Ep. 18: “Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler'” (2013)

Since we both live in the Washington, D.C. area, this film based on the true story of Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler at the White House through eight presidential administrations, was especially compelling to us. Much of our research around it was on local black history, and below, we’re happy to share some further reading:

*Read the article that started it all, when a Washington Post reporter went looking for someone who could speak to the experience of  a black domestic worker in the White House during the Civil Rights era. Then check out the book that goes deeper into Eugene’s Allen’s experiences as well as the making of the film.

*We leaned heavily on this book to learn more about the overall experiences of black federal employees during the time period covered by The Butler.

*Learn more about historically-black colleges and universities here.

*If you live in or plan to visit the Washington area, you can visit the house where Eugene and Helene Allen lived, as well as their grave in the historic Rock Creek Cemetery. (And if you are local, give us a shout sometime!)

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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