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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

'Cinema Junkie' Podcast Relaunches July 14

 July 12, 2021 at 10:38 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 KPBS arts reporter Breathtec Amando has been hosting cinema junkie since 2015, the podcast took a quarantine break to retool and returned on July 14th. Cinema junkie is KPBS his longest running podcast, and it is fueled by Beth's addiction to movies. Here's a preview of this month themed podcast. Speaker 2: 00:22 As far back as I can remember, I've always been addicted to film, whether it's and square Ceci or Monte Python, Speaker 3: 00:33 I'm being repressed, Paul Newman or Pam Greer. Speaker 1: 00:37 Easy for you. I want you to suffer Speaker 2: 00:39 Hong Kong action. Okay. Film noir, don't care. Say I just get high on movies and I have my dad to think he kept me home from elementary school one day to watch on the waterfront because he felt it was an important film about power, corruption and loyalty. Speaker 4: 00:57 You was my brother. Charlie, you should have looked out for me a little bit that Speaker 2: 01:01 Laid the groundwork for me, thinking about film in a larger context, you Speaker 4: 01:05 Don't understand. I could have had class. I could have been a contaminant. I could have been somebody I'm Speaker 2: 01:14 Beth Amando host of cinema junkie, where you can satisfy your cellular Lloyd addiction and mainline film. 24 7 cinema junkie has been on a quarantine break, but returns with some exciting new features. It now weighs in at a leaner 30 minute runtime and has new share your addiction and cold Turkey segments for celebrities and listeners get to rant and rave about movies. Speaker 3: 01:36 I know that you're like me. You have that one movie that you love, that you have the hardest time defending because nobody else on the planet does. Speaker 2: 01:44 Plus there'll be a companion video for each podcast called geeky gourmet, where I show you how to make a drink or food item theme to the movies discussed in the podcast. Speaker 5: 01:54 Bacon is key to all Hobbit, cooking butter, lots of butter, lots of cream Speaker 2: 02:03 For cinema junkie. I speak with celebrities, scholars, cinephiles geeks and people who just get as intoxicated by film. As I do Speaker 6: 02:11 To me, truck Turner is everything. That's great about an exploitation, Jeff, defensive enough. And it's Jeff politically incorrect enough, Jeff enough action. And back in violent, like I watch it and it's like, I'm like cat getting it. How many rubbed? I'm just purring or like, oh, this is exploitation protection. Speaker 2: 02:33 That was one of my favorite guests, author David F. Walker talking about blaxploitation in honor of Comic-Con, which returns virtually later in July. The theme for this month's podcast is a celebration of pop culture. So on July 14th, I speak to Arnold T Blumberg about the Marvel cinematic universe. He taught the first college course on that topic. Here's a clip from my interview. Speaker 7: 02:56 As we were watching the movies, I would turn the students to find out what do you think? You know, what do you think this character is doing? Why this house represents? Of course the core movie, the reason why I did the course in the first place, the one that was sort of the, the pitch was winter soldier, because my argument was, and that's where you mentioned the thing about freedom for S you know, for security. There's so much in that movie. That's like they deal with drone strikes. They deal with the surveillance state and the freedom for security issue. Um, and there was so much in winter soldier. My, my pitch at the time was that at this point in things for Marvel, all they had to do was make a really cool adventurous captain America movie. They did not have to do anything else. Speaker 7: 03:42 And yet what they wound up doing was a movie that actually had some things to say in and around all the adventure and excitement. And it demonstrated that these movies operate on different levels. It's not just a frivolous adventure. You can also incorporate these things and make something out of that. And when we would talk about it in class, it really didn't take much work to get to that. I mean, to be perfectly honest, too, some people might think it's like, oh, I don't know how you come up with these things, but really for some of us, I guess you look in a movie and you think, how can you not notice that it's not exactly subtle there in, in many cases too, there they have the characters practically just scream the themes out loud. It's not like they're really hiding any of the things they're doing, but I guess some people like to look at a different level of, of moving. They don't necessarily think about the other part. And for some of us, we look at it and go, well, you know, obviously it's about this. And when we were in the classroom, everybody would get really energized. And particularly if they enjoyed it and sometimes particularly if they didn't, they would have things to say about why that was and conversation. We'll go from there. Speaker 2: 04:49 Well, in these films, even though they're entertaining, they also have a way of educating or at least, you know, raising issues about ethics, morality, race, gender class. And how did you see Marvel films kind of touching on those? Speaker 7: 05:06 Well, I mean, it's like everything else, these movies exist in our world. They've been made by people here, everybody who was cramped to craft these movies has brought themselves to it. They can't not reflect all the various things going on in our country and our culture in the time when they're made, for example, in Marvel, they're as guilty as anyone else in this culture as well of having flaws of, of incorrectly or improperly or inappropriately representing some things, because they are reflecting the culture in which they're made. So like for example, the it's not all positive, but it's also can be very instructive and telling about where we are. So like, for example, like we're just now getting to the point where the black widow movie is coming out and captain Marvel came and there's a sequel of that, but it's like, it took this long before we had women in lead roles and in this, and it's taken until phase four before we were going to have an Asian lead in one of these and, and the black Panther movies and the sadness of losing Chadwick Bozeman. Speaker 7: 06:12 But we had that, but why did it take that long? It's like, there are no easy answers because these are problems. And even Marvel is not immune to these kinds of problems. Marvel is still a very white story and it's a very male story. And this goes all the way back to the source material and to the people that created it and to the comics that proceeded it. And it's important at the very least that if there are things that are bad about these movies, that's also worth talking about, and maybe that gets people thinking about how can you make it better? And in some respects, maybe it's, it's certainly not enough, but in some respects we are seeing some things getting better. So there are ways that these movies can be instructive and educational as much for the things they're doing wrong as for the things that they might deliberately or sort of tangentially trying to communicate that are good. Speaker 7: 07:06 That's also, I feel part of the importance of media literacy is you got to look at these things and not feel like you're a fan. Like the, as much as I'm like, I think playfully, I hope people understand playfully being a bit more derogatory toward DC. It's like, there are a lot of great things about the DC characters as well. And there's a lot of stuff that's bad about the Marvel characters. You're not really beholden to any of these people. They're big corporations that don't care about you. So you don't need to feel like you're loyal to anything, just come at it with your own perspective and see it for what it is. Speaker 2: 07:41 We explore the MCU on July 14th and then on the 28th cinema junkie does a crew call to look at the contribution of stunt people with Brad Martin and Mickey fashion cello. You can find the full episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. Speaker 1: 07:55 That was Becca Mondo, her revamped podcast, debuts on Wednesday. And you can join Beth on July 15th for a live Twitch relaunch party for details, go to kpbs.org/cinema junkie.

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Cinema Junkie podcast has been on a quarantine break but returns July 14 will new and improved episodes to satisfy your celluloid addiction.
KPBS Midday Edition Segments