The Film Comment Podcast

The Film Comment Podcast

Founded in 1962, Film Comment has been the home of independent film journalism for over 50 years, publishing in-depth interviews, critical analysis, and feature coverage of mainstream, art-house, and avant-garde filmmaking from around the world. Our podcast is a weekly space for critical conversation about film, with a look at topical issues, new releases, and the big picture. Film Comment is a nonprofit publication that relies on the support of readers. Support film culture and subscribe today.

Episodes

July 21, 2021 72 min
After a Cannes-less 2020, we were glad to welcome back cinema’s grandest event this year. Film Comment followed the much-awaited 2021 edition’s superb lineup with the help of an on-the-Croisette crew of contributors—you can read their thoughtful dispatches and interviews here. On today’s podcast—the second of an epic two-parter—Film Comment editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute welcomed FC contributing editor Jonathan Romney and...
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After a Cannes-less 2020, we were glad to welcome back cinema’s grandest event. Film Comment followed the festival’s stellar lineup with the help of an on-the-Croisette crew of contributors. On today’s podcast—the first of an epic two-parter—Film Comment editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute welcomed FC contributing editor Jonathan Romney and critic and programmer Miriam Bale to dish on some of their festival viewing. They talked...
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As the good old U. S. of A. celebrated yet another year around the sun, Film Comment editors Clinton Krute and Devika Girish invited critic A.S. Hamrah to hold forth on the varied, colorful, and often bleak visions of America on the screen. They asked him to pick some movies that evoked the stars and stripes, or the spirit of ’76, and Scott responded with 13 picks—one for each of the original colonies.  Each one of Scott's cho...
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In the introduction to her new book on James Benning’s 2004 film, Ten Skies, critic and scholar Erika Balsom writes: “there are films that present themselves as complex objects but which are in fact quite simple … And then there are films—rarer altogether—that appear simple but harbour tremendous complexity. Such is the deception, the allure, of Ten Skies—a film messier and more profuse than my immediate love for it had allowed.” ...
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June 22, 2021 21 min
A couple weeks ago, I (Devika) visited the Artists Space gallery in downtown Manhattan to check out the ongoing exhibit, "Feel at Home Here," by New Red Order—a “public secret society” with rotating members who creates exhibitions, videos, and performances that question and re-channel our relationships to indigeneity. As I walked into the gallery, the lobby welcomed me with an assortment of marketing paraphernalia: a poster...
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This week, we sat down with critics K. Austin Collins and Mayukh Sen—to talk about one of the most enduring motifs in movie history: the double.  We delved into a hand-picked selection of mirroring movies, including Brian de Palma’s underrated Femme Fatale, Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan, Carlos Saura’s Peppermint Frappé, and Bimal Roy’s Madhumati, a film released the same year as—and with some eerie similarities to—t...
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Last year’s hybrid New York Film Festival was an oasis amid the movie desert of the pandemic, but we sorely missed seeing the selections in the dark of Film at Lincoln Center’s theaters. So we were overjoyed when a “redux” version of the festival was announced for this summer, with much of the 2020 lineup playing on the big screen. To dig into the highlights of this encore edition and the films that must be seen big (or seen again,...
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This week on the podcast, Film Comment editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute went to school with two learned FC veterans: Nellie Killian, curator and FC contributing editor, and Ina Archer, artist, critic, and media preservationist at the National Museum of African-American History & Culture. Each of them assigned the group a movie to watch. We’re calling this episode “homework,” but fear not, their selections were far from a...
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In an essay on the militant films of the Palestine Film Unit for The New York Review of Books, the critic Kaleem Hawa writes that, “Palestinian cinema has always been saddled with the psychic weight of colonization. (...) Film offers liberatory possibilities, then: with the projection of moving images onto a screen, a people can imagine something different, something other.” This week on the podcast, FC editors Devika Girish and C...
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On this week’s podcast, Film Comment editors Clinton Krute and Devika Girish speak to Barry Jenkins, Oscar-winning director of Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, about his latest project, The Underground Railroad. It’s a lush, 10-hour epic that marries Jenkins’s distinctive cinematic sensibilities with the historical fiction of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, which imagines the underground railroad as a real...
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This week on the podcast, we went long on an American filmmaker like no other: Melvin Van Peebles. Known for groundbreaking classics like Watermelon Man and Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song, Van Peebles invented entirely new cinematic languages while offering trenchant visions of Black American life and masculinity. In 1968, the director made his feature debut with The Story of a Three Day Pass, a dazzlingly multi-layered film abo...
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“The people are all pale as mushrooms, blending in with the ashen cityscapes, sterile white rooms, and drab, half-empty restaurants. Stuck in meticulously composed dioramas, they enact miniature comedies and tragedies—sometimes it is hard to say which—filled with deadpan humor and haunting bleakness. We could only be in a Roy Andersson movie.” Imogen Sara Smith wrote these words about Andersson’s latest, About Endlessness, which g...
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This last year has been a drought for movie-lovers by most standards. But if you’re looking for silver linings, you could do worse than noting that there’s a fresh edition of the New Directors/New Films festival happening a mere four months after the 2020 edition. This year is extra special: it returns the festival to theaters alongside virtual screenings, and it also marks the 50th anniversary of New Directors/New Films. It’s a ni...
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April 20, 2021 91 min
“A film that centers on a transgender person or storyline enters the culture like any other movie. The difference lies in the discourse around it.” So writes Caden Mark Gardner in a recent essay in the Criterion Collection’s online publication, the Current. “Trans people in movies are written and talked about as if they were abstract concepts, anomalies. For years, it’s been clear that very little attention is being paid (by filmma...
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On this week's episode, editors Clinton Krute and Devika Girish were joined two excellent writers, both first-timers on the Film Comment Podcast: A. S. Hamrah, film critic at The Baffler, and writer and film editor Blair McClendon, whom you may know from his work on 2020's The Assistant. The original plan was to chat about our recent home viewing, but the conversation kept returning to that age-old fountain of springtime sm...
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For years, Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck has been crafting eloquent correctives to Eurocentric and capitalist histories through acclaimed films like Lumumba (2000), I Am Not Your Negro (2016), and The Young Karl Marx (2017). His latest opus takes that project to its limit: Exterminate All the Brutes is a four-part HBO documentary series that retells the story of our world from a perspective rarely centered in such narratives—that of...
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A few weeks ago, the British documentarian Adam Curtis debuted his newest mega-project online: a six-episode, eight-hour BBC series titled, Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World. It's the latest in Curtis’s 30-year run of documentaries that stitch together found footage drawn largely from the BBC’s archives into epic origin stories of our political and cultural times. Available in its entirety o...
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On this week's episode, we bring back a beloved Film Comment Podcast format of yore: Movie Gifts. It’s like Secret Santa but for movies—each participant picks a movie for another that the recipient hasn’t seen. It’s a fun way for us to share our enthusiasms, gain new insights on old favorites, and fill in some long-standing blindspots.  And who better to join us in the spirit of gift-giving than our two erudite guests: K. Aust...
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In case you missed the exciting news: we just relaunched the Film Comment Podcast last week after a yearlong hiatus. We’re glad to be back, and in this episode, we’re looking at one of the big developments that the film world has grappled with while we were away: the emergence of virtual film festivals. As the pandemic shut down cinemas and made travel impossible, festivals adopted a variety of strategies to keep bringing movies t...
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March 10, 2021 79 min
Welcome back to the Film Comment Podcast. After a months-long hiatus prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are thrilled to kick off the return of Film Comment with one of our favorite ways to connect with our audience: our weekly podcast. We've missed talking about movies with our whip-smart friends and fellow critics, and we're excited to be back here, bringing you insightful commentary on the latest in film culture. Check...
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