A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #60: Summer of Directors – Martin Scorsese

Our Summer of Directors comes to an end: after Jane Campion, Dario Argento, Ida Lupino and Robert Altman, we’ve arrived at Julie’s choice of director: Martin Scorsese. Poor Marty has come under attack in recent years, especially from fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – but ironically, Julie takes issue with Scorsese’ statements on the MCU more than the two resident MCU-heads Alan and Matt. What else do the three of them think of Scorsese as director and film buff extraordinaire? Join us for a discussion of some of Scorsese’s less-discussed works, The King of Comedy (1982), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), and the 1995 documentary A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies. And let us know what you thought of our Summer of Directors!

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Into darkness: Midnight Family (2019)

Midnight Family starts with a bang, though visually you wouldn’t know it, as it’s presented as a simple white text on a black background. It’s the simple, unadorned but utterly horrific statement that Mexico City has 45 official ambulances to serve a city of 9 million people. Think about it: that is one ambulance per 200’000 individuals. This figure frames everything that follows, it provides an explanation and context, and it tells the audience from the beginning what we’re in for: a visit to a world that has gone deeply, badly wrong.

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The Rear-View Mirror: Jules et Jim (1962)

Each Friday we travel back in time, one year at a time, for a look at some of the cultural goodies that may appear closer than they really are in The Rear-View Mirror. Join us on our weekly journey into the past!

Jules et Jim (1962) wasn’t my first film by Fran├žois Truffaut, but it might as well have been: while I saw The Last Metro (1980) earlier, it didn’t fully register that this was a film directed by Truffaut, one of the founders of the French nouvelle vague, and I only remembered The Wild Child (1970) very, well, vaguely. In fact, I was more aware of Truffaut in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

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