Karina Longworth is one of America’s busiest film writers. Starting as a prolific freelancer in the early 2000s, the LA-based critic later served as an editor at the LA Weekly and the Village Voice, and in the last decade she has pursued increasingly ambitious projects. Her monographs on Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, published in 2013 and 2014, are richly observed studies of the craft of acting, and her most deeply researched book yet—Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood (2018)—is an eye-opening indictment of exploitation and abuse during the golden age of the studio system. Forgotten stories of that era are tantalizingly uncovered in Longworth’s most popular creation, You Must Remember This, a passion project she launched in 2014 that has been widely hailed as one of the best film podcasts around.
We were excited to invite Longworth into our closet late last year, and her eclectic choices ranged well beyond the Hollywood classics and rarities she has devoted so much of her time to exploring: among her selections were European art-house staples like Miloš Forman’s Loves of a Blonde and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Mamma Roma, the French documentary masterpiece Chronicle of a Summer, and the pioneering American indie Border Radio.
Click on the video above for her commentary on the movies she took home! Then check out her latest project, It’s the Pictures That Got Small, a new podcast in which she and cohost Nate DiMeo (creator of the podcast The Memory Palace) watch and discuss films they haven’t seen before.