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Writers on Film

The only podcast about books on cinema

The only podcast to focus on film books and to talk to the best authors working in the area of cinema. From Making ofs to biographies, studies to novelisations, I'm fascinated by where the written word intersects with th
1/25/2023

Hannah Strong on Sofia Coppola: Forever Young

Season 1, Ep. 91
An illustrated critical survey of Academy Award–winning writer and director Sofia Coppola’s career, covering everything from her groundbreaking music videos through her latest filmsIn the two decades since her first feature film was released, Sofia Coppola has created a tonally diverse, meticulously crafted, and unapologetically hyperfeminine aesthetic across a wide range of multimedia work. Her films explore untenable relationships and the euphoria and heartbreak these entail, and Coppola develops these themes deftly and with discernment across her movies and music videos. From The Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette to Lost in Translation and The Beguiled, Coppola’s award-nominated filmography is also unique in how its consistent visual aesthetic is informed by and in conversation with contemporary fine art and photography.Sofia Coppola offers a rich and intimate look at the overarching stylistic and thematic components of Coppola's work. In addition to critical essays about Coppola's filmography, the book will include interviews with some of her closest collaborators, including musician Jean-Benoît Dunckel and costume designer Nancy Steiner, along with a foreword by Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher. It engages with her creative output while celebrating her talent as an imagemaker and storyteller. Along the way, readers meet again a cast of characters mired in the ennui of missed connections: loneliness, frustrated creativity, rebellious adolescence, and the double-edged knife of celebrity, all captured by the emotional, intimate power of the female gaze.ABOUT THE AUTHORHannah Strong is the associate editor at Little White Lies magazine. Her work has appeared in Vulture, GQ, the Guardian, and Dazed & Confused, and she regularly appears on television and radio as a film critic, largely for the BBC and ITV. Strong lives in London. Little White Lies is one of the world’s preeminent film magazines, pairing a unique editorial angle with beautiful illustration and world-class design.
12/21/2022

Hollywood Hates Hitler by Chris Yogerst

Season 1, Ep. 86
In September 1941, a handful of isolationist senators set out to tarnish Hollywood for warmongering. The United States was largely divided on the possibility of entering the European War, yet the immigrant moguls in Hollywood were acutely aware of the conditions in Europe. After Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass), the gloves came off. Warner Bros. released the first directly anti-Nazi film in 1939 with Confessions of a Nazi Spy. Other studios followed with such films as The Mortal Storm (MGM), Man Hunt (Fox), The Man I Married (Fox), and The Great Dictator (United Artists). While these films represented a small percentage of Hollywood’s output, senators took aim at the Jews in Hollywood who were supposedly “agitating us for war” and launched an investigation that resulted in Senate Resolution 152. The resolution was aimed at both radio and movies that “have been extensively used for propaganda purposes designed to influence the public mind in the direction of participation in the European War.” When the Senate approved a subcommittee to investigate the intentions of these films, studio bosses were ready and willing to stand up against the government to defend their beloved industry. What followed was a complete embarrassment of the United States Senate and a large victory for Hollywood as well as freedom of speech.Many works of American film history only skim the surface of the 1941 investigation of Hollywood. In Hollywood Hates Hitler! Jew-Baiting, Anti-Nazism, and the Senate Investigation into Warmongering in Motion Pictures, author Chris Yogerst examines the years leading up to and through the Senate Investigation into Motion Picture War Propaganda, detailing the isolationist senators’ relationship with the America First movement. Through his use of primary documents and lengthy congressional records, Yogerst paints a picture of the investigation’s daily events both on Capitol Hill and in the national press.