At Play with Petzold + Bruce Bennett on Budd Boetticher

Slipping through memory and myth with filmmaker Christian Petzold, and savoring NYC moviegoing and swift stories with Bruce Bennett

This week on the podcast I chat with Bruce Bennett whom I know from the storied days of the New York Sun arts section, sometime in the early 21st century. We talk about moviegoing and past freelancing in New York, I learn about story mechanics in true crime, and then we move on to the main course, the efficient yet poignantly detailed work of filmmaker Budd Boetticher. We talked for a while and it was so much fun that I’m running it in two parts because I can.

This week’s episode features another filmmaker interview: Christian Petzold, best known as the director of Barbara or Phoenix or Transit. In his latest, Undine, he explores memory and myth through the story of a woman, a museum historian, who ends one relationship and begins another. She might also be a water nymph from ancient legend who drags former lovers into a lake. Anyway, Petzold is a playful interview and he shares an inspiration for the film in the form of a real-time drama, as well as a memory of his own and, yes, the last movie he saw.

Thank you to all for supporting the podcast—a regular space for the spirited discussion of movies and sitting behind Laurie Anderson at Film Forum.

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Episode 46: Christian Petzold Interview + Bruce Bennett on Budd Boetticher and more

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes.

Films include: Undine, Diary of a Chambermaid, Shadow of a Doubt, Seven Men from Now, The Tall T

Christian Petzold’s new film, Undine, is in theaters now. His past films include Barbara, Phoenix, and Transit.

Bruce Bennett is a scriptwriter, story producer, musician, and critic who published in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, and elsewhere.

For more information on the podcast’s opening music by The Minarets (gratefully used with permission):

Follow the band on Instagram @theminaretsmusic


The Grifters (HBO MAX)

Pariah (Criterion)

Streetwise (Criterion)

Rosetta (Criterion)

Bad Lieutenant (MUBI)

Eyes Wide Shut (HBO MAX)



Welcome to The Last Thing I Saw, which Sight & Sound put in its Top Ten Film Podcasts.

I’m a writer and an editor. I’ve worked as the editor-in-chief of Film Comment, where I toiled for 15 years. I assigned and edited both web and print, hosted its podcast and talks and screenings, learned from brilliant writers, curated Film Comment Selects, and wrote a lot myself. Film Comment was subsequently awarded the Film Heritage Award by the National Society of Film Critics (an honor historically awarded to the Museum of Modern Art and other institutions).

My features, interviews, festival dispatches, and reviews have been published in The New York Times, Artforum, Sight & Sound, and dearly departed publications such as The Village Voice, Stop Smiling, The New York Sun, and The L Magazine.

I miss milling about and chatting after movies, and so the natural response is to inflict a podcast on friends and strangers alike.

As always, feel free to contact me re: writing, editing, moderating, podcasting, etc.