Diet Soap Podcast #215: Columbo and Confession

Peter Falk’s Columbo is the subject this week and Steven A. Michalkow returns. Steven is an editor at Former People and a podcaster in his own right as the Former People film podcast continues.

On the subject of Columbo and psychoanalysis Slavoj Zizek wrote: In the TV-series Columbo, the crime (the act of murder) is shown in detail in advance, so that the enigma to be resolved is not that of “whodunit?”, but of how the detective will establish the link between the deceitful surface (the “manifest content” of the crime scene) and the truth about the crime (its “latent thought”), how he will prove to the culprit his or her guilt. The success of Columbo thus attests to the fact that the true source of interest in the detective’s work, is the process of deciphering itself, not its result (the triumphant final revelation “And the murderer is…” is completely lacking here, since we know this from the very outset).

It’s Saturday, July 12th, 2014, and I’m Douglas Lain the host of this podcast.

I’d like to urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. Also, the podcast is also available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

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

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.

Former People Movie Podcast #1: Solaris

A Co-production from Diet Soap and Former People: A Journal of Bangs and Whimpers this film podcast will focus on both contemporary and canonical films in an attempt to explore the development of film aesthetics. Our first episode focuses on Tarkovsky’s Solaris and the intersection of science fiction and religion.

To put the conversation into context at the outset here is a quote from Andrei Tarkovsky:

The artist is always the servant, and is perpetually trying to pay for the gift that has been given to him as if by a miracle. Modern man, however, does not want to make any sacrifice, even though true affirmation of the self can only be expressed in sacrifice. We are gradually forgetting about this, and at the same time, inevitably, losing all sense of human calling.