Podcast #18: ‘A Real Rock ‘n’ Roll Cinema’: Talking cult film and cult spaces with Jane Giles of London’s former Scala Cinema

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In the latest Here’s Looking at You podcast Dr Ellen Wright talks with Jane Giles, programmer between 1988 and 1992 at the former doyenne of British repertory cinemas, The Scala cinema.

Located initially on the site of an old concert hall in Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia, it moved later to its legendary second home in the heart of Kings Cross but very much retained its carnivalesque roots.

For those who are not familiar with this unique, anti-establishment institution, the Scala was THE British repertory cinema, specialising in midnight movie marathons and showing an eclectic range of classic and cult films during its all too brief existence, from high art to pure trash and all in between.

We talk about the cinema space itself, about the turbulent times through which this distinctive cinema existed and much more.

An excellent article in The Guardian, by former owner, Stephen Woolley, about the iconic cinema can be found here and further details about Jane’s book SCALA CINEMA 1978-1993 can be found here

*NOTE* Jane has asked me to point out that I made an error as to the names of the Scala cats. They were in fact called Huston and Roy NOT Huston and Lee! Thanks Jane and apologies!

Feel free to comment below on the podcast or the subjects it covers, ask questions, raise points or make suggestions for further podcasts and blogs. You can sign up to receive email notifications when subsequent podcasts and posts become available. Simply enter your email at the ‘Follow Blog’ notices at the foot or sidebar of the page. You can also access previous podcasts by clicking here or the ‘Podcast’ toggle at the top any page.

Music is by kind permission of The Shannon Reilly Trio. The full version of the song Trouble can be found along with its video here, and purchased on the Shannon Reilly Trio album also called Trouble.

The podcast was produced thanks to the post-production expertise of John Ashbrook of Radio Pictures.

The opinions expressed on this blog are mine, and do not reflect the opinions of the De Montfort University or any other employee thereof. Nor is De Montfort University responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied within this blog.

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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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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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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Podcast #9: ‘I’ll Show Them, I’ll Record Everything’: Audience, Performance and The Room (2003)

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In this podcast I follow up on my recent blog post You can laugh, you can cry, you can do whatever you like, express yourself, just don’t hurt yourself’: Performance, Pedagogy and The Room by talking with The Room aficionado, audience researcher and Film and Culture lecturer Dr Richard McCulloch about the ‘best worst film ever’, cult phenomenon The Room.

We discuss what makes this film so bad it’s good, its director, Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist and the Golden Globe winning performance by James Franco but most importantly we talk about the unique fandom around The Room.

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Other topics we cover include fan communities and bonding via film, participatory cinema more generally, authenticity, performance and the nature Continue reading

Here’s Looking at You Podcast #8: What Happens in Blackpool Stays in Blackpool: Seaside Freak Shows and Permissive Entertainment in Britain

In this podcast I talk with PhD candidate Emma Purce about her research into the British seaside freak show in 20th century Britain. Whilst a lot has already been written on the freak show in the 19th century and particularly in America, Emma is really helping to shape our understanding of the 20th century freak show.

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We discuss the notion of liminal, permissive working class spaces and the history, the legacy and the politics of the freak show and of the curious, scrutinising gaze employed when attending such an entertainment

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