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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.
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!
Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Continue reading Smug Film Podcast Episode #1 – Writing About Film (4/7/14)
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’
Any Day Now (2012)
Directed by Travis Fine
Written by Travis Fine and George Arthur Bloom
What does ‘based on a true story’ mean?
The phrase gets used a lot to promote movies, and both your average joe and your above-average joe, when seeing said phrase, typically assumes it to mean that the basics of the story are true. Maybe there’s some artistic license here or there, some composite characters or whatever, but the movie bears enough resemblance to the actual facts that the phrase can be used in good faith.
This assumption is usually correct. Most movies ‘based on a true story’ are, in fact, that. But occasionally, they aren’t. Occasionally, the phrase is used as a deception. The filmmakers and/or producers know that the movie will have more pull if the phrase is there, so they stick it on a poster or promotional material, even though the film is entirely fictional.
Continue reading Any Day Now: ‘Based On A True Story’ My Ass
R.I.P. Roger Joseph Ebert. June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013
Today, John D’Amico was supposed to wax poetic about obscure zombie movies. That piece has been moved to next week. I don’t think anyone wants to read about zombie movies right now, or read about anything to do with movies, for that matter, unless it has to do with Roger Ebert. At least, I certainly don’t.
I expect that over the next few days, weeks, months, I will binge on everything Ebert. Episodes, books, interviews, etcetera. That’s the kind of death this is. A death where you are left speechless and searching, grasping for the artist’s soulful air as though it will wisp away into the ether if you don’t. But of course, it won’t. It will live on forever, and there is all the time in the world to experience and re-experience it. But the impulse is unavoidable.
Continue reading What Roger Ebert’s Death Means