Wes and Erin continue their discussion of “The Awful Truth”; how hard it is to do anything — much less record a podcast — on a Tuesday afternoon; His Girl Friday, Bringing up Baby, and the comfort of watching old movies; the surprising way women are represented in old film; how a character can be robbed of their vitality and agency when made the representative of a class or political goal; Wes’s hypochondriacal worries about early onset dementia; and Erin’s poem about the movie, a “sestina on steroids.”
We continue our discussion of Hedda Gabler. Wes reads more from contemporaneous reviews (“Hedda Gabler is manifestly a lunatic of the epileptic class”) and Erin from Elizabeth Hardwick’s essay on the play (Lovborg’s being shamed by Thea’s concern for his sobriety is an excuse in a way, a “violation of his rights to ruin”). We talk about the “The Thin Man” — the winning dynamic between William Powell and Myrna Loy, the film’s deviation from a typical romantic comedy, and the alien familiarity of old movies. We continue with a discussion of the best four film stretch by a director in history; our upcoming episode on “The Awful Truth”; Erin’s enthusiasm for Screwball comedies; the approaching one year anniversary of our first recording; Erin’s money pit in her house of gold; how the podcast got started, and the night we first met (at a viewing party for “North by Northwest”); Wes’s finding a pile of books on the sidewalk, including Alexander Von Humboldt’s “Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent”; and finally, Samuel Pepys’s propensity for rogering.
Wes & Erin continue their discussion of Billy Budd; movies they watched on Halloween, including the highly related titles “Libeled Lady” and “The Exorcist”; Erin’s fear of horror movies; Wes’s recent book review concerning meritocracy and his fortuitous use of a jump scare; Erin’s poetry writing; our new episode release schedule, necessary for the preservation of our sanity and to savor the readings; and Jewish leading men in Hollywood.
Wes & Erin continue their discussion of “The Great Gatsby”; the ongoing development of our approach to the discussions; Arnold Rothstein and the fixing of the 1919 World Series; Fitzgerald’s neighbors on Long Island, including Ring Lardner and Ed Wynn; the contemporary feel of the novel; the NYC movie-making scene in the early 20th century; Marilynne Robinson; and possibilities for the next episode, where because of a weird time warp we talk as if “A Woman Under the Influence” will follow “The Great Gatsby” when it has always already preceded it.
We’re back! Finally. Wes reveals that he doesn’t know the title of the film. We discuss why we avoided saying explicitly just what sort of “influence” Mabel is under. We talk about Charlie Kaufman movies and the possibility of doing an episode on “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” the origins of the word “kismet,” and the fact that Erin can inadvertently kill famous people just by thinking about them. Erin talks about her love of killer whales and we wrongly tease “Billy Budd” as our next episode. It’s actually “The Great Gatsby.” Then “Billy Budd.”
Is the podcast too long? Do we do too much synopsis? Erin reads more of Roger Ebert’s funny review of the film, and we try to figure out whether Benjamin an insufferable creep. We express some sympathy for Mrs. Robinson, and discuss whether she’s the only person in the movie you’d want to have a conversation (or drink) with. We thank new patrons, and Erin talks about Clouzot and back-to-school preparations. Wes is going to be busy this fall but will soon be moving to The Canary Islands. Next up, “The Great Gatsby.”
Wes & Erin discuss how the episode went; why we recorded one episode per stanza about a a 22 line poem; how popular we are in New Zealand; our cover art, and Wes’s nefarious plan to manipulate people into caring about literature via vintage advertising; our love of “The Odyssey” and “The Iliad”; and whether we should do an episode on Charles Bukowski.
With (post)script, get to know your quirky hosts, their existential doubts, and all the behind-the-scenes drama that’s concealed by their staid demeanors, not to mention an ample Patreon paywall. Wes talks about his experiences with alien abduction, and Erin cautions against the use of mayonnaise. Erin then recounts her former life as deep sea fisherman, and Wes reminisces about his Fleetwood Mac cover band. All this and more, except probably in fact none of this. We do, we promise, chat about something.
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Shows consist of an extra 15 minutes of discussion following the regular episode. Sometimes we’ll continue talking about the topic for that week. Sometimes we’ll discuss what else we’ve been reading, writing, and thinking about. When the time comes, we’ll be responding to listener emails. And sometimes we’ll talk a little bit about ourselves. Subscribing will also get you other bonus content, including full episodes and the chance to chance to engage with the hosts.