East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Fear & Loathing

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And so in the end I went and did a podcast, and it’s going fine – but it’s in Italian, and I’m afraid most of you couldn’t care less. But I’ll explain why it’s in Italian, while it’s been so successful, and all that.
Because I’ve got ideas, you see…

The podcast is called Paura & Delirio, and that’s how Fear & Loathing was translated in Italian when the movie based on Hunter S. Thompson’s book came out.
It’s basically two people – my friend Lucy and I – talking about old horror movies. No script, no planning, no nothing. We just pick a movie, or ask our listeners to pick one, we re-watch it, and then talk about it, while I drink some tea and Lucy smokes a fag.

We sometimes get carried away – last night, chatting about Hammer Horror’s Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde, we ended up talking for two hours straight, and we ended up talking more Hammer (The Vampire Lovers, Lust for a vampire, Quatermass and the Pit), The Avengers and what really happened between Steed and Peel, The X-Files and Moonlightning, other Jekyll adaptations, Jack the Ripper and what else.

Paura & Delirio is a success – we do an average of 120 listens per episode over a week, that is a lot for a very niche spoken-word podcast that goes over the hour mark, in a little-trafficked language, hosted by a not overly popular platform (Mixcloud – but thanks to our listeners’ donations we are about to expand on other platforms).

Why does it work?
Basically because we are having a lot of fun, and we’re keeping it simple.
Lucy and I are similar enough – in terms of tastes and interests – to have a common ground to cover, but different enough to see things in a different way on a lot of points. Lucy is extremely competent in movie tech (she is after all a professional editor in Cinecittà) and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the horror genre, while I am an old man with a load of strange of trivia.

We started this thing because we were going crazy during lockdown.
We started by saying it would be fun to get in touch and chat about movies, then we decided we could as well record our chats and inflict them to the world.

And the fact that there’s two of us is what is making this thing work while I am having a lot of hang ups with my other efforts (so that the original Karavansara Podcast went in permanent hiatus a lifetime ago, and currently Radio Karavansara is not exactly hot).
I don’t like my voice, but talking with someone I can forget about that, and get engaged in the conversation. It’s sitting here alone talking to a microphone that is insufferable.

It would be nice to find someone to talk to in English to try and do something like Paura & Delirio for a wider audience.
But what could we talk about…?

Ah, this is something to plan over the summer, and set up for next year…

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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