Film Formally
Commentary 6 - STILL PROCESSING with Sophy Romvari

Commentary 6 - STILL PROCESSING with Sophy Romvari

April 19, 2022

FILM FORMALLY is back! This month, friend of the podcast Sophy Romvari’s films are premiering on the CRITERION CHANNEL and to mark the occasion we’ve recorded a set of commentaries for six of these films - NINE BEHIND, IT’S HIM, PUMPKIN MOVIE, NORMAN NORMAN, IN DOG YEARS, and STILL PROCESSING.

To listen along, have the film ready to go and hit “play” when prompted within the episode after the introductions.

Please note that, due to sync necessities, there are a few gaps in the episode’s discussion: we’ve filled with with snippets of Will’s original score for the film.

STILL PROCESSING (2020)

A box of stunning family photos unseen for decades awakens lost memories as they are viewed for the first time on camera.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Hybrid documentary and fictional elements.

  • Still Processing’s long production and post-production schedule.

  • Photographic storyboards.

  • Audience expectations and documentaries about grief.

  • Composing the score.

  • What did we learn?

Sophy’s films can be seen on the CRITERION CHANNEL - feel free to sign up for a free trial if you aren’t a member.

Commentary 5 - IN DOG YEARS with Sophy Romvari

Commentary 5 - IN DOG YEARS with Sophy Romvari

April 12, 2022

FILM FORMALLY is back! This month, friend of the podcast Sophy Romvari’s films are premiering on the CRITERION CHANNEL and to mark the occasion we’ve recorded a set of commentaries for six of these films - NINE BEHIND, IT’S HIM, PUMPKIN MOVIE, NORMAN NORMAN, IN DOG YEARS, and STILL PROCESSING. We’ll be releasing one per week for the next six weeks.

To listen along, have the film ready to go and hit “play” when prompted within the episode after the introductions.

IN DOG YEARS (2019)

Old dogs are celebrated in ten short stories about love, loss, and letting go.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why the CBC hired Sophy to make a dog documentary.

  • Cinemascope as a canine-friendly aspect ratio.

  • A talking head documentary without talking heads.

  • Documentary structure.

  • Will and Sophy’s correspondence editing style.

Sophy’s films can be seen on the CRITERION CHANNEL - feel free to sign up for a free trial if you aren’t a member.

Commentary 4 - NORMAN NORMAN with Sophy Romvari

Commentary 4 - NORMAN NORMAN with Sophy Romvari

April 5, 2022

FILM FORMALLY is back! This month, friend of the podcast Sophy Romvari’s films are premiering on the CRITERION CHANNEL and to mark the occasion we’ve recorded a set of commentaries for six of these films - NINE BEHIND, IT’S HIM, PUMPKIN MOVIE, NORMAN NORMAN, IN DOG YEARS, and STILL PROCESSING. We’ll be releasing one per week for the next six weeks.

To listen along, have the film ready to go and hit “play” when prompted within the episode after the introductions.

NORMAN NORMAN (2018)

A young woman grapples with the declining health of her beloved dog in this film about mortality, cloning, and Barbra Streisand.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Creative “Labour” and filmmaking.

  • Cross-country collaboration.

  • Norman’s TIFF pass.

  • Conceptual cinema.

  • The opportunities afforded by non-traditional modes of production.

Sophy’s films can be seen on the CRITERION CHANNEL - feel free to sign up for a free trial if you aren’t a member.

Commentary 3 - PUMPKIN MOVIE with Sophy Romvari

Commentary 3 - PUMPKIN MOVIE with Sophy Romvari

March 29, 2022

FILM FORMALLY is back! This month, friend of the podcast Sophy Romvari’s films are premiering on the CRITERION CHANNEL and to mark the occasion we’ve recorded a set of commentaries for six of these films - NINE BEHIND, IT’S HIM, PUMPKIN MOVIE, NORMAN NORMAN, IN DOG YEARS, and STILL PROCESSING. We’ll be releasing one per week for the next six weeks.

To listen along, have the film ready to go and hit “play” when prompted within the episode after the introductions.

PUMPKIN MOVIE (2017)

Two women trade stories of misogyny while carving pumpkins over Skype as part of a Halloween tradition.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The film’s extremely truncated pre-production and production timelines.

  • Ultra low-budget filmmaking and unconventional production methods.

  • Structuring 45-minute conversations with editing.

  • Documentary, fiction, and the way that PUMPKIN MOVIE inadvertently became a hybrid of the two.

Sophy’s films can be seen on the CRITERION CHANNEL - feel free to sign up for a free trial if you aren’t a member.

Commentary 2 - IT’S HIM with Sophy Romvari

Commentary 2 - IT’S HIM with Sophy Romvari

March 22, 2022

FILM FORMALLY is back! This month, friend of the podcast Sophy Romvari’s films are premiering on the CRITERION CHANNEL and to mark the occasion we’ve recorded a set of commentaries for six of these films - NINE BEHIND, IT’S HIM, PUMPKIN MOVIE, NORMAN NORMAN, IN DOG YEARS, and STILL PROCESSING. We’ll be releasing one per week for the next six weeks.

To listen along, have the film ready to go and hit “play” when prompted within the episode after the introductions.

IT’S HIM (2016)

An unexpected encounter during an afternoon at the cinema catapults a young woman into a confrontation with her own grief.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Creative geography.

  • The learning process of collaboration.

  • Working with actors on an indie budget.

  • Remastering NINE BEHIND and IT’S HIM.

  • Restructuring IT’S HIM in post-production.

  • The transition from the relatively large production of IT’S HIM to the stripped-down minimalism of PUMPKIN MOVIE.

 

Commentary 1 - NINE BEHIND with Sophy Romvari

Commentary 1 - NINE BEHIND with Sophy Romvari

March 15, 2022

FILM FORMALLY is back! This month, friend of the podcast Sophy Romvari’s films are premiering on the CRITERION CHANNEL and to mark the occasion we’ve recorded a set of commentaries for six of these films - NINE BEHIND, IT’S HIM, PUMPKIN MOVIE, NORMAN NORMAN, IN DOG YEARS, and STILL PROCESSING. We’ll be releasing one per week for the next six weeks.

To listen along, have the film ready to go and hit “play” when prompted within the episode after the introductions.

NINE BEHIND (2016)

Calling her grandfather in Budapest to learn about the Hungarian film industry, a woman instead finds the conversation shifting to her family’s history.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Sophy’s early works leading up to NINE BEHIND.

  • The influences and production of NINE BEHIND.

  • The lessons learned on this set and how they informed Sophy’s next film, IT’S HIM.

1-Year Anniversary Q&A [Featuring Wong Kar-wai and Snyder Cut Hot Takes]

1-Year Anniversary Q&A [Featuring Wong Kar-wai and Snyder Cut Hot Takes]

April 29, 2021

It’s our one-year, 43rd-episode spectacular, and we’re once again answering your questions! We go deep on the new WONG KAR-WAI restorations, our thoughts on Zach Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE, the merits of handheld camera operation, film scores, not one but TWO aspect ratio rants from Devan, and more!

But first, some NEWS.

We’re going to be taking a bit of a hiatus, and we’re adjusting our Patreon to reflect this. In the interests of keeping the quality of this podcast high and sustainable, we’re going to take our time with the next season. It’ll be ready whenever it’s ready, but it will happen! As such, our Patreon will now be structured on a per-creation basis. Our previous tiers will be retired in lieu of $1 and $2 per-creation tiers.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • (04:24) Criterion’s THE WORLD OF WONG KAR-WAI box set, and our mixed feelings on the changes made to the films contained within.

  • (29:11) Handheld vs Tripod: the final showdown.

  • (33:58) Will opines on this year’s film scores.

  • (40:43) Zach Snyder’s JUSTICE LEAGUE: it’s out! What do we think?

If you’d like to support the show, here’s a link to our Patreon. We’ve also released a bonus mini-episode wherein we discuss PREFACE TO A HISTORY and THE MARTYR.

 

S3E10 - Rescuing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Benji Heran & Jordan Krug

S3E10 - Rescuing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Benji Heran & Jordan Krug

March 30, 2021

How an acclaimed director’s versions of a famous film be unavailable for decades — when there’s nothing stopping their release? How can a small group of fans gather the evidence and means to reconstruct those versions? How can they finally have a hand in its official release? Endless passion — and a lot of luck. It’s a subject and film as near and dear to our hearts as any, and we’ve brought on superfans Benji Heran and Jordan Krug to talk about the film prints, continuity scripts, and years of tireless, unpaid passion that they’ve put into preserving Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

S3E09 - Adapting Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Tim Brayton

S3E09 - Adapting Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Tim Brayton

March 23, 2021

Adapting literary works to the screen involves a certain amount of translation. There are certain things that are easily conveyed in writing that cannot be conveyed in a straightforward way onscreen; likewise, there are elements of cinematic language that open up new routes to expression. John Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a useful case study in this regard: it has been the subject of two acclaimed adaptations that could not be more distinct in the toolkit each uses to translate book to screen. We’ve invited Tim Brayton, film critic at Alternate Ending, to discuss both the 1979 John Irving adaptation as well as Tomas Alfredson’s 2011 take.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Literary accuracy versus formal expressiveness in adaptation.

  • Focal lengths, zoom lenses, and the observational mode.

  • 1970s BBC television house style: is it any good?

  • Narrative obscurity.

  • John Le Carre’s stylistic toolit as a writer and the challenges it poses for adaptations.

  • The construction of performances through lighting and framing.

  • Mark Strong: MVP?

If you’d like to support the show, here’s a link to our Patreon.

Works discussed during this episode:

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)

Smiley’s People (1982)

The Little Drummer Girl (1984)

The Tailor Of Panama (2001)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

S3E08 - Colour Grading with Andrea Chlebak

S3E08 - Colour Grading with Andrea Chlebak

March 16, 2021

Colour grading, the art of manipulating the colour of a film digitally in post-production, is as omnipresent as it is misunderstood. To help demystify the process, we’ve invited supervising colourist Andrea Chlebak (Mandy, An American Pickle, HBO’s The Watchmen) to discuss the art of colour grading with us.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Where does the colour grading process begin? Pre-production? Production?

  • Development of multiple palettes within individual films.

  • Digital and celluloid image capture and the implications on the colour grading process of each.

  • The future of colour grading and digital imaging.

  • The limits of colour correction: what can we change in post? What can’t we change?

  • Exposure ideologies for fun and profit.

If you’d like to support the show, here’s a link to our Patreon.

 

Works discussed during this episode:

Andrea’s Work:

An American PIckle

Mandy

Watchmen

Hello Destroyer

Elysium

Other Work:

Hekademia

Traffic

Game of Thrones S8e03: “The Long Night”

Blade Runner 2049

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