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Episode 74: David Lean's 'Brief Encounter' (1945)

In this episode, I talk about David Lean's 1945 film, "Brief Encounter." Set in 1938, in pre-WWII England, it's about Laura and Alec, two strangers who fall in love despite being married to other people. I talk about how the film centers a woman's tormented inner life and why it's such a romantic classic . Full show notes: https://simplecast.com/s/484e2601


Episode 73: 'Sharp Objects' Recap - Ep 5 and 6

In this episode, I recap episodes 5 ("Closer") and 6 ("Cherry") of the HBO limited series, "Sharp Objects." I talk about how the relationship between Camille and Adora is getting darker and how the show continues to explore trauma and memory in an evocative way. I share some of my own personal memories and struggles when it comes to grief and loss. Warning for discussion of self-harm, sexuality, and rape. Full show notes: https://simplecast.com/s/cbd363d4


Episode 72: James Ivory's 'Maurice' (1987)

In this episode, I talk about James Ivory's 1987 film, "Maurice." It's based on the novel of the same name by E.M. Forster. It's set in 1910 and tells the story of Maurice Hall, a young man who attends Cambridge University and falls in love with Clive Durham. The film follows them over several years, tracing the turmoil of their relationship. Clive eventually marries, and Maurice finds love with Alec Scudder, a man who works on Clive's estate. Made and released in the 1980s, at the height of...


Episode 71: 'Sharp Objects' Recap - Ep 3 and 4

In this episode, I recap episodes 3 and 4 of the HBO limited series, "Sharp Objects." I discuss the importance of more women having a role in films and television, my current obsession with woman-centric crime fiction, the show's representation of female sexuality and mother/daughter relationships, and much more. Full show notes:


Episode 70: Ingmar Bergman's 'Autumn Sonata' (1978)

In this episode, I talk about Ingmar Bergman's devastating 1978 film, "Autumn Sonata." It's an unforgettable portrait of a mother/daughter relationship that is toxic and damaging. It was Ingmar's only collaboration with Ingrid Bergman. Their working relationship was difficult at times, but there is no denying that both she and Liv Ullmann give powerhouse performances. Full show notes: https://simplecast.com/s/c9bf8a6c


Episode 69: Ingmar Bergman's 'Wild Strawberries' (1957)

In this episode, I explore Ingmar Bergman's 1957 classic, "Wild Strawberries," in which an elderly man remembers moments from his past and struggles to connect with the people in his life. The film helped to catapult Bergman to worldwide fame and is one of his most enduring films. While I do provide an in-depth analysis of the film, I also discuss how it brought up my own childhood memories and made me reflect on my painful loneliness, alienation, and disconnection. Full show notes:...


Episode 68: 'Sharp Objects' Recap - Ep 1 and 2

In this episode, I try something new by talking about the first two episodes of the HBO limited series, "Sharp Objects." This is more than just an episode recap. It's a personal exploration of the ways in which the show represents memory, trauma, mental illness, and complicated women characters. I discuss why I can't get the show out of my system and why I felt the need to talk about it. I will cover this series as it unfolds on HBO, bringing you an in-depth analysis every two weeks that...


Episode 67: Ingmar Bergman's 'Summer Interlude' (1951)

In this episode, I talk about Ingmar Bergman's 1951 film "Summer Interlude." It's about Marie, a young ballet dancer who receives the diary of a young man with whom she had a passionate love affair in her teens. The diary plunges her back into memories of their brief and tragic romance. I explore themes of love, loss, mourning one's childhood, how we build up walls to keep out pain, and much more. Full show notes: https://simplecast.com/s/e04edfcf


Episode 66: Jonathan Glazer's 'Birth' (2004)

In this episode, I explore the mystery and power of Jonathan Glazer's 2004 masterpiece, "Birth." This is the most important episode I've ever produced for the podcast. This is the film that defines me, that I can't get out of my system, that has haunted me for over a decade. I have never identified so profoundly with a character as I do with the woman in this film. She is Anna (played by Nicole Kidman), a widow who encounters a 10-year-old boy who claims to be the reincarnation of her dead...


Episode 65: John Cassavetes's 'A Woman Under the Influence' (1974)

In this episode, I explore Gena Rowlands's raw and uncompromising performance as Mabel Longhetti in John Cassavetes's 1974 film, "A Woman Under the Influence." Mabel is a woman struggling with mental illness and coming apart in the midst of family turmoil. I talk about why Cassavetes's work was so groundbreaking and provide details about his and Rowlands's relationship. The heart of the episode is my in-depth analysis of Rowlands's acting in the film and why I think she gives one of the...


Episode 64: Michael Haneke's 'The Piano Teacher' (2001)

In this episode, I explore Michael Haneke's 2001 film, "The Piano Teacher." Isabelle Huppert gives one of the greatest acting performances of all time as a masochistic piano teacher who becomes involved with one of her students. If you have not seen this film, I insist that you watch it before listening to this episode. There are spoilers. This episode also contains graphic sexual content. Full show notes: https://simplecast.com/s/472d5d32


Episode 63: Yasujiro Ozu's 'Late Spring' (1949)

In this episode, I explore Yasujiro Ozu's 1949 classic, "Late Spring." Setsuko Hara stars as 27-year-old Noriko who feels a strong bond with her widower father and prefers to live with him instead of getting married. Worried that he will doom his daughter to an unfulfilling life, Noriko's father claims that he intends to re-marry and insists that Noriko have a life of her own with a husband. I talk about Ozu's life, why his directing style is unique, and why this film moves me so deeply. I...


Episode 62: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's 'The Lives of Others' (2006)

In this episode, I continue my exploration of films that helped me through my grief after my father died in 2006. "The Lives of Others" is an important film in my life. I have intense memories of watching it for the first time in a theater. It's about playwright, George Dreyman, and his lover, Christa-Maria Sieland, who come under surveillance in 1984 in the German Democratic Republic (GDR). After WWII, Germany was split between West Germany and East Germany, the latter being controlled by...


Episode 61: Guillermo del Toro's 'Pan's Labyrinth' (2006)

After my father died in 2006, my mom and I lost ourselves in the films shown at a local discount theater. In this episode, I talk about Guillermo del Toro's 'Pan's Labyrinth,' a movie I saw in that theater and one that left a lasting impression on me. This episode is deeply personal. It's not just about 'Pan's Labyrinth.' It's also about grief, mental illness, my love of cinema, and much more. It even features an interview with my mom. She's making her very first appearance on the podcast!...


Episode 60: Donna Deitch's 'Desert Hearts' (1985)

In this episode, I explore Donna Deitch's 1985 cult classic, "Desert Hearts." It's about Vivian Bell, who travels to Reno, Nevada in 1959 to get a quickie divorce. While she stays at a ranch for six weeks, she meets the vivacious Cay Rivvers, and the two women fall in love. "Desert Hearts" was one of the first films to represent a lesbian relationship without it ending in tragedy or suicide. See full show notes here: https://simplecast.com/s/6fbe5479


Episode 59: Kathleen Collins's 'Losing Ground' (1982)

For decades, the work of Kathleen Collins languished in obscurity. She was a writer, filmmaker, and professor who is considered one of the first black women to direct a feature-length film. That film is 'Losing Ground,' an extraordinary portrait of a marriage in turmoil and a complex representation of a deeply intellectual woman in search of ecstasy and magic. In this episode, I explore Collins's life, discuss the barriers that have made it difficult for black women to make films both in...


Episode 58: Ounie Lecomte's 'A Brand New Life' (2009)

In this episode, I explore Ounie Lecomte's moving 2009 debut feature film, "A Brand New Life." The film is based on Lecomte's own life and centers around a 9-year-old girl who is abandoned by her father at an orphanage in Seoul in 1975. I discuss the film's themes of abandonment, loss, loneliness, and the marginalization of women. I also talk about more general things at the beginning of the episode, like why the Her Head in Films podcast means so much to me and why I am putting so much of...


Episode 57: Joanna Hogg's 'Unrelated' (2007)

For the month of April, I'm focusing on debut feature films by women directors. I'm kicking off the series with Joanna Hogg's 2007 debut film, "Unrelated." The film explores the emotional crisis of a woman who escapes ostensible marriage problems by going on a vacation in Italy with a friend. It's a subtle but devastating look at loneliness, ageing, and disconnection. There are spoilers in this episode. Find full show notes here: https://simplecast.com/s/520e1313


Episode 56: Abbas Kiarostami's 'Close-Up' (1990)

What happens when cinema becomes an obsession? I explore that question and many more in this episode on Abbas Kiarostami's 1990 genre-blending film, "Close-Up." It revolves around the true story of Hossein Sabzian, a passionate cinephile who deceives a family by impersonating the director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, and is charged with fraud in an Iranian court. All the people involved in the story play themselves in the film, but, at every turn, Kiarostami blends documentary and fiction and...


Episode 55: Michelangelo Antonioni's 'L'avventura' (1960)

In 1960, Michelangelo Antonioni released "L'avventura," a film that would make him world-famous and that would change cinema forever. Antonioni was crucial in elevating cinema to an art form and expanding the language of film by constructing a deeply visual style that would influence filmmakers for decades to come. In this episode, I talk about the mysterious power of "L'avventura," why it has haunted me for years, and why it matters so much. Follow me on Facebook at @herheadinfilms....