Listening and Viewing: PTA and More

We open a round of holiday listening and viewing with Bill Simmons and Sean Fennessey’s conversation (99’38”) at the Ringer with Paul Thomas Anderson about Phantom Thread, the few brief clashes he had with Burt Reynolds on the set of Boogie Nights (1997), working with Adam Sandler on Punch-Drunk Love (2002), and the intense shoot of The Master (2012).

On the new episode of Switchblade Sisters (46’07”), April Wolfe talks with Anna Biller (The Love Witch) about Joan Crawford’s work in David Miller’s Sudden Fear (1992) and “dissect the masterful screenplay, written by famed female screenwriter, Lenore Coffee.”

For Episode 453 of Filmwax Radio (82’60”), Adam Schartoff meets up with Abel Ferrara to “discuss his having transplanted to Rome and his enjoying a family life there” as well as his latest documentary, Piazza Vittorio, and with Matthew Heineman to talk about City of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Oscar for best documentary.

“My mentor Stuart Rosenberg always said you have to make them laugh, cry, or scare the shit out of ’em,” mother! director Darren Aronofsky tells Chris O’Falt on the new episode of the Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast (27’35”).

Peter Labuza, host of The Cinephiliacs, talks with Mark Toscano, a film preservationist at the Academy Film Archive, about “his road from the George Eastman House to Canyon Cinema to the Academy, and some of the unique questions and relationships he builds as the canon of experimental cinema continue to expand under his purview. Finally, the two dive into the complex and wondrous world of Chick Strand in Soft Fiction, whose detailing of the sexual experiences and desires of women under her lyrical eye has gained complexity in today's discussions of sex and power.” (113’20”).

Elvis Mitchell, host of The Treatment, has recently been talking with Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, 29’06”), Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, 29’09”), and Jordan Peele (Get Out, 28’53”).

“Sleepover, or, The Comfort of Movies” is the theme of the conversation between Andrew Chan, Nellie Killian, Violet Lucca, and Michael Koresky on the latest Film Comment Podcast (71’29”).

On the latest episode of the Projection Booth (236’57”), Beth Accomando and Mike White discuss John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow (1986) with guests Karen Fang, Kenneth E. Hall, and Barna William Donovan.


Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin introduce their latest audiovisual essay for the Notebook (17’53”): “In Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963) there is an early scene, set in the villa garden of the movie producer Prokosch (Jack Palance), which encapsulates the feeling that the film sits nervously, but knowingly, astride eras—on the one side, the classical era of mise en scène, especially as it had evolved with color and widescreen in the 1950s (say, in the films of Vincente Minnelli); and, on the other side, the modernist era of which Godard himself was such a prominent figurehead. . . . But our analysis of such a rich film should not be a rigid, either/or proposition. It remains for us, almost fifty-five years on from Contempt’s initial release, to fully grasp Godard’s modernist gestures, poised between a fullness of mythic and classical meaning, and the possibilities of a newly fragmented universe of signs.”

And “Moon, Waterfall, Tree, Stream” is the title of the latest entry in Álvarez López and Martin’s series of audiovisual essays for De Filmkrant, “The Thinking Machine” (6’02”).

“The Man Who Knew Too Much” (6’05”) is Philip Brubaker’s essay on Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man (2009).

Also at the Notebook, Michael Pattison and Neil Young look back on the fourth edition of Porto/Post/Doc, which bills itself as “a cinema of the real festival” (48’13”).

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