June 3, 2020
A lot has happened in the country since we taped this episode on Friday. It's complete and ready so we are posting it. Totally get it if you aren't up to listening right now. Makes sense. But if you are looking for film talk, Carrie Chalmers joins us for the final five years of Best Picture nominees from the first decade of the 2000s. From controversial wins like Crash beating Brokeback Mountain, to 2007, the year that gave us two modern classics, There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men, there is something for everyone to gripe or cheer in this five-year stretch.
Carrie, Teal and Jim offer up some of their picks for films that should have been nominated for Best Picture, but were left out of the mix. What are some of your favorite Oscar omissions from the period?
May 25, 2020
Cornell Communications' Specialist, Carrie Chalmers returns to the show for a discussion focused on several women film directors. First up is Rungano Nyoni's spellbinding 2017 film, I Am Not A Witch. A semi-satyrical look at women in bondage with a spellbinding lead performance by Maggie Mutubwa. A film with so many twists and turns Jim decided to cut out some of the reveals mentioned during the program to avoid spoiling it for those who may watch this film later. It is currently playing on The Criterion Channel.
The next film discussed is available to rent, and it is The Assistant, directed by Kitty Green. Julia Garner is a recent college graduate who lands her dream job in a New York City film production office working for a powerful film mogul (sound familiar?) The action takes place during one day at the office where the assistant will have to make a choice about her future--stay quiet about the abuse surrounding her, or be part of the problem. While Jim, Teal and Carrie each had their issues with the movie, they definitely feel there was a lot to talk about.
This month The Criterion Channel features three films by French Film director, Diane Kurys. Jim, Carrie, and Teal all sampled her first feature, the 1978 coming-of-age film, Peppermint Soda. Jim enjoyed it the most, but all three found it to be an enjoyable film. Then Jim and Carrie saw Kurys' 1983 film, and possibly the movie she's most known for, Entre Nous. This feature has a lot of elements to discuss.
For the final leg of the show, Teal shows his appreciation for the only woman in Oscar history to win Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow. Carrie found herself re-watching The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty with a new appreciation of what traditionally masculine material looks like in the hands of a woman filmmaker.
Lots of laughs and insight packed into this 76 min episode.
May 17, 2020
Sometimes the algorithm Gods of Amazon Prime throw one a gem. This week Jim talks about an odd documentary called The Beaver Trilogy: Part 4. It's a story of a small-time, almost Hollywood director, Trent Harris, and his trilogy of films based on a real-life person he met in Utah in the late 70s. There are plenty of twists and turns in this story, and Jim suggests you seek it out.
Next it is on to more Academy Award nominated Best Picture nominees. This time around Jim and Teal tackle the first decade of the new millennium, but there is so much to say they only get through the first five years. Lots of interesting films nominated, and some shameful omissions, along with some head-scratching Academy picks. Plus, this time around Jim brings some suggestions for each year of movies that might be better than the Academy's choices.
Lots to unpack with this episode, so don't delay: get to it, fair movie-lover!
May 8, 2020
This week Jim and Teal spoke with film and television camera operator, Tony Gutierrez. Tony's been in the biz since graduating film school at NYU in 1992. Jim and Tony worked together in the NYU photo department, and this episode serves as a reunion.
Hear Tony's journey from camera loader, to focus puller, to camera operator on a wide-range of film and television projects, including Netflix's Grace and Frankie. How did Tony get into the business? What was it like being on the set of Titanic for two days? Get Tony's insights and how he's coping with the Hollywood shutdown during the pandemic on this awesome episode!
May 3, 2020
We're all still stuck inside, right? Okay. So, who wants to Netflix and Chill with Jim and Teal? There ain't no party like a Netflix party, and Jim and Teal decided to take advantage of the latest in streaming technology to watch a film on Netflix and do their very first commentary.
Why did they decide on Red Dawn? Who knows. Maybe because it is an artifact from the 80s, the first PG13 film, and definitely a staple of Reagan-era coming-of-age movies. No matter the reason, Jim and Teal invite you to experience this film with them.
How do you do this? Okay. First--go to Netflix and set your phasers on Red Dawn. Start the movie and pause. Find a way to play this episode on some speakers or headphones. When we say play on on the podcast, hit play on Netflix and you can experience the film in real-time with us.
Now, there is no movie audio on our podcast so you will experience pauses here and there, so if you want the full experience, make sure to play Red Dawn on your own. Is the commentary still enjoyable without watching the movie? Sure. Why not. Have a blast. We can't stop you.
Have fun! And hey, send us your thoughts on the episode to firstname.lastname@example.org We want to know if this is worth doing again, or was once enough!
April 21, 2020
By hook or by crook, Jim and Teal made it their mission to wrap up their look at Academy Award-winning Best Picture nominees from the 1990s. This week's episode covers all the nominees from 1995 to 1999.
What do Jim and Teal uncover? Well, first there are a lot of great movies that got nominated for Best Picture during this five-year stretch. But second? There are a lot of questionable choices of films no one is talking about anymore. It is almost impossible for Jim and Teal to hide their disgust at some of these choices, many which show the power Harvey Weinstein wielded in the 1990s.
Get set for a blast from the past, and by the end we hope you find a few films to add to your streaming pile.
April 15, 2020
With social distancing still all the rage, Jim and Teal decided to go epic with a super-long 90 minute episode.
To kick things off the boys discussed the merits of streaming new releases on demand for $20. Is this something you've done? Jim and Teal think the price point may be a bit too high, but they are certainly curious about it.
The main event this week is Jim and Teal's continuation of Academy Award Best Picture nominees and winners. The 90s saw some great films, several of which have gone on to become movie classics. Which ones do Jim and Teal agree with the Academy on?
Because this was such a formidable decade for our fellow film enthusiasts, Jim and Teal only make it through the first half of the decade. But there are plenty of titles discussed, and if you are looking to catch up on a noted film from the 90s, this is a good chance to hear what Jim and Teal have to say before you hit your streaming services. Good luck!
Be on the lookout for the second installment of the 90s coming soon!
April 6, 2020
This week Jim and Teal focused on women filmmakers, and to help them out with their mission they spoke with Carrie Chalmers, Communications Specialist at Cornell University's Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.
Chalmers brought her photographic eye, and love of movies, to the discussion, which centered on the movies of French filmmaker, Celine Sciamma. Although Sciamma's made four feature films the first dating back to 2007, Jim and Teal only caught up with them in the past week. Sciamma's first three films are available on the Criterion Channel, and Hulu has an exclusive showing of Sciamma's latest, the critically acclaimed 2019 film, Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
On Chalmers' suggestion, Jim and Teal dove into the world of Sciamma, and came out very much rewarded. Portrait of a Lady on Fire makes a late entry onto Jim's top 10 for 2019. He found it to be one of the most rewarding love stories he's seen put on screen in many years.
During the podcast Chalmers provided keen insight as to why she feels it is important, as a woman, to support the movies of women filmmakers, and she gave Jim and Teal several great suggestions for further viewings.
This is an episode one might say is thirty years in the making, and you'll have to take a listen to find out why.
March 30, 2020
Blow the Man Down! Good Cod almighty! A person might just go stir crazy cooped up in the house all day with nothing to watch. Don't worry, Jim and Teal have got you covered. Well...Jim does anyway. Teal is still trying to find his grove with this whole self-distancing thing.
Jim was craving a film mission. And for his sins, Teal gave him one. And when it was over, Jim never wanted another. Leviathan is the name of a pretty bad late 80s Alien under the sea movie, and it is also the name of a well-regarded Russian film from 2014. But the Leviathan Teal's been chatting up on several episodes is an 85 minute sensory ethnography documentary about deep-sea fisherman from New Bedford, and for that this can be said: Teal was right, there isn't another film quite like it.
Jim insists that this movie does not qualify as a best of the decade movie, because it isn't a narrative film. However, Jim does insist it qualifies for best dedicated 6 minutes of screen time to a dented can of Seagrams Ginger Ale.
To balance Leviathan, Jim took in another sea-themed movie this week, and it is the Amazon Prime offering, Blow the Man Down. This independent neo-noir set in a coastal fishing village in Maine won't set the awards calendar ablaze, but it might just be quirky enough to pass the time while you're stuck inside for the next month or so.
Want to know what to look out for on the Criterion Channel this month? Jim and Teal highlight a few things you might want to check out in April.
Academy Awards? Academy Awards did you say? If you've been following along the past few episodes, you know that Jim and Teal have been walking down the garden of yesteryear by dissecting the Academy's Best Picture pics in various decades. Last week they made it half-way through the 80s. This week they finish the decade, and realize there are a lot of movies nominated for Best Picture that no one talks about anymore. But if you are looking for some movies to catch up on, and fill your streaming queues, this episode is going to help you out.
Bonus: Can you name this week's opening film dialogue, and film score track?
March 23, 2020
Quaran-Streaming while social distancing doesn't have to be hard. Jim and Teal discuss some of the things they are watching while on lockdown. Also, if you are a film lover now is a great time to invest in the Criterion Channel. While you are indoors, you can get an entire film education by watching the greatest movies of all time right on the Criterion streaming service.
And since we love lists, and we know you do, Jim and Teal continue their journey through the Academy Award Best Picture pics. They've moved on to the 1980s, a crucial decade for Jim and Teal, and their movie educations. How far into the list will they make it? You'll have to listen to find out, but if you are looking for some noted films to catch up on while holed up indoors, this episode will give you plenty of considerations.