Tag Archives: thomas caldwell

Caldwell On Lynch

Caldwell On Lynch

After podding out to all you guys for five years, we wanted to take a small bow without getting too self-indulgent. So we decided indulge someone else instead.

Thomas Caldwell was our very first guest back in June 2010, and really helped us figure out what the show was and how our guests would fit into it. But as Hyphenates took shape over the years, it became clear that it wasn’t so much “talk about a filmmaker you like” as it was “talk about your favourite filmmaker of all time”. Thomas, who remains a fan of Tim Burton, began to regret not going with David Lynch.

So here we are, righting past wrongs. Thomas has written extensively on Lynch in the past, and brings a wonderful mix of academic insight and passionate enthusiasm to the conversation, talking about many of these films in a way you’ve never heard before.

But that’s not all! We also talk about three key films from the past month, from franchise reboot Jurassic World to Pixar masterpiece Inside Out to Thomas Hardy adaptation Far From the Madding Crowd. Then we ask an important question: is there a cinematic god passing out moral judgements on characters? And just what the hell do we mean when we ask this? You’ll have to listen to find out.

Remember, you can stream it directly from the page, download the mp3, listen via Stitcher Smart Radio, or subscribe via iTunes. There are so many ways to hear the show, so why not artificially inflate our ratings and try them all?

Other notes:

  • In March, Thomas presented a one hour special on David Lynch and the David Lynch: Between Two Worlds exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, Queensland. The special aired on Melbourne’s 3RRR FM on Thursday 26 March 2015. You can listen to the special or read the transcript on Thomas’s website here.
  • If you want to go further back, you can read The Evil That Men Do, an article Thomas wrote for Senses of Cinema back in 2002 for their Great Directors series.
  • Lee also wrote about the David Lynch: Between Two Worlds exhibition, which you can read on Vice Australia.
  • You can watch a ton of David Lynch’s music project right now via his official YouTube channel.
  • Lee’s point about the Jurassic franchise is just the latest in his amazing theorising. Check out his completely serious and well-researched Jurassic World Theory.
  • Did you know that part of David Lynch’s Inland Empire was filmed inside the house of Hyphenates alumnus Drew McWeeny? He wrote about it for Ain’t It Cool News here.
  • Another Hyphenates alumnus, Jeremy Smith, has a Twin Peaks podcast called Fire Talk With Me that you should really listen to.

Outro music: “I’m Deranged” written by David Bowie and Brian Eno, and performed David Bowie, from Lost HIghway (1997)

If you want to brush up on the films of David Lynch first, remember to check out our Cheat Sheet here, before listening to the episode here.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – June 2015

Exactly five years after his first appearance, film critic and festival programmer Thomas Caldwell rejoins us to talk some key films of June 2015, ask whether there’s a cinematic god passing moral judgement on characters, and unravel the strange and unique filmography of director David Lynch.

The David Lynch Cheat Sheet

David Lynch

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: a double that will bring you totally up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

DL Films

 

ERASERHEAD (1977) and MULHOLLAND DR. (2001)

David Lynch is one of the great cinematic touchstones. He’s somehow both incredibly niche and universally beloved, and that innate contradiction somehow feeds into his films, which are terrifying but not horrific, funny but never comedic, profound but never preachy. But if you’ve never quite understood the appeal, or have never known where to start, then you’ll want to clear an evening and program the following double. Your evening will kick off with Eraserhead, Lynch’s first feature. This is one of the greatest debuts of all time: Lynch immediately created an evocative and unique world that’s too weird to be the one we live in, but too familiar to be completely alien. It might seem off-puttingly strange at first to some, but Lynch is dealing with some very familiar emotions here. When you’ve finished that, jump forward to Mulholland Dr., one of the six or seven films that (along with Eraserhead) could be legitimately called his masterpiece. Mulholland is a tremendous work, and showcases not only his technical accomplishment, but also how brilliantly he works with actors. This is something we tend to forget due to the impossible aesthetics he uses, but Lynch creates potent characters and clearly knows how to get the best out of those who play them. An evening with these two films from either end of his career, and you’ll get exactly why everyone adores him.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen Eraserhead, seek out Blue Velvet (1986). This is as big a statement of intent as his first film, a terrifying noir that reveals the darkness of small town suburbia in unique Lynchian style. If you can’t get or have already seen Mulholland Dr., his brilliant Lost Highway (1997) will chill you to your bone. In the best way possible, of course.

The Hidden Gem: Want to watch something off the beaten track? Well, The Straight Story (1999) would, in anyone else’s filmography, be a fairly “normal” entry. But Lynch’s career is an inversion if ever there was one, and this master of sex, violence and terror somehow made a G-rated film for Disney that was as highly regarded as anything else in his oeuvre. This true story of a elderly man travelling three hundred miles on a ride-on mower to visit his estranged brother is beautiful, gentle, and unmistakably Lynchian.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Thomas Caldwell talking David Lynch, will be released on the morning of June 30 (AEST).

Our Next Hyphenate: Thomas Caldwell

Film critic, festival programmer and June 2015 Hyphenate Thomas Caldwell

Those of you with long memories may recall that Thomas Caldwell has been our guest before. In fact, he was our very first guest back in June of 2010.

We have an unofficial rule on Hyphenates about not repeating guests. This isn’t because we don’t want to talk to them again – in fact, nearly every recording ends with us wishing we could have that episode’s guest on again the following month – but because our wishlist of potential Hyphenates far exceeds the number of episodes we can reasonably produce. (If you’re a filmmaker, film critic, comedian, author, journalist, or even just someone we know, there’s a very high chance your name is on that list.)

So why are we having Thomas on again? There are a number of reasons. For one, it’s a good way to continue the 5th anniversary celebrations we began last month. Our very first episode released in May of 2010 was never intended to be released to the public, it was just a test run, so we often consider June 2010 to be the first proper episode.

But there’s another reason. Thomas was kind enough to help us kick off the show back before anybody (ourselves included) really knew what it was going to be. Back in 2010, we were pitching it more as a “talk about a filmmaker who interests you”, whereas we now lean more on the “pick your favourite filmmaker”.

Thomas chose to talk about Tim Burton on that first episode, and although he was and is a big Burton fan, he did express regret at not going with his number one favourite filmmaker. And this is probably good time to admit that we sometimes use Thomas as a cautionary tale in order to usher people towards their number one pick: “Who would you regret not picking? Which name would make you flinch if someone picked them for a later episode?” The Tale of Thomas Caldwell has been a useful tool for scaring guests.

So when we were thinking of ways to celebrate our 5th birthday, we thought why not have Thomas back on as a thank you of sorts, in order to talk about his undisputed favourite filmmaker?

So we agreed. Let’s break our rule and invite Thomas back to talk about the one and only David Lynch.

Directed by David Lynch

David Lynch is easily one of the most original, uncompromising authorial voices in filmmaking. From his debut Eraserhead to the groundbreaking TV series Twin Peaks and the modern classic Mulholland Drive, Lynch is impossible to easily categorise, having carved out a niche in cinema that’s all his own.

He’s almost universally beloved amongst film fans, and we’re very, very excited to be talking about his incredible works with the biggest Lynch fan we know.

So join us on June 30 as our celebrations continue with this special David Lynch episode!

David Lynch
Our next filmmaker of the month, David Lynch

Best Of 2014 Round-Up

TRANSCENDENCE

Want to find out what all of our previous guests thought of 2014? Here’s a collection of Best Ofs, Round-Ups and Compilations from all of our Hyphenate alumni. Or at least all of those who made such lists.

(The post will be continually updated as more lists are published.)

Luke Buckmaster (November 2010): Australian Film in 2014, The Top Ten Films of 2014

Thomas Caldwell (June 2010): Favourite Films of 2014

Mel Campbell (December 2013): Counting Down the Fourteen Best Films of 2014

Marc Fennell (March 2012): Favourite Movies of 2014

Giles Hardie (August 2013): The Best Films of 2014

Rich Haridy (December 2012): Best Films of 2014

Zak Hepburn (March 2014): The Best and Worst Films of 2014

Drew McWeeny (April 2014): Top Ten of 2014

Simon Miraudo (July 2011): The Top Ten Films of 2014 (text), The Top Ten Films of 2014 (audio)

Anthony Morris (May 2011): The Ten Best Films of 2014 (and their evil twins)

Paul Anthony Nelson: Rankfest 2014: The Good, The Better and The Best

Sarah Ward (April 2011): The Ten Best Films Hardly Anyone Saw In 2014, The Best Films of 2014

Lee Zachariah: The Best Films of 2014, 2014 Was a Good Year For Australian Film

Hell Is For Hyphenates – June 2010

In the first official Hell Is For Hyphenates podcast, Paul and Lee are joined by Melbourne film critic extraordinaire Thomas Caldwell of Cinema Autopsy fame. They look back at the films of June 2010, ask whether you can still enjoy a film if you disagree with its fundamental philosophy, and debate the films and career of Tim Burton.