The Criterion Collective

The Criterion Collective

By David A Romero
Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes!

The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. www.dacenter.org/
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The Criterion Collective Episode 9 - The Rock
Chosen by special guest Brett Herrick (Welcome to Black Rock), The Rock, is an action-adventure film directed by Michael Bay, starring Nicholas Cage, Sean Connery, and Ed Harris. Jeanne says that while she doesn't see The Rock as "pure cinema," and it doesn't pass the Bechtel test, the movie's characters are elevated by the performances of the actors portraying them. A cinematographer, Brett calls attention to many of the camera movements used, and points out how well various plot points, items, and locations were developed throughout the film. Brett also has some serious questions about Connery's hair. David points out how the film balances the super patriotism and military fetishization that Michael Bay is known for, with a script that undercuts many of those very things. Matt lets it be known that while he can enjoy a dumb film on the basis of it being a dumb film, he can't abide talking about the "dark underbelly" of the American military without saying death, murder, and mayhem are the open business of the American military. Many lines from the movie were quoted, and many laughs are had. The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:44:51
June 28, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 8 - Leave Her to Heaven
Chosen by Collective member Jeanne, Leave Her to Heaven is a 1945 film noir in technicolor starring Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, and Vincent Price. Jeanne relates Gene Tierney's biography of triumphs and tragedies to her character Ellen Berent. Matt helps us to understand the various facets of an obsessive personality and how it effects those around them. David performs some mental gymnastics to construct a Freudian explanation of the film's events. Jealousy, lust, fear, sexism, and hate, if you were ever hoping to hear us spill some tea, this episode is a full cup of chisme from each one of us! The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:46:25
June 21, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 7 - Chimes at Midnight
Chosen by Collective member Matt Sedillo, Chimes at Midnight is a film  directed by, and starring, Orson Welles. A remix of five plays by Shakespeare, Chimes at Midnight is the story of the friendship between Prince Hal (to be King Henry V) and Lord John Falstaff. Matt brilliantly remarks that Welles "fixed" the Henry saga of plays by condensing them, and adding in the critique of power that is present in all of Shakespeare's other works, into the story, as Henry is portrayed not as a hero who must take up the crown, but as a shallow opportunist who betrays his friend. Jeanne called attention to much of the great cinematography, as well as explaining the nuances of the performances by Welles and Gielgud. The Collective talks a lot about rich kids "slumming it," and David offers up some perspective and life advice. The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:43:14
June 14, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 6 - Rashomon
Chosen by special guest, producer/director/writer John Cantú (music arrangement, Us),  Rashomon (1950) is a crime thriller about the relativity of truth. It is a murder mystery that leaves us with more questions than answers. Like the priest and woodcutter at the Rashomon gate, we may ask ourselves: can we trust anyone if we know that all people are liars? How can we ever know the truth? Is Matt the woodcutter or the commoner? Are Jeanne and David fools hoping to rescue babies? John breaks down how moral relativisim can act as a cover for the misdeeds of the powerful and as a way to quell discontent. The episode is longer than the movie, so you know it's good. The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:54:33
June 7, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 5 - Gilda
Chosen by special guest Paul K. Brooks (Talking Pictures podcast), Gilda (1946) was directed by Charles Vidor and stars Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. Gilda follows Johnny Farrell, played by Ford, a gambler and con man who runs into Ballin Mundsen, played by George Macready, a mysterious hotel and casino owner in Argentina. Johnny talks his way into managing the casino and everything is going great until his ex-lover Gilda, played by Hayworth, shows up as his boss' new wife. Will Johnny and Gilda be able to keep their hands off of each other? How similar are the feelings of love and hate? In this episode Matt does his best hair flips, Jeanne explains how this film both fits into and defies the conventions of Noir, and Paul and I debate whether this movie is sexy or not, and if so, just how sexy it is. On the more serious side, this episode is also marked for its important discussion of Rita Hayworth's life, and how it relates to the film, and the perceived roles and opportunities of women in the 1940s. What has changed? What has remained the same? The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:46:29
May 31, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 4 - Sweet Smell of Success
Chosen by special guest Doug W. Jacobs (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Sweet Smell of Success was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and stars Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster. Set in the seedy world of New York's entertainment industry, Sweet Smell of Success follows the climb to fortune and glory of one slippery press agent Sidney Falco (Curtis), and the dirty work he performs for his sometimes boss, sometimes ally, and sometimes enemy, "The Eyes of Broadway" J.J. Hunsecker (Lancaster). Will Falco succeed in his schemes, or will he and Hunsecker both fall prey to the folly of their pride and ambitions? A student of the film's director, Alex Mackendrick, at CalArts, special guest Jacobs was able to share with The Collective insight he had gained into the film directly from the source. He shares with The Collective the special ways Mackendrick would think of action, story, and character. In this episode, The Collective relished the opportunity to quote lines from a film known for being endlessly quotable. Matt and David also busted out some of their best Burt Lancaster impressions. The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:58:05
May 26, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 3 - The Exterminating Angel
Chosen by Collective member Matt Sedillo, The Exterminating Angel is written and directed by Luis Buñuel. The Exterminating Angel follows the surrealist misadventures of a dinner party that the guests find themselves unable to leave. Is this film best understood as a comedy, a survival film,  a 2-hour long episode of The Twilight Zone, or something else, altogether? Matt states it's the perfect quarantine movie. Who, or what, is the exterminating angel? Are the dinner guests sympathetic characters, or the shallow rich? What do the sheep and the bear represent? Fear not, for in the hour of greatest depression, The Criterion Collective is here to help you escape! The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes!   The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:27:17
May 26, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 2 - Lord of the Flies
Chosen by Collective member Jeanne Marie Spicuzza, Lord of the Flies was directed by Peter Brook and adapted from the novel by William Golding. Listen as The Collective ponders the big questions: is this a film about good vs evil, order vs. chaos, or is it merely a question of survival? Is Matt a "Ralph" who would become a "Jack," or a "Jack" outright? Do we, as humans, crave "Jacks" to lie to us, but give us a sense of security and purpose? How does cultural appropriation and the legacy of imperialism fit into this story?  The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:23:24
May 26, 2020
The Criterion Collective Episode 1 - The Seventh Seal
Chosen for the debut episode by Collective member David A. Romero, The Seventh Seal was directed by Ingmar Bergman and stars Max Von Sydow. Widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of all time, listen as the Collective delves into its different character archetypes and philosophical questions. Is Collective member Matt the squire? Does Antonius Block find a way to cheat death? Does life have meaning? Is Jof someone worth saving? Listen as The Collective muses on this and more. The Criterion Collective Join poets and film lovers, Jeanne Marie Spicuzza (Night Rain), Matt Sedillo (Mowing Leaves of Grass), and David A. Romero (My Name Is Romero) as they meet each week, to form The Criterion Collective, discussing some of their favorite classic/foreign/art films. These are the films they connect with most deeply, the films that move and inspire them. They hope to inspire a new generation of cinephiles and cinéastes! The Criterion Collective is a special production by the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona, CA. https://www.dacenter.org/ Intro and outro music, "Exploring the Inferno," by Myuu. https://www.thedarkpiano.com/
1:54:14
May 25, 2020