Ep. 4: The Great Gatsby (2013)

Welcome back for episode 4! The Great Gatsby has been interpreted for film, television, theatre, opera, ballet, and as a video game, but this week, we watch Baz Luhrmann’s frankly exhausting 2013 film. A few notes (and things we enjoyed):

*Learn more about Ginevra King – Fitzgerald’s muse for Daisy Buchanan and a half-dozen other characters, and a fascinating person in her own right.

*Read about alcohol culture in the 1920s at PBS – bonus cocktail recipe at the end. Also make sure to read Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook, which explores how Prohibition led to a spike in death from bootleg alcohol (and how the government deliberately made denatured alcohol deadlier as a deterrent) (the book was also turned into a PBS documentary). In this light, Gatsby comes off as being a lot more sinister, as illegal alcohol purveyors didn’t care that they were killing off their clientele.

*Learn about the history of mental health treatment in wartime here and here.

*This excellent long read from The New Yorker recounts W.E.B. Du Bois’s debate with eugenicist Madison Grant.

*Check out a fashion recap of the movie here, here, and here.

*Finally, we are both big fans of Cinema Sins, and their recap highlights most of our stylistic issues with this movie. Stick around for the tally of “Old Sports!” at the end.

Next time – before Downton Abbey, there was Gosford Park. Join us and EVERY SINGLE BRITISH ACTOR for Julian Fellowes’ first of many scripts examining British country house life.

Season 2, Episode 5: "White Christmas" (1954) and "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) Costume Drama Rewind

We're having the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny f*@#ing Kaye! In this episode, we look at how filmmakers handled extremely recent history, that of WW2, in 1946 and 1954 with "It's a Wonderful Life" and "White Christmas" respectively. Among the topics we discuss are 1950s nostalgia for the 40s, entertainers who served in WW2, how veterans were treated after the war, and how banks work (apparently everyone in Bedford Falls needs a refresher).
  1. Season 2, Episode 5: "White Christmas" (1954) and "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)
  2. Season 2, Episode 4: "The Mouse on the Mayflower" (1968)
  3. Season 2, Episode 3: "From Hell" (2001)
  4. Season 2, Episode 2: "Kwaidan: Hoichi the Earless” (1964)
  5. Season 2, Episode 1: "Gettysburg" (1993)

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