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

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.

Essential Shelf update: FACES intro

After posting the FACES book last week, I re-read the intro by Cassavetes, which is an epic. And then the following intro by Al Ruban, a Cassavetes collaborator who is never credited enough. He was there the whole way.

Always get the copyright:

Essential Shelf #1

As I spring-clean into the summer, trying to get some space and sanity, I allow myself to be fooled by the internet in that almost everything I have on the shelf is easy to get online and my copy can therefore be given away. Of course, this is only true if you like immensely popular things or are old and rich.

It is especially untrue when dealing with art films, as you get screwed by movie websites who have no interest in taste or style and now they've killed all the video stores in your town.* However I have successfully goodwilled many great but easy to find films from the 60s and 70s, posters that I realized don't really look that great, and some comics and books in favor of PDFs.

You find yourself making special rules for stuff to keep. Sentimental reasons. Things that remind you why you try to be creative. Things that make you laugh. Or things that you are certain you have the very last copy in the universe of, and you are the greatest self-taught librarian ever. This is what my essential shelf is, all those things that are actually special to me, with some very select new things.

The FACES book meets all the criteria - funny, sentimental, inspiring, timeless. I haven't come across another film adaptation/script book like it. If you can find it (and its probably only a dollar) - grab it quick.

A book of the original screenplay on one side, compared with the final film on the other side, considering shots and dialogue. I love how even the equipment is listed.

Cinemad DVD back in stock

DVD for sale

A Short Film collection from 2009, so it's ah...five year anniversary. Basically I found some copies in the closet while cleaning, now available again! New and old shorts from great filmmakers:

"Edge-TV with Animal Charm"

"above below"
(made for this comp)

"letters, notes"

"Valse Triste"

"Pictures from Dorothy"

"The Sun"

"lot 63, grave c"

"Motion Studies 3: Gravity"

"Light is Calling"


excerpt from "The Time We Killed"

"The Paranormal Trilogy"

$20 includes USPS priority shipping

 60 page booklet inside with highlights from Cinemad interviews with all of the filmmakers. So big that it usually breaks the little plastic holders inside the DVD case. But the disc stays strong.

and goes to fund new podcasts - thanks! We've been finishing a feature doc over the past year and podcasts have been on hold. But I've recorded three new ones and have a lot more in the planning. Your dough helps pay to take trips to record new ones and the cost of hosting them on Soundcloud.

Additionally I pulled out some of the original cassettes with interviews from the zine days and will "remaster" a few of the good ones to podcast form.

But most of all - this is a fun DVD with hard-to-find short films.
To buy a copy just send me an email: cinemadpresents at gmail

Cinemad: Integrity Inspected since 1998.