Monday, August 24, 2009

The Films of Quentin Tarantino on Sounds of Cinema

On Sunday, August 30th, 2009, Sounds of Cinema will take a look at the films of Quentin Tarantino and feature music from his work. Tune in to hear music from Reservior Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill and a review of Inglorious Bastards.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Music of John Hughes on Sounds of Cinema

On Sunday, August 23, 2009, Sounds of Cinema will commemorate the memory and influence of John Hughes with a program dedicated entirely to the music of films he wrote, produced, or directed. Music from The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck, and National Lampoon's Vacation will be included in the show.

Thanks to Andy Wardinski for providing the music for this episode.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Hosts for "At the Movies"

According to this story in The New York Times, "At the Movies," the syndicated television show originally hosted by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, will now be hosted by A.O. Scott of The New York Times and Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune.

The show had most recently been hosted by Ben Lyons of E! Entertainment Television and Ben Mankiewicz of Turner Classic Movies, and Lyons' appointment to the show had been met with derision from bloggers and other film critics. According to this article in the LA Times, charges were made that Lyons had gotten the position through nepotism (his father is film critic Jeffrey Lyons) and he was accused of being a "quote whore," for writing superlative-filled reviews in the hope that they will be used as a part of the film's advertising campaigns, which happened after Lyons called I am Legend "one of the best films ever made." Without naming him, Roger Ebert attacked Lyons' integrity in this post and the blog was created to track Lyons' lack of taste.

As I have written before, film criticism may not be saving lives or be considered high brow journalism, but it is important nonetheless. With the culture so invested and absorbed in the cinema, whether it is in the theater, in their homes, or online, it is worth our while to have critics who have a grasp of the form and its history and can provide the public with insights that make us all better consumers.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Salon Article on "The Judd Apatow Moment"

Stephanie Zacharek at Salon has written a piece about Judd Apatow, who has become the godfather of 21st century comedy. An excerpt:

Apatow has had a hand in the leisure suit-and-sideburn preposterousness of "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," the oblique stoner humor of "Pineapple Express," the sharp-cornered romantic angst of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and the exhausting semicircular gags of "Drillbit Taylor." He was one of the writers of the much-maligned (for my money, unjustly so) "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," and produced a seemingly slight teen comedy, "Superbad," that has become a cult favorite. Not all of these movies have been hits. But the sheer number of producing and/or writing credits Apatow has amassed in the past five years alone (did I mention "Year One"? Or "Step Brothers"? Or "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story"?) suggests that Apatow -- a clever, perceptive writer who cut his teeth producing and writing for "The Larry Sanders Show" and "The Ben Stiller Show," and went on to executive-produce the short-lived but well-loved series "Freaks and Geeks" -- has become a comedy tastemaker for his era, a guru who knows what will resonate with a young, modern audience.

But comedy, which by its nature is unruly and untamable, doesn't lend itself to being wrangled into submission by any one person, for any length of time. Apatow has cornered the market on movie comedy not just by being in the right place at the right time, but by being pretty much everywhere at once. And with "Funny People" -- not strictly a comedy, although it is, in places, very funny -- Apatow further increases his risk of giving us more Apatow than, perhaps, we really want.

Sounds of Cinema on KMSU

Due to a technical error, 89.7 KMSU FM in Mankato re-ran last week's episode today. The show scheduled to run today (#249) can be heard on 89.5 KQAL FM in Winona at 4pm. The most recent reviews can be found in the review archive and on the myspace page.