Posts tagged: Movies

Legends of Film: Jules Brenner

By , May 30, 2016

Johnny Got_His_Gun MovieLegends of Film is proud to present an interview with director of photography, Jules Brenner. Mr. Brenner has photographed such prestigious television productions as Helter Skelter, Salem’s Lot, and The Glass House. He has also been the director of photography on the following motion pictures, Dillinger, The Return of the Living Dead, and Johnny Got His Gun.

Johnny Got His Gun screening, originally scheduled Saturday March, 2016 has been rescheduled for June, 2016.

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DVD Review: Straight Outta Compton

By , April 12, 2016

Straight Outta Compton

At the end of 2015, the Popmatic Podcast did our best of the year movie picks. My third favorite movie of the year was Straight Outta Compton. The problem with that pick was not all the racial issues and requisite language, but the fact that I HAD NOT ACTUALLY SEEN IT! Sigh. I’d seen the previews and it was one of a few that I actually wanted to watch. Plus my friend saw it and loved it. DOUBLE PLUS I used to work in the music business so I was curious from that point of view as well. So I picked it and the boys razzed me about it, but I stuck to my guns. (You can listen to the episode to hear our discussion of events.)

And I’m so glad I did because the movie was awesome!

Yes I finally saw it and it was everything I thought it would be. I was never a big NWA fan growing up. That’s shocking, I know, coming from a white girl who was raised in the rural, cookie-cutter Midwest. Their music was just something I had no idea how to relate to. But I remember when “beep tha Police” was causing such a big stink in the media – especially after the incident in Detroit (which is in the movie). At the time, I probably agreed with my parents who thought they were hoodlums.

But now that I’ve got a few years under my belt (just a handful, here and there, let’s not get crazy), I have a better idea of the reality of their situation. Their music really was just an expression of their reality. That’s what music is supposed to do so violent life = violent music. And if you listen to the production of the original release, it really is amazing what they achieved with the resources they had to make it.

I thought the casting of the movie was good. All the characters look like their intended representation. Especially with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre – who have both gone on to have monster careers – Dre as a producer and headphone maker and Ice Cube as a musician and actor (he also gets a writing credit – as O’Shea Jackson – for the movie Southpaw which I also just mentioned on our Valentine’s Day podcast). My favorite cast member was Aldis Hodge as MC Ren because I loved him on Leverage. Also, fun fact – Hodge would have only been 1.5 years old when the original album was released.

If you have issues with language or violence, then maybe this movie is not for you. But it is definitely a reflection of the reality of Compton, CA in the 1980’s and 90’s. The world gave them violence and they gave us art. Even if you disagree, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a great story.

And I’m Straight Outta Nashville…sorry, I had to say that…yo…

:) Amanda

Legends of Film: Paul Hirsch

By , March 25, 2016

Source CodeDuring this episode we talk to Academy Award-winning film editor Paul Hirsch. If you aren’t aware of Mr. Hirsch’s career in film, get ready to be amazed. His editing credits include Star Wars Episodes IV and V, Phantom of the Paradise, Ray, and the upcoming Warcraft movie.

Join us for a free screening of Source Code on Saturday, April 9, 2016, beginning at 2:00 p.m., at the Main Library Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

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Having Belcourt withdrawal?

By , March 7, 2016

Reeling Through LifeReeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies
by Tara Ison

In this memoir/film class, Ms. Ison reveals how movies shaped her attitudes about life.  Chapters include How to Go Crazy, How to Be Lolita, How to Be a Drunk, and How to Die in Style.  In each essay, the author talks about several films that she saw during her formative years and the life lessons that she gleaned from them.  For instance, How to Die in Style discusses Love Story, Harold and Maude, In Cold Blood, and Thelma & Louise, among others.  Her preteen perspectives on the heavy themes of sex, death, and addiction are especially interesting.  Plus, it will give you a huge list of old movies to revisit while the Belcourt’s closed!




Best Movies of 2015

By , January 4, 2016

Warning: I love documentaries.

The OvernightersThe Overnighters
This actually came out in 2014, but came to Nashville in 2015 as part of the Belcourt’s annual Overlooked/Underplayed series. It’s not often that you find a documentary with a great twist ending.






Also part of Overlooked/Underplayed, this gripping mix of indie drama and sci-fi would be good for fans of Primer.






Red ArmyRed Army
Having zero interest in hockey, I was completely bowled over by how much I loved this documentary about the famous Soviet team from the 1980’s.






While We're YoungWhile We’re Young
Tailor-made for 40-something fans of Noah Baumbach, this is a funny but unsettling portrait of the divide between Generation X and the Millennials.






I Am Big BirdI Am Big Bird
I defy you to stay dry-eyed during this tribute to the life, work, and marriage of puppeteer Caroll Spinney, the man behind Big Bird for over 45 years.






You do not need to be an Amy Winehouse fan to appreciate this heart-rending documentary. The shot of a teenage Winehouse singing happy birthday, by itself, is worth putting this on your holds list. The director Asif Kapadia also directed the magnificent Senna (and no, you don’t need to be a Formula One fan to like that one).




Stanford Prison ExperimentThe Stanford Prison Experiment—This has my vote as the most underrated film of the year. The performances were astonishing, and the storyline was so true to what actually happened that it was almost documentary-like. Not to mention that the subject matter itself is riveting. The cast included Ezra Miller, perhaps best known for his chilling performance in the also underrated We Need to Talk About Kevin.




Finders KeepersFinders Keepers—From the director of The King of Kong comes this implausible-sounding documentary about a man who finds a human foot in a smoker and attempts to profit from it. Yes, that’s the plot summary. The best thing about this movie is the unexpected and poignant ripple effect that this action has on everyone involved.





Thank you to the Belcourt for bringing all of these to Nashville–happy renovating, Belcourt!


Legends of Film: Walter Murch

By , December 26, 2015

Return To OzDuring this episode we talk to Sound Designer, Film Editor and Director Walter Murch. Mr. Murch’s editing credits include Apocalypse Now, Julia, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The English Patient, and The Conversation. Murch won three Academy Awards® over the course of his film career.

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Popmatic Podcast for December 16, 2015: Best Movies of the Year

By , December 16, 2015

It’s the best movies of the year! Will this episode be as divisive as the best music of the year episode? I hope so! Plus—what is tickling our fancy this month because we think you have all the time in the world to listen to podcasts. Something must brighten the gray of your cubicle cage. Let it be us! Please let it be us! The audio version of Popmatic is going on holiday vacation for two weeks so binge now.



Sicario1) Sicario
2) Ex Machina
The Gift




Call Me Lucky1) Call Me Lucky
2) Going Clear
3) Inside Out




Pixels1) The Intern [We'll get it when it comes out. Pinky swear.]
2) Pixels
3) Straight Outta Compton




Mad Max Fury Road1) Mad Max: Fury Road
2) The End of the Tour
3) What We Do in the Shadows




Felt1) Felt
2) Interstellar [Hack your tractor just like the movie.]
3) Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana






Amanda plays Christmas

Enough About Me by Burt Reynolds

Megahex by Simon Hanselmann

Mike’s movie runner ups:
Last Days in Vietnam
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Creeping Garden
Steve Jobs
The Nightmare
The Search for General Tso


Transcripts of the show are available upon request.

Hoopla Film Fest: Native American Films and Filmmakers

By , November 27, 2015

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, here are six films by and about Native Americans that you can stream on Hoopla for free with your library card:


Narrated by Benjamin Bratt (Qechua), We Shall Remain tells the history of the United States from the Native American perspective. With contributions from Chris Eyre (Cheyanne/Arapaho), Dustinn Craig (White Mountain Apache/Navajo), and other Native cast and crew members (including language and cultural consultants), this five-part PBS documentary series starts with the first Thanksgiving and explores the alliance between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag all the way through the modern day American Indian Movement.

2. REEL INJUN (2009)

Written and directed by Neil Diamond (Cree), Reel Injun examines the depictions of Native Americans throughout the history of Hollywood. Talking heads include individuals such as filmmaker Chris Eyre, actor Adam Beach (Saulteaux), and actors / activists Russell Means (Oglala Lakota) and Sacheen Littlefeather. Through discussions of stereotypes and the homogenization of cultures, Reel Injun demonstrates the importance of Native filmmakers telling their own stories.

3. A GOOD DAY TO DIE (2010)

Using oral histories and archival footage, A Good Day to Die recounts the life of American Indian Movement (AIM) co-founder Dennis Banks (Ojibwa). The documentary is co-produced and directed by Lynn Salt (Choctaw) and features the voices of activists like Clyde Bellecourt (Ojibwa), Lehman Brightman (Lakota-Creek), and of course, Dennis Banks himself.

4. EMPIRE OF DIRT (2014)

This woman-centric film chronicles the lives of three generations of First Nations women struggling to deal with their past and reclaim the future. Written by Shannon Masters (Cree/Saskatchewan), Empire of Dirt won the 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Screenplay. Film producer Jennifer Podemski (Saulteaux/Israeli) – who you may know from Degrassi: The Next Generation – also appears in the film and received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.


Jeff Barnaby’s Rhymes for Young Ghouls takes place in 1976 on a Red Crow Mi’gMaq reservation during a time when First Nations children were forced to attend residential schools. Starring Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs (Mohawk), the film is a fictionalized account of a teenager’s experience with death, drugs, and the erasure of her people’s traditions and culture. Rhymes for Young Ghouls earned Barnaby (Mi’kmaq) Best Director at the 2014 American Indian Film Festival.

6. ROAD TO PALOMA (2014)

You may recognize Jason Momoa (Native Hawaiian) as Khal Drogo on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but did you know that in addition to acting he directed, wrote, and produced 2014’s Road to Paloma? Meant to raise awareness about the real life issue of uninvestigated and unprosecuted rapes of Native American women on reservations by non-Native people, the film is about a biker on the run from the FBI after avenging his mother’s death.

Legends of Film: Kevin Connor

By , September 19, 2015

From Beyond the grave
During this episode we talk to Director Kevin Connor. Mr. Connor’s credits include Motel Hell, The Land That Time Forgot, At the Earth’s Core, and our upcoming Movies at Main feature, From Beyond the Grave. Connor discusses his career in film, including the making of From Beyond the Grave, directing the legendary Peter Cushing, and editing Richard Attenborough’s historical drama, Young Winston.

Join us for a free afternoon screening of From Beyond the Grave on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 2:00 PM in the Nashville Public Library (Main) auditorium.

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Legends of Film: Gary Sherman

By , September 12, 2015

film poster for the 1990 film LisaDuring this episode we talk to Director Gary Sherman. Sherman’s film credits include Raw Meat, Vice Squad, Dead and Buried, and our upcoming Movies @ Main feature, Lisa. Mr. Sherman discusses his love of shooting at night, how to shoot a scene by candlelight, and how the film Lisa actually came to be.

Join us for a free afternoon screening of Lisa on Saturday, September 12th, at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library auditorium.

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