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Voice Film Club Podcast by Stephanie Zacharek

Voice Film Club Podcast

by Stephanie Zacharek

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LearnOutLoud.com Review

Hosted by film critics from the Village Voice, this podcast gives listeners the chance to sit in on a discussion about the latest movie business buzz with a group of nerdy film-lovers. The podcast is steered by Voice film editor, Alan Scherstuhl, who is typically joined by Stephanie Zacharek and Los-Angeles based Amy Nicholson to dissect current movies, debate the classics, and discuss how film and digital media is changing in a Netflix world. The three critics are particularly good about championing under seen films, and evangelizing new indie gems that deserve wider recognition. Great for anyone seeking out harder to find films, and those that like their film-talk deep.


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Michael Shannon is a stern Monopoly player


Wed, Sep 09, 2015


LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson found out first-hand that Michael Shannon is a pretty stern Monopoly player during a recent game with the actor, who plays a tortured Orland real-estate baron in the upcoming 99 Homes. Nicholson and Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl open this week's Voice Film Club podcast with that movie before moving onto Crimson Peak, the dreamy and dark ghost story from director Guillermo del Toro.

Also this week:

• After wishing that her in small roles in movies out this year were bigger, we finally get Judy Greer fulfillment with Addicted to Fresno.

• Sicario is a border town movie about the Mexican drug war that struggles to find a story in its bleakness.

• Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek calls in from from the Venice Film Festival in Italy, which felt a lot like Boston because of two films: Black Mass, the Whitey Bulger biopic in which Johnny Depp plays the nasty Boston gangster behind make-up that is at times districting. Depp's performance reminds Zacharek of another actor who plays gangsters. (Oh, and those Boston accents? They're OK.) Staying in Boston, Zacharek praises Spotlight, the movie about how the Boston Globe newspaper exposed a system of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. "I really loved it and I'm really excited for people to see it," she says.

• Also on this week's pod, the return of Dakota Johnson, whose character wreaks havoc in Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, which isn't as good as his previous film, but does include a rock-star Tilda Swinton, who wears a sequined jumpsuit straight out of Bowie's closet.

• As always, read all of our film reviews, interviews, and essays at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/moives. Follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub. <3

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About That New Steve Jobs Documentary


Mon, Aug 31, 2015


The upcoming Steve Jobs documentary from Aex Gibney (Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine) is worth seeing even if you're tired of Apple fanboys -- if only for the curious parallels between Apple worshippers and the members of the Church of Scientology, the subject of Gibney's other recent doc (Going Clear). Also on this week's film podcast, your regular hosts (Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly) spend some time with Dragon Blade, the action-adventure period drama that made a zillion dollars in China that's coming to the States. It's the perfect movie for anybody who's ever wanted to see John Cusack play a Roman soldier. Finally, the trio discuss Queen of Earth, a movie that unfortunately isn't as strange as Elisabeth Moss's character. Find all of our movie reviews, interviews, and essays on villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies and follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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The Best & Worst of Summer Movies


Mon, Aug 24, 2015


Sam Elliott was wonderful in two movies, and likewise, Judy Greer was a cinematic flavor crystal when she appeared on-screen this summer. Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with Amy Nicholson of the LA Weeekly, run down the worst and best of the movies they saw this summer, which as summers go, wasn't so terrible! Also this week, the trio discuss Z for Zachariah and No Escape, before welcomnig Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone to break down We Are Your Friends, a movie which includes Zac Efron weeping while DJ'ing, overcome with emotion at his music! Finally, we recommend three movies, Queen of Earth, The Tomb of Ligeia, and Second Mother. Help more folks find the Voice Film Club podcast and review the show on iTunes, follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub, and remember to get everything else at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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What We Love About The Man From U.N.C.L.E.


Wed, Aug 19, 2015


On this week's pod: We love Guy Ritchie's stylish, charming THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., while Amy states her case for AMERICAN ULTRA. We move onto Lily Tomlin's memorable performance in GRANDMA (be sure to read our interview with Tomlin, too), before Alan recommends Evil Knievel doc BEING EVEL, cutting indie THE MEND, and eye-opening China doc THE IRON MINISTRY. Amy urges us to see the latest Joe Swanberg film DIGGING FOR FIRE, and Stephanie praises the Quay Brothers film series curated by Christopher Nolan. Follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub, and read all our movie reviews, interviews, and essays at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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What the N.W.A. Movie Leaves Out


Mon, Aug 10, 2015


Meryl Streep in a comedic role is one of the few good things in RICKI AND THE FLASH, and the N.W.A. biopic STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON sands down many of the rough corners of the ground-breaking rap group's controversial history. Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice along with Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly discuss those two films at length on this week's podcast before recommending three excellent new films. Amy recommends the comedy documentary CALL ME LUCKY, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait; Alan suggests the Hubert Sauper documentary WE COME AS FRIENDS, the turbulent story about life in the northeastern African country of South Sudan; and Stephanie encourages us to see TEN THOUSAND SAINTS, a story set in the Eighties East Village that finds a newly arrived teeanger living with his dad in the changing neighborhood. As always, follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub, and read all of our movie reviews, essays, and interviews at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Reviews: 'The End of the Tour' and 'Listen to Me Marlon'


Mon, Aug 03, 2015


Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly, discuss the Marlon Brando documentary Listen to Me Marlon, before moving on to The End of the Tour, the film adaption of an interview with David Foster Wallace by Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky, which never made it into the magazine. Amy also tells a story about sharing a salad with Jason Segel (who plays Wallace) during her interview with him about the film. As always, you can read all of our movie reviews, interviews, and essays at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. Follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub.

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One of the Best Films of the Year Gets a July Release


Wed, Jul 29, 2015


On this week's Voice Film Club podcast: The Vacation reboot disappoints, as does Adam Sandler's Pixels (but it can't be near as bad as critics are describing, says the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl). Meanwhile, the '40s noir melodrama Phoenix might be one of the year's best, says Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek. Finally, the good-but-not-great Mission: Impossible movie is just the fourth-best of the five in the franchise, says LA Weekly film critic and Tom Cruise expert Amy Nicholson. Be sure to read all our movie reviews and essays at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies, and follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub.

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The 10 Best Movies of 2015 (So Far)


Mon, Jul 20, 2015


We run down the ten best movies of 2015 (so far) on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club. Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, joined by Amy Nicholson at LA Weekly, each share a few of their favorites on this mid-year (well for Hollywood, anyway) review.

Our ten are below. Click the title to read our full review:
If you like the pod, give us a review in the iTunes store to help more people find it, and follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub. (This week's song is "Wild" by Ice Cream.)

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The Taming of Amy Schumer


Mon, Jul 13, 2015


While Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer's new movie TRAINWRECK is "occasionally very funny, it also feels carefully constructed to make its points, chief among them that men can get away with all kinds of bad or crazy behavior that women can't," writes Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek in her review of the film. "She's really interesting and really smart, she's somebody that I want to kind of see where she goes," Zacharek says on this week's episode.

Before that, Zacharek, along with Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson eulogize The Dissolve, the ambitious film writing site that folded last week.

Also on this week's podcast, we touch on Woody Allen's latest, IRRATIONAL MAN, and the surprising new movie from Marvel starring Paul Rudd, ANT-MAN.

Finally, Amy and Stephanie recommend 10,000 KM (in theaters and on-demand), while Alan urges us to see Chaitanya Tamhane's COURT, an endlessly fascinating Indian movie out now.

Follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub and read all our reviews at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. (If you like the pod, help more people find it by rating and reviewing it in the iTunes store!) This week's music is "Dissolve," by Absofacto.

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'Amy' is one of the best music docs ever


Mon, Jun 29, 2015


The upcoming Amy Winehouse documentary AMY is one of the best music docs Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek has ever seen, and she explains why to Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson on this edition of the pod. Also this week: The confusing (yet really, realy enjoyable) explanations for Arnold Schwarzenegger's age fluctuations in TERMINATOR GENISYS. Plus: Amy raves about the Channing Tatum dance vehicle MAGIC MIKE XXL, "a topless, sticky­wet movie where almost no one is having sex." Finally, we give a hearty endorsement for the film noir classic THE THIRD MAN, which gets its first major restoration -- and is back in theaters. Follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub, and if you like the show rate & review us in the iTunes store.

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Reviews: 'Ted 2' and 'Inside Out'


Wed, Jun 24, 2015


The LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson and the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl in New York disagree on just about everything in Ted 2 -- except that it has a few very funny moments -- but only after revisiting the impressive Inside Out, which is nearly universally loved by both critics (98 percent "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes) and audiences (it's expected to top more than $200 million). Later, Amy recommends the new documentaries Batkid Begins and Fresh Dressed, and Alan praises What Happened, Miss Simone? (on Netflix June 26), and the near-future drama Advantageous. Follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub, and read all our reviews, essays, and interviews at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. If you like the podcast, give us a review in the iTunes store to help more people find it.

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There's Hope in DOPE!


Mon, Jun 15, 2015


Part of what makes writer-director Rick Famuyiwa's DOPE so fresh and joyous is that in many key ways it's not new at all. Like Dazed & Confused or The Breakfast Club, this is a film about just how weird the extraordinarily normal kids are — kids like you. The teen comedy leads this week's Voice Film Club podcast, as hosts Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly, all recommend you see it. Amy then gives us her review of the latest Pixar movie, INSIDE OUT, and this week's episode ends with Stephanie's recommendation of EDEN and Alan's recommmendation of GOODFELLAS, which marks its 25th anniversary with a digital restoration. Follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub and read all our reviews over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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'Jurassic World' and 'Love & Mercy'


Wed, Jun 10, 2015


In this episode: Jurassic World capably stomps, roars, and awes, and the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy reveals much about the tortured Beach Boy with two talented actors: Paul Dano as young Wilson and John Cusack as an older version of the musician (Be sure to read our interview with John Cusack about Love & Mercy). The Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, joined by the LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson (and her meowing cat), dive into these two movies, both out this weekend. Three NYC-centric recommendations end this week's episode: Alan suggests catching Stephanie Gray's Super-8 marvels at Anthology Film Archives in New York, Amy reminds us of The Wolfpack, a surprising doc she caught at Sundance, out in limited release now, and Stephanie encourages us to seek out the grand no-wave dramas of French filmmaker Claude Sautet, showing in a special festival June 12-18 at Lincoln Plaza in New York. As always, click on any of those links to read the full review, and get all of our film coverage on our newly designed website, villagevoice.com/movies. Follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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The Melissa McCarthy Movie We've All Been Waiting For


Mon, Jun 01, 2015


On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, along with Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly, praise the latest Melissa McCarthy comedy SPY: "She plays a real woman who reacts like a real woman would," Nicholson says of her character. "It's a really funny movie." The trio then move onto Cameron Crowe's ALOHA: "I was surprised at how not-terrible it is," Zacharek says. "I feel that there's a degree of hatred being leveled at Cameron Crowe. Why beat up on him? These are movies that designed to be entertainments for adults...he's trying to do something that's not all that popular these days." Zacharek also lists her three favorite movies from France's Cannes film festival: AMY, the documentary about the late pop singer Amy Winehouse that opens July 3; CAROL, starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett; and THE ASSASSIN, a slow-moving, hypnotic action movie heavy on sword-play. Zacharek also recommends I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, and Scherstuhl recommends Nathan Silver's UNCERTAIN TERMS, Leah Meyerhoff's I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS, Rodney Ascher's THE NIGHTMARE (a frightening documentary about sleep paralysis), and Roy Anderson's A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE. Are you following us on Twitter yet? We're at @VoiceFilmClub. Read all our wonderful reviews, interviews, and essays on movies and TV at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. Bye!

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In Defense of Judd Apatow


Wed, May 20, 2015


LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson shares her story of Judd Apatow hate-following her on Twitter for a single day, but only after she and the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl discuss Tomorrowland, which is often surprising and beautiful. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub and read all our interesting film and TV coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies

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The 'Mad Men' Ending Was the Real Thing


Mon, May 18, 2015


The final episode of 'Mad Men' was upbeat -- if you enjoy the death of the counter-culture. On this special episode of the Voice Film Club podcast, Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl and editorial fellow Lara Zarum, along with the Voice's TV critic Inkoo Kang, discuss the final episode of the series. Later, the trio is joined by Village Voice art critic R.C. Baker, who puts Coca-Cola's advertising in perspective. As always, follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub and read all our movie reviews, interviews, and news at villagevoice.com/movies.

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Is Pitch Perfect 2 racist? And Mad Max rules


Thu, May 14, 2015


Pitch Perfect 2 hit a few wrong notes for the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and special guest Monica Castillo, but LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson interpreted the film's humor a little differently. We circle back to Sofia Vergara's performance in Hot Pursuit, before arriving in the desert for Mad Max: Fury Road, a sequel that might be one of the best action movies of the year. Follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub, and be sure to read all our reviews, essays, and interviews at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Stop Laughing At Old Movies, You $@%&ing Hipsters!


Wed, May 06, 2015


"I'm over people who think they're funnier than the movie," says LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson, in the wake of her recent piece, "Stop Laughing At Old Movies, You $@%&ing Hipsters." Joining her -- *in the same room, for the first time ever on the podcast* -- as usual are Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice. The trio also praise Hot Pursuit, the flagrantly silly comic vehicle for Sofía Vergara and Reese Witherspoon. Alan also heartily endorses Niger's own Purple Rain, a film starring guitarist Mdou Moctar that's "a striking, gentle bliss-out of a feature." Keep up with the lastest movie reviews, essays, and interviews at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies, and follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub. If you like the podcast, give us a nice review, won't you?

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The Avengers 2 Is Better Than Avengers 1


Tue, Apr 28, 2015


Avengers: Age of Ultron' director and screenwriter Joss Whedon wants to give us everything in his movie, and that he fits it all in is its own kind of feat, writes LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson in her review of the film, which opens May 1. Joining her are the Village Voice's Stephanie Zacharek and Alan Scherstuhl on this week's episode, before recommending 'Welcome to Me' starring Kristen Wiig, 'Felix and Meira', and 'Don't Think I've Forgotten'. Follow us on Twitter at @Voicefilmclub and read all sorts of interesting reviews, interviews, and essays at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. (And if you like the pod, please review it in the iTunes store.)

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Thriller Unfriended is the rare good movie about the Internet


Wed, Apr 22, 2015


On this week's episode: We marvel at Unfriended, a rare horror movie about the internet that is also good. But before that we call up our own Stephanie Zacharek to ask about her Pulitzer Prize finalist recognition. Then we examine a new faith movie with a terrible message named Little Boy, before moving to Forbidden Games, an old faith movie with a powerful message. Finally, we discuss how how HBO is moving High Maintenance from the web to the TV (be sure to read our interview with High Maintenance creators Katja Blichfield and Ben Sinclar, too). Remember to follow us on Twitter at @VoiceFilmClub, and to read all our reviews and film news at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Game of Thrones Season 5 Premiere Recap: Women Rule Westeros


Sun, Apr 12, 2015


In this special TV edition of the Voice Film Club podcast, Alan Scherstuhl and Lara Zarum of the Village Voice are joined by Inkoo Kang of the TheWrap to discuss the season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones. Also on the pod, the trio discuss The Americans, now in its third season, Broad City, which just wrapped its second season, and Jane the Virgin, the CW comedy that was just picked up for a second season.

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Ex Machina Asks If a Robot Can Think -- And Is She Coming On to You?


Wed, Apr 08, 2015


Reviews and discussion of Ex Machina, Dior and I, Clouds of Sils Maria, The Longest Ride, and About Elly are all on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, which includes Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly. Remember to follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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In Defense of Furious 7


Mon, Mar 30, 2015


Furious 7 and While We're Young are two very different movies but both receive generally positive reviews from Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, who again get together via the magic of the internet for the Voice Film Club podcast. Amy also recommends White God, a move that stars about 150 dogs who start a revolution on the streets of Budapest, while Alan suggests Lambert & Stamp, a documentary about the early managers of English rock band The Who. Follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub, and read our latest reviews at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. Send all Vin Diesel impressions and impassioned defenses of Generation X's Ben Stiller to filmpod@villagevoice.com.

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Which One of These Does Not Belong?


Tue, Mar 17, 2015


The Gunman, Run All Night, and Cinderella are discussed by Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast. Email us at filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Here's Why Empire Rules


Mon, Mar 02, 2015


There are five reasons why Fox's Empire has become a breakout hit, and on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we run down why the show, introduced as a mid-season replacement, has surged to nearly 14 million viewers an episode by its eighth week. Joining Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl are Voice TV columnist Inkoo Kang, Brooklyn bon vivant Meave Gallagher, and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson. We also ask why Focus, the Will Smith-Margot Robbie vehicle, flopped at the box office, and wrap up by recommending three might little TV shows Mike Tyson Mysteries on Adult Swim, RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, You're the Worst on FXX, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The Oscars: Winners, Awkward Moments, and Losers


Mon, Feb 23, 2015


There was an awkward moment between Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, on the red carpet before the Oscars on Sunday. But the world got to see Johnson's impressive talent for pretending uncomfortable situations don't seem to bother her (see also: Fifty Shades of Grey). It was an eventful Academy Awards, and that was only the start. Your hosts (Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek) break down the 2015 Oscars winners and losers, while Amy and Stephanie unveil their all-time favorite Oscar dresses. Plus, Amy tells us about how Channing Tatum is going to blow our minds in the new Coen Brothers movie, Hail, Caesar! As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Kevin Costner Eases White America Into the Present


Thu, Feb 19, 2015


Kevin Costner eases white America into the now with McFarland, USA, we hear about the Berlin Film Festival's highs (Queen of Earth) and lows (Knight of Cups), and dip into the lukewarm waters of a second Hot Tub Time Machine movie. Also, there's much praise for teen comedy The DUFF and Wild Tales, a movie filled with stories of humans acting badly. We also hear about the plight of Fluffy, the cat owned by film director Alex Ross Perry. Your hosts (Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek) are joined by film critic Jordan Hoffman for this week's feature-length pod. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Sex Batman Stars in '50 Shades of Grey'


Tue, Feb 10, 2015


Fifty Shades of Grey' is opening is nationwide, and in New York, Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl connects via the magic of the Internet with LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson discuss the hotly anticipated movie starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, adapted from the E. L. James novel. Amy also shares her favorite movies from the recent Sundance Film Festival, and Alan goes to bat for 'The Last Five Years' starring the Internet's favorite person, Anna Kendrick. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The Traits of Oscar Bait


Thu, Jan 15, 2015


The bi-coastal film pod continues in 2015! In New York, Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl, along with Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek connect via the magic of the Internet with LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson to discuss the nominations for this year's Academy Awards, announced on January 15. The trio attempt to settle once and for all what sorts of movies make the Academy salivate, while other seemingly great films go stale. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews and news over at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2014


Wed, Dec 31, 2014


Village Voice art critic R.C. Baker shares his ten favorite graphic novels of the year with film editor Alan Scherstuhl in this final Voice Film Club podcast of 2014. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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Inkoo Kang's Top 10 TV Shows of the Year


Thu, Dec 25, 2014


Village Voice television columnist Inkoo Kang shares her ten favorite television shows of the year with film editor Alan Scherstuhl. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

Read Inkoo's full column here: The Ten Best TV Shows of 2014

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The Hobbit Project Hits Its Spectacular End


Wed, Dec 24, 2014


Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson discuss the third-and-final Hobbit movie: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in this special bonus episode of the Voice Film Club podcast. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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The Top/Best/Favorite 10 Movies of 2014


Fri, Dec 19, 2014


Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson run down their ten favorite/best/top/whatever movies of 2014, along with Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl. Send barbs, jabs, claims or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com. Follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub and finally, read all of Amy, Stephanie, and Alan's stuff at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Annie, Mr. Turner, Big Eyes: The Big Holiday Edition


Thu, Dec 18, 2014


We begin this week's Voice Film Club podcast with a strange story about Giles Corey, who famously said, "more weight!" as stones were laid upon him during his witch trial. The end of the year is sort of like that for film critics, who are pressed upon with all the Very Important Movies of the Year. Your hosts Alan Scherstuhl, Stephanie Zacharek, and Amy Nicholson run down all of this year's movies including:

- Annie
- Leviathan
- Mr. Turner
- The Interview
- Big Eyes
- Unbroken
- Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
- Winter Sleep

Oh! We have an email address now: Send jokes, complaints, poems, or comments to filmpod@villagevoice.com

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Here's Why We Love Chris Rock's 'Top Five'. Plus 'Inherent Vice' and 'Exodus'


Tue, Dec 09, 2014


We begin this week's Voice Film Club podcast with a Thomas Pynchon story, before hosts Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, move onto Paul Thomas Anderson's movie adaption of his novel, Inherent Vice. It's "in some ways a godawful mess, indulgent in a way a less- respected director would never be able to get away with. And it's two and a half hours long not because it needs to be, but because it can be," writes Stephanie Zacharek in her review. The middle movie this week is Chris Rock's Top Five, a movie that we love. The show wraps up with Exodus, starring Christian Bale. "The only way Bale's Moses could be the humblest man alive is if the rest of the planet were killed," writes Nicholson in her review. Do Alan and Stephanie agree? It's all in this week's Voice Film Club podcast. Hey, follow us on Twitter, too: @VoiceFilmClub.

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Star Wars! The return of droids and the Millennium Falcon


Wed, Dec 03, 2014


If we're honest with ourselves, the teaser-trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks better than the original Star Wars movies. That's how this week's Voice Film Club podcast opens, with your hosts Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly. Talk then turns to Reese Witherspoon's excellent performance in Wild, and then to director Jennifer Kent's spectacular, terrifying new film The Babadook. The group wraps by recommending a few underrated or under-seen films: Zero Motivation, Concerning Violence, and Life Partners. Amy closes the show with a recap of her interview with Garfield creator Jim Davis, who finally settles it: Does Jon ever actually hear Garfield, or is Jon just talking to himself?

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Has Jennifer Lawrence Outgrown Katniss in the Hunger Games?


Wed, Nov 19, 2014


Can 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' keep up with the first two films? Why was the final book split into two movies? Does Katniss even want to be part of this so-called revolution? On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we discuss all things Hunger Games before moving onto a documentary about Sheffield, England's Pulp and finishing with a recommendation for 'Happy Valley', a documentary on the fallout after the terrible Penn State football scandal. Oh, be sure to follow our hosts on Twitter: Alan Scherstuhl (@studiesincrap), Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek), and Amy Nicholson (@theamynicholson).

Here's a full rundown of the show:
The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 1 (11:50)
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets (31:00)
Happy Valley (35:46)

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It's Our All Daily Show Week with 'Foxcatcher' and 'Rosewater'


Wed, Nov 12, 2014


It's a special The Daily Show edition of the Voice Film Club podcast, as we talk about Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher (starring Steve Carell) and move onto Rosewater, the movie Jon Stewart left the Daily Show for three months in 2013 to direct. Both are in theaters starting November 14.

Here's a full rundown of this week's podcast. Click on the links to read more about each topic.

- The Hobbit movies aren't just movies, they are playdates (3:30)
- Foxcatcher (8:10)
- Rosewater (21:41)
- The story of a group of kids who re-shot Raiders of the Lost Ark in the '80s (35:05)
- Beyond the Lights (51:50)

Get all of our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies at laweekly.com/movies. Follow our hosts on Twitter: Alan Scherstuhl (@studiesincrap), Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek), and Amy Nicholson (@theamynicholson).

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Space Epic 'Interstellar' Is Grand -- But It Doesn't Connect


Wed, Nov 05, 2014


Christopher Nolan's space epic Interstellar is a big, ambitious picture, but it didn't connect with our critics. Listen why at the top of this week's podcast, and stay with us to discuss other notable films on screens large and small this week.

- The Disney film Big Hero 6 (At 29 minutes)
- The Stephen and Jane Hawking story The Theory of Everything (At 38:30)
- Jean-Luc Godard's visually playful Goodbye to Language (At 49:45)
- The infuriating new doc on Netflix, Virunga (At 52:40)
- Margaret Brown's BP oil spill documentary The Great Invisible (At 56:25)

Your hosts are Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, along with Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice.

Get all of our movies coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Keanu Reeves and 'John Wick' Restore Our Faith in Violent Movies


Wed, Oct 29, 2014


Before we get to Keanu Reeves and the new movie John Wick, we welcome Village Voice contributor and filmmaker Zachary Wigon, who tells us about his debut film, a paranoid thriller titled The Heart Machine (iTunes).

We then scoop out some time for John Wick, which helps restore our faith in violent movies, Horns, Nightcrawler (be sure to read our interview with Jake Gyllenhaal about the film), Citizenfour, Housebound, and Force Majeure.

As usual, your hosts are Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, along with Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice.

Get all of our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Awards Season Opens with 'Birdman' and 'Listen Up Philip'


Wed, Oct 22, 2014


It's awards season and the hyped movies are starting to land in theaters. On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we talk about Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, and Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip, and carve out some time to recommend Nothing Bad Can Happen and Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. All four of those films have received high praise and some have been hit with some pretty damning criticism, including the description that Iñárritu is a "pretentious fraud," leveled by film critic Scott Tobias of The Dissolve. Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly, along with Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, dive into what stirs critics use loaded words like those when reviewing a movie. Ahh, must be Oscar season.

Get more film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies and follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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Dear White People, go see 'Dear White People'


Wed, Oct 15, 2014


With the news that Paul Feig is going to reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female cast, we wonder what it would be like if they re-did another '80s classic: Young Guns. We then move onto the latest Brad Pitt World War II movie, Fury, which is ultra violent. Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly says, "I like a war movie where they talk about how war is just really awful…this is muddy in-the-trenches war movie." Joined as always by Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, the trio then moves onto Justin Simien's much-anticipated new film, Dear White People (be sure to read our interview with Simien), and then to post-apocalyptic Western Young Ones, written and directed by Jake Paltrow. Read all of our film reviews, interviews and essays at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies, and be sure to follow us on the Twitter thing at @VoiceFilmClub.

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Twin Peaks Returns, The Judge Disappoints, and Whiplash Drips with Jazz


Wed, Oct 08, 2014


Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson, open this week's podcast with a brief discussion of Twin Peaks, which comes back to TV via series on Showtime in 2016, and move onto The Judge starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, and then to Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.

The gang also discuss the latest Left Behind movie, starring Nicolas Cage before wrapping up with recommendations of the 1964 film Nothing But a Man and the documentaries Evolution of a Criminal and The Overnighters. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies

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'Gone Girl': Marriage, the Media and Missouri


Wed, Oct 01, 2014


Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson, talk about one of the big movies of the year, Gone Girl, which opens in about 3,000 U.S. theaters on Friday, but the trio also makes room for lesser-known films like The Blue Room, Men, Women & Children, The Skeleton Twins, and The Two Faces of January. It's all on this week's episode of the Voice Film Club podcast.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies

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'Gone Girl': The Spoiled Podcast


Wed, Oct 01, 2014


We're doing a special one-off "spoiled" podcast this week because we can't really talk about Gone Girl as a film without giving some key plot elements away. (This podcast contains spoilers, y'all.) So join Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, along with LA Weekly's Amy Nicholson to talk about one of the big movies of the year, Gone Girl, which opens in about 3,000 U.S. theaters on Friday.

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The Boxtrolls is a Kiddie Charmer. Plus: Jimi and The Equalizer


Wed, Sep 24, 2014


The Boxtrolls is a kiddie charmer that makes you laugh, cower and think of Hitler, writes Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly. She discusses that movie, plus The Equalizer, Jimi: All is By My Side, and more on this week's episode of the Voice Flim Club podcast. She's joined as always by Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Finally, a Movie with Liam Neeson That's as Good as Liam Neeson


Wed, Sep 17, 2014


Special guest Inkoo Kang, film critic at TheWrap and news editor at Indiewire's Women and Hollywood blog, joins Alan Scherstuhl of the Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly to discuss a variety of topics on this very big podcast, including: The Maze Runner, what it's like interviewing director Steve McQueen, Amy's highlights from the Toronto Film Festival, Kevin Smith's Tusk, and Matthew Crawley, err, Dan Stevens's role in two movies out now -- A Walk Among the Tombstones and The Guest. Alan makes an anti-recommendation for Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? and Inkoo heartily endorses season 2 of Masters of Sex on Showtime.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The Best Movies at the Venice Film Festival


Wed, Sep 10, 2014


The Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, just back from the Venice Film Festival, discuss the stand-out movies she saw on this week's episode, and the duo also makes room for Tim Sutton's 'Memphis', which showed last year at the festival and is now in theaters now. Alan praises the warm 'Dolphin Tale 2' and 'The Drop'. Village Voice art critic R.C. Baker joins to talk about an exhibit at New York's Museum of the Moving Image, which ties very closely the movies -- the Looney Tunes cartoons that used to play before Warners Brothers pictures. The works of animator Chuck Jones are on display at the museum through January 19, 2015.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Sin City disappoints at the box office, plus The One I Love and If I Stay


Wed, Aug 27, 2014


Why did so few people see Sin City: A Dame to Kill For over the weekend? That and other topics are discussed in this week's edition of the Voice Film Club podcast with the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, joined as always by Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly via the magic of the Internet. The trio also discuss the latest YA adaptation If I Stay, the BDSM doc Kink, and it wraps up with Alan and Amy split on relationship movie The One I Love, starring Elizabeth Moss and Mark Duplass. Remember to follow us on Twitter @voicefilmclub for film reviews and essays from the Village Voice and LA Weekly.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Which 'Expendables' Stars Surprised Us? And We Watch the New Yorkiest Movie


Wed, Aug 20, 2014


On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly sift through the smoldering pile of action movie that is the Expendables 3 and discuss which star has the most surprising scenes. Amy and Stephanie talk about Love is Strange, which might be one of the most New York movies out in a very long time, and not just because of the rent plot point. Remember to follow us on Twitter @voicefilmclub for film reviews and essays from the Village Voice and LA Weekly.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Robin Williams, How We Will Remember Him


Wed, Aug 13, 2014


On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly remember Robin Williams, who died on Monday. He was 63. They also recommend We Are Mari Pepa, a slight movie about growing up punk in Mexico, the Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan rom-com What If, and Lenny Abrahamson's Frank, the movie where Michael Fassbender wears a giant mask the entire time.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight' is Forgettable


Wed, Aug 06, 2014


On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice and Amy Nicholson of L.A. Weekly discuss Woody Allen's latest 'Magic in the Moonlight', and revisit 'Get on Up' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The over-stuffed end-of-summer edition!


Wed, Jul 30, 2014


On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, Stephanie defends her 'Guardians of the Galaxy' review against internet trolls who tell her to go suck eggs, and we touch on Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy' and the excellent James Brown biopic 'Get on Up'. There's a lot to be had in this one. Enjoy.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Special guest Karina Longworth talks about her new pod and shares a Star Wars secret


Wed, Jul 23, 2014


On this week's episode, Amy Nicholson of the L.A. Weekly and Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice interview film critic and author Karina Longworth, who's just launched a fascinating new podcast on the history of Hollywood called You Must Remember This. Karina talks about the movies and ~maybe~ shares a scoop about those new Star Wars movies around minute 27.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The mystifying world of PLANES with L.A. Weekly Film Critic Amy Nicholson


Wed, Jul 16, 2014


This week, we hear from L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson, who's intrigued by the bizarre universe of Pixar's PLANES movies.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies. Follow us on Twitter at @voicefilmclub.

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All Things Boy and Ape


Wed, Jul 09, 2014


You should see DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES and BOYHOOD this weekend.

Village Voice film critics Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, with L.A. Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson recommend seeing Matt Reeves' DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (12:00) and Richard Linklater's BOYHOOD (20:00), a movie filmed over twelve years with the same cast. Plus, Alan tells a story of secretly watching Bo Derek naked on a horse in BOLERO instead of GHOSTBUSTERS at a drive-in in 1984.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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A HARD DAY'S NIGHT gets a beautiful re-release and LIFE ITSELF, a moving film about the late Roger Ebert


Wed, Jul 02, 2014


On this week's episode, Alan, Amy and Stephanie race through the latest (and the most terrible) TRANSFORMERS movie (2:01), EARTH TO ECHO (13:14), and TAMMY (16:30).

They then discuss LIFE ITSELF (21:54), a film about the life of the late Roger Ebert, and move onto A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (36:25), the Beatles movie that gets a beautiful re-release on its 50th anniversary.

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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The movie that kills the romantic comedy dead. Stake-in-the-heart dead.


Wed, Jun 25, 2014


On this week's episode, Alan, Amy and Stephanie discuss rom-com BEGIN AGAIN (2:26) starring the always-interesting Mark Ruffalo, and killer rom-com parody and THEY CAME TOGETHER (15:47). Also: The post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie SNOWPIERCER (23:47).

Amy recommends NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN (31:56) and the ESPN 30 for 30 doc THE TWO ESCOBARS (33:25). Stephanie shouts out the eponymous biopic YVES SAINT LAURENT (35:43) and Alan encourages us to see YOU CAN COUNT ON ME and DO THE RIGHT THE THING, which sees its 25th anniversary this month (38:30).

Get all our film coverage at villagevoice.com/movies and laweekly.com/movies.

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Stephanie Zacharek: We have to hold filmmakers responsible and if they make a piece of crap, too bad.


Wed, Jun 18, 2014


We leave the movie theater on this week's podcast in favor of a longform interview with Village Voice film critic Stephanie Zacharek, who's been at the New York paper for about a year. Before that she wrote for Salon, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and the Boston Phoenix, among others. We also briefly touch on two great films: Snowmobiling documentary Northern Light and Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur.

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Should Adults Really Be Embarrassed to Read YA Novels?


Wed, Jun 11, 2014


THE FAULT IN OUR STARS made heaps of money at the box office, and Alan and Stephanie wonder if a recent piece declaring that adults should feel ashamed to read young adult novels has any weight to it. They also talk about THE IMMIGRANT and Amy joins us from Mississippi to talk about SORCERER.

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