I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: No country for cold men

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

Matt finally caught up (at least somewhat) with Alan and Julie, watching the Criterion release of Ernst Lubitsch’s comedy Design for Living almost two years after their podcast on the complicated women of pre-Code cinema. Even for someone not much versed in the films of the era preceding the Hays Code, Design for Living more than delivers with its wit and its wonderful trio of protagonists.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: You say ‘Sunday’, I say ‘Monday

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

It had to happen sometime – it was Sunday evening, we were tired… and we entirely forgot that trailer posts don’t post themselves. At least not yet, though I’m sure that GPT-3 or whatever AIs are currently being created in dark IT labs by mad computer scientists will be more than up to the task. When Skynet stages its coup, we’ll recognise the terminators because they’ll have too many fingers and too many teeth.

And talking about too many teeth: Matt found himself liking Top Gun Maverick a surprising amount, while finding Avatar: The Way of Water dull and unengaging. And there’s something surprisingly poignant about Tom Cruise finally starting to show his age. What if Tom’s just one of us?

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A Damn Fine Espresso: January 2023

For our first espresso episode of 2023, Julie and Sam got together to once again share their love of good film soundtracks and to talk about soundtrack concerts. What is the experience of watching a film while a live orchestra is playing the soundtrack? What’s the overall state of film music and movie concerts? What are some of the duo’s favourite movie soundtracks? And how do Sam and Julie end up talking about some of the lesser-known Billy Wilder movies?

If you enjoy our conversation about film soundtracks, make sure also to listen to our podcast episode #49, “The Music Makers”, about some of our favourite soundtrack composers and films where the music is central to the experience.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: I’m Thinking of Joaquin Phoenix Things

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

If Alan had wanted to make it as difficult as possible to come up with a trailer to fit his Six Damn Fine Degrees post on The Balanescu Quartet’s string covers of Kraftwerk tunes, he definitely succeeded. The closest we could manage? Wim Wender’s The End of Violence features some Kraftwerk on its soundtrack – but instead, let’s go with The Big Lebowski, which may not have any Kraftwerk (or Balanescu Quartet) music on its soundtrack, but its German nihilist character played by Peter Stormare used to play in a band called Autobahn, an obvious homage to the titans of experimental krautrock. Take it away, Dude!

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: The Two Nicks

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

Time flies yet again: we’re already at the second trailer post of 2023 – and it begins with the classic Bong Joon-ho joint Memories of Murder, which Matt wrote about earlier this week.

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #64: No movies!

For most of our podcasts, and many of our posts, A Damn Fine Cup of Culture talks about films – which makes sense, because we love cinema, but there is so much more to culture. Why is it that the conversation usually defaults to movies? And why don’t we talk about other media more often? In our first episode of 2023, Julie, Matt and Sam decide to amend this and to talk about the other damn fine cups of culture they’ve enjoyed recently that didn’t show on a big screen. Sam’s brought along three books – And the Band Played On (1987) by Randy Shilts and When We Rise (2016) by Cleve Jones, two non-fiction books about the the LGBT activism of the 1970s and 1980s and the AIDS epidemic in the US, and Swiss Book Prize winner Blutbuch (2022) by Kim de l’Horizon (which is currently only out in German, but is set to come out in English in 2023). Matt talks about two streaming series he very much enjoyed in 2022, namely Severance (Apple TV+) and Star Wars: Andor (Disney+). And yes, even when we talk about media that aren’t cinema, we don’t fully get away from the movies: Julie recommends the podcasts You Must Remember This (by Karina Longworth) and The Secret History of Hollywood (by Adam Roche) about the real stories of classic Hollywood. The book she mentions is Watergate, a New History by Garrett M. Graff.

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Ringing in the new year in style

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

Welcome to the first day of 2023! Our main post this week (which, eerily, was published last year) had Matt looking back at the damn fine cups of culture he liked best in 2022, so let’s revisit some of those trailers. But first things first: Matt also wrote about four cellists and the heavy, metally things they did to Metallica in this week’s Six Damn Fine Degrees, so why not start with that (even though there’s nothing trailery about it)?

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I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Merry Christ(opher Lee)mas!

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

This week, Matt posted his thoughts on the TV series version of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander – but that one featured in a recentish trailer post. Then there was the Christmas Special podcast – but as that one focused on our Summer of Directors, many of the trailers that would fit best already came up in other posts this year.

Which leaves us with Sam’s Six Damn Fine Degrees, a post that oozed (or should that be ‘öözed’?) Metal – so let’s go with that…

17 times Christopher Lee was the spirit of metal | The Independent | The  Independent

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast Christmas Special 2022

It’s that time of the year again: join the gang at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture for a festive celebration and a look back at the year. In keeping with our big summer series, the Summer of Directors, we’re thinking back on the five episodes where we talked about Jane Campion, Dario Argento, Ida Lupino, Robert Altman and Martin Scorsese. Featuring contributions from our regulars Sam and Alan as well as this year’s wonderful guests Johannes Binotto, lecturer and video essayist, and Dan Thron of Martini Giant (who’s also had a lot to say about Steven Soderbergh and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune in the past). It’s been quite the year, but we’ve been able to enjoy many a good film, book, series, game, and even a concert or two, and obviously many good conversations about all of these things. We’ll be back soon, with more Damn Fine Cups of Culture – and in the meantime, we wish all of our listeners, and all of our guests, happy holidays!

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A Damn Fine Espresso: December 2022

This year’s December espresso is a very special episode: a few weeks ago, Alan and Matt visited the Stanley Kubrick Archive at the London College of Communication, a place replete with scripts, research materials, production and post-production documents, props, costumes, sound tapes, publicity material and much, much more. Sadly, it’s obviously not possible to enter the Archives and dive into these documents and materials much like Scrooge McDuck likes to dive into his immense wealth – but we still felt like children in Santa’s grotto (if Santa was the kind of guy who’d direct A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut). Prior to our visit, we’d asked to see pre-production materials for 2001: A Space Odyssey and script versions of A.I.., the film that Kubrick himself never got to make. Join us as we talk about this fascinating experience and one of the coolest pre-Christmas presents a bunch of film geeks could ever ask for.

A big thank-you to everyone at the London College of Communication and the Stanley Kubrick Archive for granting us our wish!

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