All posts by Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

3 for 3: Sean Connery

Join Frank, Tom, and the esteemed Mac McSharry as we bring Podcasting Them Softly’s For Your Ears Only and 3 for 3 full circle! We discuss three “undercard” films of Sean Connery’s at length, discuss his contribution to film, along with some of our other non-Bond films that didn’t make our respective selections! Upcoming podcasts from the three of us include Pierce Brosnan’s final outing as James Bond in DIE ANOTHER DAY and then a brand new 3 for 3 where we discuss our three favorite character actors.

Podcast: Best of 2020

Together again are Frank, Tim, Kyle, and Nate to discuss not just our top ten films of 2020, but also the current state of cinema, and what 2021 may hold.

Frank’s Top Ten:

  1. ANOTHER ROUND dir. Thomas Vinterberg
  2. TOMASSO dir. Abel Ferrera
  3. MANK dir. David Fincher
  4. TENET dir. Christopher Nolan
  5. VFW dir. Joe Begos
  6. SIBERIA dir. Abel Ferrara
  7. DA 5 BLOODS dir. Spike Lee
  8. POSSESSOR dir. Brandon Cronenberg
  9. 40 YEARS OF ROCK: A BIRTH OF A CLASSIC dir. Derek Wayne Johnson
  10. BIRDS OF PREY AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN dir. Cathy Chow

Nate’s Top Ten:

  1. THE EMPTY MAN dir. David Prior
  2. ANOTHER ROUND dir. Thomas Vinterberg
  3. WANDER DARKLY dir. Tara Miele
  4. UNDERWATER dir. William Eubanks
  5. CAPONE dir. Josh Trank
  6. THE INVISIBLE MAN dir. Leigh Whannell
  7. SOUL dir. Peter Docter and Kemp Powers
  8. ALONE dir. John Hyams
  9. VFW dir. Joe Begos
  10. HIS HOUSE dir. Remi Weekes

Kyle’s Top Ten:

  1. THE WANTING MARE dir. Nicholas Ashe Bateman
  2. BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS dir. Turner Ross, Bill Ross IV
  3. BACURAU dir. Kleber Mendonca Filho, Juliano Dornelles
  4. POSSESSOR dir. Brandon Cronenberg
  5. DA 5 BLOODS dir. Spike Lee
  6. THE DEVIL TO PAY dir. Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye
  7. THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME dir. Antonio Campos
  8. THE OUTPOST dir Rod Lurie
  9. I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS dir. Charlie Kaufman
  10. COLOR OUT OF SPACE dir. Richard Stanley

Tim’ Top Ten

  1. POSSESSOR dir. Brandon Cronenberg
  2. DA 5 BLOODS dir. Spike Lee
  3. THE INVISIBLE MAN dir. Leigh Whannell
  4. HORSE GIRL dir. Jeff Baena
  5. DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD dir. Kristen Johnson
  6. TENET dir. Christopher Nolan
  7. THE DEVIL ALL THE TIME dir. Antonio Campos
  8. I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS dir. Charlie Kaufman
  9. BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM dir. Jason Woliner
  10. BIRDS OF PREY dir. Cathy Chow – WONDER WOMAN 1984 dir. Patty Jenkins

3 for 3: John Carpenter

We’re pleased to bring you our next installment of 3 for 3, this time discussing the works of John Carpenter. Carpenter is one of our favorite filmmakers who is responsible for many classics ranging from HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, to STARMAN. Please stay tuned for our next 3 for 3 regarding our favorite character actors, as well as a 3 for 3 – For Your Ears Only crossover where we pay tribute to Sean Connery, and talk about his diverse contribution to film beyond James Bond.

FOR YOUR EARS ONLY: Michael Apted’s THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

We welcome author and James Bond connoisseur Deborah Lipp to join in our discussion of the 19th 007 picture in the EON series THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, as well as the latest edition of her highly regarded book, “The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book.” Please explore the works of Deborah at her bookshop.

For Your Ears Only: Roger Spottiswoode’s TOMORROW NEVER DIES

Artwork provided by Jeffrey Marshall

Join Frank, Tom, and Mac with special guest Perrin Spychala as they discuss Pierce Brosnan’s second outing as 007 in Roger Spottiswoode’s TOMORROW NEVER DIES. Released in 1997, the film also features a terrific ensemble composed of Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Ricky Jay, Gotz Otto, Vincent Schiavelli, and Joe Don Baker.

FOR YOUR EARS ONLY: Martin Campbell’s GOLDENEYE

Artwork provided by Jeffrey Marshall

Tom and Frank are back with special guest Mac McSharry to discuss Martin Campbell’s GoldenEye, which was Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as 007. Also discussed is the pop culture effect the film had on home video as well as video games along with being a world wide box office smash and how that jump started the franchise. Join us next time as we discuss Brosnan’s follow-up, Tomorrow Never Dies!

Podcast: Lee Marvin 3 for 3.

Tim Burton Press Conference

Lee Marvin is the topic of discussion for this installment of 3 for 3 with Frank Mengarelli, Tom Zielinski, and Mac McSharry. Marvin was well known for his early collaborations with John Ford, his steely persona in POINT BLANK, THE DIRTY DOZEN, and DELTA FORCE. For all things Lee Marvin, author and film historian Dwayne Epstein’s biography, LEE MARVIN: POINT BLANK is available on Amazon.

Actor’s Spotlight with Joshua Burge, Vol. I

JB Splash

We’re pleased to bring you the first volume of our chat with the remarkable actor Joshua Burge. Josh dives deep in the first installment of our extensive interview, talking about his beginnings as an actor, to his relationship with filmmaker and friend Joel Potrykus and working on BUZZARD to being cast in THE REVENANT. More to come in our second installment! You can currently see Josh in THE CURRENT OCCUPANT which is now streaming exclusively on Hulu.

For Your Ears Only: John Glen’s LICENCE TO KILL

LTK update

Frank Mengarelli and Podcasting Them Softly’s James Bond resident, Tom Zielinski are joined with returning guests film journalist Paul Sparrow-Clarke and novelist and film historian Raymond Benson to discuss John Glen and Timothy Dalton’s final outing in the franchise, Licence to Kill. Tom and Frank will return with their discussion of GOLDENEYE.

Artwork provided by the very talented Jeffrey Marshall.

 

 

Film Review: Abel Ferrara’s TOMMASO

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There is a beautiful sadness within Abel Ferrara’s latest feature, TOMMASO, starring Willem Dafoe in their fifth collaboration. It’s about the isolation of sobriety, as well as maturity; growing old alone while facing a never-ending and losing battle with fighting your own past.

The picture is a softer version of DANGEROUS GAME, wherein Harvey Keitel played the fictionalized version of Ferrara, the film also borrows the light and vulnerable aesthetic of 4:44, along with Ferrara’s newfound fascination with multimedia that is a conduit to offbeat pop culture. This may be Ferrara’s most direct play at his version of Fellini’s 8 1/2 but isn’t as nearly coarse or dark as his first attempt with DANGEROUS GAME. And while the film does feel very personal, and very true – it also feels like a spiritual successor of Ferrara’s apocalypse film 4:44, which also featured Dafoe.

Tommaso' Review: A Sober, but Not Serene, Life - The New York Times

In TOMMASO, Dafoe plays a gentler version of Ferrara, a filmmaker living in Rome (much like Ferrara) who is trying to formulate his next film, while trying to conquer the demons of his past, while navigating the uncharted parental waters with his very young partner and their daughter (both played by Ferrara’s real-life wife and daughter). Dafoe is just terrific, delivering his finest performance that most will not see, he is spellbinding. Dafoe is perhaps the only actor who can sink into a role like that of Tommaso, and then be seen in AQUAMAN, and then a Disney film, and then working with Lars von Trier – he’s an actor that doesn’t have or would make use of any typecast; he’s boundless and a welcome presence whenever he is seen.

It’s striking to see Ferrara bring such a gentle tone to a film that still works within his authorship: redemption with a dash of Catholic guilt. The film continues Ferrara’s new trajectory of his filmography, not just a transition to digital filmmaking, but also the less transgressive and angsty nature of his most seminal films. It’s a hard film to watch at times, but that’s part of what makes it so effortlessly beautiful. The film is quietly angry, where Dafoe’s character is six years sober, and has nowhere to channel all that rage – the angst of sobriety.

Willem Dafoe Talks Tommaso, Kissing His Friend's Wife & Yoga ...

The fabulous boutique label, Kino Lorber, has released this film on their relatively new streaming service, KinoNow, which offers up a lot of their titles to own and/or rent and of course a standard subscription service to their streaming catalog.

TOMMASO is a great film by a great filmmaker. It isn’t just a vanity piece. Ferrara is showcasing that he still is a flagship mainstay of not just independent cinema, but cinema in general. He’s a brilliant filmmaker that operates on the edges of the film; he may forgo power drills, dirty cops, and crack pipes as he enters a new decade, but he hasn’t lost his punch. The film is funny, sad, romantic, and sexy. It’s tender and angry, all the things that are life.