Allan Appel

Episode 118: The Catcher Was A Spy / Won't You Be My Neighbor?

THE CATCHER WAS A SPY (2018)

THE CATCHER WAS A SPY (2018)

Description

On today's episode, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel review two movies: THE CATCHER WAS A SPY, Ben Lewin's new biopic of professional baseball player-turned-WWII spy Moe Berg, and WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, about the Fred Rogers and the legendary PBS children's program, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

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 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 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 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 95: Loving Vincent / Nasty Women

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen talks with Allan Appel and Lucy Gellman about LOVING VINCENT, a new animated film from directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman that gives the Citizen Kane treatment to the life of Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh: through a series of flashbacks and second-hand stories, we see the rise and fall of the troubled and inspired life of this eccentric painter, focusing in on the final days of his life in the rural French town of Auvers.

Unlike most animated movies, this story is composed of tens of thousands of hand-drawn oil paintings by over one hundred contributing artists, all simulating the heavy brushstrokes and ebullient style of the movie’s namesake.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by Lucy McClure, Debbie Hesse, and Trish Clark to talk about the Nasty Women Film Event, a screening night of locally made feminist films that will be taking place at the Ely Center of Contemporary Art on Election day, next Tuesday, in honor of, or in defiance of, the anniversary of Donald Trump’s election as president.

Other Links

Nasty Women Film Event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1962381047383269/

Episode 92: Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Description

On today’s review only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel to talk about Blade Runner 2049, the new sci-fi-film-noir from director Denis Villeneuve that offers another look at the dystopian American future of uncanny androids and commercialized urban decay originally envisioned by Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner.

Episode 91: Battle of the Sexes / Columbus

BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017)

Description

On today's review only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel to talk about two new movies about young women torn between social expectation and personal ambition, who find both distraction and clarity in the art that consumes their lives.

THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES, the latest feature from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Ferris, tells the story of a 1973 tennis match between 29-year-old tennis star Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and aging tennis veteran and self-proclaimed 'chauvinist pig' Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carrell).

And COLUMBUS, the directorial debut of filmmaker Kogonada, is an indie romance featuring a recent high school grad (played by Haley Lu Richardson) who is trying to understand just what exactly moves her so much about the many examples of high modernist architecture that exist in her otherwise unassuming, small Midwestern hometown of Columbus, Indiana.

Episode 88: Wind River

WIND RIVER (2017) by Taylor Sheridan

WIND RIVER (2017) by Taylor Sheridan

Description

On today's review only episode of the show, host Tom Breen and New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel talk about WIND RIVER, a new murder mystery from writer-director Taylor Sheridan, whose previous screenwriting credits include SICARIO and HELL OR HIGH WATER, that takes place in a desolate, unforgiving stretch of the Wind River Northern Arapaho Reservation in western Wyoming.

Episode 87: Lady Macbeth

LADY MACBETH (2016)

LADY MACBETH (2016)

Description

On today’s review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporter Allan Appel for a discussion of Lady Macbeth, a new British film from director William Oldroyd about a young bride in 19th century northern England who chafes against the oppressive boredom, disrespect, and objectification of being a kept woman in a patriarchal society. As the movie’s title indicates, though, our young protagonist is not one to be content with a life of humiliation and immobility, and, once she finds an object of her own desire, she is willing to go to some pretty extreme lengths to attain it.

Episode 86: Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan's  Dunkirk  (2017)

Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017)

Description

On today's review-only episode of the show, I'll be joined by New Haven Independent staff reporter Allan Appel to talk about DUNKIRK, Christopher Nolan's new WWII action movie about the mass evacuation of hundreds of thousands of British troops from the beaches of a besieged French coastal city in the early summer of 1940. We'll talk about this movie's vision of courage, despair, and victory in defeat, as well as about how it compares to other landmark works in the WWII movie genre.

Episode 81: Wonder Woman / The Wedding Plan

The Wedding Plan (2016)

The Wedding Plan (2016)

Description

On today’s review-only episode of the show, host Tom Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a discussion of two new releases starring Israeli women whose characters brush aside the fatuous hindrances of patriarchy to realize miracles of female strength and ingenuity: the latest blockbuster comic book adaptation WONDER WOMAN and the Israeli romantic comedy THE WEDDING PLAN.

Episode 79: NHDocs 2017 / Alien: Covenant

Description

On the first segment of today’s show, host Tom Breen talks with Yale film studies professor Charles Musser about the 4th annual New Haven Documentary Film Festival, which runs from June 1 through June 11 at the Whitney Humanities Center and the Main Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library in downtown New Haven. Musser is a co-founder and co-director of the fest.

On the second segment of the show, Breen is joined by New Haven Independent staff writer Allan Appel for a review of Alien: Covenant, the latest installment in the four-decade-old sci-fi / horror series that finds a new ship, a new crew, and a new planet beset by the same old problems of merciless nature and technology, and big chomping mouths with rows upon rows of teeth.

Links

http://www.nhdocs.com/

Episode 77: Mother's Day Movies / Their Finest

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT

Description

On the first segment of today's show, host Tom Breen and WNHH's Babz Rawls Ivy celebrate Mother's Day by sharing on moms and movies, talking about everything from favorite cinematic moms to movie picks for mother’s day to our own experiences watching movies with our moms. For the second segment of today’s show, Breen is joined by New Haven Independent reporters Allan Appel and Lucy Gellman for a review of THEIR FINEST, Lone Scherfig’s new World War II-era dramedy about a female screenwriter recruited by the Ministry of Information Film Division to help beef up the women’s dialogue in British wartime propaganda pictures.