Watch This With Rick Ramos

Painting with Light - The Art of John Alton

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos I go solo to talk one of the greatest cinematographers the industry has ever known - John Alton. Looking at three of his classic Noir films- T-Men (1947), and Raw Deal & He Walked By Night (Both 1948), I break down what is truly great about Film Noir. The magic of smoke, fog, shadows, and - especially - Black & White photography to create a world of tension, fear, and surprise.

I had a great time talking about this. Take a listen and let me know what you think -

As always, my thanks & appreciation for your continued support.

Direct download: JohnAlton.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 6:54pm EST

"It's like weighing air . . ." - Wayne Wang & Paul Auster's Smoke & Blue in the Face

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss a forgotten classic of 90's Independent Cinema, Director Wayne Wang and Writer and Co-Director, Paul Auster's Smoke - a beautifully nuanced look at the inhabitants of a Brooklyn neighborhood and the cigar shop that so many of them congregate. With a great lead performance from Harvey Keitel and a supporting cast including William Hurt, Harold Perrineau Jr., Giancarlo Esposito, Stockard Channing, Ashley Judd, and Forrest Whitaker, Smoke is a great showcase for this group of eclectic actors. While Smoke was finishing production, Wang and Auster realized that they had gold with outtakes and additional scenes the actors had improvised. Under budget and schedule, the directors went to Miramax and were given the funds for an additional five days to shoot Blue in the Face, a fun and lively film that continues the previous story and expands the world of the characters. Both films are wonderful gems of 90's cinema. Take a listen to this fun and interesting conversation.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to Our Continued Thanks.

Direct download: SmokeBlueInTheFace.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:41am EST

The Power of Soul - Alan Parker's The Commitments

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos I go solo to remember the late English filmmaker Alan Parker who passed away this July 31st at the age of 76. With a filmmaking career that begin in the early 1970's, Parker would be a force in cinema for nearly a quarter of a century. He created such exemplary films as Bugsy Malone (1976), Midnight Express (1978), Angel Heart (1987), Mississippi Burning (1988), among others. This week WatchThis focuses on his 1991 Muscial look at the Dublin working class, The Commitments based on the short novel by Roddy Doyle. This is a fantastic film. Although the episode starts as a remembrance and celebration of the late filmmaker, it quickly becomes an argument for the power and drive that film can inspire. If you haven't seen this film you owe it to yourself to do so. Hopefully, my endorsement will help lead you in that direction.

Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed at Many Thanks.

Direct download: IrishSoul.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:49am EST

Coffee & Cigarettes & Conversation: Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes (1986 - 2004)

On this week's episode of WatchThis W/RickRamos, Ibrahim & I sit down to discuss That Poet of Independent Cinema Jim Jarmusch. In 1986 Jarmusch began shooting a series of short films that would ultimately evolve into eleven films all centered around the cultural staple of Coffee & Cigarettes. Featuring Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Jack & Meg White, Steve Coogan, Alfred Molina, Reneé French, Cinqué & Joie Lee, Steve Buscemi, The RZA & The Gza, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Iggy Pop, and Tom Waits, among others. A slow, contemplative, often-hilarious series of shorts, Jarmusch stands as one of the most important artists in the history of cinema. Take a listen as we discuss Jarmusch, his films, and the culture of coffee and cigarettes. Thanks for listening. Questions, Comments, Complaints, & Suggestions can be directed to Many Thanks!

Direct download: CigarettesCoffee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST