The Magic Lantern

A TV and Film podcast
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Best Episodes of The Magic Lantern

Mark All
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This year has been a journey of discovery for me with African cinema. Our Patreon listeners may remember that one of my resolutions this year was to become better acquainted with African films. To that end, I set myself a goal of fifty films from the continent in 2019 and… The post Episode 118 – Hyenas appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Sometimes a film leaves an indelible impression on you because its ending is so buoyant that you feel uplifted, lighter than air. The Heiress (Wyler, 1949) leaves a bruise on your heart, and it is because the ending is so irrevocably painful and bitter. With a father like Dr. Austin… The post Episode 117 – The Heiress appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
If ever there was an object lesson in not confusing the art with the artist, Daryl Duke’s Payday (1973) is just that lesson. Rip Torn stars as second-rate country singer Maury Dann and we spend 36 hours with him in which he leaves nothing but scorched earth in his wake.… The post Episode 036 – Payday appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Ding dong! In 1996, a very special gift arrived for this theatre nerd. Waiting for Guffman (Guest, 1996) ticked many of my boxes: it was hilarious, well-acted, a musical, outrageously quotable, took place in a familiar milieu, and begged for repeated viewings. I was the loudest, most obnoxious moviegoer that… The post Episode 027 – Waiting for Guffman appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
I first saw The Enchanted Cottage (1945) very late at night, alone. I was entranced by the very singular tone and the quiet romance, and while the film stayed with me, it hasn’t necessarily been constantly on my mind. Since our episode on Desperately Seeking Susan (Seidelman, 1985), I’ve been… The post Episode 044 – The Enchanted Cottage appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
It’s been a long time since I have been as immediately taken with a film the way I was with Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013). We don’t often feature films that are this new on the show. Typically, for a movie to make its way into… The post Episode 021 – The Tale of the Princess Kaguya appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood (2007) came to me at a difficult time in my life, and I find myself returning to it during difficult times as well. This might seem odd, because it’s not what you might think of as a comforting film. In fact, I reckon… The post Episode 057 – There Will Be Blood appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
John Huston’s Let There Be Light (1946) was the final installment in a trilogy of wartime documentaries produced for the U.S. Army. He set about following a group of soldiers who had experienced severe battle fatigue and were undergoing treatment in a military psychiatric facility for a wide array of… The post Episode 014 – Let There Be Light appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) ripped into my life on Thanksgiving 1984 and I have, gratefully, never fully recovered. It was spawned from the belly of a country that was sick and sad during my earliest formative years. As a nation, we were burdened with post-Watergate paranoia, the exhaustion… The post Episode 006 – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
The choice of Rebecca (1940) as not only the kick off episode but my kick off episode was an easy one. It was my first revival in a movie theatre setting; my first black and white on the big screen. An adult and heady choice for a kid. I felt… The post Episode 001 – Rebecca appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Episode 069. Nice. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! We learn an awful lot of things from the movies, so I don’t know why the birds and the bees should be any different. In my adolescent world, the options were either the dubious news gathering of the schoolyard or less than reputable… The post Episode 069 – The Birds and the Bees by Lantern Light appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Eleven years ago, I was lured into the world of German Expressionism via the hypnotic gaze peering out at me from the cover of Fritz Lang’s The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). It sat on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, beckoning me. Little did I know that my consumption… The post Episode 013 – The Testament of Dr. Mabuse appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
In the groundbreaking Get Out (2017), director and writer Jordan Peele wove together terror, horror, dark satire, and laugh out loud comedy to create something much larger than the sum of its very interesting parts. He has alternatively called the film a social thriller and a documentary. To understand that… The post Episode 087 – Get Out appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
When they were first tasked with making a documentary about the Bouvier family and their reminiscences of East Hampton, Albert and David Maysles soon realized that they were dealing with some “staunch” characters in Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, and that these women would make much more interesting… The post Episode 085 – Grey Gardens appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) blew my nine year-old mind, coincidentally arriving at the time when Madonna was just beginning to blow my mind. I had never seen anything like the film or Madonna, the New York they presented, or the characters they created. I was immediately smitten. They… The post Episode 042 – Desperately Seeking Susan appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
I’ve written and deleted a lot of opening statements for this post. First, I set out to simply state that Groundhog Day (1993) is universally beloved. I began to list its accolades, but it doesn’t feel quite fitting to take a comedy and explain its praise. That should be easy;… The post Episode 018 – Groundhog Day appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
I only saw Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses (1969) for the first time a few years ago and immediately wondered where this movie had been all my life. I always love it when I discover something like this that blows my expectations into tiny pieces. This pioneering LGBTQ film… The post Episode 084 – Funeral Parade of Roses appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
There aren’t many films more personal to me than Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men (2007). I grew up at the foot of the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma, so I am intimately familiar with this scrub brush landscape and these hard-bitten, laconic plainsfolk. They are my people.… The post Episode 008 – No Country for Old Men appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
I have an abiding fondness for a number of comedians from cinema’s infancy. Buster Keaton is a true daredevil and a genius, in my estimation. It never fails to make me laugh when Stan Laurel brings Oliver Hardy that bag of hard boiled eggs and nuts in the hospital. The… The post Episode 004 – It’s a Gift appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
There is simply nothing like Karel Zeman’s Invention for Destruction (1958). Taken from the pages of some of Jules Verne’s greatest adventures, these images combine to form one of the greatest cinematic pop-up books ever committed to film. The amount of painstaking detail that must have been involved in bringing… The post Episode 105 – Invention for Destruction appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
A first among equals as a sports film, Hoosiers (Anspaugh, 1986) is an ideal choice for this time of year: March Madness and the coming of spring and fresh starts. With a lead and supporting cast of characters each battling their own frailties, potential, and failings, there’s no need for… The post Episode 071 – Hoosiers appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
I purchased Antonia’s Line (Gorris, 1995) sight unseen from a bin at my local Blockbuster Video soon after it came out. My friends and I sat down to watch it, and were rewarded with a delightful experience. This film is full of joy, even though the joy comes from small… The post Episode 097 – Antonia’s Line appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Fanny and Alexander (Bergman, 1982) is a holiday film that fits every season. It captures so much about the highs and lows, and the beginnings and endings that we will all experience in our lives. Like the flowing water that is pictured at the start of each of the five… The post Episode 119 – Fanny and Alexander appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
A few years back I was introduced to Mehmet Aslan’s Tarkan Versus the Vikings (1971) in the best way possible – at Fantastic Fest in an auditorium full of like minded genre film fans that were ready to have their minds blown. That is exactly what this movie did. The… The post Episode 120 – Tarkan Versus the Vikings appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
Welcome to Ants In Your Pants of 2019! It’s our fifth annual episode in which we reflect on our favorite film discoveries of the past year. We are so glad you joined us for this episode, and hope that you also had great cinema-watching adventures. As always, our lists were… The post Episode 121 – Ants In Your Pants of 2019 appeared first on The Magic Lantern.
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Podcast Details

Aug 8th, 2015
Latest Episode
Mar 23rd, 2020
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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