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Broad Appeal
The podcast that looks back at female-driven films from the not-so-distant past.
Category: TV & Film
Location: London, UK
Followers (7)
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by Broad Appeal
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July 05, 2017 06:15 PM PDT

The time has come: 12 books. 12 films. All of them read (by Brian). We conclude our magnum opus with THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, the insufferable little book by Robert James Waller that became the sensitive work of bleeding-heart conservative Clint Eastwood.

Meryl Streep is Francesca Johnson: The Italian war-bride who traded Bari for Iowa, and fiery Italian passion for steadfast, cornfed, mundanity. Then enter photographer Robert Kincaid (Eastwood) and four days that change her life forever. 

Like all true fans, here at Broad Appeal we have equal parts ire and admiration for the most overrated actress in the world. But there is just something about Meryl in THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY that even Pauline Kael would have praised her for. Could this be the film where Brian learned what love was, all those years ago in Quincy, Mass? Is it as he remembers? And will Seán be sucker-punched by the inescapability of melodramatic love? In a word, yes.

To all our listeners: thanks for coming on this journey with us! We'll be back in the autumn for a new series with absolutely no required reading. Peace + Love, Brian & Seán.

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

June 19, 2017 10:31 AM PDT

Hello, dedicated listeners -- THIS ONE'S FOR YOU! We made a mini-episode to show you our love (and also because the regular podcast has been delayed). Enjoy this appertif before the imminent season finale. It features our appreciation of YOU... plus recommendations of other movie-related media:
-You Had Us at Hello (podcast)
-Tired Old Queen at the Movies (YouTube channel)
-www.thefilmexperience.net (film blog & podcast)
We'll be back in your feed with Meryl before too long, we promise!! - Seán & Brian xoxo

June 07, 2017 05:34 PM PDT

An air hostess, a gun runner, a bail bondsman, a sun kissed dope-bunny and his boyfriend Brian... but enough about our holiday! Elmore Leonard's RUM PUNCH was adapted by Quentin Tarantino into JACKIE BROWN: a grown-up, low down, sly and slick piece of filmmaking.

Tarantino, auteur and fanboy supreme, made the canny alteration of turning a sultry, middle-aged, blonde white lady into Pam Grier, icon of blaxploitation and commanding leading lady. Tarantino's film is an exemplar of adaptation, both pulpy and slow-burning, tense and quotable. You might have guessed we both enjoyed it.

How did Seán feel about the new concept of reading on the beach? What is Brian's dramaturgical analysis? Needless to say it all breaks down into the most Broad Appeal conversation ever: A debate over Jodie Foster's Oscar dress. 

Please return your tray tables to their upright positions: here comes Jackie Brown.

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

May 23, 2017 10:31 AM PDT

The same year Diane Keaton won her Best Actress Oscar as ANNIE HALL, she also starred in LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR. Keaton is no stranger to dramatic roles and few actresses have such iconic films as THE GODFATHER, REDS and (I mean, it goes without saying really) THE FIRST WIVES CLUB in their filmography.

But while ANNIE HALL is a classic, GOODBAR is increasingly forgotten. Based on Judith Rossner's best selling book chronicling the life and death of an independent, sexually active young woman, a work Brian has openly called "reprehensible". Seán is eager to view the 1970s as a true period drama but just what, if anything, does it say about sex, independence and death? Would Mia Farrow have done it any better? Who is this nefarious Mr. Goodbar? And have you seen a white lady named Bernice?

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

May 10, 2017 04:00 PM PDT

We watched this movie so you don't have to: in the 1980s Manhattan art scene, Bernadette Peters is a bohemian babe whose lack of funds keep her in slave-like subservience to a chauvinist brat who just happens to be in possession of his own loft apartment (and a set of very appealing lean twink-muscles). But all she really wants to do is make her own (crazy-as-fuck) hats. [Ed. Note: none of this is important.]

SLAVES OF NEW YORK may not seem like your typical Merchant-Ivory flick but it's actually a costume drama - only this time the costumes feature day-glo colors, shoulder pads, teased-out hair, and orange eye shadow. Based on zeitgeisty stories by scene queen Tama Janowitz, this has been at the top of Brian and Seán's viewing queue for some time. They expected a mess of film'sa movie with "up-to-minute" satire that had dated faster than a plate of sashimi. What they got was a surprising cavalcade of stars -- including Mercedes Ruehl, Stanley Tucci, and Steve Buscemi -- wandering around parties and fashion shows looking for some kind of plot.

You may never watch this film, but we think you'll love this episode. Like the source material, it's aimless, brainless, and tragically hip. Hold the wasabi? We'd love to!

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

April 26, 2017 04:03 PM PDT

Dear God, why did white movie executives take an amazing African-American novel of female empowerment and water it down into asexual Southern-fried syrup? Blame Steven Spielberg, blame the patriarchy, blame everybody (except Oprah).

THE COLOR PURPLE by Alice Walker is an incredible, humane, Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece. The 1985 film, featuring Whoopi Goldberg's acting debut, is a missed opportunity - an object lesson in the simplification of Black history for white audiences, not to mention squeamishness about clitoral stimulation. Brian and Seán get worked up into woke dudgeon as we parse all the ways in which the story has been neutered.

The film didn't push our buttons but it gives us plenty of corn to chew on as we ponder the nature of authentic storytelling. Can we get an Amen up in here!

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

April 12, 2017 03:51 PM PDT

Everyone remembers their high school prom... unless of course said prom ended in mass death initiated by a telekinetic witch bent on revenge and destroying their entire community. CARRIE (1976) is not only a horror classic but a feast of actresses: Oscar nominees Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie, podcast perennial Amy Irving, musical diva Betty Buckley and Nancy (not Karen!) Allen.

The boys conquer their fears and enter the girls' locker room: Seán's been a horror queen since his youth, but Brian is wary of the genre, so much so that he'd never read a Stephen King novel... until now. This time around, Seán gets verklempt feeling all the feels for poor Carrie White, while Brian overcomes his adolescent reticence of all matters menstrual to appreciate the 70s masterpiece that King and Brian DePalma have crafted. Plug it up!!

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

March 29, 2017 04:06 PM PDT

Seán thought he wouldn't like ORLANDO... until he saw it. Shame he didn't do the reading. Brian, of course, did.

Based on Virginia Woolf, it's no frou-frou drawing room drama, but a time-traveling, gender-bending history of sexuality, Foucaudian avant la lettre. Alien androgyne Tilda Swinton is a man who becomes a woman somewhere over the course of his/her 400 years of life.

Lush, funny, philosophical and featuring plenty of wigs, Sally Potter's 1992 masterpiece turns the wacky weirdness of the original text into a piece of filmmaking unlike any other. This is one costume drama where the drama is really in the costumes: doublets, farthingales, corsets, breeches and perruques, all designed by the ever-resourceful Sandy Powell and prompting us to ask whether clothes really do make the (wo)man?

Social constructivists, ahoy! It's time to take down gender essentialism & have a blast doing it.

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

March 15, 2017 05:59 PM PDT

Wife, Maid or Martha? From the (in)fertile imagination of Margaret Atwood, THE HANDMAID'S TALE imagines a dystopian world in which women's rights have been written off the books, reproduction is under state control, and the patriarchy reigns supreme (in other words... America in 2017!)

Having swooned and shivered over the novel, the Broad Appeal boys turn to the ill-regarded 1990 film. Ever frantic Faye Dunaway longs so badly to be a "Mommie Dearest" that she conscripts Natasha Richardson's ovaries to do the heavy birthing. Meanwhile, Seán longs to wear Colleen Atwood's frumpy-chic costumes while Brian longs to be delivered from the flat dramaturgy.

Join us as we spill our seed all along the road to Gilead!!

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

March 01, 2017 05:51 PM PST

Papa can you queer me? Brian and Seán take a Guilt Trip together, all the way to the shtetls of Eastern Europe and finally watch what they've been building up to all along. The time has come: Broad Appeal does YENTL.

With a running-time much longer than it takes to read the Isaac Bashevis Singer story upon which it's based, this cross-dressing musical about a young woman who longs to study Talmud was Barbra Strei-ssssand's directorial debut. Is it a masterclass in egomania or all-too rare glimpse of the feminist gaze onscreen? Maybe a bit of both!

Female directors, Jewish customs, Barbra's vocal talent and lengthy disputations about just what makes Mandy Patinkin so G-d damn sexy! If any auteur can command equal amounts of respect and eye rolling, it's (simply) Barbra.

Clips from the film presented according to fair use policy. Podcast Theme: "Pipeline" by CyberSDF (https://soundcloud.com/cybersdf/tracks).

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