Summer Listening

Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

We do a lot of lounging in the summer, often supplemented by reading and occasionally by listening. In the past few weeks, I’ve put together overviews of some of the most notable new books and magazine issues of the season that will be of interest to cinephiles, and today, I turn to podcasts. The occasion? Trailers from Hell has just launched one, The Movies That Made Me!, in which screenwriter Josh Olson and director Joe Dante talk with “filmmakers, comedians, and all-around interesting people” about the films that have influenced them. Their first guest is Miguel Arteta, director of Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl, Beatriz at Dinner, and most recently, Duck Butter. It turns out that sexploitation king Russ Meyer has had quite an impact on the way Arteta watches and makes movies. Arteta says that when he first saw Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), it made him realize that “you can do anything you want with the camera . . . It just completely energized me.”

Dante and a few new media partners created TFH in 2007. Since then, the web series has featured directors, writers, and actors such as John Sayles, Allison Anders, Edgar Wright, Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, Roger Corman, Illeana Douglas, and Dante himself introducing a trailer for a film that they either like or, since the emphasis is often on fantasy, cult, and exploitation cinema, find worthy of laughing along with. Here’s an example from 2014 from the former category in which Larry Karaszewski, coscreenwriter with Scott Alexander of Tim Burton’s Ed Wood and Milos Forman’s Man on the Moon, discusses Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt (1963).

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