‘Sold on it’s sex appeal’: Researching cinema publicity with Adrian Smith Podcast #22

In this podcast Dr Ellen Wright talks with Dr Adrian Smith of the university of Sussex.

Adrian is an expert on exploitation cinema. ‘But what is exploitation cinema?’ I hear you ask. Well, as Roche observes, in his article, ‘Exploiting Exploitation Cinema: an Introduction‘ it is not a genre of films but:

‘an industry with a specific mode of production. Exploitation films are made cheap for easy profit. “Easy” because they are almost always genre films relying on time-tried formulas (horror, thillers, biker movies, surfer movies, women-in-prison films, martial arts, subgenres like gore, rape-revenge, slashers, nazisploitation, etc.). “Easy” because they offer audiences what they can’t get elsewhere: sex, violence and taboo topics. “Easy” because they have long targetted what has since become the largest demographic group of moviegoers: the 15-25 age group.’

Roche (2015)

Here Drs Wright and Smith discuss exploitation cinema and the exploitation of film , in its truest sense – from the perspective of media marketing.

Adrian has been studying and working in film and media education for more than two decades now. He has an eclectic range of interests and has contributed to journals and books, presented at conferences, written for specialist magazines and websites, interviewed key figures in exploitation and contributed to several exras on blu ray releases of cult and classic films. Hes a really witty and engaging conversationalist working on some really fascinating cinematic materials.

In the interview, Adrian discusses collecting cinema memorabillia, how you study cinema publicity, the benefits and drawbacks of undertaking archival research, the Compton film company, the 1966 film Secrets of a Windmill Girl and mentions the work of several key figures in the British movie industry. These include producer and distributor Tony Tenser (Guardian obituary here) and the English film director Norman J Warren. To learn more about him, see this BFI article

If you wanted to learn more about Secrets of a Windmill Girl, I’d heartily recommend the superb episode of the Soho Bites podcast on this film.

If you are interested in finding out more about Adrian Smith’s work, I’d recomend his  superb (2018) essay ‘The language of love: Swedish sex education in 1970s London.‘ In the journal Film Studies.

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.

Here’s Looking At You Podcast #20 Archive Trouble with Desirae Embree

This podcast is intended to sit alongside the Midlands Four Cities-funded Dialogue Days event I co organised with my De Montfort University colleague, Prof Justin Smith and Prof James Chapman and Dr Claire Jenkins at University of Leicester. The event, ‘Delving into the Archives: A Screen History Workshop,’ took place online, on Tuesday 10th of November 2020 and was a half-day event aimed at aspiring and existing postgraduate students whose research interests in Media History involve using archival sources. From leaders in the field to current PhDs, our expert presenters explored a range of skills and approaches to archival screen history, offered opportunities to engage with different kinds of material, and advised on research design and dissemination.

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Podcast #21 I Love Lucy: Women and sexual desire with Dr Lucy Neville

In this podcast Dr Lucy Neville of University of Leicester talks with me about sexual desire and pornography

Lucy is a Lecturer in Criminology with an interest in understanding women’s engagement with sex, sex work, and pornography. Her PhD thesis in Forensic Psychology involved investigating violence perpetuated against sex workers by both clients and intimate partners across seven metropolitan areas from 1980-2006, and since then she has worked on a number of projects focused around women involved in sex work.

Prior to working in academia she worked for several years at BBC Media Action, the BBC’s international development charity where she worked on projects as diverse as HIV/AIDs awareness in Cambodia, learning English as a second language in Bangladesh, gender-based violence in refugee camps in South Sudan, and a large-scale piece of research investigating the public perception of climate change across Africa.

In this episode we discuss some of the key ideas explored in Lucy’s fantastic book, Girls Who like Boys Who Like Boys. The book unpicks what it might be that some women enjoy about consuming, and in some cases producing, gay male pornography.

Not surprisingly then, we discuss some explicit topics and use some explicit language during this conversation, so if you are easily offended, this may not be the podcast episode for you. Then again, maybe you’ll learn something!

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.

Teasearama

I was very pleased to be asked by the delightful Dr. Kino (aka Dr Toby Reynolds) to take part in his podcast series Dr. Kino’s Film Emporium to talk about an under the radar film gem – and I chose the perhaps more under-the-counter classic Teaserama, by Irving and Paula Klaw, and starring burlesque legend Tempest Storm and pin-up star Bettie Page as my entry for the film emporium.

Toby’s work around Lacanian theory and cinema is really fascinating stuff and he’s a corking podcaster

 

Murder at the Windmill

It was only a matter of time before the highly entertaining Soho Bites podcast got around to examining the Windmill Theatre and the latest episode is the second of three episodes on the Windmill in film – featuring myself and former Windmill girl and longtime friend of the Here’s Looking at You podcast Jill Millard Shapiro.

Here I discuss the Windmill in film generally, and the production context and marketing of Val Guest’s 1949 Murder at the Windmill (aka. Mystery at the Burlesque) in particular, with the lovely Dom Delargy.

For more details of Soho Bites and the history of Soho, or the for the shownotes (Shoho Notes) click the links here, or listen to the podcast below:

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

Reframing Leigh image

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

HANDS OFF MY WIFE CRACKER

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: