Doc Talk Podcast Heads To Milwaukee For Encounter With Filmmaker Who Chased Down ‘Chasing Amy’ & Director Taking On Crisis In Art Criticism

Apologies to Thomas Wolfe, but it appears you can go home again.

Oscar winner John Ridley, co-host of Deadline’s Doc Talk podcast, returns to his native Milwaukee for the latest edition of the pod, recorded live during the 16th Milwaukee Film Festival. He and co-host Matt Carey, documentary editor at Deadline, speak with two filmmakers bringing new work to the festival: Sav Rodgers, director of Chasing Chasing Amy, and Mary Louise Schumacher, director of Out of the Picture.

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Rodgers makes his feature documentary debut with Chasing Chasing Amy, a film that examines how Kevin Smith’s 1997 hit Chasing Amy became a lifeline for Rodgers as a queer, trans kid growing up in conservative Kansas, and how the indie drama impacted the culture at large. Smith’s film told the story of a straight man (played by Ben Affleck) falling in love with a gay woman (played by Joey Lauren Adams); but 27 years after its debut, many in the LGBTQ+ community see Chasing Amy as problematic for its implicit suggestion that all it takes to “turn a lesbian straight” is for her to “meet the right guy.”

Rodgers explains what it was like to interview both Smith and Adams for his documentary and how Smith reacts to the criticism of one of his best-known films.

Schumacher, meanwhile, takes a compelling look at the state of art criticism in America. The implosion of the newspaper business has brought a catastrophic loss of local coverage of art and artists throughout most of the country, leaving a half-dozen arbiters at the New York Times and other national publications to dispense wisdom on the significance of any given painting, exhibition or artist.

Schumacher, former art critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, tells Doc Talk, “My journalistic gut kicked in and I thought, ‘There’s a story here.’ ”

The filmmaker tells us why the “judgment” part of criticism – the thumbs up or down – is often the least interesting part of a piece of commentary.

The latest Doc Talk episode was recorded live at Ridley’s Nō Studios headquarters in Milwaukee, in the city’s historic Pabst Brewery District. Doc Talk is a production of Deadline and Nō Studios, presented with supported from National Geographic Documentary Films.

Listen to the episode above or on major podcast platforms including SpotifyiHeart and Apple.

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