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This is the very first episode of the Smug Film podcast! On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss Matt Zoller Seitz’ article, Please, Critics, Write About the Filmmaking, and what we believe the duties of a film reviewer are. We also go on tangents—from Russian cinema to the ideal usage of DSLR cameras—and to close, we answer questions from our mailbag. Be sure to listen to the very end of the episode for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer!
If you have a question for the show, leave it in the comments or email us at Podcast@SmugFilm.com.
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Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Dear Mr. Lynch,
Beyond the joy of creation, recognition, and the obvious benefits of fame like money and girls, I think the biggest ambition of any artist is to gain the respect of the guys who influenced them. To be considered an equal by them for just five minutes. To talk as peers.
Mr. Lynch, you’re on my short list. However, the road to fame is long, hard, and wrought with happenstance, obstacles, luck, and a zillion other x factors out of my control. I just might not ever make it. And even if I do, I might not ever do anything up your alley. And, not to be crass, but you’re getting up there in years. So, in the unfortunate and likely event that our paths never cross, I figured I’d at least send this little message out into the ether. Maybe you’ll pluck it out of the universe one day while you’re meditating. Or maybe you have a friend who’s a huge Smug Film fan. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?!)
Steve Wiebe: one of the greatest heroes in cinema.
Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen The King of Kong (what is wrong with you?) see it before reading.
I saw The King of Kong five times in the theater, which is a record for me (I only saw Jurassic Park four times). I saw it the night it opened at the AMC in Times Square, and the theater was about half full, which is pretty impressive for a limited release documentary.
June 29th, 2013 12:06 AM. My girlfriend and I nestled in for a night on Netflix. This is what happened.
It started with a really ‘clever’ and ‘quirky’ movie called Spork. That didn’t last long. Then we tried Kink, a Canadian TV show about an assortment of really arrogant and obnoxious S&M purveyors. The bumpers took up more time than the fucking interviews. Next. Then we tried that Sushi documentary that every keeps talking about but it was boring as fuck. Then we entered what I call ‘the blur’. This is where you turn off so many movies that are all so similar that they run together. I can’t remember what any of them are called.
After a while, Netflix kind of beats you down and you end up sticking with the least shitty thing. Generally, you want to pick something that’s just bad enough to be fun to make fun of, making it bearable. Most movies are far below that, but finally, I found one. Here’s what I wrote right after it ended:
When I was in junior high school, Scarface was the most talked about movie in the hallways. It was 2000, and those hallways were a reflection of the culture at large. One time a kid asked me, “Who directed Scarface, Scorsese?” He had never heard of Brian De Palma.
There’s a popular book called Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. It’s a gossipy, oral history of 60s and 70s American movies. In the back of the book, they summarize the directors integral to the movement and give a filmography for each. Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, and Malick are featured, but not Brian De Palma—despite being mentioned heavily in the book. You’d think the guy that gave Robert De Niro his first on-screen appearance (The Wedding Party, 1969) and gave him steady work way before Scorsese ever did, would be important enough to mention.