The Letterboxd Show 3.14: Elizabeth Purchell

Episode notes

[clip of Chocolate Babies plays]

Step the fuck off!

Are you ever here... ever here on this planet with us?

Divide and conquer—that’s how it always falls. You are why every revolution has failed.

Me? I—

Yes, you!

I am the cause?


For why every single revolution has failed?

Yes, you, the big-house mama, sitting up here trying not to get anything done. 

Look, come and get your bitch, okay? Come and get her right now.

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

GEMMA Hello and welcome to The Letterboxd Show, a 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 me—and Slim—that’s him. It is Pride season and today on the show we have a very special guest. To quote from a New York Times article that was published five minutes before I read this aloud: “A historian of queer film who has a soft spot for movies that provoke, arouse, tickle and otherwise stir the queer-cinema pot.” She has worked tirelessly to preserve and celebrate all-male adult-cinema through her Ask Any Buddy film and podcast and through her work on Letterboxd’s very own Adult Task Force.

SLIM Gemma is talking about Elizabeth Purchell, also known as Letterboxd Patron schlockvalue, a long-time member—the first film she logged was Nashville on the fifth of August 2015. Her first review came a few days later when she wrote of the 1983 horror Sleepaway Camp, quote, “Real talk: does any other film have shorter shorts than this?” [Gemma laughs] Elizabeth has chosen four deep cuts for her favorites today. They are: City of Lost Souls, Drive—the 1974 Jack Deveau film—Kamikaze Hearts and Stephen Winter’s revolutionary AIDS-era film Chocolate Babies. Fair warning, we will be talking quite a bit about adult cinema in this episode. Liz, welcome to The Letterboxd Show.

LIZ Hey, everyone. Thanks so much for having me on here. Already a little embarrassed... I always forget that y’all have access to all my stats. [Gemma & Slim & Liz laugh]

GEMMA Yeah, sorry about it... We do have a section towards the end of the show where we get to read a few of your stats back to you. So that will be... that will be fun. Can I just say, Jess Franco, there is some Jess Franco talk coming up.

LIZ It’s the Letterboxd version of This is Your Life. [Gemma & Slim laugh]

SLIM This is Your Letterboxd Life.

GEMMA Yeah, we’ve brought Jess Franco back. [Gemma laughs] Liz, you are one of those rare Letterboxd members who not only has your own member profile, but also your own filmmaker page on account of having directed Ask Any Buddy. Have you read reviews of your own film lately?

LIZ I haven’t checked it in a while because my film hasn’t been available for the past year for legal reasons. It was really touching to me on a personal level that someone actually went into my TMDb page and updated my name when I came out, for me, so I didn’t have to do that myself.

GEMMA That is so touching. I love that for your fans. Can I read this review of Ask Any Buddy by John Robinson? “Watching a man get double-fisted on a cinema screen in central Paris while seated next to an elderly French lady wasn’t an experience I was expecting to have in my lifetime, and yet here we are. But in all seriousness this was very fun!” [Slim & Liz laugh]

SLIM Maybe they went out to get lunch after that screening. 


SLIM Maybe they had their time of their lives, had the best afternoon of their lives together.

LIZ We’ll be talking about the double-fisting scene later on in this episode... [Gemma & Liz laugh]

GEMMA Okay, we’ll get to that. Let’s put a pin in double-fisting. Be Brave Morvern—just one more review to read—Be Brave Morvern writes: “The graffiti, the pride parade interviews, the political messaging, the structure of the theater and bathhouse cultures — the source films are remarkable, unintended time capsules into post-Stonewall culture from which Purchell makes an inventive, witty collage… this really is a love letter to our bygone culture.” I love that review. And it’s a love letter to filmmaking itself, right?

LIZ It really is kind of like a love letter to that genre, to the people who in those films, the people who made those films, the locations they were shot at. For those who don’t know, Ask Any Buddy is a found-footage collage film that’s made up of footage from over 125 gay-adult feature films from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. And, you know, you can’t hear people talking about these films without them saying that these are documentary films because, you know, they show how people cruised each other, they showed how people dressed, they showed how people acted at the club or at the bathhouse... So I kind of decided to take that and run with it and made this sort of “documentary”, quote unquote, about what a day in the life back then would have been like for a gay person in the most fantastic, idealized way. And that’s what Ask Any Buddy is.

SLIM I mean if you go by Drive, everyone had zero-percent body-fat in those discos having the time of their lives! They all looked amazing in those things! What is happening? How do I get there? Cripes! [Gemma laughs]

GEMMA Well, you stop eating the sour-cream Pringles, Slim... [Slim laughs]

SLIM If I have to cut out the Pringles, it might not happen, Gemma. I’m sorry. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA Well, if you’re not prepared to cut out the Pringles, Slim, then you might as well move to Berlin and start eating some of Angie Stardust’s burgers. Let’s start, Liz, with your first film. 1983, City of Lost Souls directed by Rosa von Praunheim. This has only eleven fans on Letterboxd—eleven people have this film in their four favorites, but it has a 3.8 average. So for a film that’s kind of hard to track down, it’s nonetheless respected and loved. So yeah, centered in Berlin, at the house and I guess burgerie of Angie Stardust, who also has music credits in the film, Judith Flex, Joaquin La Habana, all sorts of eccentric characters of almost every imaginable sexual orientation—or disorientation—team up on a slice-of-life Berlin film, featuring American performers drawn to the city of lost souls as a place where they can give full rein to their creative natures. I was watching this and thinking, next holiday destination... Pensione Stardust.

LIZ Ah, I could only wish.

GEMMA What a place, what a ride. Thank you for introducing us to City of Lost Souls. I mean, you put 125 films in Ask Any Buddy—and not to mention all of your other work—how have you zeroed in on this as one of your four?

LIZ I think City of Lost Souls is a film that, like once anyone has seen it, they just immediately fall in love with it. It’s a really lovingly handmade film, starring all these amazing people playing kind of just slightly fictionalized versions of themselves. It’s got a great new-wave soundtrack. It’s got some really incisive political commentary about, you know, the state of Berlin in the early ’80s. Really just a really wonderful, lovely film.

SLIM One of my thoughts when I was watching this movie, and it comes back to some of the comments that you’ve made on your podcast, Ask Any Buddy—specifically about Drive, which we’ll get to later—when you watch that movie, you had said, “what else am I missing? What else is out there?” And this felt like one of those experiences for me, where you have just such a variety of characters in this crazy location of Berlin, the burgerie—I love that phrase, ‘burgerie’, that Gemma said earlier. And it’s almost like a sitcom environment but in this movie with songs, and it is definitely one of those films where I’m thinking myself like, even now, man, there’s just so much out there with so many different diverse backgrounds and casts that I still have yet to experience. And City of Lost Souls is, is pretty much at the top of that list!

LIZ I mean, just for me, it was really interesting revisiting it for the first time, a couple of years, to prepare for the podcast. The sheer level of just amazing trans representation is unheard of, even now I think. There’s an amazing scene in the film where this trans woman, Tara O’Hara, she takes a guy home. And you know, you watch the scene thinking, “Oh god, she’s gonna have to say that she’s trans, she’s gonna have to say that she’s not a cis woman, it’s going to be awful, things are going to go downhill.” But the guy is completely accepting and willing to try new things. And it’s a really sweet moment in this film that’s full of the sweet moments. It’s also—I don’t know, there’s not enough I could say in the world to try to get people to watch this movie, because it’s really one of my favorites.

GEMMA What you just said then says so much about how we have been trained and conditioned to watch films and trained and conditioned by the mainstream around what to expect when certain characters appear on screen. Right? And so then there’s a really good reason why this film lands on Letterboxd lists like J.F.’s list Turn the gaze around—G-A-Z-E, by the way. And Saige’s film queer films that are *chef’s kiss*. It really, stands up when you look at some the reviews, Michael writes: “There’s no good reason that this isn’t the most popular movie ever made.” [Slim laughs] And I have to agree! I mean, honestly the, “I want four months rent” scene with all of the residents of the pensione crawling through Angie’s legs, is just one of the best moments in cinema I think that I’ve ever seen. So thank you for that.

LIZ I mean, I think one of the greatest comedic scenes of the whole cinema history are Angie and Jayne County, with Jayne County talking about how she just needs to get an abortion because she got fucked by Russian... [Liz & Gemma laugh]

[clip of City of Lost Souls plays]

Ah yeah, so david_bruner writes about that moment, I’m just gonna read their review: “I suppose it depends on if you’re the type of person who really wants to see Jayne County talk about how much she wants an abortion while the camera keeps flashing on a baby doll wearing sunglasses, then sing a televised rockabilly song about falling in love with a Communist soldier while dancing in a sparkly red dress in between paintings of Lenin and Marx. I am exactly that type of person.” [Gemma & Liz laugh] It’s so good! Although I did write in my notes, “Gary, don’t stick Angie’s dog in the oven!” 

SLIM Geeze... [Gemma & Slim laugh]

GEMMA And I just want to sample the, is it the trapeze artist saying, “Deutsch nouvelle wave...” I just want that to be my new ringtone.

SLIM I mean, you said it yourself, like 1986 this movie had come out, and the scene that you had mentioned, they have that intimate moment where you thought was gonna go off the rails, but it comes back around. It was almost—I mean, 40 years ago, this scene happened. Like, what kind of mainstream representation are we seeing of that moment now? Like nothing. And I love the conversation too, between the leads where they referenced, you know, “I’m the third gender” and then, “No, I’m the new woman.” I love that conversation between the two characters, kind of almost explaining their own identity in a way that makes them feel confident to others. And just, you know, that could just be my perception of what movies I see. But it’s just, these dialogues, those moments, it’s hard to track down in mainstream cinema.

LIZ Yeah, no, like I said, the people in this film are basically playing very lightly fictionalized versions of themselves. And I imagine that these conversations were the conversations that they actually were having, you know, on the set between takes. And I mean, just to show how, you know, reality isn’t as kind as cinema was, Tara O’Hara, I believe she was later found murdered a few years after the song was released. I think it was in a hotel room, maybe?

SLIM Geeze.

LIZ Yeah, so you have her on this film, leaving this really remarkable image and having this really sweet scene with this man and then in real life... not, yeah—I’m sorry to get really heavy.

GEMMA No, I mean, this is the reality, right? You know? I guess... what do we need to know about Rosa von Praunheim?

LIZ Really, I would say, in my personal opinion, the most important gay German filmmaker of, well, history. He was a contemporary of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Werner Schroeter. And, you know, unlike the two of them, who kind of found acceptance into the mainstream, art-house cinema, Rosa has always been very much on the outliers. He’s most famous over here for a film he made in 1971 called It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse, But the Society in Which He Lives.

GEMMA What a title!

LIZ Amazing title, and was also, it’s this film that’s trying to provoke the audience into doing something and it was so controversial when it came out that 50 gay-rights groups were started in Germany, literally within months of it airing on public TV.

GEMMA So that’s a 1971 film, I just want to note that Jack, who provides our facts, says that that film is his most popular on Letterboxd. So City of Lost Souls sits just behind it. But yeah, 3.7 rating, 1971... you know, a decent number of people on Letterboxd have seen it—1,600, we could get that number up.

LIZ He’s someone who has a remarkable—he’s someone who has an incredibly deep filmography. I think he’s made over 200 films. I know when he turned 70, he made 70 films in that year just to mark the occasion.

GEMMA Wow! [Gemma & Slim laugh] What?!

LIZ But he’s a filmmaker that more people should know about him, and this month at Spectacle in Brooklyn, New York, I’m doing a series of six of his documentaries about either underground cult figures or about the gay-rights, trans-rights and the AIDS epidemic.

GEMMA Amazing. What’s that—so, you can look at the details on that and it’s called Transsexual Menace—oh, no, that’s one of the films, right?

LIZ That’s one of the films. 

GEMMA Ho-ly. Why should people get out to the cinema to see that film?

LIZ Well, I mean, if you go on Letterboxd, it has a grand total of eleven viewers, sadly. It is, you know, another just amazing documentary about the trans-rights movement in America in the ’90s. It uses this group called Transsexual Menace, which were kind of like the trans equivalent of like an Act Up type of group. And it uses them as kind of this jumping-off point to explore, you know, different people, different events like the Fantasia Fair conference that’s been going on in Provincetown for I think, somewhere around 50 years now. It’s a giant yearly event for crossdressers and trans people. They interview people like Leslie Feinberg and Virginia Prince who started the first trans magazine back in the ’50s. It’s this really incredible time capsule and it’s something that should be more seen but just hasn’t been.

SLIM I liked that the screening itself will probably more than double or triple the current views on Letterboxd for that movie. [Slim laughs]

LIZ Fingers crossed.

GEMMA Fingers crossed. [Gemma laughs]

SLIM Has that ever happened in the history of Letterboxd where one screening maybe quadruples the views?

GEMMA Um, yeah, I think it’s happened plenty of times. Well, you know, next week we could look at the bump, we’ll dig into the data and look at the bump. If you listen to this, and then go and watch Transsexual Menace as a result, tag your review “Weekend Watchlist”. [Gemma laughs]

SLIM That’s right. We’ll read that on the pod for sure.

GEMMA Speaking of a transsexual menace, we probably need to talk about Arachne.

LIZ Truly, truly one of my trans icons. [Gemma laughs]

SLIM This one, our next film Drive, this is 1974’s Drive, Jack Deveau, this was covered on your podcast and think this was episode two, way back episode two, where you folks covered Drive. 1974, one fan currently on Letterboxd—

GEMMA I almost spat out my coffee just then. I feel like, is this a first for us?

SLIM This might be!

LIZ I was gonna say, I feel so bad. Whenever I listen to the show, the movies that y’all talk about, it’s like 5,000 fans, 3,000 fans. And I’m like, “We’ve got one! We’ve got one!” [Slim & Gemma & Liz laugh]

GEMMA We got one! I’m a big fan of the films that have like between seven and sort of sixteen fans, because I feel like, that’s a party, like we could get all of those email addresses and invite all of those Letterboxd members over to dinner. And it would be a good time. But in the case of Jack Deveau’s Drive, it’d be you and like... whoever that one person is. I mean, do we call them out? [Gemma laughs]

SLIM We’ll get them to call in the show next week to give their thoughts on this episode.

GEMMA Bruno... Bruno Araujo, if you’re listening, he’s in São Paulo. So maybe you get to go there, Elizabeth. I mean, that’d be beautiful. Anyway...

SLIM Jack does note that this will now be the new record-holder for our most obscure film. It has 52 views, which topples Ben’s pick WTC View from a couple of months ago that had 58. So the synopsis for Drive: “ABOUT FIFTY VERY COMPULSIVE MEN. Drag queen Arachne tries to take over the world by stealing a drug that would eliminate one’s sex drive, but secret agent Clark is on the case.” And we might drift into our little warning ahead of time about an adult-cinema conversation. So that might be this moment. So FYI, if you want to skip ahead, just in case, I’m not sure where you’re listening. So my background with this movie... [Gemma laughs] I fired this bad boy up, not even looking at the Letterboxd page. And then once things went down, I was like, okay, it’s happening right now. I close the blinds. [Slim laughs] But so what about you, Liz? Where were you when you first watched Drive? What was that experience like? And what did it mean to you?

LIZ This was one of the first gay-adult films that I ever saw. It was an early one for me. And I first saw it because it was one that was more well-known. I mean, more well-known, like most of these films are not very well-known, but this one was one that was a little more well-known. And because the plot sounded so irresistible. This person is stealing the drug to eliminate the male sex drive and someone is on the case to stop it. And what I wasn’t expecting was for it to be this insane like midnight-movie, underground-cult-film, insanity that it is. I mean, we say it’s an adult-film, but I don’t think any of the sex-scenes in it are meant to be erotic.

GEMMA No, I mean I—so life got in the way of me seeing this this week. But then I heard about wangs in jars... And I didn’t know whether I felt regretful or relieved. So I did a quick skim before the show. And I have no good reason, other than just a lack of time. But, Slim, you took this one for the team. And I do want to ask, given that there have not been enough viewings on Letterboxd for this film to even have an average rating, what is your rating of Drive?

SLIM My rating? Gosh, this I don’t generally rate movies that we cover on The Letterboxd Show, I usually give a heart. I think I gave this one a heart. I will say that the soundtrack slapped. I love the music in this. I referenced the disco scene where, you know, everyone dancing in this disco scene has zero percent body fat. And I’ll overlay some of the music here, but those were some of my favorite scenes! You know, that scene, not the moment in the movie, but like the disco scene, this takes place in the ’70s, it’s just so wild. I want to watch documentaries about this era. I want to see more about it. Like everyone in there is ripped. [Gemma laughs] Everyone in there is an Adonis. I’m not sure if they just turned everyone like me away at the door to get into these clubs, but I need to find out more of those.

LIZ I mean, not just that, but they intercut that with the sex scene. Yeah. And then they end it with an homage to Marlene Dietrich in Blonde Venus with Arachne coming out in a gorilla suit and taking off the head of the suit. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA I mean, come on, Letterboxd... we need more than one film for this film, just based on their description of events alone.

LIZ It’s the only gay-porn film to have a Dietrich reference—an overt Dietrich reference, yes. [Gemma laughs]

GEMMA I was gonna say, “Is it?” but then I realized you are actually the expert on this, so...

LIZ Okay, there’s some others, but this is the big one. This is the one that you should know about. The others, they’re not good. This is the big one. [Gemma laughs] 

SLIM There was another moment too in the episode, which I highly recommend people check out, your episode, Ask Any Buddy on this movie. There was one mention that you had talked about, about a lost gay-porn film about Jesus? Was that—can you shed any more light on like, I think the tagline was, “What was His sex life like?” or something like that with the capital H, and I started cracking up hearing about this movie.

LIZ The film is called Him and the tagline is, “Have you ever wondered about His sex life?” [Slim laughs] I will note, it is not the only gay-porn film about Jesus. There’s another one.

GEMMA It’s certainly not the only straight porn-film about Jesus, just speaking as a former Catholic teenage girl.

SLIM Gemma didn’t have time to watch that one this week, she fired up Him in the background. [Slim & Gemm laugh]

LIZ No, Him is sadly one of the notoriously lost films...


LIZ Still hoping that a copy of it will turn up at some point, but—

GEMMA It’s in somebody’s shed, somewhere in Arizona, baking in the hot, hot heat at the moment waiting for you to turn up in a one-ton truck and cart those cans away. It needs to happen.

LIZ I will say, since you keep talking about guys from the ’70s having no body fat, the other gay-Jesus film was this film called Loadstar, which was directed by Kenneth Sprague, who is the guy who took Gold’s Gym and made it into like a worldwide phenomenon.

SLIM Oh my god. 

GEMMA Wow...

SLIM Holy—what?!

LIZ He’s straight. But he was one of the first gay-porn superstars near the end of the ’60s. And he was like, “I’m gonna break into filmmaking. I’m gonna start making movies. I’m going to make the first all-bodybuilder gay-porn film. And there’s going to be a sequence where I play Jesus.” [Gemma & Slim laugh]

SLIM On that fact, I was thinking about, you know, you’re a film historian, and you go through someone like Jack Deveau’s catalog and I was thinking like, what other things have you found out in your research, into so many directors, and so many films that maybe changed your perception or was a surprising fact that you weren’t expecting to uncover in your journey through so many of these decades of films?

LIZ Well, one that’s directly connected to this film—last year, I went up to New York to do a screening of a film called Good Hot Stuff, which is kind of like the gay porn that’s entertainment. It’s by Hand in Hand Films, which is the studio that may Drive. And while I was up there, I met this guy, I met Robert Alvarez, who is the co-founder of the company and their in-house editor. He was Jack Deveau’s long-term partner. And he still lives in the giant penthouse apartment that they were living in at the time. And while I was sitting at his table and we were talking, he pointed to the other side of the room and said, “That’s where we shot the bathhouse scene from Drive.” [Slim & Gemma & Liz laugh]

SLIM And then you go over and take a selfie like right in the corner. [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA One thing I was thinking of when I did watch the parts of Drive that I watched was, surely, surely this was a huge influence on Yann Gonzalez for Knife+Heart. And you know, his general oeuvre of filmmaking. And I don’t know, just that sort of combination of porn and sex and menace...

LIZ I think that’s something that’s really interesting about Jack Deveau as a filmmaker, is that you think, oh, New York, gay porn—it’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be sexy. But Jack Deveau is a very cynical filmmaker. His films are, even when they’re trying to be romantic, they’re still very cynical about relationships. And I mean, if you look at Drive, you think, oh, it’s this goofy, secret-agent movie parody. But it’s also this really fascinating look at gay relationships, because the main character has this like stay-at-home husband, who he’s constantly ditching to go off on his secret adventures. You know, the secret agent is like the world’s worst secret agent because he never actually solves anything on his own, he’s too busy like fucking around. [Gemma & Liz laugh]

GEMMA He just sounds like a hotter James Bond. [Gemma & Slim laughs]

SLIM James Bond is worse at his job.

GEMMA Yeah, I don’t know. I just keep thinking about those hot bods, and I’m imagining that, yeah, if I was on that set, I would be the Philip Seymour Hoffman holding the boom, holding the boom mic just kind of going, “Yeah, never in my dreams.” Maybe it’s time to ditch the burgers and the Pringles and just start eating fruit. Are you looking at the bananas? Because it’s time to discuss Kamikaze Hearts. Juliet Bashore’s 1986 dream-o-documentary...

LIZ Question mark...

GEMMA Question mark... We’ll get into that. This has a 3.8 average out of five. That’s good. That’s high. Enough people have seen it have given it a rating. Only five fans! That’s a hot dinner party. The synopsis is, this is Juliet Bashore’s staged documentary about a lesbian couple working in the adult-film industry. “The cynical seasoned porn star Mitch and her lover, Tigr, who was an uneasy newcomer to this world where drugs play a significant role. And there’s tap dancing!” So let’s dive into what is said to be Juliet Bashore’s only film—not entirely true, but she is on a on a Letterboxd list called Solo Blasters: Directors Who Made One Film in Their Career. She did also make a documentary that you can find online about an infamous Berlin squat, which brings us full circle back to City of Lost Souls. But this is really her only film and I was reading a little bit about the history of it, like she was a film-school star, with scholarships and the full deal. And this is the film that she set out to make. And it is... how do we describe this extraordinary... mash-up of—I mean, there’s so many questions about whether it’s real or not, or... Where did Kamikaze Hearts, when did it come into your life?

LIZ I think I first heard about it when I was looking into the life and career of Sharon Mitchell—the goddess, the icon, my queer icon Sharon Mitchell. I remember renting the DVD from one of our local video stores, Volcom Video, RIP, they closed during COVID sadly.

GEMMA Oh man.

LIZ I was immediately taken by the film. And, you know, this is another one that I’ve been trying to champion for years and years and years. And now that Kino has restored it and has been pushing it back into theaters, it’s been really exciting seeing people checking it out the first time. And I screened it as part of my monthly series at the Austin Film Society last month. Before the film, I did not say, you know, “This is fake documentary. This is fictional, or this is nonfiction.” And afterward, when I came up to do the Q&A, I asked, “Did y’all think this was a documentary? And most of the people there thought it was, which I think really, really shows the slippery nature of this film, which is what I find so fascinating about it. Because I mean, that is what the porn industry is. That is what porn films are.

GEMMA Slippery...

LIZ Well yes—in more ways than one. You’re paying. But, you know, the whole reason these films exist is so that you can see the real thing. But everything surrounding that real thing is completely fake. You know, these people are having sex, but they’re also playing characters. There’s a narrative going on. There’s this, there’s that. 

GEMMA And so how do we even describe the plot of this film? I mean, the synopsis, I guess, gives you an insight into it. But so we’ve got the amazing Sharon Mitchell—my god, she is a queer icon, and she’s extraordinary. The things she can do with her body is all I would say, and I don’t mean that in a pornographic sense. Or do I? And so she’s, the story sort of, and as we discover in the film, Kamikaze Hearts that Mitch met Tigr when Tigr was a sort of, you know, emerging porn actress, and then Tigr has moved up the film-set roles and is now directing her first porn with Mitch as the star. And so that’s the kind of central conceit, but it’s filmed as a documentary so we get to see the making-of, all of the all of the mechanisms that go around the making of a porn. And there are drugs at play as well. This is—as Sally Jane Black writes in her Letterboxd review, “This is a violent film with very little traditional violence. This is a glimpse of love, both true and toxic. This is a nightmare.”

SLIM You mentioned Kino Lorber having that—I’m not sure if you mentioned it was a new transfer. But is there a planned release for Kamikaze Hearts from Kino?

LIZ They’re doing it theatrically right now and it’s coming out on Blu-ray I think in August.

SLIM Mmm, okay. 

GEMMA Yeah, I think a lot of the Letterboxd reviews of this film have landed only recently as a result. And all I can say is this film is formally gorgeous. Every scene of Mitch riding in the back of a car, talking to us about her life—swoon! Talking about, you know, being captured on little tiny, tiny pieces of film. What great dialogue—the club scene when Tigr is trying to get Mitch to come to the shoot, but Mitch is too busy, you know, exotic dancing with the rockabilly band. Just everything about the gaze of the camera—and that’s exactly what Juliet Bashore was trying to do, right? Was sort of really look at the role of the camera and who’s in front of it and who’s behind it and the making of films like this. I just, I just love it. Films about adult filmmaking have been around for decades. I mean, I mentioned Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Thomas Anderson, most famously he went there with Boogie Nights, which was a real sort of, you know, Hollywood, kind of Disney-fied look at it, right? But even recently, you’ve got Pleasure, we’ve got X, we’ve got Red Rocket, to a certain extent. What are your thoughts on these versus something like Kamikaze Hearts?

LIZ I mean, I will say that I am on record as not being a fan of Boogie Nights, and I didn’t care for X. So... I feel like a lot of these films are always kind of looking down on the films that they’re supposed to be about, you know? I think with Boogie Nights where, you know, we’re supposed to sympathize with these characters that are making these films, but at the same time, it’s like, “L-O-L, look at the awful movies that they’re making.” That’s the whole joke, it’s like, “Oh, they say that they’re artists but look at the garbage that they’re turning out.” I think films about the making of adult films are only as successful to the degree that they respect the genre that they’re playing around with. I mean, I think that’s what makes Knife+Heart a really good film—it’s not looking down on these people for making these films, even though the film within the film in that one is very, very cheesy.

GEMMA Yeah. I love the film within the film of that one. Okay, so then where does the Frankie Goes to Hollywood sequence in Brian De Palma’s Body Double sit for you on this feature films about adult filmmaking?

LIZ I mean, I mean, Annette Haven should have been the star of that movie, I’ll say that real quick. [Liz & Gemma laugh] Also, I will say, you know, I get that the film within the film with this film, the Carmen film, is supposed to be like kind of a joke, but I would totally watch that film.

GEMMA Yeah same! I want to watch a lesbian porn, which has live opera singing of the Carmen soundtrack recorded on the set, while the action is happening. Like, let’s just make sure our listeners are very, very aware of what they’re missing out on.

SLIM Juliet, I know you’re listening. Let’s make this happen. [Gemma laughs] I actually went to Juliet’s Wiki because I was curious what they’re up to. Her production company, based in Venice, Los Angeles was “concentrating on the development of virtual-reality hardware and software and produce a number of groundbreaking works utilizing motion-sensor technology, including the 1998 virtual character, a cartoon doll based on Truman Capote.” [Gemma laughs]


SLIM So very interesting backstory on Juliet. The vibe that I got actually while watching this and crazily, we’ve mentioned Kino, I thought of Times Square. Remember Times Square that recently got a release—I got that kind of similar like grungy, dirty, city, night-life vibe. And also, I really just want to get a mullet watching this movie. [Gemma laughs]

LIZ Well you know the direct connection is that Sharon Mitchell is in Times Square.

SLIM Ohhhh my god.

GEMMA Oh, of course she is. What!

LIZ One of the scenes at the strip club. She’s there, there’s just a quick cutaway of her like smiling while the band is playing on the stage. 

GEMMA Wooow.

LIZ There’s this like trilogy of New York movies that she’s in from 1980 where she shows up for like, one shot. She’s in Maniac, she’s in Night of the Juggler, and she’s in Times Square. 


LIZ I would love to program a series around that. [Slim laughs]

SLIM That would be awesome.

GEMMA Have you ever met Sharon Mitchell? 

LIZ I wish.

GEMMA Have you ever had Sharon Mitchell up to a screening?

LIZ I wish!

GEMMA I mean, come on, what is going on? What is it going to get Elizabeth Purchell and Sharon Mitchell in the same room together? Maybe it’s gonna take The Letterboxd Show...

SLIM Can Letterboxd sponsor that screening somehow? We’ll hand out stickers... “Letterboxd presents...” [Slim laughs] 

GEMMA We will work on it. I think we actually just skipped over one of the most important important aspects of this film—Slim, you mentioned it—the best mullet ever seen in cinema. My god.

SLIM Incredible.

LIZ Oh my god, Tigr. Tigr has the most majestic, butch up-front, still butch in the back, but it’s a mullet. 

GEMMA Yeah, yeah. In Kamikaze Hearts, we’ve got Duke, the director guy, who is, I mean, he’s got some of the best monologues in this film. 

[clip of Kamikaze Hearts plays]

DUKE I love beautiful things. I love San Francisco. I love opera. I love beautiful women. I love sex. Where else could you find a combination like that? This is an opera town. It’s a sexy town. I combine all these things I love in my work. That’s why I produce films. There’s no greater thrill for me than to take all the things I love and make money at it. … Religious groups, they love my work. I do things for churches, they idolize some of the images I create. It’s therapeutic and helps people out. People, you know, have better sex lives because of what I do. But like all the jobs, there’s a lot of stress connected with it here. That’s why I had to get this phone, this is a mobile phone. I have to call and I don’t have time to step into a pay phone and pop a dime in.

GEMMA I was just like, loving and really enjoying the kind of—even though this is a, you know, a very sort of essentially toxic and intense love story about Mitch and Tigr, there’s also this really amazing humor and comedy going on throughout it as well.

LIZ It’s to me, a perfect film. It’s hilarious, it’s sexy, it’s dangerous. It’s basically everything I want out of a movie. You know, I don’t want to, I don’t know if we should spoil the ending. But that’s when things finally get real after 80 minutes of fakeness.

SLIM Very real.

GEMMA I would also say, if you’re listening to this show and you’re a baby filmmaker, starting out, this is a perfect documentary about filmmaking, about the reality of indie filmmaking. You know, like there’s little moments, like the guy who’s like, “Ah, next door is about to fire up at ten o’clock. Can you go through and make sure that they stay quiet for this take?” [Gemma laughs] And the take is, you know, two women 69-ing on a floor of some dirtbag location.

SLIM You have to honor the sound design of that moment. The one thing from that oral history that I loved, is Sharon calling the film a docu-dreamer. I love that phrase. I need to start using that phrase. We need more docu-dreamers out there.

GEMMA Yeah, yeah.

SLIM So our final movie in the four faves section of the show, Chocolate Babies, 1996, Stephen Winter, 3.9 average on Letterboxd, eleven fans. Synopsis for this movie: “Welcome to the front lines of AIDS activism, where the latest enemy raids are being run by a band of unlikely warriors: two drag queens, an HIV-positive man with tiny gemstones dotting his bald head, and his HIV-positive sister. ” And I wanted to spotlight real quick one of the reviews that cracked me up and it also encapsulates this movie. It’s coming from Starboy: “gay terrorist cinema at its most fabulous.” [Gemma laughs] I love that description of this movie. It totally does cover it, but what are your thoughts on Chocolate Babies? Where were you when you first saw it? And what did it mean to you?

LIZ This film was just kind of a major personal discovery for me. When I first watched it, I think I was the tenth person to log it on Letterboxd, however many years ago it was. And I’d only found out about it just by going through older Queer Film Festival programs and seeing what was playing in New York in ’96, what was playing in New York ’95, what was playing in San Francisco in ’84—that’s how I find a lot of the films that I, you know, seek out, want to see, by going through these old film-festival programs. 

GEMMA I want to be a film historian! That sounds like fun! [Gemma & Slim laugh]

LIZ And with a logline, like the one you just read, like, how can you not want to see this movie? 

GEMMA Yeah. I was gonna say every episode, you know, there’s a film that’s brought to my attention that I have to say thank you for, and it was Chocolate Babies, but then it was also Kamikaze Hearts. And then it was also City of Lost Souls and hey, if I finish it, it may also be Drive, I don’t know. Dicks in jars in the fridge, I’m a little bit scared. But no, Chocolate Babies, I felt like, where has this movie been all my life? I miss rooftop parties. I miss sitting on the stoop and talking shit. And I especially miss it in the context of radical activism, in-person radical activism with friends, which so much of which we haven’t been able to do through this pandemic, and have needed to do about so much stuff, including everything that is going on right now—I’m looking at you, Texas, with your fucking gun problems, but you’re trying to outlaw drag queens instead because you’re completely stupid. So this is like, what do we need to know about the wonderful Stephen Winter—who I now stalk on Instagram, by the way. Turns out he’s a bike activist, so he is my new brother from another mother. What do we need to know about Stephen Winter as we dive into chatting about the plot and style of Chocolate Babies?

LIZ Well, something I didn’t know about this film until fairly recently, it was that it was his NYU thesis film. So he made this film to get his degree, which is incredible.

GEMMA I hope he got an A+. Stephen, I hope you got an A+. [Liz laughs]

SLIM The one thing—so I had obviously not seen this before. But so Stephen Winter has this on his Vimeo, which is how we watched it. And this kind of covers a lot of my thoughts on this film. But there was a trailer ahead of Chocolate Babies to give you kind of like the vibes of what you’re getting into. And it was like a low-budget, you know, ’90s action movie called Raising Heroes. And it stopped me in my tracks. So I had to read the synopsis for this movie for people that are curious—

GEMMA I think you need to read the tagline first... [Slim laughs]

SLIM Let me see if I can find it... “This time the gay guy’s got the gun.” And it’s like an action movie with two guys who are adopting a child who glimpses a mob hit. And the mob is after him and it’s about these two gay men are the leads in this action movie. And this is just kind of like my thought process on Chocolate Babies—amazing storyline, you know, “gay-terrorist cinema” quote unquote. But this movie like, where are the action movies with gay men couples as the lead? I had this spiritual awakening as I saw the trailer for this movie, and I was like, what is going on? This movie looks amazing! Low-budget movie, I’m gonna watch this. Where are the movies like this, Liz? Why aren’t we getting more of this?

LIZ No, we need more lesbians in history and gay teenagers coming out. That’s all I want from queer cinema. [Gemma & Slim & Liz laugh]

GEMMA Back to Chocolate Babies. So, you know, that sort of—can we describe the fundamental plot? We’ve got this group of friends, many of whom are HIV-positive. And boyfriend of one, so Sam—who’s Max’s boyfriend—Sam is interning for councilman Marvin Freeman, who may or may not be in-the-closet gay. And there’s the sort of amazing—and I love this because it’s so much of what activism itself is about—there’s this amazing divide between the friends of around the right way to go about how to get action on AIDS healthcare, right? And Sam wants to use his connections to councilman Marvin Freeman, including Marvin’s sexual attraction towards Sam, to bust into the files and get the information they need and, you know, sort of out him through the media. And the others are just like, no, we just want to track all of these politicians down and throw blood on them in the streets and make a wild statement. And it’s just, yeah, it’s that really amazing tension I think that runs through all activism, which is, “Hey, if you want a puppy for Christmas, ask for an elephant,” you know, versus, “Why don’t we just ask for the puppy and get the puppy?” If that makes sense.

LIZ Yeah, no, it’s an incredible film. And, you know, this was made in 1995, which was right before the AIDS cocktail had been invented. So this was during the period when, you know, having HIV or AIDS was essentially a death sentence. And I feel like this film was very much a reaction to that. It’s a film I think people just need to see. Because it’s sprawling, it’s a little messy. But I think those are good things. And I think—I can’t think of anything else like it. Yeah, I’m kind of speechless for this one.

SLIM It did have like—so we’re talking about Stephen Winter—and Stephen Winter’s IG, everyone should follow him—but the editing in this, I thought was even forward-thinking for the time. The fact that this was his NYU thesis is pretty mind-boggling. And I’m looking at Stephen’s filmography, and I only see two listings. So that’s another director, you know, that really kind of came in, made one thing and moved on to different things. So I’d love to know more background on that. But even the relationships between these characters, it’s fascinating to me how skillful several of the directors that we’ve talked about in this episode, have just nailed most everything in the film and it still resonates all those years later. So Stephen Winter, get at us. Let’s make another action movie. Okay? The mafia is coming around the corner—we need more.

LIZ No, I mean, it’s so sad that he wasn’t able to get other projects off the ground after this film was made, which I guess is the reality of being a Black queer filmmaker in the ’90s. And, you know, this film, I think, fits very much into the mold of new-queer cinema. But when you think of new-queer cinema, it’s usually white and it’s usually fairly safe. You know? I mean, when I think of Black filmmakers from that time, it’s Isaac Julien, Cheryl Dunye and Marlon Riggs. And that’s it. There should have been more room for filmmakers like Stephen Winter, and they should have had more opportunities to make more films, especially after such a promising debut like this one.

SLIM I mean, yeah, today, you mentioned safe films—imagine something like this, where these characters are spreading blood on politicians faces as a form of like, activism. I don’t feel like Hulu might pick that movie up necessarily. That might be a Vimeo-On-Demand, I don’t know if a distributor will pick that up, which sucks! Because you want to see more riskier films like this, that really speak to real experiences made by real people. I’m not saying that a lot of the mainstream stuff isn’t made by real people. But—

GEMMA You’re not saying you didn’t enjoy watching the boys dancing at the meat rack in Fire Island, but…? [Slim laughs]

SLIM I love that scene! Again, made self-conscious about my body. But there is a segment of queer cinema that I feel like stopped being made after a certain point, which is extremely unfortunate. And I’m wondering if you get that reaction too when you screen some of these films and you speak to folks that come to these screenings? Is that the vibe that you get also?

LIZ I mean, I’ve had this kind of pet theory of mine that people want to see films they haven’t heard of before. They want to see things that they didn’t know existed. And you know, if you put a film like this in front of an audience, I think they will be interested in it. I think they will turn out for it. I think they will come see it. You know, with the series that I’ve been doing at the Austin Film Society, it’s, you know, films that to me, maybe necessarily aren’t that obscure, something like Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is very obscure to a lot of people who don’t know that movie exists or don’t know about this amazing trans character in this film from the early ’80s.

GEMMA I feel like you can’t and shouldn’t—this is quite a bold statement to make—you can’t and shouldn’t be watching Fire Island this month, without also watching Chocolate Babies for free on Stephen Winter’s Vimeo channel, because you couldn’t have had one without the other. You can’t have Billy Eichner’s upcoming Bros without a film like Chocolate Babies. But now that we have Single All The Way and Bros and Fire Island in the likes of these, you know, shiny, gay mainstream films—as Slim says, can we have more Chocolate Babies and City of Lost Souls?

LIZ I wish. Yeah, I mean, I wish. I think the reason why a lot of these films were able to be made in the first place was because there was more of an economy, so you could—there was more of an artists economy, you know, people don’t have to constantly be worrying about making rent.

GEMMA Yeah, this is true. In fact, there’s a beautiful, last year published a beautiful interview between Stephen Winter and Lee Daniels about being Black, gay filmmakers. And Stephen talks about how it was a dizzying three-week shoot period relying on friends as crew, and using locations such as his own apartment and the Lesbian and Gay Community Center as a stand-in for City Hall. And several Black-operated squats around the Bronx, Brooklyn and New Jersey—like this is a quintessential New York film, as well as a quintessential film of Black cinema, let alone a quintessential queer film. He said “People were very sweet and helpful about leaning support to the film, making a film was a rare thing back then, especially when which intersected Black, queer, Asian drag, trans, house music and HIV.” And you can really feel that through the film, this sort of sense of family and generosity. Read the interview, because there’s lots of technical stuff in there too, like the fact that he used Fuji 16mm—not only because it enhanced the richness of the candy-colored palette, but also because, quote, “It was well known among Black filmmakers that Kodak film at the time sucked for shooting Black skin.”

LIZ I mean, that’s another big thing about this movie is that they actually shot Black skin right. 

GEMMA Right?

LIZ Now that you mentioned it, yeah.

GEMMA Not only that, but the vibe of, you know, the rooftop where they hang out and where there are so many incredible scenes of, you know, long, long sections of dialogue, that are building the richness of the relationships as well as the richness of the story. And it’s, you know, that classic thing where they’ve got just, you know, sheets of material hanging on lines, which seemed to be part of the production design, but are also doing things with the lighting and the skin—it’s so great.

LIZ Well, speaking of the actors, I love that Stephen Winter said that, I think it was three of the leads came from a Black theater production of King Lear that was restaged to take place at like a Harlem ballroom. It was called the House of Lear. So it was King Lear meets like Paris is Burning or T.V. Transvestite or something like that.

GEMMA So, so good.

SLIM When Gemma was talking about the interview earlier, I could have sworn I heard Gemma coin a new word, “quintasexual”, [Gemma laughs] when she said, “quintessential” and I was like, what is that?

GEMMA Wow. Wow. We should go back and re-record the intro, introduce you as the “quintasexual Elizabeth Purchell”. [Gemma laughs]

SLIM If that URL is available, I’m gonna get that URL and something’s going to happen. [Slim laughs]

GEMMA Quintasexual—speaking of quintasexual directors, your most watched film—yes, we have moved into the Letterboxd stats...

SLIM This is your Letterboxd Life.

GEMMA This is your Letterboxd Life—your most watched film on Letterboxd... I’m wondering if you know what it is? You probably do.

LIZ I have ideas but I’m not sure. What is it?

GEMMA It is Arthur Bressan’s Forbidden Letters. 

LIZ Well, yeah, yeah.

GEMMA Which is, yeah, one of the many films we added as part of the Adult Task Force last year. It was kind of the central film in your essay that you wrote for us when we launched our curated selection of adult films on Letterboxd. So, clearly this holds a special place in your in your heart and your work. Do you want to talk a bit about why people should seek out Forbidden Letters?

LIZ Because I produced the new Blu-ray release of two of Arthur Bressan’s films and they should check it out... [Liz & Gemma laugh] No, I’ve been championing Arthur J. Bressan Jr’s films for years now. You know, you talk about like, you know, why aren’t they making films like this anymore? I think that his films were a really prime examples of that. He was an out gay man making gay films in the ’70s and ’80s. And making porn films and mainstream films without using a different name, which was kind of unheard of, you know? Going from making a PBS documentary about JFK’s press conferences to making the first AIDS drama to making, you know, a California Beach Boys porn movie. He’s someone who is a real inspiration to me and Forbidden Letters is I think one of the great gay films of the ’70s, I think people should check it out. Especially on the Blu-ray, which is the first time that film has been available in its original version since the late ’70s. Because the VHS release cut out fifteen minutes of non-sex footage. So...


LIZ You can actually see the narrative of the film as it was supposed to be. 

GEMMA Beautiful. I also did a deep dive into your most watched star and director—and this is unusual. I think this might be a first, Slim, for a Letterboxd Show Four Favorites guest, where the most watched star and the most watched director are the same person.


GEMMA It is... Spanish cult filmmaker Jess Franco, with 61 films logged as watched. Liz, do we need to talk about this? Is there Franco therapy available? What is going on here?

LIZ It’s funny because I haven’t really watched any Jess Franco films in a long time. Again, talking about like, dearly departed video stories, there was this period where I was just checking out like one or two films of his a week from our local video stores. And, you know, Jess Franco’s the type of filmmaker that I am constantly finding myself being obsessed by. You have a filmmaker who’s kind of working in the same mode over and over and over again in different ways. He has the same set of obsessions and visual ideas and things and it’s such a joy to see how this one person can take you know, “I love my wife, I love horror, and I love trancy cinema”, and just reconfigure that into as many different ways as you can. I really have been meaning to get back into watching Jess Franco because he made I think over 300 films during his lifetime and I’ve only seen a small percentage of them.

SLIM I did want to actually call out, I know that we had, you know, the four faves for this episode were themed really for the month, but you have a very interesting selection on your favorites right now Letterboxd: Lady Terminator, Lady Street Fighter, Lady Battlecop. I mean... let us in. What is what makes those for the faves right now in your Letterboxd profile?

LIZ Well, I mean, Lady Terminator is better than [The] Terminator... [Gemma & Slim laugh] Lady Battlecop is better than RoboCop... Lady Ramboh is better than Rambo... and Lady Street Fighter is better than the Street Fighter movie. So...

SLIM I mean, the posters for these movies look insane. I mean, just one glimpse of these four movies and you’re sent into like an action-movie fugue state. So I need to watch these.

LIZ I mean, have you ever seen Lady Battlecop?

SLIM No, I haven’t seen any of these.

LIZ So, first of all, watch Lady Terminator as fast as you can. You have to.

GEMMA Straight to watchlist.

LIZ But Lady Battlecop is, what if we took RoboCop and remade it in Japan, except instead of being a cop, she’s like a champion tennis star? [Slim & Gemma laugh]

GEMMA What?!

LIZ Who sings songs!

SLIM Oh my god. These look like movies that when I would go to local comic conventions, these are movies that I would buy on like pirated DVDs, or pirated VHS tapes. That’s probably the way that I would find these movies. That’s how I remember when I was younger, that’s how I found like, the original Japanese Power Ranger episodes. I would get like a VHS and my mind would just be altered forever after seeing them for the first time.

LIZ I will admit I have not actually seen Lady Ramboh, but I truly love the other three. And it’s funny—

SLIM Isn’t that in your top four right now? You haven’t seen it?

LIZ Well, I mean, it was joke! It’s funny, like, years after I set those favorites, being like, “Oh, yeah, I’m trans. Okay, that makes sense. Of course.” [Liz & Gemma laugh] In retrospect...

GEMMA I love it. Do you—we don’t often do a deep dive into the films that somebody has rated lower than average, because it feels like, I don’t know, just a bit mean. But looking at yours, there’s something more serious to be said about—you know, there’s a pattern here. There’s a pattern here of some quite big, highly rated films that you have given, you know, one star or less to, and I’m just going to say some of the names: Call Me by Your Name, Boys Don’t Cry, Meet the Feebles, Disclosure. You know, there is something tying these films together. And I wonder if you wanted to say anything about that, or indeed recommend other than the films already talked about today, films that Letterboxd members listening should be watching for trans representation other than these films?

LIZ Well, I will say, I will repeat my Call Me by Your Name story, which was I saw it opening night, I was sitting in a row full of like middle-aged bears. They were very excited going into the movie, within like twenty or 30 minutes they had all fallen asleep. [Slim & Gemma laugh] Which, you know, I felt that. I really felt that. No, I just have very strong beliefs about what I like and what I don’t like. And I mean, with Letterboxd I’m actually generally pretty easy with ratings. Like, if I think something is just fine, that’s a three. If I like it more than just fine, then it’s a four or a five. I rarely go lower than a three, so it has to be something that I really dislike for me to drag it.

SLIM Turbo Kid fans don’t look at Liz’s rated lower than average.

GEMMA Ah, man. That makes me so sad because I really liked that film—

LIZ I’m sorry.

GEMMA Mainly for the bicycle representation. It’s fine!

LIZ But I mean, but I mean—wait, wait. There’s BMX Bandits for that.

GEMMA That’s true. This is true. And we get Nicole Kidman with that. So team Nicole, that’s a win. Thank you. Speaking of films from down under, I wanted to ask, have you ever seen a short film by Peter Wells from 1987 called Jewel’s Darl?

LIZ I have not, no.

GEMMA That is my gift to you this Letterboxd Show. It is in the way that films are an empathy machine, you know that films can change lives and open minds. When I was a baby, baby teenager, this film came on public television in New Zealand as part of a series of films that have been commissioned for television but were made as films. Peter Wells is—was—he passed away recently, one of our great queer novelists and filmmakers, and this was one of his first films. And it was the film that as a child who had never met a transgender person, it just introduced me to a new world of humans who, you know, I’ve since made part of my life. And not only that, but the lead and Georgina Beyer—I don’t know if you’ve heard of her—was the first ever publicly elected trans politician in the world.

LIZ Wow.

GEMMA And it’s available for free I think on And I highly recommend you watch it. There’s a very funny moment, which is sort of now part of the local vernacular for anyone who’s seen this film, which is, it’s a moment of dead-naming, but it’s a moment that works because it’s an empowered moment by Jewel, by the Jewel in question of the title.

LIZ Yeah, I’m excited to check that out. I’ve never even heard of that before. So thank you.

GEMMA Tomorrow: Liz rates it one star. [Gemma & Liz laugh]

LIZ I wasn’t gonna make that joke. I thought about making that joke, but I wasn’t gonna make that joke.

SLIM Liz will watch that and I’ll watch the Lady Terminator and we’ll see whose lives were changed stronger.

GEMMA And I’ll watch dicks in jars... just for you Slim.

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

SLIM Thanks to Liz Purchell for joining us. You can follow Liz as schlockvalue on Letterboxd and @AskAnyBuddy on Twitter. All the links to other accounts and lists and reviews we mentioned today are in the episode notes. Thanks to our crew, Linda Moulton for booking and looking after our guests, Jack for the facts, Sophie Shin for the episode transcript and to Moniker for the theme music.

GEMMA Did you know, Slim, that we have another podcast, Weekend Watchlist?

SLIM I do.

GEMMA Every Thursday—oh you do? Of course you do, because every Thursday, you, Mitchell and Mia explore the latest releases in cinemas and on streaming and sometimes Anya Taylor-Joy calls in for a chat! Feel completely free to leave a review or rating for either of our podcasts wherever all good reviews and ratings can be found. You can drop feedback directly to us too by emailing . The Letterboxd Show is a Tapedeck production. Thanks for listening and happy Pride. And just a few editing notes for you, Slim...


GEMMA I want it hot. I want it clean. I want it tight... [Slim laughs]

[clip of Kamikaze Hearts plays]

Can I have a little more chest please? It’s okay. These pictures are just for us, just to work together. I think you have a future in this.

I know, but I read this article where they did it to this girl and then sold ’em and I don’t want to do that.

No, no, I would never do that. 

No, I swear to god.

You need a model’s release. You’d get paid. I’d really, I really, you’ve got to trust me. You’re really beautiful and I’m really sincere. [Laughs] That’s beautiful. Don’t you think I’m sincere? Alright, just put your hand, just let it drop naturally. Natural. Oh nice. Now let it drop.

[Tapedeck bumper plays] This is a Tapedeck podcast.