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


#608: Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women) / CIFF Roundup / Bunuel Marathon #2  

For certain film lovers, a new Kelly Reichardt film is an event. Spare and deliberately paced movies like WENDY AND LUCY and MEEK’S CUTOFF are treasured for their detail and observation - and for their focus on the lives of women. Reichardt’s latest - CERTAIN WOMEN - continues in that tradition, with a trio of loosely connected stories starring Laura Dern, Michelle Williams and Kristen Stewart. This week, a review of WOMEN, plus Adam's interview with Reichardt and the third film in the Luis Bunuel marathon - 1952's ROBINSON CRUSOE.

0:00-1:23 - Billboard
1:23-21:03 - Interview: Kelly Reichardt
21:03-35:39 - Review: "Certain Women"
Deap Vally "Smile More"
36:58-48:28 - Notes / Polls
48:28-1:08:35 - CIFF recap
Deap Vally "Teenage Queen"
1:09:41-1:15:42 - Donations
1:15:42-1:32:51 - Buñuel #2: "Robinson Crusoe"
1:32:51-1:47:15 - Close / Hot Mics

#607: Steve James  

Back in June, Chicago's Kartemquin Films invited Adam to host a live, career-spanning conversation with documentary filmmaker Steve James ("Hoop Dreams" "The Interrupters" "Life Itself" ). This excerpt from that talk covers the James early life growing up in Hampton, VA, and his films STEVIE (2002) and AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR (2008) and the James-produced PBS series about immigration THE NEW AMERICANS (2004).  

0:00-1:11 - Billboard
1:11-25:24 - Interview: Steve James
Shovels & Rope, "The Last Hawk"
26:22-28:23 - Notes
28:23-52:47 - Steve James, cont.
52:47-54:45 - Close

#606: The Birth of a Nation / Chicago Film Festival Preview  

Director Nate Parker came out of Sundance in January with an award-winning debut film and talk of being an Oscar front-runner. Things got more complicated over the summer when revelations about Parker’s past turned attention away from the film and onto him. Parker’s film THE BIRTH OF A NATION, about Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion, opens this weekend. Adam and Josh have a review. Plus, their most anticipated titles playing this year's Chicago International Film Festival (Oct 13-27).

0:00-1:15 - Billboard
1:15-30:40 - Review: "Birth of a Nation"
Chance the Rapper, "How Great"
31:53-44:22 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
44:22-47:12 - Top 5: CIFF Preview
Chance the Rapper, "Blessings"
48:12-55:51 - Donations
55:51-1:24:02 - Top 5: CIFF Preview, cont.
1:24:02-1:27:31 - Close / Outtake

#605: Top 5 Denzel Performances w/ W. Kamau Bell / The Magnificent Seven / Bunuel Marathon #1  

Denzel Washington has been nominated for an Oscar in every decade since the ‘80s. He’s been a consistently bankable star for just about that long, too. And yet, do we still take Denzel for granted? With Washington’s THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN remake currently in theaters, special guest W. Kamau Bell joins Adam and Josh to look back on the actor’s career with the Top 5 Denzel Washington Performances. Plus the first pair of films in the latest Filmspotting Marathon, devoted to career of the Spanish-born surrealist Luis Bunuel. Reviews of Bunuel's 1929 collaboration with Salvador Dali UN CHIEN ANDALOU and 1930's L'AGE D'OR. 

0:00-1:12 - Billboard
1:12-35:47 - Top 5: Denzel Washington Performances w/W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell, "How Did You Know It Was Racism?"
36:60-51:59 - Notes / Polls
51:59-1:10:51 - Review: "Magnificent Seven (2016)"
Pixies, "Debaser"
1:12:05-1:17:20 - Donations
1:17:20-1:34:43 - Bunuel #1: Un Chien Andalou / L'Age d'Or
1:334:43-1:36:59 - Close

#604: Top 5 Oliver Stone Scenes w/ Matt Zoller Seitz / Born on the 4th of July  

In the 1980s and 90s, Oliver Stone was one of the most vital and high profile directors working in Hollywood. Platoon, JFK, Natural Born Killers and more collected awards - or controversy - but were never ignored. It’s been a while since Stone has demanded that kind of attention, but a new book about Stone by critic Matt Zoller Seitz aims to revive his reputation. This week, Zoller Seitz shares his Top 5 Oliver Stone Scenes, plus Adam and Josh give Stone’s '89 Oscar-winner BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY the Sacred Cow treatment and review Stone's latest - SNOWDEN.

0:00-1:27 - Billboard
1:27-37:13 - Sacred Cow: "Born on the 4th of July"
Dawes "Picture of a Man"
38:39-48:55 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
48:55-1:00:02 - Review: "Snowden"
Dawes "For No Good Reason"
1:01:21-1:47:53 - Top 5: Oliver Stone Scenes w/Matt Zoller Seitz
1:47:53-1:50:31 - Close / Outtake

#603: Sully / Nordic Cinema Marathon Awards  

When a couple of American movie icons pair up, it’s sometimes a little surprising to realize that they’ve never worked together before. In the case of SULLY, it’s Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks - and if the movie becomes an Oscar favorite, you can count on Adam and Josh fighting about it from now til February as the film sparks another debate. Plus, Filmspotting rolls out the red carpet for 'The Sad Tubas', honoring the best of the show's recent Contemporary Nordic Cinema Marathon.

0:00-0:59 - Billboard
0:59-30:03 - Review: "Sully"
Frankie Lee "American Dreamer"
31:19-42:59 - Notes / Polls
42:59-1:14:46 - Nordic Marathon Awards
1:14:46-1:24:52 - Close / Hot Mics

#602: Top 5 Comedies of the 21st Century / Young Frankenstein  

Earlier this year, the BBC polled movie critics worldwide for the best films of the 21st century. The resulting list - the Top 100 of the new millennium - has been the subject of debate ever since. Noticeably under-represented from the list? Comedies. On this week's show, Adam and Josh try and remedy that oversight with their Top 5 Comedies of the 21st Century. Also, in honor of the late Gene Wilder, a sacred cow review of one of the 20th century’s great comedies: Mel Brooks’ YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. Plus, Michael Phillips calls in from the Venice Film Festival with with some thoughts on the fest, on Wilder and on the BBC Top 100.

0:00-1:18 - Billboard
1:18-23:24 - 'Sacred Cow' Review: "Young Frankenstein"
Young Frankenstein, "Puttin' on the Ritz"
24:38-39:59 - Notes / Massacre Theater
39:59-1:07:09 - Michael Phillips (Venice, Gene Wilder, BBC Top 100)
Walk Hard, "Walk Hard"
1:07:44-1:13:46 - Donations1:13:46-2:09:57 - Top 5: 21st Century Comedies
2:09:57-2:12:22 - Close 

#601: Morris From America / Southside with You / Nordic #7 - Rams  

Single dad moves to Germany for work, bringing his reluctant, rap-obsessed teen son along with him. The Sundance-friendly plot made comic drama MORRIS FROM AMERICA a hit in Park City in January, but Chicago proves only half-friendly, as Adam and Josh splitting on director Chad Hartigan's new film. And Josh was busy editing his book over the weekend, so Adam had to turn to the Call-a-Critic line to help him with reviews of Ira Sach's LITTLE MEN (Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl) and the Obama-first-date movie SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU ('s Odie Henderson). Plus, a farewell to comedy legend Gene Wilder, thoughts on the new horror-thriller DON'T BREATHE, and the final film in the Contemporary Nordic Cinema Marathon, 2015 Cannes-winner RAMS from Iceland.  

0:00-3:35 - Billboard / Donations
3:35-22:13 - Review: "Morris from America"
Dream Wife, "Heartbreaker"
23:15-44:47 - Notes / Polls
44:47-55:54 - Review: "Southside With You"
55:54-1:00:21 - Review: "Don't Breathe"
1:00:21-1:13:14 - Review: "Little Men"
Dream Wife, "Kids"
1:14:24-1:28:28 - Nordic #7: "Rams"
1:28:28-1:40:18 - Close / Hot Mics

#600 w/ Chuck Klosterman: Top 5 Movies Future Historians Will Remember  

Citizen Kane, Vertigo, The Godfather. 200 years from now, will anyone even remember these movies? Or are we currently overlooking the classics of the future? Writer Chuck Klosterman joins Adam and Josh on this special 600th episode to discuss his new book "But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were The Past" and to take part in possibly the most challenging Top 5 in the history of the show: Movies Future Historians Will Remember. Plus, listeners help us celebrate #600 with favorite memories from our first 11+ years.

0:00-3:23 - Billboard / Donations
3:23-34:47 - Movies Future Historians Will Remember
"I'm Glad Trouble Don't Last Always"
35:44-1:13:59 - Top 5, cont.
"Last Night I Dreamed My Birthday"
1:15:18-1:49:20 - Defining Show Moments
1:49:20-1:52:39 - Close

-Luke Winslow-King

-"But What If We're Wrong"
-"Which Rock Star Will Historians...."
-Filmspotting Reviews: The Complete List
-The Cinephiliacs Episode #83

#599: Fall Movie Preview (2016) / Hell or High Water / Nordic #6 - 1001 Grams  

As the Summer 2016 movie season winds down, some critics are already writing it off as the worst summer ever. Ever the optimists, they look ahead to fall with their Top 5 Fall Movie Questions. Plus, reviews of the acclaimed West Texas-set heist movie HELL OR HIGH WATER and new animated feature KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS. Also, the sixth film in the Contemporary Nordic Cinema Marathon – 1001 GRAMS from Norway's Bent Hamer – and Adam nominates another Golden Brick contender.

0:00-1:50 - Billboard / Donations
1:50-37:03 - Fall Movie Preview
Townes Van Zandt, "Dollar Bill Blues"
38:11-44:05 - Notes / Corrections
44:05-51:41 - Quick Takes: "Kubo" / "The Phenom"
51:41-58:15 - Massacre Theatre
58:15-1:07:36 - Review: "Hell or High Water"
Chris Stapleton, "Outlaw State of Mind"
1:08:39-1:20:31 - Nordic #6: "1001 Grams"
1:20:31-1:36:34 - Close / Hot Mics

-Josh's review of "Hell or High Water"
-Josh's review of "Kubo"
-Indiewire's 34 Indie Films To See This Season
-Are You Ready For Mel Gibson's Comeback?

#598: Hunt for the Wilderpeople / Top 5 Directors We'd Bankroll  

New Zealand director Taika Waititi got on a lot of people’s radars last year with his hilarious vampire mockumentary WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. His follow-up, the charming coming of age story HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, couldn’t be more different, but like SHADOWS is benefiting from great word of mouth. This week, Adam and guest host Tasha Robinson have a review of HUNT, and share the Top 5 Directors We'd Bankroll.

0:00-1:30 - Billboard
2:17-30:02 - Review: "Hunt for the Wilderpeople"
Hockey Dad, "Jump the Gun"
28:48-45:40 - Notes / Polls
45:40-58:00 - "Don't Think Twice" / "Hell or High Water"
Hockey Dad, "I Need A Woman"
58:44-1:01:04 - Donations
1:01:04-1:42:29 - Top 5: Directors We'd Bankroll
1:42:29-1:51:05 - Close / Hot Mics

-The Next Picture Show
-"Charlie Kaufman Reflects On His Career"
-Noel Murray's "Certain Women" review

#597: Suicide Squad / Top 5 Women Comic Book Characters (Done Right) / Jason Bourne  

Chicago critic and passionate comic-book fan Angelica Bastién joins Josh to consider DC's latest big-screen offering: SUICIDE SQUAD, starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. They also take on the challenge of naming the Top 5 Women Comic Book Characters (Done Right) and play a round of Massacre Theatre. Plus, Angelica sits through Josh’s mild recommendation of JASON BOURNE. (She’s not a fan.)

0:00-3:27 - Billboard / Donations3:27-27:33 - Review: "Suicide Squad"The Julie Ruin, "Hello Trust No One"28:41-36:35 - Notes / Massacre Theatre36:35-40:08 - Larsen Recommends: "Jason Bourne"The Julie Ruin, "Mr. So And So"41:03-1:09:57 - Top 5: Women Comic Book Characters (Done Right)1:09:57-1:12:32 - Close

-The Julie Ruin

-Angelica’s Keanu Reeves essay-Josh’s "Suicide Squad" review
-Josh’s "Jason Bourne" review

#596: The Fits / Star Trek Beyond / Le Havre  

Director Anna Rose Holmer had a Sundance hit earlier this year with her debut film THE FITS, a stunningly shot tale of a young girl coming to terms with the frightening reality of impending adolescence. On this week's show, a review of Holmer’s film, plus a 'Review Roundup' with thoughts on Michel Gondry's MICROBE & GASOLINE, the new doc NUTS! and STAR TREK BEYOND. Also the 5th film in our Contemporary Nordic Cinema Marathon - Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre." 

0:00-1:12 - Billboard
1:12-24:03 - Review: "The Fits"
Music: Lucy Dacus "Map On A Wall"
28:42-53:38 - Notes / Polls
53:38-1:12:50 - Nordic #5 "Le Havre"
Music: Lucy Dacus "I Don't Want To Be Funny Anymore"
1:13:52-1:19:03 - Donations
1:19:03-1:40:27 - Review Roundup: "Microbe & Gasoline" "Nuts!" "Star Trek Beyond"
1:40:27-1:57:51 - Close / Hot Mics

#595: Ghostbusters / James Solomon Interview (The Witness) / In A Better World  

After facing a surprisingly hostile campaign from fans of the 1984 original, the new GHOSTBUSTERS has finally made it to theaters. But have Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and company made a film that can put that hostilty to rest? Adam and Josh review the Paul Feig-directed GHOSTBUSTERS reboot. Plus, Adam interviews James Solomon, the director of THE WITNESS, a new documentary about an infamous, decades-old murder case, and the Contemporary Nordic Cinema Marathon returns with a review of Susanne Bier's IN A BETTER WORLD.  

0:00-1:15 - Billboard
2:42-24:53 - Review: "Ghostbusters (2016)"
Music: The Heavy, "A Ghost You Can't Forget"
26:06-41:19 - Notes / Massacre Theatre
41:19-1:04:20 - Nordic #4 "In A Better World"
Music: The Heavy, "The Apology"
1:05:28-1:38:09 - Interview: James Solomon ("The Witness")
1:38:09-1:50:18 - Close / Hot Mics

Abbas Kiarostami: The Filmspotting Reviews  

Collected here, reviews for the four Abbas Kiarostami films we've discussed on the show over the years. Our first was back in 2009, when then co-host Matty Robinson and Adam took a look at Kiarmostami’s A TASTE OF CHERRY as part of our Cannes Film Fest Winners marathon. Tasha Robinson, friend of the show and current co-host at The Next Picture Show, joined Adam for a review of CERTIFIED COPY in 2011. Then in 2012, Josh and Adam included 1990’s CLOSE UP in their Contemporary Iranian Cinema marathon. And finally, a review of Kiarostami’s final film, LIKE SOMEBODY IN LOVE from 2012. To hear Adam's conversation with film writer Tina Hassannia about the director’s legacy, which he recorded just days after learning of Kiarostami's passing, you can find that in episode 593 at

0:00-0:55 - Intro
0:55-11:31 - "Taste of Cherry"
11:31-28:30 - "Certified Copy"
28:30-41:42 - "Close Up"
41:42-1:01:39 - "Like Someone in Love"

#594: Top 5 Films of 2016 (So Far)  

The 2016 box office has been dominated by the usual suspects - animated films from Pixar and Disney, caped crusaders, sequels. But with half the year behind us, Adam, Josh and guest Michael Phillips have stocked their Top 5 of 2016 (So Far) with a number of films that had trouble finding an audience during their original theatrical runs. With many of them new or soon to arrive digitally or on DVD, here's hoping they find the audiences they deserve.  

#593: Swiss Army Man / Kiarostami Tribute / Top 5 'Body' Movies  

If you were paying any attention to the Sundance Film Festival back in January, it’s likely that you caught wind of a film that was being referred to as the ‘Daniel Radcliffe Farting Corpse Movie.’ There were reports of walk outs. Well that movie has an actual title - SWISS ARMY MAN - and it actually does star Daniel Radcliffe as a flatulent corpse. It also stars Paul Dano as a desperate castaway. This week, Adam and guest host Melissa Tamminga from Seattle Screen Scene have a review, and share their Top 5 ‘Body’ Movies. Plus, a conversation with Movie Mezzanine's Tina Hassannia about the legacy of the late Abbas Kiarostami.

0:00-1:15 - Billboard
1:55-28:57 - Review: "Swiss Army Man"
Music: Martha "Precarious (Supermaket Song)"
29:43-44:02 - Notes / Massacre Theater
44:02-1:13:54 - Interview: Tina Hassannia on Abbas Kiarostami
Music: Martha "Ice Cream and Sunscreen"
1:15:03-2:02:14 - Top 5: 'Body' Movies
2:02:14-2:19:05 - Close / Hot Mics

-Melissa at Seattle Screen Scene-Tina Hassannia-Tina's Abbas Kiarostami Appreciation
-Women in the Films of Kiarostami

#592: The BFG / Top 5 Children's Book Adaptations  

Josh and guest host Tricia Bobeda from WBEZ's Nerdette Podcast review Spielberg's THE BFG and share their Top 5 Children's Book Adaptations.

#591: Nicolas Winding Refn and Elle Fanning / De Palma  

A conversation with Nicolas Winding Refn ("Drive") and Elle Fanning ("Super 8"), the director and star of the new film THE NEON DEMON. Plus, a review of the new doc DE PALMA.

#590: Blindspotting - Body Double / You, The Living  

In anticipation of the new doc DE PALMA, Adam and Josh do some homework and catch up with the deranged 1984 erotic thriller BODY DOUBLE.

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