Smug Film Podcast Episode #6 – Good Movies, Bad Directors / Bad Movies, Good Directors

1:17:43 | View on iTunes | Download Mp3

On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors John D’Amico and Jenna Ipcar. We discuss movies we like by directors we don’t typically like, as well as movies we dislike by directors we typically like. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and then close the show with questions from our mailbag.

If you have a movie-related question you’d like answered on the show, leave it in the comments or email us at

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Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
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Phenomena: Being a Girl is Fucking Metal


Phenomena (1985)
Directed by Dario Argento
Written by Dario Argento and Franco Ferrini
110 min.

Very mild spoilers.

It’s understandable that independent, assertive, intelligent women might have trouble identifying with most female characters, because these traits are traditionally seen as ‘masculine‘, and as such, given to men.  For this reason, I more often identify with male characters than female ones. Aside from Ana in Cria Cuervos, it’s usually pretty hard for me to think of any on the spot—but now that I’ve seen Dario Argento’s Phenomena, I have another.
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Cría Cuervos: The Most Chloe Movie Ever


Cría Cuervos (1976)
Written and Directed by Carlos Saura
110 min.

Very mild spoilers ahead.

When I was seven, my mom made a home movie of me walking around a mulberry bush surrounded by purple and white flowers, picking them and humming to myself quietly.  Even though I had bossed her incessantly before she hit record to follow me with the camera as I carefully timed my pauses and expressions, she did what moms in the 90’s with fanny packs and Hi-8 cameras did instead—she began to narrate it in the most sarcastic, dorky voice possible: “This… is… Chloe…”

At the time, I didn’t know that I was trying to direct.  I didn’t even know what directing was, nor had the concept of moviemaking ever occurred to me.  And to this day, although I want to make movies, I haven’t done anything serious—I’ve only been daydreaming, just as I had been doing on that day, when her seemingly oblivious voice interrupted me and made me feel embarrassment that I’d been caught, and as though a special moment had been robbed of me.  I angrily ran up to her and yelled at the camera, “Mom, erase it! Erase it!

My mom must not have been as oblivious as she acted though, because after that, she made our main way of interacting watching and analyzing movies together.  And she instilled in me, not just a love for movies, but a certain idealism about life that has stubbornly remained and kept me alive to this day, long after she’s been gone.

One might assume that it’s easier to write about movies that strike us deeply in our souls.  However, this is the most challenging piece I have ever written—not because I have little to say about the film (I have so much to say about it) but because it takes a lot of discipline not to go on and on about my entire life story over the course of explaining why I was so deeply affected by it.  Cría Cuervos is basically a movie about my childhood—and the reason I watched it was that someone who knows me very well said, “Watch Cría Cuervos, it’s the most Chloe movie ever.”  They were right—I had to pause it several times in order to not blur the frames with my tears.
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