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Episode 102: Bong Joon-ho's 'Memories of Murder' (2003)

In this episode, I talk about Bong Joon-ho's 2003 film "Memories of Murder." It's based on the real-life Hwaseong serial murders that happened in a rural area of South Korea in the 1980s and early 1990s. At the time the film was released, the case was unsolved. However, shortly before recording my episode, major news broke that a suspect had been identified through DNA. I go into this new development and provide information on the original murders. Since the film is based on a true crime...


Episode 101: Roberto Rossellini's 'Journey To Italy' (1954)

In this episode, I talk about Roberto Rossellini's groundbreaking 1954 film, "Journey To Italy." It stars Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders as Katherine and Alex Joyce, a couple whose relationship starts disintegrating during a vacation in Italy. Katherine is haunted by a man she knew before her marriage to Alex and who was stationed in Italy during World War II. As the distance grows between her and Alex, she visits museums that the man wrote about in his poetry. In her wanderings, she...


Episode 100: Vittorio De Sica's 'Umberto D.' (1952)

In this episode, I talk about Vittorio De Sica's classic 1952 Italian Neorealist film, "Umberto D." It's about an elderly man trying to evade eviction against the backdrop of post-World War II Italy. As his life becomes more precarious and desperate, he clings to his only companion, his dog Flike, and struggles to survive. I talk about Italian Neorealism, why this film moves me so much, and more. At the beginning of the episode, I also reflect on this being my 100th episode! I'm thankful...


Episode 99: Kelly Reichardt's 'Wendy and Lucy' (2008)

In this episode, I talk about Kelly Reichardt's 2008 film, "Wendy and Lucy." It stars Michelle Williams as Wendy Carroll, a young woman stopping in Oregon on her way to Alaska when her car dies and she ends up losing her dog, Lucy. Much of the film revolves around her desperate search for Lucy and her interactions with various people who either show a bit of kindness or cruelty. Released at the beginning of the Great Recession, the film resonates more than a decade later in the way it...


Episode 98: Dardenne brothers' 'Two Days, One Night' (2014)

In this episode, I explore the Dardenne brothers' 2014 film, "Two Days, One Night." Marion Cotillard stars as Sandra, a factory worker who tries to return to her job after a bout of depression only to find that her coworkers have voted to receive a bonus and eliminate her position. Over the course of a weekend, she visits each coworker and tries to convince them to support her in a second vote. I talk about my own experiences of working at a factory, struggling with depression, and living...


Episode 97: Krzysztof Kieslowski's 'Three Colors: Blue' (1993)

In this episode, I explore Krzysztof Kieslowski's 1993 film, "Three Colors: Blue." Juliette Binoche plays a woman who loses her husband and daughter in a tragic car accident. Overwhelmed by grief, she tries to cut herself off from human connection and sever ties with the past and her memories. I provide behind-the-scenes information about the making-of the film and discuss key scenes and why they emotionally resonate with me. I also talk about the devastating loss of my father when I was...


Episode 96: Pablo Larrain's 'Jackie' (2016)

In this episode, I talk about Pablo Larrain's 2016 film, "Jackie." It looks at Jackie Kennedy's grief in the days after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963. I explore how the film represents grief and trauma, delve into the real struggles Jackie faced after losing her husband, give information about the making of the film and Natalie Portman's performance, explain why the film is comforting to me as someone who has known a great deal of loss, and more. As I...


Episode 95: Agnès Varda's 'The Gleaners and I' (2000)

On this episode, I talk about Agnès Varda's 2000 documentary, "The Gleaners and I." It looks at people who glean in modern society, whether in the fields, at orchards, or after the markets have closed in Paris. With her camera, Varda inserts herself into the film, reflecting on ageing and how she gleans images. I talk about Varda's presence in the film, how she critiques the wastefulness in society, and why the film remains deeply relevant. I also include a discussion of the follow-up...


Episode 94: Nicolas Philibert's 'To Be and To Have' (2002)

In this episode, I talk about Nicolas Philibert's 2002 documentary, "To Be and To Have." It focuses on a small school in rural France where the kind and patient teacher, Georges Lopez, instills a sense of worth in all of his students and connects with them one-on-one. The film shows the dynamics between the students who range in age, from kindergartners to teenagers and also looks at some of their struggles. I talk about childhood, separation, nostalgia, the importance of school in my own...


Episode 93: Todd Haynes's 'Far From Heaven' (2002)

In this episode, I explore Todd Haynes's 2002 film, "Far From Heaven." It's an homage to 1950s melodramas and stars Julianne Moore as Cathy Whitaker, a Connecticut housewife who develops a deep connection to her African American gardener (Dennis Haysbert) while her marriage starts to crumble when her husband (Dennis Quaid) starts struggling with his repressed homosexuality. I talk about melodrama, woman's films, Douglas Sirk, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, how the film looks at race, sexuality,...


Episode 92: Todd Haynes's 'Safe' (1995)

In this episode, I talk about Todd Haynes's 1995 film, "Safe." It stars Julianne Moore in her first collaboration with Haynes. Moore plays Carol White, a California housewife who comes down with a mysterious illness that could be a result of the chemicals and toxins in the environment. When her doctor and mainstream medicine offer her no help, she seeks relief and answers at a New Age treatment center called Wrenwood that espouses individualist self-help ideas. I talk about my own struggle...


Episode 91: Jane Campion's 'The Piano' (1993)

In this episode, I talk about the mysterious power and beauty of Jane Campion's 1993 film, "The Piano." It stars Holly Hunter as Ada McGrath, a Scottish woman who goes to New Zealand with her daughter, Flora, for an arranged marriage to Alisdair Stewart. Their marriage is troubled from the start, and Ada ends up falling for George Baines. I share my memories of watching the film for the first time and talk about themes of muteness, violence against women, and the complicated relationship...


Episode 90: Maïwenn's 'My King' (2015)

In this episode, I talk about Maïwenn's "My King," a raw and intense film that stars Emmanuelle Bercot as a woman struggling to heal her body and mind in the wake of a toxic and destructive relationship. I discuss how the film looks at emotional abuse, shows a woman reconstructing herself, and questions culturally-held beliefs about love. At the beginning of the episode, I also talk about how Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film, "Stalker," recently helped me through a difficult time. Consider...


Episode 89: Peter Webber's 'Girl With a Pearl Earring' (2003)

In this episode, I talk about Peter Webber's 2003 film "Girl with a Pearl Earring." It's an adaptation of the 1999 Tracy Chevalier novel by the same name, which imagines how Johannes Vermeer's 17th century painting, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" came to be. It's 1665 in Delft, Holland and a young girl named Griet goes to work at the home of the Vermeers to provide for her family after her father is injured at work. She enters a home rocked by domestic and financial instability. When Vermeer...


Episode 88: Pete Travis's 'The Go-Between' (2015)

In this episode, I talk about Pete Travis's dreamy 2015 film, "The Go-Between," produced by the BBC, based on the classic L.P. Hartley novel of the same name, and starring Jim Broadbent, Vanessa Redgrave, and Lesley Manville. It focuses on a 12-year-old boy named Leo Colston who, in the summer of 1900 in England, goes to stay at the opulent estate of his friend, Marcus Maudsley. During his time there, Leo becomes the messenger, or go-between, for Marcus's sister, Marian, and her secret...


Episode 87: Patricia Cardoso's 'Real Women Have Curves' (2002)

In this episode, I talk about Patricia Cardoso's feminist coming-of-age classic, "Real Women Have Curves" (2002). I discuss body image, factory work, the exploitation of immigrant labor, and the profoundly political and radical messages in the film. At the beginning of the episode, I also talk about recently re-watching Krzysztof Kieslowski's "The Double Life of Veronique" (1991). Consider making this podcast sustainable by supporting it on Patreon. Subscribe to the Her Head in Films...


Episode 86: Nancy Savoca's 'Dogfight' (1991)

In this episode, I talk about Nancy Savoca's beautiful 1991 coming-of-age film, "Dogfight." It stars River Phoenix and Lili Taylor as Eddie Birdlace and Rose Fenny, two teens who connect in 1963 in San Francisco, just before the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the escalation of the Vietnam War. It's the night before Eddie is to be sent over to Vietnam and he and his marine buddies are holding a dogfight, which is a party where men invite the ugliest women they can find and the one with...


Episode 85: An Interview with Leon Lee on 'Letter From Masanjia' (2018)

In this episode, I interview director Leon Lee on his latest documentary, "Letter from Masanjia." In 2012, a story in The Oregonion went viral. A woman named Julie Keith had opened a box of Halloween decorations from KMart and discovered an SOS letter written by Sun Yi, a man imprisoned and tortured in a Chinese labor camp for engaging in the spiritual practice of Falun Gong. Keith publicized the letter, and the international attention eventually led to the abolishment of these labor camps...


Episode 84: François Ozon's 'Under the Sand' (2000)

In this episode, I explore François Ozon's mysterious and emotionally devastating 2000 film "Under the Sand," starring Charlotte Rampling as Marie Drillon, a woman whose husband, Jean, unexpectedly disappears during a vacation on the beach. The film is about Marie's struggle to come to terms with the loss of Jean. I talk about the complex career of Rampling, why her performance is so powerful, and why I personally connect to this film because of its look at loss and death. Consider making...


Episode 83: Jem Cohen's 'Museum Hours' (2012)

In this episode, Carolyn Petit joins me for a conversation about Jem Cohen's 2012 film "Museum Hours." Carolyn is managing editor at Feminist Frequency and is the co-host of the podcasts Feminist Frequency Radio and Cinemaball. "Museum Hours" is about Johann, a security guard at a Vienna art museum and how he meets Anne, a woman visiting the city to see her cousin who is in a coma. Over the course of Anne's stay, she and Johann become friends as he shows her around and offers emotional...