Sunday, 4 December, 2016
With December arrived, let us take this opportunity to wish all our listeners (both long time members of the Movie Matters Podcast film appreciation community and newcomers alike) a very Merry Christmas! We hope you are enjoying the festive season and we also extend a very Happy New Year to you all! Roll on 2017 and another bumper year of movies.
Preparations are now under-way here at MM HQ – as we cram in any final notable films before locking our lists – to record and release our customary epic "Top 10 Films of the Year" episode. You can check on our viewing progress by perusing our 2016 UK Cinema Releases Eligibility List. Please feel free to leave a comment on that list recommending any films you feel we must make it a priority to see before finalising our respective Top 10 lists.
Our bumper-length yearly review shows are a cherished Movie Matters tradition – we've done one every year since we started the podcast back in 2010, and they've always proved to be interesting affairs with plenty of passionate and respectful differences of opinion.
As with our previous Top 10 specials, we'd love it if as many of our listeners as possible could submit their own Top 10 lists, either in text or MP3 form. (If submitting an MP3, please try to keep it below five minutes in length.) The criteria for which films qualify for inclusion are yours to decide, though let us know what they are. (Some examples: films released theatrically in your home country in 2016; released theatrically in the film's country of origin in 2016; released on DVD/Blu-ray in 2016.)
In addition to your Top 10 favourites list, we'd also be very happy to hear what your biggest disappointment was, most pleasant surprise and indeed what your worst film of the year was. You can even namecheck your favourite TV show of 2016 too as well as your pick of the best DVD/Blu-ray release of the year.
NOTE: The DEADLINE for all listener list submissions is Saturday, 14th January, 2017.
Please leave a comment with your lists below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you and featuring your contributions on the finished podcast episode!
Wednesday, 24 February, 2016
In this, the final "extra" accompanying our epic Top 10 of 2015 show, we present our collated Listener Top 10 and supplemental lists. These were determined by adding up everyone's contributions, unweighted (i.e. it doesn't matter where a particular title appeared on a list – a "1" counts for the same as a "10").
Wednesday, 24 February, 2016
We hope you enjoyed our Top 10 of 2015 special. Once again, we were overwhelmed by the response to our call for listeners' top ten lists. Several of you wrote in, either with text lists or MP3s. Many of you also included detailed comments on your choices – which, in the interests of keeping the running time down to a brisk(ish!) 6 1/4 hours, we weren't always able to read out in full.
The full lists are captured below for posterity, along with (where applicable) links to more detailed discussions of the listeners' choices. As always, they are listed on a "first come, first served" basis.
Tuesday, 8 September, 2015
Greetings, listeners! Our next show to be recorded will be our revived (i.e. long-delayed) Steven Spielberg special. Let us know your thoughts on the world's most famous director and in particular your opinions on his noughties efforts MINORITY REPORT (2002), CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002) and MUNICH (2005).
We look forward to hearing from you!
Wednesday, 2 September, 2015
As a further addendum to our Luigi Bazzoni double bill episode, Jason Coffman provided us with this fascinating postscript to his excellent article The Films of Luigi Bazzoni, which we reproduce here with his permission.
So around the time I wrote the Bazzoni piece, I was trying to find out information on his "Roma Imago Urbis" project. IMDB only has a tiny bit of information on it, but I discovered after digging around a bit that it was a huge project, a 15-part documentary running as many hours with each part focusing on a different part of Roman culture and how it has influenced human civilization throughout history. Just to make it even more ridiculously ambitious, there are no actors in the film, just images and narration (in Italian, of course) accompaniment. Once Bazzoni completed it, "Roma Imago Urbis" screened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to accompany an exhibit of Roman art. After that, it aired once on Italian television, and has never been released outside of Italy. In Italy, it was released on VHS in a massive (and hugely expensive) boxed set of tapes with accompanying books and replicas of Roman coins. From what information I've been able to glean, it looks like the set was pressed in 1992 or 1993 and ran something like $700-$800.
I managed to find a mint sealed copy of the set on Ebay Italy for about $200 U.S., but the seller would not ship it to me here in the States because it would have been ridiculously expensive and a huge pain. Fortunately, I have been involved with a few projects on an online forum dedicated to European cinema where an English- and Italian-speaking cinephile living in Italy obtained 35mm prints of a few "lost" films and gathered people together to contribute to getting them transferred to digital and subtitled. We put together a plan to get the set into his possession so he can rip the documentary to digital format and work on creating subtitles for it. He's still working on a few other similar projects, but he did transfer the first part of "Roma Imago Urbis" and posted some screen caps from it on the forum. I'm attaching them here so you can have a look at them.
It's probably going to be quite some time yet before this is finally available in an English-friendly version, but we found enough fans of Bazzoni to get together and hopefully get his final project out there for people to see. Bazzoni worked on this for years, and it's a shame that it's hardly ever been seen. He passed away in 2012, and never directed again after completing "Roma Imago Urbis." Here's hoping we'll eventually be able to help get his lost passion project into the world where it can be appreciated, and maybe working on this project will help spur the rights holders to make an official DVD or Blu-ray release of the film!
Wednesday, 2 September, 2015
As an addendum to our Luigi Bazzoni double bill episode, we present this comparison between the film version of THE FIFTH CORD and its source novel, kindly provided to us by Peter (a.k.a. SignorWardh) and reproduced here with his permission.
THE FIFTH CORD has been a favourite giallo of mine ever since I first saw it. There are a number of reasons for this; the stunning cinematography, the great set pieces, the excellent cast and one of Morricone finest giallo soundtracks. The script however has always felt a bit confusing to me. I've had the feeling that important bits of information have been left out and found myself struggling to keep up with some of the plot developments. Having read the source novel, a lot has fallen into place and given me information that doesn't really come across in the film. It really made me enjoy the film even more when I revisited it the other night.
D.M. Devine's book is hardly great literature, but it's an enjoyable classical detective story. It didn't necessarily strike me as something that cried out to be filmed, but Bazzoni, Mario Fanelli and Mario de Nardo obviously saw something in it and I'm glad they did. A number of things have been changed in the film of course. The story's setting has been moved from the smaller town of Kenburgh, somewhere in northern Britain, to an urban Italian setting.
Franco Nero's character Andrea Bild is called Jeremey Beald in the book and his portrayal is fairly close to how the character is written in the book. He is described as a gifted reporter with a big heart, but who is disillusioned with his career and life in general and is on the verge of full-blown alcoholism. A lot of his problems seem to hark back to a wrong-doing from a former colleague (who also appears in the book). This wrong-doing is alluded to numerous times in the book, but the nature of it is never fully-explained.
The character played by Pamela Tiffin, Lù Auer, is called Kathleen Ryan in the book and her brother Ryan (Walter in the film) is a witness to the first attack.
Helene is called Helen in the book and is widowed (rather than being married and in the process of divorce). She is an old school friend of Jeremy's and it's fairly clear from the beginning that she'll develop into a love interest. She is very protective of Jeremy and wants to help him pull himself together, but he keeps pushing her away. She comes off a bit more harsh and fed up with Nero in the film, but I think she is well portrayed by Silvia Monti. Her son Tony is called Peter in the book and is 11 years old, considerably older than in the film.
Richard Bini and his disabled wife Sophia are called Dick and Alice Binnie. They're portrayed in much the same way in the book as in the film. The doctor resents his wife (the bedridden victim of a stroke and former bridge partner of Jeremy's) and is cheating on her with his receptionist.
Edmund Purdom and Ira von Fürstenberg and characters Edouard and Isabel are called Duncan and Isabel and are featured a lot more in the book. Edmund's father also plays an important role in the book.
The character of Lubbock is the one who differs to most. In the book it's a woman called Jean Lubbock. A teacher at the school, who is described as a "pathetic creature, unattractive in looks and in personality."
The introduction of the main characters is made at a parent-teachers association meeting rather than the swanky nightclub setting of a New years eve party. I really like the opening in the film, but I think it somewhat misses the mark from a narrative point of view. You can hear the guests congratulating Isabel and Edouard, but I think the introduction of the characters and their relationships could have been made a bit clearer from the beginning.
The film continues to follow the plot of the book fairly well for the first couple of murders. The initial attack in the tunnel and the murder of Dr Binis's wife are very alike, but the third murder of the newspaper editor is an amalgamation of two murders in the book; the murder of the editor (who is a senior reporter in the book) and the attempted murder of Edouard's father, where he succumbs to a heart attack before he is killed.
After this murder the script deviates quite a bit from the book. A lot of time is spent at the news desk in the book, but that has been left out in favour of scenes that presumably worked better on-screen. These include the visit to Lu's brother Walter at the race track and the whole sex party sub-plot.
The attempted murder of Tony is changed as well. In the book it happens during the daytime when Helen has popped out to the hairdressers. The change-up up to the empty and stylish villa obviously works a lot better on-screen and is one of my favourite sequences in the film. The denouement is changed as well. The lengthy final chase sequence is added.
One of the biggest mysteries has always been why it's called The Fifth Cord. The title makes a lot more sense in the book though. A card from firm of undertakers is found at the site where Lubbock is attacked (see attached picture of the books cover). The card is handed to near relatives and friends of the deceased to indicate which cord they are to hold at the interment. At the subsequent murders scenes, a card with a "No. 2 Cord" etc are found pinned to the victims (as opposed to the gloves found with fingers cut off in the film). All the victims are strangled with a piece of cord, unlike in the film where they are dispatched of in numerous ways.
The motive for the killing in the book is revenge. Jean was in love with Duncan and thought the feelings were being reciprocated. The humiliation of being present when Duncan announced his engagement to Isabel brought on lust for revenge, so she hatched a plan to commit a string of murders and pin them on Duncan. The attack she was subjected to on the way home from the school function gave her the idea. She'd been attacked, but had survived. The undertakers business card would link the attack with the subsequent murders and she limited herself to defenceless people so she didn't have the strength to deal with a healthy adult. In the book the killers confessions are written in a way as to subtly incriminate Duncan when they were found. There are no anonymous phone calls and theirs is nothing relating to dates or zodiac signs.
Although I can see why some change was made to the book (and some for the better), I find it difficult to see why the script dropped the Cord angle. They worked better than the star signs. Especially since the film doesn't do a very good job of conveying the passing of time. It's only when the film is wrapped up that you realize that quite a few months have passed during the film. But I suppose logic and a clear narrative is not always something that can be expected from the genre. Regardless of its faults, THE FIFTH CORD remains a great giallo that I happily return to and I wish that Franco's character would have returned in further films.
Wednesday, 5 August, 2015
For our next episode, we'll be returning once again to a subject dear to our hearts — Italian cult cinema, with a double bill focusing on the work of director Luigi Bazzoni: 1971's THE FIFTH CORD, his stylish giallo starring Franco Nero, and 1975's head-scratcher FOOTPRINTS (a.k.a. FOOTPRINTS ON THE MOON), starring Movie Matters favourite Florinda Bolkan. We'd love to hear your thoughts on these films, or indeed on Bazzoni's output as a whole.
If you've got something to contribute, whether in text form or an MP3, please get in touch. Either reply below the line, email email@example.com or use the contact form on the web site.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Saturday, 1 August, 2015
We've recently been in conversation with an internet community radio station who are keen to add Movie Matters to their current programming.
Now, as our loyal listeners will know, producing new content on a regular basis is something we have never been able to sustain at Movie Matters HQ. For us, the podcast is a fun hobby, providing a welcome distraction from the daily toils of domestic responsibilities and work commitments. However, we invest a considerable amount of effort into preparing and publishing episodes we feel are of worth to our audience. Quality over quantity has been an ethos we're firmly embraced and the compromise in value necessary if we were to adopt a weekly release schedule is one we have strongly resisted.
Therefore, in order to explore this potentially exciting opportunity for Movie Matters, without submitting ourselves or the show to the pressures of unrealistic release deadlines, we are considering a proposal to allow our expanding back catalogue of episodes to be rebroadcast. The exact details of how this will be done and when it will start or end are still under review but for now we wanted to share this potentially exciting news with you, ask for your thoughts on the prospect of Movie Matters expanding into internet community radio and issue an important message below:
If you have ever been a guest on our show, submitted an MP3 or provided any written content via email or social networks and you strongly object to said content being rebroadcast on internet community radio. Please contact us immediately to express this opinion. Whilst we cannot promise to excise the relevant material, we may be able to adjust the version of our past episodes to be re-broadcast on this platform. If after two-weeks from the date of this post we haven't heard from you, we will be proceeding as outlined in the above post.
Friday, 5 June, 2015
The next instalment of Movie Matters, due to be recorded a week today, will be in the form of a Movie Matters [Mini] episode, consisting of a general catch-up in which we discuss some of the films we've been watching of late. You're more than welcome to share your own recent viewing habits with us. Reply below the line, tweet us at @MovieMattersTM, use the contact form or email us an MP3 at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to hear from you!
Monday, 11 May, 2015
We're gearing up to record our next episode, a giallo double bill focusing on two of the legendary Lucio Fulci's best films: 1969's ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER (a.k.a. PERVERSION STORY) and 1977's SEVEN NOTES IN BLACK (a.k.a. THE PSYCHIC OR MURDER TO THE TUNE OF SEVEN BLACK NOTES). In addition to our own thoughts on these films, we'd love to be able to feature as much input from you the listeners as possible, on these films, Fulci himself or indeed any of his other work.
If you've got something to contribute, whether in text form or an MP3, please get in touch at some point before Friday. Either reply below the line, email email@example.com or use the contact form on the web site.
We hope to hear from you soon!
Wednesday, 18 February, 2015
Once again this year, our loyal and esteemed listeners answered our call and kindly submitted their own text and audio 'Picks of 2014' lists: it was our pleasure to feature them all on our recent "epic-size" review of the year special.
The featured lists are reproduced below for posterity, presented in the same order in which they were read out on the show -- i.e. on a "first come, first served" basis.
Saturday, 27 December, 2014
Merry Christmas, listeners (both new and old). We trust you're enjoying the festive season and wish you all a very Happy New Year! Roll on 2015 and another bumper-year of movies.
Preparations are now under-way here at Movie Matters HQ -- as we cram in any final notable films before locking our lists -- to record and release our customary epic "Top 10 Films of the Year" episode. The bumper-length yearly review shows are something of a Movie Matters tradition -- we've done one every year since we started, and they've always proved to be interesting (and occasionally controversial) affairs.
As with our previous Top 10s, we'd love it if as many listeners (and even non-listeners!) as possible could submit their own Top 10 lists, either in text or MP3 form. (If submitting an MP3, please try to keep it below five minutes in length.) The criteria for which films qualify for inclusion are yours to decide, though let us know what they are. (Some examples: released theatrically in your home country in 2014; released theatrically in the film's country of origin in 2014; released on DVD/Blu-ray in 2014.)
In addition to your Top 10 favourites list, we'd also be happy to hear what your biggest disappointment was, most pleasant surprise and indeed what your worst film of the year was.
Please leave a comment with your lists, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them as a response to our Letterboxd list.
We look forward to hearing from you and featuring your contributions on the finished podcast!
Monday, 10 February, 2014
If you've made it to the end of the Top 10 of 2013 podcast, you'll have noticed that this year, in a break with tradition, we didn't read out each individual list submitted by our listeners but rather collated them all into a single Top 10. We're constantly experimenting with the format of the show, trying to determine the optimum way of presenting both our own thoughts and our listeners' contributions, and we do of course welcome any and all feedback on our efforts. In the case of listener lists, we continue to be overwhelmed (in the best possible sense) by the sheer number of submissions we receive. Our Top 10 episodes already run considerably longer than the average podcast (we pride ourselves on being thorough), and in the interests of avoiding this episode reaching an unwieldy length, we decided to try something a little different this year.
That said, we didn't want to deny our loyal listeners their moment in the spotlight. Therefore, we decided to post the submitted lists in their entirety on the web site. These are included below, in the order in which we received them, along with any additional comments that were submitted.
Tuesday, 14 January, 2014
Just a heads-up to let you know that the deadline for you to submit your list for the Movie Matters Top Ten of 2013 show to us (if you haven't done so already) is Saturday 18th.
We've had an excellent response so far with a diverse array of titles nominated for the best (and worst) of the year. However, we'd like to get even more, and are especially eager for more MP3 lists. So please, keep sending them in!
Wednesday, 1 January, 2014
First of all, a very Happy New Year to everyone. We hope you had a relaxing end to 2013 with plenty of festive film viewing and are getting geared up for another great year of movies.
2013 proved to be a bit of a frustrating year for Movie Matters in terms of our releasing schedule. Despite our frequent and absolutely sincere promises, unavoidable real-life events beyond our control intervened, resulting in us being less productive than we'd hoped to be. Despite this, we did manage to spearhead a couple of new initiatives, namely Lee's Movie Matters [Mono] and [Music] solo offerings.
As we move into 2014, both Lee and myself are approaching the podcast with renewed vigour and endeavour to bring you as many shows as we are able. We appreciate and are inspired by our listeners' appraisal of Movie Matters as 'quality rather than quantity', and thank you all for your patience and continued support. Our first major milestone will be to get out our much-belated Halloween 2013 episode, featuring frequent guest Daniel Sardella, into public hands as soon as possible. The second will be to record and release our "Top 10 of 2013" episode.
The Top 10 episodes are something of a Movie Matters tradition -- we've done one every year since we started, and they've always proved to be interesting (and occasionally controversial) affairs. As with our previous Top 10s, we'd love it if as many listeners (and even non-listeners!) as possible could submit their own Top 10 lists, either in text or MP3 form. (If submitting an MP3, please try to keep it below five minutes in length.) The criteria for which films qualify for inclusion are yours to decide, though let us know what they are. (Some examples: released theatrically in your home country in 2013; released theatrically in the film's country of origin in 2013; released on DVD/Blu-ray in 2013.)
In addition to your Top 10 favourites list, we'd also be happy to hear what your biggest disappointment was or indeed what your worst film of the year was.
Please reply to this thread with your lists or send them to email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you and to getting our voices back out there in the webisphere once again!
Saturday, 9 February, 2013
Our recent "Top 10" episode saw a massive listener response, with audience members old and new sending us in their own personal favourite (and least favourite) titles of 2012. We've put together a collated list drawing on all listener submissions.
The rankings below represent the ten films most popular among the lists submitted by our listeners. The system used to compile the list is simply to apply a numerical count to the number of occasions a specific title is included on a list regardless of ranking.
Friday, 25 January, 2013
The Movie Matters "Top 10 Films of 2012" podcast is being recorded this Sunday, meaning that tomorrow, Saturday 26th January, will be the final day for submissions of your Top 10 lists. If you'd like to submit a list and have it read out on the show, please post it as a comment here or on the original post from December.
Friday, 21 December, 2012
The end is nigh! No, not the end of the world. That's just silly. But there are only ten days left in 2012, which means it's once again time for us to begin preparing for that most sacred of annual traditions, the Movie Matters "Top 10 Films of the Year" special.
And we want your lists.
Last year, we had an overwhelming response - so overwhelming, in fact, that we weren't able to feature all the MP3s we received in the episode itself and had to do a supplemental mini-episode for them. This year, we're going to be slightly strict and impose a five-minute limit on any MP3 files.
So, send us your Top 10 films of 2012 in either text or MP3 form (email MP3s to firstname.lastname@example.org; either email text lists or simply post them as a reply to this thread). The criteria can be of your own choosing, but let us know what they are - e.g. theatrical releases by UK release date, theatrical releases by US release date, DVD/Blu-ray releases. We'll be recording the show at some point in January -there's no confirmed date yet, but we'll let you know as soon as we have one so you can be sure to get your lists in on time.
Sunday, 26 February, 2012
Somewhat later than anticipated, we've put together a supplemental bonus to the most recent Movie Matters episode containing the three "Top 10 of 2011" MP3 lists we didn't have time to showcase in the episode itself. We hope you enjoy listening to these additional takes on the year that was 2011 and can forgive the delay in getting them out there.
The music sampled in this episode is from DRIVE.
Thursday, 12 January, 2012
It's nearly that time of year once again: we're gearing up to record the first Movie Matters episode of 2012, which, in the tradition of 2011's first episode, will be a countdown of our favourite films of the previous year. We'll each by revealing and discussing our personal Top 10 Films of 2011, and as with last year's episode would like to read out as many of our listeners' Top 10 lists as possible.
So, get in touch with us with your favourite films of 2011. Either list the films in order of preference or not, and use whichever criteria you like (e.g. theatrical release dates in your country, home video release dates, etc.), just as long as you let us know what they are. Also, feel free to let us know about your most hated and/or most disappointing film(s) of the year, and anything else that takes your fancy. Either post your comments here, or email them to email@example.com. Alternatively, feel free to get creative and submit your nominations in MP3 form. We've had a couple of these already and would love to feature more, time permitting.
Deadline is Saturday, January 21.
Monday, 23 May, 2011
We (Michael & Lee) are planning on recording the next episode of the Movie Matters podcast in the first week of June, along with our good friend Sandy, a.k.a. The Gialli Fan at Dark Dreams. As befits Sandy's nickname, this will be a giallo special, beginning with a discussion of the genre, followed by reviews/discussions of three films.
We would like listeners to submit their three favourite gialli in order of preference, so if you'd like to participate, please add a reply to this topic. The plan would be to read out as many of these lists on air as possible.