Former People Film Podcast: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles


Co-produced by Diet Soap, the Former People film podcast is a discussion series. In this episode, we debate Chantal Akerman’s 1975 masterpiece Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Is it a Feminist propaganda film, an exploration of obsessive compulsive disorder, or a hidden camera documentary about your mother? Actually it’s a three hour difficulty, a revered housework movie, and an antidote to all the “prostitute with a heart of gold” Hollywood spectaculars you’ve ever seen. Jeanne Dielman will make you suffer.

It is physical, but you know, when I started to shoot Jeanne Dielman, at the beginning, I was not aware of what was going to be the film. Everything was written in the script already, but still. After three or four days, when I saw the first dailies, I realized and I said, “My God, the film is going to be three hours and 20 or 40 minutes long, and it’s going to be developing little by little.” -Chantal Akerman

7 Mar 2014, 3:32am
Diet Soap Update

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Diet Soap Podcast #206: How to Occupy Time


The guest this week is Dr. Jason Adams. Jason Adams is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Global Center for Advanced Studies and the author of the book Occupy Time: Technoculture, Immediacy, and Resistance after Occupy Wall Street, a book that came out from Palgrave late last year. Jason and I discussed the difference between what is happening now and what is instantaneous or immediate, we talked about resistance as opposed to revolution and, at my insistence, we talked about time travel.

I want to thank Andy Marshall, Jacob L, John L, Ted F and John Spillane for donating as regular subscribers. John Spillane just signed up as a subscriber or recurring donor and Andy Marshall donated both as a subscriber and with a one time generous donation. And if you’re listening and haven’t given to the podcast before but like what you hear and would like to donate you can find the paypal buttons and Also, as Andy will tell you, the continuing Hegel workshops are doing just that, continuing, and becoming a regular or recurring donor is the best way to get an invite to join in. In fact, I need to make sure John Spillane is invited aboard.

Speaking of reading I recently finished a new short story and I thought I’d share it with the first five or so people who ask for a copy either through Facebook or by email.

The music you’re listening to right now is the Pennsylvania Polka from the movie Groundhog’s Day. The comic actor and film director Harold Ramis died a few days back and this week’s podcast is dedicated to him and his masterpiece. Groundhog’s Day, as a movie about Repetition and Difference, would be a great movie to watch as a follow up for this episode I think. So you might check to see if it’s streaming on Netflix or somewhere, but right now get ready to listening to Jason Adams and I discuss How to Occupy Time.

What is the Avant Garde? (A 1000 words Rerun)


In anticipation of the next Former People journal I am rereleasing this old episode of 1000 Words:Talking Art. This is the second episode entitled simply: What is the Avant Garde?

This is a podcast I did with my son Benjamin who was 13 at the time. He’s 17 now and I’m sure he’d be pleased as punch to know that people were listening to his adolescent self again.

In any case, listen to this to discover just what the avant garde really is.

Pop the Program #1: Waking Life


This week marks the death of the podcast “Pop the Left” and the birth of a new podcast called “Pop the Program.” Varn has grown tired of the left, profoundly tired of it, but he enjoys conversing about all manner of subjects with me, and in an effort to keep the conversation going we’ve renamed our joint effort. What you can expect in the future are conversations about literature, art, music, philosophy, and perhaps even conversations about dead white dudes like Marx or Guy Debord, but “the Left” will no longer be our primary subject.

This week, at the outset, we discuss the revolutionary ideas in Richard Linklater’s 2001 film “Waking Life,” and as such this first episode is a transitional podcast. It was recorded for “Pop the Left” but edited as the first episode of “Pop the Program.”

Back in 2001 Roger Ebert celebrated Linklater’s film and its release: “Waking Life” could not come at a better time. Opening in these sad and fearful days after Sept. 11, it celebrates a series of articulate, intelligent characters who seek out the meaning of their existence and do not have the answers. At a time when madmen think they have the right to kill us because of what they think they know about an afterlife, which is by definition unknowable, those who don’t know the answers are the only ones asking sane questions.