Episode 116: Jim Barone / The Week Of

Description

On today's episode, host Tom Breen talks with Jim Barone, a Hamden native who stars in the new Adam Sandler Netflix comedy, THE WEEK OF. Barone lost both of his legs due to complications with diabetes a few years ago, but is now embarking on an acting career, and is calling one of the most famous comedians in the world a new friend and mentor.

Episode 113: Chappaquiddick

Description

On today's episode of Deep Focus, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel review CHAPPAQUIDDICK, a new dramatization of the night of and week after U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (played here by Jason Clarke) drove his car off of a narrow bridge on Martha's Island, resulting in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a former RFK campaign aide who was riding along with him.

Episode 111: The Death of Stalin

Description

On today's episode, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel review THE DEATH OF STALIN, the new political satire from writer-director Armando Ianucci that is set in Moscow in 1953 and follows the days before and after the death of Joseph Stalin, the three-decade dictator of the Soviet Union, as his closest cohort of advisers plan the unplannable: how to replace a cult of personality.

Episode 109: Norman Weissman / Griggs Collection

 The title sequence from Norman Weissman's 1968 film, THE LANGUAGE THEY SPEAK.

The title sequence from Norman Weissman's 1968 film, THE LANGUAGE THEY SPEAK.

Description

On the first segment of today's show, host Tom Breen talks with Yale film archivist Brian Meacham and documentary filmmaker Norman Weissman about an upcoming screening of Weissman's eclectic industrial and educational films from the 1950s through 1970s.

On the second segment of the show, Breen and Meacham talk about the 50-year anniversary of Yale's acquisition of the John Griggs Collection, which marked the beginning of the Yale Film Archive as we know it today.

Links

An Evening with Norman Weissman—Treasures from the YFA: https://www.facebook.com/events/371080160030135/ 

Yale Collection of Classic Films: 50th Anniversary Celebration: https://www.facebook.com/events/1941302269466810/

Episode 108: Black Panther

 Preston Wilson, Lucy Gellman and Shawn Murray

Preston Wilson, Lucy Gellman and Shawn Murray

Description

On today's episode, host Tom Breen talks with Joe Ugly in the Morning Producer Preston Wilson, New Haven Arts Paper Editor Lucy Gellman, and Fantasy Filmball Host Shawn Murray about BLACK PANTHER, Ryan Coogler's much-anticipated Marvel movie set in the African techno-utopia of Wakanda. Breen, Wilson, Gellman, and Murray talk through BLACK PANTHER as a Marvel movie, a Black movie, and a movie about isolationist vs. interventionist politics. 

On the second segment of the show, the four play a BLACK PANTHER-themed version of Fantasy Filmball, where they recast classic and contemporary movies with the filmmaking team behind BLACK PANTHER.

Links

Fantasy Filmball: http://filmballpod.com/

Joe Ugly in the Morning: http://www.uglyradio.net/Home/joe-ugly-in-the-morning/

New Haven Arts Paper: https://www.artspaper.org/

Episode 107: Pizza, A Love Story

 PIZZA, A LOVE STORY director Gorman Bechard (center) and producers Colin Caplan (left) and Dean Falcone.

PIZZA, A LOVE STORY director Gorman Bechard (center) and producers Colin Caplan (left) and Dean Falcone.

Description

Today’s show is all about PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, a new documentary from local filmmaker Gorman Bechard and producers Colin Caplan and Dean Falcone that is all about just why, oh why, the small New England city we call home has three of the best pizza places in the world, all within a few blocks of one another. Host Tom Breen talks with them about about their research into Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern, and about how America’s century-long love affair with pizza has been influenced by a small group of family-owned, Italian-American restaurants based out of New Haven.

Links

Kickstarter page for PIZZA, A LOVE STORY: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gormanbechard/pizza-a-love-story-a-documentary-on-the-ultimate-s?ref=creator_nav

PIZZA, A LOVE STORY website: http://www.pizzaalovestory.com/

Episode 106: M by Fritz Lang

 M poster by Brian Meacham.

M poster by Brian Meacham.

Description

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, host Tom Breen introduced a screening of Fritz Lang's 1931 crime thriller M at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale as part of the Treasures from the Yale Film Archives series. Today's episode features a recording of that introduction, as well as a few thoughts on the enduring appeal of this masterpiece of world cinema.

Links

M Notes for the Treasure from the Yale Film Archive screening: http://web.library.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/M%20Notes%281%29.pdf

M Poster for the Treasures from the Yale Film Archive screening: http://web.library.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/M%20Poster.pdf

Episode 105: The Island Next Door / Phantom Thread

 WNPR reporter Ryan Caron King (Thomas Breen photo)

WNPR reporter Ryan Caron King (Thomas Breen photo)

Description

On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, a Category 4 hurricane made landfall on the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria completely destroyed the island’s power grid, leveled homes and schools, and was and continues to be a source of great humanitarian concern both for the 3.4 million people who live on Puerto Rico as well as for the upwards of 300,000 Puerto Ricans who live in the state of Connecticut.

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen talks with WNPR journalist and photographer Ryan Caron King about the Island Next Door, a reporting project undertaken by King and WNPR news director Jeff Cohen that documents the months-long fallout of Hurricane Maria, both on the island and in the Nutmeg State. They focus in on the videos and photographs that Ryan made over the course of several reporting trips to Puerto Rico in late 2017.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a review of PHANTOM THREAD, a new movie from director Paul Thomas Anderson that offers a biting critique of the myth of the domineering male artistic genius and his docile female muse, all set in the world of high fashion in post-World War II London, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville.  
 

Links

The Island Next Door: https://theislandnextdoor.wnpr.org/

Episode 104: African American Cinema / The Post

 Paul Robeson in  The Emperor Jones  (1933)

Paul Robeson in The Emperor Jones (1933)

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven film critic and lecturer Steve Fortes to talk about the history of African American cinema.

In the early 1990s, Steve taught two seminars at Yale University about the history of African American film and television. On today’s show we’ll talk with Steve about the films that he covered in those two seminars, what he saw as some of the prevailing themes and trends of in the first century of African American cinema, and about which movies and filmmakers he would include today if he were teaching the same course in 2018.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a review of THE POST, Steven Spielberg’s new movie about the 1971 debate within the editorial ranks of The Washington Post about whether or not to publish Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers, classified documents that revealed decades of executive branch deceit and cynicism that prolonged America’s disastrous involvement in the Vietnam War. We’ll talk about how this movie resonates in 2018 as a celebration of the free press, and as an indictment of the hypermasculine industries of newspapers and politics in the early 1970s.

Episode 103: Best Movies of 2017

 LADY BIRD (2017)

LADY BIRD (2017)

Description

On today's episode, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven movie blogger Dan Heaton and Madison Art Cinemas owner Arnold Gorlick to talk through their top 10 movies of 2017. The episode also features over a dozen voicemails from friends, listeners, and former guests on the show with their picks for the best of the year.

Episode 102: Francescsa Andre / The Shape of Water

 CHARCOAL (2017)

CHARCOAL (2017)

Description

On the first segment of today’s episode, host Tom Breen is joined by Bridgeport-based filmmaker Francesca Andre to talk about her new movie “Charcoal,” a short film about colorism and prejudices within and without the black community against dark skin. They talk about the origins of this movie, Andre’s background as a fashion and news photographer, and her own experiences with colorism in her native Haiti and here in the States.

On the second segment of the show, Breen joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel for a review of The Shape of Water, director Guillermo del Toro’s new sci-fi-horror-romance about a mute cleaning woman in early 60s Baltimore who falls in love with an amphibious man held captive at the secret US army research facility where she works.

Links

http://www.francescaandrephotography.com/

 

Episode 101: Kate Rushin / Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991)

DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991)

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen is joined by Connecticut poet Kate Rushin to talk about two movies that have had a profound influence on her understanding and love of cinema: DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST, a landmark 1991 drama from director Julie Dash about three generations of African American Gullah women from the Sea Islands of South Carolina, a movie often celebrated as the first feature film directed by an African American woman to get a wide theatrical release in the United States; and we’ll also talk about BLACK ORPHEUS, a 1959 musical from French director Marcel Camus that adapts the classical Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the vibrant, samba-suffused streets of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro during Carnival.

On the second segment of the show, Breen and the New Haven Independent’s Allan Appel review THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, a new ensemble dramedy from director Martin McDonagh that follows a grieving, defiant mother seeking justice for her murdered child in a small town in the Ozark mountains of southern Missouri.

Links

Kate Rushin's website: http://katerushinpoet.com/

Episode 100: Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997)

 One panel of the Amistad Memorial, designed by Ed Hamilton, that stands outside of New Haven's City Hall. (Photo by Thomas Breen)

One panel of the Amistad Memorial, designed by Ed Hamilton, that stands outside of New Haven's City Hall. (Photo by Thomas Breen)

Description

This marks the 20th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s AMISTAD, a 1997 historical drama about a successful revolt among enslaved Africans aboard a Cuban slave ship in 1839, those Africans’ subsequent recapture and detention in, among other places, New Haven, Connecticut, and the subsequent landmark United States court cases that resulted in the Africans’ freedom. 

On today’s episode, host Tom Breen talks with Yale Film Studies Center director Michael Kerbel, Gilder Lehrman Center postdoctoral associate Joseph Yannielli and local film critic and lecturer Steve Fortes about Spielberg’s take on the Amistad uprising and trials, how themovie holds up two decades after its initial release, and how it resonates for audiences in New Haven where this story is so widely celebrated as one of this city’s primary connections to an international history of anti-slavery and civil rights.

Links

Treasures from the Yale Film Archive screening of AMISTAD: http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/event/eventView.do?b=de&calPath=%2Fpublic%2Fcals%2FMainCal&guid=CAL-ff808081-5e1b392f-015e-3451c399-000079e4bedework@yale.edu&recurrenceId=

New Haven Independent article about Marcus Rediker's documentary GHOSTS OF AMISTAD: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/a_peoples_history_of_the_amistad/ 

Joseph Yannielli's talk on "“The Mendi Mission and the African Rehearsal for Reconstruction”": http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/event/eventView.do?b=de&calPath=%2Fpublic%2Fcals%2FMainCal&guid=CAL-ff808081-5e1b392f-015e-3946e364-00000183bedework@yale.edu&recurrenceId=

Episode 99: Mark Oppenheimer / Lady Bird

 Mark Oppenheimer at the WNHH Studio.

Mark Oppenheimer at the WNHH Studio.

Description

Today’s West Coast, High School, Romantic Comedy edition of the show all about a few movies that explore the highs, lows and confused in-betweens of teenage life, mostly told from the perspective of young female protagonists.

On the first segment of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven-based author, journalist and podcaster Mark Oppenheimer to talk about two movies that have had a profound influence on his understanding and love of cinema: Amy Heckerling’s 1982 directorial debut FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, an ensemble high school sex comedy set in southern california and written by Cameron Crowe, and Crowe’s own 1989 directorial debut SAY ANYTHING, which brings the teenage romantic yearning up the coast to Seattle and follows one unlikely couple in the tumultuous summer after their high school graduation.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by New Haven Arts Paper editor Lucy Gellman and New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel to talk about LADY BIRD, Greta Gerwig’s new movie (also a directorial debut) about a 17-year-old in Sacramento, California trying to figure out who she is in relation to her mom, school, friends and city, all of which she desperately longs to escape from in order to start a new life as an independent adult on the East Coast.

Links

Mark Oppenheimer's website: http://www.markoppenheimer.com/

Unorthodox the podcast: http://www.tabletmag.com/tag/unorthodox

Facebook Live video of the interview: https://www.facebook.com/NewHavenIndependent/videos/10155885885571228/

Episode 98: Gorman Bechard / Who Is Lydia Loveless?

 Gorman Bechard at the WNHH studio.

Gorman Bechard at the WNHH studio.

Description

On today's episode, host Tom Breen talks with prolific New Haven filmmaker Gorman Bechard about his latest rock documentary, Who Is Lydia Loveless? The movie follows a 24-year-old country rock musician as she tours the midwest in the early stages of her career, and dives deep on the challenges and joys of making art for a living. 

Links

What Were We Thinking Films website: http://whatwerewethinkingfilms.com/