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.


On Monday night, Jon Stewart analyzed the New John McCain that was rumored to drop out of the rafters last weekend:

But the joke's on Jon: McCain pulled a switcheroo and brought a previously-seen John McCain to tonight's debate instead. Ha!

In non-political grudge matches: filmmaker David Fincher directed the latest Nike commercial about the fated meeting of LaDainian Tomlinson and Troy Polamalu:

In this week's guide to pronunciation, we offer help with a word that's been bandied about recently. It's pronounced SHAH-den-froy-duh. So if you're at a cocktail party and want to impress your friends, feel free to drop a line like, "The Dick Fuld hearing was an especially empty example of political theater, but at least it provided a good jolt of schadenfreude." Watch everyone's eyebrows rise in admiration or envy at your fine cultured self.

We here at Daily Plastic don't spend a lot of time listening to DVD commentaries, so we're always happy when someone else does the hard work for us. Doug Cummings offers a particularly nice write-up (nice because it earns its length) of the new Touch of Evil 50th Anniversary Edition that's just been released. Given our discussion of the Coen brothers last week, our ears perked up when we came across this line:

I’ve always considered Touch of Evil the best Coen movie not directed by a Coen brother, and the film’s sense of irony was easily thirty years ahead of its time; it also highlights the facile nature of today’s winking detachment in which nothing is taken seriously enough.

Hmmm yes.

  • What do Arnold M. Picker, Alexander E. Barkan, and Ed Guthman have in common? And also who the heck are they? They're all people who appear on a list that's now more famous than most of its entries: Nixon's list of enemies compiled by chief counsel Charles Colson. The operative word is "most," because debuting at number #19, and still better known than the list on which he appears, is one Paul Newman.
  • He passed away this week, you know. Many good remembrances have been written. Here's just one, from David Edelstein at New York Magazine.
  • We thought of The Hudsucker Proxy, which may not be his best film, but it features one of our favorite of his performances. That gravelly voice almost sounds like Keenan Wynn's.

  • We love it when Reverse Shot puts together a symposium on a particular filmmaker, and few are as worthy as Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien. We went on about Hou ourselves back in November on our podcast.
  • And speaking of podcasts, we've enjoyed listening to our buddies in San Francisco talk movies on a new podcast called Vinyl is Podcast. No frills. Just chit chat about the great film offerings in the Bay Area. Be jealous.
  • This week in proper pronunciation: Italo Calvino's first name is pronounced EE-ta-lo. We have a hazy memory of Dustin Hoffman pronouncing it EET-lo

    in Stranger than Fiction, which probably works, as well.

  • We heard through the grapevine that John Lydon, whose last name is pronounced RAH-tuhn, is hawking butter on TV in the UK. Would the young man seen below in a 1980 interview with Tom Snyder approve? Actually, we're not sure.

A cliffhanger? Here's the rest of the interview.

"He was a huge talent, our strongest rhetorical writer," Jonathan Franzen, a friend of [David Foster] Wallace and the author of The Corrections, said in an interview on Sunday, adding later, "He was also as sweet a person as I've ever known and as tormented a person as I've ever known."

FYI, I've posted a few comments about some of the festival's American and otherwise English-language films over at Paste.

See all of our Toronto 2008 coverage here.

I'll be posting quick film reactions to Twitter. Because why not? I haven't used Twitter extensively, but it's like the status feature of Facebook. Nothing more. It might work well for this sort of trickle -- don't want to hammer my Facebook friends with these.

Consider it an experiment on my part. Vials around me are bubbling, and you're welcome to sip from them with the link above. I'll also be posting here alongside J. Robert and over at Paste.

My schedule got a bit horked today for various reasons, so I've ducked into some movies I probably wouldn't have otherwise (like Cold Lunch), but I'm getting back on track.

See all of our Toronto 2008 coverage here.
  • When the Toronto festival draws nigh, we spend a lot of time at GreenCine Daily scanning for the words "Venice" and "Telluride," hoping to find out what to see and what to skip in Canada. In particular, we spend a good long while with Michael Sicinski's one-of-a-kind preview of the Wavelengths series of experimental films. (And, as we implied previously, we studiously avoid entries that mention Claire Denis so as to approach her films clean. I'm not hearin' nothing.)
  • You could always turn to CBS News for such coverage. Take this little article, for starters, about Natalie Portman's directorial debut, a short film that appears in New York, I Love You, a sequel of sorts to Paris, Je t'aime and a prequel to Dubuque, I Like You But Not Like That (2009) and Modesto, You're the Tops Behind Paris, New York, and Frankly Dubuque (2010). In the CBS article, two paragraphs (of eight) are about the color, shape, and density of the items that Portman was wearing and clutching. The article also says that Portman, strangely, showed no interest in talking to this clutch of reporters about her film!
  • Don LaFontaine, whose voice can be heard in thousands of movie trailers, has died. Over at Glenn Kenny's blog, Aaron Aradillas has posted some of his favorites. I like the one for the original Friday the 13th, which -- little known fact -- was first shown on a late-spring episode of Sesame Street.

  • August is the month that filmmakers trade instruments with the people who run the Tony Awards. It's a big hoot, and the members of the participants' respective guilds look forward to it every year. This year, Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero) designed the opening of the Beijing Olympics, Ken Burns and Steven Spielberg are dancing Monday and tonight, respectively, at the DNC, and -- here's where I get a little confused -- Slavoj Žižek is directing the Telluride Film Festival which begins Friday. Cuh-razy, man.
  • Telluride is odd among the fall festivals -- among all film festivals, actually -- in that it announces its lineup, dramatically, on the day it opens. In the meantime, we can busy ourselves with news from San Sebastian and Venice. Daily Plastic will be reporting from the Toronto festival next week, and since there's a fair bit of overlap across the major August-September festivals, we're following remote dispatches closely.
  • We'd point you to the Sydney Morning Herald's overview of the Venice festival, but since they say that Claire Denis' last film "was a slasher," they're disqualified from contention. Even if they mean Trouble Every Day, that was seven years and three feature films ago. And her design for an unusually bloody Tony Awards never saw the light of day, so you can't count that, either.

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