WBAI-FM Upcoming Program
Arts Express

Thu, Aug 24, 2017   2:00 PM


** "Penelope Cruz, she plays an international star, she's the only one who can do that, to confront Franco and say to Franco the things that she says in the movie - So I thought that was beautiful of her, she was a fighter and a courageous woman."

The Queen Of Spain: A Conversation With Director Fernando Trueba. With fascism in full swing right now across this country, there's a new dramatic feature out now delving into those roots in Spain during the last century - and actually a buried history the political satire The Queen Of Spain uncovers about the shameful collusion of Hollywood with the Franco dictatorship - and blockbusters you may have been watching unknowingly in movie theaters back then even as Franco tortured and murdered leftists off screen, or on television now - who knew. 
And why, you may ask, would Hollywood need to collaborate with fascist Spain. Well, in the 1950s and '60s, US filmmakers apparently flocked to Spain to mount big, ostentatious costume epics on the cheap (with even Franco death squads as extras) like El Cid and King Of Kings, as the increasing popularity of television and Anti-Trust rulings were eroding Hollywood profits. 

Penelope Cruz: Female Action Hero Toe To Toe With Franco

And The Queen Of Spain, starring Penelope Cruz as Queen Isabella in one of those ridiculously ornate productions - but actually a new kind of female action hero, move over Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde - a political warrior as opposed to the usual commercial construct, going toe to toe with Franco.


** "I've only seen a change in that it's just gone underground - so that if you speak out as a woman about something, you get labeled difficult."

Actress Illeana Douglas Talks Unleashed: As she discusses - in no way apples and oranges - how the portrayals of male and female characters in movies then and now have switched up since the Golden Age Of Cinema - when her grandfather, matinee idol Melvyn Douglas got put in his place on screen by Greta Garbo, in film classics like Ninotchka and As You Desire Me.

Douglas, likewise a filmmaker - and best known for Ghost World and Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, Cape Fear, and hired expressly as well - a screaming woman in The Last Temptation of Christ - delves into what female directors are up against these days. 
And, her stereotype-defying character in the cat and dog workplace comedy Unleashed, an alleged dragon lady boss dubbed The Ice Queen - or maybe not. While referencing during this conversation, generation gaps, squirrels, I Blame Dennis Hopper, and when women had the power to choose their leading men. 

** "I guess we just throw ourselves blindly into the void - but at the end of the day we feel like we are not just feeding our souls, but hopefully helping to feed some other people's souls."

Music Corner: Mike And Ruthy Summer Hoot. The multi-talented folk, jazz and rock duo talk about their music, and hosting that yearly Hudson Valley festival in Upstate NY. Along with connections to fiddle tunes, a haunting Scottish lament from the Bronx, banjos, hockey, and first figuring it all out in a studio on top of a garage. Jack Shalom is on location checking it out.

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