Cinema Junkie

Beth Accomando

Satisfy your celluloid addiction with the "Cinema Junkie" podcast, where you can mainline film 24/7. This film and entertainment series is run by KPBS Film Critic Beth Accomando. So if you need a film fix, want to hear what filmmakers have to say about their work, or just want to know what's worth seeing this weekend, then you've come to the right place.

Escape From Quarantine
Trailer 4 min 15 sec

All Episodes

Noir dames. None were sassier, sexier or more lethal than the women of film noir. They lied, stole, cheated, murdered and more importantly just refused to conform to any standard notions of femininity. They might not have been positive role models but they were fascinating and they had agency. Cinema Junkie celebrates Noir-vember by continuing its discussion of film noir with a look to Noir Dames with Nora Fiore, The Nitrate Diva. We explore such favorite femme fatales as Jane Greer in "Out of the Past" and Lizabeth Scott in "Too Late for Tears" but also look past these usual suspects of film noir women to explore the diversity of female characters you can find in these seductive, shadowy tales. In Part One of Noir Dames, we consider the femme fatale as well as The Self Reliant Performer. Then in Part Two we will continue to point out the wide spectrum of female roles and actresses as we consider The Lady Sleuth, The Long Suffering Wife and The Glamorous Victim.

Nov 26

50 min 14 sec

Femme fatales, private dicks, wooden kimonoes... welcome to the world of film noir. The term was coined by French film critics to describe a style of cinema rooted in hard-boiled crime fiction of the 1940s. It revealed a darkness and cynicism that challenged audiences with something new — a world where women used sex to get what they wanted, where betrayal and deceit were to be expected, and murder was a given. Classic noir is usually defined as films made between 1941 and late 1950s. It’s marked by a visual style rich in shadows, cigarette smoke, and dimly lit streets. The term literally means black film and the darkness comes not just from the visual look but also from the dark motives of the characters. To explore this shadowy, treacherous terrain, Cinema Junkie has invited The Czar of Noir Eddie Muller, host of TCM’s Noir Alley and the founder and president of the Film Noir Foundation. He has just revised and expanded his book “Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir” and we’ll be discussing that as well as all things noir as Cinema Junkie dives into Noirvember.

Nov 13

49 min 49 sec

Cinema Junkie takes on another mission, this time to explore the world of spies presented in the film and television adaptations of John Le Carré's books. Previously on Cinema Junkie we looked at the fantasy world of Ian Fleming’s James Bond and now we move on to the grittier, more realistic world of John Le Carré’s spies of the Cold War and beyond. Joining Cinema Junkie once again are spy aficionados Gary Dexter and Jeff Quest, both are regular contributors to Shane Whaley's Spybrary Podcast . Quest also runs spywrite.com, which is dedicated to spy fiction and non-fiction. We look to the early attempts of depicting what spies do in Hitchcock films such as "The 39 Steps" and later the film adaptations of Graham Greene's novels such as "Our Man in Havana." Then we discuss the many adaptations of Le Carré's books, and how he put his real world experiences working in intelligence to a different use than Fleming did. Also listen to Cinema Junkie Bond. James Bond. Part One and Part Two.

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Oct 29

52 min 52 sec

Cinema Junkie speaks again with espionage aficionados and Spybrary Podcast contributors Gary Dexter and Jeff Quest (of spywrite.com) to look at the evolution of female characters across nearly six decades of films, and to assess what makes a good Bond and what each of the six actors in the Eon Productions' official 25 007 movies have brought to the role. We also discuss producer Barbara Broccoli's contribution to the franchise and where it might go after "No Time To Die." Please check out part one of the podcast where we have a spoiler-free review of "No Time To Die." And check out Cinema Junkie Presents Geeky Gourmet where you can learn how to make food themed to "No Time To Die" and cakes with the gun barrel logo. Plus download files for the perfect 007 party.

Oct 22

43 min 18 sec

Cinema Junkie Beth Accomando goes on a special mission with spy aficionados Gary Dexter and Jeff Quest to explore the cinematic and literary universe of James Bond 007. Get a spoiler-free review of "No Time To Die" and then enjoy part one of an in-depth and geeky exploration of the fantasy spy world of Ian Fleming's James Bond.

Oct 8

31 min 18 sec

Earlier this month Marvel delivered its first Asian superhero in its cinematic universe with "Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings." But it’s been a long hard road getting to this point in Hollywood. For the latest episode of Cinema Junkie, I speak with Brian Hu, artistic director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, about the evolution of Asian images on screen from the stereotypes of yellow peril to Shang Chi. Hu will take us on a tour through early negative stereotypes of Fu Manchu to characters like Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto to the breakthrough stardom of Bruce Lee and finally to Shang Chi. I'll play lots of clips and Hu offers some exciting film recommendations to check out. Plus enjoy the decidedly eccentric rants and raves of Awkward San Diego's Ryan Bradford and Horrible Imaginings' Miguel Rodriguez on the latest Cold Turkey and Share Your Addiction. And check out the latest Geeky Gourmet video where I'll show you how to make Asian treats to eat with the films we discuss: https://bit.ly/CJGeekyGourmet I’d like to acknowledge the talented folks who make Cinema Junkie happen: podcast coordinator Kinsee Morlan, technical director Rebecca Chacon, and director of sound design Emily Jankowski.

Sep 22

45 min 47 sec

The new "Candyman" has a lot to unpack for a 90-minute horror film. It cleverly continues the story of the original 1992 film that boasted Tony Todd in the title role but it is also a stunning reimagining of the character through a Black lens. The new film was directed by Nia Da Costa and co-written by Da Costa and Jordan Peele. I invited UC Riverside professor of media and cultural studies John Jennings to join me for a bonus podcast where we peel back just a few of the many layers of this amazing film. The film opened in cinemas earlier this month and becomes available VOD on Sept. 17. NOTE: This podcast has spoilers so if you haven't seen the film, correct that oversight right now and then come back to listen to the podcast. But if you have seen it, then let's dive into this film.

Sep 17

28 min 1 sec

It's not often that I get to say that I was there when a filmmaker's career began but I can say that about Destin Cretton. Currently he is ushering in Marvel's first Asian superhero with "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" but two decades ago he was a student who had not yet even thought about being a filmmaker. But then he attended the student film festival I ran called Film School Confidential and met San Diego State University professor and filmmaker Greg Durbin and decided to enroll at the SDSU film program. So for this podcast I delve into Cretton's origin story to see how he developed from a student filmmaker to indie darling to Marvel's latest director. Cretton talks about community, challenging himself as an artist and about making "Shang-Chi" and directing Hong Kong cinema royalty like Tony Leung and Michelle Yeoh. Plus I'll preview next month's spy theme with a Share Your Addiction and Cold Turkey about James Bond. And check out the latest Geeky Gourmet video where I'll show you how to make the Chinese rice porridge Shang-Chi eats in the film: https://bit.ly/CJGeekyGourmet

Sep 8

44 min 58 sec

Get ready for the Indian Macbeth, Mumbai noir, and Bollywood rap. Cinema Junkie returns to India for Hooray For Bollywood, Part 2. This time we look to contemporary Bollywood cinema and redefine the term for India's film industry today. Joining me again are the podcasters of Moviewallas: Yazdi Pithavala, Rashmi Gandhi, and Joseph Djan. And joining us for Share Your Addiction is Ryan Bradford of Awkward San Diego. Plus, check out the latest Geeky Gourmet video where I will show you the perfect intermission snack. Here's the Geeky Gourmet playlist on the KPBS YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/CJGeekyGourmet And if you'd like to contribute your own Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey, then just email baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line. For a list of films discussed go to www.kpbs.org/cinemajunkie

Aug 25

36 min 57 sec

There is nothing quite like a Bollywood film. It’s about impossibly gorgeous stars, deliciously overripe melodrama, spectacular production numbers, an explosion of colors, and music with such an irresistible beat that even someone with two left feet feels inspired to get up and dance. This month, in honor of Indian Independence, I look to Bollywood cinema. In order to tackle the huge expanse of Bollywood film I decided to invite the trio of Moviewallas podcasters --Yazdi Pithavala, Rashmi Gandhi, and Joseph Djan -- onto the show. In Part 1 we define what makes a Bollywood film and look to its golden era. For a list of all the films discussed, go to bit.ly/CJBollywood1. And joining us for Share Your Addiction and Cold Turkey is Nora Fiore, the Nitrate Diva. Plus, check out the latest Geeky Gourmet video where you can learn how to make Bollywood popcorn as you watch some Indian films. Here's the Geeky Gourmet playlist on the KPBS YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/CJGeekyGourmet And if you'd like to contribute your own Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey, then just email baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line.

Aug 11

35 min 48 sec

When Brad Martin goes into work there’s a very real possibility his boss could ask to set him on fire. That's because he’s a stunt man. Comic-Con just wrapped up another virtual edition and I’ll be wrapping up July’s theme of celebrating pop culture by highlighting Brad Martin and Mickey Faccinello, who have both worked on the wildly successful Marvel franchise. They share stories about how you can become a stunt person and what the job entails from being set on fire to wire work to motion capture. Join me in paying tribute to the people who often take your breath away and make your jaw drop down in awe. And check out the latest Geeky Gourmet video where you can learn how to make delicious edible blood that can also enhance any stunt work you might do at home. Here's the Geeky Gourmet playlist on the KPBS YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/CJGeekyGourmet And if you'd like to contribute your own Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey, then just email baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line.

Jul 28

35 min 50 sec

Cinema Junkie has been on a quarantine break but I decided that July, the month of Comic-Con, would be a great time to make a comeback. My first guest is someone who not only fits the spirit of Comic-Con, but also is a longtime friend and frequent Cinema Junkie guest and that is Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg, a.k.a. Doctor of the Dead. We've bonded over zombies in the past and now I want to tap into a different side of his expertise to talk about comic book movies. Blumberg has the distinction of teaching the first of its kind course on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Back in 2015 at the University of Baltimore. The class was called Media Genres, Media Marvels. "There’s something to be said for the fact that the Marvel cinematic universe that they started building was just so incredibly successful and cohesive and fascinating," Blumberg said. These film can also be great tools to teach students about critical thinking and media literacy. Follow Cinema Junkie online at www.kpbs.org/cinemajunkie or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cinemajunkieblog). Follow Beth Accomando on Instagram and Twitter as Cinebeth. If you would like to be considered for a Share Your Addiction or Cold Turkey segment then send an email to baccomando@kpbs.org and put Share Your Addiction in the subject line. Cinema Junkie was created and written by Beth Accomando with help from Kinsee Morlan, Emily Jankowski and Rebecca Chacon.

Jul 14

35 min 23 sec

"Cinema Junkie" has been on a quarantine break, but returns healthier than ever on July 14. It will be a leaner, 30-minute format, but will still feature in-depth interviews with filmmakers, scholars and cinephiles. Hosted by KPBS film critic Beth Accomando, the new format will also feature new segments. Guests and listeners will share their rants and raves about movies through fun segments called "Share Your Addiction" and "Cold Turkey." Plus, Beth is adding a companion video for each podcast called "Geeky Gourmet." She'll demonstrate how to make drinks, desserts and food themed to the films discussed in each episode. The videos will be available on the KPBS YouTube Channel, look for the Geeky Gourmet playlist or go here: https://bit.ly/GeekyGourmet If you’d like to share your addiction or rant about something that needs to stop cold turkey, you can call (619) 452-0228 to leave a message or email Beth your thoughts at podcasts@kpbs.org. Please put "Cinema Junkie" in the subject line.

Jul 1

4 min 15 sec

To close out Black History Month I will be speaking with Caroline Collins, a post doctoral fellow in the department of Communication at UC San Diego, about films that look to Black people and a sense of place. We discuss films such as "Daughters of the Dust," "Eve’s Bayou," "Get Out," "Sorry To Bother You," "Last Black Man in San Francisco," and "Black Panther," and look to how each of those films defines a connection to the land or a place. She says, "There's just so much that we learn about ourselves and each other through the medium of film and through popular culture. [I hope you] watch films that you might not feel are something you would normally watch and really think about 'How are these films helping to shape your understanding of your rootedness or disconnectivity to a place?' And how might you be able to rethink your own relationship to your place through the films that you're watching?"

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Feb 27

59 min 15 sec

My celebration of Black History Month continues with Part Two of my interview with David F. Walker, author of the new graphic novel "The Black Panther Party." We finish our discussion about the Black Panthers with a focus on their social programs and how the FBI infiltrated the organization from its very beginning in order to bring it down. This leads into our discussion of the new film "Judas and the Black Messiah" that just started streaming on HBO Max. The film looks to Black Panther member Fred Hampton, his murder, and FBI informant William O'Neal.

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Feb 13

33 min 32 sec

For Black History Month I am dedicating a two-part podcast to the Black Panthers and speaking with author David F. Walker ("Bitter Root," "Shaft," "The Life of Frederick Douglas") about his new graphic novel "The Black Panther Party." In Part One, we discuss what inspired the book, about historical context (including the Kerner Commission Report), and about Marcus Kwame Anderson who illustrated the book. In Part Two we extend the conversation to the new film "Judas and the Black Messiah."

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Feb 5

33 min 34 sec

The final episode in Cinema Junkie's Giving Thanks to Film Editors trilogy. This time I speak with Oscar-nominated film editor Paul Machliss. He has had a wildly creative and innovative partnership with director Edgar Wright on films such as "Baby Driver" and "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World." He talks about having to edit on the set for "Baby Driver" and then has some surprising recommendations for films that highlight diverse editing styles.

Dec 2020

48 min 20 sec

On the last episode of Cinema Junkie I kicked off a trio of podcasts that give thanks to film editors. I started with an interview with Tatiana S Riegel, the Oscar-nominated film editor of "I, Tonya." Now I speak with Stephen Mirrione who has worked repeatedly with Steven Soderbergh and Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu, and won an Oscar for his editing on "Traffic." He provides insights into the craft of film editing and recommends what films you need to watch to appreciate how an editor can impact cinematic storytelling.

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Dec 2020

42 min 56 sec

Join me in a three-part tribute to film editors. Most people can name a film's director and maybe even its writer, cinematographer or composer but far fewer can name editors. But film editors can alter performances, determine pace, and affect cinematic storytelling in so many ways. To kick off this three-part series is Tatiana S. Riegel, Oscar-nominated editor of "I, Tonya."

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Nov 2020

38 min 23 sec

This episode of Cinema Junkie serves up a Halloween Double Dare, playwright Michael Mizerany and I dare you to listen to a pair of his one-act horror plays. So turn out the lights, put on some headphones and enjoy an audio treat while sheltering at home this Halloween. Please note the plays contain explicit language and mature content. "Johnny and Babs Versus the Apocalypse" by Michael Mizerany Babs: Sydney Joyner Johnny: Marc Caro Stage Directions: David Janisch Inspired by the film "Night Of The Living Dead," "Johnny and Babs Versus the Apocalypse" chronicles a terror-filled evening replete with COVID chaos, civil unrest, flesh eating zombies. and sibling bickering. "Die Already!" by Michael Mizerany Branigan: Tyler Lloyd Chase: Quincy Bazen Jordan: Kevin Phan Gary: SeeJay Lewis Stage Directions: David Janisch A spoof of every horror film ever made where the killer just won’t stay dead, "Die Already!" tells the bloody tale of a one-night stand gone horribly, horribly wrong. Music for both plays was composed by Phil Nenna, who also created the Cinema Junkie theme music.

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Oct 2020

37 min 45 sec

San Diego Asian Film Festival's artistic director Brian Hu gives Cinema Junkie a preview of the most exciting films from Johnnie To's new boxing romance to Lav Diaz' epic Philippine melodrama to zombies in the Taiwan parliament. Festival runs Oct. 23 through 31 with Mystery Kung Fu Theater streaming live on Twitch!

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Oct 2020

25 min 20 sec

Can films help us remember history so that we don't repeat it? That's the question Cinema Junkie poses to Kimber Quinney, professor of history at Cal State San Marcos, and Antonio Iannotta, artistic director of the San Diego Italian Film Festival. We look at the rise of fascism in Italy in the 1920s, 30s and 40s to see what lessons we might be able to learn that might apply to the U.S. right now. We discuss films such as "Rome, Open City," "Anni Difficilli," "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," and "Christ Stopped at Eboli."

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Oct 2020

1 hr 1 min

The 27th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival streams its first virtual edition now through Sept. 27 and the film choices push the envelope in terms of diversity and cinematic styles. I speak with festival founder/executive director Ethan Van Thillo about the challenges of moving the event online and with exhibitions manager Moises Esparza about showcasing emerging filmmakers drawn to themes of unrest and revolution.

Sep 2020

40 min

As the real world feels scarier each day with a pandemic in full swing, police brutality and people just behaving badly filling social media, and a president fanning the flames of hate and unrest, the horror genre has had to adjust. This year's Horrible Imaginings Film Festival has had to move online for its annual showcase of horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Festival founder and executive director Miguel Rodriguez says that the films this year serve up less gore and tales of physical harm and instead focus on horror relating to undefined dread, to not being able to distinguish what's real from what's not, and to stories where you just can't figure out what it is that is trying to hurt you. We discuss the diverse array of shorts, features and documentaries available through Sept. 7 as well as discuss the role horror can play in a world that makes us increasingly anxious.

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Sep 2020

1 hr 2 min

Get a first look, I mean, listen, to Troma Entertainment's latest film "#Shakespeare's Sh--storm." Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman talks with me about finally being old enough to play Prospero in his 100% Troma-tized adaptation of the Bard's "The Tempest." We also talk about being kicked off YouTube, starting a streaming channel, and surviving more than four decades outside Hollywood as a truly independent film studio. But be warned, this podcast contains potentially offensive material because, well, it's all about Troma, which specializes in gross-out, gore-filled, politically incorrect yet somehow endearing z-grade films. But if you don't know Troma, maybe don't listen. You've been warned!

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Aug 2020

58 min 40 sec

As if the zombies knew a real pandemic was heading our way, there was a surge of undead films in 2019 with more than a dozen infecting cinemas. So as we deal with a real pandemic Cinema Junkie gets its annual check up with the Doctor of the Dead, Arnold T. Blumberg, whose diagnosis is that COVID is ruining the fun of the zombie apocalypse by giving us something far scarier in the willful ignorance of humans facing the coronavirus in the real world. So to celebrate the 200th episode of the podcast we discuss zombies in the time of coronavirus, and what we might learn from them. Blumberg has written books on zombies, film, and pop culture, and teaches courses using zombies as well as superheroes.

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Aug 2020

1 hr 10 min

Everything you need to know you can learn from zombies. Author Max Brooks pretty much laid out a lot of what we're been dealing with during this coronavirus pandemic in his novel "World War Z" that came out in 2006. He will have a virtual panel at this year's Comic-Con@Home called "Zombies and Coronavirus: Planning for the Next Big Outbreak." Brooks says of his panel, "People can expect to hear us discuss this real plague that we're dealing with. But through the metaphor of zombies, because the best tool of education is pop culture." His panel is at noon on July 24 but the YouTube link will remain on the Comic-Con Channel even after the convention ends, which allows anyone to watch the discussion any time. We also discuss his new book "Devolution." I know this is not cinema but it is zombies, which I love, and Brooks is the son of filmmaker/comedian Mel Brooks and film actress Anne Bancroft so there is a cinema connection! In addition to his writing, Brooks holds duel fellowships at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Modern War Institute. Check out a podcast that aims for the head.

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Jul 2020

44 min 14 sec

While in quarantine I discovered the Apple TV show "Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet" created by "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's" Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Megan Ganz. The show debuted in February but had a bonus quarantine episode released at the end of May. So for this podcast I wanted to look to the gaming world and creating a show about the dynamics of running a game design company. I also wanted to focus on the ingenious quarantine episode so I speak with two of the writers from that show Megan Ganz and actor David Hornsby (who you may remember as Cricket from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia").

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Jul 2020

38 min 45 sec

David F. Walker, author of the upcoming "The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel," talks more about the research he's done for his book and I have my full interview with a member of the San Diego Original Black Panther Party, Henry Lee Wallace V. So I stray off the film path for this bonus or perhaps it's better titled a companion podcast to Black Films That Matter. Walker talks about the Black Panthers and their legacy while Wallace recounts how he joined the party as a teenager and now serves as chairman of the reactivated San Diego Black Panther Party. A little history rather than cinema for a change of pace. Check out the companion Black Films that Matter Podcast: https://www.kpbs.org/podcasts/cinema-junkie/2020/jul/03/black-films-matter/

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Jul 2020

57 min

David F. Walker (writer of "Shaft" and "Luke Cage" comics, and graphic novels on Frederick Douglas and The Black Panther Party) picks some Black films that matter to provide context for today's protests. We discuss the controversial 1973 film "The Spook Who Sat By The Door" that United Artists pulled from release; Melvin Van Peebles' "The Watermelon Man" in which Godfrey Cambridge plays a white man who wakes up Black one morning; "Cornbread, Earl and Me" about an innocent Black kid shot dead by police; and more. We explore why these films are still relevant and how that provide insight into race in America. WARNING: Contains explicit language and language that may be offensive.

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Jul 2020

1 hr 8 min

This month and into July Shudder is hosting the Etheria Film Festival, a showcase of genre shorts by women filmmakers, and a Queer Horror Collection featuring the new documentary "Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street." I will highlight the best of Etheria and then speak with filmmakers Tyler Jensen and Roman Chimienti about making "Scream Queen!" and finally speak with Mark Patton (Jesse in "Nightmare on Elm Street 2") about how being in a film labeled "the gayest horror film ever made" impacted the career of a young actor in 1985 Hollywood when the AIDS pandemic was at its height. So join me as we go from the final girls of Etheria to the final boy of Elm Street. WARNING: Contains explicit language.

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Jun 2020

56 min 14 sec

Matt Berry has given us a gallery of hilarious characters from the buffoonish Douglas Reynholm in "The IT Crowd" to full of himself actor Steven Toast in "Toast of London" to the Staten Island vampire Laszlo Cravensworth in "What We Do In The Shadows," which has its season finale on June 10, 2020. I had the pleasure of speaking with Berry about his career including such cult classics as "Snuff Box" and "Garth Marenghi's Darkplace." Plus I get to play some of his music. WARNING: This podcast contains explicit language and adult humor... because it contains Matt Berry.

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Jun 2020

35 min

Cinema Junkie has been exploring escapist films to distract you from our current coronavirus pandemic but as parts of the country and some businesses start to reopen I decided it was time to explore some unconventional pandemic films that raise issues beyond just the virus itself. I will be speaking with neuroscientist and emotion researcher Eric Leonardis who has been spending his quarantined time at home watching pandemic films but he has an interesting take on these movies because he wants to see how emotions like panic and fear can spread as readily as a virus and how words can be as dangerous as germs. We will consider silents to contemporary films as well as films from China, Cambodia, South Korea and the U.S. So wash your hands, put on a mask, and defy being infected by these pandemic movies.

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May 2020

1 hr 10 min

Write, blogger, and classic film enthusiast Will McKinley will be your guide to becoming a more adventuresome digital explorer as you navigate the quarantine landscape. He suggest skip the entertainment fast food and pick more nourishing options from the digital buffet. We'll discuss everything from free services to boutique streaming services to bulking up on physical media. There really are so many choices!

May 2020

1 hr 2 min

April was to have been the month we got Bond 25, "No Time To Die" but the film has been postponed to November because of the current pandemic. So here's a discussion about the best and most outrageous Bond rip off spy films that provide perfect escapist fare while sheltering at home. To help guide us through this fun terrain is #Bond_age espionage aficionado James Patrick. We also pay tribute to Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore of "Goldfinger," who died earlier this month.

Apr 2020

50 min

Cinema Junkie offers up some quarantine viewing options that provide escapism. First up, TCM Classic Film Festival had to cancel its Hollywood event but has moved it to its TCM cable channel for a Home Edition that anyone can enjoy while sheltering at home. Charles Tabesh, senior vice president in charge of programming at Turner Classic Movies, previews the festival. The Nora Fiore, author of the Nitrate Diva blog, highlights the best screwball comedies to take your mind off the coronavirus pandemic. She suggests some well-known classics as well as under-appreciated gems. Plus enjoy a rendition of "The Good Ship Lollipop" that will delight and surprise you.

Apr 2020

1 hr 9 min

UC San Diego professor Joel Wertheim uses the 2011 Steven Soderbergh film "Contagion" to teach a class every fall in epidemiology because it is so accurate in depicting a global pandemic. I talk to Wertheim about viruses and what we might be able learn from pop culture about dealing with the current coronavirus pandemic.

Mar 2020

30 min

I became a fan of Benh Zeitlin after his first film "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Now almost eight years later he has a second film that once again captures the wonder of childhood through a young girl's eyes. For "Wendy" he has reimagined "Peter Pan" from her point of view and place the idea of motherhood front and center. I speak to him about shooting on 16mm, working with non-professional child actors, and keeping reality as part of the magical world he creates.

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Mar 2020

29 min

February is Women In Horror Month and Cinema Junkie checks in with the Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska. The Soskas have a new film currently streaming, it's the remake of fellow Canadian David Cronenberg's 70s cult favorite, "Rabid." I have been following the rise of the Twisted Twins since their feature debut "Dead Hooker in a Trunk" in 2009 and their brilliant and most personal project "American Mary" in 2012. The good news is that they are returning to another very personal horror project that I can't wait to see.

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Feb 2020

48 min

The Academy Award nominations always incite me to give out my own awards for best of the year. So here are the Cinema Junkie Awards to highlight the films that I loved this year, some of which I feel were severely under-appreciated.

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Feb 2020

33 min 39 sec

Imagine a body as your canvas, a knife as your paintbrush, and blood as your medium. That in a nutshell is the Italian giallo film. Cinema Junkie is on holiday break so I am serving up a tasty archive from 2017 when I looked to Italian giallo cinema. I’ll be back with a new episode in two weeks where I give out the Cinema Junkie Awards. But since I am co-hosting a film series in San Diego at Digital Gym Cinema focusing on Italian Genre Cinema, I decided to replay this podcast to whet your appetite for our latest Film Geeks SD program. If you don’t know what giallo is I have a pair of guests to enlighten you and if you already know the pleasures of this over-the-top Italian genre then you can delight in insights from Troy Howarth, author of the giallo study "So Deadly So Perverse;" and Rachael Nisbet, who runs a film blog dedicated to giallo and Italian genre cinema. The word “giallo” translates literally as “yellow” but it became synonymous with a particular style of literary thriller that got its name from the cheap yellow covers of the novels published in Italy in the ’50s and ’60s. The films that drew on these literary roots embellished the lurid tales with an audacious visual style and pulsating soundtrack that consumed you like a fever dream. Although murder is often at the center of these films don't waste your time trying to figure out whodunit because plot feels like an afterthought in these films that are drip with intoxicating style. The style IS the content so you can resist it or you can simply succumb to this assault on your senses and enjoy the perverse pleasures of Italian giallo cinema.

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Jan 2020

1 hr 20 min

Fasten your seatbelts! Cinema Junkie is racing off on a vacation break and playing a favorite archive episode this week. I'll be back with new episodes in January. Since I will be co-hosting a yearlong Gearhead Cinema program at San Diego's Digital Gym Cinema in 2020 I am digging into the archives for my interview with stunt driver Steve Lepper who talks about the best car movies and car chases of all time. Lepper came to San Diego in late 2018 to see the Bullitt car at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. He will return to San Diego to introduce some of the classic car films in the Gearhead Cinema program.

Dec 2019

1 hr 10 min

At a time when much of Hollywood's award hopefuls feel familiar in their storytelling formula, it's refreshing to find films like "Waves" and the upcoming "A Hidden Life" from Terrence Malick that speak in an audaciously cinematic language that is pure visual poetry. "Waves'" filmmaker Trey Edward Shults grabbed my attention two years ago for "It Comes At Night," an unconventional horror film that was poorly served by its misleading ad campaign. I had the opportunity to speak to Shults back in 2017 when "It Comes At Night" opened. With his new film in theaters I thought it would be fun to revisit his interview.

Dec 2019

22 min

It's the holidays and I'm feeling sentimental. My dad died on Aug. 23 this year and he's the person responsible for making me fall in love with movies. So for my holiday edition of Cinema Junkie I give thanks to my dad for passing on his passion for movies to me and I highlight some of my favorite movie memories I shared with my dad. So it's a personal edition of the show and you'll get some insights into why I became a film critic.

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Nov 2019

34 min 1 sec

It's crazy gearheads to crazy rich Asians as Cinema Junkie goes from the Le Mans track to debating the best in Asian American films from the past two decades. First up, director James Mangold discusses his new film "Ford v Ferrari," about the showdown between the two car icons in 1966 at the 24-hour Le Mans race. It may be called "Ford v Ferrari" but the story is really more about American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles who collaborated on designing and racing the car. Then San Diego Asian Film Festival artistic director Brian Hu talks about the L.A. Times list he helped curate of the 20 best Asian American films of the past 20 years. "Better Luck Tomorrow" topped the list but you might be surprised by some of the other films in the canon.

Nov 2019

44 min 13 sec

Two films that will make my ten best list are arriving in theaters: "The Lighthouse" and "Jojo Rabbit" so I'm thrilled to be able to highlight both films with interviews. I speak with filmmaker Robert Eggers (who previously directed "The Witch") about his new film "The Lighthouse" starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson and set in an 1890s remote New England lighthouse. And then I talk with actor Stephen Merchant who enlightens us about how to tackle playing a Nazi for laughs in Takia Waititi's anti-hate satire "Jojo Rabbit."

E

Oct 2019

32 min 15 sec

Eddie Murphy stars in the Netflix film "Dolemite is My Name." The film introduces audiences to singer, musician, stand up comic, actor and film producer Rudy Ray Moore. Moore found success in the 1970s with a string of Blaxploitation films that began with the 1975 film "Dolemite." I speak with award-winning comic book writer David Walker, who knew the real Rudy Ray Moore, as well as with independent filmmakers Sanns Dixon and Dante Moran about the dual legacies of Moore and Murphy. This podcast includes explicit language.

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Oct 2019

1 hr 20 min

With AMC's "NOS4A2" renewed for a second season Cinema Junkie digs into the archives for a 2013 interview with author Joe Hill at the KPBS studios. He talks about his best-selling novel, horror, and comics. Plus he reads a selection from his novel and we'll hear from fans about what they love about his writing.

Sep 2019

32 min 19 sec

John Waters' Odorama has inspired filmmaker JC Calciano to make his new film "Steam Room Stories: The Movie" in Cinema Scent. I talk with Calciano about scratch 'n' sniff cards, going from YouTube to feature films, and working with Traci Lords.

Sep 2019

20 min 5 sec

Horrible Imaginings Film Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary this Labor Day Weekend at the Frida Cinema so that is the perfect excuse to speak with the festival's founder and executive director Miguel Rodriguez about all things horror. We will discuss trends as well as some of the standout films from the festival.

Aug 2019

32 min 10 sec