From the intro:
“The winning film of this year’s Locarno Film Festival wasn’t filled with famous actors nor was it brashly experimental and highbrow. Instead, it was a quiet film about an arthouse director meeting an artist, hanging out, drinking, flirting, and failing. Then the film starts again, giving the director and artist another chance at some sort of connection. It’s Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s Right Now, Wrong Then, and that pitch is devilishly similar to nearly every film he’s made recently. But, the Hong acolytes couldn’t care less. Since 2005’s Tale of Cinema, Hong’s working scripts have become shorter and shorter, now completing a draft half-an-hour before shooting. Instead of taut, normal narratives, characters are thrown into each other, to be attracted and flung apart, all fueled by how much soju they can drink. His shooting style has also simplified: one camera is now used to capture an entire scene, only able to pan and zoom. However, his films are far from simple. Sometimes scenes are mirrored with different characters or repeated as in Tale of Cinema and 2012’s In Another Country. Sometimes reality is never specified, such as the film-within-a-film in 2010’s Oki’s Movie. Regardless of whatever formal twist he’ll give it, certain cinephiles will always be excited when another 80-minute long Hong comes through the festivals.”
“For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Guest Nick Newman is an associate editor of The Film Stage and has recently contributed to The Film Stage, The Village Voice, and Little White Lies.
From the intro:
“In an interview with The Independent, Dustin Hoffman recently recounted his time working on a small movie back in the 60s: “it had a wonderful script that they spent three years on, and an exceptional director with an exceptional cast and crew, but it was a small movie, four walls and actors, that is all, and yet it was 100 days of shooting.” That movie was The Graduate, made for $3 million in 1967 by director Mike Nichols (1931-2014) and, given its weight as a cultural mainstay, is probably not thought as a small picture anymore. The Graduate launched Hoffman’s career and validated Nichols not only as an adept of the psychological drama, but a profitable one. A year before, he made a film adaptation of pitch black comedy Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a film about the usually unspoken struggles of human relationships that would extend to nearly every film he’d make. Whether it be tales of war – 1970’s Catch-22 and 1988’s Biloxi Blues – tales of jealousy in Hollywood from 1990’s Postcards from the Edge, or tales of a publishing house editor-turned-werewolf in 1994’s Wolf ––– relationships in psychological turmoil set the foundation for a Nichols film.”
“Why don’t you leave me?… For God’s sake, I’d almost marry you if you’d leave me.”
– Jonathan in Carnal Knowledge
“No one has ever asked an actor, ‘You’re playing a strong-minded man…’ We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal.”
– Meryl Streep
Guest Kyle Stevens currently teaches film studies at Colby College, and has contributed to The Film Experience, as well as academic journals Film Criticism, Cinema Journal, World Picture Journal, and Critical Quarterly. His book Mike Nichols: Sex, Language, and the Reinvention of Psychological Realism is now out via Oxford University Press.
From the intro:
“Director Michael Mann has lived many lives. His career started with the 1979 TV movie The Jericho Mile, immediately moved into comfortably pulpy material with 1981’s crime thriller Thief, and even waded into atmospheric b-horror territory with 1983’s The Keep. Always with one foot deep into the world of television, Mann reinvented the serial drama with Miami Vice in 1984, a series which carried an attitude that would affect all heavyweight television today as well as Mann’s own later work. Though he could play the high-profile Hollywood game with big-budget pictures The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, and Ali, Mann is now known for defying the Hollywood look, even in those films, and placing his own brand of visual and tonal experimentation over pulp material. 2004’s Collateral brought digital filmmaking out of the festival circuit and into common practice. 2006’s Miami Vice now stands as a cult classic among many cinephiles, its moody dialogue and neon photography communicating something that most neo-noir films have never touched. 2009’s Public Enemies and 2015’s Blackhat remain divisive among cinephiles but well-loved by many acolytes as Mann’s rough digital look is still undeniably there despite the improvements made to the medium. You’ll know a Michael Mann film when you see it.”
“The way in is usually through the amygdala, not the cerebral cortex.”
– Michael Mann
“My life’s a disaster zone. I got a stepdaughter so fucked up because her real father’s this large-type asshole. I got a wife, we’re passing each other on the down-slope of a marriage – my third – because I spend all my time chasing guys like you around the block. That’s my life.”
– Vincent Hanna in Heat
“Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.”
– Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw
Guest Keith Uhlich is a member of the New York Film Critics’ Circle and has written for Slant Magazine, Time Out New York, The Hollywood Reporter, The AV Club, BBC, Reverse Shot, and many other publications.
I’m very excited to announce the launch of Auteur Museum, a podcast dedicated to investigating those who shaped film history. The idea for Auteur Museum came though listening to one of my favorite informative podcasts, Philosophy Bites, which separates each episode into focused looks at specific topics in philosophy, delivered by experts on each topic. To my knowledge, no equivalent of Philosophy Bites exists in the wide world of film podcasting. AuMu will fill that gap by asking short, focused questions to experts of various “auteurs.”
You might notice an problem with that word. It’s already a very limiting scope if we’re talking about Andrew Sarris’s definition. AuMu will use a very liberal definition that includes acting, producing, screenwriting, and much more as categories of an auteur. If they’ve affected film history in some major way, the Museum will cover them.
Since AuMu is in its zygotic stage, a lot of initial focus will go toward growth. We will never resort to clickbait or hot takes, which means we’ll need organic growth from dedicated fans of this sort of material. Here’s where you can help for free: follow AuMu on twitter, like the page on Facebook, and spread the word throughout the film community. Every online and offline mention will help tremendously. Here’s how you can help for money: donate via our donation page. Each dollar will go toward improving the quality of the podcast, and, therefore, improving your enjoyment. Finally, if you’re a film academic or established critic who would like to be a guest on the podcast, please email me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auteur Museum is focused on education for students of film, passionate newcomers to cinephilia, and veterans of the film community. Thank you for visiting the Museum.