New Essentials + The Return of Bruce Bennett + More Nonfiction Picks
Dear The Last Thing I Saw friends,
Fortified and refreshed by turkey and treats, I return to the pleasure dome of film commentary with new episodes of The Last Thing I Saw for you. Plus: New Essentials!
As eagle-eyed pundits may have observed, I recently went to IDFA (the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), and so first I present another episode of highlights. My guest is Julian Ross, a curator and critic based in Amsterdam, and among other topics we discuss the provocative found-footage film Manifesto, and an intriguing performance series called IDFA on Stage. You may hear pre-gaming football fans in the distant background.
Then Bruce Bennett returns for another wonderfully sprawling conversation to beat the band. Longtime listeners will remember that my last chat with the mighty Bennett could not be contained in a single episode, and this time was no different. On Part One, we begin with Deep End, the 1970 classic from Jerzy “EO!” Skolimowski, and end with a truly circuit-frying Chabrol deep cut.
And finally, it’s time for the December screening of New Essentials! Grab tickets now for A Serious Man, the extremely funny Coen Brothers film—the latest pick I’ll present at the Roxy Cinema!
Big thanks to all the supporters of The Last Thing I Saw who make the podcast possible and even likely!
Your faithful host,
Bruce Bennett on Skolimowski’s Deep End, Baby Love, Chabrol Freakout (Ep. 149)
Bruce Bennett is a scriptwriter, story producer, musician, and as a critic, has published writing in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, and elsewhere.
IDFA #2 with Julian Ross: Manifesto, Documentary on Stage, and more (Ep. 148)
Julian Ross is a researcher, curator, and writer based in Amsterdam. He is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS).
These episodes are also available at other podcast places such as Spotify.
For more information on the podcast’s opening and closing music by The Minarets (gratefully used with permission), follow the band on Instagram:
For W Magazine, I had the unabashed pleasure of talking with Tilda Swinton about The Eternal Daughter, working with Joanna Hogg, mothers and daughters, and recent reading, plus her project with Joshua Oppenheimer. The Eternal Daughter opens on Friday.
For The New York Times, I reviewed the star-studded documentary The Corridors of Power, from director Dror Moreh, who interviewed Israeli spymasters in The Gatekeepers. This time his subject is the recent history of foreign intervention (or lack thereof) in human-rights catastrophes: conflicts in Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, Syria. The stars being a remarkable array of people who have served as Secretary of State, e.g., James Baker, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Hillary Clinton.
I was recently reminded that the wondrous strange The Girl and the Spider is a 2022 U.S. release, and so in case you missed it, here was my interview with the absolutely lovely directors, Ramon and Silvan Zürcher.
THIS CRITIC’S PICKS
Delectable selections for home viewing.
Offside (Criterion) A group of women is barred from going to a World Cup qualifying match in Jafar Panahi’s 2006 film
The Box (MUBI)
Le Doulos (Criterion)
The Balcony Movie (MUBI) Also screening in a series at Museum of Moving Image with director present!
Animal Kingdom (Criterion)
Exit Elena (OVID)
Here I may end with a song.
Welcome to The Last Thing I Saw! I’m your host, Nicolas Rapold.
Besides hosting a podcast, I’m a writer and an editor. My features, interviews, festival dispatches, and reviews are published in The New York Times, Sight & Sound, Artforum, Filmmaker, and W Magazine (and have appeared in dearly departed publications such as The Village Voice, Stop Smiling, The New York Sun, and The L Magazine).
I worked as editor-in-chief of Film Comment, where I was for 15 years. There I assigned and edited both web and print editorial, hosted The Film Comment Podcast and Talks and screenings, curated Film Comment Selects, learned from brilliant writers, and wrote a lot, including interviews with Spike Lee, Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Pedro Costa, and Frederick Wiseman. 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).
Feel free to get in touch re: writing, editing, moderating, programming, podcasting, etc.