In this episode, historian of medicine and psychiatry Dr Jennifer Wallis joins me to discuss the relationship between the Victorian asylum and cinema, particularly the representation of the asylum in the horror film. We discuss 70s Amicus productions, Session 9 (2001), the reality of asylum life, and how cinema was used as entertainment in the West Riding Asylum in the 1920s. Jennifer is author of Investigating the Body in the Victorian Asylum Doctors, Patients, and Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and has also contributed chapters on film to the Headpress publications Are you in the House Alone? (ed. Amanda Reyes), and Offbeat (ed. Julian Upton). Listen here https://audioboom.com/posts/7892825-newton-talks-19-the-asylum-in-cinema-with-dr-jennifer-wallis
In this latest episode of Newton Talks I talk to Tom Lee Rutter, director of Day of the Stranger, the folk horror Bella in the Wych Elm, and the forthcoming ‘almanac’ The Pocket Film of Superstitions. We discuss no budget and guerrilla filmmaking, what it’s like to make films in the Midlands and the Black Country, and Tom’s own approach to making creative horror features.
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 my latest Newton Talks podcast, Dr Joseph Oldham, author of Paranoid Visions: Spies, Conspiracies and the Secret State in British Television Drama, joins me to discuss British TV spy shows such as Callan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Night Manager, and Spooks, among others. We discuss the small screen aesthetics of the spy drama, how social class is at the forefront of the genre, and how they deal with the ethical dilemmas involved with the subject.
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;
In this latest episode, journalist and James Bond aficionado Lee Kenny joins me to discuss the BBC radio play adaptations of Ian Fleming’s 007 novels. The first was broadcast in 2008, the most recent in 2020, and they all feature Toby Stephens as Bond, as well as other recurring cast. We talk about how they capture the overall strangeness of atmosphere present in Fleming’s stories, and how they provide a counterpoint to both the books and the more famous film series.
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).