In this microcast, I look at the unofficial Bond movie, Never Say Never Again (Irvin Kershner), that came off second best at the box office against the EON produced Octopussy (John Glen), when they were both released in 1983. Despite it’s generally low ranking reputation, I look at some of the elements I enjoy, including Bond’s fashion, the shark scenes, and the witty and playful script by Lorenzo Semple Jr (with uncredited rewrites by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais from the British comedy Porridge).
In the latest episode of my podcast, Newton Talks, author Austin Fisher joins me to talk about his book, Blood in the Streets, which looks at Italian crime films cycles of the 1970s, such as the police thriller, vigilante movies, mafia narratives, and the giallo, and how they responded to the violent political turmoil happening in Italian cities at the time.
We discuss the use of locations, how cyclical film production in the 70s relied upon repetition, and how these films reflected the ‘Years of Lead’, an extraordinary period of political violence that lasted the decade.
In this micro-podcast, I talk about one of the definitive cult films of the 1980s, Alex Cox’s debut feature, Repo Man (1984). As well as being a filmmaker, Cox was also presenter of the BBC series Moviedrome, which has an important place in the perception of cult cinema. Listen to my podcast about one of the great anti-authoritarian films here;
What more is there to say about Robin Hardy’s folk horror masterpiece The Wicker Man (1973)? Not too much. But nevertheless, in this very short microcast, I share a few thoughts on the director’s cut, the remake, and Hardy’s belated 2011 sequel/follow up The Wicker Tree.
In this episode of my Cult Film Microcast series, I look at Perry Henzell’s 1972 Jamaican film, The Harder They Come. The poster above is from the American New World Pictures release, and makes a clear attempt to market the film as a blaxploitation crime picture. Like many films of the blaxploitation cycle, it has an anti-authoritarian ethos, and the music and soundtrack is a vital component in generating its mood.
In this recording, I focus on the stylistic techniques, the performance by reggae star Jimmy Cliff as Ivanoe Martin, and the famous scene set in the Rialto cinema in Kingston, where Martin goes to watch a performance of the spaghetti western Django (Sergio Corbucci, 1966).
In this series of micro-podcasts I look at individual cult films. In this episode I focus on James Glickenhaus’ often maligned The Exterminator (1980). A sleazy and very violent exploitation movie set in New York, The Exterminator features a traumatised Vietnam veteran avenging an attack on his friend, as well as the mobsters extorting local businesses. While nowhere near as respected as superficially similar New York vigilante movies like Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976) or Winner’s Death Wish (1974), it has enough moments of significance that make it worthy of attention in its own right. Note, for example, how it juxtaposes the hellish jungles of Vietnam with a City in economic and moral decline, and how its lead character identifies with both victims and victimisers. Listen to more of my thoughts on the movie here;
As part of my Newton Talks podcast I have started a spin-off series of short ‘microcasts’ on cult cinema, much shorter than my regular episodes. Each episode will see me introducing a different cult film. The first of these is all about Walter Hill’s The Warriors (1979). I hope you enjoy it. Have a listen here;