70 episodes

Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode guide us through the expanding universe of the moving image revealing fascinating links and hidden gems from cinema and TV to streaming and beyond.

Screenshot BBC Radio 4

    • TV & Film

Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode guide us through the expanding universe of the moving image revealing fascinating links and hidden gems from cinema and TV to streaming and beyond.

    Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep

    From early, Oscar-winning roles in The Deer Hunter and Sophie's Choice, through to Mamma Mia! and The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep has earned a reputation as the greatest actress of our times. As the star receives an honorary Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode discuss the remarkable depth, breadth and legacy of her career.
    Ellen speaks to writer Michael Schulman, author of Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, about the actor's beginnings in the 1970s, and the power of a Meryl acceptance speech. And she discusses the actress' breakout comedic role alongside Roseanne Barr in 1989's She-Devil, with the film's director Susan Seidelman.
    And Mark speaks to actor Kate Winslet about her decades-long love for Meryl's work, from Angels In America to Death Becomes Her, and about how it felt to beat her heroine to a Best Actress Oscar.
    Producer: Jane Long
    A Prospect Street production for BBC Radio 4

    • 42 min
    Films That Changed the World

    Films That Changed the World

    Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode explore whether films and TV can change the world.
    First up, Ellen talks to the award-winning independent filmmaker Eliza Hittman, whose critically acclaimed 2020 drama, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, charts the odyssey of 17 year-old Autumn, played by newcomer Sidney Flanigan from her home town in rural Pennsylvania, to her nearest accessible abortion clinic in New York City. Ellen also meets Caren Spruch, National Director for Arts and Entertainment Engagement at US-based organisation Planned Parenthood. They discuss her activism towards shaping TV and film storylines around abortion.
    Mark ponders how two film makers have addressed homelessness in their work - rising star Lorna Tucker who's deeply personal documentary Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son has recently brought homelessness back into the spotlight, and film legend Ken Loach who shares how his 1966 BBC TV play Cathy Come Home came to be and alerted the public and politicians alike to the country’s growing housing crisis.
    Producer: Mae-Li Evans
    A Prospect Street production for BBC Radio 4

    • 42 min
    Chinatown

    Chinatown

    In 1974, Chinatown - now widely considered to be among the greatest films ever made - was nominated for 11 Oscars. Despite the creative confidence and freedom of the era, the 1970s were a time of tolerance for the morally questionable, or even downright illegal, behaviour of some of the powerful men creating these movies.
    Chinatown’s director, Roman Polanski, is the most totemic of those figures. His 1977 indictment for drugging and raping a 13 year-old led the director to flee the United States and seek legal and creative sanctuary in France, where he has remained and continued to make celebrated movies such at The Pianist, for which he won the Best Director Academy Award in 2003.
    Fifty years on from Chinatown's release, Mark Kermode and Ellen E Jones ask how we can appreciate cinematic masterpieces like Chinatown which have been made by very problematic people?
    Ellen gets about as close as it’s possible to get to the creators of Chinatown - Hawk Koch worked with Roman Polanski on the set of Rosemary’s Baby and, as the First Assistant Director on Chinatown, he was deeply connected with the movie and its director. In a wide ranging interview, he shares his memories from the set, discusses his friendship with Polanski and reflects on remaining in love with a movie despite its troubled past.
    Claire Dederer’s Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma is a highly personal account of her own relationship with the works of film-makers like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, and the questions of how knowledge of an artist’s personal life does or doesn’t change the way we feel about their art. Mark talks to Claire about the ethical and emotional issues of separating the art from the artist.
    Produced by Freya Hellier.
    A Hidden Flack production for BBC Radio 4

    • 42 min
    Fashion

    Fashion

    Mark Kermode and Ellen E Jones examine the rich history of style and the moving image, from Pret A Porter to The Devil Wears Prada.
    Ellen talks to fashion historian and curator Amber Butchart about the close relationship between couture and cinema. They discuss the timeless influence on high fashion of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Powell & Pressburger's The Red Shoes, and the movies that inspire what we all wear in real life.
    Mark enlists the help of a Screenshot regular, critic Christina Newland, to explore how the fashion industry has been depicted on screen, from the fashion editors of Funny Face and The Devil Wears Prada to the male models of Zoolander.
    And Mark talks to director Kevin Macdonald about his new documentary, High & Low: John Galliano, which follows the disgraced British fashion designer.
    Producer: Jane Long
    A Prospect Street production for BBC Radio 4

    • 42 min
    Pumping Iron: Gyms and Bodybuilding

    Pumping Iron: Gyms and Bodybuilding

    As rising British director Rose Glass (St Maud) brings us Love Lies Bleeding - a film about female bodybuilders - Mark Kermode and Ellen E Jones examine the precedents, including the action stars of the 80s like Schwarzenegger who broke out of the gym and into the mainstream, as well as how gyms make a rich setting for drama and action.
    Mark explores what bodybuilders have brought to the screen over the years. He talks to editor of Empire magazine and author of The Last Action Heroes, Nick de Semlyen, about the history of muscles and bodybuilders on screen. Mark then speaks to rising star Katy O’Brian about her breakout role in Love Lies Bleeding and her own background in bodybuilding.

    Ellen looks at how the gym and fitness culture are rich settings for drama. She speaks to film writer Brandon Streussnig about how the gym is portrayed on screen and his favourite gym movies. She then talks to Annie Weisman, the creator of Apple TV’s Physical, about fitness culture in the 80s and its relationship to women's empowerment.
    Producer: Queenie Qureshi-Wales
    A Prospect Street production for BBC Radio 4

    • 42 min
    Interlopers

    Interlopers

    Andrew Scott is the latest in a long line of actors to play Thomas Ripley - the seductive, sociopathic conman created by American crime writer Patricia Highsmith, and immortalised in films from Plein Soleil to The Talented Mr Ripley.
    Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode look at Ripley and other social strivers on screen, asking how these interlopers have insinuated themselves into our hearts and minds.
    Ellen explores what makes Patricia Highsmith’s work so cinematic, with a lifelong Highsmith fan – critic and novelist Kim Newman. And she speaks to Swiss documentary filmmaker Eva Vitija about her 2022 film Loving Highsmith – a fascinating look at the author’s life and artistry, told through her unpublished diaries, and interviews with her friends and former lovers.
    Mark Kermode looks beyond Highsmith’s work, to explore how the 'Ripleyesque' figure has endured. He discusses cinema’s most notorious interlopers, from The Great Gatsby to Saltburn, with Manuela Lazic, a French critic, writer and filmmaker.
    Mark also talks to two of his favourite filmmakers, Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor. Christine and Joe’s newest film Baltimore – about the debutante turned IRA member Rose Dugdale – is just one of many stories about interloping and identity that they’ve brought to the screen over the years. They tell Mark why the theme fascinates them.
    Producer: Jane Long
    A Prospect Street production for BBC Radio 4

    • 42 min

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