Mobituaries with Mo Rocca
Anna May Wong: Death of a Trailblazer
February 7, 2020
I love the structure of Mo Rocca’s show which looks back on the lives of the dearly departed. In this episode he weaves his own telling of Anna May Wong’s life with a variety of insights from special guests like comedian Margaret Cho. It’s a fascinating mixture of biography and analysis. I’ve read two excellent biographies of Wong and still learned several new things about her here.
The Complete: Elaine May
A New Leaf
October 14, 2018
The Complete is a podcast dedicated to exploring the full filmography of a single director each season, one film each episode. Hosts Matt and Travis are now deep into the filmography of Krzysztof Kieślowski, but I had to start with their second season, which explores the career of Elaine May. I like their first episode of the season, because they offer a solid biography of May and explore the challenges she experienced as a female filmmaker while also drawing parallels to the challenges women still face in the industry today. Their discussion about A New Leaf (1971) is a lot of fun as well, because they clearly adore her directing debut.
Nightmare on Film Street
Dead in the Water: Psycho vs. Les Diaboliques
January 15, 2020
I enjoyed this thoughtful conversation about Psycho (1960) and Les Diaboliques (1955) because while I’ve seen both films several times, the hosts bring up a lot of points I hadn’t considered. They’ve both got a great eye for detail.
Mel Brooks Remembers Brooksfilms
May 18, 2018
A while back I did a deep dive into the archives of the now dormant official Shout! Factory podcast. There are a lot of great interviews to be found here, a June 8, 2018 chat with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter is a particular favorite of mine, but the episode that has stuck with me the most is this discussion with Mel Brooks. Brooks is so beloved as a comedy filmmaker that it is often forgotten how much he elevated film art with his Brooksfilms production company, which is most famous for producing The Elephant Man (1980). It was fascinating to learn more about his history with the company and get a feeling for his deep love of cinema.