Monthly Archives: March 2016

Matt Hansen on Field of Dreams



With the 2016 baseball season starting up, screenwriter Matt Hansen (Zoom) brings Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams into the basement for a conversation about magic realism, mysterious voices and emotional honesty. Your genial host Norm Wilner might have teared up a little.


Aaron Hillis on Ishtar



Journalist and filmmaker Aaron Hillis — who also runs Video Free Brooklyn, one of New York’s last surviving video stores — sits down to discuss the singular genius of Elaine May’s underrated 1987 comedy Ishtar, starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as hack singer-songwriters who become embroiled in an elaborate Middle Eastern spy caper. Be warned that your genial host Norm Wilner sings a few bars of “Dangerous Business”.


Jeremy LaLonde on Annie Hall



SEMcast is a year old! Holy crap, right? And to help us celebrate the occasion, filmmaker Jeremy LaLonde — whose new comedy How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town opens the Canadian Film Festival in Toronto March 30th — comes to the basement with a stone classic: Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, the 1977 comedy that captured a culture and defined a genre. Your genial host Norm Wilner has Marshall McLuhan waiting in the wings.


Robert Budreau on Raging Bull



With his new Chet Baker biopic Born to Be Blue opening in Toronto this Friday and rolling out in the US later this month, writer-director Robert Budreau picks a hell of a bruiser: Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s 1980 study of self-destructive boxer Jake La Motta. Your genial host Norm Wilner keeps the ice bucket handy.


Christopher Warre Smets on Out of Sight



With his short film This Is Not What You Had Planned just added to the National Screen Institute’s Online Short Film Festival, writer-director Christopher Warre Smets tackles Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight — the movie that saved George Clooney’s career, made people take Jennifer Lopez seriously and set a bar for cinematic Elmore Leonard adaptations that stands to this day. Your genial host Norm Wilner can’t believe neither of us could remember the film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.