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FILM IN FOCUS PODCAST

FILM IN FOCUS PODCAST FILM IN FOCUS is a podcast that looks at film from an analytical perspective. Jason and Danny host

In 2008 Jason and Danny sat in front of a mic and told the world of their love for all things film. A few years later and over a hundred episodes later they are still talking. With a wide variety of episodes ranging from director and actor spotlights, a study of genres, overviews of cinema through the decades, and the annual Oscar Specials Film in Focus covers it all.

Max von Sydow has passed.  Anyone have a favorite von Sydow film?  Mine is "The Virgin Spring."- Danny
03/09/2020
Actor Max Von Sydow dies aged 90

Max von Sydow has passed. Anyone have a favorite von Sydow film? Mine is "The Virgin Spring."

- Danny

The actor appeared in more than 100 films and TV series, from The Exorcist to Game of Thrones.

A Universal Exec says that the Dark Universe failed because "The world was not asking for a shared universe of classic m...
03/01/2020
You Think? Universal Exec Admits The Dark Universe Was A 'Failed' Experiment

A Universal Exec says that the Dark Universe failed because "The world was not asking for a shared universe of classic monsters." Is that true for you? Not for me. I loved the idea, as a fan of the classics. I stayed away from The Mummy not because of the shared universe concept, but because it was a big, action oriented blockbuster. I was hoping for a shared universe that still kept the personal, intimate tone of the originals. - Danny

Universal's attempt at an interconnected film universe never got out of the starting gate.

Have you seen Koganda's video essay for the Criterion release of Roma?  It's stellar.
02/29/2020
Nothing at Stake

Have you seen Koganda's video essay for the Criterion release of Roma? It's stellar.

In this video essay, Kogonada, the director of COLUMBUS (2017), examines how Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA imbues memories of everyday life in early-1970s Mexico…

The curious career of David Gordon Green.  Green directed "George Washington," widely considered one of the best indie f...
02/28/2020
The Curious Career of David Gordon Green

The curious career of David Gordon Green. Green directed "George Washington," widely considered one of the best indie films ever made. "Moonlight" director Barry Jenkins once said that he was blown away when he found out that Green was a white dude, because he captured the black-American experience so perfectly, with such beauty. This same director made "Your Highness," widely considered one of the worst films of the decade. He's compiled one of the oddest and most eclectic filmographies of all time. This is a decent video essay about his varied career.

We tend to define filmmakers by their bodies of work: Terrence Malick is an artful filmmaker, Christopher Nolan is a blockbuster filmmaker, Judd Apatow makes...

The best review.
12/19/2019

The best review.

Cold War was, to my mind (Danny), the masterpiece of 2018. Here is an excellent article on the artistic and cultural mas...
06/10/2019
Singing in the Rubble: A Musical Map of the Cold War in Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War - Bright Lights Film Journal

Cold War was, to my mind (Danny), the masterpiece of 2018. Here is an excellent article on the artistic and cultural mastery of the film. My favorite line from the article: "Theirs is a love story ruined by history."

Suddenly jazz became a major taboo in Soviet society until Stalin’s death. In Western Europe, by contrast, mainly in Paris, jazz took off after the Nazis’ defeat in the hues[...]

Did Spielberg really screw Michael Douglas out of an award?  There's no way to know, but Spielberg's crusade against Net...
06/09/2019
Michael Douglas says Steven "I hate TV movies" Spielberg killed his best shot to win at Cannes

Did Spielberg really screw Michael Douglas out of an award? There's no way to know, but Spielberg's crusade against Netflix and HBO films at least has his own peers questioning his motives.

There are few people in Hollywood more obviously powerful than Steven Spielberg—certified hitmaker, multiple Oscar winner (and governor’s board member), and possibly the most famous filmmaker on the planet. Which is why it’s such a big deal when Spielberg, as he has several times over the last...

If you get past all the noise regarding Pattinson's Twilight past, you realize that he spent the last decade collecting ...
06/02/2019
Robert Pattinson as ‘The Batman’ Tells Hollywood Stars: Choose Your Directors First

If you get past all the noise regarding Pattinson's Twilight past, you realize that he spent the last decade collecting directors. He's worked with multiple indie and art-house legends. So why re-enter the fray of franchise backlash? Because Matt Reeves is a director worth adding to what is becoming one of the most interesting oeuvres in recent cinema.

Pattinson spent the last decade choosing his movies by their directors, and there's no reason to assume "The Batman" is any different.

Matthew Vaughn's take on what Marvel should do with FF and the X-Men.  Use the FF as fast as possible, but leave the X-M...
06/01/2019
What Marvel Should Do With The Fantastic Four And The X-Men, According To Matthew Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn's take on what Marvel should do with FF and the X-Men. Use the FF as fast as possible, but leave the X-Men alone for a while and let them breathe before rebooting them in the MCU. I tend to think he's right on both counts. Any thoughts?

Matthew Vaughn has a lot of experience in the world of comic book movies, and he has an idea on how Marvel should handle bringing the Fantastic Four and X-Men to the big screen.

Interesting take at GQ.  Despite stellar reviews, Booksmart is being called a financial bomb.  This could have an impact...
05/30/2019
The Way We Measure a Movie's Success Is Outdated

Interesting take at GQ. Despite stellar reviews, Booksmart is being called a financial bomb. This could have an impact on movies like this getting made. This article asks if we're judging financial performance by outdated models, and suggests that the music industry, with its streaming figures and financial "afterlife," would provide a better rubric for judging financial success in cinema.

In the wake of poor box office results for critical hits, Hollywood would be wise to turn to the record industry for guidance.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters came out today in Ireland.  Although I did not love the first one, I really enjoyed Kong:...
05/29/2019
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Early Reviews Are Super Polarizing

Godzilla: King of the Monsters came out today in Ireland. Although I did not love the first one, I really enjoyed Kong: Skull Island and I'm still extremely interested in this franchise. I plan to rewatch 2014's Godzilla tonight and run out to see the new one in the next couple of days. The reviews for this film are extremely polarized. Critics either hate it as a film, or love it as a kaiju film.

Anyone else going to see this?

Reviews for Godzilla: King of the Monsters arrive.

Check out the Criterion closet picks of the legendary Terry Gilliam
05/28/2019
Terry Gilliam’s Closet Picks

Check out the Criterion closet picks of the legendary Terry Gilliam

While in town for the release of his new movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the legendary filmmaker stopped by to pick up some Criterion favorites.

Sure, she was 90, but this is still a bit of a surprise, in terms of timing, because she's been so active.  She premiere...
03/29/2019
Influential director Agnes Varda dies

Sure, she was 90, but this is still a bit of a surprise, in terms of timing, because she's been so active. She premiered a new film just last month. A true legend.

Agnes Varda was one of Europe's most acclaimed film-makers, with films like Cleo from 5 to 7.

With the success of "The Favourite," I was reminded of director Yorgos Lanthimos' Criterion closet picks from a couple o...
03/05/2019
Yorgos Lanthimos and Ariane Labed’s Closet Picks

With the success of "The Favourite," I was reminded of director Yorgos Lanthimos' Criterion closet picks from a couple of years ago. Some good choices in here.

During their trip inside our closet, the Greek director and actor (who are married) share their love of Robert Bresson, Jean-Pierre Melville, Luis Buñuel, and the Maysles' Salesman, "the best documentary ever made."

03/01/2019

It's been nearly a week. Anyone have thoughts on the Oscars?
Anyone keep score on predictions?

Oscar season is here and we didn’t want to not do an episode on our thoughts and picks! The only catch is that it’s an e...
02/18/2019

Oscar season is here and we didn’t want to not do an episode on our thoughts and picks! The only catch is that it’s an episode on Jason’s other podcast Flicks! Join us over there for Oscar goodness! FLICKS PODCAST

It's good to see some major voices, such as del Toro, Cuaron, and Lubezki hit out against the Academy here.  One point t...
02/13/2019
Oscar Nominees Furious Over Exclusion From Telecast: ‘Another Slap in the Face’

It's good to see some major voices, such as del Toro, Cuaron, and Lubezki hit out against the Academy here. One point they've all made across the board, that cannot be missed, is that two of the awards that have been pushed into commercial breaks, cinematography and editing, are literally the building blocks of cinema. As the article states, before any other aspect of film even existed, before directing, acting, special effects, or even sound - all cinema started with a person and a camera. In other words, a cinematographer.
What's more, del Toro mentions that editing is possibly the next most important building block. He refers to those two aspects as "cinema itself." Cuaron stated "In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing." I understand the shelved awards are supposed to rotate every year, but not airing these two awards is an odd choice.

The Oscars have stepped in it again. On Tuesday, Hollywood filmmakers and leading craftspeople roundly condemned a decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to hand out four awa…

A few choice quotes about the back and forth with attempting to change the Oscars: "The academy has been tying itself in...
02/09/2019
Only maniacs and journalists stay up to watch the Oscars

A few choice quotes about the back and forth with attempting to change the Oscars:

"The academy has been tying itself in knots trying to reverse a decline in ratings...One nonetheless gets the sense of an organisation engineering a construction that will satisfy none of its intended users."

"The academy is seeking to reform the Oscars by excising all the good bits."

"In truth, all such awards ceremonies have declining figures. Most live TV has declining figures. Pandering to the lowest denominator will not reverse that."

"The overwhelming sense is that the Oscars are being stripped of their defining characteristics. People aren’t watching this; maybe people will watch something that isn’t this. They may as well rename it Oscar Island, people it with young folk in bikinis and give the statuette to the last person voted out by the public."

Donald Clarke: The academy has been tying itself in knots trying to reverse a decline in ratings

02/08/2019

Albert Finney has passed. Anyone have a favorite role of his? So many good ones.

Miller's Crossing, Scrooge, Big Fish, the Bourne films, Annie, Murder on the Orient Express, Amazing Grace, Skyfall, Before the Devil Knows you're Dead, to name a few I really enjoyed.

02/01/2019

As entertaining as the Marvel movies are, they've done very little to surprise me. I'd love to see End Game make some legit surprising character decisions.

Pawlikowski directed my top film of 2018, Cold War, as well as Ida, which was in my top ten from 2014.  This is his Crit...
01/31/2019
Pawel Pawlikowski’s Top 10

Pawlikowski directed my top film of 2018, Cold War, as well as Ida, which was in my top ten from 2014. This is his Criterion top ten. He cheated, because he put 14 films on the list. I own 9 of them, and really admire his choices. Interestingly, he chose "Ivan's Childhood" as his top Tarkovsky film, which is usually seen as a "minor" work from Tarkovsky, but is also my favorite. I wish Criterion would let me do a top ten!

- Danny

The Oscar-winning director of Ida and Cold War walks through key periods in his life that have been shaped by his favorite films, including masterpieces by Godard, Malick, and Tarkovsky.

01/22/2019
oscar.go.com

Any thoughts on this year's Oscar Noms?

oscar.go.com/nominees

Some big films moved from 2019 release to 2020, and there is chatter that some of that might have to do with Disney's sl...
01/18/2019
Disney's Most Important Movie Of 2019 Isn't 'Avengers' Or 'Star Wars'

Some big films moved from 2019 release to 2020, and there is chatter that some of that might have to do with Disney's slate for the year. Essentially, studios are simply saying "We'll try our luck next year." It appears almost as if, rather than simply putting up a good showing, Disney is purposely building 2019 as a banner year. It's not only that they have lots of interesting projects slated for release, but that they have some of the most important films of the last 20 years of Disney all coming out the same year. That's not a coincidence.

For example, the MCU was always building towards Avengers: End Game, and they're adding Capt Marvel and Spiderman for good measure. Star Wars has been building towards Epidose 9. The biggest Pixar franchise, Toy Story, has a sequel, as does one of their biggest Disney Studios films, Frozen. Their live action remakes? They're releasing Dumbo, Aladdin, and Lion King, all this year.

Disney earned $7 billion in 2018, but 2019 looks to crush that number. Forbes ran an interesting article arguing that Artemis Fowl is Disney's only "risk" of the entire year, and even if it bombs, they'll dominate the box office. The one down side, is that if Artemis Fowl does not do well, it will stand in a long line of bombs for new Disney franchises (Solo, Prince of Persia, John Carter, The Lone Ranger, Tomorrowland, A Wrinkle in Time), and would force them to set aside new projects and continue to simply milk the established franchises for all they're worth. The article argues that this makes Artemis Fowl Disney's most important film in a year of heavyweights.

'Avengers: Endgame' and 'Frozen 2' will rule in 2019, but it'll be 'Artemis Fowl' that may determine Walt Disney's future.

09/28/2018

Regarding the upcoming release of Venom.

There has been a lot of criticism of the DCU for spreading things loosely, having DC films unrelated to the "main" DCU storylines. So, we're now getting two DC film versions of the Joker, etc. This all despite the fact that DC did not use certain characters for the Arrowverse, to hold them over for films and limit confusion!

I see the the Marvel/Sony dynamic regarding the Spiderverse much the same way, and it's killed my enthusiasm to see Venom or any other Sony films depicting Spiderman characters. I just don't think Spiderman is as compelling without these characters, and I don't think these characters are interesting without Spiderman. There is some talk (rumors really) that they may intersect, but Sony is clearly "world building" without Spiderman.

What say you? How do you feel about this dynamic?

- Danny

The Academy is backing away from it's Achievement in Popular Film award they planned to introduce during the next Oscar ...
09/06/2018
Academy Postponing New Popular Oscar Category

The Academy is backing away from it's Achievement in Popular Film award they planned to introduce during the next Oscar telecast.

The award was to have been introduced at the 91st Oscars.

The Academy is adding a new category to this years Oscars! The “Achievement in Popular Film” category is hoping to calm ...
08/08/2018
And the Oscar for the most popular film goes to...? Academy adds new category

The Academy is adding a new category to this years Oscars! The “Achievement in Popular Film” category is hoping to calm some of the complaints that large blockbuster films never get nominations. How do you feel about this new change?

The film Academy introduces a new category for achievement in popular film

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Comments

Hello men, either of you watching "The Boys"?
Where is the best place to download your podcast for android?
Thoughts?
Hey Boys!

I wanted you to know that the seed of film love that was in my heart was nourished and watered by your podcast. For about a year I listened to every episode... a couple of times. I learned more about film from you guys than I did in Film School. In fact, I used what I learned from you to ace film school. I moved from Utah to LA about two years ago. I literally listened through most of your episodes on my drive from Utah to LA.

What I am saying is that you two are directly involved in my love of film and the passion that burns so deep for storytelling.

I took that love and passion and now work at Warner Bros. I am working with DC on their new DC Universe app. It took a couple of years of serious hustle, but I am extremely happy!

Thank you for doing what you are doing. I know you have busy lives. I know you have jobs and kids and everything else that can get in the way of recording. Just know that I am grateful for your efforts in making this podcast!
If you ever need another fan boy to represent! Let me know! My nerd credit is through the roof at this point ;)

Keep doing what you do!
MOTHER!
Great episode, guys. I really enjoyed your opinions. Jason, way to represent for Ghostbusters. I mean, it's not better than Hell or High Water, but it is a solid flick! Danny, you have excellent taste in films, since your list was nearly the same as mine.
I was surprised you guys didn't mention Twin Peaks in your discussion of serialized TV shows...
Any chance you would want to swap a share for a share with VHS Wasteland?

https://www.facebook.com/VHSWasteland-218125511571919/
Just curious when you are going to post the rankings for the Oscar challenge?
Murray delights as curmudgeonly 'Vincent'
This is a good list. There are only a couple in here that I haven't seen. What so you think, not just about the movies, but the order as well. They mention flowing Indiana Jones with Jack Sparrow, etc.
Danny, now your in Uk will you be benifiting from the earlier showings of marvel films. Im seeing it at the vue pre showing tonight.
x

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