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.


I haven't seen Vivre sa Vie (waiting for the big screen experience later this winter), so I can't speak to how the two films compare. But this juxtaposition of film posters outside the Music Box theater pleased me.

Madhabi Mukherjee in Charulata

2008 began, for me, with Blade Runner and City Lights, and it ended with Bridge on the River Kwai. While the movies in between didn’t always reach those lofty heights, I saw a lot of great stuff in ’08. For better or worse, most of the truly great movies I saw last year were repertory films that played at theaters like the Music Box, the Siskel Film Center, and Doc Films. So I thought I’d lead off this year with the Top 10 Old Films of 2008. Don’t worry, though. I’ll get to the more traditional top 10 in a couple days. My only requirements for this list are that they played somewhere in Chicago and that I saw them for the first time last year. For fun, I’ve listed the theater where I saw each film.

1. Charulata (Doc Films)
One of the best movies I’ve seen anywhere in several years, this incredible “woman’s picture” from Satyajit Ray completely blew me away. A story of a wife who finds her own voice in writing, it’s an incredible portrait of both a woman and her marriage. While I enjoyed Ray’s Apu trilogy, nothing in that prepared for me for his incredible style in this film, which is full of tracking shots, spectacular lighting, and breathtaking freeze frames. Made in 1964, it’s clearly influenced by the French New Wave just as the Apu films owe much to Italian neo-realism. But Ray takes the playful New Wave-isms and joins them with his Bengali sensibilities to create a film that’s staggering in its accomplishments. A movie that I wanted to see again as soon as I left the theater and one I’ve been thinking about ever since.

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Tsai cheng-tai / IFC Films
Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flight of the Red Balloon

Happy new year! I've posted my list of favorite films of 2008 at Paste, along with a bunch of extras and comments. Also, although the sequence isn't quite what I had in mind, I have a few more entries for our 2008 in Negative series to post over the next few days. I'd planned to push those out sooner, but the holidays got in the way.

Watch for J. Robert Parks to post his lists here at Daily Plastic soon.

Here's hoping 2009 brings everyone a little stability and brightness.

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