While recuperating from a deep-fried, ever-boozy, never-sleepy nine days at the SXSW Film Festival (a shout-out here to senior programmer Jarod Neece, whose delicious book "Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day" resolved at least two hangovers), your indefatigable DVD guru still managed to power through a month's worth of new discs. Two of this month's highlights, as noted in the "10 Worth a Spin" intro, were SXSW 2013 premieres, which goes to show that there's still life to be found for festival indies beyond traditional theatrical or VOD distribution. One question, though: how does anyone in Austin get their DVDs to play without smudging them up from greasy burrito fingers?
Podcast Intro Music: The Broken Circle Breakdown Bluegrass Band, "If I Needed You"
SPECIAL GUEST #1: Tilda Swinton on "Persona"
Intro Music: Jozef van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch, "The More She Burns the More Beautifully She Glows (feat. Tilda Swinton)"
Tilda Swinton is an Academy Award-winning actress whose incredible body of work includes "Orlando," " "Michael Clayton," "I Am Love," and "We Need to Talk About Kevin." She can currently be seen in Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," as well as Jim Jarmusch's hip and lovely vampire romance "Only Lovers Left Alive," which opens in limited release on April 11th. For our chat together in Austin during SXSW, Swinton rewatched Ingmar Bergman's 1966 masterpiece "Persona" (Criterion, BD/DVD combo, available now), as she has every decade or so, and found a new personal reading into its psychodramatic tale of mortality, insanity, and complex female relationships.
SPECIAL GUEST #2: Alessandro Nivola on "American Hustle"
Intro Music: Wings, "Live and Let Die"
Alessandro Nivola is a Brooklyn-based actor whose many credits include "Face/Off," "Ginger & Rosa," "Laurel Canyon" and "Junebug." This fall, he'll be on Broadway with his "American Hustle" co-star Bradley Cooper in "The Elephant Man," but most excitingly, he's the producer of HBO's newly premiered "Doll & Em," a wonderful new six-episode comedy series starring his wife Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells. For the podcast, Nivola takes the easy route and reflects on his time working with iconoclastic auteur David O. Russell on "American Hustle" (Sony, BD, DVD, available now). It's worth it alone for his Louis C.K. on-set anecdote.
SPECIAL GUEST #3: Lili Taylor on "A Brief History of Time"
Intro Music: Hahn Rowe, "Running"
Lili Taylor is a Spirit Award-winning actress whose incredibly diverse career includes films like "Short Cuts," "The Addiction," "I Shot Andy Warhol" and "The Conjuring." Her latest film, "The Cold Lands," a beautiful coming-of-age drama from writer-director Tom Gilroy, premiered in NYC on March 14th and begins a run in Albany on March 26th before expanding to more cities. On the podcast, Taylor and I get nerdy over Errol Morris' inventive 1991 doc "A Brief History of Time" (Criterion, BD/DVD combo, available now), a biographical and cosmological portrait of pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking's life and mind-expanding ideas.
Podcast Outro Music: Lili Taylor, "What Have They Done to the Rain?"
"10 WORTH A SPIN" (March 2014, as mentioned on the podcast):
"Beneath" (Shout! Factory, BD, DVD)
"The Broken Circle Breakdown" (Cinedigm, DVD)
"Camille Claudel 1915" (Kino Lorber, DVD)
"Here Comes the Devil" (Magnolia, BD, DVD)
"Let the Fire Burn" (Zeitgeist, DVD)
"Loves Her Gun" (Brink, DVD)
"Ms. 45" (Drafthouse Films, BD, DVD)
"The Punk Singer" (IFC, DVD)
"The Swimmer" (Grindhouse Releasing, BD/DVD)
"Viola" (Cinema Guild, DVD)
"DVD Is the New Vinyl" is co-presented by Video Free Brooklyn, three-time "Best Video Store in NYC." For more info, please visit the VFB website.