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Episode #8 – State of Cinema

Episode #8

Best Picture 1976, ROCKY. Timeless simplicity.
Best Picture 1976, ROCKY. Timeless simplicity.

Do you recall the days when spectacle-driven “event” cinema was the exception, not the rule?  Mid and low-concept minded films have been an endangered species over the years… This is not to say that we don’t have films to counter this increasingly stupid strategy (Erik and I just went and saw, and podcasted about, Before Midnight), but this approach from studios has prompted very vocal (and negative) responses from George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh (among others).  And, this is the focus of That’s a Wrap #8: The Current State and Future of Cinema.  It pairs nicely with a robust but elegant little podcast – Chateau “That’s a Wrap #2, vintage 2013” (On Demand Culture).

Links mentioned:

Noam Chomsky talk at University of Michigan

Chomsky slams Zizek and Lacan

Steven Soderbergh’s talk.

Spielberg and Lucas talk about the future of cinema

List of top films by decade.

Zach Braff’s kickstarter

Braff talks about Kickstarter campaign on KCRW

Youtube video of Soderbergh talk

Episode #7: Star Trek with Mark Clark

Episode #7

MarkIn episode seven, we talk to Mark Clark, author of Star Trek FAQ 2.0: Everything Left to Know About The Next Generation, the Movies, and Beyond (Unofficial and Unauthorized), about his books and about the Trek universe in general.

This is also our first completely clean episode. No “F” words or anything else. Don’t get used to it, though.

Links mentioned:

Mark’s blog post about Star Trek: Into Darkness.

“Honest Trailers” Star Trek trailer.


That’s a Wrap! Co-host, Nicholas Schlegel, Interviewed about his Forthcoming Book on Spanish Horror

Hello Everyone.

[show_avatar email=3 align=left]Nick Schlegel here with a link to a wonderful interview I participated in while I was recently in Manhattan for the Music & The Moving Image Conference  While there, my friends Eddie Samuelson and Eric Cohen of The Cinefiles and This is Infamous provided an evening of fine dining and libation–Brooklyn Roof-Top Style!  The result is the above interview about Spanish Horror Films and the Spanish film industry in general during the late 1960s and 70s when horror production surged tremendously during Spain’s new transition from dictatorship to democracy.  I hope you enjoy it half as much as I had making it.  My book is currently undergoing revisions and should see publication early next year.  🙂

Episode #6 – Linklater’s “Before Midnight” and Special Guests Mark Clark & Bryan Senn on their book “Sixties Shockers”

Episode #6

BEFORE-MIDNIGHT-stillsRichard Linklater’s “Before” Trilogy began in 1995 with his magical Before Sunrise, continued 9 years later with his entracte Before Sunset and on June 13th, 2013 we witnessed the release (also 9 years later) of the third installment: Before Midnight.  Join us as we discuss this beloved trilogy of films–their longevity, their impact and the spell that they have collectively cast over us.

sixties shockersAnd, in segment two, Nick interviews authors Mark Clark and Bryan Senn on their collaboration “Sixties Shockers: A Critical Filmography of Horror Cinema, 1960-1969.”  The authors discuss why they chose to undertake the massive project of canonizing this genre in this particular decade, the collaboration process and the possibility of another volume – Seventies Shockers?  Eighties Shockers?  Tune in!!




Links mentioned:

Chuck Tryon’s Review

The Up Series

Episode #5 – Film Adaptations: Our Favorites

Episode #5

Robert Bloch’s “Psycho” – 1959 (1st ed.)

The translation process from page to screen is endemic to the industry and is of particular importance to the public when the source is a beloved and/or bestselling novel, novella or graphic novel. (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Little Women, A Clockwork Orange, The Da Vinci Code, Watchmen, 300, Gone With The Wind, Of Mice and Men, Les Miserables, Lolita, etc).  This adaptation process incurs tremendous (and often, misguided) debate as to what was ultimately “better” — the film or the novel, when in fact, comparison of these two very different mediums requires proper contextualization. Our mission in Episode #5 is to each list our favorite three adaptations from novel to screen and also provide a snapshot of what we think makes for an “effective” translation from one medium to another.

Theodore Roszak's "Flicker" (1st ed.)
Theodore Roszak’s “Flicker” – 1991 (1st ed.)

We also take some time to acknowledge some titles that we would love to see successfully adapted into motion pictures (or conversely, fear that they will be unsuccessfully adapted!).  In the case of Nick and Erik, a prime contender in this category is Theodore Roszak’s complex, ambitious and classically “oh-so-hard-to-adapt” novel about the very nature of cinema, 1991’s “Flicker.”  In the final summary, some things are lost in translation and some things are gained.  These are two very different mediums that are often measured commensurately.  When a literary source is adapted into a film, comparisons are inevitable, but in our estimation, it’s not which “version” is “better”, it’s more about whether the story is well-suited for its new cinematic interpretation and is the essence translated from one medium to another?

Links Mentioned:

The Journal of Adaptation

Gods and Monsters: a novel Nick has wanted to read based on the strength of the film:


Episode #4 – Film Noir with Special Guest David J. Hogan

Episode #4

That’s a Wrap! proudly welcomes author and historian David J. Hogan to discuss his new book Film Noir FAQ.


In this episode we talk about film noir as a genre, as well as our favorite film and femmes fatales.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We had a small recording problem that will become evident towards the end of the episode. It sounds like Nick and Erik are talking over David, but this is an error in the recording software. Most of it is fixed, and it is still easily listenable; it simply sounds like we are being rude at times, when we are not.

From the Film Noir FAQ description:

Film Noir FAQ celebrates and reappraises some 200 noir thrillers representing 20 years of Hollywoods Golden Age. Noir pulls us close to brutal cops and scheming dames, desperate heist men and hardboiled private eyes, and the unlucky innocent citizens that get in their way. These are exciting movies with tough guys in trench coats and hot tomatoes in form-fitting gowns. The moon is a streetlamp and the narrow streets are prowled by squad cars and long black limousines. Lives are often small but peoples plans are big — sometimes too big. Robbery, murder, gambling; the gun and the fist; the grift and the con game; the hard kiss and the brutal brush-off. Film Noir FAQ brings lively attention to story, mood, themes, and technical detail, plus behind-the-scenes stories of the production of individual films. Featuring numerous stills and postersmany never before published in book formhighlighting key moments of great noir movies. Film Noir FAQ serves up insights into many of the most popular and revered names in Hollywood history, including noirs greatest stars, supporting players, directors, writers, and cinematographers. Pour a Scotch, light up a smoke, and lean back with your private guide to film noir.

jane greer 33
Nick’s Favorite Femme Fatale: Jane Greer

Episode #3 – The Top 5 TV Shows of the New Millenium and The Keanu Reeves Documentary: “Side by Side”

Episode #3

CLASSIC_TVRCA introduced television to the American public at the 1939 World’s Fair.  Since then, Philo Taylor Farnsworth’s invention has been invading homes (in every room imaginable and now, for some reason, refrigerator doors?) waiting rooms, bars, gas station pumps, and even above urinals…you name it.  Television is, quite simply, ubiquitous.  This ubiquity endowed TV with the power to unite us and also to bind common interests to vast television audiences. Whether it was watching Walter Cronkite announce that our 35th President of the United States had been assassinated, The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, The Apollo 11 Moon Landing, finding out who shot J.R. Ewing, Watching O.J. Simpson being chased by a fleet of cop cars or The September 11th Terroritst Attacks, we stood by by each other and consequently WITH each other as we watched.  


Episode #3 of That’s a Wrap! devotes its first segment to the countdown of Erik, Nick and Chris’ Top 5 Television shows of the 21st Century!  Where do your favorites rate?  Did they make the list or get the fist?  We want to hear from you! Tell us where you think we got it right or where we got it wrong!  Be sure and register your VOTE in our below POLL. Feel free to write in your pick under “Other.”

In segment two, we discuss the recent documentary Side by Side, which frames the debate over digital cinematography versus traditional (photochemical) film. The film’s tagline, “Can film survive our digital future?” is our conversational starting point.  We all really loved this film – the trailer is below! 

Links mentioned:

Cinevent Movie Exhibition

Music & The Moving Image Conference

Dogme 95

[yop_poll id=”2″]



Episode #2 – Special Guest Chuck Tryon, The Streaming Wars and House of Cards

Episode #2

On Demand

The 21st Century has seen dynamic shifts in, and the rapid integration of, streaming Television and movie content via subscription and rental services offered by Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu,Youtube, Flixster, et al. Netlfix launched their much-touted political drama House of Cards by releasing (in a bold move) all thirteen episodes simultaneously.  Following closely on the heels of this accomplishment is the forthcoming, and very long-awaited, resurrection of a true cult television phenomenon:  Arrested Development – which drops, in similar bulk fashion – May the 26th.  Episode #2 of “That’s a Wrap” discusses this changing Tele-Visual landscape for the 21st Century and the dynamicArrested-Development-Lucille-640x954 business models that shape it.  Joining us for this exciting discussion is author and professor Chuck Tryon.  We “wrap” about his new book “On-Demand Culture: Digital Delivery and the Future of Movies.”  We discuss the subject from a variety of perspectives and also take some time to register spoiler-free (and then later, spoiler-rich) opinions and critique on the first 13 episodes of House of Cards – which has generally received enthusiastic praise. Have an opinion on Netflix’s Original Series? Drop us a line and let us know!  And lastly, if you have a minute to spare, why not write us a review over at iTunes?

Links mentioned:

Jon Adams Graphic Design

Alamo Drafthouse & Texting 

Dr. Chuck Tryon – Fayetteville State University 

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

Amazon Pilots

That’s A Wrap! Episode #1

Episode #1

Our first podcast was recorded this weekend. There were a few technical difficulties (we are still learning) but we are upgrading our equipment and expect far less snags with our next show. Nevertheless, the show came together seamlessly and we anticipate years of happy and full episodes with our upcoming guests.

PerksOur fist show is dedicated to Nick’s fierce advocacy of 2012′s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Nick takes the lead and lays out his argument as to why he feels this is such a profound piece of filmmaking & further–why he had such an intense reaction and connection to it. Erik and Chris lend their comments, critique and reactions to his analysis and then come to offer their own. Where do they come down on their verdict? Tune in!

After a brief interlude, we begin our second segment in which we discuss Roger and debate the career of film journalism’s most famous film critic, the late Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times.  Join us here at the Wrap Party after each episode for links, drinks and fun!


Links mentioned:

The Ecstasy of Filmmaker Werner Herzog

Jurassic Park 3D

Why 3D Doesn’t Work and Never Will. Case Closed.

The Tree of Life

Chicago Reader: Ebert Off Camera