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On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors Jenna Ipcar and Ned Martin. We discuss all things movie theaters—from our best and worst movie theater experiences, to the best theaters we’ve ever been to. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and close the show with questions from our mailbag.
If you have a question for the show, leave it in the comments or email us at Podcast@SmugFilm.com.
If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and a comment on there as well. Doing this helps us immensely as far as our ranking on there, which is what allows people to be able to discover us. Word of mouth is always best of all though, so spread the word!
By the way, the beautiful painting above is by artist Marianne Kuhn, and it is called Naro Cinema Norfolk VA. You can see the full painting and buy prints of it at FineArtAmerica.
Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Continue reading Smug Film Podcast Episode #2 – Movie Theaters (4/14/14)
Hey everybody. It’s your ol’ pal Cody Clarke, editor-in-chief and weekly critic at this here Smug Film. We’ve built a bit of a relationship, y’all and I, over the year-and-a-month that this site’s been in existence. I feel the love from you coming here and reading all our stuff, and I hope you feel the love right back from me. We’ve got a great thing between us, you shadowy blips on the views counter and myself. Sometimes I wish you’d participate more with comments and stuff, but s’all good—you read, you enjoy, and that’s what matters most of all.
Because we don’t exactly talk much—like I said, totally fine, no worries—you might not know that I’m not just a pontificator on all things film—I’m a maker of them as well. I’ve made two feature-length films to date—Shredder and Rehearsals. Ya boy Harry Brewis reviewed the former on here not too long ago, and ya girl Chloe Pelletier reviewed the latter. These films mean a lot to them, and mean a lot to a bunch of other people. But as of yet, they remain unseen by most.
Continue reading Watch My Films, ‘Shredder’ and ‘Rehearsals’, For Free!
Seduced and Abandoned (2013)
Written and Directed by James Toback
The title of this review contains one of the greatest puns I’ve ever made in my entire life. (To get it, you have to be aware of the song ‘You Are Worthless, Alec Baldwin’, which plays at the very end of the credits of Team America: World Police.) What makes my pun so great and so apt is that this documentary, Seduced and Abandoned, is literally about Alec Baldwin thinking he’s worth a lot more money than he is actually worth, and constantly being reminded by various knowledgable people that he isn’t, and him not understanding. That’s the majority of this movie, which might make it sound like the greatest movie ever made, but unfortunately, it isn’t. It’s downright grating in its unrelenting narcissism. There are parts where you’ll damn near groan your throat off, and eye roll your eyes off. But you should still watch it. It may not be a good film, but it sure as hell is an important one.
Continue reading You Are Worth Less, Alec Baldwin: A Review-ish Rant on ‘Seduced and Abandoned’
Directed by Cody Clarke
IMDb Synopsis: An experimental documentary in which fly-on-the-wall footage of the lives of sixteen aspiring actresses from NYC is collaged to form a day in the life of one aspiring actress—each ‘playing’ a different aspect of the woman. Through this unconventional approach, filmmaker Cody Clarke has painted a visual poem; an ode to both the beauty and the pain of solitude.
When I go to a museum with friends, unless I’m really close to them already, I act weird. I move from piece to piece quickly, afraid of blocking someone’s view. I make awkward quips. I find myself concerned with whether the person next to me knows more or less about the art than I do. And I almost certainly never read the plaques, although I pretend to. All this doesn’t happen on purpose—it’s an instinctive, self-defeating defense mechanism, and it’s embarrassing and insulting to the art.
This same insecurity happens to pretty much everyone I’ve watched a Cody Clarke movie with. I know this, because I’ve forced a lot of friends to watch them.
Continue reading ‘Rehearsals’ is a Zeitgeist and Your Bed is a Museum
Directed by Zachary Levy
A day after I posted my How To Watch a Film essay, I received an email from the director of this film. He reached out because loved the essay and he’d gone through, with his own film, exactly what I described going through with my film, Rehearsals—people that were ambivalent about it when watching a screener and then blown away in a theater setting.
For a long time, he avoided releasing his film on DVD because he felt that a theater was the ideal setting to see it, and he wanted to do whatever he could to make sure as many people as possible could see it properly. However, he’s recently decided to finally take the plunge and release it on DVD and Digital, and it’s due out this month.
Zach was kind enough to send me an advance copy of the DVD in the mail, which I watched this past week, and let me tell you—this thing is plenty powerful on an average-sized flatscreen. I don’t know that I could even handle this thing in a movie theater. This is one of the most gripping vérité docs I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s no surprise at all that it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was on Roger Ebert’s Year’s Best list, and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.
Continue reading Strongman: Pitch-Perfect Cinema Vérité