In the last twenty years, film culture and cinephilia specifically have radically changed and altered the way we watch and think about film. Today, cinephiles come in all different shapes and forms. They watch films at theaters but also on DVDs and from streaming sites. Their taste might by low budget horror films or Romanian cinema or animated films. There’s no end to what form and shape a cinephile might be today.
So who are these cinephiles? How did they become interested in film? And what makes them so passionate about this medium? I started The Cinephiliacs back in July as a longform interview show where I could talk with those who have made it their life to explore cinema. Think of the show as “WTF With Marc Maron,” except with cinephiles in the chair. Matt Seitz, who was on episode #2, has kindly offered to cross-promote the show here and I’m glad to bring this show to the Press Play audience. I’m now on the fifth episode, which includes a great talk with Bilge Ebiri about his work as a film critic and filmmaker, as well as a long discussion of one of his favorite film, Barry Lyndon. I hope you enjoy the show, and please subscribe in iTunes, where you can see all the previous episodes and receive new episodes as they’re released. — Peter Labuza
“I’d like to think while I’m watching a film, I try and approach it on its own terms. I think to myself, ‘What is the review this movie wants? And what is the review this movie is going to get?’ But really it’s about asking, what is the ideal version of this movie? What is it trying to be and to what extent does it get there?”
New York Magazine film critic Bilge Ebiri loves films that he can constantly revisit and pry into more and more deeply, so Peter has no problem prying into Bilge’s own head for his conversation on The Cinephiliacs. Bilge talks about his early exposure to the Hollywood New Wave in Turkey as a young boy, and then traces his cinephilia through his desires to trying to become a filmmaker (including working on a film by Nikita Mikhalkov) before finding his voice as a critic. The two then discuss his love of films that indulge their wildest pleasures, some of his favorite auteurs (a list that includes Terrence Malick and Christopher Nolan side by side), and his own feature film, New Guy. Finally, the two dive into the truly daunting task of investigating Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece Barry Lyndon and trying to make sense of a film that asks us to identify with “The Past,” yet always undercuts and manifests itself as something even more audacious.
0:00-4:48 Opening / Establishing Shots – Film Vs. Digital
5:04-1:14:17 Deep Focus – Bilge Ebiri
1:15:13-1:45:31 Double Exposure – Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick)
1:45:32-1:47:58 Close / Outtake