Launched in September 2015, the White City Cinema Radio Hour is a monthly film-themed talk show. Host Michael Smith brings his Chicago-centric White City Cinema film blog to the air with observations on an almost impossibly eclectic blend of cinema, both classic and modern, and features film reviews, film festival coverage, interviews with filmmakers, critics and programmers, and much more.



ABOUT THE HOST

Michael Smith is an independent filmmaker, author and film studies instructor based in Chicago. His first feature film, 'Cool Apocalypse,' premiered in 2015 and has won multiple awards on the film festival circuit. His first book, 'Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry,' a nonfiction account of early film production in Chicago, was published by Columbia University Press in 2015. He contributes regularly to Time Out Chicago and Cine-File Chicago, and teaches at various Chicago-area colleges. He is the creator and sole author of the blog whitecitycinema.com.


CURRENT EPISODE

Episode 15 of the White City Cinema Radio Hour features an extended dialogue between host Michael Smith and Chicago Film Critics Association members Ian Simmons (Kicking the Seat) and David J. Fowlie (Keeping It Reel) about the lineup of the in-progress Chicago International Film Festival. They discuss the state of the festival and each talk up their two "best bets" for the 2016 edition. Smith then welcomes writer/director Nick Alonzo, who discusses his no-budget feature "Shitcago" ahead of its online premiere at the end of the month.

Related:
Chicago International Film Festival website
Shitcago website  

Music heard in Episode 15:
"As I Was Walking By" (composed by Seiichi Nagai), featuring Ricky Georgen on guitar, Mitch Klicki on bass, Michael Lee on saxophone), Seiichi Nagai on guitar, Melissa Neff on trumpet, and Alex Santilli on drums. 

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


EPISODE ARCHIVE

Episode 14 of the White City Cinema Radio Hour sees host Michael Smith interview Chicago-based filmmaker (and Cine-File critic) Rob Christopher about his debut feature film, PAUSE OF THE CLOCK, ahead of its local premiere at the Siskel Center on October 3. Christopher describes in detail how his intentions and methods evolved over the course of making this unique production, which was shot in 1995/1996 but not edited until 2015. The episode concludes with the two discussing their recent experience co-authoring questions for David Lynch for a Time Out article, as well as having a short rap about Christopher's next film, a documentary about writer Barry Gifford.

Related: Pause of the Clock's website and Facebook page. 

Music heard in Episode 14:
Royale "Inland Sea"
"Pause of the Clock Blues"

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 13 of the White City Cinema Radio Hour features an extended dialogue between host Michael Smith and his Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle co-founder (and Kankakee Valley Daily Journal film critic) Pamela Powell (pictured). Smith and Powell begin by discussing what the CIFCC is and why they felt the need to form a second film critics' organization in Chicago and then engage in a dialogue about the year in movies so far - culminating with a rap session about their mutual love of Whit Stillman's LOVE & FRIENDSHIP.

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 12 of the White City Cinema Radio Hour begins with host Michael Smith talking to Cine-File critic Kian S. Bergstrom about the career of French New Wave giant Jacques Rivette (with a brief detour into discussing the work of Paul Verhoeven). In the second half of the episode, Smith and Bergstrom call director John D. Hancock and talk to him about his cult classic horror film "Let’s Scare Jessica to Death," which Smith will be hosting a special 45th anniversary screening of at Transistor Chicago. 

Kian S. Bergstrom talks to Michael Smith. 

Kian S. Bergstrom talks to Michael Smith. 

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 11 of the White City Cinema Radio Hour is devoted to discussing race in contemporary American cinema. Host Michael Smith welcomes film critic Angelica Jade Bastién and film studies professor Janina Cartier Bradley as his guests. The three use the #OscarsSoWhite controversy as a jumping-off point to talk about race (and racism) in the film industry, film noir and Carl Franklin's underrated 1995 neo-noir "Devil in a Blue Dress." Smith also talks about Thomas Arslan's "A Fine Day," which he will present at Transistor on Saturday, March 26.

Angelica Jade Bastién (left), Janina Cartier Bradley talk to Michael Smith

Angelica Jade Bastién (left)Janina Cartier Bradley talk to Michael Smith

Related: 
Angelica Jade Bastién's Madwomen and Muses blog
Future Texts: Subversive Performance and Feminist Bodies (to which Nina Cartier contributed the essay "The Possibilities of Liminality: Black Women's Future Texts as Productive Chaos")

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 10 of the White City Cinema Radio Hour consists of three conversations: first, host Michael Smith talks to critic Scott Pfeiffer about the lineup of the forthcoming Chicago European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center (with an extended discussion of new films by Chantal Akerman and Athina Rachel Tsangari). Then Onion City Experimental Film and Video Film Festival head programmer Josh Mabe stops by to talk about the ambitious and impressive slate of films that will play his fest next month. Finally, Michael talks to "Trainspotting" author Irvine Welsh on the 20th anniversary of the popular film version of his novel.

Chicago European Union Film Festival films discussed by Michael and Scott:
I Don't Belong
No Home Movie
Chevalier 
Measure of a Man

Also view the Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival schedule

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 9 (2-3-16)  

The ninth episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour is our "Q Hugo"-themed special: the guests are writer/director Stephen Cone, whose acclaimed Henry Gamble's Birthday Party opens at the Gene Siskel Film Center at the end of the month, and esteemed playwright Phyllis Nagy, who wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Todd Haynes' Carol, now playing in wide release. Joining host Michael Smith in chatting with both of these folks is critic Kat Sachs (Cine-File Chicago), who also becomes the show’s first repeat guest.

Related:
Henry Gamble's Birthday Party official site
Carol official site

"Sweet Baby" by BAATHHAUS

This episode was:
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.

Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 8 (1-20-16)

The eighth episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour consists of audio excerpts from Q&A sessions recorded at the 2nd annual Oakton Pop-Up Film Festival in December 2015. In the first interview, host Michael Smith talks to Brandy Burre, an actress best known for a recurring role on HBO's 'The Wire,' following a screening of Robert Greene's documentary 'Actress' (of which she is the subject). Then Smith interviews Chicago-based critic, filmmaker and pioneering video essayist Kevin B. Lee following a screening of Lee's documentary short 'Transformers: The Premake.'

Michael Smith interviews Brandy Burre (photo by Kevin Sherman)

Michael Smith interviews Brandy Burre (photo by Kevin Sherman)

Related: 
Kevin B. Lee's website

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.
Interviews recorded by Jesse Wallace.


Episode 7 (1-13-16)

The seventh episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour is the first of 2016, and host Michael Smith mixes things up by becoming an interview subject himself and allowing critic David J. Fowlie (Keeping It Reel) into the interviewer's chair. Fowlie interviews Smith about his indie feature COOL APOCALYPSE. Joining Smith as interview subject are COOL APOCALYPSE's producer Clare Kosinski and lead actress Chelsea David. Rounding out the program is a spirited debate between Fowlie and Smith concerning Quentin Tarantino's controversial THE HATEFUL EIGHT.

Related: 
Cool Apocalypse trailer
Cool Apocalypse website

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 6 (12-9-15)

The sixth episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour is also the last of 2015, which means it's time to talk year in review! Host Michael Smith welcomes Chicago-based film critics Daniel Nava (Chicago Cinema Circuit) and Jason Coffman (The Daily Grindhouse) and the three each count down their top five favorite films of the year -- with commentary -- as well as engage in a passionate discussion of the most overrated and underrated movies of the year.

Michael Smith
10. In the Shadow of Women
9. Taxi
8. Horse Money
7. Phoenix
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
5. My Golden Days
4. Inherent Vice
3. Li'l Quinquin
2. The Assassin
1. Goodbye to Language
Daniel Nava
10. Magic Mike XXL
9. In the Shadow of Women
8. Mistress America
7. My Golden Days
6. Anomalisa
5. Mommy
4. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Henry Gamble's Birthday Party
2. In Jackson Heights
1. World of Tomorrow
Jason Coffman
10. Inherent Vice
9. Hard to Be a God
8. Liza the Fox-Fairy
7. The Witch
6. Tangerine
5. Tokyo Tribe/ Love & Peace
4. Bombay Velvet
3. Green Room
2. The Forbidden Room
1. The Duke of Burgundy

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 5 (11-11-15)

In the fifth episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour, Michael welcomes Chicago-based critic and filmmaker Rob Christopher for a special David Lynch-themed episode. They discuss TWIN PEAKS and MULHOLLAND DR., Lynch's relationships with collaborators Mark Frost and Barry Gifford, and Lynch's influence on Christopher's debut feature film -- the 20-years-in-the-making PAUSE OF THE CLOCK. Michael also plugs the premiere Chicago engagement of his feature COOL APOCALYPSE at the Siskel Center on November 21 and 23.

Related: 
Cool Apocalypse: A Michael Glover Smith Film
Pause of the Clock: A Film By Rob Christopher

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 4 (11-4-15)

In the fourth episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour, Michael welcomes two of the most prominent guests at this year's Chicago International Film Festival. First, he talks to film critic, filmmaker and New York Film Festival programming director Kent Jones about his new documentary HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT. Then he speaks to the legendary Charles Burnett about his long career and the new restoration of TO SLEEP WITH ANGER. Michael also talks up Joseph Losey's THE PROWLER, a screening of which will be presented at Transistor by critic Marilyn Ferdinand on November 21.

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 3 (10-14-15)

In the third episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour, host Michael Smith has a Google chat with New York City-based director Elizabeth Van Meter, whose feature-length documentary, the award-winning Thao's Library, opens nationwide on October 16. Michael also recounts his experience as a juror in the Animated Shorts category of this year's Chicago International Children's Film Festival, plugging the films 'Chez moi' and 'Amélia & Duarte.'

Related: The Purpose Project

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 2 (10-7-15)

In the second episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour, Michael turns his attention to the fall film festival season. He discusses the lineup of the forthcoming Chicago International Film Festival with his first guest, Chicagoist's Joel Wicklund. Then Marilyn Ferdinand of Ferdy on Films stops by to talk film preservation and restoration in general and, more specifically, the UCLA Film Preservation Film Festival. Michael also talks up Jean-Luc Godard's 'Goodbye to Language,' which receives a rare screening in its native 3-D format at Transistor on October 17.

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.


Episode 1 (9-9-15)

In the debut episode of the White City Cinema Radio Hour, Michael welcomes Chicago film critics Ben and Kat Sachs as his first guests. The three engage in a lively roundtable discussion of legendary director Agnes Varda in advance of her upcoming Chicago residency. Michael also talks up the British Film Institute's restoration of Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Lodger,' which screens at Transistor on September 19.

This episode was: 
Produced by Michael Smith & Andy Miles.
Recorded & edited by Andy Miles.