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Jon and Chris get a film education, one filmmaker at a time. Each month, we pick a famous filmmaker and watch every film that he or she wrote and directed. Then, we research the filmmaker’s history and critical assessments of their work. Finally, we talk about the films, consistent themes throughout, and answer definitively: Are they an auteur and do we like them?
 
Nextcast is personal success lessons from technology thought leaders. Watch and listen to this web series featuring long-form interviews with successful entrepreneurs and technology thought leaders, hosted by tech visionary Jeff Dickey. Featured regularly on GeekWire.com, the show is rapidly gaining a reputation as a must-watch for technologists across the Pacific Northwest and in the Bay Area.
 
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Elaine May is a comedy legend with a directing career that came to an infamous end with Ishtar. Her film career has undergone a bit of a positive reappraisal lately, even with earning a Criterion entry for Mikey and Nickey. You don't have to look far either to find an Ishtar defender. Listen as we conduct our own appraisal of May's film output. As …
 
Bong Joon-ho is an Oscar winner with a diverse filmography ranging from serial killing to a creature feature. Coming in pretty ignorant of Joon-ho and Korean filmmaking, listen to see what we thought of this hot filmmaker. Scene Picks: Parasite: Family comes home Okja: Leaving the compound As always let us know what we got wrong on Facebook, on Twi…
 
Steve McQueen is an accomplished filmmaker, both Cannes-approved (Camera d'Or for Hunger) and the director of an Oscar winning film (12 Years a Slave). In this episode, we dive into the films written and directed by McQueen, included the ambitious Small Axe anthology. Widows car ride scene Hunger dialogue scene Show Notes/Sources: https://www.roger…
 
Paul Thomas Anderson has amassed an impressive filmography with his ninth feature film, Licorice Pizza, scheduled for release at the end of the year. Perhaps intimidated by the run-times and heavy themes or put off by a strange belief that there was only a place for one Anderson filmmaker in our lives, the sad reality is that we had missed most of …
 
Matthew Vaughn is doing great. He's got his own cinematic universe (Kingsman), and he has also been compared to a Bond villain. While he's been largely successful with audiences, the critical reception has been more mixed. For this episode, we were joined by Richard Kirkham of the LAMBcast to journey through Vaughn's films. More from Richard Kirkha…
 
Saulnier's films might remind you of some genre classics, but he's no imitator. We were lucky enough to have Jess Manzo (French Toast Sunday) help us work through Saulnier's rather tense filmography. As always let us know what we got wrong on Facebook, on Twitter, @PopcornAuteur, or email us at popcornauteur@gmail.com. Show Notes/Sources: http://ar…
 
In this episode, we explore the three films of Tamara Jenkins. From Slums of Beverly Hills to Private Life, Jenkins has told engaging, intimate stories while always managing to find humor. She's not prolific, but give a listen and you'll find a lot to suggest this Oscar-nominated filmmaker. As always let us know what we got wrong on Facebook, on Tw…
 
Chloé Zhao just won the Best Director Academy Award for Nomadland, which also took home best picture. In perhaps our most timely episode, we delve into the three feature films of Zhao to educate ourselves about this Oscar winner whose next film just happens to exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, Chris was a guest on The Forgotten Filmcast…
 
This month, we cover another member of the Pixar brain trust. Pete Docter got in early at Pixar, he's directed Oscar winners, and now he's Pixar's Chief Creative Officer. Jonathan Sundy, official animation expert for the Popcorn Auteur, joined us as we talked about Docter's four films from Monsters, Inc. to 2020's Soul. Find out more about Jonathan…
 
We are back with part 2. We had a lot of fun discussing del Toro's second half. Hope you enjoy us debating if inter-species sex is Oscar bait and if ALF would have been a better character design than the fish man. Pan's Labyrinth Translations Opening Clip: Faun: You're Princess Moanna, daughter of the king of the Underworld. Ofelia: My father was a…
 
As we conclude season 4, we tackle one of the busiest filmmakers working today. Guillermo del Toro is a creator of genre fiction on film, television, and in print. He is also beloved by critics and has a recent Academy Award to round out his credentials. In this episode, we examine the first four films written and directed by del Toro. Translations…
 
John Milius never reached the levels of acclaim as Spielberg, Lucas, or Coppola; however, the screenwriter behind Dirty Harry and Apocalypse Now wrote and directed cult classics such as Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn. He did it in a larger than life manner. In this episode, we are joined by Todd Liebenow of Forgotten Films to discuss and breakdow…
 
As a filmmaker, Robert Eggers is clicking on all cylinders. His two films (both of modest budget), The Witch and The Lighthouse, have been nearly universally praised by critics. He's filming a new much bigger film, The Northman, with a star-studded cast. For our Halloween episode, Chris and Jon welcome back Paul Kowalski to help us consider the fil…
 
Gina Prince-Bythewood's name is trending this year. The classic Love & Basketball is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Additionally, Prince-Bythewood directed the recently released The Old Guard for Netflix. The attention even got her featured on the Blank Check podcast. Now it's time to listen to Chris and Jon take on GPB's filmography. Show notes…
 
The world is Taika Waititi's oyster. He just won an Oscar, he's a cog in the Marvel machine, and he's being given the keys to a part of the Star Wars universe while also developing a pirate show for HBO. He also acts. In this episode we take a look at Waititi's output to date and speculate on the future of this hot filmmaker. Show Notes/Sources: ht…
 
Barry Jenkins has written and directed three critically acclaimed feature films. Will Chris and Jon take a contrarian opinion? Likely not, but listen as we discuss empathy, color, and social commentary. Show Notes/Resources: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/medicine-for-melancholy-2009 https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/sc-moonli…
 
Sadly, Lynn Shelton passed away earlier this year at the age of 54. On this episode, we dive into the seven feature films that Shelton left behind. From the wild set-ups of Humpday and Sword of Trust to the naturalistic and understated Outside In, Shelton gave us a varied and entertaining filmography. Show Notes/Sources: https://filmmakermagazine.c…
 
Rebecca Sharp from Almost Ginger helps Jon and Chris examine the dark and visually striking films of Lynne Ramsay. Ramsay tackles a variety of dark subjects (an accidental child drowning, a suicide, a school shooting, and an underage sex ring), which means you may not want to watch these films, but you'll likely be pleased that you did. Show Notes/…
 
Wes Anderson has occupied a rare space in film - critical appreciation, award show recognition, and box office consistency. He's been able to do this while making nine feature films. Before his tenth film, The French Dispatch, comes out later in 2020, Jon and Chris are joined by John Axford to discuss the works of Anderson, from Bottle Rocket to Is…
 
Sam Peckinpah is the oldest and surely the most violent filmmaker that we have covered to this point. Listen as we discuss this iconic and influential filmmaker while grappling with the implications of Peckinpah's world view. From the seminal The Wild Bunch to the polarizing Straw Dogs, join Chris, Jon, and guest Pete Gerharz on this journey. Show …
 
When you have a fan that recommends a filmmaker that "carries on the legacy" of Jane Campion, it's worth taking note. Andrea Arnold's films may not be easy to watch, but there is power in her work. In this episode, we immerse ourselves in the Arnold's films. Show Notes/Sources: https://www.npr.org/2016/09/29/495924904/filmmaker-andrea-arnold-on-ame…
 
Ryan Coogler went from student-athlete and film fan to box office king in a little over a dozen years. He's done three successful and critically acclaimed movies in his short career, from the potent and personal Fruitvale Station to the comic book grandeur of Black Panther. Listen as we gush and occasionally rant (mostly Chris) about the films Ryan…
 
Jane Campion's films will stick with you. You'll be forced to use your brain and consider varying and at times rather peculiar perspectives. Listen as we try to work our way through Campion's complex films, from the critically renowned The Piano to Meg Ryan in an erotic thriller. As always let us know what we got wrong on Facebook, on Twitter, or o…
 
Damien Chazelle is younger than Jon and Chris. Jon and Chris would rather not dwell on that fact. In his short career, Chazelle has become an A-list Hollywood director with an Academy Award under his belt. In this episode, we consider Chazelle's filmmaking and his worldview. Show Notes/Sources: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/whipla…
 
Armando Iannucci is probably best known in the US for the political satire Veep. Across the pond, he also has a number of successful TV credits; however, this TV showrunner has also made two of the best reviewed comedies in the last ten years with In the Loop and The Death of Stalin. We didn't get to him in our comedy episode, so we are remedying t…
 
Debra Granik deserves to be included on any list of the best filmmakers of the 21st century. That should give you an idea of what we thought of Granik's four films, which include the Oscar nominated Winter's Bone and last year's Leave No Trace. Show Notes/Sources: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/director-debra-granik-explains-why-been-eight-…
 
When we did our Alfonso Cuarón episode, he was coming off of Gravity, a movie that won 6 Oscars, including Best Director. Not much has changed, except Roma only won 3 Oscars, including Best Director. Listen as we fit Roma into Cuarón's body of work. As always let us know what we got wrong on Facebook, Twitter, or email us at popcornauteur@gmail.com…
 
Nicole Holofcener got nominated for an Oscar and won a Writers Guild of America award for best adapted screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me? In this episode, we are talking about her other 2018 release, The Land of Steady Habits. Did a male lead and no Catherine Keener lead to Netflix success? As always let us know what we got wrong on Facebook, …
 
You won't see the latter half of Mel Brooks's films on an AFI list or ranked among his best. In this episode, we discuss if the comedy legend's "lesser" works still bring the laughs or if you should stick with the classics. Show Notes/Sources: https://io9.gizmodo.com/bill-pullman-didnt-bother-watching-star-wars-before-app-1796393445 https://film.av…
 
It felt wrong to leave our comedy season before considering the works of Mel Brooks (and Chris's Dad wouldn't have allowed it). In Part 1, we look at the golden age of Brook's career. He won an Academy Award and delivered a string of hits throughout the 1970s. Hell, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein came out in the same year and both finished …
 
Gillian Robespierre has been compared to Nora Ephron and Nicole Holofcener. With that distinguished company and a desire to see more Jenny Slate, we were excited to dive into the two films of Robespierre. Show Notes/Sources: https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-jenny-slate-interview-0728-20170727-column.html https://www.tvover…
 
David Zucker was one of the creative minds behind Airplane and The Naked Gun films. He is now one of the creative minds behind the Scary Movie sequels. Luckily (we think), he didn't both write and direct those movies (officially). In this episode, we are joined by Sam Young to discuss the films of David Zucker . . . and to figure out how weird it i…
 
A bonus this month - We take a break from the straight comedies to cover not one, but two filmmakers in our first ever "Battle" of the Network Stars. Zach Braff and Josh Radnor square off (sort of) to determine who is the sitcom star turned true auteur. It may be a little lazy of a comparison, but we had quite a bit of fun with this one. Show Notes…
 
Richard Ayoade seems to to do it all: He's an actor, an author, a TV game show host, and (for our interests) he's a filmmaker. We weren't aware of any of this before this episode. Listen as we get to know Richard Ayoade's limited filmography and assess his potential as a filmmaker. Show Notes/Sources: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/submarine-20…
 
David Wain never seems to stop working. As a writer, director, and actor, his work can be seen nearly everywhere. In this episode, we are lucky enough to be joined by Jay Cluitt, shepherd over at The LAMB, to discuss the five films written and directed by David Wain; from the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer to box office success with Role Mode…
 
Christopher Guest has a strong comedic pedigree (National Lampoon & SNL) and was a creator of the faux documentary, heavily improvised model of modern comedy. For this episode, we are joined by Jonathan Sundy (https://jollygoodgang.com/) to discuss the films of Christopher Guest. Show Notes/Sources: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36532132-impr…
 
You may not initially think of Ben Stiller as a filmmaker, but he delivered a cult comedy with Zoolander. In this episode, we look at the small filmography of Ben Stiller and consider if there is more to him than starring in ridiculously successful movies. Also, is Zoolander 2 really that bad? Show Notes/Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news…
 
You may not be familiar with the works of Nicole Holofcener (we weren't), but she's directed some of the best reviewed female-led comedies in the past quarter century. We are joined by Rebecca Sharp of Almost Ginger to discuss Holofcener's films. Check out Rebecca's site here: http://almostginger.com/ Show Notes and Sources: https://www.newyorker.c…
 
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