August 1, 2020
The Year was 1992. The place: The Angelika Film Center on the corner of Houston and Mercer. Jim was a senior at NYU, and is his new roommate, Bill, was a junior. An innocent mid-week trip to the Greenwich Village art-house multiplex to see Peter Greenaway's latest offering, Prospero's Books took our humble narrators into some uncharted territory. Things started off innocently enough, but soon they'd get a bit hairy.
One this week's episode of Stuff We've Seen, Bill Muir (aka, Bill from Queens) sits in for Teal once again. The goal of this installment was to discuss the films of Mike Leigh, but things quickly got off track with a request from Bill to hear some Jimmy impersonations. Then the Prospero's Book story kicks in, and well...take a listen and find out.
There is so much to savor in this particular episode that Jim decided to split Bill's appearance into two-parts. So this week, the offering is the true movie-going tale of Jim and Bill, and two mystery cinema goers. Next week we'll have part 2 where Jim and Bill discuss Mike Leigh with an extended focus on Another Year and Meantime. So, if you wanted to do some prep work for next week, might we suggest you go to the Criterion Channel, and check out those films before the next show. In the meantime, get ready for another wild tale from the days of Jim's NYU film experiences.
July 28, 2020
Jason's mom has got it goin' on in this week's episode of Stuff We've Seen. Hear guest co-host, Michael McQuilkin (co-creator of The Hadron Gospel Hour) spin tales of headless camp menaces, night terrors, and ghost girls who live down wells in this trip down Drive-In memory lane. With a sudden resurgence of going to the Drive-In's due to the pandemic shutting all of the movie theaters down, this episode is the perfect conversation to get you in the mood for those outdoor screenings.
And, in the spirit of sub genre completionism, Michael and Jim talk the new Hulu film, Palm Springs, which is the latest time loop comedy offering starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti.
July 21, 2020
This week finds Teal on assignment. Is he working on Kanye West's campaign? If so, he could be gone for the long haul. Or, he could be back next week. So who did Jim find to take Teal's place on the mic? Filling in this week is Bill from Queens. Longtime listener, first time guest host--Bill Muir.
Bill and Jim have a long history, and they share some of that on the podcast. Bill also dabbled in filmmaking in the mid 90s, and Jim pokes his nose into that history too.
Then its on to movies. Bill and Jim discuss the Tom Hanks WW2 action pic, Greyhound, streaming on Apple +.
So much to discuss in one show Jim knows Bill will need to return to talk about everything he wants to discuss with him.
And don't miss Jim's new segment, Did She Deserve it? Where Jim asks the very important question--did Meryl Streep really deserve all of those 21 Oscar nominations?
June 28, 2020
This week on Stuff We've Seen Jim and Teal discuss three films, starting with Spike Lee's latest, and one of his best, Da 5 Bloods. Now available to stream on Netflix, Spike Lee's gritty buddy, adventure/ Vietnam War reckoning film has laughs, tears, adventure, anger, friendship...you name it, and this film seems to have it. Jim and Teal both give it high marks.
Also this week, Jim and Teal uncover a cult gem from 2019, director Peter Strickland's In Fabric. It is weird, atmospheric, and has loads of dark horror comedy. If you like films a bit on the weird side, this movie may be your new favorite.
And if that wasn't enough to fill your movie lists, Jim also recommends Mike Leigh's 2010 film, Another Year, which is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel.
June 20, 2020
Original Cast Album: Company is a 53-minute documentary by the late great legend, D.A. Pennebaker. It documents the original cast recording of the theatrical 1970 musical, Company, by Stephen Sondheim. Jim's obsession with seeing this documentary began last year when he saw the IFC Documentary Now! Spoof on this film, Co-op. Now, thanks to The Criterion Channel, Jim got his wish--and he's obsessed.
On this week's episode of Stuff We've Seen, Jim and Teal discuss Company, the Documentary Now! spoof, and the genius of D.A. Pennebaker's fly-on-the-wall camerawork, and tension-building editing.
Also on the program, Jim takes a dive into some additional Criterion Channel offerings from filmmaker Cheryl Dunye. Dunye's 1992 Watermelon Woman is an interesting, self-reflexive part narrative, part documentary, part mocumentary look at black lesbian issues, and the history of black female representation in film. It serves as a reminder for Jim that not all film offerings need to be feature commercial narratives.
Also on this week's agenda is Jim re-examining Gus Van Sant's 1991 follow-up to Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho. Idaho is currently playing on Criterion Channel as part of Criterion's Queersighted: Turn the Gaze Around series.
And if that is not enough for you, dear listener, Jim watched a truly bizarre 1971 offering, Daughters of Darkness, courtesy of Amazon Prime, and Teal watched Trolls: World Tour. Oh, and we find out that Teal hates Harry Potter. So there is a ton to unpack. Get at it!
June 9, 2020
George Floyd's Murder, and the subsequent outcry of anger towards the never-ending systemic racism and aggression against people of color at the hands of institutions sworn to protect and serve us weighed heavy on Jim and Teal's minds. Watching the government's response towards peaceful protests were something they could not ignore. So on this week's episode, Jim and Teal veered from their normal format and opened the show with some thoughts about this latest chapter in America's 400-year struggle for equality and justice for people of color.
The second half of the show features a few films Jim's recently seen that detail various injustices by governments and fascist atrocities of WW2. Teal discusses a few new film's he's caught on streaming to end the program.
We promise a return to our normal format for future episodes, but current events were too important to ignore this week.
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!