Nicole Dorsey on Smooth Talk

Writer-director Nicole Dorsey, whose powerful first feature Black Conflux will finally be arriving later this spring after being named to TIFF Canada’s Top Ten in 2019, breaks down the power and influence of Joyce Chopra’s unnerving 1985 drama Smooth Talk and the devastating performance of Laura Dern and Treat Williams. Your genial host Norm Wilner is awfully nostalgic for the days when he recorded this show in person.

Haley Mlotek and Adam Nayman on Showgirls

Film critics Haley Mlotek and Adam Nayman were among a dozen experts interviewed by Jeffrey McHale for his 2019 documentary You Don’t Nomi, about the reclamation of Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls — received on its release in 1995 as an unmitigated disaster — as both a camp classic and legitimately good movie. So of course they’re here to talk about Verhoeven’s film, and why it’s time to take it seriously. Your genial host Norm Wilner learned a whole dance routine for this.

Steven Kostanski on Mortal Kombat

Steven Kostanski — writer-director of Manborg, The Void and the brand-new splatterfest Psycho Goreman, just released on VOD — steps up and throws down for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Mortal Kombat, the 1995 hit that turned a videogame series into a remarkably satisfying cinematic experience. Your genial host Norm Wilner is happy to battle alongside him.

Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin on Reality

Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin, who spun their friendship into bittersweet, chaotic comedy in The Climb (debuting on VOD today) are here to discuss the allure of Matteo Garrone’s 2012 Cannes Grand Prix winner Reality, and the curious ways in which it meshes with their own festival favorite. Your genial host Norm Wilner is rooting for them.

Sugith Varughese on Galaxy Quest

Never give up, never surrender! Actor, writer and director Sugith Varughese — whom you may know from Kim’s Convenience and Transplant, and who just turned up on The Expanse — is here to share his love for Galaxy Quest, the ingenious sci-fi comedy where Tim Allen, Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver are washed-up TV stars recruited by actual aliens to save the universe. You have no idea how long your genial host Norm Wilner has been waiting for someone to pick this movie.

Quinn Armstrong on Brief Encounter

It’s 2021! We made it! And writer-director Quinn Armstrong, whose fascinating found-footage psychodrama Survival Skills is now available on VOD, is here to talk about the seemingly incongruent Brief Encounter, the Celia Johnson-Trevor Howard romance (written by Noel Coward, and directed by David Lean) that hasn’t lost an ounce of its power after three-quarters of a century. Your genial host Norm Wilner is eager to see how that all lines up.

John Patrick Shanley on Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Surprise! We have an episode this week after all! John Patrick Shanley — the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Moonstruck, and most recently the writer-director of Wild Mountain Thyme, in theatres and on demand now — is here to talk about Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and how Celine Sciamma’s 2019 masterpiece clobbered him with its art and its passion. Your genial host Norm Wilner knows how he feels.

Phillip Iscove on Batman Returns

What better way to mark the holiday season than to welcome back Phillip Iscove — creator of Sleepy Hollow, co-host of the delightful Podcast Like It’s 1999 and friend of the show — to celebrate his very favorite Christmas movie: Batman Returns. You know, the one where Tim Burton got to do literally anything he wanted after the success of 1989’s Batman, and made one of the weirdest damn things ever produced by a major studio. Your genial host Norm Wilner is here to help Phil unpack it.

Sam Bain on Joe Versus the Volcano

With his new feature film The Stand In freshly arrived on VOD, screenwriter and producer Sam Bain (Peep Show, Ill Behaviour, Four Lions) is here to talk about Joe Versus the Volcano, the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan fantasy comedy that marked John Patrick Shanley’s 1990 directorial debut. Your genial host Norm Wilner brought plenty of orange soda.

April Mullen on Run Lola Run

With her new film Wander arriving on VOD, producer-director April Mullen — whose credits include episodes of Wynonna Earp and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and the features 88 and Below Her Mouth — shares her love of Run Lola Run, the high-concept 1998 thriller that made Tom Tykwer and Franka Potente international sensations. Your genial host Norm Wilner is happy to take this ride again.