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On Forgotten Gems we look at festival favorites that have been cast aside or fallen out of favor. On this episode we’re looking at the 1994 Sundance sensation WHAT HAPPENED WAS…, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival. Directed, written and starring Tom Noonan it examines one painfully awkward date between two co-workers (the other played by an amazing Karen Sillas) and the confrontations and revelations that occur throughout their evening. Spoiler alert: our two hosts have VERY differing opinions on the qualities of this movie! Check it out.

What Happened Was is currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.

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On the latest episode of FORGOTTEN GEMS? we’re traveling back to 2004 to check out Joshua Marston’s much lauded (particularly for its lead performance by Catalina Sandino Moreno) drug smuggling drama MARIA FULL OF GRACE. But aside from that dynamite lead, does the film hold up to our older – and somehow even MORE cynical – eyes? And does it even matter? Lots of talk about the drug war, hypocrisy, and all that good stuff. Check it out!

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After that last episode of FORGOTTEN GEMS? we were feeling a little down, so to pick up our spirits we decided to watch a film that is only PARTIALLY miserable: the Golden Bear winning Brazilian-French film CENTRAL STATION from 1998. Featuring death, despair, and – rather improbably – hope, it includes an incredible (and Academy Award nominated) performance from Fernanda Montenegro. BUT IS IT ANY GOOD? Let’s find out!

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On this episode of FORGOTTEN GEMS? we’re looking at the winner of the 1978 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, Marco Ferreri’s BYE BYE MONKEY (aka CIAO MASCHIO) starring Gerard Depardieu! You might think a film about a grown (french) man adopting a baby chimp after finding it nestled in a giant animatronic King Kong would be loads of fun, but BOY is it not! It’s cynical, often irritating and very unpleasant, so let’s talk about it!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! On our first episode of 2021 we’re heading to the 54th Berlin International Film Festival to look at the Golden Bear-winning Turkish-German drama HEAD-ON from 2004. An intense, disturbing, film about two self-destructive Turkish immigrants in Germany who enter a marriage of convenience but end of falling in love makes for often challenging viewing, but is it a FORGOTTEN GEM? Let’s find out!

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On this episode of FORGOTTEN GEMS? we’re looking at 1988 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner HEAT AND SUNLIGHT from director/actor Rob Nilsson! It’s a completely improvised drama about a former war photographer who now finds himself tangling with complicated feelings about his current relationship and BOY does it swing widely between visually and formally inventive and absolutely tedious. Also, there’s FRUITICIDE. Let’s check it out!

Check out Heat and Sunlight on Fandor: https://www.fandor.com/films/heat_and_sunlight

Send us an email to let us know what you think!

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A triumphant return for Cinema Smorgasbord after a week hiatus, and we bring with us both tales of Liam moving his family to a new state, as well as Barry Jenkins’ first feature film: the 2008 romantic-drama Medicine For Melancholy. Starring Wyatt Cenac and Tracey Heggins, the movie traces the aftermath of a one-night-stand as two characters wander San Francisco and discuss relationships, race and gentrification. But is it a forgotten gem? Listen and find out!

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While Scene of the Crime was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes it’s fallen into relative obscurity in the decades since, despite starring Catherine Deneuve and being directed by the legendary André Téchiné (and co-written by Olivier Assayas!). On this episode of FORGOTTEN GEMS our hosts try to work out why films are sometimes forgotten, and whether SCENE OF THE CRIME is worthy of rediscovery. Let’s check it out!

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Before Denis Villeneuve made big Hollywood movies like ARRIVAL, BLADE RUNNER 2049 or DUNE, he cut his teeth with this odd, Quebecois film about two people looking to bang in the desert. Well, it’s about a lot more than that. There’s capsule hotels, and a burnt corpse and an ending you’re never going to forget. But is it any good? LET’S FIND OUT!

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On Cinema Smorgasbord presents Forgotten Gems? we take a look at past festival favorites that have fallen out of favor and re-litigate them. On this episode we go back to 2005’s Thumbsucker, which won a Special Jury Prize at that year’s Sundance and stars Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D’Onofrio and Keanu Reeves.

Is it worth a revisit? Have a listen and decide for yourself!