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
46: Phantom Thread (with Zandy Hartig)
Los Angeles-based writer actor and producer Zandy Hartig joins the pod for a conversation about Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2017 historical romance Phantom Thread.
Anderson's first film shot entirely outside of the United States, Phantom Thread is a hybrid of his detailed historical recreations like There Will Be Blood and The Master fused with Punch-Drunk Love's absurdist romantic sensibility. The film was said to be the final screen performance of the great Daniel Day-Lewis but it is also a generous showcase for the relatively unknown Luxembourgian actress Vicky Krieps. Zandy and I also talk about the film’s extraordinary visual design and tone, what it has to say about adapting with the times, the challenges of living with a creative person and the role of the muse, and how Phantom Thread might be a secret comedy!
Also Zandy talks about her ongoing collaboration with Oklahoma’s prolific DIY filmmakers Mickey Reese and Jacob Ryan Snovel.
Consider supporting the podcast directly by becoming a Junk Filter Patron and receive access to additional premium episodes every month: sign up at Patreon.com/junkfilter
Follow Zandy Hartig on Twitter and check out zandyhartig.com
Trailer for Phantom Thread (Anderson, 2017)
Mickey Reese directs funny Instagram commercials for George's Liquors in Oklahoma City, and Zandy’s in the latest one!
TEASER - 45: The Genius of Burt Bacharach (with Marker Starling)
Access the entire 132 minute episode (and additional bonus episodes) by becoming a patron of Junk Filter: https://www.patreon.com/posts/45-genius-of-54253436
Toronto-based musician Marker Starling, who does the original music for the podcast, is my special guest for a very in-depth and supersized conversation about the Burt Bacharach and Hal David songbook, their innovative work with their greatest discovery Dionne Warwick, and the dissolution of their partnership in the wake of the disastrous 1973 movie musical Lost Horizon.
Patrons of the Junk Filter podcast receive at least two additional exclusive episodes a month: some of our notable previous guests include Jared Yates Sexton, David Roth, Will Sloan, Sooz Kempner and Zach Vasquez. More to come! Sign up at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter
44: Oliver Stone’s JFK (with Ursula Lawrence)
Comedy writer Ursula Lawrence (Drunk History, Adam Ruins Everything) returns to the podcast from Madison, Wisconsin to discuss the cultural influence of Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991), which 30 years ago revolutionized visual language in American cinema; a hybrid of classic all-star Hollywood filmmaking and experimental film techniques with its mixture of various film stocks and a complex editing structure, made just before digital editing was a post-production standard.
We discuss the great performances, the radical elements, the flaws, and how JFK’s information bath and blending of facts and conjecture normalized and mainstreamed conspiracy thinking in the wider culture, providing a stylistic template for Galaxy Brain arguments in the post 9/11 information age.
Plus I had to ask Ursula about the new NBA champions!
Follow Ursula Lawrence on Twitter and be aware of her Jacobin Calendar project!
Trailer for JFK (Stone, 1991)
TEASER - 43: Late Style Jerry Lewis (with Will Sloan)
Access the entire 85 minute episode (and additional bonus episodes) by becoming a patron of Junk Filter: https://www.patreon.com/posts/53826690
Toronto-based writer and podcasting king Will Sloan returns to the podcast to discuss the final films of director Jerry Lewis, Hardly Working (1980) and Cracking Up (a.k.a. Smorgasbord, 1983) as well as his great performance in Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1982).
Patrons of the Junk Filter podcast receive at least two additional exclusive episodes a month: some of our notable previous guests include Jared Yates Sexton, David Roth, Sooz Kempner and Zach Vasquez. More to come! Sign up at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter
42: The Marvel Complex (with Jared Yates Sexton)
Author and political commentator Jared Yates Sexton returns to Junk Filter to discuss the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its association with the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex.
I have seen very few of these MCU films, uncomfortable as I am with the partnership between Disney/Marvel and the U.S. Department of Defense, but for the pod I watched the recent Russo brothers trilogy of Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame for a discussion with Jared on the MCU’s stranglehold on popular culture and the role these superhero movies play to advance the project of US Imperialism.
Consider supporting the podcast by becoming a Junk Filter Patron and receive access to additional premium episodes (including Jared and I discussing the Disney Star Wars movies) - sign up at Patreon.com/junkfilter
Follow Jared Yates Sexton on Twitter.
Jared’s got a Substack!
Check out Jared’s show with Nick Hauselman, The Muckrake Podcast
“Origin Story” - recruitment commercial for the U.S. Air Force that ran before American screenings of Captain Marvel in March 2019
“Why Captain Marvel is a Recruiting Win for the Air Force” by James Barber, for Military.com, March 20, 2019
41: Excalibur (with Meg Shields)
BC-based film writer Meg Shields returns to the podcast for a conversation about her favourite movie, John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981), the definitive screen version of the legend of King Arthur.
Reportedly Zack Snyder’s favourite film too, Excalibur kickstarted a wave of sword and sorcery movies in the early eighties. Filmed entirely on location in Ireland and featuring several future stars in the vast supporting cast (including Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson), Excalibur is a berserk personal vision along the lines of Boorman’s previous fantasy films Zardoz and Exorcist II: The Heretic, depicting the Arthurian legend in a weird mixture of historical realism (muddy battlefields, heavy armour and ugly combat) and phantasmagoric delight (modern levels of sleaze and violence). It makes you wonder why people still keep trying to make King Arthur movies!
Plus: RIP Richard Donner, and all hail Stephen Dorff for trashing Marvel movies!
Consider supporting the podcast by becoming a Junk Filter Patron and receive access to additional premium episodes - sign up at Patreon.com/junkfilter
Follow Meg Shields on Twitter.
"All That Glitters: Style as Substance in John Boorman's Excalibur" by Meg Shields, for Film School Rejects, April 10, 2021
Trailer for Excalibur (Boorman, 1981)
One of our best resources for dudes rock cinema
I still think about the Punch-Drunk Love episode all the time.
Good film crit, often with a political angle
Has excellent guests which is half the battle.
Movie Mindset 2021
Jesse is one of the few who truly understands that movie mindset is the only thing that can save us from this reality. May Menaker Movie Mindset save us all