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Friday
Jan262018

Ep290: Plated and Floored

Today, the Kicking the Seat Podcast talks with filmmaker Jack C. Newell about his marvelous documentary, 42 Grams--which opens tomorrow at the Gene Siskel Film Center! The film centers on chef Jake Bickelhaupt and his wife, Alexa Welsh, who run a fine dining restaurant out of their apartment--and eventually open a popular brick-and-mortar location. The struggle puts their sanity and marriage to the test, and 42 Grams takes an unflinching look at the fallout of creative obsession!

Ian sat down with Jack last week to talk about the film's origins, production, and its impact on his life. Also on the table are Jack's in-progress documentary series, How to Build a School in Haiti; Stephen King; and the art of juggling multiple projects (Jack also stars in Michael Glover Smith's Mercury in Retrograde, which debuts at Siskel next month).

Lastly, Ian talks about Shannon Alexander's The Misguided (opening at L.A.'s Arena Cinelounge today), and reminds listeners to get their tickets for that Mercury run!

Episode 290 gives its compliments to the chef!

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Tuesday
Jan232018

Ep289: The Shape of Whatever

Today, the Kicking the Seat Podcast and Keeping it Reel's David Fowlie look back on the films of 2017! Don't worry: this is far from a standard-issue "Top Ten" episode. The guys share their answers to questions that get at the heart of what they loved, loathed, and learned from at the movies last year. From the industry-shaking Harvey Weinstein scandal; to the relevance of film critics in the social media age; to the films that fewer people are talking about than they'd hoped for--this is a wide-ranging and deeply personal conversation (with a fair helping of silliness thrown in).

Also, Ian breezes past yesterday's Oscar nominations with an over-caffeinated and incendiary awards-show rant!

Episode 289 is so retro!

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Monday
Jan222018

Ep288: MOM AND DAD, Why are You Fighting?

Today, the Kicking the Seat Podcast and Keeping it Reel's David Fowlie return with another dangerous double-feature! First up is the darkly funny neo-noir, Small Town Crime, starring John Hawkes, which the guys whole-heartedly agree on. Things take a turn for the weird with the new Nicolas Cage horror movie, Mom and Dad, in which a bizarre mania compels parents all over America to murder their children. The film straddles the line between tasteless and entertaining--and only one of our intrepid critics has the stomach for it! 

Also, Ian talks about some gargantuan goings-on at Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center, including a limited run of My Friend Dahmer; next weekend's premiere of the gripping culinary doc, 42 Grams (with director Jack C. Newell in attendance!); and a very special series of Mercury in Retrograde screenings coming your way in late February, with Q&A's moderated by David Fowlie, Matt Fagerholm of RogerEbert.com, and Ian!

Episode 288 loves you to death!

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Monday
Jan152018

Ep287: A Very Particular Set of Ills

The Kicking the Seat Podcast catches the late train into the New Year with a look at Jaume Collet-Serra's fourth Liam Neeson collaboration, The Commuter! Yes, after an unexpected hiatus, Ian returns to the mic with Keeping it Reel's David Fowlie for a look at not one but two Lionsgate releases--including the limited-run/On-Demand action movie, Acts of Violence (which technically stars Bruce Willis).

Is either film worth leaving the house to see? How do Neeson and Willis fare in these Sunday-afternoon actioners? And does Vera Farmiga cancel out all the tedious nonsense in The Commuter just by showing up for ten minutes?

The country's in a deep freeze, but Episode 287 is just heating up!

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Wednesday
Dec272017

Ep286: Indiana, Not Ohio

Today, the Kicking the Seat Podcast and Keeping it Reel's David Fowlie talk about one of their very favorite films of the year, Kogonada's Columbus!* The film stars John Cho as Jin, the son of a famous architect stranded in a small Indiana town, following his father's stroke. He meets a young girl named Casey, who hasn't worked out what she wants to do with her life. During this lovely, contemplative "walking around" movie, Kogonada takes his characters and audience on an eye-opening journey of self-examination and art analysis.

(Before joining the ranks of narrative filmmaker, Kogonada became known for creating striking video essays, a couple of which Ian recommends on the show.)

Ian and David dive into this architectural marvel of a movie, but not before sharing a few more thoughts about the backlash against Rian Johnson's falsely maligned Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And, hey, if you can't get enough of that, Ian invites you to watch (and subscribe to) Chicago Film News' two-part Season Finale, in which he discusses Episode VIII and Princess Cyd with host Sarah Robinson!

Episode 286 is wise beyond its years!

*If you missed Columbus' art-house theatres last summer, the film is now available on Hulu.

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