With the Cinecast on break for this week, you can get a bit of your Rowthree podcasting fix by heading over to The Director’s Club Podcast where yours truly sat in to talk with Jim Laczkowski and Matt Marko about all things Lars Von Trier. The focus is mainly on his stylistic Europa (aka Zentropa) and his spiritual masterpiece, Breaking The Waves, but the entire gamut, from feature films, TV projects and screenplays are covered. Also, an extended conversation on how not to watch Spielberg’s E.T., some chat about Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, and a little more love for Oliver Stone’s Savages.
While our friend Matt Gamble is still on the mend (not from a boating accident), Kurt and Andrew grew a bit tired of executing these shows together all alone and reached towards the heavens above for this episodes guest host: Aaron Hartung (aka the dude who lives upstairs). Aaron also happens to work for the best cinema chain in town, Landmark Theaters; not only does he seem to know his movie stuff, he’s got a voice for radio to boot.
We missed last week’s episode due to other obligations and illness, there is a LOT to get to this week. From Lars von Trier’s visually rich disaster/depression epic to the long awaited new Alexander Payne film (it has indeed been six years) we cover your auteur cinema-making-guys. But wait, there’s more: Fifties sex icons, furry-little-singing-nostalgia-engines(tm) and a whole lot of early cinema history enshrined in a Martin Scorsese ‘kids film.’ Enjoy this double-digest episode of the show: It’s time to start the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to talk death, depression and the urgent need for knowing our history on the Cinecast tonight.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
Full show notes are under the seats…
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Being the third and final film in Lars von Trier’s Europa trilogy, Europa occupies quite a pivotal place in the Danish director’s career. At the time, it was his most thematically and stylistically ambitious achievement, escalating his ongoing study of European society to impressive new heights. At the Cannes Film Festival, it received no fewer than three awards, including one for “Special Artistic Contribution” – yet this didn’t keep von Trier from playing the sore loser when he didn’t get the Palme d’Or by calling Jury president Roman Polanski a midget. As if in response to this “loss,” von Trier then embarked on a new stage in his work, adopting the rougher, more emotionally lacerating approach seen in films like Breaking the Waves (1996), Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Dogville (2003) that he is perhaps best known for. This drastic shift makes Europa all the more fascinating as an exhilaratingly bold flirtation with large-scale filmmaking and outright spectacle.
Jean-Marc Barr stars as Leopold Kessler, a naïve American who goes to Germany shortly after the end of World War II to work as a sleeping car conductor. Accompanied by his German uncle (Ernst-Hugo Järegård), he begins to socialize with the Hartmann family who run the Zentropa railway line. He becomes romantically involved with Katharina (Barbara Sukowa), daughter of the company’s owner, Max Hartmann (Jørgen Reenberg), while facing pressure from both an American colonel (Eddie Constantine) and the branch of Nazi supporters known as the Werewolves to aid their respective sides. Eventually, the non-committal Kessler is pushed to finally decide where his loyalties truly lie.
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