The Cinematologists Podcast

Film academics Dr Dario Llinares and Dr Neil Fox introduce a live screening followed by an audience Q&A. The podcast also features interviews with filmmakers, scholars, writers and actors who debate all aspects of cinema and film culture.

Ep80 BFI Comedy Genius Finale

March 7th, 2019

Our long-awaited final episode in partnership with the BFI’s Comedy Genius season is finally here and it’s a doozy. Compiled over the last few months as the national season was taking place between November and January, this episode sees a diverse range of film critics, academics, filmmakers and an illustrator (as well as Neil and Dario of course) sharing some of their favourite comedy films and performances.

This episode was envisaged as a joyous journey into screen comedy and our guests have picked a range of performers from cinema (as well as television and stand-up comedy) history to reflect upon. We hope it serves as a reminder of the joy and importance of laughing and the innate and deeply personal connection that audiences have with screen comedy. 

Thanks to the BFI FAN Network for supporting the making of this episode. Thanks also, to our amazing roster of participants who shared their time and their love of comedic performances in all different shades.

Our line-up:

Dr Sabina Stent talking about Spy / Scott Tanner Jones talking about Midnight Run / Dr Felicity Gee talking about Nicole Kidman in To Die For / Jason Wood talking about Sons of the Desert / Annabel Grundy talking about Jennifer Saunders / Ash Clark talking about Eddie Marsan in Happy-Go Lucky / Ren Zelen talking about Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau / Hel Harding-Jones talking about The Out Of Towners / Mark Jenkin talking about Stir Crazy / Hope Dickson Leach talking about 3 Joan Cusack performances / David Litchfield talking about Raising Arizona / Violet Lucca talking about Step Brothers & Dr Racquel Gates talking about Katt Williams and his stand-up special It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’

The Wile E. Coyote cartoon featured in this episode can be viewed here.

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Ep79 Berlinale 2019 Part 3

February 23rd, 2019

The final episode of our Berlinale trilogy is a continuation of Neil’s travels around the German capital watching films and talking to filmmakers and critics, and a culmination of Neil and Dario’s reflections on the festival and the films they both saw. The pair discuss Andre Hörmann’s Chicago boxing documentary Ringside and the episode also features some of Neil’s interview with the filmmaker as well as a section of his chat with Kim Longinotto, whose film Shooting The Mafia Neil and Dario discussed in the first Berlinale episode. Neil also shares his thoughts on the PJ Harvey documentary A Dog Called Money, the Colombian genre-bender Monos, the Kino Lorber revival of Bette Gordon’s Variety and the finally revealed to the world concert film masterpiece that is Amazing Grace.

Film critics sharing their time and reflections on this episode are Rhys Handley, Ian Mantgani and Kambole Campbell.

Thanks to everyone whose contributions have made these three episodes possible including, and maybe especially, Kingsley Marshall of Film at Falmouth.

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Ep78 Berlinale 2019 Part 2

February 20th, 2019


(Baracoa, 2019 Pablo Briones, Sean Clark)

Part 2 of the Berlinale trilogy sees Neil and Dario discuss film festival podcasting, the films Baracoa and BAIT to coincide with interviews conducted by Neil with the filmmakers behind those films, Pablo Briones and Jace Freeman, and Mark Jenkin respectively. The episode also features Neil’s chats with film critics Elle Haywood, Ella Kemp, Neil Young, Megan Christopher and Steph Watts. Finally, the episode also features Neil’s in the moment reflections on a number of films he saw.

The films discussed in this episode are:

Baracoa (Pablo Briones, The Moving Picture Boys)

BAIT (Mark Jenkin)

I Was At Home, But (Angela Schanelec)

The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg)

Varda by Agnès (Agnès Varda)

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Ep77 Berlinale 2019 Part 1

February 16th, 2019

We are really excited to put out the first of three special episodes cover the 2019 Berlin Film Festival which both Dario and Neil attended in a kind of tag team configuration. Having applied for a press pass for the Cinematologists, and was taking 40 his students to the festival, Neil had organised a whole raft of interviews with directors and critics which form parts 2&3 of our Berlinale coverage. Dario made a last minute decision to go for the opening weekend. So this first episode consists of 3 mini reports of each day's and then a rather bleary-eyed catch-up with Neil after he arrived after midnight on Sunday. The films discussed in this episode are:

Rebels of the Neon God (1992, Tsai Ming-Liang)

Shooting The Mafia (Kim Longionotto)

Serendipity (Prune Nourry)

Out Stealing Horses (Hans Petter Moland)

Light of My Life (Casey Affleck)

Systèm K (Renaud Barret)

Der Boden Unter den Füben [The Ground Beneath my Feet] (Marie Kreutzer)

Ep76: Clueless w/Ryan Gilbey (in association with the BFI Comedy Genius Season)

February 2nd, 2019

The first episode of Season 9 sees Dario and Neil duke it out over the merits and problems of comedy, finding themselves on opposite sides for the first time in a while. They are put in this position by guest programmer Ryan Gilbey whose choice of Amy Heckerling’s 1995 comedy Clueless. New Statesman film critic Ryan joined Neil onstage at The Poly in Falmouth to introduce the film and discuss it with the audience. Prior to the event Ryan also wrote a blog over at the New Statesman about the film.

Around the live discussion Neil and Dario talk about the function and role of comedy, subjectivity and form and whether it’s a genre that is more prone to becoming dated than others. They also bond over Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace and Ozu’s love of fart jokes.

The episode is the second of three being produced in association with the BFI for their Comedy Genius season and the live event was also made possible thanks to Film at Falmouth, Falmouth University.

Let us know which side of the debate you come down on!

You can rent or buy Clueless globally from a number of different sites including Amazon, iTunes, Google, Rakuten. You can stream it in the UK on NowTV or SkyGO.

Ep75: 2018 review

December 30th, 2018

In our final episode of 2018, we look back over the cinematic year and discuss the movies that have impressed, affected and stayed with us. We came up with the list independently but there are specific films and themes that emerge, particularly the fact that we both chose Lynne Ramsey's You Were Never Really Here as our film of the year. We hope you enjoy this look back and a big thank you to our audience for the continued support. We look forward to discussing more cinematic delights in 2019.


Dario's top 5

1. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsey)

2. Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski) 

3. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda) 

4. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)

5. Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh)


Neil's top 5

1. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsey)

2. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)

3. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)

4. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)

5. The Dreamed Path (Angela Schanelec)


Other Recommendations

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)

The Guardians (Xavier Beauvois) 

Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev)

The Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery)

Lek and the Dogs (Andrew Kotting)

American Animals (Bart Layton)

Milford Graves Full Mantis (Jake Meginsky)

Outside In (Lynn Shelton)

The Image You Missed (Donal Foreman)

Leave No Trace (Debra Granik)

Ep74: Duck Soup (in association with the BFI Comedy Genius Season)

December 14th, 2018

For the last regular episode of 2018 we are teaming up with the BFI and the UK wide comedy genius season for a deep dive into a Marx Brothers classic and a discussion about the craft, calibre and character of comedy.

As the official podcast of the BFI Fan Network supported season we are presenting several episodes on film comedy and we kicked proceedings off with a screening at The Poly in Falmouth of Groucho and Co’s classic 1933 satire Duck Soup.

The episode also includes Neil in conversation with a variety of figures from across the UK talking about the Comedy Genius season. They are season coordinator Annabel Grundy, artistic director of film at HOME in Manchester, Jason Wood, and Come The Revolution’s Edson Burton. Come The Revolution are a film collective based out of Bristol. Annabel talks about the aims of the season and BFI national programmes like it, and Jason and Edson discuss the themes and approaches they have taken and share some of their programming highlights.

For more info on the amazing work being done by these amazing programmers and for more info on what’s going on around the country for this season, click the links above.

Ep73: Her

November 29th, 2018


For this episode, Dario was invited to the University of Chichester by Programme co-ordinator of Media and Communications Dr. Adam Locks to screen Spike Jonze's 2013 sci-fi drama Her. The discussion lived up to the reason for selecting the film, throwing up many points of analysis related directly to genre, performance and production design, but also provoking wider philosophical questions that linked to conversations we have been having on the podcast recently. The film taps into concerns around the influence of technology on our everyday experience and Jonze creates a world that is unerring familiar yet alienating. Imbued in the film are ethical questions about the potential influence of AI on how we perceive the self. Also at the heart of the discussion is the materiality of the voice which is a particularly interesting subject from a podcasting perspective. Neil and Dario expand the discussion to talk about the film in the context of Spike Jonze's previous work and the perpetual crisis of masculinity.



Susan Schneider in the New York Times on Her

Alan Watts: Reborn in Her - by Philip Goldberg in Huffpost

An episode of The Waking Up Podcast discussion the ethics of AI and film/tv representation

Dr Adam Locks teaches in the Department of Creative & Digital Technologies at the University of Chichester. He is co-editor of the book Critical Readings in Bodybuilding (Routledge, 2011) and co-author of The Basics: The Body (Routledge, 2014), both of which examine the body through aspects of the media. He will be launching an interview based podcast early in 2019.  

Ep72: Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten (w/ director Julien Temple)

November 14th, 2018

On the latest installment of the podcast, Neil shares the stage with one of his filmmaking heroes, director Julien Temple, before and after a screening of Temple’s 2007 film Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten. It’s a film with significant personal meaning for Neil as the episode explains. The film was screened on 35mm at Truro’s WTW Plaza Cinema and was made possible by the support of Kingsley Marshall at the School of Film & Television, Falmouth University.

The episode also sees Dario discuss how the film made him think differently about punk and the pair get into the politics of music documentary regarding issues such as the representation of female artists and global music cultures. There’s also talk about the latest film culture developments surrounding the demise of Filmstruck and the dominance of Netflix and how, sadly, all this stuff may not be anything new at all.

This episode also features the song ‘Afro Cuban Be Bop’ by (Joe Strummer &) The Astro-Physicians. Taken from the film I Hired A Contract Killer (dir. Kaurismaki, 1990). Available officially for the first time on the recent release Joe Strummer: 001.

The film is available to rent or buy on Amazon and iTunes and is available on UK/US DVD and Blu-ray.

Ep71: A Ghost Story

October 26th, 2018


For this episode, Neil and Dario were in the room together for the first time in a while and what an occasion it was. David Lowery's modern masterpiece A Ghost Story is one of Dario's favourite films of recent years and Neil was experiencing it for the first time. 

The result was an overwhelmingly emotional evening for the hosts (particularly Neil who struggled to hold it together) and the majority of the large audience - the beauty of the shared experience feels palpable on the tape, and we hope it transmits to listeners.

It was one of the greatest nights of the podcast to date, a really special communal experience where the uniqueness of the shared experience that is Cinema felt more alive than it has in a long time. It reminded many present of what makes Cinema so special, and it doesn't hurt that the film is incredible. Hear everyone wax lyrical.

Special thanks to Kingsley Marshall at Film at Falmouth for making Dario's visit happen. Please enjoy the first full episode in a long time where Neil and Dario are in the same room and on the same stage for the entire, emotional duration.

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