Allison Anders, Dean Lent, and Kurt Voss spent years making Border Radio and it shows, though often in weaknesses and incoherencies. But perhaps it is less interesting for its plot and more so for its snapshot of life adjacent to the LA punk scene of the era.
We cover the final film in the 3 Films by Louis Malle boxset this week with his 1987 magnum opus Au revoir les enfants. Before we recorded Pat and I established a rule that if at any point we start openly weeping I’d just edit that out. I think I got most of it.
Au revoir les enfants provides much more context to the previous two films autobiographical natures, to the point where I think we can say we have a deeper understanding of both Lacombe, Lucien and Murmur of the Heart having watched it. But more importantly than that, this is a hard-hitting, masterpiece of a film about selfless compassion in the face of extreme horror, and the personal toll that takes on you.
Speaking of which, the film itself will take a toll on you.
This week's episode is a long one solely for the plethora and variety of material we're tasked with talking about. Stan Brahkage was an experimental filmmaker and a long-time film professor at the University of Colorado, who principally focused on non-narrative film. By Brakhage covers work from six decades of his career. With over four hours of material in 26 pieces ranging from 9 seconds to 74 minutes long, there's a lot to digest: a lot to love and some, well, not to.
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Written and directed by Bruce Robinson, Withnail and I (1987) is a semi-autobiographical tale of alcohol-soaked desperation at the dying end of the 1960's. It's immensely quotable. Do yourself a favor and watch it.
Every year we here at Lost in Criterion take a break from the hustle and bustle of Criterion-ing and settle in for a special episode talking about a classic Christmas film that's not in the Criterion Collection.
This year we're decking the halls with Richard Donner's Lethal Weapon. Perhaps the best that can be said for this movie is that it led to screenwriter Shane Black's great career, and since that man's got an obvious obsession with setting movies at Christmas for no reasons I'm sure we'll see him for Christmas Specials Future! Can't wait!
Sam Martin joins us, marking possibly the first time we've had a guest who's actually listened to the show before. Check out his great band 99 Spirits over on the facebooks.
Paul Verhoeven's first American film is a violently subtle attack on corporatism. The 1987 film also looks forward to a hypothetical dystopian Detroit that looks like it might be better off than current actual Detroit. In a movie about excess Kurtwood Smith still manages to steal the show as the over-the-top villain. It's a really fun movie and I'm happy to report that Donovan Hill is joining us again to discuss it.