A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #56: Summer of Directors – Jane Campion

Never mind that May is still firmly spring in most people’s minds: we are launching the Summer of Directors, a series of podcasts, each of which is dedicated to one particular director, and we’re doing so with an episode dedicated to two-time Academy Award winner Jane Campion, who first took the little statuette home for her original screenplay for The Piano (1993) and, more recently, as the director of The Power of the Dog (2021). We’ll be looking at those two films in particular, focusing on the ways in which Campion portrays and questions gender roles. How does Holly Hunter’s Ada McGrath make her way in 19th century New Zealand as a woman displaced in many ways? How does Campion portray male and female modes of communication? And how do we read that marvellously ambiguous ending? Moving on to The Power of the Dog, we look at different kinds of masculinity – and how Campion’s film may have unusual, fascinating things to say about what kind of masculinity is finally more resilient. Join Matt, Julie and Sam as they explore all the black and white keys on Jane Campion’s keyboard and all the kinds of music she elicits from them!

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: The moustaches have it

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.

Is there a correct version of Hercule Poirot? And, if so – who is it? If you haven’t already done so, make sure to check out Alan’s Six Damn Fine Degrees post on just this question!

Continue reading

A Damn Fine Cup of Culture Podcast #55: Based on a true story

What is your reaction when you read those words? Is a story better if it actually, really happened? Or are all stories partly fiction, partly true? Where does truth lie in fiction, and where does a story begin to turn into a pack of lies? Join Julie, Sam and Matt as they discuss these questions on Oliver Stone’s conspiracy epic JFK (1991), the four-part true crime/black dramedy hybrid Landscapers (2021) and Sam Mendes’ 1917 (2019). What are the ethics of telling stories based on actual events? Can fiction get at deeper truths? What are the lines each of us draws when it comes to tales based on true stories?

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Shave and a haircut…

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.

What better way to start the Sunday trailer post than with barbers and meat pies? I mean, everyone needs to look good and everyone needs to eat – and who’s more aware of this than one Benjamin Barker… though most people might know him better under his alias: on Friday, Julie took our Six Damn Fine Degrees feature to dark places to write about Sweeney Todd.

Continue reading