Sordid Cinema Podcast
Sordid Cinema Podcast #554: ‘Dressed to Kill’ is Draped in Stylish De Palma

Sordid Cinema Podcast #554: ‘Dressed to Kill’ is Draped in Stylish De Palma

July 29, 2020

Dressed to Kill Podcast Review

Though many may not rank it among his best (including our own Ricky D), Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill is nevertheless a perfect example of how a particular director can greatly enhance the material through individual craftsmanship and sensibilities. Sure, what should be a fairly simple story of a high-class call girl both investigating and fleeing from the mysterious woman she witnessed commit a bloody murder might get a bit needlessly convoluted and confusing thanks to De Palma’s screenplay, but there is never any doubt in the clarity of the visuals. The director brings his Hitchcockian best here, with several standout scenes worthy of discussion, including a virtuoso flirtation sequence in a museum, as well as a grisly slashing in an elevator.

 

In addition to the fantastic camerawork, Rick and Patrick also save some praise for the performances, many of which rise above the sometimes-hokey dialogue to create memorable characters (and yes, that praise includes Nancy Allen as call girl Liz). They also discuss De Palma’s influences, and though Dressed to Kill might seem like an overt homage to Hitchcock’s Psycho, it also owes something to giallo horror films of the day. These elements all come together to result in a stylish, adult thriller the likes of which modern audiences could use more of. But can Dressed to Kill still enjoy a wide appeal?

 

For all this and more, have a listen!

 

Listen to the show on Spotify

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen to the show on Podbean

Follow Sordid Cinema on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

Follow Ricky D on Twitter

Follow Goomba Stomp on Twitter

Sordid Cinema Podcast #551: Why ‘La Haine’ is as Explosive 25 Years On

Sordid Cinema Podcast #551: Why ‘La Haine’ is as Explosive 25 Years On

June 16, 2020

La Haine Podcast Review

Twenty-five years ago, Mathieu Kassovitz’s French black-and-white drama crime drama La Haine sent shockwaves through the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation and the Best Director prize.

A story of social unrest, La Haine was inspired by three isolated incidents involving the killing of unarmed young people by police officers (including the famous case of the 17-year-old Congolese Makomé M’Bowolé) that led to three weeks of riots in Paris and surrounding areas.

Starring Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Vincent Cassel (in his breakout performance), La Haine is set over 19 consecutive hours in the lives of three young men living in the impoverished, multi-ethnic public housing complexes known as Chanteloup-les-Vignes. We follow the three of them in the aftermath of a riot in a banlieue that left their teenage friend Abdel comatose in a hospital after being brutally beaten by the police. When Vinz recovers a gun lost by a cop during the riot, he feels empowered and decides to take revenge.

Twenty years on, La Haine feels more relevant than ever. It’s arguably the best film made about systemic racism and police brutality— easily the best film released in 2015— and one of the most powerful pieces of urban cinema ever made. Today on the Sordid Cinema Podcast we reflect on the film’s lasting significance and why it holds a special place in our hearts.

Listen to the show on Spotify

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen to the show on Podbean

Sordid Cinema Podcast #547: ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #547: ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’

May 1, 2020

This week on the Sordid Cinema podcast, we discuss The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Peter Greenaway’s most successful film and some would argue his true masterpiece— although not to the taste of the average cinema goer.

 

Listen to the show on Spotify

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

 

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen to the show on Podbean

Listen on Google Play Music

Sordid Cinema Podcast #546: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – Torturous or Rapturous?

Sordid Cinema Podcast #546: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – Torturous or Rapturous?

April 23, 2020

This week the hosts of the Sordid Cinema Podcast take a look at Mel Gibson’s 2004 monster hit, The Passion of the Christ. While the film is known primarily for its extreme level of violence and the controversies surrounding its release, does the film actually accomplish what it sets out to do? Is there a point to all the suffering? Rick and Patrick try to get to the heart of the matter, doing our best to remember the Stations of the Cross while debating the artistic merits of Gibson’s context-reliant storytelling. The Passion may be hard to enjoy, but there’s no doubt it’s a film that offers plenty to talk about.

As usual, we discuss our favorite scenes, wistfully mention a few things we might have changed, and wonder if this violent biblical epic will stand the test of time.

For all this and more, have a listen!

 

 

Listen to the show on Spotify

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen to the show on Podbean

Listen on Google Play Music

Sordid Cinema Podcast #544: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #544: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

April 1, 2020

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Podcast Review

This week’s show sees Patrick picking another western, but this one is a little more talkie and a little less shooty. John Ford’s 1962 adaptation of The Man Who Shot Liverty Valance centers on a classic genre theme of civilization vs. frontier law. While Ford may be an acquired taste for some, the hosts discuss the fascinating philosophical conflicts at play while praising many (though not all) of the performances, as well as note the uniqueness of the (mostly) action-free film. With Monument Valley never making an appearance, is there enough to look at? Does this slower western still hold up today? Why, oh why, did Ford leave in that classroom scene?

For all this and more, have a listen!

Listen to the show on Spotify

 

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen to the show on Podbean

Listen on Google Play Music

Sordid Cinema Podcast #543: ’12 Monkeys’ Deftly Explores Time Travel and Perception of Reality

Sordid Cinema Podcast #543: ’12 Monkeys’ Deftly Explores Time Travel and Perception of Reality

March 23, 2020

12 Monkeys Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast we discuss Terry Gilliam’s 1995 sci-fi masterwork 12 Monkeys, which mixes time travel with paranoia set against the backdrop of a dystopian future that both has happened, and is yet to come. Joining Rick and Patrick is film critic and Goomba Stomp writer Stephen Silver, who helps us dive into the intricacies and nuance of this Bruce Willis-led thriller. Along the way, we praise the structure of a script that juggles numerous elements that all pay off handsomely in a pitch-perfect end, debate about which performance really stands out among the cast (for both the right and possibly wrong reasons), and look into some of the history of the film, including the inspiration taken from the 1962 French short La Jetée.

What are our favorite moments? What would we change if we could go back in time? Does 12 Monkeys ultimately still hold up to modern audiences? For all this and more, have a listen!

Listen to the show on Spotify

 

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen to the show on Podbean

Listen on Google Play Music

Sordid Cinema Podcast #541: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

Sordid Cinema Podcast #541: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ Cuts Through Bureaucratic Red Tape to Create a Near-Masterpiece

March 2, 2020

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by former Sound on Sight/Sordid Cinema Podcast co-host Simon Howell to talk about Terry Gilliam’s 1985 ambitious dark satire, Brazil. From its incredible vision and art design to the cavalcade of quirky supporting performances by the likes of Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, and Jim Broadbent (among others), there’s plenty to gush over. Sure, the romantic subplot is a bit of a dud (despite some Freudian overtones), but Gilliam’s story of a low-level government employee who meets the literal girl of his dreams while trying to escape a monotonous life of over-complicated machinery and stacks of paperwork resulting from a totalitarian authority is still just as potent and refreshingly unique today as it was back then.

Join us as we discuss just what makes Brazil so special even to this day, marvel over the inventive and often seamless practical effects, suggest some alternative ways to implement the character of Jill Layton, and rank where this entry stands in Gilliam’s filmography. For those dreaming of movies that escape the standard story formula and aesthetic, it doesn’t get much better than this. Have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast #540: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

Sordid Cinema Podcast #540: ‘Witness’ is Masterful, Plain, Old-Fashioned Filmmaking

February 23, 2020

Witness 1985 Podcast Review

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast, Rick and Patrick get their city hands dirty with 1985’s Witness, directed by Peter Weir. The story of a little Amish boy who watches a grisly murder take place in a train station bathroom manages to combine a subdued-but-tense police thriller with an exceptionally grounded love story between detective John Book (Harrison Fords, in his only Oscar-nominated role) and the boy’s mother, Rachel (played by Kelly McGillis), along with a theme contrasting pacifism and the use of deadly force. The guys discuss how Weir expertly maintains restraint, often opting for subtle facial expressions over dialogue, and plenty of quiet moments abound. The director also once again makes the presence of the land deeply felt, creating an absorbing environment complemented by an otherworldly score by Maurice Jarre.

With so many great scenes, how can we choose the best? What might Rick and Patrick change about this nearly flawless film? Along the way in answering these questions and more, the guys dive into the production history, as well as talk about how this film fits in with Peter Weir’s filmography. Have a listen!

Listen to the show on Spotify

 

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Listen on Google Play

Listen on Google Play Music

Listen to the show on Podbean

Sordid Cinema Podcast #538: ‘His Girl Friday’ Still Easily Passes the Howard Hawks Test

Sordid Cinema Podcast #538: ‘His Girl Friday’ Still Easily Passes the Howard Hawks Test

February 3, 2020

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a short break from all the blood and guts to look back at Howard Hawks’ 1940 screwball comedy masterpiece, His Girl Friday. This adapted story of a newspaper writer (Rosalind Russell) trying to break free from the journalist lifestyle only to be lured back in by an incredibly big story — as well as her boss/ex-husband(!), played by Cary Grant — features cascades of whip-smart wit, an abundance of double crosses and double entendres, and fantastic direction from one of old Hollywood’s finest filmmakers.

Rick and Patrick are joined by writer/film critic Mariko McDonald to discuss the impact of Hawks swapping out the original male lead for a female lead, reveal tidbits about the production and how they managed to fit a 191-page screenplay into 92 minutes, pick our favorite scenes as well as elements we might change, and much more! For an in-depth dive into this wonderful classic, have a listen!

Listen to the show on Podbean

Listen to the show on Spotify

Listen to the show on YouTube

Listen to the show on iTunes

Listen to the show on Stitcher

Sordid Cinema Podcast #528: ‘Good Time’ and ‘Atomic Blonde’

Sordid Cinema Podcast #528: ‘Good Time’ and ‘Atomic Blonde’

September 15, 2017

This week on the Sordid Cinema podcast, Victor Stiff joins Ricky, Patrick, and Simon to discuss Good Time and Atomic Blonde.

Play this podcast on Podbean App