Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

The Plastic Podcast

An audio program about movies. Listen with your iPod or computer.

Plastic Podcast

The venerable and exceedingly intermittent Plastic Podcast, which has outlived the two blogs with which it was intertwined, and whose audio archives were difficult to ...

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Daily Plastic is a Chicago-based movie blog, a collaboration between Robert Davis and J. Robert Parks, the same pair who brought you the wearable movie tote, the razor-thin pencil pocket, and that joke about aardvarks. If you know the whereabouts of the blue Pontiac Tempest that was towed from the Plastic Parking Lot on the evening of August 7th, 2008, or more importantly if you've recovered the red shoebox that was in its trunk, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Davis was the chief film critic for the late, great Paste Magazine (which lives on now as a website) from 2005 through 2009, and he counts this interview with Claire Denis among his favorite moments. Every once in a while he pops up on Twitter. He's presently sipping puerh in Chicago, even at this hour. Meanwhile, Parks, whose work has appeared in TimeOut Chicago, The Hyde Park Herald, and Paste, is molding unsuspecting, college-aged minds in the aforementioned windy city. Media types are warned to stay clear of his semester-sized field of influence because of the distorting effects that are likely to develop.

The © copyright of all content on Daily Plastic belongs to the respective authors.

Ishika Mohan / Fox Searchlight / Lol Crawley
Left: Danny Boyle in India. Right: JimMyron Ross and Tarra Riggs in Ballast.

On this edition of the Plastic Podcast, Robert Davis first talks with Danny Boyle about his new film, Slumdog Millionaire. Among other things, they chat about what drew him to the project, his impression of India, working with his co-director Loveleen Tandan, his strategy for editing multiple timelines, and the film's surprising depiction of torture — over a game show.

Then Rob talks with Lance Hammer whose debut film, Ballast, is moving gradually around the country. They talk about the music he almost added, the eye of an art director, the impact of Godard and the Dardenne brothers on the film, the way he gleaned dialogue from his extensive, "architectural" process of rehearsal and improvisation, and the tone of the Mississippi delta.

0:00 Intro
3:09 Interview: Danny Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire
17:24 Interview: Lance Hammer on Ballast
33:43 Outro

Further Reading and Listening

Update: 15 December 2008
Excerpts from the interview with Lance Hammer appear at

9 Responses to “Slumdog Millionaire and Ballast

  1. Robert DAVIS says:

    Both of these filmmakers are working in worlds they didn't grow up in. They're both outsiders. But look how different their approaches are. I wonder what the reaction would be if Danny Boyle had taken this same kinetic-dramatic approach to rural life in the Mississippi delta; what if Lance Hammer had turned his camera on Mumbai?

  2. Brian says:

    Very enjoyable listen, Rob. Hope to see Slumdog Millionaire soon, even though I haven't liked a Danny Boyle film since Trainspotting (admittedly I've skipped a few, for good reasons I assure you.) I really liked listening to your conversation with Lance Hammer, too. Here's to getting well (I seem to be coming down with something myself right now, and I can't blame a major climate shift either).

  3. Robert DAVIS says:

    Thanks, Brian. Let me link to your own interview with Lance Hammer at GreenCine. I especially like the last question: "How do you prevent a film like Ballast to avoid presenting a touristic view on poverty or hardship?"

  4. Brian says:

    It would be a better question if it were grammatically correct. Reading it back I realize I worded it quite poorly. Luckily the answer was more coherent...

  5. Robert DAVIS says:

    Oh, funny, I must have read right past that. I knew what you meant, and he obviously did, too.

  6. HarryTuttle says:

    I miss your podcasts guys... when will you make new ones?

  7. Robert DAVIS says:

    Thanks, Harry. Sorry for the recent silence. We have some good stuff in the queue!

  8. Robert DAVIS says:

    We most certainly do. Interviews with Darren Aronofsky, Ari Folman, Rian Johnson (a personal fave of mine), and others are already in the can!

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