Reluctant Habits

Blake Bailey (The Bat Segundo Show #530)

Posted by in bailey-blake, Bat Segundo, Film, jackson-charles

Literary biographer Blake Bailey and Our Correspondent may be the only two people in the United States who have read everything Charles Jackson has published. Who was he? Well, in 1944, Jackson wrote THE LOST WEEKEND — a pioneering masterpiece that was among the first to depict the devastating effects of alcoholism. But seven decades later, Jackson has been largely forgotten, outshadowed by the Billy Wilder movie. We spend 73 minutes pinpointing Jackson’s forgotten legacy and considering the risks of waning literary posterity. We also talk about Bailey’s work on the Philip Roth bio, as well as his forthcoming memoir, THE SPLENDID THINGS WE PLANNED.
[MP3, 73 minutes]

[Notes and partial transcript]

Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell (The Bat Segundo Show #518)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, bissell-tom, Film, interview, sestero-greg, The Room, wiseau-tommy

THE ROOM is widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made. Yet ten years after its release, it is a cultural phenomenon and has even inspired a video game. We talk with Greg Sestero (Mark from THE ROOM) and Tom Bisssell, co-authors of THE DISASTER ARTIST, and probe into director Tommy Wiseau’s mysterious past. discussing the film’s unanticipated debt to Patricia Highsmith and the terror of shooting extremely long and extremely troubling sex scenes.
[MP3, 35 minutes]
[Notes and partial transcript]

Christian Marclay’s The Clock

Posted by in Film, marclay-christian, The Clock, Time

In which our correspondent attends five hours of Christian Marclay’s 24 hour film and learns much about how he feels about commitments and other people.

Michael Apted (The Bat Segundo Show Special)

Posted by in 56 Up, apted-michael, Bat Segundo, Film, interview, Up Series

In this 30 minute radio interview, legendary filmmaker Michael Apted discusses 56 Up and his groundbreaking documentary film series.

Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Posted by in Film, jackson-peter, Reviews, tolkien-jrr

Is 48fps enough to bring Tolkien back to the big screen? Or is imagination more important?

Review: Skyfall (2012)

Posted by in Film, James Bond

The new James Bond film is a sharp, thrilling, classy, and rich-looking installment announcing a confident trajectory for the Daniel Craig iteration of James Bond.

Ross McElwee (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Documentary, Film, interview, mcelwee-ross, Photographic Memory, Sherman's March

In this 40 minute radio interview, legendary documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee discusses Photographic Memory, technology vs. everyday conversation, and whether people can remember the last names of lovers.

Liv Ullmann (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, bergman-ingmar, Film, New York Film Festival, ullmann-liv

In this 25 minute radio interview, the legendary Liv Ullmann discusses her relationship with Ingmar Bergman, the distinction between storytelling and lies, Kierkegaard, and why she loves The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Andrea Arnold (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in arnold-andrea, Bat Segundo, Film, interview, Wuthering Heights

In this 30 minute radio interview, acclaimed director Andrea Arnold discusses her very liberal film adaptation of “Wuthering Heights,” improvisational sheep, and shooting with a very steady handheld camera.

Review: Looper (2012)

Posted by in Film

In this review of Rian Johnson’s LOOPER, we describe how the film’s attention to inconclusive detail reveals an unexpected commitment to living.

NYFF: Charlie is My Darling

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival, Rolling Stones

In this recently restored 1965 documentary, the Rolling Stones have established their raw sexual power, just before the more explicit dissolution has kicked in.

NYFF: The Savoy King: Chick Webb & The Music That Changed America

Posted by in Film, kaufman-jeff, New York Film Festival, The Savoy King, webb-chick

In this first dispatch from the New York Film Festival, we revisit Chick Webb’s legacy in a flawed but engaging documentary.

Julie Delpy (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, delpy-julie, Film, interview

In this 20 minute radio interview, filmmaker Julie Delpy discusses eccentric behavior, Franco-American perceptions, what French people do with thermometers, being an obsessive, finding the right toothbrush sound, Belvedere Castle, and romantic fairy tales.

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Posted by in Comics, Film, Reviews, Spider-Man

I put forth the modest proposition that a movie containing this much paralogia should be rejected by a mass audience. Why the new Spider-Man movie is a drag.

Sarah Polley (The Bat Segundo Show)

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Film, interview, polley-sarah

In this 20 minute radio interview, writer/director Sarah Polley discusses TAKE THIS WALTZ, Toronto’s gentrification, marriages, mature men, and the importance of living with flawed human beings.

Review: Dark Shadows (2012)

Posted by in burton-tim, Dark Shadows, Film, Reviews

An essay on Tim Burton’s disastrous reimagining of Dark Shadows and the lessons he has failed to learn from the original series.

New Directors/New Films: Crulic: The Path to Beyond (2011)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

Did a Romanian man awaiting trial on a minor charge have to die of a hunger strike? And is the film which tells his story entirely honorable?

New Directors/New Films: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)

Posted by in Film, New Directors/New Films

This 1,400 word essay on Terence Nance’s intriguing personal documentary compares it to The Americanization of Emily and unwittingly mimics Terence Nance’s structural form in its consideration.

New Directors/New Films: The Raid: Redemption (2011)

Posted by in evans-gareth, Film, New Directors/New Films

In our first New Directors/New Films dispatch, we praise Gareth Evans’s stylish martial arts thriller from Indonesia.

The Bat Segundo Show: Agnieszka Holland

Posted by in Bat Segundo, Film, holland-agnieszka, interview

In this 25 minute radio interview, we talk with acclaimed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland about In Darkness, the Downfall meme, how to find the right sewers, training actors to speak in many languages, and being faithful to Henry James.

The Bat Segundo Show: Roger Corman

Posted by in Bat Segundo, corman-roger, Film

In this lively 30 minute radio interview, we talk with legendary filmmaker Roger Corman about cost-cutting measures, Occupy Wall Street, whether socially conscious movies can be profitable, and the pros and cons of exploitation filmmaking.

The Bat Segundo Show: Nick Broomfield

Posted by in Bat Segundo, broomfield-nick, Film, palin-sarah

In this vivacious 35 minute radio interview, filmmaker Nick Broomfield discusses Sarah Palin: You Betcha, the amateurist aesthetic, moral paralysis, paying documentary subjects, Lily Tomlin, and conservative politicians with big hair.

Another Review of Moneyball

Posted by in Film

Sarah Weinman offers her take on Moneyball, getting into the baseball nitty-gritty.

Review: Moneyball

Posted by in Film

Two fictitious sportcasters attempt to make sense of knee-jerk critical reactions to Moneyball.

NYFF: Le Havre

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

Aki Kaurismäki’s latest film tinkers with the idea that our fantasies are more rooted in our heart, existing before we can sculpt them into visual submission.

NYFF: You Are Not I (1981)

Posted by in bowles-paul, Film, New York Film Festival

This spellbinding 1981 adaptation of a Paul Bowles story was nearly lost, but is now playing as part of the New York Film Festival.

NYFF: The Loneliest Planet

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

A consideration of Julia Loktev’s adaptation of the Tom Bissell story, “Expensive Trips Nowhere,” which includes press conference audio, comparison with Paul Bowles, and an email exchange with Bissell.

NYFF: Mud and Soldiers (1939)

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

Approximately 72% of this 1939 film involves marching. I am not quite certain that this makes for compelling narrative.

NYFF: Intimidation (1960)

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

This highly enjoyable 1960 movie about a botched blackmail suggests Japan’s answer to a scrappy film noir bankrolled by RKO.

NYFF: Woman with Red Hair (1979)

Posted by in Film, New York Film Festival

In our first dispatch from the New York Film Festival, we ask whether a Nikkatsu pink film measure up to its alleged intellectual ambitions.