cover art for Jared Hess on Rad

The Film That Blew My Mind

Jared Hess on Rad

Season 1, Ep. 13

Twenty years ago, one of the most indelible movie characters of recent decades was born when Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. From Vote for Pedro T-shirts to the pet llama Tina (aka: “Fat Lard”) and a seriously iconic dance number, Napoleon Dynamite has earned a top slot in the pop culture canon of the 21st century. This week, Cooper and Tabitha speak with Jared Hess who, together with his co-writer and wife Jerusha Hess, is the force behind Napoleon DynamiteNacho Libre (co-written with Mike White), Masterminds, and more. 

Jared shares his deep love for Hal Needham’s Rad (1988), a classic ‘80’s teen flick about competitive BMX racing and a bike battle between local kids and the professional riders who come to town. We learn a bit about director Hal Needham, the highest paid stunt double of his time who directed action-packed classics like Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and The Cannonball Run (1981). Plus, how Rad’s soundtrack featuring The Sparks, opening sequence cinematography by Robert Schwartzman, and a curious activity dubbed “ass-sliding” make this a feel-good sports movie for kids of any generation. 

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