Episode 165: Robert Altman Part II

Episode 165: Robert Altman Part II

The Director's Club returns to the films of Robert Altman, looking at the ups and downs of his career after he nearly became exiled to Sweethaven due to the "Popeye" debacle. We explore how he worked his way back with innovative takes on theatrical material like "Secret Honor" and "Fool For Love", returned back to critical and popular attention with "The Player" and "Short Cuts", created memorable characters like Griffin Mill, Maggie Smith's Countess from "Gosford Park" / "Downtown Abbey", and Stiggs, and used his directorial talent to expand, dismantle, and illuminate everything from the movie industry to rogue presidents to a ballet company!

Episode 164: Asghar Farhadi

Episode 164: Asghar Farhadi

After some unfortunate and inadvertent delays, the Director's Club is backto the podcasting trade with an episode on the amazing Iranian director Asghar Farhadi! With the help of the Chicago Film Discussion Group's Peter Richards, we have a deep exploration into his films, which at their best explore the conflicts between people in a way that combines Hitchcockian intensity, an astounding attention to detail, and tremendous performances delivered with a grace that feels effortless, and has led to some of the most remarkable films in the past 20 years.

Bonus Episode: Jim Turns 41

Bonus Episode: Jim Turns 41

Just like last year, my dear friend and fellow podcaster Patrick Ripoll returns for a very special episode of this show. Around the month of May, I ask Patrick to return to a microphone to talk a variety of topics. We play an amazingly entertaining trivia game, catch up on our lives, talk about our latest projects, and review two movies that we've assigned to one another. The two movies for this year were the Hong Kong late 80s action flick IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV as well as the gorgeous Anime coming-of-age tale, 5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND.

Bonus Episode: Alex Ross Perry

Bonus Episode: Alex Ross Perry

A few years back, I had the pleasure of talking with Alex Ross Perry for my then-titled Pop Culture Club podcast. We spoke about QUEEN OF EARTH and the greatness of Elisabeth Moss. For his 6th feature film, he recruits one of our very best actresses working today once again for HER SMELL. It’s the story of a rock star addict played by Elisabeth Moss, who is on the edge of self-destruction. This time a familiar story is beautifully filtered through the lens of a true original who continues to write emotionally powerful films.

Episode 163: Walt Disney Part 2

Episode 163: Walt Disney Part 2

The Director's Club returns to the shores of Disneyland to take a look at the creative efforts of Walt Disney as he expands his interests to live action films and even nature documentaries, as his techniques in animation were also changing due to artistic and financial needs.  We talk about the many remarkable facets of his later films and how he was able to maintain creativity while building the empire of the entertainment world we know today.

Bonus Episode: "The Other Side of the Wind"

Bonus Episode: "The Other Side of the Wind"

The year 2018 provided a rare gift for film fans - a new film from Orson Welles!  A team of filmmakers and Netflix funders came together to take one of the his unfinished works and complete it for viewing on movie screens and streams.  The Director's Club was lucky enough to get a theatrical look, and in this episode we talk about the effectiveness of the result, the themes that emerge from the movie, how those themes fit with Welles' history and his other films, and how it's both of and way ahead of it's time.

Bonus Episode: 1989 Year In Review Part Two

Bonus Episode: 1989 Year In Review Part Two

PART TWO: Cross-posted with Voices & Visions as well. Ladies and gentlemen, let's go back thirty years to when three film critics were first falling in love with movies. The mid-80s informed a lot of our taste, and much like previous years' retrospectives, it's always a blast to go back and see what holds up and what we each consider to be favorites and least favorites from a particular year. Joined once again by Erik Childress and Collin Souter we return for what is officially a yearly tradition that started thanks to original podcast creator Jim Laczkowski. We started with 1985 and plan to do this yearly tradition all the way up until 1999 as a bonus excursion for reflection, nostalgia, and to celebrate those 80s and 90s kids that adored film as much as we did.

Bonus Episode: 1989 Year In Review Part One

Bonus Episode: 1989 Year In Review Part One

PART ONE (OF TWO):  Cross-posted with Voices & Visions as well. You can follow the list from 1989 that we cover linked above. Ladies and gentlemen, let's go back thirty years to when three film buffs were first falling in love with movies. The late 80s informed a lot of our taste, and much like previous years' retrospectives, it's always a blast to go back and see what holds up and what we each consider to be favorites and least favorites from a particular year. Joined once again by Erik Childress and Collin Souter we return for what is officially a yearly tradition that started thanks to original podcast creator Jim Laczkowski. We started with 1985 and plan to do this yearly tradition all the way up until 1999 as a bonus excursion for reflection, nostalgia, and to celebrate those 80s and 90s kids that adored film as much as we did.

Episode 162: Walt Disney

Episode 162: Walt Disney

This episode of the Director Club is somewhat unique in that our subject is NOT a director. However, when the subject is Walt Disney, one of the 20th century's most acclaimed visionaries, we will see how his dreams launched a studio and revolutionized animation. In part one, we’ll explore Disney's Golden Age, from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (the first animated feature), "Pinocchio", and "Fantasia", all the way through "Cinderella" and his first efforts in live action.

Episode 161: Steve McQueen

Episode 161: Steve McQueen

Director's Club welcomes 2019 (and the recent release of "Widows") with a look at British director Steve McQueen. With the help of Chicago Film Discussion Group co-organizer Belinda Silber, we'll look into how McQueen's art background, ability to hold on an image, and interest in meaning through physical suffering has put a fascinating spin on several of his films (and how it helped create a masterpiece in "12 Years A Slave").

Bonus Episode: "Roma"

Bonus Episode: "Roma"

The Director's Club was so taken by the theatrical airing of the latest Alfonso Cuarón movie, "Roma", that we had to rush out a discussion about it while it's still in theaters! With the help of the Chicago Film Discussion Group member Ken Silber, we take a look at how the movie screen (and movie audio!) enhances the qualities of his latest film, how it relates to Cuarón's life and his other movies, and the many ways it looks back to view a person's life from the dramatic extremes to the grace found in the mundane and everything in between. (Songs: "Here and Now", Letters to Cleo; "Arrivederci Roma", Nat King Cole)

Episode 159: Frederick Wiseman

Episode 159: Frederick Wiseman

In this episode, the Director's Club goes the verite route as we look at the films of legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman. Joined by Chicago Film Discussion Group co-organizer Peter Richards, we go over the vastswath of a remarkably consistent body of work that delves into extensive looks at towns, schools, strip clubs, boxing gyms, and social organizations of all kinds, and explore how their deliberately removed perspectives and extended scopes allow for a contemplative insightful look at these subjects unique to the documentary form.

Episode 158: Francis Ford Coppola

Episode 158: Francis Ford Coppola

In this episode, the Director's Club takes the cannoli and runs with it as we look at the films of Francis Ford Coppola. With Uberfounder of the Director's Club (and Now Playing Network head) Jim Laczkowski, in Part I we dive into his four masterpiece films, and explore where in his early history was hints of such an amazing run of movies. Come eavesdrop on our conversation about the "Godfather" films, "Apocalypse Now", and, er, "The Conversation"!

Bonus Episode: Jim & Patrick Review Suspiria & Halloween (2018)

Bonus Episode: Jim & Patrick Review Suspiria & Halloween (2018)

Jim here! I've been in a horrible funk so I put out the call (or the "Pat" signal) to my dear old friend Patrick Ripoll to stop by for pizza, cannoli and some good old fashioned conversation. We turned on the mics to do what we do best - ramble on about movies. This time we focus on two recent horror releases in particular. David Gordon Green's 2018 sequel HALLOWEEN and Luca Guadagnino's remake of SUSPIRIA. Fair warning, we spoil both so hopefully you've seen them by now, and you probably should.

Episode 157: Don Coscarelli

Episode 157: Don Coscarelli

This month the Director's Club takes a Phantasmic journey through the films of director Don Coscarelli. Coming from the "New Wave of Horror", Coscarelli combined abtract nightmare imagery, a youthful small-town generosity, and an iconic imposing prescence of a Tall Man to create his legendary horror movie "Phantasm", which has become a series unique in the personal touches from its creator and his friends over 25 years. We look at the fascinating qualities of each filim in the series, as well as his other notable films like "Survival Quest", "John Dies at the End", and "Bubba Ho-Tep" (which may be the most insightful look at the King of Rock 'n' Roll on film!)

Episode 156: John Frankenheimer

Episode 156: John Frankenheimer

In this episode we feature one of the first great directors to get his start in early television and the helmer of such classics as "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Seconds", John Frankenheimer. Frankenheimer had an amazing run of films in the sixties that also included "Birdman of Alcatraz" and "Seven Days in May". We talk about how his go-for-broke kinetic style not only took these films to the next level, but lead even his more questionable later films to make for a fascinating discussion. So enjoy the wild journey (including trips by train and blimp) and watch out for birds, bears, beast-men, and Burt Lancaster.

Episode 155: Werner Herzog Part 2

Episode 155: Werner Herzog Part 2

In this episode of the Director's Club, we try to keep pace with the second half of the career of Werner Herzog.  It's a journey that moves from examinations of social issues we deal with today to artistry from the dawn of man (presented in 3D, no less!), from the Alaskan wilderness to the hearts of volcanoes to the southernmost part of the Earth itself, and leapfrogs several times over the borders of documentary and fiction filmmaking.