The best moment leading up to the recording of this episode was when we decided it was time for us to delve back into our recurring mini-Hyphenate segment. Every few months we take a filmmaker with a finite filmography who may not have made enough films to qualify for the main stage (five is our maximum for the mini segment, but is also our minimum for the Filmmaker of the Month, and this month we’ve got five a piece).
We tentatively sent an email to our guest, Pollyanna McIntosh, to see what she thought. It’s one thing to ask her to be on the show, another to ask her to choose a filmmaker to talk about, but another altogether to then say “Hey, wanna add another filmmaker to the discussion?”. We told her about the segment and said we were thinking about talking Bob Fosse, but we had some other filmmakers if she preferred one of them, or we didn’t have to do the segment at all if it was all a bit much…
Within five minutes, Pollyanna – who was somewhere on the other side of the globe – sent back an email that read: “Bob Fosse! Bob Fosse! Bob Fosse!!!”
Oh yes, we thought. She’s one of us.
At this point, she’d already picked the great Nicole Holofcener as her filmmaker of the month. We’ve been fans of Holofcener for a long time, and feel something of a kinship to anyone who gets her. Holofcener doesn’t (yet) have the broad name recognition that auteurs gain after a few films, and makes films that, on the surface, appear to be somewhere between that classically Sundance indie relationship drama and mainstream movie-star rom-comedy.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll find some of the most touching, funny and thematically-complex work in cinema today. Explorations on the human condition deftly disguised as lightweight dramedies. It’s a magician’s trick, and Holfocener seems to be refining it with every film.
Talking about such wildly different filmmakers with distinct approaches to cinema is a lot of fun, particularly when you’ve got a guest who has such insight into their technique and effect. Even the erratic Skype connection we used to record the episode couldn’t stop the enthusiasm. And we were so keen to get to the filmmakers, we only reviewed two films this month: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice and Tim Burton’s Big Eyes.