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The Film Comment Podcast

By: Film Comment Magazine
  • Summary

  • Founded in 1962, Film Comment has been the home of independent film journalism for over 50 years, publishing in-depth interviews, critical analysis, and feature coverage of mainstream, art-house, and avant-garde filmmaking from around the world. The Film Comment Podcast, hosted by editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute, is a weekly space for critical conversation about film, with a look at topical issues, new releases, and the big picture. Film Comment is a nonprofit publication that relies on the support of readers. Support film culture. Support Film Comment.
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  • Making Movies in Prison, with Rahsaan Thomas and Thanh Tran
    Jul 16 2024
    In April, Film Comment published an article by Phillip Vance Smith II, titled “Streaming Behind Bars.” Phillip is an incarcerated writer, and his piece delves into the ways in which people in prison watch movies—the technology they’re able to use, the programming they can access, and the exorbitant costs involved. That piece was facilitated by Empowerment Avenue, an organization that supports incarcerated artists and writers. Empowerment Ave was founded by Rahsaan Thomas, a journalist who launched the initiative while he was himself in prison. Rahsaan is also an award-winning filmmaker who started making movies while he was behind bars—and now works with other incarcerated and system-impacted filmmakers to help them tell their stories. On today’s episode, Film Comment Editors Devika Girish and Clinton Krute are joined by Rahsaan and fellow filmmaker and organizer Thanh Tran, who also started making films while incarcerated at San Quentin Rehabilitation Center in Northern California. The two of them share insights from their experience of directing films while imprisoned—the resources that made it possible, the unique challenges they faced, and why they felt it was important for them to take their narratives into their own hands. They also discuss Rahsaan’s short film Friendly Signs, currently making its way around the festival circuit, Thanh’s in-production documentary, Finding Ma, and the upcoming San Quentin Film Festival, which is being organized by Rahsaan and will take place at the prison.
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    49 mins
  • Children’s Cinema, with Isabel Stevens and Rai and Genevieve Yue and Harriet
    Jul 10 2024
    In a recent essay, critic Isabel Stevens writes: “There is much discussion of childishness—popular cinema is often described as ‘infantilized’—but how often do we consider what children want and need from films, and what they are watching and where (outside the usual narrow, artificial controversies about the dangers film poses to their innocent minds)? How are their critical faculties and understanding of cinema being nurtured, or not…?” For this week’s episode, Film Comment managing editor Clinton Krute invited Stevens, managing editor of Sight and Sound, and FC contributor Genevieve Yue—both parents as well as critics—to discuss what they watch with their own kids, and why they choose the films they do. Of course, the kids themselves also jump in, with Isabel’s 6-year-old son Rai offering his (very positive) assessment of Star Wars, and Genevieve’s daughter Harriet discussing her experience working with her mother on a program of experimental films for children at Light Industry in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, Clint’s daughter Agnes was tied up with summer camp, so we’ll all have to wait to hear why the dreamy visuals of Frozen II make it a better film than the original. Check out the show notes at for links to the many articles and films discussed—recommended, of course, for all ages.
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    1 hr and 3 mins
  • Flaherty Film Seminar 2024
    Jul 3 2024
    The Flaherty Film Seminar is one of the nonfiction film world’s most interesting events. Founded by Frances Flaherty in 1955 in honor of her late husband, Robert—the documentarian best known for Nanook of the North (1922)—the Seminar brings together scholars, artists, programmers, critics, and more to watch and intimately discuss a selection of works curated by rotating guest programmers. But here’s the twist: none of the films are revealed to the audience in advance of the screenings, in accordance with a principle that Frances Flaherty described as “non-preconception”—an open-minded encounter with the unknown. Typically, the Seminar is held in Upstate New York, but this year’s curators, Julian Ross and May Adadol Ingawanij, decided to host it in a new location—in Thailand, at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya. It’s added a whole different dimension to the Flaherty experience, with audiences and films drawn primarily from Southeast Asia. On today’s episode, Film Comment Editor Devika Girish, who’s been on the ground as a Fellow at the Seminar for the last week, invites May and Julian—as well as Thai Film Archive deputy director Kong Rithdee and Thai filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong—to discuss the making of this year’s seminar. Their engaging conversation charts how the works of featured artists—Jumana Manna, Chikako Yamashiro, Riar Rizaldi, Ho Tzu Nyen, Saeed Taji Farouky, Korakrit Arunanondchai, and more—elucidate overarching themes of solidarity and communion.
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    1 hr and 3 mins

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