Robert Eggers’s The Witch (2015)

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In this episode, I talk about Robert Eggers’s 2015 film, “The Witch.” It looks at a New England Puritan family in the 1600s that is exiled from their community. They go to live in a remote area, and terrifying things begin to happen. The eldest daughter is blamed for these events and accused of being a witch. I talk about witch hunts, the feminist aspects of the film, my very personal reaction to the ending, and much more. There are spoilers in this episode. 

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Jean Negulesco’s Humoresque (1946)

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In this episode, I talk about the 1945 film “Humoresque.” Joan Crawford plays a socialite tormented by her love for a younger man–played by John Garfield–who is a passionate violinist trying to break into the music world. Her money and connections help him find success, but her hard-drinking and intense desire lead to her own self-destruction. I adore this film. I talk about the music in it, how it looks at desire, and much more. As always, there are spoilers in this episode.

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Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pierce (1945)

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In this episode, I talk about Michael Curtiz’s 1945 film “Mildred Pierce.” Joan Crawford won an Oscar for her performance as the title character, a mother who, in the wake of the end of her marriage, starts her own restaurant business and tries to give a better life to her two daughters–Veda and Kay. But her eldest daughter Veda has an insatiable and destructive desire for material possessions and Mildred will stop at nothing to give Veda all that she wants. This is a magnificent film about motherhood and class mobility. I talk about Joan Crawford’s life, why she fascinates me as an actress, and I also delve into “Mommie Dearest.” As always, there are spoilers in this episode. 

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Mike Newell’s Enchanted April (1991)

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In this episode, I talk about Mike Newell’s 1991 film, “Enchanted April.” It’s about four women in 1920s Britain who rent a castle in the Italian countryside. Their vacation in Italy will forever transform their lives. The much-needed break from ordinary life leads to spiritual rejuvenation, a deep connection to nature, and a powerful bond with each other. There are spoilers in this episode. 

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Audrey Wells’s Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

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In this episode, I talk about Audrey Wells’s 2003 film, “Under the Tuscan Sun.” I’ve loved this film since I was a teenager. It stars Diane Lane as a woman who goes through a devastating divorce and goes to Italy and renovates a house. In the process of this home renovation, she reconnects with life and experiences emotional renewal. For me, this film is really about a woman who survives heartbreak and creates a new life for herself. This episode contains spoilers. 

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Michael Haneke’s Funny Games (1997)

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In this episode, I talk about Michael Haneke’s controversial and thought-provoking 1997 film, “Funny Games.” It’s a thriller that breaks all the rules and raises questions about the representation of violence in mass media. A family is terrorized in their vacation home by two young men who take enjoyment in brutality and degradation. Haneke uses surprising and unexpected techniques to confront the audience of his film and to make us think deeper and more critically about the violence and suffering we see in movies and television. This episode contains spoilers. 

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Michael Haneke’s Amour (2012)

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In this episode, I talk about Michael Haneke’s 2012 film, “Amour.” It’s about Georges and Anne, an elderly Parisian couple who have their lives turned upside down after Anne suffers a stroke. This is a deeply devastating film that resonated with me. For over a year now, my mom has been struggling with her health and I’ve become a caregiver for her. I talk about the difficult experience of caring for someone and watching them suffer. I hope that, by sharing my experience, I can help others or just make them feel less alone.  This episode contains major spoilers. 

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Jane Campion’s Bright Star (2009)

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In this episode, I’m talking about Jane Campion’s 2009 film, “Bright Star.” It’s about the brief but beautiful love story between the poet John Keats and a young woman named Fanny Brawne. John Keats is considered one of the greatest poets who ever lived but he died young, before he and Fanny could create a life together. Their romance was marked by distance and the ever-present shadow of death but his passionate letters to her–which are featured throughout the film–reveal how deeply he was in love with Fanny and how much she meant to him. I talk about the relationship between Keats and Fanny, how the film shows the precarious life of a writer and explores the importance of poetry in our lives, and much more.

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Jane Campion’s In the Cut (2003)

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In this episode, I talk about Jane Campion’s 2003 film, “In the Cut.” Meg Ryan plays, Frannie, an English teacher who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation after parts of a woman’s body are found in her garden. She may have even seen the murder victim shortly before the crime. After the lead detective on the case interviews her, the two of them become involved in a dark, torturous relationship. “In the Cut” is a deeply erotic and feminist film that centers female sexuality and female pleasure. It also explores the dark side of desire and the complicated relationships between men and women. There are spoilers in this episode. I also talk explicitly and openly about sex.

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