Adjust Your Tracking

Two friends are trying to work through those movie backlogs by going through a whole century of film, decade by decade, year by year. Presented by Better Feeling Films; UK based hosts Lena Delaney and Oliver Jones will be your rambling guides each fortnight as they go on their adventure through film history.

Iconic Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar had his biggest international success in 1988 with this screwball black comedy that almost defies genre classification, it tells the story of Pepa (Carmen Maura) who resolves to kill herself with a batch of sleeping-pill-laced gazpacho after her lover Ivan (Fernando Guillén) leaves her. However, she is interrupted by groups of different people from her life including Ivan's son from a previous relationship (Antonio Banderas), his fiancee Marissa (Rossy de Palma) and a Shiite terrorist cell who have been secretly holding her best friend Candela (María Barranco) hostage all whilst being pursued by her loves ex (Julieta Serrano) - who all add to the chaotic web of events.

We also discuss new releases Annette and CODA.

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

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Natalie Gardner, who has portrayed Cher on screen, joins us this week to discuss the movie that finally earnt Cher her Oscar. Moonstruck, directed by Norman Jewison, explores romance and love in all of it's complicated aspects based around a New York Italian-American family, where Loterra (Cher) accepts a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Johnny, but then she finds herself falling for his younger brother, Ronny (Nic Cage) who couldn't be more different to his brother and has the allure and promise of bringing passion back to her life. Also starring Olympia Dukakis, Vincent Gardenia, Danny Aiello, John Mahoney and Feodor Chaliapin.

We also discuss some new releases we've been watching; Old and The Suicide Squad.

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

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It's big studio blockbuster comedy this week on Adjust Your Tracking. Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker were the most successful comedy directors/writers in the 1980s, with Airplane!, Police Squad, and Top Secret they made a name for themselves for creating wild fast slapstick spoof films that resonated with audiences. The would make one last film as a trio and they swapped spoof for much more standard farce in a film they did not write. Ruthless People stars Danny DeVito and Bette Midler, the story involves a couple who kidnap their ex-boss's wife to get revenge and extort money from him. However, they soon realize he was planning to kill her himself and does not want her back. Meanwhile, the boss's mistress is trying to blackmail him assuming that he did carry out his planned murder.

We also talk some new releases with Black Widow, Fear Street Series, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Masters of the Universe: Revelation.

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

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Agnès Varda has been known as the mother of the French New Wave, and is amongst the most important and celebrated filmmakers ever. In 1985 she released what would be her most successful film, Vagabond, where Mona, played by Sandrine Bonnaire, is a young drifter who is found dead in a ditch in rural southern France. The movies plays out in a series of flashbacks and semi-documentary style 'interviews', which recount the last few weeks of Mona's life from the stories of the people she interacted with. A powerful movie which explores what liberty there is in pure freedom, and the ways in which people implant their own prejudice upon the perceived unwanted elements of society.  

Not only that but we also talk about In the Heights, The Tomorrow War, Fear Street, Loki, Zappa and more!

Follow us on: Twitter: @adjustyrtrack & Instagram: @betterfeelingfilms

Liam is busy, so Ollie asked James Raynor to sit in to talk about one of the more bizarre films of the 1980s - Repo Man, the debut film of director Alex Cox, a satirical science fiction black comedy starring Harry Dean Stanton and Emilo Estiveze. It follows a group of repo men who get caught up in the pursuit of a mysterious Chevrolet Malibu that might be connected to extra-terrestrials. Set in LA with a Punk Rock soundtrack the film is anything but conventional.  While the film didn't fair well at the box office, it did receive great critical acclaim and eventually gained wide spread cult classic status. We also talk School of Rock, The Brady Bunch Movie, Short Term 12,  Phantom of the Opera (1943), Tremors, The Psycho Sequels and 90s John Woo.  

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

Follow us on: Twitter: @adjustyrtrack & Instagram: @betterfeelingfilms

This week we are joined by Sean and Frank from the long running Film Junk Podcast, and are looking back at Walter Hills 1984 neo-noir cult classic  - Streets of Fire . When Raven Shaddock, the a leader of a biker gang steals rock singer Ellen Aim, it's up to her ex-boyfriend Tom Cody and a small band of mercenaries to go an get her back. Starring Michael Pare, Diane Lane, Rick Moranis, Amy Madigan and Willem Dafoe. The film, which promised to be "A Rock & Roll Fable" bombed at the box office but slowly became a cult hit. We also take a look at Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain to compare these two rock musicals of 1984. 

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

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The success of Star Wars and blockbusters in general led to studios trying to emulate that success.  In 1983 veteran film maker Peter Yates wanted to combine sci-fi, fantasy and swashbuckling to create an original film that follows Prince Colwyn and his group of outlaws on the planet Krull to save future queen Princess Lyssa from the Beast and his constantly teleporting Black Fortress, they named this film Krull, and despite it being such a huge production and merchandise it flopped spectacularly. Paul Nadin joins us to unravel this failed franchise attempt and to discuss how Hollywood studios often fail in their attempts to recapture success.

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

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Fitzcarraldo is a 1982 film written and directed by German Icon Werner Herzog and starring infamous actor Klaus Kinski in what would be their penultimate collaboration. The film is based upon a real life rubber baron who transported a disassembled steamboat over land to secure his Rubber trade. In the film however Fitzcarraldo undertakes this feat to secure enough money to bring Opera to his jungle home. The film has a infamously troubled production as Herzog isolated the crew in the Amazon and forced them to manually haul a 320-ton steamship up a steep hill, this was captured in Les Blank's documentary film Burden of Dreams (1982), a rare and crucial companion film to the main film. Herzog's clashes with Kinski were legendary but on this already troubled set it caused so much strife that an extra offered to kill Kinski, Herzog candidly talked about this relationship in his film My Best Fiend (1999). We watched all three of these films and we question what is the necessary sacrifice for the completion of art.

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

Follow us on: Twitter: @adjustyrtrack & Instagram: @betterfeelingfilms

Films rarely come as small as this, in 1981 New York City theatre bona fides Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory started recording their conversations, this would all lead to them writing a small two header screenplay where two old friends catch up over dinner. This became My Dinner With Andre, where the two fictionalised versions of the actors have a conversation which drifts between the nature of humanism verses spiritualism and how this effects their views on theatre, life and politics. This unlikely screenplay would be brought to the screen by French director Louis Malle who tact hand brought something to this conversation and it became, and has remained, an unlikely cult hit and introduction for many audiences into more arthouse cinema. Filmmaker Brandon Kahn helps us to unravel what about this quiet movie made such a lasting appeal. 

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

Follow us on: Twitter: @adjustyrtrack & Instagram: @betterfeelingfilms

It's 1980 and with the help of filmmaker James Raynor we are covering when flamboyant and controversial British Director Ken Russell went Hollywood and directed a science-fiction horror film based on a Oscar award winning writer Paddy Chayefsky's novel and screenplay, Altered States. A film which was dogged by disagreements on the set. It tells the story of a research scientist experiments, played by William Hurt, on altered states of human consciousness using hallucinogenic drugs. But soon his mind-altering experiments get out of control and begin affecting the physical world. It's real trip.

All this and more on Adjust Your Tracking! 

Follow us on: Twitter: @adjustyrtrack & Instagram: @betterfeelingfilms

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