Episode 9: A Devouring Organism Aptly Named for the Goddess of Love

Joseph L. Mankiewicz Tribute



Hey Listeners!  Do you ever find yourselves with a pesky bit of life drama, like say you think a family member might be gay but you can’t deal with it because you live in 1937?  GET A LOBOTOMY!

Or how about your mom and brother are poor and your rich aunt offers to pay them 100,000 dollars if they commit you to a mental institution against your will?  GET A LOBOTOMY!

Are you tired of living on nothing but pills and salads?  GET A LOBOTOMY!

Or maybe you’ve heard that a sharp knife in the mind kills the devil in the soul, and you’d like to test that theory out on yourself?  You know the solution, folks!

We discuss all these scenarios and so many more on Episode 9, in which the 1959 film “Suddenly, Last Summer”  leads us down a twisted path festooned with primordial vines and the debris of broken Southern families.


Episode 8: Prime Numbers! OMG!

ice cube


Hey hey we’re back! Again! We know that it’s been awhile and you’ve been frothing at the mouth for some new material – so we thought we’d oblige with yet another lost cult classic from the ’90s. That’s right kids, we’re talking about…CUBE.* Think you know about Cartesian coordinates?? You might! But enough to survive a crazy mathematical death puzzle with six strangers? (Where people stop being polite and start getting CUBED.) Listen and remember your grandmom’s killer fruitcake recipe, and that time you ate pierogies and wound up in another dimension. Prepare thyself for some truly audacious lapses in math knowledge and some fine Canadian acting!

*Ice Cube does not appear in this film. Unfortunately.

Episode 6: I <3 U, Boo.

But what about love?!?!?

And we’re back!  We’ve been away for a while, enjoying various summer activities, but now we’re entering the bleak, dark, drippy days of fall and winter… known to the enlightened as MOVIE WATCHING SEASON!!!   But did you guys know, if you worked on an underwater oil rig in the 1980s, you didn’t have the technology to watch movies?  No ma’am, all you had were your two thumbs, your pet rat, and a whole lotta deep ocean between you and blessed land.   It almost seemed exciting to go on a rescue mission to a wrecked submarine; too bad everyone on it is DEAD and you gotta take a big ole WARHEAD back to your rig, which up until this point was full of ex-hippie pacifists who just wanna make an honest wage!  Oh, and just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier, some super-intelligent alien non-aliens show up that look like what your box fan would turn into if you were tripping REAL HARD.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to…THE ABYSS!

The Scene I Can’t Watch

Hey y’all!  We’re almost ready to unveil podcast #6 for your listening pleasure!  I think it’s a great episode.  Don’t hold your breath until we release it, though.  You’ll DIE.  UNLESS!  Unless you trust us to resuscitate you.  I was CPR certified in, like, 2001.  God that class was boring.  Speaking of deep-sea resuscitation, take a look at the scene from THE ABYSS that I cannot watch without experiencing extreme anxiety.  This shit is horrible:

Check back soon for Episode 6!


Episode 5: Unions and the Role of Ethics in the Industrial Revolution

Please enjoy our 5th episode!  The subject: a film that I’ve seen between 50 and 70 times, and that Natalie has seen only once: NEWSIES.  Featuring special call-in guest Sarah Carter and special musical guest Donnie B.

“How ’bout a crooked politician?”
“Hey stupid, that ain’t news no more!!”

A teaser for all you rascals!

Something for you guys to enjoy while we work on our next podcast….

Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho

The sun is finally happening here in Seattle and I find myself falling easily into dopey, feel-good daydreaming. Especially since most days are spent getting “sun-drunk” with friends and/or crushing on lil’ hotties. Therefore, I thought I’d share this short film on first love.  Simple and sweet, the story may just cause a slight swelling sensation in the chest.

Zing Zing Zing Went My Heartstrings!

“Someday you’ll learn that greatness is only the seizing of opportunity – clutching with your bare hands ’til the knuckles show white.”

"The first time a horse touched me here, I knew I would never love a human man."

Sometimes I just want to watch a comforting movie. Not often, but if I’m at home doing an art project or feeling sick, I go for the familiarity of a movie from my childhood. Recently I rewatched National Velvet, the 1944 film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney and Angela Lansbury. I used to watch this all the time, and now I remember why. It’s almost painfully honest, morally refreshing, and surprisingly modern in its portrayal of family relationships and female ambition.
“National Velvet” was Elizabeth Taylor’s fifth film; she was only twelve when she played Velvet Brown, and her acting hadn’t quiiiite matured beyond so-earnest-it-hurts-your-teeth levels. Of course, her beauty was already otherworldly, and knowing the same actress would soon be such an insane sex goddess just a few years later is kind of a mindfuck.
The real draw here is the supporting cast, especially Anne Revere as Velvet’s mother, AKA my favorite movie mother EVER.  Revere won a best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Mrs. Brown, an original and complex character who you kind of wish the movie was entirely about.  Talk about a missed opportunity for a prequel (though they wisely didn’t do many of those in the 40’s): in the film, Mrs. Brown is the first woman to swim the English Channel, and she has saved her prize money to give to her children.  When Velvet approaches her to ask if she can race her horse in the Grand National, instead of telling her what a silly idea that is, Mrs. Brown delivers this impossibly wise and heart-wrenching speech:

“We’re alike. I, too, believe that everyone should have a chance at a breathtaking piece of folly once in his life. I was twenty when they said a woman couldn’t swim the Channel. You’re twelve; you think a horse of yours can win the Grand National. Your dream has come early; but remember, Velvet, it will have to last you all the rest of your life.”

"It's extra hard to be a badass when you're born with a vagina, Velvet."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!  BEST MOM EVER!  “Breathtaking piece of folly” is sheer brilliance.  I love how she expects her daughter to understand the emotional complexities of having an impossible dream that will probably not come true, but chasing it anyway.

And speaking of emotional complexity, Anne Revere was one of the actors whose career was pretty much ruined by her refusal to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951.  She resigned from the board of the Screen Actors Guild and didn’t appear in another film for 20 years (thanks, Wikipedia).  What a waste!

I wasn’t one of those horse girls when I was young, though I did go riding every summer at the Oregon coast (riding a horse on the beach is pretty majestic, and anyone who says otherwise just hasn’t developed a taste for majesty) and obviously watched this movie on a regular basis.  But you know how when you’re a kid, you either ARE a horse person or you KNOW a horse person?  I had this really good friend who was ALL ABOUT HORSES.  It was probably the first time in my life when I felt like I couldn’t make fun of one of my friends (in a nice way!) because their interest was so fierce, so it just felt wrong to be like, “oh, what’s on your sweatshirt?  Another horse?”

Nearly impossible to wear without irony.

What I’m saying is that any bias about horse lovers or kids movies should absolutely not keep you from watching National Velvet.  Especially if you’re in need of a little heart warming.  This movie will toast your heart until it’s cozy and crispy.


Episode 4: Desert Braids

We’re back!  On this episode of Emerson vs. Cook, we take you on a mystical pilgrimage to the heart of Egypt with our discussion of the film “Passion in the Desert.”  What unites man and beast, and what will tear them apart?  Colonialism?  Patriarchy?  Infidelity?  ALL THREE!?!?!?


Unexpected Inspirado: Terry Doolittle

You guys might remember me mentioning this character from Jumpin’ Jack Flash in our third podcast. I think it’s safe to say that the last time anyone saw this movie was  1994 on TNT on a Wednesday afternoon.

I would say that Whoopi made this role, because I cannot see any other actress of that time in this part…except for maybe…MAYBE… Annie Potts. AND SHE’S ALSO IN THIS MOVIE. Has enough emphasis been placed? May I release the caps lock?

Also in the movie we got John Lovitz, Carol Kane (!!!), Phil Hartman, John Wood and Jonathan Pryce.

I know! You’re saying to yourself: “Whoa…who?”

I will  now deliver the  break-down of the awesomitude of Terry Doolittle.

First: her apartment and clothing choices. Truly incredible. Her place is a jumble of precious junk. Old movie posters, Groucho-Marx dolls and tiny pianos all clamber together in this tiny den where a “professional” adult woman lives. (If any one has been to my apartment…the similarities. Striking.)

Sartorially speaking, in today’s world, Terry would rule the streets with her over-sized jackets, floppy sweaters and mens pants held up with suspenders all coupled with her signature yellow sneakers. Oh, and let’s not forget those crazy big 80s frames…

***Babe Alert: DANG! GET IT, CAROL KANE!***

***Huh Alert: Sorry about your face, red shirt.***

Second awesome thing: she is a computer wizard. Whenever her screen plays a Russian aerobic show (FORESHADOWING) she fixes her shoebox computer with one of the many plastic dinosaurs that litter her desk. She also engages in a little beta IMing- exchanging pot roast recipes and giving dating advice to other foreign bankers around world. Endearing. But her boss (played wonderfully by Peter Michael Goetz) finds her truly annoying. Another plus!

Third incredibleness: When her computer somehow becomes a portal to a spy in trouble (Russian aerobics left the gate WIDE open) she dives right into to international spy politics because she’s (well..she’s bored) truly a kind, caring, intelligent person. And incredibly lonely…


Carefree pajama dancing and lip syncing??? Yes, please!

Fourth: I will now run-down everything Terry does for Jack (the spy in need): she gets thrown in the Hudson River,  she’s repeatedly attacked by Jim Belushi, she almost falls off a building, she dresses up like Diana Ross and sings Supremes’ songs in front of foreign dignitaries (this is the only time she uses her sex appeal), her crotch is almost eaten by a shredder, she’s drug through the streets of New York while in a phone booth and she’s subjected to truth serum and torture tactics from bad spies. And she goes through this supremely clownshoes gauntlet so readily, with her fast talking wit often getting her out of trouble.

Yes, this woman holding a GIANT RIDICULOUS TOOTHBRUSH did all that.

Well, have you found yourselves inspired? I certainly hope so! So, if you need a laugh and got some time (the movie is only 100 minutes) definitely check it out.

To bookend: when searching for youtube clips I stopped when I came across this glorious gem:

Oh, WHAT? Aretha Franklin with purple tinted bangs AND  a  Zulu fly swatter hair extension???