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.


Leonardo Dicaprio in Christopher Nolan's Inception

Labor Day has come and gone, and Chicago just had its first cool day in weeks, so it's a good time to glance back at a couple of the summer's big movies. On this episode of the Plastic Podcast, Rob and J. Robert talk about Inception and Toy Story 3, with a brief nod toward Despicable Me.

0:00 Intro
0:47 Trailer: Inception Story
2:02 Inception (Nolan, 2010)
20:56 Toy Story 3 (Unkrich, 2010)
25:41 Despicable Me (Coffin/Renaud, 2010)
29:25 Complications and Traditions
33:15 Outro

Leonard Proxauf in Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band)

This episode of the Plastic Podcast concludes our conversation about the Academy Award nominations. Rob and J. Robert talk about the nominees in the other major categories and mention a few overlooked favorites of 2009. Here's part one.

0:00 Intro: The Conversation Continues
0:18 Best Acting Categories
6:46 Best Animated Feature Film
10:31 Best Original Screenplay
13:10 Best Adapted Screenplay
15:14 Best Documentary Feature
25:50 Best Foreign Language Film
35:18 Other Faves of 2009: Pontypool, Two Lovers
38:07 Make Way for Tomorrow (McCarey, 1937), Text of Light (Brakhage, 1974)
40:25 Done



This episode of the Plastic Podcast is the first half of a conversation about the Academy Award nominations. Rob and J. Robert talk about the Best Picture and Best Director categories.

0:00 Intro
1:16 Avatar
7:21 Expansion of the Best Picture Category
10:17 Our Favorite and Least Favorite Nominees
12:03 An Education
14:01 Up in the Air
18:20 The Hurt Locker
20:51 Precious
22:30 2009 as a Whole/Hole
27:31 District 9
29:15 The Blind Side Blind
30:30 Inglourious Basterds
35:18 Outro

Further Reading

Slobodan Pikula / Summit Entertainment
Michael Stuhlbarg in the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man

On this episode of the Plastic Podcast, Rob and J. Robert talk about the new film by the Coen brothers, A Serious Man, and the work of Chantal Akerman, especially her 1993 film D'Est (From the East).

0:00 Intro
2:01 The Coen Brothers and A Serious Man
26:03 Overlap
28:34 Chantal Akerman and D'Est
59:21 Outro

Further Reading

  • Rob's blog post about A Serious Man
  • Forgot to mention: Ben Russell, whose intriguing new film Let Each One Go Where He May has been receiving accolades at film festivals this fall, cites Akerman's D'Est as a major influence, along with the work of Jean Rouch.
Slobodan Pikula / Summit Entertainment
Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody in The Brothers Bloom

On the triumphant return of the Plastic Podcast after a months-long hiatus, Rob talks with filmmaker Rian Johnson about his second film, The Brothers Bloom, starring Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo, and Rinko Kikuchi.

0:00 Intro: Where Have You Been?
4:10 Interview: Rian Johnson on The Brothers Bloom
21:17 Outro

Further Reading

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

Benicio Del Toro is Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh's new film.

On this edition of the Plastic Podcast we chat about some of the films we saw at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

0:00 Intro
2:28 35 Shots of Rum (Denis)
4:29 Festival Anxiety, Goodbye Solo (Bahrani)
5:44 Listmaking
7:39 Rachel Getting Married (Demme)
9:31 Still Walking (Kore-eda)
12:20 Summer Hours (Assayas)
14:15 Snow (Begic)
15:04 Rain (Govan)
15:53 Experimental Films: Nathaniel Dorsky
19:26 Experimental Films: James Benning
22:25 The Wrestler (Aronofsky)
24:55 Slumdog Millionaire (Boyle)
27:57 Che (Soderbergh)
33:02 Dislikes
36:25 Two-Legged Horse (Makhmalbaf)
38:23 Outro

Further Reading

  • Index of our Toronto coverage
  • Video of Variety's Robert Koehler, The Village Voice/L.A. Weekly's Scott Foundas, and Cinema Scope's Mark Peranson and Andrew Tracy kvetching (or if you prefer whingein') about the festival.
  • Audio of SpoutBlog's Karina Longworth and Kevin Kelly talking about TIFF and sharing a funny anecdote about seeing Burn After Reading while sitting next to noisy celebs.
  • Audio of James Rocchi and David Poland talking about TIFF and offering, among other opinions, spirited defenses of Che and Slumdog Millionaire.
Focus Features and Nina Buesing/Kino International
Left: Steve Coogan and Elizabeth Shue in Hamlet 2. Right: Azazel Jacobs

This edition of the Plastic Podcast features two interviews: Robert Davis talks with writer-director Azazel Jacobs about his new film, Momma's Man, and J. Robert Parks talks to actor and comedian Steve Coogan about his new film, Hamlet 2, among other things.

0:00 Intro
4:04 Interview: Azazel Jacobs on Momma's Man
16:50 About Steve Coogan (and Al Pacino?)
19:27 Interview: Steve Coogan
38:03 Dangerous Outro

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Stephen Vaughan / Warner Bros. Pictures

With the summer freshly in the can, we present 14 compact reactions (some more compact than others) to a season of generally loud, generally trashy movies. Picking up where our last speed round left off, we talk about The Dark Knight, WALL*E, Man on Wire, Wanted, and others. Dump the lemonade, brew a pot of something warm, and bid adieu to the summer's second half.

0:00 Intro
1:31 The Dark Knight (Nolan) [discussion]
16:07 WALL*E (Stanton)
21:44 Man on Wire (Marsh)
24:02 Baghead (Duplass & Duplass)
24:27 Encounters at the End of the World (Herzog)
27:41 Hancock (Berg)
30:11 Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Del Toro)
34:48 American Teen (Burstein) [discussion]
42:37 The Wackness (Levine)
45:19 Tell No One (Canet)
46:57 Wanted (Bekmambetov)
48:57 Get Smart (Segal)
52:01 Meet Dave (Robbins)
54:20 Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (Gibney)
1:01:05 Outro

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Mark and Jay Duplass, writers and directors of Baghead

Arrogant smarty-pants might guess that this first edition of the Plastic Podcast is no different from its predecessor, the Errata Movie Podcast. But if we've learned anything from the movies, it's that know-it-alls will always receive their comeuppance. If you think you're a know-it-all, please wait around the corner for what's coming to you.

The Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay, may feign ignorance at times, but their new movie Baghead is plenty smart. Mixing genres in clever ways, it even inspires chills through the hoariest of horror cliches, the cabin in the woods. We sat down with the brothers Duplass in an exceedingly warm Chicago conference room, and the conversation revolved around the process of writing and editing, why watching movies at night is a different experience, and the enduring classic that is Fletch.

One last note. We here at Daily Plastic were only slightly miffed that the man in the woods is wearing a paper bag on his head, but we've gotten over it.

0:00 Intro
2:51 Interview: Mark and Jay Duplass
6:54 - Planning for Improvisation
10:58 - Working with Professional Actors
12:28 - Whittling the Footage
14:05 - Staying Ahead of the Audience
17:05 - Audience Dynamic, Permission to Laugh
21:11 - Obsessed with Plot
22:45 - Division of Labor
23:56 - Influences and Future Directions
29:10 - What sort of movies does the world need now?
30:38 Outro

A few fun quotations from the interview:

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