"Talk Cinephilia to me" is a podcast about watching cinema--artistic, outsider, experimental and B movies--brought to you by author playwright, Juli Kearns, and her son, Aaron Dylan Kearns, an experimental filmmaker who, though he was raised on great cinema, loves tawdry horror. He knows things I don't about film. I know things he doesn't. Most importantly, we know enough to be very aware of what we don't know. We promise to be humble, somewhat meandering hosts because we're disaffected dyslexic leftists with opinions and our filters are busted.
Three Hammer films today! We're thrilled over Oliver Reed going all out in "Paranoiac" (that scene on the stairs!) and eventually ponder what if it had been the tale of two Reeds. "Scream of Fear" was also named "Taste of Fear" and we wonder about the ability to taste terror while method acting with Susan Strasberg. Those two films were so good that by the time Hammer got to "Nightmare" it was tired. Aaron and I separately, bizarrely, came to the conclusion they wanted Sandra Dee for that one, in which case it would have been amazing, but that wasn't happening so they lost the lead actress part way through. Oh, where was Sandra Dee?! Pretending Sandra Dee was in it makes it better.
Aaron and I discuss James Mason strangling his wife Pamela in not just one but three films! We have fun examining "I Met a Murderer", "The Upturned Glass", and "Portrait of The Murderer". Pamela and James not only starred together in these films, they are responsible for the stories. And then for good measure we add "The Night Has Eyes", in which Pamela doesn't appear but when it's a full moon James must take his pills so that he doesn't go out and strangle things.
Are we back? Is "Talk Cinephilia to Me" recording again? Maybe. We may be back. This episode is on "The Real Horror of Kubrick's The Shining--The Misogyny of the Audience for Wendy Torrance". The next episode is in the can and will be the both of us, but this one, with the exception of the opening, is me (Juli) speaking on the subject.
We did no research for this podcast. We just watched the movie with no plan other than to see if Aaron might enjoy it and find it involving, considering how he doesn't like to watch Spielberg films as he feels manipulated by them (I agree, but I give a few films of Spielberg's a pass). We end up discussing what happened after Roy Neary took off for the stars. And I tell my own UFO story from 1993.
Aaron has long been an appreciator of the Soviet Necrorealist films of Evgeny Yufit, who later teamed up with Vladamir Maslov. For those who are unfamiliar with the genre, we discuss its frenetic history, pondering the myth versus reality of artistic spontaneity, dissect Yufit's early work for themes that will be elaborated upon in his features, and compare and contrast Yufit's early films with those he later co-directed and co-wrote with Maslov. The movies covered in this episode are: "Werewolf Orderlies", "Woodcutter", "Spring", "Suicide Monsters", "Fortitude", "Knights of Heaven", "Daddy, Father Frost is Dead", "The Will", "The Wooden Room", and "Silverheads". If we took 2 hours it's because these dreamlike, absurd films, both grotesque and comic, confrontational, aesthetically remarkable in every respect, eventually even startlingly beautiful, demand deep consideration.
We discuss Nazimova's "Salome", astonishing even today, with design by Natacha Rambova influenced by Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations of Oscar Wilde's play, then consider the possible influence of the silent film on Ken Russell's representation of Salome. Along the way we also discuss Russell's "The Debussy Film", how his choice of music for "Salome's Last Dance" refers back to "The Debussy Film", and why he might have chosen "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from "Peer Gynt" for Salome's dance music. Though I mention that Nazimova was famed for her performances in Ibsen plays, i got a little too carried away with talking about Peer Gynt and trolls and neglected, during the podcast, to remind how Grieg's "Peer Gynt" had been inspired by Ibsen's play. While Nazimova concentrates on interpreting Wilde, Russell films (and photographs) Wilde observing a production of his play, so that we must consider Oscar Wilde's relationship to it--and his trial and imprisonment. One could spend days discussing these films and still not do them justice, and i really looked forward to doing the podcast on them. Then we got silly, and though we dug we didn't go as deep as I would have liked. Hopefully, we still inspire the listener to seek out these two films and view them.
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We discuss Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", then look at Hooper's earlier films, "The Heister", "Down Friday Street", and "Eggshells", and examine again "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" in light of them. There are some caveats in this episode concerning my hazarding an interpretation of "Eggshells", which I did in the moment in respect of obvious conflict concerning the 1960s counter-culture giving into what might be considered middle class values. Though the movie does comment on such, it is not cut and dry, and complexity is layered with fractured, incomplete truths. I may take a couple of weeks more to think about how "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" works in relation to "Eggshells" and write something up on it, and I don't know if it will be the view I expressed in the episode.
A thing we explore in these episodes is how time, place, and personal history color the experience of a film. Personal history has meant that there have indeed been films I've been unable to watch or have put off watching for a number of years. In this episode I relate how Martin, my husband, had a work place accident, within our first year of marriage, which made it impossible for me to watch certain films for a while. He was working at a greenhouse and one of the large glass plates fell out of the roof, split as it hit his neck, and went both under and over his jugular vein so that the jugular was fully exposed but uncut while the rest of his neck had been sliced open. He had the trauma of his experience, but so did I and this meant that certain films that reminded me of the incident were left or avoided until I could tolerate them.
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We examine Lamorisse's "Red Balloon" in context of the rest of his filmography, then I cheer myself up with a discussion on "Amelia and the Angel", which was obviously influenced by "The Red Balloon" and has perhaps the cutest dog to ever appear in a film, except for your home movies.
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We discuss not only the 1925 and 1959 cinema extravaganzas of "Ben Hur", but also the book, the play, and the 1907 "Ben Hur", the first cinema edition that wasn't an epic but led to a costly battle over copyright. As it turned out, we loved the 1925 "Ben Hur", and we explore the reasons for this and how it differs from the 1959 remake. Follow Talk Cinephilia to Me on Facebook and Twitter for supplements to the episode. Also check out our website for notes on the episode.
If you haven't listened to part one of our two part conversation with Romeo Carey, now's the time to catch up, as today we've posted part two. Romeo Carey, indie director and educator, is the son of actor/director Timothy Carey who directed "The World's Greatest Sinner", and appeared in such films as Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory", as well as John Cassavetes' "Minnie and Moskowitz" and "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie". Many thanks to Romeo Carey for an insightful conversation!
Today we are posting part one of a two part conversation with Romeo Carey, indie director, educator, and son of actor/director Timothy Carey. Timothy Carey directed "The World's Greatest Sinner", and appeared in such films as Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory", as well as John Cassavetes' "Minnie and Moskowitz" and "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie". Many thanks to Romeo Carey who was so generous with his time.
Continuing a theme begun last week on Cold War era films with streets depopulated by killer radiation poisoning or a plague, the focus of this episode is Arch Obeler, not only his post nuclear apocalypse film "Five", but his fantasy-absurdist anti-fascism radio shows, his move into film, the anti-fascist movie "Strange Holiday", and his media-as-mind-control film "The Twonky".
We also discuss "White Zombie" as another thread in the episode is how the zombie came to be used to represent authoritarian/fascist control of the population.
Please see the Notes for episode 2 at the Talk Cinephilia to Me website.
In this episode we discuss the 1964 Cold War style, post-apocalyptic film, "The Last Man on Earth", which features Vincent Price as the last survivor of a pandemic that turns people into vampires.
For episode notes and screengrabs, visit, Talk Cinephilia to Me, Episode 1 Program Notes.
"Talk Cinephilia to me" will be a podcast about watching cinema--artistic, outsider, experimental and B movies--brought to you by Juli Kearns, an author, playwright, and artist, and her son, Aaron Dylan Kearns, an experimental filmmaker, artist, and composer.