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Friday, October 05, 2012

Left Field Cinema Podcast (Mike Dawson)

Left Field Cinema was first released in November 2007, written and presented by Mike Dawson. The show has two main purposes; the first is to examine cinema in relative terms, tackling main stream cinema from alternative perspectives, applying varying theories to popular films and hopefully discussing them with a fresh point of view. The second purpose is to unearth more obscure films from world cinema and the independent scene, films that perhaps you've never heard of but are worthy of your attention.

Selected episodes relating to CCC films :

World Cinema Masterpiece: Werckmeister Harmonies [MP3] 26'52"
An extended examination of Bela Tarr's modern masterpiece about the boundaries between civility and barbarism. Also featuring a look back at the first eight feature films of Tarr's career.
Contemporary Obscurity: Satantango [MP3] (missing MP3, read the written review instead)
Bela Tarr's seven and a half hour feature film. A beautiful, difficult, infuriating, disturbing exploration of the death of communism through the microcosm of a small Hungarian village.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Tropical Malady [MP3] 13'08"
Tropical Malady (Sud pralad) represents Apichatpong Weerasethakul's third feature film as director and confirms him as an outstanding directorial talent on the world stage and one of the finest contemporary filmmakers. This episode also features a look back at the career of Weerasethakul.

Asian Avant-Garde: Eureka [MP3] 16'57"
Shinji Aoyama's visually stunning three and a half hour meditation on the nature of trauma. One the finest Japanese films of the decade.

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Selected episodes relating to broader contemplative films :

Analysis: The Films of Hirokazu Koreeda [MP3] 17'34"
Hirokazu Koreeda is the unsung great director of Japanese cinema. Koreeda is his nation's equivalent of Michael Winterbottom, a chameleonic filmmaker who has never told the same story twice and is a master of all styles. Paradoxically though his seven films to date all explore a re-occurring theme of death.
Asian Avant-Garde: Nobody Knows [MP3] 17'31"
Continuing Left Field Cinema's exploration of the work of the great Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda, this episode explores one of his best films to date, a tragic drama centered around the abandonment of four children to fend for themselves in modern Japan.

Analysis: The Films of Anh Hung Tran - Part One / Two [MP3] 20'02" + 19'51"
Anh Hung Tran is one the greatest directors working today, in this episode of Left Field Cinema we examine his first three films also known as "The Vietnam Trilogy". Starting with his debut The Scent of Green Papaya (1993), his work improved with the violent crime thriller Cyclo (1995) and he became a master of the medium with At the Height of Summer (2000).
Anh Hung Tran is one the greatest directors working today, in this episode of Left Field Cinema we examine his two latest films which move away from Tran's native Vietnam. Starting with cacophonic masterpiece I Come with the Rain (2008) then moving onto his adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood (2010).

Asian Avant-Garde: Dolls  [MP3] 11'14"
Takeshi Kitano's 2002 meditation on unconditional devotion - boasting a multi-stranded narrative, slow pace, and the absence of Kitano as performer. This is one of Kitano's finest films and a clear member of the Japanese Avant Garde.

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Selected episodes relating to CC precursors :

Theodoros Angelopoulos: The Beekeeper [MP3] 14'33"
In 1986 Angelopoulos moved away from the cinematic symphonies he is well known for and attempted a chamber piece. The resulting film was one of his most flawed if intriguing productions - The Beekeeper (O melissokomos).
Theodoros Angelopoulos: The Travelling Players [MP3] 13'37"
The last of my five favourite directors, starting this series with his four hour in length 1975 Brechtian masterpiece The Travelling Players.

Andrei Tarkovsky: Andrei Rublev [MP3] 13'50"
Continuing the exploration of the works of Andrei Tarkovsky, this episode examines his second feature film as director, the frustrating but impressive historical epic about Russia's greatest iconographer.
Andrei Tarkovsky: Stalker [MP3] 16'23"
1979 Andrei Tarkovsky released his fifth feature film as director, Stalker (Сталкер). The production is often thought to be responsible for the great director's eventual death, but the resultant film is an unparalleled science fiction masterpiece which brings to mind three of Tarkovsky's favourite films, films that belong to another genre entirely.
Andrei Tarkovsky: Mirror [MP3] 27'33"
For the 100th episode of Left Field Cinema, a special extended examination of Andrei Tarkovsky's greatest masterwork, the 1975 feature film, Mirror. A miracle of a film by the fact of its very existence, a film which may well change the way you perceive the physical boundaries of cinema, a paradoxically personal yet universal film that will haunt you for years to come. Mirror is here examined in relation to my own memories of the film and my memories of cinema in general.

Hidden Classics: The Round-Up [MP3] 12'22"
Miklos Jancso's 1966 excellent film about Hungarian prisoners unwittingly engaged in a deadly game of chess with their captors. A forgotten gem which has now resurfaced and has prompted a new evaluation of the directors works.


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