For the 50th episode of the podcast, I answer listener questions! Thank you to all who listen. I am so grateful to have this outlet for all my thoughts and feelings about cinema. In this episode, you’ll learn what films I think are overrated, what I think are some underrated films, what film I’d add to the Criterion Collection, and much more!
I saw ‘Dead Poets Society’ for the first time when I was a teenager. It was a revelatory film for me because of the way it celebrated the power of literature and poetry. In this episode, I talk about why the film means so much to me. I also provide behind-the-scenes information about the making of the film and even discuss criticisms that it has received over the years.
Larisa Shepitko is one of the greatest directors that many people have never heard of. In this episode, I seek to change that. I talk about two of her greatest films: “Wings” (1966) and “The Ascent” (1977). Shepitko died early in 1979 in a car accident at the age of 41. In her brief life, she created films that were concerned with the individual psychology of her characters and in raising moral and spiritual questions for her audience. She was married to fellow director, Elem Klimov, who made a short film about her after she died. It’s called “Larisa,” and I also talk about it. Warning: this episode contains spoilers.
“Wings” is about a Soviet woman who fought in the Second World War and who struggles to adjust to her more mundane life after the war. She is also haunted by the lover she lost in the war. The film explores themes of nostalgia, loss, and aching. “The Ascent” is about two partisans–Sotnikov and Rybak–who are captured by the Nazis in Belarus during the Second World War. Sotnikov refuses to collaborate with the Nazis, while Rybak does collaborate. The film examines the complex moral issues of the war and extends sympathy and respect to all the characters.
In this episode, I talk about Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 film “Call Me By Your Name.” In 2017, I read Andre Aciman’s book by the same title in one sitting. I was consumed by the story of 17-year-old Elio and 24-year-old Oliver who fall in love one summer in Italy in 1983. The film is beautiful, and I loved it. This episode was recorded immediately after I finished the film because I wanted to capture all my thoughts and feelings in that moment of afterglow and elation. I talk about many things, including the sensuality of the film, why I connect to Elio, why I’m moved by Elio’s relationship with his father, and much more. Note: Spoilers abound!
For the final episode of 2017, I thought it would be interesting to spotlight three television shows that I loved over the year–The Keepers, Big Little Lies, and the final season of Broadchurch–and how they address violence against women, toxic masculinity, and patriarchy. Trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence. Spoiler alert for discussion of certain details in each show, though I do not talk about the final scene of Big Little Lies, and I don’t reveal the perpetrator on Season 3 of Broadchurch. I do discuss details of Season 1 and 2 of Broadchurch.