FilmspottingAuthor: Kempenaar & Larsen / Panoply
22 Mar 2018


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Weekly film podcast and WBEZ radio show from Chicago featuring in-depth reviews, top 5 lists and interviews. Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen. Part of the Panoply Network.

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    Minnelli Marathon #4 - The Band Wagon

    "Professor" Michael Phillips returns for a conversation about one of his favorite Minnelli films, the 1953 musical THE BAND WAGON. The plot has Fred Astaire as a washed up song and dance man who gets paired with Cyd Charisse's anxious ballerina for a doomed stage musical based on the Faust legend. With Astaire and Charisse and a script by the same duo that wrote "Singin' in the Rain," expectations were high. But despite a few stand-out numbers - go ahead and YouTube "Dancing in the Dark", and the film's noir-inspired "Girl Hunt" finale - Adam and Josh come up a little short of being able to say: "That's Entertainment."

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  • Posted on 21 Mar 2018

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    #672: Miller's Crossing / FS Madness Sweet 16

    Note: your "Coen Brothers Ranked" lists may need some readjusting. Especially if you haven't seen - or haven't seen in a long while - the Coens densely plotted and impeccably cast third feature, MILLER'S CROSSING. The period gangster picture was a revelatory experience in Josh's early cinematic life, but it had been a couple decades since his last visit. Likewise for Adam. After getting unceremoniously bounced in the first round of the Best of the 90s Filmspotting Madness tournament, they decided to give "Crossing" another look and find it somehow an even greater achievement than those ecstatic first impressions. A couple decades watching Coen Brothers movies can, it seems, help you see even their earlier work more clearly. (And, oh man, that Carter Burwell score.) All that, plus Filmspotting Madness round two results and third-round matchups.

    0:00-1:30 - Intro
    3:54-41:52 - Sacred Cow: "Miller's Crossing"
    Carter Burwell, "Miller's Crossing Theme"
    45:40-50:39 - Next Week / Notes
    50:39-1:03:36 - Filmspotting Madness: Sweet 16
    Stealers Wheel, "Stuck In The Middle With You"
    1:05:50-1:26:44 - Filmspotting Madness: Sweet 16, cont
    1:26:44-1:29:13 - Close     

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  • Posted on 16 Mar 2018

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    Minnelli Marathon #3 - The Bad and the Beautiful

    Take a quick look through Vincente Minnelli's directing credits and one thing becomes clear: he only worked with the best. In his 1952 Hollywood melodrama THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, Minnelli gets a simultaneously charming and sinister performance from Kirk Douglas as a movie producer who'll do anything for his art. And - even better - Lana Turner as a starlet struggling with drink and depression.

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  • Posted on 14 Mar 2018

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    #671: A Wrinkle in Time / Filmspotting Madness (Round 2)

    It's been a week since their review of "Annihilation," but it feels like Adam and Josh never quite escaped The Shimmer. Ava DuVernay's visually adventurous adaptation of the beloved (and "unfilmable") sci-fi/fantasy kids novel shares some of the apocalyptic themes of Alex Garland's film - as well as some of its ability to confound. While agreeing that DuVernay managed to make something personal out of her 100-million-dollar, effects-driven film, they disagree about just how successful that something is. Plus, Filmspotting Madness: Best of the '90s opening round results and second round matchups.   

    0:00-2:08 - Intro
    4:42-22:13 - Review: "A Wrinkle in Time"
    Shannon and the Clams, "The Boy"
    24:53-32:05 - Oscars Recap / Next Week / Notes
    32:05-50:15 - Filmspotting Madness: Round 2
    Jonathan Richman, "There's Something About Mary"
    51:29-1:21:36 - Filmspotting Madness: Round 2, cont
    1:21:36-1:24:24 - Close / Hot Mics

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  • Posted on 09 Mar 2018

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    Minnelli Marathon #2 - Meet Me in St. Louis

    Vincente Minnelli's first collaboration with future wife Judy Garland was the 1903-set MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, the second film in Filmspotting's six-film Minnelli Marathon. Coming a year after his 1943 debut "Cabin the Sky," the movie charts a year in the life of the Smith family, happily settled in the title city and eagerly anticipating the 1904 World's Fair. Despite its reputation as one of the great MGM musicals, Adam and Josh admit to some disappointment at the film's lack of stakes and its nostalgic embrace of the nuclear family as a platonic ideal. They admit to being charmed by Garland, though, along with a number of scenes that allow Minnelli to show off his technical brilliance.

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  • Posted on 07 Mar 2018


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