In this episode, I delve into Alejandro Amenábar’s haunting 2001 film, “The Others.” This episode contains FULL SPOILERS. If you have not seen the film and you choose to listen to this episode, it will be ruined for you.
In this episode, I welcome my first guest, Jesse Ataide, and we talk about our love for John Cromwell’s 1945 film, “The Enchanted Cottage.” It tells the story of Laura Pennington, a woman who struggles with her unattractiveness, and Oliver Bradford, a disfigured and disabled WWII veteran who fall in love in an old cottage that seems to have the magical power to transform the way they see each other. In our discussion, Jesse and I touch on themes of ugliness, queerness, disability, and much more.
In this episode, I talk about the intense personal connection I feel to Lynne Ramsay’s 2002 film, “Morvern Callar,” starring Samantha Morton. I discuss how the film represents grief, death, and sensuality, and I situate Morvern within something I call a Cinema of the Unruly Woman.
In this episode, I talk about Carol Morley’s haunting 2011 documentary, “Dreams of a Life,” which tells the tragic story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a woman who died in 2003 but whose body wasn’t discovered in her apartment until 2006. No one reported her missing or noticed she was gone. Joyce was beautiful, talented, and had lovers and friends throughout her life. How had this woman been completely forgotten? Morley spent years searching for answers. Her film includes interviews with people who knew Joyce and re-enactments that imagine what she was like. In the end, Morley constructs a portrait of a complicated, mysterious, and ultimately unknowable woman, and she also probes important themes such as loneliness, disconnection, and the breakdown of community.
In this episode, I talk about Jessica Hausner’s 2009 film, “Lourdes.” It tells the story of Christine, a young woman in a wheelchair who goes to the famous Catholic holy site of Lourdes in France where she and other pilgrims hope for healing and possibly a miraculous cure. I talk about loneliness, disability, and my own struggle with religion.
In this episode, I provide my concluding thoughts on the final two episodes of “Sharp Objects.” I discuss episode 7 (“Falling”) and episode 8 (“Milk”). I discuss female violence, my conflicting emotions about the ending, why this is one of the most important shows I’ve ever seen, and much more.
In this episode, I talk about Wong Kar-wai’s 2000 film, “In the Mood for Love,” which follows two people–Mr. Chow and Mrs. Chan–in 1960s Hong Kong whose spouses are cheating on them with each other. Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow spend more and more time together, imagining how their spouses met and started their affair, but they start to fall in love. Intent on not acting like their spouses, they resist temptation. In my exploration of the film, I emphasize the themes of longing, loneliness, desire, memory, and nostalgia.
In this episode, I talk about David Lean’s 1945 film, “Brief Encounter.” Set in 1938, in pre-WWII England, it’s about Laura and Alec, two strangers who fall in love despite being married to other people. I talk about how the film centers a woman’s tormented inner life and why it’s such a romantic classic.
In this episode, I recap episodes 5 (“Closer”) and 6 (“Cherry”) of the HBO limited series, “Sharp Objects.” I talk about how the relationship between Camille and Adora is getting darker and how the show continues to explore trauma and memory in an evocative way. I share some of my own personal memories and struggles when it comes to grief and loss. Warning for discussion of self-harm, sexuality, and rape.
In this episode, I talk about James Ivory’s 1987 film, “Maurice.” It’s based on the novel of the same name by E.M. Forster. It’s set in 1910 and tells the story of Maurice Hall, a young man who attends Cambridge University and falls in love with Clive Durham. The film follows them over several years, tracing the turmoil of their relationship. Clive eventually marries, and Maurice finds love with Alec Scudder, a man who works on Clive’s estate. Made and released in the 1980s, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, “Maurice” is a film that celebrates and affirms queer love. It features brilliant performances by James Wilby, Hugh Grant, and Rupert Graves, who all were deeply committed to their roles. For this episode, I talk about E.M. Forster, Merchant Ivory Productions, the filming of “Maurice,” and I explain why this dreamy and romantic film continues to enchant me.