Independent. Avant-Garde. Cult. Underground. Sticks and stones.

podcast #21: Calvin Lee Reeder

Calvin Lee Reeder has been kicking around the avant gutter for a long time now. His 16mm shorts weirded out audiences at film festivals and then two feature films did - THE OREGONIAN and THE RAMBLER. His layers of vivid color and texture in the film's images and constructed soundtrack pumps electricity into the genre characters and plots they inhabit. We work those ideas out, talk about losing confidence, a thing named Jerkbeast, and his day jobs along the way.

photo: Calvin Lee Reeder and Lindsay Pulsipher, photo by Mike Plante

"The Oregonian Theme" written and performed by Calvin Lee Reeder
"Outrageous Math Test" by The Popular Shapes (Calvin on bass)

Cinemad podcasts are available on, SoundCloud and on the iTunes.

THE OREGONIAN on DVD and 7" soundtrack, released by Factory 25:

podcast #20: Anna Karina

This is a quick podcast, highlights from a panel discussion I led at the Off Camera Film Festival in Krakow in 2009, where Anna Karina was showing a selection of her films she made with Godard and a few films she directed. If you don't know her, she made some of the best films of the 1960s with Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Paul Belmondo and other great French cinema icons. The films not only hold up today as fresh and inspirational with old school genre stories (love, crime, life) reinvigorated with an exciting, unexpected style. But you realize how much of modern independent cinema has learned/borrowed/stolen from the group, particularly the power of Anna onscreen.

In this recording the fest made, one part of my intro is left out where it took me a second to get a hold of the fact that we were hanging out with Karina.

"OK - we are going to try to ask questions without stuttering..."
Anna laughs: "Oh come on..."
"But Anna Karina - you are Anna Karina."
Anna: "We are all just people here!"
I stopped dorking out after that.

all podcasts are available here for streaming or download, and on iTunes for free under Cinemad.
photo by Hejer Charf

Cafe scene from Vivre sa Vie (1962)
Dance scene from Bande à Part (1964)

podcast #19: Chris Goodwin, Chad Hartigan and numbers

Name a film. Immediately and from memory, Chris will tell you what date it was released and Chad will tell you what the box office was. How would two guys go from being obsessed with Hollywood so much that they know marketing statistics to being entrenched in the independent film world. One going from big budget movie numbers to making a soft-spoken, character-driven Sundance award-winning feature [Chad wrote and directed THIS IS MARTIN BONNER], the other writing for a smart, esoteric Adult Swim show [Chris writes for the great Brad Neely show China IL].

all podcasts are available here for streaming or download, and on iTunes for free under Cinemad.
Bookends from the amazing Raymond Scott / Manhattan Research Inc.

podcast #18: Jem Cohen

Jem Cohen has been making films since the 1980s, from legendary short shorts (This Is A History of New York) and mystical longer shorts (Lost Book Found) to inspiring features (Benjamin: Smoke co-directed with Peter Sillen, and Fugazi: Instrument). He captures people in such a way that you feel an innocence that movie cameras used to capture 100 years ago.

We talk about his latest feature Museum Hours, new projects, his friendship with Chris Marker, motivations behind filmmaking and how American audiences are still surprising and strong. Jem is philosophical, often working alone with a camera on a street corner - but he is also a fun-loving humorous guy.

all podcasts are available here for streaming or download, and on iTunes for free under Cinemad.
photo by Mike Plante at CinemaTexas, I think 2006.

Excerpt from Jem Cohen's LOST BOOK FOUND
"Repeater" by Fugazi

Essential Shelf #2

Pleeease - someone put this book back into print. A quick internet search does bring up lots of copies, but the classic book now 17-years-old falls apart easily. There is a certain love for that favorite copy on the shelf with pages taped up or shoved into the front, out of order. Its not important any more that the page numbers line up, only that you don't lose any of them.

In the middle of the night when you wake up with all confidence lost, you can still run to the shelf and grab this film bible and instill your sad creative existence with fuel.

The twin Kuchar Brothers were John Waters' first inspiration - he adds a great intro. From there on in this amazing book from George and Mike makes you laugh and cry whether you know their films or just their names from an art school bathroom wall. Part life story, part filmmaking lesson, all excitement.