A Very Good Year

A Very Good Year

“Fun City Cinema” hosts Jason Bailey and Mike Hull proudly present “A Very Good Year,” a podcast with a simple premise: each week we invite a guest (filmmakers and actors, critics and historians, comedians and musicians) who loves movies, and ask them to select their favorite year of movies. Some pick a year from their movie-going past; some go deep into film history. Whichever the case, we spend (about) an hour talking about that year: we ask them to share their top five films of the year, and tell us why they love them; we look at the year’s news headlines, award winners, and box office champions; and we finish with a lightning round, where we talk about as many films as possible in as few minutes as possible. For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttondown.email/AVeryGoodYear. https://plus.acast.com/s/a-very-good-year. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

June 16, 2024 91 mins
Larry Karaszewski isn’t just an award-winning screenwriter and producer — he’s also a serious cinephile, as evidenced by the fact that we asked him for a top five for the year of his birth, 1961, and he came back with six double-features. We talk about them all on this super-sized episode, with inspired pairings of American independents, Natalie Wood vehicles, Marcello Mastroianni classics, and more. 

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Mark Harris has written three of the essential film books of our time, and one of them — “Pictures at a Revolution” — tells the story of Hollywood in flux by detailing the making of the five nominees for best picture of 1967. So he joins us to talk about that year, from the groundbreaking “The Graduate” to the nose-thumbing of “Bonnie & Clyde” to the sheer craft of “In the Heat of the Night.”

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June 2, 2024 71 mins
Writer, editor, and director Carrie Courogen is the author of the breathtakingly good new book “Miss May Does Not Exist,” and since it’s a biography of Elaine May, she joins us to talk about 1987 — not only May’s unjustly maligned “Ishtar,” but the sheer perfection of “Broadcast News” and “Moonstruck.” 

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May 26, 2024 74 mins
Film critic, historian, and TCM stalwart Ben Mankiewicz joins us, on the eve of a new season of his essential podcast “The Plot Thickens” to discuss the nuclear meltdowns of “Fail-Safe,” the political paranoia of “Seven Days in May,” the complex delights of “Marriage, Italian Style,” and more of the movies of 1964.

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May 19, 2024 75 mins
Film critic, podcaster, and historian Alexandra West joins us to talk about her new book “Gore-Geous: Personal Essays on Beauty and Horror” and the movies of 1976, from the bloodbaths of “Carrie” and “Taxi Driver” to the erotic power plays of “In the Realm of the Senses.” 

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttondown.email/AVe...

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May 16, 2024 76 mins
Screenwriter and director Richard Shepard’s new film is catnip to us (and probably you too, if you’re listening to his show): “Film Geek,” an essay film about growing up as a movie-crazy kid in NYC in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. He joins us to talk about 1983, including Scorsese’s “King of Comedy,” Fosse’s “STAR 80,” and Forsyth’s “Local Hero.” 

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May 12, 2024 75 mins
Critic, podcaster, and author Alonso Duralde was just beginning his professional life in 1991, and witnessed the early pangs of what became known as the New Queer Cinema, a key point in his new book “Hollywood Pride: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Representation and Perseverance in Film.” He joins us to talk about that moment, including the delights of “Madonna: Truth or Dare,” the coding of “Thelma & Louise,” and the genuine transgressiv...

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May 5, 2024 69 mins
Glenn Kenny is the author of the new book “The World Is Yours: The Story of ‘Scarface,’ and is one of our favorite film critics and scholars in general. He’s here to talk about the mighty 1954, a less-discussed year that gave us everything from “The Seven Samurai” to “Rear Window” to “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.” 

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April 28, 2024 64 mins
Indiewire’s Kate Erbland was a literal child in the year 1990, but she luckily had parent who put very few viewing boundaries on her, which was how she ended up seeing “Die Hard 2,” “Ghost,” and one of her all-time favorite movies, “Pretty Woman.” She joins us to talk about those and MANY more.

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://but...

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April 21, 2024 66 mins
Film critic and journalist Tomris Laffly was just starting to figure out who she was as a filmgoer in 1997, so she joins us to share some of her favorite memories of that year: the heartache of “Good Will Hunting,” the dark humor of “The Ice Storm,” and the majesty of “Titanic.”

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttondown.email/AV...

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April 18, 2024 72 mins
In advance of Friday’s theatrical debut of his Sundance hit “Stress Positions,” comedian, actor, writer, and cinephile John Early joins us to discuss all things 2002, from the earnestness of “Crossroads” to the sexiness of “Unfaithful” to the status of his Toni Collette website. 

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttondown.em...

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April 14, 2024 73 mins
Filmmaker, actor, TV writer, and film critic Siddhant Adlakha was in a moment of transition in 2013, and vowed to see as many new movies as possible for the sake of career clarity. He walks us through some of those discoveries, from the spectacle of “Ram-Leela” to the melancholy of “Inside Llewyn Davis” to the intimacy of “Short Term 12.”

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April 7, 2024 69 mins
Daily Dead columnist Scott Drebit’s new book is “A Cut Below: A Celebration of B Horror Movies, 1950s-1980s,” so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he picked 1979, a banner year for horror. He joins us to discuss the working-class scares of “Alien,” the insanity of “Zombie,” the inexplicable PG rating of “Tourist Trap,” and more. 

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March 31, 2024 71 mins
“Variety” TV critic Alison Herman had just moved to Los Angeles in the year of our lord 2017, and she joins us to recall, with fondness, the cockeyed comedy of “Phantom Thread,” the deft commentary of “Get Out,” and the totally not-divisive pleasures of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttondown.email/...

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March 28, 2024 57 mins
It’s a special MID-WEEK EPISODE, in honor of Friday’s release of acclaimed director Bob Byington’s latest, “Lousy Carter.” Join us as we talk with Bob about the current indie landscape and the films of 1994, from the art of “Red” to the commerce of “Speed” to the pleasures of “The Hudsucker Proxy.”

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https:/...

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March 24, 2024 64 mins
For show number two from SXSW, we’re joined by the prolific film critic and RogerEbert.com Associate Editor Robert Daniels. He sings the praises of 1965, from the devastation of “The Pawnbroker” to the thrills of “Flight of the Phoenix” to the sweep of “Doctor Zhivago.”

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttondown.email/AVeryGoodYe...

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March 17, 2024 63 mins
Back at SXSW, we’re joined by Austin’s own Jacob Knight, co-host of the “Secret Handshake” podcast, and lover of great movies and great trash. 1989 offered plenty of both, from the power of “The Abyss” to the inanity of “Jason Takes Manhattan” to the coke-dusted earnestness of “Road House.”

For show notes - including where to stream this week's movies, links to referenced media, and more - subscribe on Buttondown at https://buttond...

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March 10, 2024 63 mins
Esther Zuckerman is an appropriate guest for Oscar Sunday, as she is the author of the fabulous book “Beyond the Best Dressed; A Cultural History of the Most Glamorous, Radical, and Scandalous Oscar Fashion.” She joins us to talk about famous Oscar spoiler “Shakespeare in Love,” the wildly underrated “Velvet Goldmine,” the one and only “Big Lebowski,” and more of the movies of 1998.  

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March 3, 2024 80 mins
David Fear, chief film critic and senior editor at “Rolling Stone,” had not yet joined the living in the year 1968, but he’s always been fascinated by its contradictions and commentaries. He joins us to discuss the genius of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the majesty of “Once Upon a Time in the West,” and the stickiness of “Rosemary’s Baby.”

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February 25, 2024 70 mins
The whip-smart and hysterically funny Katie Rife joins us to talk about the movies of 1978 — from the terrifying precision to “Halloween” to the sweaty muscularity of “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin” to the impeccable formalism of “Les Rendez-vous d’Anna” — and why ‘70s genre cinema holds up so well. 

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