Orson Welles turns the tables on Dick Cavett

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This, I believe, is what is known in the business as "a hoot and a half."

Also: Orson on Winston Churchill, on a cockatoo and on La Grande Illusion.

Mel Brooks' "The Critic"


Mel Brooks won an Oscar for this short, his first film, in the early 1960s. HILARIOUS.

Via Metafilter

Have Netflix? Watch A Thousand Clowns


My favorite movie (well, one of my three favorite movies), "A Thousand Clowns," has been out of print since the early 90s. It never came out on DVD.

HOWEVER, astute Max Funster Carol noticed that for some reason, it IS available on Netflix "Instant Viewing."

So, if you have Netflix and a PC, you can watch the movie by clicking here, then clicking on "Play." I urge you to do so.

Woody Allen Shot A Moose


Here's a TV clip of Woody Allen's legendary moose routine. A perfect example of Allen's standup -- carefully crafted, strong authorial vision, clearly the work of a guy who wrote 1000 gags a week for a living. It's amazing to me how completely dated this is, yet how fresh and funny it remains. It's dated 1965.

(Via JumboDump)

A Quick One While He's Away: Alexandra Lipsitz, director of "Air Guitar Nation," interviewed by Aaron Matthews


Alexandra Lipsitz is the 3-time Emmy nominated co-producer of Project Greenlight & Project Runway. Air Guitar Nation is the first project she's directed. So far, it's collected several festival awards, including "Best Documentary" at the Whistler Film Festival, the "Audience Award" at Austin's South by Southwest, and "Official Selections" at the Tribeca, Woodstock, and Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Our man Aaron Mathews corresponded with Alexandra via email and asked her to answer some questions about the movie.

First of all, I loved the movie. How has the movie been received so far?
We have had an amazing reception everywhere we took the film- it has truly been a great ride.

What do you think is the appeal of air guitar as a competitive sport?
It is like going to a rock concert and sporting event at the same time, you get the best of both worlds.

Where did you get the idea to make a movie about this subject?
We got it from an article in the Wall St. Journal: where all great rock n roll ideas come from.

What made C. Diddy (David Jung) and Bjorn Turoque (Dan Crane) stand out to you as protagonists for the movie, besides the attention each had received in the media?
C diddy wore a lot of red satin and a Hello Kitty breast plate and was an obvious master of air, Bjorn Turoque had a way of showing up so he was kind of hard to miss.

I really liked how you covered the reactions of the competitors' parents. What was the general reaction from the parents to their offspring participating in the Air Guitar championships? I think the parents reacted like all parents should react when their children are involved in an competitive art form. They want their kids to be the best they can be- doesn't matter what the art form or sport, they get involved and caught up in it. My favorite moment was at the 45 Special bar in Oulu Finland, when Mrs Jung had her first bar experience and the naked guy got up on stage- I think this left a lasting impression.

Air Guitar Nation is out on DVD today.

Podthoughts by Ian Brill: Watching the Directors


In our regular feature Podthoughts, freelance journalist Ian Brill helps you navigate your way through the thousands of podcasts available on the internet.

One thing I enjoy setting up on my Netflix queue is to chronologically investigate a director’s oeuvre. I enjoy seeing how a director grows artistically and what themes are constant over his or her career. Joe and Melissa Johnson have a similar approach in their podcast Watching the Directors. Each show is dedicated to one director’s career. So far the hosts have done shows about Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson. There’s a lot of promise to the show but I don’t think it’s all it can be yet.

The first half of the show features interesting discussion about a director. They combine a history lesson with an artistic examination. For the show on Tarantino the hosts bring up the fact that the man behind Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill basically used his job as a video store clerk as film school. From there they note how Tarantino can take something you’ve seen in films before and reinstall a sense of impact to it. One topic that is brought up a lot is gender. The Scorsese shows asks is, since his films feel so masculine, a female lead allowed to be anything other than “one of the boys” to be a valid character. The hosts of the show actually note how the husband of the team is much more attracted to films with strong emotional elements while the wife is happy to watch Die Hard again.

My enthusiasm for the show deflates every time the hosts start with the lists. Besides the fact that I haven’t heard an episode where the “top ten” format is properly explained I find that the lists impede any penetrating analysis. The items go from too broad like favorite movie to silly like imagining what film you’d like to see the director remake. I enjoyed the lists used in Filmspotting because those were jumping off points into greater discussions. Also, they never outweighed their welcome, which is certainly the case for Watching the Directors.

The show wins me back when it ends on a review. Melissa’s reviews of Hannibal and The Departed were strong opinions put forth in a clear accesible way. If only the rest of the show was like that.

Podcast: TSOYA Classic: Finders Keepers


We continue our journey into The Sound of Young America's vast audio archive with this program from The Sound of Young America Classics.

Our guests are Davy Rothbart, editor of Found Magazine, and Lorca Shepperd, co-director of the film Other Peoples' Pictures.

Found Magazine is a collection of notes, photos, and other found items ranging from cute, to absurd, to downright bizarre. Found items, sent in in large part by readers, are published in their irregular magazine, and more frequently, on the Found website. They also have published two books.

Lorca Shepperd's documentary Other Peoples' Pictures offers a glimpse into the world of snapshot enthusiasts -- collectors of vintage amateur photography.

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Podcast: Miranda July ))<>((


Miranda July is the very definition of a multi-media artist. She started in theater, made her name as a performance artist and came to broader national prominence as the writer, director and star of the film "Me, You and Everyone We Know." Her latest endeavor is a book fo short fiction called "No One Belongs Here More Than You." I spoke with Miranda in her office -- a small house in Los Angeles' Echo Park, the floor of which was strewn with art-in-progress.

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Our intersititial music is provided by Dan Wally

You might also enjoy these past programs:
Vendela Vida
Michael Cera
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Podthoughts by Ian Brill: "Filmspotting"


In our regular feature Podthoughts, freelance journalist Ian Brill helps you navigate your way through the thousands of podcasts available on the internet. This week, he looks at the film criticism podcast Filmspotting.

When regular Filmspotting co-host Sam Van Hallgreen was out for a week it was The Onion AV Club’s Scott Tobias that sat in to discuss films with the podcast’s other host Adam Kempenaar. This choice for a substitute should inform you of the tone of this podcast. The hosts of Filmspotting have that same knack that the writers for the AV Club have for taking their knowledge and passion for pop culture and turning it into informative and typically entertaining content.

Van Hallgreen and Kempenaar’s discussions often reach the best type of criticism. The two aren’t giving “liked it/didn’t like it” reviews. Their analyses compliment a viewing of the film itself. A recent argument on Ocean’s 13 involved determining the film’s place in not just the “Ocean’s” series but in director Steven Soderbergh’s entire career. The critics paid careful attention to the acting styles and screenwriting of the film. The talk is always calm and intelligent, never colored by bias. One of the reasons to keep coming back to Filmspotting is to hear how Van Hallgreen and Kempenaar can be both in-depth and brief about a film. They can provide a review and still have time for plenty of other segments in each roughly hour long podcast.

Filmspotting is a rigidly structured podcast. Every entry for an episode on the website has it down to the time codes. There are one or two reviews, a look at new DVDs and gratitude for donations, Massacre Theatre (not a weekly tribute to Tobe Hooper but instead a segment where the hosts butcher a beloved screenplay), Polls and listener feedback, and then the Top 5 lists. They’ve also recently added “The Noir Marathon,” in which Von Hallgreen and Kempenaar dissect a classic like The Killers or Out of the Past. Occasionally a show will feature an interview with a filmmaker, such as a recent talk with A Might Heart director Michael Winterbottom. I was impressed how later in that same show one of the hosts talked about having a Filmspotting meet-up with fans. The podcast does a good job of straddling the line between journalistic professionalism and the looser, more fun feel of podcasting.

What keeps the show fresh is that, thanks to the hosts’ endless familiarity with film, these dependable segments can touch on virtually any subject. One episode can feature the hosts’ top five best films on music, then next week it can be top five best films on journalism. The fun of these lists is telling the other party how wrong they are, which is where the listener feedback comes in. These are the segment that best illustrate the main appeal of Filmspotting: the joy of being a movie geek.

Special Free Screening of The Ten in SF

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Our pals at SF Sketchfest and ThinkFilm are presenting a special FREE screening of David Wain's newest magnum opus, "The Ten" in San Francisco:

Tuesday, July 24
7:30 pm
Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre
1572 California Street, San Francisco.
To attend, you must RSVP to Be sure to give your full name and let us know if you will be bringing a guest. Please note the theatre will be slightly overbooked to ensure capacity; an RSVP will not guarantee you a seat.

For those of you who aren't in San Francisco, you can just watch the trailer above and drool. You can also listen to this interview with Wain on TSOYA last year.

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