A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #35: Soderbergh’s Schizopolis, Schizopolis’ Soderbergh

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3For our August episode, we welcome special guest Daniel Thron (of Martini Giant) to talk about what may be the least-watched film of Steven Soderbergh’s directing career: Schizopolis. How does this surreal, experimentalist and often downright silly comedy about doppelgängers, lifestyle cults and failures to communicate fit in the director’s oeuvre? How does Schizopolis point the way to Soderbergh’s later career? And how do Netflix, COVID-19 and TikTok come into the conversation?

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3For our August episode, we welcome special guest Daniel Thron (of Martini Giant) to talk about what may be the least-watched film of Steven Soderbergh’s directing career: Schizopolis. How does this surreal, experimentalist and often downright silly comedy about doppelgängers, lifestyle cults and failures to communicate fit in the director’s oeuvre? How does Schizopolis point the way to Soderbergh’s later career? And how do Netflix, COVID-19 and TikTok come into the conversation?

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #34: Xeno-who? The Alien franchise

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3For our July podcast, we’re heading to space, where no one can hear you podcast: join Julie, Matt and special guest Alan for a chat about Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic Alien and all the wacky hijinks that ensued, with a special focus on James Cameron’s space marine extravaganza Aliens and the much maligned third film and David Fincher’s motion picture debut, Alien³. Strap in and get ready for incisive, acid-dripping, chest-bursting discussion that will wake you from hypersleep in a jiffy!

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3For our July podcast, we’re heading to space, where no one can hear you podcast: join Julie, Matt and special guest Alan for a chat about Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror classic Alien and all the wacky hijinks that ensued, with a special focus on James Cameron’s space marine extravaganza Aliens and the much maligned third film and David Fincher’s motion picture debut, Alien³. Strap in and get ready for incisive, acid-dripping, chest-bursting discussion that will wake you from hypersleep in a jiffy!

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #33: The Good, the Bad and Alfred Hitchcock

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3We have had a certain Norman Bates over for a fresh, hot cup of culture before, but this is the first time we’re dedicating an entire episode to the Master of Suspense himself – and, more specifically, to good gals, good guys and villains in three films by Hitchcock. From Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains and the ambivalent love triangle of Notorious to the wild ride and camp masculinities of North by Northwest and the shattered allegiances and mummy issues of Psycho (but then, it’s mother issues all the way down in Hitchcock, isn’t it?), join us – and our guest for June, Sam – for a chat about the good, the bad and Alfred Hitchcock!

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3We have had a certain Norman Bates over for a fresh, hot cup of culture before, but this is the first time we’re dedicating an entire episode to the Master of Suspense himself – and, more specifically, to good gals, good guys and villains in three films by Hitchcock. From Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Claude Rains and the ambivalent love triangle of Notorious to the wild ride and camp masculinities of North by Northwest and the shattered allegiances and mummy issues of Psycho (but then, it’s mother issues all the way down in Hitchcock, isn’t it?), join us – and our guest for June, Sam – for a chat about the good, the bad and Alfred Hitchcock!

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #32: Synecdoche, New York

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3Shakespeare once wrote that all the world’s a stage – but what if you turn that upside down and try to make your stage into all the world? This is what Cayden Cotard, sadsack protagonist of Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York attempts. Does he succeed? Does Kaufman’s first film as writer and director work as well as those of his scripts filmed by other directors, such as Being John Malkovich or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Is Cotard (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) relatable in his neurotic urge to make up for his lack of control in his life by means of his art, or is he what keeps the film from greatness? And, in the end, what the hell is it all about?

For this month’s journey into metafiction, Julie and Matt are joined by Eric, culture buff and contributor to A Damn Fine Cup of Culture. Get yourself some coffee, tea or whatever else keeps you afloat during these strange and trying times and join us for episode 32 of the podcast!

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3Shakespeare once wrote that all the world’s a stage – but what if you turn that upside down and try to make your stage into all the world? This is what Cayden Cotard, sadsack protagonist of Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York attempts. Does he succeed? Does Kaufman’s first film as writer and director work as well as those of his scripts filmed by other directors, such as Being John Malkovich or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Is Cotard (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) relatable in his neurotic urge to make up for his lack of control in his life by means of his art, or is he what keeps the film from greatness? And, in the end, what the hell is it all about?

For this month’s journey into metafiction, Julie and Matt are joined by Eric, culture buff and contributor to A Damn Fine Cup of Culture. Get yourself some coffee, tea or whatever else keeps you afloat during these strange and trying times and join us for episode 32 of the podcast!

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #31: Mind the gaps

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3We’re back after a three-month break – and right in the middle of a pandemic. What better time than this to listen to some new podcast goodness, though? And what better time to look at the gaps we’ve all got in our film-watching track record?

This month, Julie and Matt talk about the huge swathes of cinema that we’ve missed so far – the genres, eras and countries we’re barely aware of, the directors that everyone loves but we bounced off of, the films we’ve got on an ever-growing pile on a bookshelf that we keep telling ourselves we should finally watch. Grab a hot, fresh cup and join us for episode 31 of A Damn Fine Cup of Culture! Continue reading

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3We’re back after a three-month break – and right in the middle of a pandemic. What better time than this to listen to some new podcast goodness, though? And what better time to look at the gaps we’ve all got in our film-watching track record?

This month, Julie and Matt talk about the huge swathes of cinema that we’ve missed so far – the genres, eras and countries we’re barely aware of, the directors that everyone loves but we bounced off of, the films we’ve got on an ever-growing pile on a bookshelf that we keep telling ourselves we should finally watch. Grab a hot, fresh cup and join us for episode 31 of A Damn Fine Cup of Culture! Continue reading

A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #30: Watchmen (HBO)

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3The End is Nigh – but nothing ever really ends: in our first podcast episode of 2020 we’re donning our masks to talk about the costumed vigilantes, white supremacists and glowing blue men of Damon Lindelof and HBO’s Watchmen. Is it a worthy successor of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic? Does it deserve the name of Watchmen? And have we really seen the last of Lube Man? Your trusty cultural baristas also briefly talk about Helen Garner’s non-fiction This House of Grief, Luz’ Charlie Hébdo memoir Indélébiles and Melina Matsoukas’ drama Queen & Slim.

Sadly, this is also Mege’s final episode as the podcast’s co-host – and due to him joining us from Jupiter’s moon Europa, his audio track is somewhat squid-addled (some say that it was really technical issues, but what do they know?). Accordingly, the Damn Fine Cup of Culture podcast will enter a short hiatus during which we will determine where to go and what to do next, but we will be back with some steaming, flavourful, damn fine cups of culture in podcast format in April. Till then! Continue reading

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3The End is Nigh – but nothing ever really ends: in our first podcast episode of 2020 we’re donning our masks to talk about the costumed vigilantes, white supremacists and glowing blue men of Damon Lindelof and HBO’s Watchmen. Is it a worthy successor of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic? Does it deserve the name of Watchmen? And have we really seen the last of Lube Man? Your trusty cultural baristas also briefly talk about Helen Garner’s non-fiction This House of Grief, Luz’ Charlie Hébdo memoir Indélébiles and Melina Matsoukas’ drama Queen & Slim.

Sadly, this is also Mege’s final episode as the podcast’s co-host – and due to him joining us from Jupiter’s moon Europa, his audio track is somewhat squid-addled (some say that it was really technical issues, but what do they know?). Accordingly, the Damn Fine Cup of Culture podcast will enter a short hiatus during which we will determine where to go and what to do next, but we will be back with some steaming, flavourful, damn fine cups of culture in podcast format in April. Till then! Continue reading

A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast Christmas Special 2019

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3The festive season is upon us. Turkeys are being defrosted, eggnog is being whisked, and your cultural baristas have brought along presents for everyone. It’s a surprise, really, and we don’t want to spoil anything, but here are some hints: Matt asks you to unwrap a strange, tasty treat filled with choices, strangeness, the debris of failed revolutions and potentially lethal ties, while Mege promises a hangout to remember over Earl Grey with some of the most memorable actresses of the last few dozen years, and Julie has prepared a double bill of big egos, dirty dishes and culinary hijinks. Wishing everyone happy holidays and all the very best for what remains of 2019 – be safe and see you in 2020!

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3The festive season is upon us. Turkeys are being defrosted, eggnog is being whisked, and your cultural baristas have brought along presents for everyone. It’s a surprise, really, and we don’t want to spoil anything, but here are some hints: Matt asks you to unwrap a strange, tasty treat filled with choices, strangeness, the debris of failed revolutions and potentially lethal ties, while Mege promises a hangout to remember over Earl Grey with some of the most memorable actresses of the last few dozen years, and Julie has prepared a double bill of big egos, dirty dishes and culinary hijinks. Wishing everyone happy holidays and all the very best for what remains of 2019 – be safe and see you in 2020!

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #29: There Will Be Blood

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3Prepare to have your milkshake drunk right across the internet: your cultural baristas once again return to the Paul Thomas Anderson well, this time to talk about his grim, disorienting epic There Will Be Blood that still confounds after multiple viewings. We also briefly touch upon family horror story Hereditary (which Mege talked about in this post), the surreal comic treat Legion (which we discussed in podcast #9) and and the celluloid nightmare that is The Lighthouse.

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d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3Prepare to have your milkshake drunk right across the internet: your cultural baristas once again return to the Paul Thomas Anderson well, this time to talk about his grim, disorienting epic There Will Be Blood that still confounds after multiple viewings. We also briefly touch upon family horror story Hereditary (which Mege talked about in this post), the surreal comic treat Legion (which we discussed in podcast #9) and and the celluloid nightmare that is The Lighthouse.

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #28: Werner Herzog

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3It is finally time for us to talk about the Grand Old Wild Man of German cinema, the director who made Klaus Kinski drag a boat across a mountain, the man who directed a film where all the actors were under hypnosis and another film where Nicholas Cage may have been one of the more normal parts of the whole. Join your cultural baristas for a conversation about Werner Herzog and his films, ranging from Nosferatu the Vampyre (1978) via Grizzly Man (2005) to Encounters at the End of the World (2007).

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A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #27: Quentin Tarantino

d1ad56da-abce-4afe-9f45-79294aede9e3

Whether you’re an Elvis man or a Beatles man, tune in to our latest episode of A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, because we’re finally getting around to talking about the man who doesn’t need us to tell him how good his coffee is: on the occasion of the release of his latest film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, your cultural baristas are having a chat about writer-director Quentin Tarantino, his films, his music, his women, his use of violence and his very particular brand of nostalgia. How much Tarantino is that? A lot!

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