The Letterboxd Show 3.13: Lucy May

Episode notes

[clip of Josie and the Pussycats plays]

MELODY No way! My favorite movies is Lady & the Tramp...

CARSON DALY When the dogs are eating spaghetti and they share the same piece...

MELODY And their noses touch! [laughs]

CARSON DALY You know... If I wasn’t a key player in this whole conspiracy to brainwash the youth of America with pop music, like we could totally date...

MELODY You think?

CARSON DALY Oh yeah...

MELODY Yeah right, like I’d ever go out with a guy like you!

[The Letterboxd Show theme music Vampiros Dancoteque by Moniker fades in, plays alone, fades down]

SLIM Hello and welcome to The Letterboxd Show, our podcast about the movies people love watching from Letterboxd: the social network for people who love watching movies. As always, your hosts are Gemma—that’s her—and Slim—that’s me. Today, we are firing up the MegaSound 8000 to inject branded ideas into your brain, like: “Josie and the Pussycats is the most jerking band ever.” And... “You should follow Lucy May on Letterboxd...”

GEMMA Oh, suddenly I feel like following Lucy May on Letterboxd, along with 87,000 others. Yes, please welcome video editor, writer and Letterboxd member Lucy to the show. Long overdue, a Letterboxd Show appearance. I love Lucy, Slim loves Lucy. Everyone loves Lucy. She’s got the best hair and the most awesome clothes. So... get your pink clamshell devices out and get ready to add a bunch of movies to your watchlists. Because Lucy’s four favorites are: Amélie, It Follows, Portrait of a Lady on Fire and… Josie and the Pussycats. Lucy, welcome to The Letterboxd Show!

LUCY Thank you so much for having me. I’m incredibly honored to be here today. [Slim & Lucy laugh]

GEMMA Well... I don’t know, you’ve got a bigger following than Slim and I combined so maybe it’s our honor, not yours.

LUCY Okay. Okay. I’ll take it. [Slim & Lucy laugh]

SLIM She’ll take it! She’ll take it. I was taking a look at your Letterboxd diary recently. And it seems like in order to prep for this episode, you went on a David Cronenberg journey. Is that the headspace people need to be on to be on The Letterboxd Show? [Gemma laughs]

LUCY No, that was just something I did on my own just because I felt like putting myself through a challenge. [Slim & Lucy laugh]

GEMMA That is, yeah, quite the wild lead in to, you know, Amélie. But so, 87,000 followers, I don’t know what that’s like. I have no idea how heavy the head that wears the crown must be. But we do ask this to anyone with a huge following: how, if at all, has it changed the way that you use Letterboxd?

LUCY I don’t know what that it’s changed how I use it as much as it’s changed, just I notice how people perceive me. And I go, “Uh oh, I don’t want to look at that too closely anymore.” [Lucy laughs] And so now when I post a review that I’m like, a movie’s really hot, I still say what I feel like saying but often I will just immediately unclick, unding the little—the notifications bell...

SLIM Comments. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

LUCY And I say “Okay, you guys have fun in here!” [Gemma & Slim laugh] “I might never be back.” And yeah, I don’t know. I always use Letterboxd just to kind of like, say what I felt like saying about something, not necessarily what I felt like other people wanted me to say or were expecting me to say or anything like that. And so I still kind of try to channel that energy, even if it, you know, is just continuous one-liners for a while, then that’s what it is. [Lucy laughs]

SLIM When we talked to Mia on a previous episode—I think you two would be considered two of the Mount Rushmore of Letterboxd members probably. I had told Mia that I would probably just be pooping myself if I had upwards of 100,000 Letterboxd followers. Can you imagine 100,000 Letterboxd followers dealing with my zingers about Tom Cruise, Gemma? [Gemma laughs] I’d be I do run out of town, probably, on Letterboxd!

GEMMA Your zingers about eating Pringles while watching Fire Island... [Slim & Gemma laugh]

SLIM Yes! Questioning all my life choices watching Fire Island’s amazingly sexy men dance around. Unreal.

GEMMA I just, I find it so fascinating, ’cause you’re not the first person, Lucy, on the show, to use the word “perceive” or “perception”. And yeah, I find it really fascinating what people think that they can know about a person from a funny or serious or funny-and-serious film review... 

LUCY Yes... very that...

GEMMA Lucy is like nodding vigorously. [Gemma laughs]

LUCY Yes. It’s very interesting how people think they know everything about me just because I didn’t like Citizen Kane very much, maybe like six years ago when I watched it. [Lucy & Slim & Gemma laugh]

SLIM That’s all they need to know. Once they see that not-super-positive Citizen Kane, you are set in stone as whomever they envision now from that moment.

GEMMA That is it. They’ll be climbing up that Letterboxd Mount Rushmore and chiseling your nose off your face... [Slim & Gemma laugh]

SLIM Defacing Lucy off the mountain.

LUCY Oh, it’s already gone. I have half a face at this point. [Slim & Gemma laugh] It’s just crumbling.

GEMMA But there is one of the things I love about this ‘Four Favorites’ format, is that there is something to be said about what you can know about a person from what their four favorites are. And whatever reason those four are their favorites, you know, whether it’s because they’re the movies they love watching the most or because they’re the movies that they feel have the greatest craft inherent within them whether they land emotionally or not. Can you just before we dive into your first film, is it possible that there’s a theme that unites these four for you or are they just your four favorite bangers? Is it as simple as that?

LUCY You know, it’s a very loaded question... I’m not really sure. The’re favorites—I’ll go into it when we talk about them. But they’re their favorites on different levels. They came in at different points in my life, even though I did realize that they’re both, they’re all more modern movies. So I feel kinda like, because I don’t have anything pre-2001... [Lucy laughs]

SLIM No Citizen Kane, that’s for sure. I saw that... [Gemma laughs]

LUCY No Citizen Kane, buddy. Nope. Not Citizen Kane. Theme wise, probably not, they just kind of unfortunately make up who I am, for better or for worse. [Lucy laughs]

GEMMA I know, I’m on board. I’m on board with all these choices. What about you Slim?

SLIM I am on board. I’m excited to chat about these. We should probably get right into it. Amélie is your number one on your Letterboxd profile right now, from 2001. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, written by Jean-Pierre and Guillaume Laurant. 4.1 average, 18,000 fans, we’re starting off on fire right now.

GEMMA We are coming in hot with one of the most obsessively rewatched films in Letterboxd history. People, if they watch and like Amélie once, will come back again and again and again. It’s really interesting. So our Letterboxd synopsis: “At a tiny Parisian café, the adorable yet painfully shy Amélie”—played by the wonderful Audrey Tautou— “accidentally discovers a gift for helping others...” Yeah, some people might call her a meddler. Yeah. [Lucy laughs] Anyway, as life goes on I start to think, yeah, you’re meddling a bit much, but that’s part of the story, right? “Soon she’s spending her days as a matchmaker, guardian angel, and all-around do-gooder. But when she bumps into a handsome stranger, will she find the courage to become the star of her very own love story?” Jean-Pierre Jeunet, this is his most popular and highest-rated film. And it’s the second most popular French film behind... duh, duh... Portrait of a Lady on Fire.

LUCY Aye!

GEMMA And yeah, there we go. And it’s on a whole bunch of Letterboxd lists. You know, weird girl rights!!!, films for the lonely, snuggly wuggly flicks for anxiety driven chicks. The top review on Letterboxd, Lucy, is your own review. I’m gonna get Slim to read it out. [Lucy laughs]

SLIM “The movie equivalent of being hugged.”

LUCY Okay... yeah, that’s very true.

GEMMA Which of the many times—because, by the way, this is just the first of many stats we’re going to drop for you. You are in the top five members who have logged Amélie the most on Letterboxd. [Lucy gasps]

LUCY No way. Is that true?

GEMMA It’s a true story.

SLIM I feel like we should have prepared some kind of Amélie Letterboxd award plaque to be handed virtually. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

LUCY That’s kind of great! I’m very honored by that actually!

GEMMA Yeah. [Lucy laughs]

LUCY I’m speechless!

GEMMA Aww... Yeah, what would the award be? Like a strip of photos from a photobooth.

LUCY Yes! Yes, a photobooth strip. It’s a little bit wavy like a film strip and it’s just on a little—

SLIM It’s just your Letterboxd avatar three times over and maybe cut in the middle during one of them. [Gemma & Lucy laugh] Do you one of the first time you saw Amélie? What was that like?

LUCY Yes, I actually have quite a fun story for this one. Which probably has a lot to do with why it’s my favorite to this day. I remember being about, so I was about seven when it came out, and I had to have been between eight and ten—somewhere around there. And all I remember is that my dad picked up a copy from eBay, he like ordered it. It was right when DVDs were just starting to like really kick-off for us. And so he picked up a copy, he was like, “I heard this was really good. I’m gonna watch it.” I don’t remember the details of if he had seen it once, or if it was him who suggested it or me who asked, but I was like, “This looks very interesting. Can I watch this with you?” And my parents were always kind of, erred on the side of like, “I mean, it’s art, it’s whatever, if it’s not too graphic, too wild, if you want to partake in it, you can, and we’ll show it to you,” and whatever. So we sat down, we tried to watch Amélie. And again, I could not have been any more than ten years old. And as we are beginning the movie, I don’t know if you remember, but the first lines of narrative dialogue are incredibly long, and incredibly fast. And I immediately went, “Whoa, pause. I cannot read this.” [Slim & Gemma laugh] “I’m just a child that cannot read that fast yet.” I said those exact words. And he thought about it and I thought about it. And somehow we came to the agreement, because of the time, it was the middle of our Harry Potter boom, and he would read me the Harry Potter books every single night and other books and series and—

GEMMA I’m loving your dad by the way, can he be my dad? 

SLIM That’s our next guest on The Letterboxd Show.

LUCY He does a Letterboxd. He’s a great dad.

GEMMA Aww, are you serious?

LUCY Yes!

GEMMA Can you drop it for us? Slim and I are both, alas, in the market for a new dad. [Slim laughs] And you know, we kind of... we’re dad-less kids and so maybe could we borrow your dad sometimes when we need a dad, a movie-loving dad?

SLIM Letterboxd stepdad. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

LUCY Absolutely, he would take up the mantle proudly. So we sit down, we sit down, and he reads me the entirety of Amélie, as fast as he can—

SLIM Wow.

LUCY From beginning to end, I don’t think he took any breaks. And obviously, there are a couple bits that are a little bit... it’s a lot, but we kind of just skipped over that.

GEMMA Yeah, I’d forgotten on this watch. I was like, oh, that’s right, there’s the adult—because I put it on, I was like Amélie, of course I can have this on in the background while my six-year-old was walking around. And then it was like, oh, oops, I forgot about the bit where the love interest works at an adult-video store.

LUCY Yes, but my dad read it to me start to finish. And I just remember falling in love with it so deeply after that one watch. And I remember also just thinking, “Wow, my dad must really care about me to like, read me this whole film.” And it was such a bonding experience, one of many that we have had over movies and shows and books and music.

SLIM I was thinking, so you had mentioned during the switchover to DVD, I’ve referenced this a few times in the show, but this was 2001. So I was actually working at West Coast Video near me. So this was actually during that changeover where we had like VHS tapes and the DVD version of it next to it, eventually we separated it. So this movie is one that I remember vividly during that time. And... I’ll be brave right now and say that I’d never saw it until this past week. Not only that, but I thought the Björk was the star of this movie... [Gemma & Slim laugh]

LUCY Slim!

GEMMA What?! [Slim laughs]

SLIM Based on the cover! 

LUCY What! No!

SLIM I had no idea what this movie was about! [Gemma & Slim laugh]

LUCY Ohhhh!

GEMMA Oh my god. This is the second time someone’s been speechless on this episode.

SLIM I mean, you look at that cover, out the corner of your eye and you can’t tell me you don’t think that could be Björk?

LUCY That is not Björk, Slim! [Slim laughs] That’s not Björk!

SLIM I know that now!

GEMMA Slim, have you seen Björk? I mean...

SLIM I mean, someone can Photoshop and for me. Someone’s listening that has some Photoshop talent. And you present me a version with Björk looking at the camera like that and that’s Amélie.

LUCY Oh, brother...

SLIM So all that to say is this, this is finally checked off my list. And I’d heard of this from friends of mine that said pretty much you either are all-in on this movie, or it might just be a little too kooky for you. And it’s almost like impenetrable for some people. So I was glad to have finally watched this. And I did see like a ton of comparisons to Paddington with this movie. So I’m wondering if it’s because of the foreign language where maybe it doesn’t get that kind of American mainstream as much, because of that language barrier. It was very fast. It’s a quick-moving movie, in terms of dialogue and everything. So I was happy to finally check this off my list.

GEMMA And yet, you can watch it with the sound down and understand what’s going on, I think. I just... I love this movie so much. I saw this at the cinema when it first came out. 

SLIM Oh...

GEMMA I was old enough. Maybe once a week for two months, with pretty much anyone who go with me. But most especially my flatmate at the time, who was an uncanny replica of Amélie, both in looks, she had the the incredible black bob, and in personality. Deb, I love her to bits. She lives in Australia now. If she’s listening now, hi Deb! And she just like, she saw it herself, it wasn’t embarrassing to her. She was like, “Oh, finally, some Deb representation on screen!” And she was this beautiful, shy, incredibly loving, incredibly quirky, like a real life Manic Pixie Dream Girl. So I’ve never been too bothered with that description as a pejorative, because, yeah, because I lived with one and they’re delightful to live with! [Gemma laughs] And not only that, but I guess I was a huge fan of, am a huge fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Delicatessen is one of my all-time, all-time favorite films. In fact, I might be... Am I swapping out my top four to put Delicatessen in?

SLIM Right now? My god.

GEMMA Right now?

SLIM I thought you’re about to say delicatessen is your favorite job... [Gemma laughs] I was like, dang! Gemma, follow your dreams right now! Please! [Slim laughs] 

GEMMA I quit! There’s an opening for co-host! I’m off to— 

SLIM During the Amélie segment, she quit to become a delicatessen!

GEMMA I’m off to schmear bagels. [Gemma & Slim laugh] I am, I’m changing it out right now while you two chat amongst yourselves. 

SLIM Oh my god. Okay. 

LUCY Wow...

GEMMA What am I gonna take out though? Oh, hang on...

LUCY I really need to see Delicatessen still. That’s one that I’ve been kind of eyeballing and the poster right now is kind of scary. So I’m like, one day we’ll get there.

GEMMA It is. It is scary—

SLIM But what are you going to remove? What are you going to remove from your top four?

GEMMA I don’t know! I’m looking, I don’t know what to do. A Room with a View, Strictly Ballroom, Paddington, In the Cut... We need a top five. I’m just gonna, I’m the boss. I’m just gonna... oof.

LUCY You’re gonna have to expand. Gemma’s the only one that she gets a little expansion tacked on to the right side. [Gemma & Slim & Lucy laugh]

SLIM So when we talk about movies like this that are like the number-one fave movie of guests on the show, there’s inevitably a time where you try to share this movie with friends that haven’t seen it yet. Do you have experiences like that, where you’ve tried to, you know, “We have to watch our Amélie this weekend. Let’s see what you think.” Have you done that before?

LUCY Yes. And... I recognize what you said about the some people are just like, “Eh, it’s not...” Because I’ve showed it to, I live with two roommates and before becoming roommates with them, I actually showed it to each of them, it was their technical first time. And one of them, he just fell in love with it. And he was like, “Oh, this is just the greatest movie ever made.” And his review is just this like, “life is beautiful...” little write-up. And my other roommate, she was like, “It’s cute... It’s kind of cute. It’s kind of quirky...” [Lucy & Slim laugh] And I was like, that’s fair, honestly, I don’t have any objective sense of looking at it anymore because I’m like, it’s so deeply ingrained into who I am at this point.

GEMMA Slim, you actually haven’t given an opinion though. 

LUCY Hmmm...

GEMMA Let’s hear it...

SLIM It’s cute, it’s a cute movie. [Gemma & Slim laugh] 

GEMMA That’s all he’s gonna say. 

SLIM I gave it the old college try and it’s just not for me. So one of my co-hosts on 70mm, Proto, he wrote this, you know, actually both of co-hosts for 70mm love this movie. They give it five-star ratings. And Proto specifically even called out that like, I can see that you’re either in love with this or it just does not connect with you. And for whatever reason on this viewing, I was the latter, it just didn’t connect with me.

GEMMA Interesting.

LUCY It’s fair. It’s far.

SLIM So just don’t judge me! Please! Both of you don’t judge me right now!

GEMMA No, no, no judgment. I think what’s interesting is that, so I watched this film a lot at the movies and then on DVD, like endlessly, just endlessly. It was like our Saturday-night comfort-watch whenever it was raining. And then I haven’t seen it in well over a decade, I would say. And so it’s really interesting when you take a break from something that’s so beloved and so quirky and then come back to it, you know, after living a bit of life and what you notice later. And it’s so funny because I read all these reviews, like, “the warmth in this movie could power three cities” writes vee. Lily writes, “depression rates would drop to zero if we got an Amélie and Paddington crossover.” [Slim & Lucy laugh] True, true. Dirk writes, “it’s like candy for your soul.” Maria: “Siri, how do you say this film cleared my skin, watered my crops, cured my depression in French?” I get all of that but on this watch I was soo taken by a few different ideas. One that, you know, Amélie, is in the synopsis, has this gift for helping people, and I’m like, yeah, or meddling. And as she learns, you can’t hide from your own life and your own needs by helping other people instead. And I think that that theme came through really strongly to me this time around. But also, ah, Dominique Pinon, the actor, I can’t get enough of his face. I love his face. He’s incredible. But in this film, he plays one of the best examples of a toxic male on-screen. He’s the dude in the coffee shop who won’t leave the women in the coffee shop alone. And, you know, there’s this amazing moment where Amélie meddles and it becomes extremely romantic and as an audience, we’re very, very invested in this relationship and then it backfires. And he’s trouble. And so it’s not all lightness. And, you know, people write, “it’s softer than an Ikea blanket,” writes Issy—I get it, I get that there’s all of that in it. But there’s also this sort of inherent, you know, grit and darkness and toxicity that you also get living in a big city like Paris. Yeah, I was really struck this time around by why Amélie might be shy and retiring from such a cruel, cruel world.

LUCY Yeah, it’s very fair. And I feel like, he’s really good at capturing that melancholy. And just infusing it, like it’s very light and, yeah, fun and comfortable. But it’s super sad at times, like she gets, like, super upset that she’s so alone. And then yeah, there’s those moments of just like, of just grime coming out of the walls and the situations. I don’t know, it’s just, it’s kind of like a fantasy, but it’s also kind of—it speaks to reality. And I don’t know, it’s interesting, because it wasn’t my favorite film when I was a teenager, it was something else really. For quite a while I would pick and choose and then when I hit my mid-twenties, I started kind of rewatching it whenever I was feeling like really anxious, I like could not sleep, especially when I was anxious. And I would just—I have a copy that I bought, you know, digitally, and I would just watch it on my phone. And so I would just watch the first twenty to 30 minutes. So it’s interesting that I’ve actually seen it in the top five of any user, because I’ve actually really seen it, like the first 30 minutes, maybe about 30 more times past that. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA But you don’t log half-watches or even third-watches. So... well, you could, but.

LUCY No, I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t think that’s fair. I don’t log them.

SLIM The phone falls on your face wakes you back up as you fall asleep.

LUCY Yes! [Slim laughs]

GEMMA The other character I really found myself drawn to on this watch, who I’d never really paid much attention to before, was the painter neighbor, and it has whole storyline where he’s spinning his entire life as a kind of shut-in recreating Renoir paintings. And he’s struggling with this one girl in the picture, and Amélie comes to visit him. And they have quite a lovely relationship. But they both kind of Rear Window-ing each other and figuring out what each other needs. And he pegs her, he’s got her pegged more than anyone else in the film, more than her own father, who’s just, you know, living his grief. And I just, I loved him and I loved his journey as an artist and as a kind neighbor, who comes across as a deep-grump. Anyway, I feel like, yeah, I feel like it’s quite good if you’ve watched Amélie a bunch of times, to go back in and pick one character to watch through the eyes of.

LUCY I’m so glad you brought him up because I just like, I have a little point to say about him because he’s one of my favorite characters. And I always associated when I was young with Amélie, as I’m sure many people do is, you know, she’s just kind of shy and doesn’t really know how to make herself fit in situations. But the shut-in neighbor, they call him the Glass Man. And I actually was born with a brittle-bone disease, so if he was to be technically diagnosed with something, I’m think it was that. I think that’s what they were trying to say. And so from young age, I was like, I think he—and then I mean, me and my dad, we were like, I think he has it. And so I always associate myself with him a little bit. But then with Amélie, because he’s like, you know, “You can’t let life you get you down, you have to go out and you have to make your own life and live.” And then the way he paints the Renoir, and I always loved Renoir, it’s like my favorite painter. And the girl with the glasses, I think speaks so much to just, you know, it’s such a good metaphor for Amélie’s character, because they use the girl with the glass to talk about her because she’s too shy to really talk about her. So they dance around it and they talk about “Well, maybe she didn’t play with other kids when she was young,” which I could relate to a bit and just things like that. And it’s just so beautiful. It all just comes together and it’s very pivotal to who I am at this point, I’ve come to realize. So there’s kind of no way that it’s not my favorite movie. [Gemma & Lucy laugh]

GEMMA Is there anything lovelier than one person kissing another person on their eyelid? Is there anything lovelier? I just needed to wrap up the Amélie talk with that moment, that little note. Maybe an invisible something...

SLIM Oh...

GEMMA Kissing somebody on the eyelid... [Slim laughs] Which brings us to film number two: It Follows from David Robert Mitchell, came out in 2014, stars Maika Monroe, has a 3.6 average—that’s good, that’s good for horror. And 1,600 fans on Letterboxd, including you, have this in their top four. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, this is the indie-horror film that was being talked about in 2014. Like the conversation around this was big at the time, and if you still haven’t seen it, you’ve got to put It Follows on your watchlist. It is a suburban town, there is some kind of invisible, fatal curse that is being passed from victim to victim via sexual intercourse. And Jay, played by Maika Monroe, it’s kind of like Covid-y, right? It’s like, it’s gonna come for me eventually, so what do I do about it? How do you inure yourself against it? Or how do you face it head on? It is an incredible film, but unusual film to have in your top four...

LUCY You know, in preparation for coming on here, it made me really like look at that movie and address the fact that I just have never spoken about it seriously before. [Lucy & Gemma laugh] And you can actually, I don’t know if you have the facts available...

SLIM Oh we do.

LUCY But unfortunately, yes, for me, you have them. Every single review I’ve made of It Follows is just some terrible, silly joke. And there’s like I think nineteen of them now. [Lucy laughs] And I am just, if there’s one thing about my Letterboxd presence that I’ve come to realize that I will claim, I am a menace to the It Follows review section of Letterboxd. [Gemma & Lucy & Slim laugh] I claim it. It’s the truth. And not only that, but not one of those reviews—not even one—is a serious thought, is an analysis, is a personal deep dive. They’re all jokes. And—

GEMMA Hey, you don’t have to break that streak now. [Lucy & Slim laugh] It’s fine. It’s fine if you don’t want to talk seriously. Can we get you to read just one of your It Follows, of your seventeen It Follows reviews, making you, by far, the member who’s logged this film the most.

LUCY I mean, I’m the number-one person who’s logged—[Lucy laughs]

SLIM I mean, the number one review was 1,783 likes, at the top of the list of the It Follows page. [Slim laughs]

LUCY Oh no... Oh no. Okay, highest-rated. Is it the score one? 

SLIM Yeah.

GEMMA Mhmm.

LUCY Okay. Let’s see, what was the date on this? That was March 28, 2018. Rewatch, five stars. And it goes... “when the score goes do do WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH do do WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH WHEH” [Slim & Gemma & Lucy laugh]

SLIM I mean, you almost get fooled because there is a serious-ish review also on the It Follows page. “The score for this movie and how it complements and amplifies every scene really is the cinematic equivalent of being repeatedly tasered in the nipple with a stun gun for 100 minutes solid.” [Gemma & Lucy laugh]

GEMMA I’ve got—my face is so sore. This is the funniest episode ever. I’m sorry, I’m just reading your March 19, 2016 review, which was basically eyeball emojis. “Good shot. Good shot. Good shot. Eyeball emoji. That’s a good shot. All right. Eyeball emoji. There. Right there. If I do say so myself, I say so. That’s what I’m talking about. Right there, right there. Chorus. Right there. Good shot.”

LUCY Good shot!

SLIM Jack is listening, Jack’s Facts is listening. And he pointed out that in a recent It Follows, you did point out the recent backdrop change. So for the first time ever, you don’t have to choose now, but we will look to you to choose the new backdrop for It Follows. We have a few options we’ll share off-air.

LUCY This is such an honor.

SLIM So as of this episode being posted, if everyone goes to It Follows, Lucy will have chosen that backdrop. 

GEMMA Do we just leave it at “do do WHEH WHEH” [Lucy & Slim laugh] and move on, encouraging everybody to add it to their watchlist?

SLIM We can’t top that. We can’t top it. We can’t top it.

LUCY You know, what’s interesting is that I did write serious notes for this. [Lucy & Slim laugh] And you made me read that! And now I’m completely thrown off.

SLIM And then the rest of Mount Rushmore will ask, “How’d the interview go?” “Oh, you know what, they just made me read my It Follows review and then they moved on, so all that work was for nothing.”

GEMMA Okay, you can choose. You can either give us your serious notes live on-air now, or you can write them up into a review and tag “Letterboxd Show” and we’ll put the link. [Gemma & Slim laugh]

LUCY I guess, okay, I’ll say two things. I’ll quickly just say, yeah, that the first time I saw it really, it really did something to me. And it was like, it was the beginning of that elevated-horror movement. And I actually just last weekend, so luckily got to see Maika Monroe do a Q&A for her new film Watcher, which is really good by the way, it’s coming out soon on Shudder, I think, everybody stream. But she had this great part of the Q&A, where she’s talking about just how It Follows and The Babadook and The Witch were kind of like the first elevated-horror films of this new wave and how pivotal they were, whereas it’s like now it’s like everywhere, it’s explosive and dynamic and everyone loves it. But something about It Follows and it just, it just haunted me. And I don’t really think about it, even like as a horror movie, because it’s almost like a comfort movie in and of itself, which is terrible.

GEMMA Okay. I needed to ask you about that. So you have a list among your many great lists on your Letterboxd account. You have a list, My most peculiar list of comfort movies and It Follows is the number-one film on that list. Like... you know, I thought it was great swimming-pool representation in movies, on several levels. I thought Detroit just worked so well for this kind of suburban dread. I thought, it’s an astounding analogy for STDs, it’s just genius. But I have to say that for me it would fall into another list you have, movies that have grown on me with time despite only having seen them once. I don’t need to watch it again. I loved it. I don’t need to watch it again. I will recommend it till the cows come home. I don’t need to watch it again.

LUCY That’s very fair.

SLIM You mentioned how—both of you mentioned the hype was almost nuclear for this movie. So when I rewatched this, I thought back to my history with the movie, I had it rated as like three stars.

GEMMA Oh, did you get Slimfluenced?

SLIM It was I think it was 2015 I might have rated, logged this for the first time, but at the time I did get Slimfluenced. All my friends would not shut up about It Follows. [Gemma laughs] The hype was following me around, so when I finally did sit down to see it, I was like, “it’s fine, it’s fine.” I think I even took a dig at it and said it felt like a really, like it was going to film-school students, like film-school students probably love this movie. Rewatching it now, I had an amazing time seven years later.

LUCY Yes!

SLIM So seven years, for those at home, it takes seven years for the hype to wear-off of something where I can reassess something.

LUCY We got Slim. We got Slim on the It Follows train! [Slim laughs]

SLIM You’re wearing the shirt, I just noticed. And I did watch Watcher with Maika, this week, I watched it yesterday, I really liked it. I really love Maika. Maika, let’s get some more elevated-horror, like let’s continue this run. I think you even referred to as the Scream Queen, which I think we called out, it might been your review on the Weekend Watchlist episode. I’m smitten by her, she’s a great actor and she fits so well in these movies. I really liked it. One of the callouts I made in my review was having waited this long to rewatch, the first thing I thought of with the music was actually Stranger Things, like hard in my head. And someone called me out my comments, believe it or not. 

LUCY Yeah...

SLIM It might have been your alt-account, I don’t know if you’re just—they’re like “actually Slim, this is like synth-wave music, not Stranger Things,” I was like, alright, whatever. But it’s true. So I kind of come late and I miss the boat over this time having watched Stranger Things and then this so I need to go back. I need to go back and rewatch a lot of these movies with that kind of music.

GEMMA Have you done a video essay about It Follows?

LUCY I have not, because again, I cannot make myself take it seriously on an analytical level and I don’t understand why there’s a mental block. [Gemma & Slim laugh] I do think part of the reason that it’s one of my favorite movies is because like on an aesthetic level, and even with the minimalist and really bold storytelling, I feel like to me, it’s super close to a perfect film. And more specifically in the kind of films that if made films, I would want to make. It’s just like, it’s so—

SLIM It’s gorgeous.

LUCY So specific. It’s gorgeous. And the mood it creates. It’s just, it’s similar to my fascination with like Fincher and Lynne Ramsay. And just the perfectionist visual style, and with the score that accompanies it, and it’s just that kind of film, it just takes me out.

SLIM The one thing I thought of when I was rewatching, and right before we move on, I wondered why David Robert Mitchell hadn’t, you know, gained more of a cachet with kind of weird horror movies...

GEMMA Because he did Under the Silver Lake, one of the most divisive films on Letterboxd.

LUCY Thank you. Thank you Gemma.

SLIM I haven’t seen that. So what’s the what’s the backstory with that one for anyone that hasn’t seen it?

GEMMA It sucks. It sucks. [Slim & Lucy & Gemma laugh]

LUCY It’s terrible!

SLIM Simple enough backstory. [Slim laughs] 

GEMMA Moving on... let’s just say he’s no Céline Sciamma, pulling out hit after hit after hit and changing it up each time. I mean, she goes from Portrait of a Lady on Fire to the most beautiful childhood meditation on grief that was ever put on screen. She is... a goddess. You have a beautiful physical collection, Lucy, which you’ve documented in a Letterboxd list. In what format or formats do you own Portrait of a Lady on Fire?

LUCY I am pleased to say that I own the Criterion Blu-ray, which—it’s just gorgeous. It’s beautiful.

SLIM Can I raise my hand and say I also own the Criterion of Portrait of a Lady on Fire?

LUCY Okay, Slim! Points for Slim.

SLIM So I’m back in the game. I’m back in the game after Amélie. I’m getting my cred back.

LUCY On the first day of Pride Month, come on! [Slim & Lucy laugh]

GEMMA Do we even need to lay the groundwork Jack Facts-wise, even though he has gone and done the work. This is the first time that we’ve talked about Portrait of a Lady on Fire in our four favorites, which is crazy because—

LUCY Surprising.

GEMMA 26,000 Letterboxd members have this film in their favorites. But, you know, it’s—do we need to talk about—okay, it came out the same year as Parasite, Parasite obviously went bananas. It went all the way. But we did not ignore the Portrait Nation on Letterboxd, as you well know. When was the first moment that you realized we had changed our star-rating system for this film?

LUCY I think I had seen it myself... I don’t think anyone had shown me, I think I went on and I might have went to rewatch it and then I went, “Oh! They’re flames now... That’s so fun!” [Gemma laughs] And they’re still flames!

SLIM Yeah, that’s probably my favorite Easter egg. What were you thinking when you left the theater or you were first experienc seeing Portrait of a Lady on Fire? What were you like after you saw it?

LUCY Just, I mean, again, it’s so surprising you guys haven’t even spoken about this film because it’s just so... like, I don’t even need to say, you already know, everyone knows who’s listening. But, just the most distraught I’ve ever been in my whole entire life, just wrecked. Absolutely wrecked. I saw it for the first time at the Chicago Film Festival, which is, shout out, one of my favorite festivals. And I watched it with my friend and I just remember like, at the beginning when they’re kind of painting on canvas and they put the titles on it and there’s nothing going on. There’s no music, there’s no dialogue yet. No characters have been shown and I remember I started to tear up and then I did not stop. It was a non-stop flowing gush of crying the entire time. And I was so in awe that when it ended that we actually had tickets to watch the latest, I forget which one it was, but the latest documentary they made about Agnès Varda afterwards. And it was in the same theater, it was in the same house, and I politely asked an usher, I was like, “We are here for the next movie. Could we please stay in our seats?” Because I did not want to get up, because I was too upset! [Slim & Gemma laugh] And he said yes. So thank you to him. Another pride ally. [Slim laughs] 

GEMMA Love that man.

LUCY And yes, the rest is history.

GEMMA The rest is history, indeed. I remember New York Film Festival the year it came out. I had, yeah, I had a press pass. But I hadn’t been able to get to the press screening. And I had basically it wasn’t like high on my list for one reason or another in terms of what I was needing to cover. But I had had a very stern DM from someone saying, “you need to get in, you need to see this film.” So then I’d sort of done the panicked email to the New York Film Festival press people, just going, “One seat! All I need is one seat at your sold-out premiere. I just need one seat.” And then I got the message like half an hour before and had to spend a gazillion dollars on Uber to get there. Walked in, Alice Tully Hall, brilliant, there’s no popcorn, there’s no drinks. It’s just movies, right? So there’s no noise. There’s no rustling, there’s no nothing. There’s even people just suppressing their coughs as much as possible during that opening. And then at the end, when Céline and Noémi and Adèle walked out on stage, it was just like... rapture, just rapture, insane rapture. Partly also kind of the jolt of them being in their modern clothes and their modern hair, having just been in this incredible—anyway, yeah. So yeah, the hype was, the hype was real but... I wasn’t wrecked. I was just like—

SLIM You weren’t wrecked? I was wrecked.

GEMMA No, I was not wrecked. You were wrecked eh.

SLIM I saw it at the Ritz in Philadelphia. I went on a boys night out with my podcast co-host Proto.

GEMMA Ye-yeah!

SLIM Because we covered this for our podcast, I think we had heard, I think we’d seen the kind of potential groundswell of Letterboxd buzz at that point. We were like, should we cover this movie? We didn’t know anything about it.

GEMMA Should we get out ahead of the Slimfluence? [Slim & Lucy laugh]

SLIM I don’t want to wait seven years to see this dang movie! So we went and it was the same vibe at the Ritz. They do have popcorn and stuff. But I made a comment I think in one of my reviews, that like the audio of the actor’s breathing in Portrait [of a Lady on Fire], like it’s so quiet, you can hear them breathing in those tense moments.

GEMMA Yeah.

SLIM And it was the same in the theater. It was dead quiet in all those scenes. I was a mess at the end of that movie. I mean, if you’re not—like, if you’re not emotionally impacted by the end of this movie, you need to get checked out, my friend.

GEMMA Oh, I need to get checked out. No, I am not saying I wasn’t emotionally impacted. I think I just have a different, I don’t know, I’ve lived long enough to—like Céline Sciamma really, which is part of the impetus for creating the story, is—I’ve lived long enough to understand that love comes and then love goes. And, you know, I’ve had my heart broken. And I’ve been through that and so I was able to I guess watch it with a little more emotional distance which, meant that I wasn’t completely wrecked but I was completely enthralled.

SLIM Was this—this was five stars for you, Gemma, right?

GEMMA A hundred percent!

SLIM Of course.

GEMMA It’s an easy, it’s a clean five stars. It’s five stars alone for that moment when the three of them—Marianne and Héloïse and the maid, are in the room together and Héloïse says, “Get up, we’re going to paint.” And they make a record. Like, what is it? History is told by those who have the tools. They make a record of what the maid has been through—no spoilers if you still haven’t seen it. But in these current times of Roe v. Wade, I think it is one of the best storylines about—ha, spoilers—choosing not to continue a pregnancy, in film. And it’s just that moment where she says, “Get up. We’re painting.” And then you see what they’re doing, they’re sort of reenacting that. I don’t know, I just, yeah. Every time I watch it, I forget that that scene is in it, and every time that scene rolls around, I just have the same explosion of kind of pride in Céline Sciamma that she put that in the story, which is about love over here. It doesn’t need to be there. The maid’s story doesn’t need to be in this film, you could just tell the story of Marianne and Héloïse. And, you know, in and out, clean. But there’s so much more going on. As Todd writes on Letterboxd, “it would appear that men have become irrelevant.” [Slim laughs]

LUCY Yeah, yeah.

SLIM Great review. Stephanie wrote: “I’m going to think about these last fifteen minutes for the rest of my life.”

LUCY That is my roommate and best friend, actually,

SLIM Oh my god!

LUCY Yup! Yup!

GEMMA I like James’s, I’ve always loved James’s review, “I guess we’re adding the number 28 to the list of things I never expected to emotionally destroy me.”

LUCY Just so transcendent. Like, I can’t even believe somebody made that movie.

GEMMA Right? 

LUCY It’s like, how does it even exist? I feel every time I watch it, every time I think about it, it’s one of the only movies I’ve ever felt, I’m just so thankful that I have gotten to see it, that it exists, that it means so much to me.

GEMMA So is there a scene, I mean, is there any one scene for you that you could pull out and go, this is why this film is genius?

LUCY I think really, just like Slim said, I think it’s just so perfect. I think really, everything falls into place. Everything is just so layered. And the plotline with Sophie is so good. And just everything. It just falls perfectly into place. But I actually rewatched this week, again, and watched some of the supplements on my Criterion Blu-ray. And one of them was the Céline interview, I think I’d seen it before, but she just was speaking about how the whole movie was crafted around the ending, she had the ending first. And then she crafted the whole thing around it. And for many years of my life, kind of uncovering my own sexuality and discovering who I was, and a lot of that had to do with kind of like digesting media that was aimed at, you know, the community and a lot of it’s not good. A lot of it’s not very well made, or is, you know, for whatever reason, just kind of falls flat. But I feel like this is something that’s, I’ve been, you know, waiting for, just for so long, this kind of specific representation that, you know, they never even speak about it in certain terms. But it is still incredibly—it’s political, it’s universal. But it’s also, Céline has spoken about it and, you know, she calls it, “it’s a lesbian love story,” and just all of that combined, it’s just so perfect. It’s just like the missing piece.

GEMMA When Dominic Corry interviewed Céline for us in one of the last in-person interviews just before, you know, all the borders closed, and all the shit went down. And, you know, we like to ask filmmakers what their favorite films are, along certain themes. And he asked her what her favorite romance film is, and her answer was E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. [Lucy & Slim laugh] It’s her favorite love story on-screen. [Gemma laughs]

LUCY Just incredible.

GEMMA And I get it! Right? 

LUCY Just incredible.

GEMMA Right. Incredible. I mean, what an answer, what a gift of an answer. What an amazing woman and also, more recently, Titanic, you know, she talked a lot about Titanic.

LUCY Yes! 

GEMMA And you’re just like, this is the representation we need. I love knowing that filmmakers who are, who are just so... ahhh, enormously gifted are watching the same trash as the rest of us! It’s awesome! [Gemma laughs]

SLIM I thought you were gonna say that her favorite movie was going to be Josie and the Pussycats. [Gemma laughs] 

GEMMA I believe she meant to say that.

SLIM Man, what an amazing transition that she had, this was her favorite movie! [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA I’m sure she’s seen Josie and the Pussycats, I reckon Céline has seen it and I reckon she’s given it more than the 3.5 average it has on Letterboxd.

SLIM That’s true.

GEMMA Even though that’s a fine rating. Okay, written and directed by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont, who are a wonderful duo who have written a bunch of movies, including one of my favorite Irish rom-coms Leap Year—that piece of crap! [Lucy & Gemma laugh] I secretly love it. Anyway... has 574 fans on Letterboxd of whom you are one. I am so excited about this. Based on the comic book Josie and the Pussycats, “When DuJour, boy band of the moment, go down in a plane crash, a trio of small-town pop-rock musicians (Josie, Melody and Val) get their chance at stardom. But are they really just pawns in a scheme to control the minds of the youth of America? And are Alan Cumming and Parker Posey the greatest actors of their time?” Unofficial Letterboxd synopsis written by me. [Slim & Lucy laughs]

SLIM So were you and your dad watching Josie and the Pussycats in 2001 when this came out?

LUCY One hundred percent. No, he’s, again, it brings it full circle. It just brings it back to my dad. And I should say, I had so many options because I think the core three, I have a core three as of current, and this was kind of the wildcard slot. I was like, we got to pick something. It’s a big moment, we got to pick something that I really want to highlight, that I really love, that I really want to talk about. And I was thinking about this movie in the sense that like, recently Jennifer’s Body, But I’m a Cheerleader have gotten that kind of like resurgence and Twilight and they’ve all gotten this love and things that were kind of more aimed at, you know, teenage girls or what have you. And I just need to be part of the moment that Josie and the Pussycats gets a full-blown cult following. And yes, my dad must have rented it from the Family Video when I was about eight or nine and brought it home and said, “This looks like something you would enjoy, let’s watch it!”

GEMMA The Family Video? That was the name of your video store?

LUCY Yes, it is a Midwestern chain that unfortunately just closed its doors last year, they just closed.

GEMMA No...

SLIM Isn’t that the name of the video store in Stranger Things?

LUCY Yes, it is. And it’s a real chain! 

GEMMA Wow!

LUCY So me and my dad just fell in love with Josie [and the Pussycats]. He also loves it as well. All the, you know, girl movies, Mean Girls, Bring it On, he loves them all as much as I do. [Lucy laughs]

GEMMA I love your dad again. Again, if there are any gaps going for more daughters for your father to parent, I’m putting my hand up. I know that sounds weird. Is that creepy? Okay, I’ll shut up. I’m happy—well actually, Jack’s Facts is happy to confirm that you are indeed part of the resurgence. When Letterboxd started, Josie and the Pussycats, back in 2013–14, had a 2.7 average rating which, you know, that’s not great. It is steadily, slowly but steadily, improved over the years. And it is now sitting at a perfect 3.5, I must say. The perfect…

LUCY Gemma’s favorite rating.

GEMMA Yes, Gemma’s favorite rating. Thank you.

SLIM The Gemma line.

GEMMA Yes. It’s passed the Gemma line. And obviously a lockdown bump starting in 2020, as many people made this their comfort-watch. And yeah, it was in our High Risers list, which is, I don’t know if you saw that story or that list. But it’s a list of the films that have had the highest ratings leap over the first ten years of Letterboxd and this is definitely one. I think, you’re right, it falls into the same camp as Jennifer’s Body and films that were just not well marketed to their target audience at the time.

LUCY Not at all. Not at all. And just so, so genius and so fun. And then they were released and people just went, “What is this?”And then it wasn’t until much later, unfortunately that we’re all like, “Wait, wait, we have to go back, we have to look at this a little bit closer.”

SLIM This was a first time watch for me. I had a ton of fun watching this. It reminded me of D.E.B.S.

LUCY Yes!

GEMMA Yes, yes!

SLIM When we talked with Jenni Olsen, that was in her top four. And Parker Posey... my god.

GEMMA Oh man.

LUCY Just...

SLIM I mean, does she get enough respect?

LUCY No.

GEMMA No.

SLIM Please. 

LUCY Absolutely not. She’s just, she’s just phenomenal. It’s kind of scary, especially in this movie where she actually gets some meat to her part. Because I’ve been watching a lot of her roles recently where she just kind of like, you know, is more of a, much more of a side character. But here it’s like, she is the titular evil. She just carries that with so much, it’s so fun.

GEMMA She’s incredible. And so many of the Letterboxd reviews call her out. Muriel in particular writes, “evil capitalist parker posey can ruin my life whenever she pleases, seriously. this is the smartest movie ever made like the wolf of wall street wishes.” [Slim laughs]

LUCY Yes. Yes.

GEMMA And Muriel is so correct. Joe Lynch, the filmmaker Joe Lynch who is on Letterboxd, writes, “Come for the boy-band/pop-music spoofing, stay for the (appropriately) heavy-handed comment on consumerism that sadly is more relevant today than the early 00s. DuJour forever.” I think, yeah, my rewatch this week, I just wrote, ”this is a documentary.”

LUCY Yes!

SLIM Yeah...

GEMMA Like, weirdly more than ever, and, you know, you have your own list comedies that are ahead of their time. And it really is, like this is pre-algorithm. This is scary how much it kind of mimics what is going on today in terms of brands inserting themselves into our feeds, into our brains.

LUCY It really is. It’s just, they were so ahead of their time. I feel like people at the time just were not ready for like whatever they were poking fun at. And I recently got to hold my holy grail, which is my friends have the soundtrack on vinyl. And I got to read some of the stuff in there and I remember reading that—because I had always assumed when I was young, I was like, well, I’m sure that they got brand funding by showing all these brands in the movie, because in every single shot of almost the entire film is some kind of a brand insert. And no, they didn’t, they didn’t get any money. They just used their property. [Lucy laughs]

GEMMA Wow!

LUCY Just for the gag.

GEMMA Just for the gag. Could you get away with that now?

SLIM I don’t think so.

LUCY I don’t think so. I was thinking that the other night as well. I was like, I don’t think you could make it today. I really don’t. Because it’s so on the nose. I think so many people would be like, shut it down. But because it was so silly. It was, you know, pulled from a comic book, which at the time was not a very cool thing to do, I’m sure, compared to now. And yeah, it’s about this girl band. And they play this music throughout the movie. And they’re like, “do whatever you want.” I’m sure that was the case. But now—

GEMMA I think we’re just gonna have to slide on over to comic-book correspondent, Slim, who just happens to be on the show with us to get some context around Riverdale and Josie and the Pussycats and also kind of this particular time in comic-book history, you know, adaptations for the big screen.

SLIM It wasn’t—so this was 2000... was this 2001 as well? Yeah, 2001, I think X-Men and Spider-Man had come out. But a lot of the common properties that were coming out at that time were people that just kind of like bought the rights to make a movie. It wasn’t back then cool or normal for the actual companies to have like a hand in any of that stuff. But when I was maybe like five or ten years ago, there was a giant resurgence in Riverdale love in comic books. I think it may have been right before the show had come out. So I was going to ask you, Lucy, if you had ever dabbled in any of the comic books, the digests of Riverdale comics, anything like that?

LUCY No, really, that’s my only blind spot, in that I was never a comic-book person or anything. I hadn’t even really, because of my age, I hadn’t really even heard of, you know, Archie comics or anything like that, prior to seeing the movie. And I was so young as well, I was like, eight, nine, ten. And my dad knew all of the references but they just went right over me.

SLIM You weren’t reading Archie, you were too busy watching French Amélie... [Slim & Gemma laugh]

LUCY Yes! And Kill Bill[: Vol 1] with my mother. [Gemma laughs] Yes!

GEMMA Wait Is your mother on Letterboxd? Hang on. Your mom’s watching Kill Bill[: Vol. 1] with you? Is she on Letterboxd?

LUCY No. She did show me Kill Bill[: Vol. 1] one when I was about nine, but that’s another conversation for another day. [Lucy laughs]

SLIM That’s a different kind of podcast. I will say that the Archie comics, if people enjoy Josie and the Pussycats the movie, you will enjoy modern Archie comics. They’re very funny. They’re very forward thinking. So the people that produce those Archie comics, you know, we’re talking about Pride month, I mean, they are very much an ally in the comic space, very forward-thinking and hilarious, so highly recommend folks check that out. But Alan Cumming in this role, like blew me away.

LUCY Whoa.

SLIM My god.

GEMMA Can I just say one of the best movie band manager representations in cinema history? And I just need to know, I did my research, there are no lists—there is one list on Letterboxd that is band managers in—no, it’s not even. What is it? Ah, Band Manager References, this is Claudio Bustamante list on Letterboxd, and I don’t know if that’s because Claudio is currently writing a movie about a band manager, so I don’t know what that headline is about. [Slim laughs] But I feel like what we actually need is a ranked list of the best movie-band managers. And Alan Cumming in Josie and the Pussycats will be very much near the top. As would Richard E. Grant from Spice World and possibly Jude Law from Vox Lux too.

LUCY Ooh, good one. And Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do! I believe he is the manager.

SLIM Ohhhh.

GEMMA Oh yeah, but maybe not Tom Hanks in Elvis... [Slim laughs] The jury is out. We’re yet to see. [Gemma laughs]

SLIM Unclear. There is one list, let’s see, where is it, that I wanted to spotlight. Oh, it was your list! Yeah, movies where the main character clearly has feelings for her best friend but it’s ignored and they date boys. [Slim & Lucy laugh]

GEMMA What else is on that list?

LUCY There’s a lot on that list. [Slim laughs]

GEMMA Oh yeah. Bend It Like Beckham number one, of course! Jennifer’s Body, Bring It On, The Edge of Seventeen, Ghost World, Miss Congeniality, Thirteen, Legally Blonde. Oh, yeah, these are all—

SLIM Great list. 

LUCY Yes.

GEMMA This is a very, very accurate list. 

LUCY I am proud of that list. [Lucy laughs]

GEMMA And that’s why D.E.B.S. is such a good movie, right? Because it actually goes there. Like D.E.B.S. does what all of these other movies, you know, avoiding doing but clearly coding.

SLIM Also the music, the music is good! The songs are good!

GEMMA The music is great!

SLIM That’s a huge part of this of this film, kind of keeping up over the years, the music’s catchy.

LUCY Finally, the part that I really wanted to talk about is just how good the music is, which is, I feel like what really sold it to me as a child because obviously, so much of the, you know, consumerism and capitalism of it and the industry of the music industry, it just went all over my head when I was eight, nine years old. But my dad did buy me the compact disc CD, it was purple. And I would put it in my boombox and me and my best friend would listen to it. And we were just little kids. And I’m happy to say that, yes, I still stream it all the time. And I just streamed it the other day on my drive home from work because the DuJour songs are great, and I’m so happy people on Letterboxd and stuff always talk about DuJour, but I think it was Letters to Cleo that were the band behind Josie and the Pussycats and every single song is a hit. There are no skips, every song in the album. They play them a little bit throughout the movie, but there’s some deep cuts on the actual album that are just so good and so much fun.

GEMMA Okay, this is fascinating. Hey, I just looked up, because I was thinking, you know what we need to do? We need to just get this vinyl for Lucy. We need to track down a vinyl of the Josie and the Pussycats, music from the motion picture—

LUCY What?!

GEMMA And get it sent to you. But I just googled and I found three for sale on Discogs and they start at about US$150.

SLIM Oh my god, 150?

GEMMA Wow! But hey, to be fair, the vinyl is purple leopard and comes with a twelve-page booklet of never-before-seen and behind-the-scene photos and liner notes. Wow...

LUCY And I believe my friends have this one. Inside, on the inner cover, is a DuJour two-song seven inch, with their own cover art, which was just blew me away. I did take a picture of it. It’s just... it was just insane. And I should say my only—I should flex on this. I showed it to my friend, who is now my roommate, a few years ago, kind of mid-pandemic, and then he’s so good at gift-giving, and for I think it was my birthday, he’s just like, “Okay, I’m really excited to give this to you.” I open it, best gift I’ve ever received in my entire life. He bought me an official set of the 3DX headphones that someone in the crowd was wearing at the end of film, so...

GEMMA Whoa!

SLIM What?

LUCY It’s kind of crazy. They’re beautiful.

GEMMA Wow.

SLIM We usually close up the show with a look at your Rated Higher Than Average films. Your stats. I’m not sure if he peeked at that section of your stats page recently, Lucy.

GEMMA No I have not seen it in a while. I’m a little scared. [Gemma laughs]

SLIM Usually everyone gets pretty nervous at this segment. One one movie I do want to call out that I agree with is some love for Insidious...

LUCY Okay!

SLIM You gave that five stars, according to the average, which is I think around three stars.

LUCY Insidious is one of the scariest horror movies ever made. I don’t care. Everyone I talk to it about is like, “It’s so silly.” I’m like, “To you...” [Gemma & Slim laugh]

SLIM You can hear the aggression in your voice on that.

LUCY Insidious[: Chapter] 2 screening in my theater was just like me holding in every muscle in my body for two hours or whatever.

SLIM There is a great jumpscare in Insidious, and I—this is a recent watched for me. I think you have it logged as three or three and a half stars, Sinister with Ethan Hawke. That has one of the wildest jumpscares that I have ever seen. Do you remember the scene where he’s reviewing the footage in Sinister in that den and there’s a lawn mower? 

LUCY Yes. Okay, I do remember that.

SLIM That is a crazy scene. So, people go see Sinister, three stars.

LUCY That needs a rewatch.

SLIM It might be time for a rewatch.

GEMMA So Lucy, you spend a lot of your time creating beautiful video essays and video montages. I like your ’90s teen movie video retrospective that people can find on your Vimeo. It’s so great. Obviously this is one of your favorite eras of filmmaking in the ’90s. But... are you going to edit a movie one day? Is that where we’re going here?

LUCY I mean... I would like to do something of that... of that area, yes. I have a lot of things that I would like to do. That’s one of them. But editing a feature just sounds like very scary. It’s terrifying. [Lucy laughs]

SLIM Insidious 4, edited by Lucy.

LUCY Yes... [Gemma laughs] Actually, Slim, I think Insidious 4 exists... So you’re not being a very good fan.

SLIM I’m behind on the Insidious Cinematic Universe. [Slim & Gemma laugh] What about, I see a Saw movie as well. Saw V?

LUCY Saw V, an underrated, truly, truly a hidden gem, in the scope of cinema, of all of cinema history, Saw V.

SLIM Saw V. What is it about the Saw franchise that draws you in?

LUCY I love the Saw franchise. Are you kidding? It’s so much fun. I actually, I should say that as an It Follows fan, very recently, I have been kind of a little bit tired of some of the elevated-horror movies I’ve been watching in quick succession that are, you know, some of them brand new and I’m just like, you know, guys if you’re gonna do it, you kind of need to like... figure your stuff out. Is this a drama? Is this really horror?

GEMMA Name names. Name names.

LUCY I’m not naming names. I’m not gonna do it.

GEMMA What are we avoiding? What are we watching? 

LUCY I’ll say one because people are already just so mad at me about it. And I apologize to the Letterboxd moderators, because they just go through hell every day because of me... um, Men directed by Alex Garland. 

SLIM Oh yeah, I agree with you there.

LUCY Just a little... but yeah, after seeing a movie like that, I was just thinking back to like, I think we all need to just go back to the Saw franchise and have a little bit of fun. It’s just gore, it’s just fun. It’s just horror and I think it’s so fun.

GEMMA Did you see Violation?

LUCY Yes! I really liked Violation.

SLIM Oh my god.

GEMMA I really liked Violation.

LUCY Okay Gemma, now we’re speaking this language!

GEMMA Slim’s like, “Ah, I gotta go... I’ve got an appointment.”

SLIM One of the most uncomfortable movie experiences I’ve had in the last several years.

LUCY Indeed.

GEMMA Were you eating ice cream in the theater, Slim?

SLIM I wasn’t eating anything after I saw that movie. [Lucy & Gemma laugh] Not for a long time. 

GEMMA But that’s, yeah, that’s the kind of thing that you do after It Follows. If you’re doing elevated-horror, that’s where you go. Yeah. I don’t know. It’s either there or you just go all in on Saw... 76. 

LUCY Yes! And we will! I would love to edit Saw... 23... one day. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA Fun day, a fun day at the office. “What did you do today?” “Edited Saw 23, it was great.” Do you have any—ah, first of all, did you find out your dad’s Letterboxd handle?

LUCY Yes, I have it here. It is... JohnnyZhivago.

SLIM JohnnyZhivago...

LUCY He has not logged a movie in a year which I’m upset at him about.

SLIM Matt, is your dad’s name Matt?

LUCY His name is Matt, yes.

SLIM JohnnyZhivago, your dad’s Letterboxd. Field of Dreams is in there...

GEMMA Oooh, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Are we getting Lucy’s dad on next week’s episode? [Slim laughs]

LUCY I believe he’s listening to this episode and he would be honored. [Lucy laughs]

SLIM We’re seeing dad cinema in at least two of these. Blade Runner, I’m all in on. Field of Dreams...

LUCY Field of Dreams...

GEMMA Oh, yeah. 

SLIM Field of Dreams was like dudes’ Portrait of a Lady on Fire when that came out. [Gemma laughs] People in theaters just weeping at the end of that movie.

LUCY Would one of you like to share his Parasite review, which is very short, but I think it just says everything...

GEMMA From Matt, 6th of June, 2020: “Dang. It really is that good!”

LUCY Yeah! We got ’em!

SLIM I mean, he’s pretty popular, 39 likes on Lucy’s dad’s review for Parasite. People would kill for 39 likes on on those Letterboxd Subreddit right now. [Slim laughs]

GEMMA I tell you what... his Tenet review, I wish I’d seen this when Tenet first came out. This is, this really is the nub of it. Three and a half stars, the perfect rating. I agree. “I enjoyed this,” writes Lucy’s dad, “although it was pretty confusing and dialogue was hard to make out a lot of the time. Probably will make more sense if I rewatch it with a temporal-pincer movement. My future self will watch from the end. I will watch from the beginning and we’ll meet in the middle and exchange information.” 43 likes. Go Lucy’s dad.

SLIM Cripes alive.

GEMMA This is amazing. Okay, final question, given that it’s Pride month. Top five lesbian movie hits?

LUCY Oh! I just was going over a list, that I made, that is private because you’re not allowed to see it... [Gemma & Slim laugh] Because it’s disgusting how many movies are in there. But let me find it... [Lucy & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA Lucy: not speechless on the lesbian hits.

LUCY Okay, lesbian films ranked. My top five currently are... Five: But I’m a Cheerleader. Four: Love Song directed by So Yong Kim, starring Riley Keough and Jena Malone, very underrated. Three is Thelma, directed by Joachim Trier, who is, you know, getting very good publicity for The Worst Person [in the World]. But.. [whispers] Thelma’s better... But I didn’t say that. Number two is With Every Heartbeat, which is this little Swedish movie that I think is just the most gorgeous little romance ever.

GEMMA Amazing.

LUCY And number one is Portrait [of a Lady on Fire], of course. So...

SLIM Man, a great list of movies to add to people’s watchlists.

GEMMA I love this. I think I’ve got an idea for a little bit of editorial chaser to go with this episode when it drops. I’ll be emailing you Lucy...

LUCY Hey! [Lucy & Slim laugh]

[The Letterboxd Show theme music Vampiros Dancoteque by Moniker fades in, plays alone, fades down]

GEMMA Thanks so much to Lucy May for joining us. You can follow her and her dad and her eight-year-old niece on Letterboxd and her video essays on Vimeo. The links for those and everything else we mentioned are in our episode notes. Thanks also to our crew, Linda Moulton, for booking and looking after our guests, Jack for all of the incredible facts, Sophie Shin for the episode transcript and to Moniker for the theme music.

SLIM Be sure to queue up our other podcast Weekend Watchlist, new episodes drop Thursdays with Mitchell, Mia and me, in this very podcast feed. If at any point in time right now or in the near future, maybe please consider leaving a review or rating for any of our shows. It helps us get discovered by more movie lovers, and we love that for them. The Letterboxd Show is a Tapedeck production.

GEMMA Thanks for listening, and thanks Slim as always for co-hosting, it takes two to be funny... [Slim laughs]

SLIM Can you give it a go now in French?

GEMMA No... [Slim & Gemma laugh] Uh, deux... deux... uh... no...

SLIM Deux... no... [Slim & Gemma laugh]

[clip of Josie and the Pussycats plays]

Operation: Big Concert, where we finally take things to the next level. When Josie and the Pussycats play their stadium concert, all the kids in the audience, as well as the one’s watching at home will have to purchase these. It’s the debut of 3DX Surround Sound, a new technology that makes the music feel like it’s happening all around you! Like 3D... gentlemen... a demonstration! 

This is what the kids think they’re hearing on those headsets... and this is what they’re really hearing...

CONFORM. FREE WILL IS OVERRATED. JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON.

Hey, that voice, I know that voice... it’s um, ah…

It’s Mr. Movie Phone.

Yes!

He does all our subliminal tracks.

THERE IS NO SUCH PLACE AS AREA 51.

Excellent Fiona, these kids will never know what hit ’em.

[Tapedeck bumper plays] This is a Tapedeck podcast.