Switchblade Sisters

Switchblade Sisters is a new podcast providing deep cuts on genre flicks from a female perspective. Every week, film critic April Wolfe sits down with a phenomenal female film-maker to slice-and-dice a classic genre movie - horror, exploitation, sci-fi and many others! Along the way, they cover craft, the state of the industry, how films get made, and more. Mothers, lock up your sons, the Switchblade Sisters are coming!

Switchblade Sisters Episode 53: 'The Host' with 'Unlovable' Director Suzi Yoonessi

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Suzi Yoonessi

The Host

This week we are so lucky to have the director of the new film Unlovable, Suzi Yoonessi. Her movie follows Joy, played by Charlene deGuzman, a recovering sex and love addict who finds solace in making music with the gruff brother (John Hawkes) of her sponsor (Melissa Leo). The movie that Suzi has decided to discuss is 2006's Korean monster masterpiece, The Host. While maybe not immediately recognizable as an influence, Suzi explains that director Bong Joon-ho's focus on character and relationships has had a great effect on her work. She and April go over the process of pitching a movie that's never been made before, and the kind of work that goes into those types of meetings. Suzi also elaborates on working with John Hawkes and Melissa Leo. She even explains how it was difficult to cast John Hawkes because he doesn't have an email address. And lastly, Suzi and April compare how both The Host and Unloveable take real elements from the lives of the filmmakers in order to create a truly believable and engrossing story.

Check out the trailer for Unlovable which is streaming and in select theaters now.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch The Host.

With April Wolfe with Suzi Yoonessi.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 52: 'The Skeleton Key' with 'Lez Bomb' Director Jenna Laurenzo

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Jenna Laurenzo

The Skeleton Key

We've got a great episode this week with the director of the new film Lez Bomb, Jenna Laurenzo. While her film is a romantic comedy about a woman attempting to come out to her family on Thanksgiving, the film that Jenna chose to discuss is nothing like that at all! The movie Jenna picked is 2005's The Skeleton Key. While many have probably forgotten about this movie, we certainly haven't. Jenna and April discuss some of the more "delicate" issues that are brought up in the film - e.g. the opening lynching scene. Plus they touch upon the genius of Gena Rowlands and John Hurt. Jenna dives deep on the process of making her debut feature. She elaborates on how she was able to secure actors like Bruce Dern, Kevin Pollak, and Cloris Leachman for a film she shot in her own parents house. And she explains the lessons she learned from working with the Farrelly brothers.

Check out the trailer for Lez Bomb which will be in select theaters on November 9th.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch The Skeleton Key

With April Wolfe with Jenna Laurenzo

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 51: 'All That Jazz' with 'Party Girl' Director Daisy von Scherler Mayer

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Daisy von Scherler Mayer

All That Jazz

If you listen to this episode you don't have to go to film school. Our guest this week is Daisy von Scherler Mayer. You may know her best for her "debut tour de force" Party Girl. She is a prolific television director who has worked on everything from Mad Men to Orange Is The New Black. The movie she has chosen to talk about this week is one of her favorite films, Bob Fosse's All That Jazz. Daisy takes April through exactly how this film has influenced her life, and even names specific scenes she has stolen from the movie (a practice she heartily encourages for film students). Daisy does a wonderful job of explaining how she speaks to actors and creates a supportive environment for them. This episode is also particularly enlightening as Daisy and April really get into the creative process and the emotional rollercoaster it can be. She also discusses the genius of Bob Fosse and how he was able to create a "perfect film." This episode is required listening for anyone who wants to be filmmaker. Take notes during this one.

Check out the trailer for Party Girl.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch All That Jazz.

With April Wolfe with Daisy von Scherler Mayer.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 50: 'Black Swan' with 'Jinn' Director Nijla Mu'min

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Nijla Mu'min

Black Swan

This week we are very lucky to have award winning writer and director Nijla Mu'min on the program. In 2014, she was selected for the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive and her debut feature, Jinn, won the Special Jury Recognition Award for screenwriting at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. Jinn tells the story of a high school senior whose mother becomes taken by the beliefs and practices of Islam, which sets up a series of trials for the girl as she tries to navigate her own belief systems. The central character uses dance as a type of release. So it's fitting that the film Nijla has chosen to discuss is Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. April and she explore the different ways that Nijla's film and Aronofsky's film use dance as a form of expression for the protagonists. Nijla also describes how she relates to Natalie Portman's character Nina Sayers in her pursuit of perfection. Plus, Nijla elaborates on her desire to honor her community in the representation of Islam in her film Jinn.

Check out the trailer for Jinn. The film will be in select theaters on November 15th and streaming on November 16th.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch Black Swan.

With April Wolfe with Nijla Mu'min.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 49: '12 Monkeys' with 'Sadie' Director Megan Griffiths

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Megan Griffiths

12 Monkeys

This week we have the director of the new drama Sadie, Seattle's own Megan Griffiths. The genre film that she has chosen to discuss is Terry Gilliam's weirdo time travel movie 12 Monkeys. Megan and April really get into the ins and outs of working in independent cinema; from the casting to achieving control on set. Megan discusses how she and Terry Gilliam have the similarity of not working within the Hollywood system; Gilliam living in London while Megan lives in Seattle. She elaborates on her new movie Sadie and shooting in a trailer park with Melanie Lynskey. April and she also cover shooting nudity and the need for the actors to be completely comfortable. This is a great conversation that proves you don't have to work within the confines of Hollywood in order to be a successful filmmaker.

Check out the trailer for Sadie which is in theaters now.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch 12 Monkeys

With April Wolfe with Megan Griffiths.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 48: 'Matilda' with Documentary Producer Erikka Yancy

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Erikka Yancy

Matilda

This week we are very lucky to have the prolific documentary producer Erikka Yancy on the program. The movie she chose to discuss is the beloved 1996 film Matilda. Erikka discusses her documentary career and what is like having to do research for films with such dark subject matter. She goes on to talk about having to go through footage from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and how it's still important to offer some hope in even the most depressing of films. She also elaborates on her love for the movie Matilda and how it is rooted in the fact that the parents are so mean to the main character. April and her cover the directing career of Danny Devito and the history behind his production company Jersey Films. Plus, Erikka talks about the character of Lavender, and how having the representation of a black character is so vital to her enjoyment of the film. If you love this movie, you will love this conversation.

You can watch Erikka's film Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma on HBO.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch Matilda

With April Wolfe with Erikka Yancy

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 47: LIVE FROM FANTASTIC FEST: 'The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant' with 'Ladyworld' Director Amanda Kramer

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Amanda Kramer

April Wolfe and Amanda Kramer at Fantastic Fest

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

You are looking LIVE on Switchblade Sisters at Fantastic Fest. Recorded at The Highball theater at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. April welcomes one of the filmmakers from the festival, Amanda Kramer, to discuss the Rainer Werner Fassbinder masterpiece, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Amanda's film Ladyworld screened right before the recording of this episode. The day also marks her birthday! April and Amanda note that both of the films in this discussion share a similar theme of hysterical women trapped in a confined space. Amanda talks about her love of melodramatic performances and pushing her actresses to reach beyond realism. She also coins a term for her type of filmmaking: "Tamponnui." Plus, she discusses the fact that she never uses a camera, rarely bathes, and would happily be crowned "The Female Fassbinder."

Check out the trailer here for Ladyworld.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch on The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant

With April Wolfe with Amanda Kramer

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 46: 'Freaks' with Jess Weixler

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Jess Weixler

Freaks

This week we are so lucky to have actor, writer, and director Jess Weixler on the program. Most people know her from her breakout role in the 2007 film, Teeth. But she has a new movie out called Chained for Life. In it she stars opposite Adam Pearson, who some may remember from Under The Skin. And the movie she chose to discuss is Tod Browning's infamous 1932 film, Freaks. Jess reflects on her own experiences working and living with people with disabilities. She touches upon the experience of acting with Adam and other actors with facial differences. April and she also crack open whether or not Freaks is an offensives film. And they try to tackle the fine line between exploitation and celebration. This is a truly enthralling conversation that is entertaining, funny, and very heartfelt.

If you are attending Fantastic Fest this year in Austin, go check out Jess' movie Chained For Life.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch on Freaks

With April Wolfe with Jess Weixler

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 45: 'Let the Right One In' with 'Nancy' Director Christina Choe

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Christina Choe

Let the Right One In

This week we've got the fantastic director of the new film Nancy, Christina Choe. She's on the program to talk about the vampire classic, Let the Right One In. This episode is really gripping because throughout the show Christina slowly realizes the similarities between her film and Tomas Alfredson's: the snowy backdrop, the vampiric characters, the bleak eeriness. Christina elaborates on the the amount of flexibility required to direct a feature. She discusses the importance of casting great actors and how she got Steve Buscemi and Andrea Riseborough to be in her film. Plus, she talks about the difficulties of shooting in the snow.

Nancy is streaming now.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch on Let the Right One In.

With April Wolfe with Christina Choe.

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.

Switchblade Sisters Episode 44: 'Basket Case' with Brea Grant

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Guests: 
April Wolfe
Guests: 
Brea Grant

Basket Case

This week we've got fellow Maximum Funster, podcast host of Reading Glasses, actor, writer, and director, Brea Grant. She has chosen, maybe, one of the most fun and fascinating movies we've discussed on the show, 1982's cult classic, Basket Case. The story follows a young man named Duayne, who keeps his formerly conjoined, mutant brother Belial in a picnic basket. Duayne and Belial move to New York in order to seek out and murder the doctors who surgically separated them. A truly lovely tale that April and Brea fully dissect. They go in depth on what makes this gritty, New York classic just so memorable; the commitment of the actors, the gore, and the execution of the ridiculous concept. Brea also details the life of a working actress. She explains the struggle of acting in a movie that never gets released, returning clothes for an audition to the store, and always carrying around a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is a truly fun episode that touches upon the honorable practice of making art for the sake of making it.

Dead Night stars Brea Grant and former Switchblade Sisters guest Barbara Crampton. It is streaming now.

And if you haven't seen it yet, go watch on Basket Case

With April Wolfe with Brea Grant

You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters at @SwitchbladePod on Twitter. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org
Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.