Lowe On Henson

Lowe On Henson

We know we gush about every guest, and of course that’s by design – why would we invite someone on who wasn’t gush-worthy? – but come on: Alice Lowe. The brilliant comic actress who has featured in everything from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace to Tom Hardy drama Locke, on our little show talking about Jim freakin’ Henson? What’s not to love?

Some almost-fatal Skype issues made this an ordeal to record on the technical side, but a delight on every other side. With Alice in London, Sophie in Manchester, and Lee in Canberra, we once again called upon modern technology to connect us so we could yammer about some film.

And what yammering it was.

Beginning with the new releases, Lee finally heals from his Batman v Superman experience thanks to Captain America: Civil War, Alice delights in the refreshing depiction of sororal sibling rivalry in Mustang, and Sophie takes issue with the politics of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

They then tackle the issue of the growing sexism within film fandom. Why are so many men upset about the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, or the spinoff Star Wars: Rogue One?

Finally, Alice takes us through the filmography of one of the true geniuses of our time. Jim Henson is lauded for his work on The Muppets and Sesame Street, but what of his directorial career? We look beyond Muppets, and even beyond Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.

Further reading and listening:

  • Take a listen to On the Media’s interview with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’s Kim Barker, which almost supports Lee’s claim about the veracity of a key moment in the film: http://www.wnyc.org/story/war-reporter-tina-fey
  • In the middle segment, there’s mention of how frustrated many are at how long it’s taking Marvel Studios to get to the female superheroes, not to mention the lack of merchandising of the ones they do have. Further reading on Marvel, Ike Permlutter, and why much of this may just come down to the opinions of one or two at the very top, read this piece from Vanity Fair and this piece from Birth. Movies. Death.
  • For those wanting more context to the Ghostbusters furore, The AV Club has an excellent piece Ghostbusters, Frozen and the strange entitlement of fan culture.

And if you want to check out some early Jim Henson shorts, the Jim Henson Company had made a number available on YouTube:

Outro music: “Magic Dance” written and performed by David Bowie, from Labyrinth (1986)

All this and more in this month’s Hell Is For Hyphenates! Subscribe on iTunes, listen on Stitcher Smart Radio, or download or stream directly from this site. And then spread the word!

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