Hell Is For Hyphenates – March 2019

Rhys Graham joins us to talk the films of Krzystof Kieślowski!

Australian filmmaker Rhys Graham joins Rochelle and Lee as they look back at some of the key films of this month, including Claire Denis’s science fiction drama High Life (01:10), Jordan Peele’s modern horror Us (06:37), Karyn Kusama’s gritty crime saga Destroyer (11:33), and Tim Burton’s live-action remake Dumbo (19:17).

We then check back with our semi-regular mini-Hyphenate segment to look at every single film directed by legendary actor Charles Laughton. The legendary actor of stage and screen has one credit and one credit only as director: the noir thriller The Night of the Hunter (1955). It’s considered one of the greatest films of all time. How did Laughton get it so right on his one and only try? And why did he never direct again? (26:13)

Then, Rhys takes us through the works and career of his filmmaker of the month, Polish auteur Krzystof Kieślowski. Kieślowski is best known for The Double Life of Veronique (1991) and the Three Colours trilogy (1993-1994), but before he became a beloved icon of arthouse festivals, he was busy making documentaries, shorts, and features with a distinctly verité style, documenting life under Communist rule, and the corrosive effects of the autocratic state. So how did Kieślowski go from these humble roots to being the poster child for elegant European cinema? (37:46)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – February 2019

David Caesar joins us to talk the films of Bruno Dumont!

Australian film and television director David Caesar joins Rochelle and Lee for a chat about some of the key new releases from this month, including Steven Soderbergh’s backroom NBA drama High Flying Bird (01:34), Mimi Leder’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex (09:50), Dan Gilroy’s high-art horror-drama Velvet Buzzsaw (17:07), and Barry Jenkins’s dramatic James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk (22:36).

Off the back of Steven Soderbergh’s comments on why making movies on your phone and releasing them onto Netflix may be the future of cinema for certain filmmakers, could this model be the very thing needed to inject life into the Australian film industry? (29:48)

Then, David takes us through the works of his filmmaker of the month, Bruno Dumont. Dumont is a divisive figure, whose films are loved and hated by audiences and critics alike. So how does a filmmaker go from making vérité films dripping with realism to high-concept farces, supernatural comedies, and medieval musicals with head-banging metal solos? We take a deep dive into this fascinating filmography to find out. (40:23)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – January 2019

Stephen A Russell joins us to talk the films of Xavier Dolan!

Critic and journalist Stephen A Russell joins Rochelle and Lee to chat about some of the key films from this month, including Disney’s sequel-to-a-classic Mary Poppins Returns (01:44), Paolo Sorrentino’s fictitious biopic Loro (07:59), M Night Shyamalan’s superheroic trilogy-capping Glass (13:58), and Aussie remake Storm Boy (21:32).

With the Academy Awards coming up, and the ceremony appearing to be undergoing a number of significant changes, it’s time to open everybody’s favourite can of worms: are we investing way too much in the Oscars, or are some of just cynical and dead inside? (26:21)

Then, Stephen takes us through the career of his filmmaker of the month, Xavier Dolan. At time of recording, the award-winning French-Canadian prodigy has released six feature films, filmed a further two, and is mere weeks away from turning 30. And in addition to writing and directing his films, he also appears in about half of them, every bit the artist in front of the camera as behind. So what is it about Dolan’s films that captivate so many of us? (35:33)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – December 2018

Cassandra Magrath joins us to talk the films of Lars Von Trier!

Actor and producer Cassandra Magrath (Wolf Creek, SeaChange, Wentworth) joins Rochelle and Lee to talk about some of the key films from the past month, including Alfonso Cuarón’s biographical drama Roma (01:30), Yorgos Lanthimos’s acerbic historical comedy The Favourite (4:21), Susanne Bier’s sensory apocalyptic thriller Bird Box (08:53), and Gaspar Noé’s dance-filled horror Climax (14:50).

They then compare their favourite films of 2018: how many crossovers and surprises lie within their lists? (23:03)

Then, Cassandra takes us through the works of her filmmaker of the month, Lars Von Trier. The Danish director is best known for brutal, challenging works like Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Antichrist, Melancholia and Nymphomaniac. He’s a controversial, divisive figure equally loved and hated by film fans across the world. So is Von Trier a provocateur who prefers shock tactics to sincerity, or a misunderstood maestro with something to say? (30:07)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – November 2018

Briony Kidd joins us to talk the films of Park Chan-wook!

Rochelle and Lee look back at some of the new films from this month, including Steve McQueen’s heist drama Widows (0:55), the darkly comic Coen Bros Western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (03:57), Boots Riley’s absurdist comedy Sorry To Bother You (07:38), and the long-lost Orson Welles film The Other Side of the Wind (10:54).

They’re then joined by filmmaker, critic, and festival curator Briony Kidd to talk about a recent BBC poll of the hundred greatest foreign language films. There were only four women directors accounted for in the list, so is the problem a lack of female filmmakers, or is it the lists themselves that are the issue? (14:58)

Briony then takes us through her filmmaker of the month, Park Chan-wook. Park is maybe South Korea’s best-known director, with films like Sympathy For Mr Vengeance, Olboy and Lady Vengeance cementing him as a global cult figure. With the English-language Stoker and the acclaimed The Handmaiden certifying him as one of the modern greats, we look at why there’s so much more to this filmmaker than the bloody vengeance that made him famous. (27:13)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – October 2018

Scott Derrickson joins us to talk the films of Wim Wenders!

Rochelle and Lee catch up on some new releases, including Nicole Holofcener’s drama The Land of Steady Habits (01:14), Bradley Cooper’s update of the Hollywood classic A Star Is Born (04:00), Damien Chazelle’s moon landing retelling First Man (08:56), and the Freddie Mercury and Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (13:34).

Then, we’re joined by filmmaker Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Sinister, Doctor Strange) to talk about his filmmaker of the month, Wim Wenders. Scott takes us through why films such as Wings of Desire, Paris, Texas, Buena Vista Social Club, Pina, the road movie trilogy, and so many others, had such a profound impact on him. He also talks about his friendship with Wim, the film they made together, and offers a uniquely personal insight into Wim Wenders as both the artist and the man. (23:06)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – September 2018

Greg McLean joins us to talk the films of Ridley Scott!

It’s episode 100 of Hell Is For Hyphenates! After an introduction from former hosts Paul Anthony Nelson and So Mayer, Rochelle and Lee are joined by filmmaker Greg McLean (Wolf Creek, Jungle, The Belko Experiment) in front of a live audience at this year’s Melbourne Melbourne International Film Festival.

They look at the films of Greg’s filmmaker of the month, the legendary Ridley Scott. From Scott’s debut The Duellists to game-changing science fiction films Alien and Blade Runner, his films have left an indelible mark on pop culture. Thelma and Louise, Gladiator and The Martian have also been seared onto the public consciousness, and the masterful way in which he skirted the near-fatal controversies of All the Money in the World proves that after more than four decades of directing, Ridley Scott is still a force to be reckoned with.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – August 2018

Daina Reid joins us to talk the films of John Hughes!

Rochelle and Lee take a break from new releases to attend the Melbourne International Film Festival, and share their thoughts on some of the key films they saw, including Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2:03), Gus Van Sant’s memoir adaptation Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (5:00), Guy Maddin’s latest collaborations with co-director siblings Evan & Galen Johnson The Green Fog and accompanying short film Accidence (8:21), and Asghar Farhadi’s foray into Spanish language cinema with Everybody Knows (12:14).

Director Daina Reid joins the show to discuss her unique career path, and how performing sketch comedy on television alongside the likes of Eric Bana, Kitty Flanagan and Shaun Micallef was an unexpected but valuable diversion on her path to making film and TV. Can a background in comedy help when directing heart-wrenching episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale? (16:37)

Then, Daina takes us through the works of her filmmaker of the month, John Hughes. Hughes was the writer and sometimes director behind a slew of crowd-pleasing hits, including National Lampoon’s Vacation, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Home Alone and Beethoven, but it was his teen comedies that really struck a chord with a generation. Films like Sixteen CandlesThe Breakfast ClubPretty In Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off were high-concept but relatable films that had a profound effect on teenage audiences, and the influence of his work can still be felt to this day. But some elements of his films have not dated well, and we attempt to unpack and best and the worst of the prolific John Hughes filmography. (28:09)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – July 2018

Corrie Chen joins us to talk the films of Nora Ephron!

Rochelle and Lee look back at some key films from this month, including Haifaa al-Mansour’s gothic biopic Mary Shelley (01:37), the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG (06:01), the Kiwi comedy The Breaker Upperers (10:29), and William Friedkin’s exorcism doco The Devil and Father Amorth (13:29).

They then welcome this month’s guest, writer-director Corrie Chen, and ask her about one of Nora Ephron’s favourite phrases: “everything is copy”. Is Ephron correct? Is storytelling a way of owning your life story? And has Corrie applied this lesson to her own filmmaking? (18:31)

Then, Corrie takes us through the films and career of Nora Ephron. Now best known for writing the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, and for writing and directing Sleepless In Seattle, Ephron was a prolific writer, penning articles, books and stageplays, fighting for justice when denied a writing job by her employer because of her gender, and bringing an acerbic wit to the most heartfelt of stories. We look back at what made her voice so distinct and unique, and discover a few hidden meanings threaded throughout her works. (31:13)

Hell Is For Hyphenates – June 2018

Alex Ross Perry joins us to talk the films of Alan J Pakula!

Rochelle and Lee look back at some of the films of the month, including heist spin-off Ocean’s 8 (00:50), sci-fi action flick Upgrade (03:29), Israeli drama Foxtrot (06:05), and animated superhero sequel Incredibles 2 (08:59).

Lee then chats to this month’s guest, writer-director Alex Ross Perry, about how to get your arthouse film in front of audiences in a world of ever-shifting distribution models. What kind of cast do you pursue? Can you afford to care about streaming vs cinema? What’s it like going from indie cinema to working for Disney? (16:16)

Then, Alex takes us through the career of his filmmaker of the month, Alan J Pakula. Pakula is best known for his conspiracy thrillers, particularly his much-lauded paranoia trilogy: KluteThe Parallax View, and All the President’s Men. He was also responsible for the drama Sophie’s Choice, the courtroom suspense Presumed Innocent, and the John Grisham adaptation The Pelican Brief. But he has a number of strings to his bow, making everything from Westerns to comedies to romances, and Alex takes us through his works and what it is he meant. (29:49)

Finally, Lee checks back in with Rochelle, who gives her thoughts on Pakula’s films, and they look at some of the projects Pakula was reportedly planning before his death. (56:35)