Four Favorites: Kate Hagen on cinematic sex, David Lynch and 80s vampire Westerns
Cinematic-sex sleuth, Kate Hagen (director of community for The Black List) discusses her four favorites—Near Dark; Baby It’s You; Wild at Heart; and Morvern Callar—with hosts Gemma (Letterboxd editor-in-chief) and Slim (of 70mm podcast). Also: the genius of how Bigelow stages action; Verhoeven’s kink for unisex shower scenes; the unacceptable decline of sex scenes in American movies; an awkward conversation about David Lynch’s films; the worst movies with the best sex scenes; Oscar Isaac thirst; the rarity of male frontal nudity; why you should get a region-free Blu-ray player. And, Kate unpacks Hollywood’s “cult of perfection” and what that means for fat actresses on and off screen (her essay for Letterboxd is publishing soon). Links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode; The Black List; Kate’s long-form sex essay for Playboy; Shudder on Letterboxd; Brendan’s review of Morvern Callar; Kate’s lists of Essential Erotic Thrillers; 365 Sex Scenes; three eggplant emojis (a companion to Slim’s man-ass list); and the Cinematic Canon for Fat Grrls; NWorbb’s list of Films in the Splatter-Cannibal She-Devil Vein. Credits: This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcripts by Sophie Shin.
October 20, 2021
Four Favorites: Chvrches on The Exorcist, Wes Craven, Carrie and ’90s teens
“You find a lot out about yourselves from watching films.” Lauren, Martin (aka Dok) and Iain from Chvrches talk about the horror movies that influenced their new album Screen Violence, why they dropped album hints on their Letterboxd profile, and their five (!) favorite films: The Exorcist (“you can still get people with that film”); A Nightmare on Elm Street; Scream; Carrie and Get Out. Plus, they tell hosts Gemma (Letterboxd editor-in-chief) and Slim (of 70mm podcast) about remixing John Carpenter, Lauren’s career as a multiplex employee, Kevin Williamson and ’90s teen supremacy, watching movies on tour, the secret etching on their new vinyl, the new Candyman, “The Wire effect”, and why He’s All That is all that. Links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode; Video Nasties on Letterboxd; In Search of Darkness list; Artists Johnny Dombrowski and Jamie McKelvie; Robert Englund on Nickelodeon; Stephen King’s memoir On Writing; John Carpenter and Chvrches Remixes; Chvrches Letterboxd lists Hellbent on Revenge and Pull Me Into the Screen at the End; Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing with Myself’ video (directed by Tobe Hooper) Credits: This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
October 13, 2021
Four Favorites: Letterboxd founders Matthew & Karl on Arnie, Edgar and turning 10
“We love doing this.” Letterboxd’s co-founders Matthew and Karl take hosts Slim (of 70mm podcast infamy) and Gemma (Letterboxd editor-in-chief) through two each of their four favorites (Commando; Short Circuit; Shaun of the Dead and Badlands), on the occasion of their creation turning ten. Also: how Letterboxd Easter eggs get made. Why Arnie is the ultimate movie dad. Celebrating Rae Dawn Chong. Is Edgar Wright on Letterboxd? Karl’s complicated relationship with his watchlist. Rethinking brown-face. American men and guns in movies. Rating films purely on enjoyment. Links: The Letterboxd list of all films mentioned in this episode; Cormac’s review of Commando; Blottopreminger’s list of Disillusionment in Sun-drenched 1970s American New Wave Cinema. Credits: This episode recorded in Pennsylvania and Auckland. Edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
October 6, 2021
Four Favorites: Jenni Olson on lesbian spies, Eddie Murphy and LGBT film history
“I never learned how to make movies, I learned how to watch them,” says non-fiction filmmaker and film historian Jenni Olson as she talks lesbian runaways, spy spoofs and radical acts of love via her four Letterboxd faves: D.E.B.S.; Times Square; News from Home and Tongues Untied. Also: lesbian film tourism; men and their feelings; the joys of 16mm; Tim Curry as a New York DJ; Gemma drops some hot Letterboxd stats; what to watch for LGBT History Month; Slim re-thinks Eddie Murphy; our plans for a D.E.B.S. spin-off series (Amazon, Netflix, call us); and Times Square 4K when? Links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode; Reviews of D.E.B.S. by Caleb, Brat and Emily; Review of News From Home by CinemaVoid; Jenni’s lists of 101 Must-See Movies for Lesbians, and Good LGBT Movies on Tubi (Free). Credits: This episode recorded in San Francisco, Pennsylvania and Auckland. Edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
September 29, 2021
Four Favorites: Ghibliotheque’s Michael & Jake on Totoro, Indy and Roger Rabbit
We discuss the eternal charms of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro with Jake Cunningham and Michael Leader, the co-hosts of the famed Ghibliotheque podcast, who have a delightful new book out about the Studio Ghibili universe. Plus: thirsting for Bob Hoskins and being terrified by Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade a better sequel-prequel than The Godfather: Part II? Also: Soot sprite crafting tips; Totoro cream puffs; are Slim and Jake “basic boys”? And Bluey feature film when? Links: The list of films mentioned in this episode. Ghibliotheque: Unofficial Guide to the Movies of Studio Ghibli. Ghibliotheque podcast on Spotify. Reviews of My Neighbor Totoro from Brendan, Aliyah, Willow and David Jenkins. Lists of Harrison Ford films ranked by how much he wants you to get off his plane; hit ’80s movies that should be remake with all-female casts in order to f—k with cinebros, the cineRATic universe and Jake’s Spielberg Ranked list. Credits: This episode recorded in London, Pennsylvania and Auckland. Edited by Slim. Facts: Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
September 22, 2021
Four Favorites: Karsten Runquist on Fantastic Mr. Fox, Kaufman, Reichardt and Climax
YouTuber, filmmaker and Letterboxd member Karsten Runquist takes hosts Slim (of 70mm podcast infamy) and Gemma (Letterboxd’s editor-in-chief) through his four Letterboxd favorites. Karsten’s top four change often, but his all-time faves are: Fantastic Mr. Fox; Synecdoche, New York; Wendy and Lucy; and Gaspar Noé’s Climax. Also: queuing for the wrong movie at film festivals, turning off Letterboxd comments for your mental health, being overcome by the A24 fog, the importance of dogs, and revisiting “before-Letterboxd” ratings. Links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Karsten’s Fantastic Mr. Fox video essay Reviews of Fantastic Mr. Fox by Jay and Laura Autumnal Harvest list People are dancing and it’s not great but that doesn’t matter because they’re happy list Films which end with a f—king kick-ass song which multiplies the greatness of the film Review of Synecdoche, New York by Cait Kasten’s video essay about going to the movies alone Aaron’s review of Climax Quiet little female character studies list Karsten’s reviews of The Lighthouse and Portrait of a Lady on Fire Credits: This episode was recorded in New York, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
September 15, 2021
Four Favorites: Jonah Feingold on rom coms, Robin Williams and sweater weather
Writer, director, hopeful romantic and Letterboxd member Jonah Feingold chats about how Jurassic Park influenced his rom-com feature debut Dating & New York, and his four Letterboxd favorites: Hook; When Harry Met Sally…; The Lion King; and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Also: Meg Ryan’s glorious back-lit hair, filming New York with a Pro-Mist filter, cold-emailing Hans Zimmer for a job, being filmmaking besties with Aneesh Chaganty, and the emotional rollercoaster of being on Letterboxd with a new movie out (“I celebrate all the reviews of my film. Some of the five star ones made me cry, some of the three star ones made me cry…”). Dating & New York stars Jaboukie Young-White and Francesca Reale and is in select US theaters and everywhere films are rented from September 10, 2021, via IFC Films. Links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Dating & New York inspo Kicked in the Balls: A Cinematic History of Testicular Trauma Movies where a character says “Jack” in an emotional way The Jupiter Ascending Stigma Men get pegged The City is a Character The Good Dads Cinematic Universe Anna Swanson’s review of Hook Cowboy Like Eely’s review of The Curse of the Black Pearl Credits: This episode was recorded in New York, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
September 8, 2021
Four Favorites: Justin LaLiberty on Breathless, Dolph Lundgren and Snoop Dogg horror
On this episode, film archivist and adult-movie enthusiast Justin LaLiberty (of Vinegar Syndrome) unleashes the Dogg for his four Letterboxd faves: Showdown in Little Tokyo; Bones; Breathless (the Richard Gere remake); and SexWorld. We also discuss the wildly underrated action star Dolph Lundren, the wildly underrated director Ernest R. Dickerson, why it’s stupid that remakes get a bad rap, the experience of seeing Cronenberg’s Crash far too young, working in video stores and movie theaters, Justin’s recent curatorial work on Letterboxd’s adult titles, and—again!—why Babe: Pig in the City is a five-star film. Related links: The Letterboxd List of Films mentioned in this episode Justin’s How I Letterboxd Letterboxd lists of Anti-Capitalist horror, Male Frontal Nudity in Cinema, Man Ass, Los Angeles Plays Itself Josephkidney’s review of Breathless Rob’s review of SexWorld Credits: This episode was recorded in New York, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
August 25, 2021
Billie Piper Special: Rare Beasts and rom coms
Actor, writer and director Billie Piper talks to Gemma Gracewood about the filmic influences behind her ‘anti-rom-com’ directorial debut, Rare Beasts, a black comedy about dysfunction, misogyny, grief and tap-dancing also starring Leo Bill, Kerry Fox, Toby Woolf, David Thewlis and Lily James. Plus: the movies that got Piper’s family through multiple lockdowns, the chaotic splendour of Paul Thomas Anderson, her love of Busby Berkeley and Pina Bausch, plus Cassavetes, Curtis, Dunham, Beyoncé, and the only celebrity she has ever been starstruck by. Rare Beasts is now in select US theaters and on demand, as of August 20, 2021. Related links: Letterboxd list of films mentioned The films of Mike Leigh, Todd Solondz, Ken Loach, Pina Bausch, Paul Thomas Anderson, John Cassavetes, Busby Berkeley, Judd Apatow and Richard Curtis Pixar films Reviews of Rare Beasts from Letterboxd members Timothy Evans, h and Leonie Split-diopter shots Credits: This episode was recorded in London, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
August 23, 2021
Four Favorites: Marya E. Gates on Little Women, Jane Campion and denim butts
Classic film enthusiast, writer, California native, and prog rock fan Marya E. Gates discusses her four favorites: Little Women (the Winona Ryder one); Bright Star; Under the Tuscan Sun; and Crossing Delancey. Also: the joys of a nice ass in a pair of tight denim (“I firmly believe that almost anybody’s butt looks good in a nicely fitted pair of jeans”), 4K butts, Pickle Man appreciation, Jane Campion’s mastery of chaste eroticism and the hotness of Gabriel Byrne. Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Marya’s Letterboxd story on denim in cinema Letterboxd lists of Ladies Getting Head, Walking idly through European cities, Cottagecore, Noirvember Written by Women, man ass and Women have superior taste Gemma’s story on the Letterboxd rankings of Little Women Credits: This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
August 18, 2021
Four Favorites: Grace Spelman on West Side Story, Bob Fosse, Whiplash
Comedian, musician and The Ringer Music Show podcast host Grace Spelman discusses her four Letterboxd faves (West Side Story; All That Jazz; In the Loop and Whiplash) with hosts Slim and Gemma. Also: party bangers, scary music teachers, bad movie dates, unapologetic laptop movie-watching, Alan Partridge, and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story remake. Plus: why is All That Jazz so hard to find? And, who would win in a dance battle between theater kids and A24 nerds? Related Links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Grace’s People dancing to Steely Dan Twitter account White people jazz list Secretly A24 list Good movie dads list Boys crying list Homoerotic? list Pissbaby list Real Groovy Records Credits: This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
August 11, 2021
Four Favorites: Jim Cummings on Children of Men, Tom Hanks and indie cinema
“I should have never agreed to this podcast,” says indie filmmaking champion Jim Cummings as he sobs his way through his four Letterboxd faves (Inside Out; Krisha; Children of Men; and The ’Burbs) with hosts Slim and Gemma. Also: arm wrestling, humiliating characters, being an actor-director, DILFs, a Halloween Kills scoop, Tom Hanks’ comedy chops, exploding plates, and Jim’s next feature film, The Beta Test, which is coming out this fall via IFC Films. Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Ugly Cry! list Demi’s review of Thunder Road Subverting the studio logo list List of films that anticipated the notion of being too online Credits: This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Facts by Jack. Booker: Linda Moulton. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
August 4, 2021
Four Favorites: Isabel Sandoval on sensual cinema, Punch-Drunk Love and blue balls
This episode, quadruple-threat filmmaker Isabel Sandoval talks to Slim and Gemma about cinematic edging, sensual slapstick, nuns on screen, modern Filipino cinema, Verhoeven’s camp supremacy, audience blue balls, and, of course, her four Letterboxd favorites: Hiroshima Mon Amour, Jeanne Dielman, In the Mood for Love and Punch-Drunk Love. Slim, meanwhile, googles “French New Wave” while Gemma pours yet another coffee. Isabel wrote, directed, edited and starred in Lingua Franca, and more recently the sensual short Shangri-La. Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Isabel’s Sensual Cinema essay French New Wave Criterion on Letterboxd Criterion’s list of Questioning Love Lists featuring Hiroshima Mon Amour: 90 minutes or less / Directors visit Japan / Conversations on Film / Memory and Yearning / Socialism and leftism / Atomic weapons / Horny Ave’s review of Lingua Franca Adam Kempenaar’s review of Jeanne Dielman Lists featuring In the Mood for Love: Fills the void / Soft & slow / Loneliness in neon cities Isabel’s Top 10 Criterion picks / Closet picks Isabel’s review of A New Leaf Letterboxd’s Halfway 2021 Credits: This episode was recorded in Pennsylvania and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Our theme music is ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’, by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
July 28, 2021
Four Favorites: Brian Formo on Cannes, Eyes Wide Shut, Almodóvar and more
This episode, we get high and turn the Yo-Yo Ma up to eleven with Letterboxd’s Cannes correspondent Brian Formo, whose four favorites (Eyes Wide Shut; Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World; Darkman; The Skin I Live In) all feature surgeons of some sort. Plus: Cannes applause explained, bad movie dates, Russell Crowe’s luscious locks, how much we love Sally Jane Black, and Pig—the spiritual sequel to Babe: Pig in the City. Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Letterboxd’s Festiville HQ Brian’s review of Eyes Wide Shut Festival de Cannes 2021 lineup and winners The Criterion Collection on Letterboxd Russell Crowe (as Russ Le Roq) 1982 single ‘I Just Wanna be Like Marlon Brando’ Lists featuring The Skin I Live In: Evan’s horror movies by gay directors list; High art genre movies; Sally Jane Black’s Transgender list; Sarah’s dysphorroria list Ella Kemp’s content consideration essay Sally Jane Black’s surgery fundraiser Credits: This episode was recorded in Cannes, Philadelphia and Auckland, and edited by Slim. Our theme music is ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’, by film and television composing trio Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
July 21, 2021
Four Favorites: Josh Ruben on Jaws, Darkman, Werewolves Within and Patrick Wilson’s ass
This episode, we hit the sweet spot with actor, writer, director and Letterboxd member Josh Ruben, whose new comedy-horror Werewolves Within is out now on video on demand. Josh takes hosts Slim and Gemma through his four favorites: Darkman, Jaws, Little Children and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. We praise Steve Martin’s dramatic roles, Spielberg’s “little mumblecore fish movie”, the secret to directing horror-comedy and why Ghost gets a “five all round” from Josh. Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Chopper Fireball’s exploding helicopter megalist The highest-rated, most obsessively rewatched club 2020 list List of sunlit horror films Rebecca Henderson’s Instagram Janicza Bravo’s filmography Mike Nichols’ filmography Movies where the sex scene is necessary ‘Help i got too horny’ list Slim’s man ass list Trans Lifeline Credits: This episode was recorded in Philadelphia, Auckland and Josh Ruben’s house, and edited by Slim. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Danceoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
July 14, 2021
Four Favorites: Demi Adejuyigbe on I, Tonya, Lady Bird and the true meaning of love
This episode, we do a f—kin’ triple with Demi Adejuyigbe; screenwriter, comedian and, quote, “not a critic”. Demi runs hosts Slim and Gemma through his four Letterboxd favorites: I, Tonya (“every scene is like candy to me”), Ocean’s Eleven (the Soderbergh one), Hot Rod (“the last truly great American goofball comedy”), and Lady Bird (“it literally changed my life”). Plus: the joy of Mary Poppins, the fear of rating movies in public, and the pleasure of watching F9, in costume, with 34 of your closest friends. Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Malcolm Campbell, comedy editing legend The Fast and the Furious collection The Jackass collection “The Refined Nothing of Hot Rod” via Bright Wall/Dark Room Malin Åkerman on her figure-skating past Petfurniture’s tweet on the currency of love 70mm Podcast Credits: This episode was recorded in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Auckland and edited by Slim. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Danceoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
July 6, 2021
Four Favorites: Gemma Gracewood & Slim on Strictly Ballroom, Robocop and human nipples
A podcast hosted in fear is a podcast half-hosted—so now we have two hosts! Slim and Gemma introduce a new format, in which we interrogate a guest about their four Letterboxd favorites. First in the hot seat: the hosts themselves. Slim makes Gemma watch Vanilla Sky, while Gemma puts Slim through his bago-pago with Strictly Ballroom. Plus: Daniel Day-Lewis’s most surprising role, Paul Verhoeven’s normalization of the nipple, and Mark Ruffalo can be anything you want. Finally, the pressing question: are you Team Tom or Team Nicole? Related links: The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode The Official Letterboxd Top 250 Edgar Wright’s 100 Favorite Comedies “Being tasteless paid off”: the Mank couple in Slate Gemma’s A Room with a View review Slim’s Robocop review and North by Northwest review 70mm Podcast Slim’s stats Gemma’s stats Slim’s Man Ass list Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible—the documentary about Australia’s legendary film editor Lockdown Thirst: Letterboxd Show episode 4, featuring In the Cut Letterboxd Q&A with Paddington writer-director Paul King Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown’s favorite shots (including Casino’s counting room) Credits: This episode was recorded in Philadelphia and Auckland and edited by Slim. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Danceoteque’ by Moniker. Transcript by Sophie Shin.
June 30, 2021
18: Nomads and Forgeries
Nomadland author and “newbie cinephile” Jessica Bruder joins host Gemma Gracewood for a chat about her favorite films, working night-shifts at Starbucks with Christina Ricci’s brother, Chloé Zhao’s unique directing magic, and why Shaun the Sheep Movie is way too stressful. The Last Vermeer star Guy Pearce drops by to talk about the intoxicating joys of interrogation scenes, the greatest Australian film ever made, and Letterboxd reviews of Memento. And, our Hollywood correspondent Dominic Corry on the Golden Globes, canapés, Coming 2 America, and the gender inclusivity of Interstellar fandom on Letterboxd. Plus, our NEON-Letterboxd 2021 Awards Bundle. Related links The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Dom’s essay on Interstellar The NEON-Letterboxd 2021 Awards Bundle IndieWire’s interview with Tom Quinn of NEON Philbert Dy’s review of Coming 2 America Truman’s review of Memento Credits This episode was recorded in Brooklyn, Amsterdam and Auckland and edited by Tony Stamp. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Podcast artwork: Ann Davenport
March 14, 2021
17: Year in Review 2020
In this bumper episode, Letterboxd mutuals Demi Adejuyigbe and Mia Vicino (AKA Brat Pitt) join Gemma Gracewood to talk about the top films in the 2020 Year in Review, their favorite Letterboxd features, the highs and lows of being ‘Letterboxd famous’, and why jobs are stupid. This episode also features a load of butt-talk, courtesy of The Kid Detective writer-director Evan Morgan and star Adam Brody (who also appears Promising Young Woman—both titles feature in 2020’s highest-rated crime films). And, McKenna drops in to tell us what she learned from her 366-day Twilight odyssey. Related links The Letterboxd list of films mentioned in this episode Russ le Roq and his band Roman Antix perform their 1985 song ‘What’s the Difference?’ Credits This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Toronto and Auckland and edited by Tony Stamp. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Podcast artwork: Ann Davenport.
January 18, 2021
16: Shitlists and Bangers
Host Gemma Gracewood and guests Slim (70mm Podcast), Hannah Woodhead (Little White Lies’ Truth & Movies podcast) and Tim Batt (The Worst Idea Of All Time podcast) gather on the first Catsiversary of Tom Hooper’s mewsical misfire to look back at the so-bad-it’s-good films that got us through 2020, plus: our favorite “5-Bangers” of the year. Highlights include: Slim’s The New Mutants nightmare, Tim’s 2020 trophies, Hannah’s … Has Fallen spree, Gemma’s mum’s Cats commentary, Kyle McLachlan’s Showgirls stand-in’s very nice ass-cheeks, a Tom Hooper in New Zealand rumor, and the celebrity animals that got us through 2020. Related links The Letterboxd list of all the films mentioned in this episode Hannah’s Catsiversary romp through Letterboxd’s most-loved, lowest-rated films This episode was recorded in Sheffield, Philadelphia and Auckland and edited by Tony Stamp. Our theme music is ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. On the next episode: the Letterboxd Year in Review, with a panel of Letterboxd superstars (we usually publish about a week into January, and our episode will follow). Leave a voice message about the very best film you saw in 2020.
December 23, 2020
15: Animators and Wolfwalkers
Letterboxd editor-in-chief Gemma Gracewood hosts animation heads Toussaint Egan and Kambole Campbell, together at last, for a ramble through their all-time animation faves. Wolfwalkers director Tomm Moore on myths, hallucinogens, Wes Anderson and the joys of the Frozen soundtrack. Highlights include: all the love for Akira and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Kambole’s short-lived stop-motion career; is Ghibli “basic”?! Should Arendell have fallen? The small matter of Disney and cultural imperialism; and Toussaint Egan’s best Mickey Mouse-as-the-banker-from-Network impression! Plus: a news exclusive on the Puffin Rock feature film. Links The Letterboxd list of all the films mentioned in this episode AV Club article mentioned by Toussaint Kambole’s Letterboxd animation preview There’s a Monster in my Kitchen, Tomm’s film for Greenpeace Credits This episode was recorded in London, Paris, Chicago and Auckland and edited by Tony Stamp. Theme music: ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Podcast artwork: Ann Davenport. On the next episode: Slim (70mm Podcast), Hannah Woodhead (Little White Lies), Tim Batt (The Worst Idea Ever) on 2020’s shitters and five-bangers. Leave a voice message about the good-bad movies that got you through 2020.
December 15, 2020
14: Make the Yuletide Gay!
In this episode the yuletide gets gayer with Happiest Season’s favorite sister, Jane—AKA the film’s co-writer Mary Holland—and Dana Nachman, director of a documentary love letter to the US Postal Service, Dear Santa (and crowd-pleasers Pick of the Litter and Batkid Begins). Plus: Love Actually’s missing lesbians, our spooky new theme music, and Die Hard or Die Hard 2? It’s the battle of the Christmas voice messages. Films mentioned: What We Do in the Shadows Love Actually The Family Stone Home Alone “Christmas movie posters with white heterosexual couples wearing red and green” list Make the Yuletide Gay—Christmas films with LGBTQ+ representation E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Top Gun Dirty Dancing It’s a Wonderful Life Toni Collette comedies and Hereditary Enchanted Drop Dead Gorgeous Grease The Addams Family Serendipity Elf A Christmas Story The Trial of the Chicago 7 The films of Adam McKay This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, Joshua Tree and Auckland and edited by Tony Stamp. Theme music is ‘Vampiros Dancoteque’ by Moniker. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. On the next episode, we’ve got Wolfwalkers director Tomm Moore and animation heads Kambole Campbell and Toussaint Egan—leave us a voice message regarding your favorite animated film.
December 6, 2020
13: Sound of Metal
Tears flow as writer-director Darius Marder and actor and ASL rocker Paul Raci join Letterboxd’s editor-in-chief Gemma Gracewood to talk about their new film Sound of Metal, in which Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a punk-rock drummer suffering hearing loss, turns to adult deafness coach Joe (Raci, the son of deaf parents). We talk disability representation in movies, the Serenity Prayer as film structure, heavy-metal sign language, making producers’ brains hurt, and releasing your debut feature at the worst time in human history. Plus: other music movies for you to soak up before 2020 crawls back into its hole. Films mentioned The Place Beyond the Pines Blue Valentine Sound of Metal Run Wonderstruck The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You Zappa (and the Letterboxd Show episode with Alex Winter) The Shawl The Letterboxd Show is recorded in Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Auckland, and edited by Tony Stamp. The theme tune is ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation (new album The Friend Ship out now!). Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. On the next episode: festive feelings with Happiest Season’s Mary Holland! Leave us a voice message about your favorite festive film at letterboxd.show.
November 20, 2020
12: Shithouse, Fall Festival Roundup
Our London correspondent Ella Kemp joins Letterboxd’s editor-in-chief Gemma Gracewood to talk about their highlights from the fall festival season. Later they’re joined by actor, writer and first-time feature director Cooper Raiff and his Shithouse co-star Dylan Gelula to talk college, crying, comfort films, and Dylan’s Letterboxd habits. Films and links mentioned: Synchronic David Byrne’s American Utopia Lovers Rock I Carry You With Me Shiva Baby Shithouse Portrait of a Lady on Fire Kajillionaire I Used to Go Here Revenge of the Nerds St Elmo’s Fire Right Now, Wrong Then Lost in Translation On the Rocks Vanya on 42nd Street Bridge to Terabithia 13 Going on 30 Wolfwalkers Perfect Blue Millennium Actress Paprika Inside Out It’s Such a Beautiful Day The Red Shoes The Umbrellas of Cherbourg The Young Girls of Rochefort The Social Dilemma The work of Jay Duplass. TV shows mentioned: Togetherness, Love on the Spectrum, Normal People (specifically, episode 5). Dylan’s podcast, Lecture Hall, with her friend Broti Gupta. This episode recorded in London, Los Angeles and Dunedin and edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Our theme music is ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Our next episode features Wolfwalkers co-director Tomm Moore, and animation fans Kambole Campbell and Toussaint Egan. To be in to win a Pro membership, leave us a voice message about your favorite animated film or sequence of all time.
November 7, 2020
11: Jim Cummings
Actor, writer and director Jim Cummings joins Letterboxd’s editor-in-chief Gemma Gracewood to talk about his brand new film The Wolf of Snow Hollow, Robert Forster’s final role, toxic masculinity, tears, montages, werewolves, Fight Club, Fincher, turning shorts into features, his Letterboxd favorites, and the enduring emotional power of Inside Out’s Bing Bong. Films and lists mentioned: Rope Rear Window Beast Beast Greener Grass The Social Network Zodiac Fight Club Thunder Road The Robbery (short) Blue Valentine Rebel Without a Cause Shithouse What We Do in the Shadows Napoleon Dynamite An American Werewolf in London The Howling Dirty Dancing Jamaica Inn The Great Dictator Inside Out Seduced and Abandoned Children of Men The ’Burbs Obvious Child (short) / Obvious Child Two Cars One Night (short) / Boy Whiplash (short) / Whiplash Lights Out (short) / Lights Out Saw (short) / Saw Brat Pitt’s review of Fight Club A list of films with men/boys crying Jim Cummings on Letterboxd This episode recorded in Los Angeles and Auckland and edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Theme music: ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Our next episode features Cooper Raiff and Dylan Gelula of Shithouse. To be in to win a Pro membership, leave us a voice message about your favorite college film.
October 11, 2020
10: The Realness
Letterboxd’s editor in chief Gemma Gracewood and lists editor Jack Moulton discuss their favorite docs of 2020 so far. Letterboxd members call in with their own top-doc picks, and we’re joined by Eli Despres and Elyse Steinberg, two-thirds of the directing team behind The Fight, which follows ACLU lawyers as they argue for major social justice issues including trans rights in the military and abortion access. Elyse also reveals she once acted in a Todd Haynes film. (We’ve kept in interruptions by children for pandemic documentary realness!) Films and lists mentioned: Official Letterboxd Top 100 Documentaries Welcome to Chechnya For Sama Boys State Disclosure Crip Cramp: A Disability Revolution Mucho Mucho Amor The Painter and the Thief Coronation The documentaries of Agnès Varda He Dreams of Giants The Ghost of Peter Sellers Father Soldier Son Making a Murder (and Knives Out) The Last Dance Showbiz Kids Miss Americana The Fight directors: The Fight Weiner Crumb American Movie The Oath How to Survive a Plague A Few Good Men Poison Heavenly Creatures It Might Get Loud Fantasia Fest: You Cannot Kill David Arquette Feels Good Man This episode was recorded in Los Angeles, New York and Auckland and edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Theme music: ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation (their new single ‘Landline’ is out now). Our next episode features Irish animator Tomm Moore. To be in to win a Pro membership, leave us a voice message about your favorite animated film of all time.
September 15, 2020
9: Alex Winter
Actor, documentarian and excellent human Alex Winter joins Letterboxd’s Gemma Gracewood and Jack Moulton to talk about his three new films: Showbiz Kids, Zappa and the long-awaited Bill & Ted Face the Music. Films mentioned by Alex: Bill & Ted Face the Music Showbiz Kids Zappa Land Without Bread The films of Stan Brakhage and Chris Marker The Rolling Stones: Cocksucker Blues Leaving Neverland Close Encounters of the Third Kind Raiders of the Lost Ark The Lost Boys The Empire Strikes Back Superman Jaws The films of Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire Once Upon A Time... in Hollywood Monty Python and the Holy Grail The Painter and the Thief Capone Vitalina Varela First Cow Links Alex’s 50 B-Sides and Rarities list The Letterboxd list for this episode. Alex’s Letterboxd profile This episode was recorded in Los Angeles and Auckland, and edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Our theme music is ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Our next episode is also about documentaries, with the directors of The Fight. Leave us a voice message about your favorite doc of 2020.
August 30, 2020
8: Lockdown Filmmaking
From pitching to studios via video to filming in confined spaces, the filmmakers behind found-footage favorites Searching (Aneesh Chaganty) and new browser-horror Host (Rob Savage, Jed Shepherd and Gemma Hurley) share their best tips for making movies in quarantine. Plus, Rob and Aneesh reveal their heavy-duty Letterboxd habits, Aneesh talks about casting his next film, Run, and his roommate Blake pops in to explain their elaborate method for how to choose what film to watch. Films mentioned by Jed, Rob and Gemma As Above, So Below Ghostwatch Night of the Comet Your Name. (君の名は。) The Innocents Films mentioned by Aneesh The Sixth Sense The Mission Impossible franchise “When Shyamalan was a major, major deal, making hit after hit” Buried Minority Report Ocean’s 11 Inception Step Brothers Sense and Sensibility Anvil! The Story of Anvil Slumdog Millionaire (500) Days of Summer Memento Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Bombay Links On Letterboxd: Jed Shepherd; Aneesh Chaganty; Aneesh’s roommate Blake. This episode was recorded in London, Los Angeles and Auckland, and edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Theme music is ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Our next episode is about documentaries, with writer-director and Bill & Ted star Alex Winter, and the directors of The Fight. Leave a voice message with your question for Winter.
August 15, 2020
7: Ghibli Magic Moments
Since the roll-out of Studio Ghibli films on Netflix and HBO Max this year, there’s been an explosion of Letterboxd activity around the famed studio’s films. Our Ghibli-loving guests couldn’t be happier. David Jenkins (Little White Lies), Tasha Robinson (Polygon) and Adam Kempenaar (Filmspotting) share their Ghibli obsessions and discuss whether to “sub or dub”. Letterboxd members phone in with their favs. Plus: Little White Lies turns 15. Links David Jenkins’ review of My Neighbor Totoro Polygon’s best Studio Ghibli scenes survey @c0mmunicants’ Ghibli tweet The Official Letterboxd Top 250 Letterboxd members’ top 20 favorite comfort films Adam’s daughter Sophie on Letterboxd Mami Sunada’s The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Our Q&A with the hosts of Ghibliotheque This episode was recorded in Chicago, London and Auckland and edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Theme music is ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Leave a voice message for Aneesh Chaganty, our next guest, or tell us the ‘so bad it’s good’ film you’ve been rewatching in isolation for an upcoming episode. We recorded this episode as the news of George Floyd’s death by police brutality was emerging, and held it back in order to amplify Black voices and stories. Racism has no place on Letterboxd. Here are some ideas for activism; here are more; and more. We are donating all proceeds from screenings of Josephine Decker’s Shirley via our virtual screening link (available to US members only) to BIPOC film non-profit Firelight Media. Black Lives Matter.
July 1, 2020
6: Black Life on Film
This episode is dedicated to films about the Black experience. Our guest is Letterboxd member Adam Davie, creator of the extensive Black Life on Film list. Adam explains why he has spent three years creating the list and why it includes “the good, the bad and the ugly as it relates to the Black experience”. Links Driving Miss Daisy (Bruce Beresford, 1989) The Story of a Three-Day Pass (Melvin Van Peebles, 1968) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Rodney Rothman/Peter Ramsey/Bob Persichetti, 2018) Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989) I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016) 13th (Ava DuVernay, 2016) Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) LA 92 (T.J. Martin/Daniel Lindsay, 2017) Support The Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018) The High Note (Nisha Ganatra, 2020) Beyond the Lights (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2014) The Wound (John Trengove, 2017) Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu, 2018) Attack the Block (Joe Cornish, 2011) I Am Legend (Francis Lawrence, 2007) If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2017) Black Dynamite (Scott Sanders, 2009) Miami Connection (Y.K. Kim/Woo-sang Park, 1987) This episode was recorded in Pittsburgh, PA and Auckland, NZ and edited by Morgan Avery. Our podcast artwork is by Ann Davenport and our theme music is ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Leave a voice message telling us your favorite Studio Ghibli film, or a ‘so bad it’s good’ film you’ve been rewatching in isolation for our upcoming episodes. Listeners in the US can watch Josephine Decker’s Shirley via our virtual screening room—we’re donating all proceeds to film non-profit Firelight Media. For other links, resources and places to donate in the fight for justice, here are some anti-racism resources for white people. This Letterboxd review of I Am Not Your Negro also contains useful links. Black Lives Matter.
June 10, 2020
5: Spielberg Special
Our cast of Steven Spielberg fans somehow manage to find new things to say about the films of the highest-grossing director of all time, and marvel at how his movies feel more potent than ever in the time of coronavirus. Guests: Chris Evangelista from SlashFilm’s 21st Century Spielberg podcast, comedian/writer Gabriel Gundacker of “I Wanna meet Richard Dreyfuss” fame, and Letterboxd’s West Coast editor Dominic Corry. Links Steven Spielberg’s filmography. 1993: a big year for Spielberg, as chronicled by Ed Power in The Independent. Watch the moment Spielberg is not nominated for a Best Director Oscar for Jaws. Susan Lacy’s 2017 Spielberg documentary. Spielberg at Cannes in 1975. Composer John Williams (and Rolling Stone film critic David Fear on his work in Catch Me if You Can). The Spielberg Quarantine Challenge: A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Dominic) Lincoln (Chris) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Gabriel) The Indiana Jones box set (Gemma) Quarantine Pick-Me-Ups: The Last Days of Disco (Dominic) The Rocketeer (Chris) Blazing Saddles (Gabriel) The Muppet Movie (Gemma) Filmmakers on the Internet: Vulture’s conversations with directors in insolation, including Reuben Ostland and Claire Denis (Gemma) Mary Neely (Dominic) Settling the Score podcast (Gabriel) SlashFilm’s Quarantine Stream (Chris) Recorded in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Auckland. Edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Theme music: ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Leave a voice message telling us your favorite quarantine rewatch for our next episode (don’t forget to introduce yourself and please record in a quiet place too).
May 11, 2020
4: Lockdown Thirst
Has lockdown got you thirsty? This is the episode you need. Inspired by film writer Justine Peres Smith’s popular ‘Best Horny Movies for Quarantine’ list, Letterboxd editor Gemma Gracewood, Montreal-based Smith, and The Black List’s Kate Hagen dive deep into several erotic thrillers from the past two decades: Jane Campion’s In The Cut, Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden and Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart. And we ask: where’s all the hot sex in Western film these days? Plus: Cronenberg, PTA, Roeg, Marilyn Monroe and more. Links Horny movies: Kate’s Essential Erotic Thrillers and 365 Sex Scenes The Black List In The Cut Justine’s 2018 re-examination of In The Cut for Little White Lies God’s Own Country The Handmaiden Knife + Heart Crash Don't Look Now Inherent Vice Damage Bound Kate’s Playboy article Quarantine recommendations: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Justine) Peggy Sue Got Married (Kate) Ratatouille (Gemma) Filmmakers on social: K. Austin Collins’ Shut-in Movie Club and Letterboxd profile (Justine) Vidiots and video stores everywhere (Kate) Joss Ackland’s #ReadaLetter (Gemma) Edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Theme music: ‘Hitchcock’ by The Phoenix Foundation. Leave a voice message telling us your favorite Steven Spielberg film for our next episode.
April 27, 2020
3: Big Cities, Empty Streets
Nostalgic for recent life, Letterboxd editor Gemma Gracewood, our West Coast editor Dominic Corry and New York-based freelance film critic Susannah Gruder celebrate movies set in big cities while we stay home to save lives. We discuss how directors like Michael Mann, Susan Seidelman and Richard Linklater move through cityscapes, and we see New York through newcomers’ eyes in Eliza Hittman’s stunning new film. P.S. Join our L.A. Showdown: nominate your favorite films set in the City of Angels. Links City films for empty streets: Crossing Delancey Vanilla Sky, The Quiet Earth and Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen Desperately Seeking Susan Heat, Collateral Before Sunset Never Rarely Sometimes Always The Omega Man, Woodstock Light Sleeper, Three Days of the Condor Miracle Mile Bright Wall/Dark Room’s list of obscure recommendations Babylon incl. the engagement-party scene Art House Online Quarantine recommendations: Frederico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria and Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity (Susannah) Robert Zemeckis’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (Dominic) Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights (Gemma) Filmmakers on the Internet: Ritesh Batra’s scriptwriting chats (Gemma) ScriptNotes podcast with John August and Craig Mazin, including this live episode (Dominic) Love from BAM Netflix parties, Lou Doillon’s Instagram feed (Susannah) Edited by Morgan Avery. Podcast artwork by Ann Davenport. Leave a voice message telling us your favorite erotic thrillers for the next episode.
April 13, 2020
2: Feeling Good
Locked down and looking for comfort, Letterboxd editor Gemma Gracewood, London-based film and music writer Ella Kemp and LA-based musician and writer Demi Adejuyigbe explore why Paddington Bear, Donald O’Connor and Talking Heads are deeply uplifting in these strange times, nominate their favorite actors-doing-things-on-the-internet, and find film-watching solutions to the attention-span issues that come with staying home. Links Pixar director recommendations for children: All Ages 7 to 12 Years 12 Years and Over The Letterboxd Feel-Good Showdown Our interview with Paddington and Paddington 2 writer-director Paul King Edgar Wright’s 100 favorite comedies Rian Johnson’s favorite 70s movie musicals Bright Wall/Dark Room’s crowd-sourced list of most obscure movie recommendations. Our panel’s picks: Angel (Ella) The Castle (Demi) Wham! in China: Foreign Skies (Gemma) Patrick Stewart’s Sonnets Sam Neill’s therapeutic Twitter and Instagram feeds Demi’s food-bank donation drive Richard E. Grant on Twitter Art House Online—help us support art house cinemas by renting these new, recent and re-released films, and read Ella’s interview with Levan Akin, director of And Then We Danced The panel’s feel-good picks for this week: Donald O’Connor’s ‘Make ’em Laugh’ dance sequence from Singin’ in the Rain (Gemma) Stop Making Sense (1984), Jonathan Demme’s Talking Heads film (Demi) The Shop Around the Corner (1940) (Ella) This podcast was recorded in Los Angeles, London and Auckland and edited by Morgan Avery. Our podcast artwork is by Ann Davenport. Leave a voice message telling us your favorite films set in big cities for our next episode, in which our West Coast editor Dominic Corry and New York correspondent Susannah Gruder will remember the recent past through movies.
April 4, 2020
1: 2020 Oscar Pre-Show
A panel discussion ahead of the 2020 Oscars, hosted by Letterboxd editor Gemma Gracewood with guests Kate Hagen, Demi Adejuyigbe and Dominic Corry. We revisit our favorite films of 2019, figure out why we still love the Oscars, award some additional trophies, and talk maybe a little too much about Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Links Letterboxd’s downloadable Oscars Ballot: JPEG or PDF Letterboxd 2019 Year in Review 2020 Oscars — All nominated films 2019–2020 awards season winners The best years for Best Picture nominees, ranked (thanks to Jack Moulton) Kate Hagen’s list of Essential Erotic Thrillers Demi Adejuyigbe’s lists of Movies whose full titles can be perfectly sung to the rhythm and cadence of “Moon River, wider than a mile” and Movies whose entire titles can be comfortably sung to the tune and rhythm of “Little Red Corvette” Dominic Corry’s lists of Yuppies in Peril and Films that Poetically Capture the Experience of Living in Los Angeles Ford v Ferrari (aka Le Mans ’66): What really happened at the end? Watch: Anna Paquin wins Best Supporting Actress at the 66th Academy Awards, hyperventilates for 22 seconds straight Watch: La La Land, sorry Moonlight wins Best Picture Letterboxd’s Top 10 Sundance 2020 World Premieres
February 6, 2020