
1:17:36-2:03:20 - Top 5: Movie Religious Experiences
2:03:20-2:05:55 - Close

#637: War Machine / Top 5 Movie Military Leaders  

Inspired by Gen. Stanley McChrystal's dramatic fall from grace in 2010 following an unflattering Rolling Stone profile, the new WAR MACHINE from Netflix puts a scowling Brad Pitt in McChrystal's boots for its Afghanistan-set satire. Despite an impressive ensemble cast, Adam and Josh agree that the film has a challenging time finding the right tone. But they also agree that a trio of actors best known for iconic work in the '80s make the most of their screen time. That review, plus the Top 5 Movie Military Leaders.

0:00-2:42 - Billboard
2:42-28:15 - Review: "War Machine"
Black Sabbath, "War Pigs"
30:42-46:42 - Cannes / Notes
46:42-55:57 - Polls
Malcolm Arnold, "Bogey's March"
58:33-1:00:36 - Donations
1:00:36-1:40:07 - Top 5: Movie Military Leaders
1:40:07-1:44:02 - Close     

#636: Top 5 Films of 1984 / The Terminator  

1984 was a banner year for crane kicks, mogwais and bustin' ghosts, but it also saw the debut of Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800, better known as THE TERMINATOR. Adam and Josh give James Cameron's seminal sci-fi thriller the Sacred Cow treatment, resulting in a surprisingly heated review. Plus, the Top 5 Films of 1984.

0:00-1:35 - Billboard
2:21-35:28 - Sacred Cow: "The Terminator"
The Ramones, "Too Tough To Die"
37:07-55:28 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
55:28-1:01:43 - Listener Feedback
Kenny Loggins, "Footloose"
1:02:21-1:04:58 - Donations
1:04:58-1:42:21 - Top 5 Films of 1984
1:42:21-1:44:43 - Close  

#635: Alien: Covenant / Top 5 Alien Attacks  

Anticipation was high back in 2012 when director Ridley Scott returned to the "Alien" franchise with “Prometheus.” Despite a somewhat mixed response from audiences and critics, the 79-year-old Scott finds himself back aboard a doomed spacecraft with ALIEN: COVENANT. The return of the xenomorphs to the big screen is also the inspiration for this week’s Top 5: Alien Attacks. 

0:00-2:28 - Billboard
2:28-33:12 - Review: "Alien: Covenant"
Deep Purple, "Space Truckin'"
36:29-59:17 - Notes
59:17-1:07:29 - Polls
Ella Fitzgerald, "Two Little Green Men In a Flying Saucer"
1:11:43-1:47:03 - Top 5: Alien Attacks
1:47:03-1:49:42 - Close 

#634: Top 5 Jonathan Demme Moments / Something Wild  

When the great Jonathan Demme passed away in April, he left behind one of the most acclaimed and diverse filmographies in American cinema. Demme will always be remembered for the Oscar-winning "Silence of the Lambs," but his 1986 cult road trip comedy SOMETHING WILD may be an even better representative of what made him so special. This week, Adam and Josh catch up with that Demme blindspot and – with a little help from some friends – share their Top 5 Jonathan Demme Moments.
   
0:00-4:42 - Billboard
4:42-32:23 - Blindspotting: "Something Wild"
David Byrne, "Loco de Amor"
34:06-53:41 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
Talking Heads, "Once in a Lifetime"
54:32-1:39:10 - Top 5: Demme Moments
1:39:10-1:42:12 - Close 

Varda Marathon #6: The Beaches of Agnes / "The Cleos"  

Adam and Josh wrap up their Agnes Varda Marathon with a conversation about the director's cinema- and life-affirming 2008 memoir THE BEACHES OF AGNES, followed by "The Cleos" - their awards for the series' best performances, scenes, picture and more.

0:00-17:23 - Review: "The Beaches of Agnes"
17:23-38:07 - The Cleos

#633: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Summer Movie Preview  

Summer used to have a monopoly on superheroes, fast cars and stuff you bring your kids to, but "Beauty and the Beast," "Fate of the Furious" and "Logan" have already come and made their millions. So what do we have to look forward to when we need to escape the heat? Well, first up, it's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2. Adam and Josh review the James Gunn-directed sequel, and preview their most anticipated movies of the season with their Top 5 Summer Movie Questions.

0:00-2:01 - Billboard
2:01-26:37 - Review: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"
Sam Cooke, "Bring It On Home To Me"
28:06-41:07 - Notes
41:07-50:22 - Polls
ELO, "Mr. Blue Sky"
47:08-1:24:51 - Summer Movie Preview
1:24:51-1:28:52 - Close









#632: Top 5 Movie Expeditions (We'd Sign Up For) / The Lost City of Z  

The movies have taken us on great adventures over the years, both real and imagined: through the deepest jungle, across perilous oceans, to distant planets - and beyond. But which of those cinematic adventures would you actually participate in if given the chance? This week, the Top 5 Movie Expeditions Adam and Josh would sign up for, along with their review of James Gray’s new movie adventure THE LOST CITY OF Z. Plus, Steve Prokopy drops by to preview the Chicago Critics Film Festival.

0:00-2:00 - Billboard
2:00-27:15 - Review: "The Lost City of Z"
Fionn Regan, "The Meetings of the Waters"
28:55-39:25 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
39:25-51:10 - Chicago Critics Film Fest
Fionn Regan, "Book of the Moon"
56:58-1:24:35 - Top 5: Movie Expeditions (We'd Sign Up For)
1:24:35-1:30:41 - Close / Outtake 

Varda Marathon #5: The Gleaners and I  

French New Wave pioneer Agnes Varda has long displayed a curiosity about people who live on society's fringes. In her 2000 doc "The Gleaners and I," the director focuses her camera on communities (and some memorably eccentric individuals) that belong to the French tradition of gathering up what's left behind after a harvest. Documenting the various gleaners, pickers and dumpster-divers becomes a meditation on the creative process itself as Varda becomes a subject of her own film.

On Filmspotting #632 (Friday, April 27): James Gray's THE LOST CITY OF Z and the Top 5 Movie Expeditions (We'd Sign Up For).

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