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HND@Grassroots@Spaghetti Western: Season 2, Episode 11 (28), “Cold Fusion, Cabrini and Jones—One Year Later”

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HND@Grassroots@Spaghetti Western: Season 2, Episode 11 (28), “Cold Fusion, Cabrini and Jones—One Year Later”

Hello. This is Vadim, taking over just this once on intro duties for reasons which, hopefully, will be clear in a moment. This podcast commemorates the one-year-anniversary of Preston Miller’s Jones, which debuted last December at the dearly departed Pioneer Theater. And now you may quite reasonably ask: what the hell is Jones, and why are we doing a podcast about it?

Here’s the full-disclosure part: Preston’s a friend of ours, and was long before we watched his movie (except for Keith, who first met Preston because of the movie). He’s a podcast veteran, and regular listeners will recognize his lovely accent, but he’s joined us before primarily as color commentary. The subject of this podcast, though, is explicitly Preston’s movie, which John and I have both finally watched and liked greatly. We’re not the only ones: Jones was well-received by Karina Longworth and singled out as the “Self-Distributed Pick” of the month by Amy Taubin in Film Comment. Yet it’s undeniable that Jones got somewhat lost in the shuffle, and that’s a damn shame.

We didn’t do this podcast out of some kind of weird sense of friendly nepotism or as a favor. We did it because we like the movie a lot and believe it deserves to be seen far more widely. You could start by ordering it from Preston’s website. Or not: you could just listen to the podcast, in which we kind of unapologetically delve into the background stories, inspirations and anecdotes surrounding a movie you may well have never seen. It’s still fun, we think. We’re joined by actor Trey Albright, DP Arsenio Assin, musician/all-round-good-guy Leif Fortlouis and actor/ex-cop/old-school personality Cabrini, who is amazing (if you want to listen to his stories—hence the last 20 minutes—first, I wouldn’t blame you.

What I want to stress, in a moment of quite possibly uncharacteristic earnestness, is that Jones is as relevant a topic of discussion as any we’ve covered this year. In a podcast that isn’t up yet, we get into a lengthy discussion with Variety’s Peter Debruge in which, at one point, I express quite possibly misplaced frustration at how one of criticism’s primary tasks—championing the underseen and unknown—is one of the biggest casualties of 2008’s much-discussed Death of Criticism. Consider this, at least in part, an attempt to put this practice into action, one movie at a time. On my HMs for 2005 (which is Jones’ IMDb date, for whatever reason), this ranks higher than, say, Brokeback Mountain or The Wayward Cloud. Jones is a terrific movie, and I’m happy to encourage people to watch it. Or just enjoy the podcast; either way, we hope you get something out of it.

Thanks for listening and, as always, we’re still waiting for someone to buy us a drink. Vadim Rizov

Trey Albright is the lead performer in Jones and is currently starring, through December 20th, in The WorkShop Theater Company production of A Memory Play.

Arsenio Assin is the cinematographer of Jones. His website is Shoot Straight.

Cabrini needs no introduction.

Leif Fortlouis is the composer for Jones. His website is Preserved Fish.

John Lichman is a freelance writer who contributes to The Reeler, Primetime A&E [print only] and anyone with cash. He works odd jobs to afford his vices, sleeps on couches and can drink Vadim Rizov under a table.

Preston Miller is the writer/director of Jones. His website is Vindaloo Philm-Wallah.

Vadim Rizov is a New York-based freelance writer. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Onion A.V. Club and Paste Magazine, among others.

Keith Uhlich is editor of The House Next Door.