168 episodes

Junk Filter: a podcast about strange and overlooked artifacts from the worlds of film, music and popular culture with a generous side order of jokes and politics. Hosted by Jesse Hawken with guests from the worlds of Politics Twitter and Film Twitter. Original music for the program by Marker Starling. Follow us now on Twitter: @junkfilterpod

Junk Filter Jesse Hawken

    • Comedy
    • 4.8 • 41 Ratings

Junk Filter: a podcast about strange and overlooked artifacts from the worlds of film, music and popular culture with a generous side order of jokes and politics. Hosted by Jesse Hawken with guests from the worlds of Politics Twitter and Film Twitter. Original music for the program by Marker Starling. Follow us now on Twitter: @junkfilterpod

    165: Deep in the Heart (with Jonathan Hertzberg of Fun City Editions)

    165: Deep in the Heart (with Jonathan Hertzberg of Fun City Editions)

    CW: This episode discusses cinematic sexual violence.

    The founder of Fun City Editions, Jonathan Hertzberg, joins the podcast from New York City to discuss the boutique video label and their latest blu-ray release, 1983’s Deep in the Heart, aka Handgun, directed by Ken Loach’s longtime English producer Tony Garnett.

    Deep in the Heart, a brutal portrayal of American gun culture as seen from an outsider’s perspective, stars the undersung actress Karen Young in her screen debut as a Boston schoolteacher working in Dallas who is groomed and then sexually assaulted by a well-liked local attorney and antique gun collector. She gets nowhere trying to get the police and the church to support her quest for justice, but gets all the help she needs from the local gun club, and transformed by the culture and her experience, plans her revenge. The film was bought by Warner Bros. not to release the film properly, but to keep it from interfering with the commercial prospects of their upcoming Clint Eastwood release with a similar theme, Sudden Impact.

    Deep in the Heart is the kind of film this label specializes in: films that have for various reasons been forgotten in the modern age but deserve to be restored, reissued and rediscovered. Jonathan gives us insight into the process and the challenges of locating and reviving these catalogue titles, and how Deep in the Heart still speaks to contemporary American concerns over 40 years later.

    Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly for only $5.00 a month (U.S.) please subscribe at ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow Fun City Editions on Twitter.

    You can order Fun City Editions’ new release of Deep in the Heart through their website.

    Trailer for Deep in the Heart aka Handgun (Tony Garnett, 1983)

    Fun City Editions trailer for Seeing Red: 3 French Vigilante Thrillers

    Trailer for Strangers Kiss (Matthew Chapman, 1983), restored version coming soon from FCE

    • 1 hr 23 min
    TEASER - 164: Ghostbusters V (with Adam Jackson)

    TEASER - 164: Ghostbusters V (with Adam Jackson)

    Access this entire 89 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus shows every month) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/164-ghostbusters-101387544

    The writer and friend of the pod Adam Jackson returns for a show about the Ghostbusters series, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with the latest installment, Ghostbusters V.

    We discuss the entire saga; from Ivan Reitman’s classic original, the Real Ghostbusters cartoon that refined the series as entertainment for kids, the disappointing 1989 sequel, the 2016 all-female reboot that became a flashpoint for culture warriors online, and the recent legacy sequels guided by Jason Reitman, which have recast this saga as some form of modern American myth about a family legacy instead of just being high-concept comedies about New York schlubs who become entrepreneurs (aka the winning formula for success)

    We praise the Bobby Brown theme for Ghostbusters II, commend Dan Aykroyd for his fully-committed performance in the latest film (a stark contrast to Bill Murray’s clear disinterest in his continuing involvement), and dig into how these new films meant for “the true fans” of the series continually get wrong what the actual legacy of these films is, as Columbia Pictures continues to struggle to make a real cinematic universe out of this IP, forever hoping lightning will strike twice.

    Plus: why isn’t Muncher in the new one?

    Follow Adam Jackson on Twitter.

    Ghostbusters promotional film shown at the ShoWest convention for the cinema exhibition industry, 1984

    Clip from the 1985 Academy Awards - nominee for Best Original Song, Ray Parker Jr.’s ‘Ghostbusters’

    Music video for Bobby Brown’s ‘On Our Own’ from the Ghostbusters II soundtrack, 1989

    • 5 min
    163: Tenet (with Corey Atad)

    163: Tenet (with Corey Atad)

    The writer Corey Atad joins me from Phuket, Thailand for a sequel to our Junk Filter episode about Bane that turned into a discussion about Tenet, and we return to the topic because of the recent cultural reconsideration of Christopher Nolan’s 2020 time-bending thriller, which was released during the pandemic and has taken some time to find an audience. 

    Tenet got a one-week re-release in 70mm and IMAX 70mm in the leadup to this year’s Academy Awards, and Corey and I discuss the film as Nolan’s temporal pincer movement; it turns out he released the sequel to Oppenheimer 4 years ago, and we are only realizing it now. Unlike his latest, Tenet is about “the bomb that didn’t go off”, and is a film that perhaps needs to be seen a few times to be best appreciated, especially after seeing Oppy.

    We talk about Nolan’s methodology, including the evolution of his creative team (his new cinematographer, editor and composer are bringing out the best in him), his award-season victory lap, and we go over the complex structure of Tenet, including the things that happen that maybe we don’t even understand after seeing it a few times but are clearer when seen theatrically… but do we even need to understand everything we enjoy? 

    Plus: Bane jokes! 

    Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly for only $5.00 a month (U.S.) please subscribe at ⁠⁠⁠https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow Corey Atad on Twitter and visit coreyatad.com

    Final trailer for Tenet (Nolan, 2020)

    “I Can’t Stop Watching Tenet, And I Finally Know Why” by Corey Atad for Defector, January 9, 2024

    “Look What We Do Now” - Corey’s essay about The Zone of Interest and Oscar season controversy, for the Welcome To Hell World newsletter, March 11, 2024

    • 1 hr 44 min
    TEASER - 162: The Zone of Interest (with James Slaymaker)

    TEASER - 162: The Zone of Interest (with James Slaymaker)

    Access this entire 99 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus shows every month) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! Over 30% of episodes are exclusively available to patrons of the show. https://www.patreon.com/posts/162-zone-of-with-100893723

    The writer James Slaymaker, author of Time is Luck: The Cinema of Michael Mann, returns to the pod from Southampton to discuss Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest.

    In this wide-ranging conversation James and I discuss Glazer’s methodology to adapt Martin Amis’ Holocaust novel for the screen, including his determination to create two separate films inside one film: what we see (the bucolic family life of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss) and what we hear (the horrifying sounds of death from over the wall of the concentration camp next door). Glazer uses 21st century technology to tell this story to indicate that this film is not about history, but about the present moment, including provocative ideas about the ways we all try to compartmentalize and overcompensate to tune out the horrors of the world that make our own comfortable lives possible. 

    We also compare The Zone of Interest to other Holocaust works to discuss why it’s so difficult to tell these stories with sensitivity and respect and without compromise, some of the most noteworthy sequences, and what the film has in common with Alain Resnais’ masterful short film about Auschwitz, Night and Fog. 

    And of course we discuss some of the bad faith arguments from Zone of Interest haters, and some hot takes online from people who even if they saw and liked it, may not have grasped its point.

    Night and Fog is currently streaming on the Criterion Channel.

    Follow James Slaymaker on Twitter.

    James’ book Time is Luck: The Cinema of Michael Mann, is now available in paperback and Kindle.

    Trailer #2 for The Zone of Interest (Glazer, 2023)

    • 6 min
    161: Dune: Part Two - The Kwisatz Tabarnak (with Jacob Bacharach) 

    161: Dune: Part Two - The Kwisatz Tabarnak (with Jacob Bacharach) 

    The author Jacob Bacharach returns for a sequel to our Junk Filter episode about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, with a look at his long-awaited Dune: Part Two. 

    Villeneuve said in interviews that he thought of Frank Herbert’s novel as an allegory for the French Canadians under the thumb of the authoritarian government of Maurice Duplessis that used the Catholic Church to subjugate the Quebecois people before the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. Jacob and I use this allegory as a jumping off point to extend the metaphor: are the Bene Gesserit the Catholic Church? Are the Fremen the FLQ? And is Paul Atreides the saviour of an independent Quebec, the Kwisatz Tabarnak?

    Plus: Jacob and I discuss the charms of Dune: Part Two including how the movie differs from Frank Herbert’s novel, the arrival of Christopher Walken as the Emperor qnd Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha, and our MVP Javier Bardem as Stilgar. Plus: Josh Brolin’s homoerotic ode to Timothée Chalamet, the dreaded Dune Popcorn Bucket, and a look at some of the galaxy-brained responses online from people who thought Paul was supposed to be the hero of the story.

    Become a patron of the podcast to access to exclusive episodes every month. Over 30% of Junk Filter episodes are exclusively available to patrons. To support this show directly please subscribe at ⁠⁠https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow Jacob Bacharach on Twitter and visit jacobbacharach.com

    Trailer for Dune: Deuxième Partie (Villeneuve, 2024)

    Action: The October Crisis of 1970 (Robin Spry, 1973) - great documentary from the National Film Board about the rise of the Quebec separatist movement

    From New York To L.A. - Patsy Gallant, 1977

    A Cerveza Cristal ad stitched into the Chilean cable airing of Star Wars: A New Hope in 2004

    • 1 hr 36 min
    TEASER - 160: Burt Reynolds in the Eighties (with Will Sloan)

    TEASER - 160: Burt Reynolds in the Eighties (with Will Sloan)

    The writer and podcaster Will Sloan is back for a show about Burt Reynolds, who started the eighties as the most popular movie star in America but who by the end of the decade was consigned to a series of B-movies that asked less and less of him, in the years before his unexpected mid-nineties comeback in Boogie Nights (a film he hated even though he won awards and nominations for his performance).

    We discuss several of his eighties projects with a particular focus on four of them: his best film as a director, 1981’s Sharky’s Machine, his botched 1986 downbeat Vegas drama Heat (originally a Robert Altman project with a screenplay from the great William Goldman), 1987’s Malone (basically a remake of Shane, shot in British Columbia with a stacked supporting cast) and his nadir, the tired 1987 romantic comedy-thriller Rent-A-Cop (co-starring Liza Minnelli in her first film out of rehab, set in Chicago but filmed at Cinecitta studios in Rome). As his career declined Burt looked increasingly checked-out as a movie star, but these films are fun to watch and talk about, especially since Heat and Malone in particular are almost very good movies despite themselves.

    Along the way we discuss Burt’s short-lived discotheque in Atlanta, Marlon Brando’s pathological hatred of him, and the injuries Reynolds sustained on the set of City Heatthat left him with an addiction to painkillers that sparked health rumours in the early days of the AIDS crisis.

    Plus Will talks about his new project The Journal of Stoogeological Studies: An Unauthorized Three Stooges Fanzine.

    Follow Will Sloan on Twitter and subscribe to his great podcasts The Important Cinema Club and Michael and Us.

    You can order The Journal of Stoogeological Studies: An Unauthorized Three Stooges Fanzine here.

    Heat, Malone and Rent-A-Cop are currently available to watch on Tubi.

    35mm open matte trailer for Sharky’s Machine (Reynolds, 1981)

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

Charles Bogle ,

One of our best resources for dudes rock cinema

I still think about the Punch-Drunk Love episode all the time.

freakpowerticket ,

As a Gen X Film Fan, I Love Junk Filter

I noticed Jesse on Twitter & quite appreciated his sense of humor & tweaking of the very robotic fandoms that are known to swarm around those who dare to critique various corporate film franchises.

A scan of his topics convinced me to subscribe to this podcast. Roger Moore’s 007 debut LIVE AND LET DIE has always been a guilty pleasure of mine, so JF’s deep dive into that flick hooked me. Episodes on the cult-neo noir CUTTER’S WAY and most recently RISKY BUSINESS have been really great too.

I especially like Jesse’s Socratic approach to film criticism & analysis. The guests I’ve heard have all been quite effective at building interest in each week’s theme. This show is really engaging, entertaining & educational. A nice addition to my aural menu of podcasts & radio programming.

Slothrop22 ,

Disappointing

The first episode was very promising, and some of the early episodes were really good, but the show's subjects became increasingly mainstream, and the format is frustrating. Hawken invites on a different cohost each week, and, as often as not, doesn't generate much chemistry with them, which is deadly for a conversational, rather than interview-based, podcast like this. And considering the guests tend to be well-known online personalities and/or published writers, it's disappointing that many of them aren't especially articulate, any more than you'd expect from any random podcast or YouTube channel.

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