116 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 • 33 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

    TEASER - 115: Risky Business (with James Majure)

    TEASER - 115: Risky Business (with James Majure)

    Access this entire 85 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! https://www.patreon.com/posts/115-risky-with-75212483

    Public health worker and trivia host James Majure returns to the pod from Athens, GA for a show about one of the most significant American films of the eighties: Paul Brickman’s Risky Business, the movie that instantly turned Tom Cruise into a star and still stands as one of his best films nearly 40 years on.

    Seen today Risky Business feels like "Michael Mann for Teens"; a sex comedy shot and paced like an urban thriller (set in Chicago at night with a Tangerine Dream soundtrack). We talk about the film’s remarkably progressive critique of Reagan-era capitalism and class structure in America, how this film sent many Gen Xers to Horny Jail in the eighties, and the ways it set the template for the rest of Cruise’s career. We also discuss Brickman’s preferred ending to the movie (a rare example of studio interference benefiting the overall work).

    Patrons of the Junk Filter podcast receive at least two additional exclusive episodes a month: some notable previous Patreon episode guests include Jared Yates Sexton, Jacob Bacharach, David Roth, Bryan Quinby and Sooz Kempner. More to come! Sign up at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    James Majure runs a mobile public health vaccination team operating in and around Northeast Georgia. He also hosts a weekly trivia game in Athens!

    Trailer for Risky Business (Paul Brickman, 1983)

    • 5 min
    114: Jurassic Musk (with Jacob Bacharach)

    114: Jurassic Musk (with Jacob Bacharach)

    The novelist and essayist Jacob Bacharach returns to the pod to discuss the Elon Musk era of Twitter in relation to another cautionary tale about what happens when you fool with Mother Nature, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. It turns out there are unintended consequences to messing around with systems you didn’t understand when you first altered them!

    We talk about Jurassic Park as a perfect example of blockbuster filmmaking, and how to get over one’s snobbery about Spielberg as a great cinema craftsman, and then we go to town on Twitter's new CEO; "Comedy is now legal on Twitter" proclaimed Musk shortly before discarding the verification system by making a bluecheck available to anyone with a credit card, and just like Jurassic Park, no one in control anticipated what could possibly go wrong.

    We talk about his misunderstanding of what Twitter is, his new parasitical friendship with Cat Turd, and how his lack of knowledge about comedy, technology and humanity has created this perfect storm, chasing off employees, users and advertisers in what is turning out to be the most expensive 420 joke ever told.

    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, Bryan Quinby, Sooz Kempner, and Will Sloan. More to come! Sign up at https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow Jacob Bacharach on Twitter and visit jacobbacharach.com

    Teaser trailer for Jurassic Park (Spielberg, 1993)

    • 1 hr 33 min
    TEASER - 113: Diego Maradona (with Conrado Falco)

    TEASER - 113: Diego Maradona (with Conrado Falco)

    Access this entire 70 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! https://www.patreon.com/posts/113-diego-with-74800431

    On the eve of what looks like the most cursed World Cup yet, the host of the Criterion Project podcast Conrado Falco joins the show to discuss Asif Kapadia’s 2019 football documentary Diego Maradona, the Get Back of sports documentaries, assembled from hundreds of hours of video filmed for an abandoned documentary project in the eighties that captured the years Maradona played for SSC Napoli in the Italian premier league.

    When Maradona arrived in Naples he was considered a superstar and when he left 7 years later he was the most hated man in Italy. In between Maradona dragged his team to Serie A championships, won a World Cup for Argentina with a mixture of cheating and genius, and got mixed up with the Neapolitan crime family and descended into drug abuse and personal chaos. It’s of a piece with Senna and Amy, Kapadia’s earlier documentaries of remarkable lives destroyed by celebrity told with the skillful use of rare personal archival material.

    Plus: Conrado and I wrestle with the moral dilemma of rooting for Messi and Argentina in a World Cup being held in the human rights hellscape of Qatar.

    Follow Conrado Falco on Twitter.

    Conrado has two podcasts: The Criterion Project and Foreign Invader.

    Check out Conrado's webseries Wormholes on YouTube.

    Trailer for Diego Maradona (Asif Kapadia, 2019)

    • 3 min
    112: American Hustle (with Matthew Perpetua)

    112: American Hustle (with Matthew Perpetua)

    Matthew Perpetua of the long-running Fluxblog returns to the pod from Brooklyn, but this time his visit is only tangentially related to Steely Dan. This is an episode about the notorious director David O. Russell, whose first film in 7 years, the all-star Amsterdam, just bombed at the box office. But it has a lot in common with an earlier Russell film that was a big hit with audiences, if not with most critics, 2013’s American Hustle, a film Matthew and I both quite liked.

    Released in the same month as Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle was derided by some as “Scorsese-lite”, a retread of Goodfellas stuffed with showy performances and cartoonish behaviour. It was reviewed as if it was supposed to be a historical drama (as it was based on the true story of two con artists who worked with the FBI to ensnare corrupt congressmen in the ABSCAM sting operation). But American Hustle worked for us as a ridiculous screwball comedy about desperate people chasing after the American Dream in a cynical age, a film quite possibly made by a madman, though at a time before more sordid details about Russell’s personal conduct became public and tarnished his reputation.

    We try to make a case for why American Hustle is Good, Actually, but we also discuss why Amsterdam, another loopy story based on another obscure footnote in American history, with even more big names in the cast, doesn’t succeed.

    With sidebars on the oncoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and our views on Elon Musk’s early days of “running” Twitter.

    Sign up for the Junk Filter Patreon to support the show directly and access dozens of bonus episodes! https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow Matthew Perpetua on Twitter and subscribe to the new Fluxblog Substack!

    Trailer for American Hustle (Russell, 2013)

    Trailer for Amsterdam (Russell, 2022)

    “David O. Russell is latest face of Hollywood’s workplace abuse problem” by Sonia Rao for The Washington Post, October 7, 2022

    • 1 hr 19 min
    111: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (with David Moscrop)

    111: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (with David Moscrop)

    The writer and podcaster David Moscrop, a contributing columnist for the Washington Post, returns to the pod from Ottawa to discuss a Spooky Season classic, Francis Ford Coppola’s lavish adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a film that turned 30 years old this year but like a vampire has barely aged a day.

    Coppola followed up The Godfather Part III with an ambitious gothic horror with an all-star cast, filmed entirely indoors on sets and soundstages. His visual effects supervisor was his son Roman Coppola, and they decided use techniques from the early days of cinema to adapt a novel from the same period.

    We discuss the film’s “naive visual effects”, the over-the-top aesthetic from sets to costumes to performances, the film’s horniness which greatly influenced future vampire stories, and we try to mount a defense for the enduring knock against this film, the mannered turn by Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker.

    Plus: we discuss Ontario Premier Doug Ford trying to weasel out of having to testify at the Emergencies Act inquiry in Ottawa.

    Sign up for the Junk Filter Patreon to support the show directly and access dozens of bonus episodes! https://www.patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow David Moscrop on Twitter, listen to his podcast Open To Debate, and subscribe to his new Substack!

    From Den of Geek, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the Seduction of Old School Movie Magic”, an in-depth discussion with Roman Coppola of the film’s visual effects, by David Crow, October 16, 2020

    Trailer for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)

    • 1 hr 11 min
    TEASER - 110: Michael Mann: The Keep (with Sean Armstrong)

    TEASER - 110: Michael Mann: The Keep (with Sean Armstrong)

    Access this entire 75 minute episode (and additional monthly bonus episodes) by becoming a Junk Filter patron! https://www.patreon.com/posts/110-michael-mann-73896455

    Veteran boom operator Sean Armstrong (Hannibal, Star Trek: Discovery) returns to the podcast for the latest episode on our series on the films of Michael Mann, with the one film he prefers not to discuss, his second feature, 1983’s supernatural horror thriller The Keep.

    Paramount took control of the production as the costs and the running time skyrocketed, issues compounded by the sudden death of the visual effects designer (who hadn’t told anyone what he had in mind), and after reshoots the film was dumped into cinemas at Christmas, heavily butchered by the studio, and confusing to audiences.

    Sean and I discuss what Mann had in mind, the amazing anachronistic synth score by Tangerine Dream, and the pleasures that can be found in considering a damaged work of art, one Mann will likely never revisit and restore to his intentions.

    There are additional Michael Mann episodes (on Heat and Thief) available now on the Junk Filter Patreon feed, as well as dozens of bonus shows. Patrons help to make Junk Filter possible. You can subscribe at patreon.com/junkfilter

    Follow Sean Armstrong on Twitter.

    Trailer for The Keep (Michael Mann, 1983)

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Charles Bogle ,

One of our best resources for dudes rock cinema

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

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.

J.P. McD ,

Good film crit, often with a political angle

Has excellent guests which is half the battle.

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