Thursday, October 17, 2013

Episode Sixteen: Belle de jour and Belle toujours

This week, in honor of the 70th birthday of iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve, Mike and Sean take a look at one of her classic films, 1967's Belle de jour, directed by Luis Buñuel, along with Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira's 2006 sequel/homage to that film, Belle toujours. They'll also talk about Deneuve's career as a whole, name their essential movies wherein a housewife becomes a prostitute and discuss the impact of Instant Netflix on canon formation on the eve of Video Store Day.

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  1. Hey guys,

    Some thoughts about your Netflix comments in the episode. I understand, and agree, with most of what you guys are saying. However, I do believe you guys glossed over a very important point, independent video stores are few and far between in some places. Take my situation for instance, there's not an independent video store within 60 miles of where I live, and there probably never will be again. Netflix streaming is a great service for everyone to use, but even moreso for those who are without an independent video store within their reach. I supplement Netflix Instant with Netflix physical discs, I rent from our local Family Video chain store, I use Hulu Plus, Crackle, and YouTube on my PS3 and BD player. If services like Mubi, Fandor, and Warner Archive were available on my PS3 or BD player I would probably use them as well. Basically, independent video stores are great, and it's fantastic that you guys have some great ones in your area, but they aren't always an option for cinephiles. In that regard the world of streaming is a bastion, and a great resource that I highly recommend.

    One comment during your Netflix piece that did rub me the wrong way was when Michael offhandedly made reference to there being lots of 80s slashers available on DVD when other, more important films are available. Now, you weren't able to extrapolate on this comment because Sean quickly cut in with another point, so I'm basing my thoughts on your 80s slasher comment in the context of the points you had previously made. The reason the comment rubbed me the wrong way is because it assumes that 80s slashers are not as important or as necessary as The Crowd, Pierrot le fou, F for Fake, and so on and so forth. That's not a sentiment I can agree with, and I think that your assumption is dangerous for the history of cinema. I'd say that William Lustig's Maniac, Halloween 2, Sleepaway Camp, Friday the 13th, Dressed to Kill, and the Stepfather are just as important, if not moreso than the films you listed. Horror and exploitation cinema are genres that I feel are insanely important to the history of cinema, and have produced works that I would place as some of the most important in the history if cinema, above a lot of the accepted classics. Basically, I feel that it's damaging to lose any cinema, but if the chips are down I'm going to choose to save lots of 80s slashers before just about all of the films you listed, and even more.

    Again, I know I bitched a lot this week, but you guys give the listener a lot to think about and I highly appreciate that. Keep up the good work.

    Bill Thompson

    1. Hey Bill!

      Thanks again for the feedback. We always appreciate it.

      My statement about 80s slasher films was actually the exact opposite of how you heard it, and for that confusion I take all the blame. (No wait, let's blame Sean.) Sean listed all of those great silent films that were lost and I added 80s slasher films that so far have only been released on VHS and most likely will never make the jump to DVD. I just listened back to the segment and I can see how one could misconstrue what I was saying. Calling them "trashy" was not meant to denigrate their importance but it did make them sound disposable. You and I are completely in accordance on that topic. In fact, I've been trying to find a willing partner to go see the double feature of the first two Maniac Cop films playing in Seattle soon.

      The main point of our Netflix discussion was about how "kids these days" just use Netflix without supplementing their options with video stores (big or small), Amazon Instant, Warner, etc. It sounds like you're doing things right and we commend you.

      Take care and thanks for listening,

    2. Ah, my mistake then, the cut off in conversation led to my confusion. :)