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38 minutes | 14 days ago
Giving Thanks For Film Editors, Part One
Join me in a three-part tribute to film editors. Most people can name a film's director and maybe even its writer, cinematographer or composer but far fewer can name editors. But film editors can alter performances, determine pace, and affect cinematic storytelling in so many ways. To kick off this three-part series is Tatiana S. Riegel, Oscar-nominated editor of "I, Tonya."
38 minutes | a month ago
Halloween Double Dare Radio Dramas
This episode of Cinema Junkie serves up a Halloween Double Dare, playwright Michael Mizerany and I dare you to listen to a pair of his one-act horror plays. So turn out the lights, put on some headphones and enjoy an audio treat while sheltering at home this Halloween. Please note the plays contain explicit language and mature content. "Johnny and Babs Versus the Apocalypse" by Michael Mizerany Babs: Sydney Joyner Johnny: Marc Caro Stage Directions: David Janisch Inspired by the film "Night Of The Living Dead," "Johnny and Babs Versus the Apocalypse" chronicles a terror-filled evening replete with COVID chaos, civil unrest, flesh eating zombies. and sibling bickering. "Die Already!" by Michael Mizerany Branigan: Tyler Lloyd Chase: Quincy Bazen Jordan: Kevin Phan Gary: SeeJay Lewis Stage Directions: David Janisch A spoof of every horror film ever made where the killer just won’t stay dead, "Die Already!" tells the bloody tale of a one-night stand gone horribly, horribly wrong. Music for both plays was composed by Phil Nenna, who also created the Cinema Junkie theme music.
25 minutes | a month ago
Bonus Episode: San Diego Asian Film Festival Innovates For Pandemic
San Diego Asian Film Festival's artistic director Brian Hu gives Cinema Junkie a preview of the most exciting films from Johnnie To's new boxing romance to Lav Diaz' epic Philippine melodrama to zombies in the Taiwan parliament. Festival runs Oct. 23 through 31 with Mystery Kung Fu Theater streaming live on Twitch!
61 minutes | a month ago
Fascism Through The Lens Of Italian Cinema
Can films help us remember history so that we don't repeat it? That's the question Cinema Junkie poses to Kimber Quinney, professor of history at Cal State San Marcos, and Antonio Iannotta, artistic director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival. We look at the rise of fascism in Italy in the 1920s, 30s and 40s to see what lessons we might be able to learn that might apply to the U.S. right now. We discuss films such as "Rome, Open City," "Anni Difficilli," "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," and "Christ Stopped at Eboli."
41 minutes | 2 months ago
SDLFF Pushing The Envelope
The 27th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival streams its first virtual edition now through Sept. 27 and the film choices push the envelope in terms of diversity and cinematic styles. I speak with festival founder/executive director Ethan Van Thillo about the challenges of moving the event online and with exhibitions manager Moises Esparza about showcasing emerging filmmakers drawn to themes of unrest and revolution.
63 minutes | 3 months ago
The Role Of Horror In A Scary World
As the real world feels scarier each day with a pandemic in full swing, police brutality and people just behaving badly filling social media, and a president fanning the flames of hate and unrest, the horror genre has had to adjust. This year's Horrible Imaginings Film Festival has had to move online for its annual showcase of horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Festival founder and executive director Miguel Rodriguez says that the films this year serve up less gore and tales of physical harm and instead focus on horror relating to undefined dread, to not being able to distinguish what's real from what's not, and to stories where you just can't figure out what it is that is trying to hurt you. We discuss the diverse array of shorts, features and documentaries available through Sept. 7 as well as discuss the role horror can play in a world that makes us increasingly anxious.
59 minutes | 3 months ago
First Look: Troma Takes On The Bard
Get a first look, I mean, listen, to Troma Entertainment's latest film "#Shakespeare's Sh--storm." Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman talks with me about finally being old enough to play Prospero in his 100% Troma-tized adaptation of the Bard's "The Tempest." We also talk about being kicked off YouTube, starting a streaming channel, and surviving more than four decades outside Hollywood as a truly independent film studio. But be warned, this podcast contains potentially offensive material because, well, it's all about Troma, which specializes in gross-out, gore-filled, politically incorrect yet somehow endearing z-grade films. But if you don't know Troma, maybe don't listen. You've been warned!
70 minutes | 4 months ago
How COVID Is Ruining The Zombie Apocalypse
As if the zombies knew a real pandemic was heading our way, there was a surge of undead films in 2019 with more than a dozen infecting cinemas. So as we deal with a real pandemic Cinema Junkie gets its annual check up with the Doctor of the Dead, Arnold T. Blumberg, whose diagnosis is that COVID is ruining the fun of the zombie apocalypse by giving us something far scarier in the willful ignorance of humans facing the coronavirus in the real world. So to celebrate the 200th episode of the podcast we discuss zombies in the time of coronavirus, and what we might learn from them. Blumberg has written books on zombies, film, and pop culture, and teaches courses using zombies as well as superheroes.
44 minutes | 4 months ago
Aim For The Head: Max Brooks On Zombies And Coronavirus
Everything you need to know you can learn from zombies. Author Max Brooks pretty much laid out a lot of what we're been dealing with during this coronavirus pandemic in his novel "World War Z" that came out in 2006. He will have a virtual panel at this year's Comic-Con@Home called "Zombies and Coronavirus: Planning for the Next Big Outbreak." Brooks says of his panel, "People can expect to hear us discuss this real plague that we're dealing with. But through the metaphor of zombies, because the best tool of education is pop culture." His panel is at noon on July 24 but the YouTube link will remain on the Comic-Con Channel even after the convention ends, which allows anyone to watch the discussion any time. We also discuss his new book "Devolution." I know this is not cinema but it is zombies, which I love, and Brooks is the son of filmmaker/comedian Mel Brooks and film actress Anne Bancroft so there is a cinema connection! In addition to his writing, Brooks holds duel fellowships at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Modern War Institute. Check out a podcast that aims for the head.
39 minutes | 5 months ago
Quarantined With 'Mythic Quest'
While in quarantine I discovered the Apple TV show "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet" created by "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's" Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Megan Ganz. The show debuted in February but had a bonus quarantine episode released at the end of May. So for this podcast I wanted to look to the gaming world and creating a show about the dynamics of running a game design company. I also wanted to focus on the ingenious quarantine episode so I speak with two of the writers from that show Megan Ganz and actor David Hornsby (who you may remember as Cricket from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia").
57 minutes | 5 months ago
Bonus Podcast: Revisiting The Black Panthers
David F. Walker, author of the upcoming "The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel," talks more about the research he's done for his book and I have my full interview with a member of the San Diego Original Black Panther Party, Henry Lee Wallace V. So I stray off the film path for this bonus or perhaps it's better titled a companion podcast to Black Films That Matter. Walker talks about the Black Panthers and their legacy while Wallace recounts how he joined the party as a teenager and now serves as chairman of the reactivated San Diego Black Panther Party. A little history rather than cinema for a change of pace. Check out the companion Black Films that Matter Podcast: https://www.kpbs.org/podcasts/cinema-junkie/2020/jul/03/black-films-matter/
69 minutes | 5 months ago
Black Films That Matter
David F. Walker (writer of "Shaft" and "Luke Cage" comics, and graphic novels on Frederick Douglas and The Black Panther Party) picks some Black films that matter to provide context for today's protests. We discuss the controversial 1973 film "The Spook Who Sat By The Door" that United Artists pulled from release; Melvin Van Peebles' "The Watermelon Man" in which Godfrey Cambridge plays a white man who wakes up Black one morning; "Cornbread, Earl and Me" about an innocent Black kid shot dead by police; and more. We explore why these films are still relevant and how that provide insight into race in America. WARNING: Contains explicit language and language that may be offensive.
56 minutes | 5 months ago
From Final Girls To The Final Boy
This month and into July Shudder is hosting the Etheria Film Festival, a showcase of genre shorts by women filmmakers, and a Queer Horror Collection featuring the new documentary "Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street." I will highlight the best of Etheria and then speak with filmmakers Tyler Jensen and Roman Chimienti about making "Scream Queen!" and finally speak with Mark Patton (Jesse in "Nightmare on Elm Street 2") about how being in a film labeled "the gayest horror film ever made" impacted the career of a young actor in 1985 Hollywood when the AIDS pandemic was at its height. So join me as we go from the final girls of Etheria to the final boy of Elm Street. WARNING: Contains explicit language.
36 minutes | 6 months ago
Yes! The Matt Berry Podcast
Matt Berry has given us a gallery of hilarious characters from the buffoonish Douglas Reynholm in "The IT Crowd" to full of himself actor Steven Toast in "Toast of London" to the Staten Island vampire Laszlo Cravensworth in "What We Do In The Shadows," which has its season finale on June 10, 2020. I had the pleasure of speaking with Berry about his career including such cult classics as "Snuff Box" and "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace." Plus I get to play some of his music. WARNING: This podcast contains explicit language and adult humor... because it contains Matt Berry.
71 minutes | 6 months ago
The Global Pandemic Film Primer
Cinema Junkie has been exploring escapist films to distract you from our current coronavirus pandemic but as parts of the country and some businesses start to reopen I decided it was time to explore some unconventional pandemic films that raise issues beyond just the virus itself. I will be speaking with neuroscientist and emotion researcher Eric Leonardis who has been spending his quarantined time at home watching pandemic films but he has an interesting take on these movies because he wants to see how emotions like panic and fear can spread as readily as a virus and how words can be as dangerous as germs. We will consider silents to contemporary films as well as films from China, Cambodia, South Korea and the U.S. So wash your hands, put on a mask, and defy being infected by these pandemic movies.
65 minutes | 7 months ago
Become A Digital Explorer During The Pandemic
Write, blogger, and classic film enthusiast Will McKinley will be your guide to becoming a more adventuresome digital explorer as you navigate the quarantine landscape. He suggest skip the entertainment fast food and pick more nourishing options from the digital buffet. We'll discuss everything from free services to boutique streaming services to bulking up on physical media. There really are so many choices!
52 minutes | 7 months ago
Bond, Not James Bond Spy Films
April was to have been the month we got Bond 25, "No Time To Die" but the film has been postponed to November because of the current pandemic. So here's a discussion about the best and most outrageous Bond rip off spy films that provide perfect escapist fare while sheltering at home. To help guide us through this fun terrain is #Bond_age espionage aficionado James Patrick. We also pay tribute to Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore of "Goldfinger," who died earlier this month.
71 minutes | 8 months ago
TCMFF Home Edition Plus Screwball Comedies
Cinema Junkie offers up some quarantine viewing options that provide escapism. First up, TCM Classic Film Festival had to cancel its Hollywood event but has moved it to its TCM cable channel for a Home Edition that anyone can enjoy while sheltering at home. Charles Tabesh, senior vice president in charge of programming at Turner Classic Movies, previews the festival. The Nora Fiore, author of the Nitrate Diva blog, highlights the best screwball comedies to take your mind off the coronavirus pandemic. She suggests some well-known classics as well as under-appreciated gems. Plus enjoy a rendition of "The Good Ship Lollipop" that will delight and surprise you.
32 minutes | 8 months ago
'Contagion' Film As Teaching Tool For Coronavirus Pandemic
UC San Diego professor Joel Wertheim uses the 2011 Steven Soderbergh film "Contagion" to teach a class every fall in epidemiology because it is so accurate in depicting a global pandemic. I talk to Wertheim about viruses and what we might be able learn from pop culture about dealing with the current coronavirus pandemic.
31 minutes | 9 months ago
Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin And 'Wendy'
I became a fan of Benh Zeitlin after his first film "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Now almost eight years later he has a second film that once again captures the wonder of childhood through a young girl's eyes. For "Wendy" he has reimagined "Peter Pan" from her point of view and place the idea of motherhood front and center. I speak to him about shooting on 16mm, working with non-professional child actors, and keeping reality as part of the magical world he creates.
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