East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

A bit of pulp detection

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One of the things that have helped me remain sane in the last few months is the weekly podcast I record with my friend Lucy.
It’s a simple thing, in Italian, that we started because we were isolating at home 500 kms apart, and were both feeling stressed – so we meet virtually once a week, and we talk about old horror movies. We would have done it anyway, as a way to keep a hold on our sanity, but then we said … why not turn it into a podcast?

So far we’ve discussed films new and old, from Carpenter’s The Fog to he classic post-apocalyptic Doomsday from 2008, and then Bride of Frankenstein and A Chinese Ghost Story, and so on and so forth. We have a pretty loose definition of horror, and we expand on SF, adventure, disaster movies, even comedies. We are currently about to record the 16th episode, and we are already working on the 17th.

Our approach to the thing is very simple – we pick a movie (or ask our listeners to pick one), we re-watch it to refresh our memories, and then we do a modicum of digging to have something intelligent to say.
Finding something intelligent to say is chiefly my problem – Lucy is a professional movie editor in Cinecittà, and her knowledge of movies is huge.
Then, once a week, after dinner, we hook up and chat – nothing scripted, nothing planned. We keep IMDB open to have a full cast list and other details, but everything else is improvised – because our podcast is just that, two friends having a chat.

We also make it a point of honor not to sell anything – we are not pushing our respective “brands”, our books or whatever else.
It’s simple, raw and authentic, cheap and unpredictable – we’ve had dogs howling in the background, fireworks, ambulances screaming by, neighbors fighting, and the people out there seem to appreciate the general rough-but-honest nature of our show.

And sometimes things take an interesting turn.
Like what I dug out of the darkness for our 17th episode – a weird little bundle of forgotten pulp stories, the Poseidon Adventure screenwriter, the strange twists and turns of copyright law, and a brief cameo from Patrick Macnee and James Coburn. And Godzilla.

And I promise I’ll do a post on the subject, as soon as the podcast goes on air.
Watch this space.

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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