469.) (rerun) Halloween show: Vampire lesbians on film.
470.) Antonio Fargas interview, part 2
471.) “Consumer Guide” episode, featuring segments of a MOMA retro of Delphine Seyrig’s work, and video releases: It All Starts Today, and Tuvalu.
472.) Tribute to black-and-white game shows of the 1960s, with clips gleaned from the Game Show Network, plus commentary from yrs. truly. Shows covered are “To Tell the Truth” (clips include appearances by the inspiration for Hitchcock’s The Wrong Man, Dr. Seuss, and Alan Freed), “Password” (guests include Otto Preminger, Sammy Davis, Peter Lawford, and James Stewart), and the most bizarre creation of the Goodson-Todman mill, “I’ve Got a Secret” (clips include Joan Crawford, Boris Karloff, Jonathan Winters, and Salvador Dali).
473.) Robert Altman tribute, on the occasion of an NYC retrospective called “Altman’s ’70s.” Clips and commentary from yrs truly, focusing on Altman’s techniques his early ’70s “revisionist” films, his best-known (Nashville) and a personal fave that as of this airing still hasn’t made it to VHS/DVD, Three Women.
474.) (rerun) Thanksgiving-stars of the ’60s return in embarrassing movies.
475.) (rerun) Steve Allen “Deceased Artiste” tribute, Part 5
476.) Editorial rant, and clips from various recent acquisitions, including Godard’s video feature “Grandeur et Decadence d’un petit commerce de cinema…” (top-notch video-shot tale of a small studio, run by the ever-manic Jean-Pierre Leaud). Plus: a Romanian rockabilly band with a sense’a humor, and rare Velvet Underground reunion footage (from a 1972 Paris concert–Reed, Cale, and Nico).
477.) Rare rock/pop clips: Kate Bush’s 1979 Xmas special (plus odd TV appearances), John and Yoko play with Zappa and the Mothers at the Fillmore in 1971 (a collaboration that offers brilliance and confusion), and Iggy Pop guesting on “Dinah!” with a backing band that includes Tony & Hunt Sales, and David Bowie on keyboards.
478.) (rerun) Mooch
479.) Review of indie feature made by former guest Joe Chan, Not a Day Goes By, plus “Deceased Artiste” tributes to Spike Milligan, Richard Harris, and Joe Strummer.
480.) “Deceased Artistes of 2002” continues, with short tributes to, among others, Peggy Lee, Linda Lovelace, Dee-Dee Ramone, and Rod Steiger.
481.) The last batch of “Deceased Artistes” are saluted, as we present clips from the work of John Frankenheimer, Karel Reisz, George Roy Hill, and Billy Wilder. Also: scenes from the hard-to-find journey into indulgence The Gong Show Movie.
482.) (rerun) George Kuchar/Kenneth Anger clips.
483.) Costa-Gavras interview. Discussed are his latest film, Amen. and his opinions on political filmmaking. Part 1.
484.) Costa-Gavras interview, part 2. Also: review of the restored DVD of Fritz Lang’s classic Metropolis.
485.) (rerun) Budd Boetticher interview, part 1.
486.) R.W. Fassbinder tribute, on the occasion of a film festival at the Film Forum; also the DVD release of various RWF titles. Clips and commentary from yrs truly, speaking about Fassbinder’s visual style, themes (“emotional exploitation” between lovers and strangers), and influences. Also: the use of pop music in his austere first features.
487.) “Consumer Guide” time again, with a rare Paul Morrissey film (Madame Wang), the all-midget caper movie of the centry–and probably all time–AIP’s Little Cigars, and the Filipino version of “Wonder Woman,” Darna.
488.) (rerun) Stan Freberg Chun King Hour.
489.) Round-up of titles from the “Rendezvous with French Cinema” presentation at Lincoln Center. Included are Michel Blanc’s farce See How They Run, Claude Berri’s Housekeeper, the literary adaptation 24 Hours in the Life of a Woman, and Olivier Assayas’ cyber-thriller/think-piece demonlover.
490.) Interview with Marina de Van, actress and filmmaker. Ms. de Van talks about her feature debut Dans Ma Peau (In My Skin), about a young woman with a compulsion to cut herself. Ms. de Van also talks about her work with Francois Ozon, starring in See the Sea and Sitcom and co-scripting his Under the Sand and Eight Women.
491.) A timely episode, as the Funhouse weighs in on the Iraqui invasion, with clips that won’t be seen anywhere else on TV while the U.S. is at war: anti-Bush comedy (from George Carlin); reflections on America’s “bully” mentality (from Bill Hicks); a short snippet of “war porn” (classic anti-war flicks used as mental turn-ons by younger types eager to join the Armed Forces); commentary on the ridiculous “french fries/freedom fries” congressional proclamation, with sequences from Jean-Luc Godard’s In Praise of Love, in which Uncle Jean ponders the idea of America as acquisitor of other country’s histories; and anti-war comedy, done to perfection by the Brother Marx (“All god’s chillen’ got guns…”).
492.) Tribute to the work of Nicholas Ray, in conjunction with a MOMA salute. Included: his early noir work, ’50s widescreen classics, and final triumphs (Bitter Victory) and oddities (Hot Blood).
493.) (rerun) Tuesday Weld tribute.
494.) Our annual Easter bash returns with a host of odd clips, including a unique exorcism from an anime feature, choice clips from two straight-to-video films (one inspirational, the other…not), and another installment of the terrifyingly derivative “Bibleman” home-video series. If you’ve ever wondered what a sitcom/gangsta/inspirational drama directed by former sitcom star Todd Bridges would be like, then this is the episode for you!
495.) Shelley Berman interview, part 1. Mr. Berman talks about early experiences on stage as an actor and stand-up, in particular his work with The Compass (Chicago group that also included Nichols and May and Barbara Harris). Also: movie/TV clips, and the stand-up comedy legend (precursor to every neurotic comic out there) shares his opinions of voice mail (anti) and the work of Kafka (pro).
496.) (rerun) Sammy Davis, part 1.
497.) (rerun) The Naked Killer–the director’s cut!
498.) A salute to the film work of William Klein, including clips and commentary on his films Who are you, Polly Maggoo? Contacts, Mister Freedom, his three documentaries about charismatic black figures including Muhammad Ali, the Greatest, and his latest mind-bender, the kaledoscopic creation Messiah.
499.) An interview with Guy Maddin, on the occasion of the NYC release of his film Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary. Maddin speaks about his visual style, his influences (including the ever-indulgent master, Erich von Stroheim), and plan to remake various lost films.
500.) “Consumer Guide” time again, as we explore “The American Film Theater” collection on VHS and DVD. Included are clips from Rhinoceros and the underrated The Maids. Also: a scene from a Kinky Friedman documentary, and a review of the French feature Man on the Train.
501.) The “Guide” comes back, with an exploration of the works of Chris Marker, including clips from his magnificent documentaries/essays (tied to a local film retrospective); also, the work of a far different filmmaker (but one whose work also assaults the viewer), Brazilian horror filmmaker Jose Mojica Marins, aka “Coffin Joe.”
502.) “Consumer Guide” journeys around Europe (or at least the Common Market) with Fellini’s The White Sheik, Clouzot’s Quai des Orfevres, Schlondorff’s Coup de Grace, and Derek Jarman’s landmark punk pic Jubilee.
503.) Birthday show, with commentary from yrs truly and a presentation of clips from Herb Gardner’s wonderful meditation on aging, loneliness, and self-destruction, Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?
504.) “Consumer Guide” time once more, as we examine the work of Erich Von Stroheim, the master of excess and well-dressed villainy. Also: the documentary Hell’s Highway, about the gory driver’s-ed movies of the 1960s and ’70s.
505.) Fassbinder is under the spotlight again, as we take a “Consumer Guide” look at four titles by the prolific German genius filmmaker (from three separate companies!).
506.) (rerun) Kiyoshi Kurosawa, part 2
507.) (rerun) D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus interview, part 2.
508.) “Deceased Artiste” tribute to Buddy Hackett. We revisit the wondrous Hey Babe and read the roly-poly funnyman’s brilliant poetry. Also: clips from his illustrious game show career.
509.) Interview with French actress/director Nicole Garcia. We speak about her latest film as a director, L’Adversaire. Ms. Garcia also talks about her work as an actress in the sexy thriller Peril and the sublimely acted mystery Betty Fisher, and her experiences costarring with Harvey Keitel and Johnny Lydon in the cheesy New York-set crime saga Corrupt.
510.) Our “Deceased Artiste” tribute to pro wrestling legend “Classy” Fred Blassie centers around my interview with the “Hollywood Fashion Plate.” The interview is punctuated by clips featuring Fred’s ring work, his hit novelty tune “Pencil Necked Geek,” his sublime stints on the mic as a manager in the WWF, and his two “mainstream” appearances: as a guest star on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and in the timelessly demented My Breakfast with Blassie with Andy Kaufman.
511.) Program blacked out by…the NYC blackout!
512.). Two Funhouse icons, actress Beverly Michaels and B-moviemaker extraordinaire Hugo Haas, are saluted once again with clips from Pickup and The Wicked Woman.
513.) A tribute to NYC filmmaker Harry Hurwitz’s nostalgia comedies. Scenes from his uneven grab-bag That’s Adequate precede an appreciation of The Projectionist, his colorful, silly, and oddly moving homage to the Golden Age of the genre movie. When Chuck McCann and Rodney Dangerfield are slugging it out in tights as superhero and supervillain, you know you’re in strange territory, kids.
514.) Our annual Jerry Lewis episode focuses this year on Jer’s comments about dead folks (namely, his supposed bedmate, a certain MM, and “the old ski-nose”). A Jer “news” update is followed by some pungent clips from the 2003 telethon, the last outpost of old show business on TV. It’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but one dystrophic lady’s remark that she has “the Jerry gene,” Tony Orlando’s post-9/11 comment that “we’re fighting another form of terrorism [here]…known as MD,” Charlie Callas’s record pantomime to “I Remember It Well,” and Tony O. doing both a patriotic ode he penned (“God’s Country”) and a fiery version of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” all seem to qualify.
515.) “Consumer Guide” time again, as we review the Kino release of The Holy Mountain, a silent “mountain movie” starring controversial (and very recently deceased) filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl when she was but a simple iconic dancing girl; the 2002 historical farce from Polish director Andrzej Wajda Zemsta starring Roman Polanski in one of his few acting roles for another director; and the Anthology Film Archive’s ongoing retrospective of the works of Italian suspense/horror maestro Mario Bava. Included: scenes from Black Sabbath, (personal fave) Lisa and the Devil, and the recently assembled “lost” Bava film Kidnapped.
516.) Our second interview with filmmaker Olivier Assayas, done on the occasion of the NYC opening of his film demonlover. We discuss his trademark “long takes,” the themes and messages in his latest film (including a discussion of the film’s coda), as well as his “little catsuit fetish.”
517.) The “Consumer Guide” returns with reviews of Costa-Gavras’s Amen (with footage from our recent interview with the filmmaker). Also featured: the ’70s cult movie The Honeymoon Killers, Alain Resnais’ classic Hiroshima Mon Amour, and the lurid and amusing Imamura film The Pornographers.
518.) The “Consumer Guide” focuses in on melodrama as we review a current theatrical feature and a DVD release. The theatrical title is My Life Without Me, a film with tragic themes that avoids TV-movie melodramatic clichés. We speak with star Sarah Polley and director Isabel Coixet about the film (and Ms. Polley’s amazing career as the star of a number of great recent independent films). The DVD release is of an Italian silent film that is out-and-out melodrama of the first order, Assunta Spina. The wonderfully amusing documentary supplement The Last Diva gives us a look at a real-life “Norma Desmond,” Italian silent legend Francesca Bertini.
519.) The show celebrates its 10th anniversary! Your humble host recounts some Funhouse history, as well as rambling on about the many joys and problems that have punctuated ten very active years. Included: clips from favorite celebrity interviews (from Gena Rowlands to the Uncle Floyd cast), and some brief snippets of movie scenes that have become motifs on the show over the years.
520.) We thrive on odd juxtapositions in the “Funhouse,” and this “Consumer Guide” is a fine example: first off, we examine the work of German filmmaker Monika Treut, spotlighting her gravely sincere and wildly colorful study of the BDSM lifestyle, Seduction: The Cruel Woman, featuring Fassbinder/Von Trier fave Udo Kier being tormented by some earnestly nasty ladies. Then we return to the American Film Theater series, for scenes from Robert Shaw’s shifting-surface masterwork The Man in the Glass Booth and two “anti-sitcoms” in which British clans pick each other apart, David Storey’s In Celebration and Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming.