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 aWonderful 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:
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.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
This blog post contains a number of resources you may find of use prior to and during the symposium discussions surrounding the current and historic poor treatment of women in the American film industry. Simply click on the image to be taken to the resource.
Currently these resources focus heavily on the recent context, but this is not intentional.
These resources collected here are in no way exhaustive. I’d like this to grow and I would very much welcome further suggestions as to what to add here.