FilmspottingAuthor: Filmspotting
11 Dec 2018


Download, listen or watch all podcasts

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.

  • Listen

    #708: Roma / The Favourite

    Seeing the Fellini in Cuarón and the Kubrick in Lanthimos.

    Adam and Josh break out the high praise for their reviews of Alfonso Cuarón's ROMA and Yorgos Lanthimos's THE FAVOURITE – both films in the conversation for the best of 2018, and both departures of sorts for the directors. For "Roma," Cuarón returns to his native Mexico for the first time since 2001's "Y Tu Mama Tambien," while taking on writing, directing, shooting and co-editing jobs to tell the personal story of his middle class upbringing in early '70s Mexico City. Lanthimos, who has spent his career so far making chilly and darkly funny contemporary fables, time travels to early 18th century England and the reign of Queen Anne for his latest, a costume drama that proves to be a perfect playground for the director's bleak wit and gimlet-eyed view of humanity. Those reviews, plus Josh on Golden Brick contender HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING and the Best of 2018 listener poll.

    0:00-1:10 - Billboard
    1:10-20:14 - Review: "The Favourite"
    Nino Rota, "Roma" (Theme)
    20:53-21:37 - Donations
    21:37-24:26 - Next Week / Notes
    24:26-35:26 - Golden Brickspotting: "Hale County This Morning..."
    35:26-39:47 - Polls [Best of 2018, Cuaron's Best]
    39:47-1:00:40 - Review: "Roma"
    1:00:40-1:03:43 - Close

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Posted on 07 Dec 2018

  • Listen

    #707: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs / Creed II / Burning

    The 15th best film the Coens have ever made. Or maybe the 12th best. Possibly higher.

    When news first broke about the new Coen brothers project for Netflix, it looked like it was going to be a limited-run series and not a proper film. This was all perfectly well and good, but how would that work with existing rankings of the Coens' filmography? Turns out we needn't have worried. THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS is not a series, but an anthology film made up of six distinct stories, all set in the 19th century American west, all peppered with the Coens' trademark wordplay and all deeply concerned with death. Adam and Josh debate whether the anthology's morbid preoccupation is ultimately nihilistic or hopeful, but they agree that the film is leavened by moments of grace (and some really good jokes). Plus, Adam on CREED II and a review of Lee Chang-dong's BURNING.     

    0:00-1:14 - Billboard
    1:14-33:46 - Review: "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
    Willie Watson & Tim Blake Nelson, "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings"
    34:44-35:14 - Donations
    35:14-38:59 - Next Week / Live Show
    38:59-43:37 - In Memoriam: Roeg, Bertolucci, Jay
    43:37-52:29 - Polls [Oscar Follow-Ups, Alfonso Cuaron]
    52:29-58:49 - Adam Recommends: "Creed II"
    58:49-1:10:38 - Review: "Burning"
    1:10:38-1:13:45 - Close / Outtake

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Posted on 30 Nov 2018

  • Listen

    #706: Q&A - Minding the Gap / Golden Brick Preview

    With year-end fast approaching, Adam and Josh talk through the current crop of nominees for the show's Golden Brick Award, which goes to the overlooked or underseen film of the year. Also on the show, Adam's conversation with Bing Liu, Joshua Altman and Diane Moy Quon – the director, editor and one of the producers – of one of those Brick nominees, MINDING THE GAP. Adam and Josh also revisit their review from earlier this year of Chloe Zhao's THE RIDER, another nominee and, like "Gap," one of the standout films of the year.

    0:00-1:16 - Billboard
    1:16-31:56 - "Minding the Gap" Premiere Q&A
    Baker Man, "Approach"
    32:44-39:44 - Golden Brick Preview
    39:44-55:16 - Review: "The Rider"
    55:16-58:39 - Close

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Posted on 16 Nov 2018

  • Listen

    #705: Widows / Bohemian Rhapsody / Wildlife

    Queen Viola. Queen Carey. And... Queen.

    Oscar-winner Viola Davis heads the ace ensemble for Steve McQueen's ("12 Years A Slave") new Chicago-set heist thriller WIDOWS, writer Gillian Flynn's adaptation of a BBC miniseries from the 80s. Adam and Josh dig McQueen's take on a corrupt Chi-town, but debate his handling of some of the performances. They're in more agreement on actor Paul Dano's assured directing debut, WILDLIFE, which stars the always-great-but-maybe-never-greater Carey Mulligan along with Jake Gyllenhaal. And while Adam can't argue with the critical consensus on the new Queen biopic BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, he can recommend the band's legendary 1985 Live Aid performance... which is available in all its glory online.

    0:00-2:40 - Billboard
    4:14-34:45 - Review: "Widows"
    Queen, "Killer Queen"
    35:25-45:31 - Next Week / Movie Passes / Notes
    45:31-52:37 - Massacre Theatre
    52:37-1:00:11 - Adam on "Bohemian Rhapsody"
    Queen, "I Want To Break Free"
    1:00:50-1:03:15 - Donations
    1:06:11-1:22:27 - Review: "Wildlife"
    1:22:27-1:25:50 - Close / Outtake     

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Posted on 09 Nov 2018

  • Listen

    #704: Suspiria / Top 5 Uses of Color

    This episode is sponsored by the color red.

    For his remake of the Dario Argento cult horror classic SUSPIRIA, Luca Guadagnino ("Call Me By Your Name") keeps the '70s German dance academy setting, but adds a lot of real-world political upheaval to the original's bloody witches' brew. Adam and Josh debate the effectiveness of Guadagnino and company's intellectual approach to the story's giallo origins. Plus: there are color movies and then there are movies that have color. Giants of world cinema Kurosawa, Bergman and Hitchcock knew how to flaunt it, but so do an emerging class of young filmmakers who make savvy use of the cinematic palette.

    0:00-1:57 - Billboard
    3:25-30:01 - Review: "Suspiria"
    Thom Yorke, "Suspirium"
    30:54-41:16 - Next Week / Notes
    41:16-48:59 - Polls (Musical Biopics / Best Picture Follow-ups)
    Kay Thompson, "Think Pink" (from "Funny Face")
    49:38-51:38 - Donations & Thank Yous
    53:50-1:29:23 - Top 5: Uses of Color
    1:29:23-1:33:02 - Close / Outtake      

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

  • Posted on 02 Nov 2018


Follow Playlisto