Podcast #17:‘I have delusions of grandeur’: 45 minutes of loveliness with burlesque powerhouse Cece Sinclair.

In the latest HLAY podcast Dr Ellen Wright (and her friend Bobbie) talks with triple-threat burlesque powerhouse Cece Sinclair.

Cece has been on the British burlesque seen for a few years now and has a reputation for her professionalism, her polished performances and her sheer likeability.

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Podcast#16 ‘A girl alone in the world has to keep a hold on her emotions or she’ll be lost’: Reframing Vivien Leigh with Dr Lisa Stead

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The 16th Here’s Looking At You podcast is a conversation with senior Lecturer in Film Studies at University of Exeter, Dr Lisa Stead.

Lisa is currently working on a very exciting AHRC-funded project entitled Reframing Vivien Leigh: Stardom, Archives and Access. This project examines for the first time how the legacies of screen star Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) are archived and curated by a range of public institutions in the South West of England.

For those who don’t recognise the name straight away, leigh was a stage and screen actress and two-time academy award winner and the female lead in the 1939 cinematic epic Gone With the Wind

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I talk to Lisa about this project and, as I was in the process of putting the finishing touches to a one-day postgraduate archives event when we spoke, we also about the rewards of archival research.

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Podcast #15: Buckle Up: The Body Politic and Nick Kilby

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image by permission of Nick Kilby

The 15th instalment of the Here’s Looking at You podcast is a frank conversation with body-based performance artist, Nick Kilby.

Nick’s work examines often very challenging, broader political and philosophical ideas, such as cults, blood sports and toxic masculinity and in particular, during this conversation, we discuss a recent piece of work that I was lucky enough to see at last summer’s Borderlines conference at De Montfort University. The piece was entitled ‘Buckle Up: The Filth.’ It was 11 hours long but I only witnessed the climatic final 20 minutes. It left me literally speechless and was a very powerful, visceral immersive performance made in response to the rape revenge and pulp narratives and the #MeToo moment.

https://archive.org/download/HeresLookingAtYouPodcast/nick%20kilby_mixdown.mp3<br />

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Podcast #14: ‘She’s a Woman!’: A conversation about gender, sexuality and performance with Miz Cracker

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image with kind permission of Miz Cracker

Yaaas Queen! After a short break Here’s looking at you returns and in this sickening podcast, Dr Ellen Wright has a discussion with thin, white and salty New York comedy queen and Ru Paul’s Drag Race alumni Miz Cracker.

Having met on the afternoon of Cracker’s last date on her sell-out UK It’s Time tour, Cracker wowed Ellen with her charisma, uniqueness, never and talent, not to mention just how sweet and frank she was.

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What makes a classic Christmas film?

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Jade, who works for the Phoenix cinema in Leicester approached me about recording a ‘Phoenix Talks’ podcast about why the film-going public loves a Christmas film, about nostalgia and what makes for a good Christmas film, and specifically about why the 1946, Frank Capra classic, It’s a Wonderful Life has, for many, become the ultimate Christmas film.

We talked about the film itself and why its so enjoyable but also the film’ broader context, how it was actually slow to take on a cultish following and why.

Every year, rather wonderfully, the Phoenix runs a fundraising screening of this Christmas stalwart, in aid of Leicester homeless charities. Hence Jade and myself chatting about the film.

I will say though, whilst Its a Wonderful Life is Wonderful, its not *quite* as wonderful a Christmas film as another Capra classic, Meet John Doe. If you haven’t seen it, I’d heartily recommend it, with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

If you want a taster of Its a Wonderful Life, check out the trailer:

 

 

You can access the podcast via this link:

https://www.phoenix.org.uk/blog/what-makes-a-christmas-classic/

or on Soundcloud:

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast#13: Conversation with Pawlet Brooks about Leicester Black History Month

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In this podcast Dr Ellen Wright talks with Pawlet Brooks of the social enterprise Serendipity, who facilitate and coordinate Leicester’s annual Black History Month provision.


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The pair got together in the days immediately prior to the beginning of BHM so the mood was electric. They discuss Pawlet’s role at Serendipity, and the political function and the history of the BHM provision. Other topics broached include the politics of programming, the importance of giving a platform to minorities,  plugging Continue reading

Podcast #12: ‘There is just one word to describe her and that is fierce’: A Conversation about the BFI Joan Crawford retrospective with Anna Bogutskaya

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In this podcast, Dr Ellen Wright has a discussion with film programmer at the BFI Southbank, Anna Bogutskaya.
The pair discuss the current Joan Crawford retrospective, ‘Fierce: the untameable Joan Crawford’ and associated public talk that Anna programmed.

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Podcast#11: ‘I’m no Mary Whitehouse’: Jill Greenfield on calling out alleged sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry.

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As part of the Women in Hollywood symposium I talked with lawyer Jill Greenfield of FieldFisher solicitors, who is currently pursuing the civil case against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sexual assaults.

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An Afternoon With Joan Crawford

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Last week I got my finger nails painted ‘Jungle Red’ and headed down to the BFI Southbank to an afternoon of talks about the ultimate Hollywood star, subject of a major BFI retrospective and star of The Women (where her character Crystal wears the eponymous shade of polish) and Mildred Pierce – two Hollywood classics which will be on nationwide re-release next month – Joan Crawford.
The event was part of Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford, a two-month season ‘revelling in the formidable and versatile Hollywood star’ which runs between August and October and featured three female speakers (look mum, no mans!) Sight and Sound critic Pamela Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London Lucy Bolton and journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. The three speakers all talked about their affection for Crawford and about various aspects of her stardom and performances. As I am just putting the finishing touches to a journal article about film star fan club magazines and invisible film star labour, which uses Crawford as a case study, I was keen to hear what these three experts had to say.

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Doing Women’s Film History and Practicing What We Preach in the Post-#MeToo Era.

I love the Doing Women’s Film History conference.  This year’s, held at Southampton and organised by Shelley Cobb, Linda Ruth Williams and Natalie Wreyford, is the fourth. I’ve been to the last three.

I love the conference’s atmosphere and whilst male scholars are great, to be frank, I like the fact that 98% of attendees are women. It makes for a very unique conference experience.

At This year’s DWFTH though, that atmosphere, which has always been special, was all the more so.
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Podcast#10 How to Get Ahead in Hollywood: Women’s Exploitation in the US Film Industry

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Inspired by the upcoming Women in Hollywood symposium and by broader current events in the US film industry, in this podcast I talk with American scholar and invited speaker at the symposium, Kerry McElroy. Kerry is an interdisciplinary scholar currently based at Concordia University in Montreal, who researches and writes on women’s exploitation in Hollywood. She has written on the casting couch, on ethnicity in Hollywood and much more.

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