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You Must Remember This, the Hollywood history podcast hosted by Karina Longworth, has set the subject of its next season: erotic films of the 1980s and 1990s.
Longworth spent much of the early COVID-19 pandemic watching movies from these two decades, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “One thing that became clear to me is that the world has changed in many ways that are very evident in cinema.” Racism, sexism and homophobia were far more prevalent in these movies, says Longworth, but “at the same time, there was this sense that a lot of really big, hit movies — that reflected the culture — dealt with people’s sex lives in a way that movies don’t do anymore, at least Hollywood movies. I wanted to try to figure out why that was.”
The season will be split into two parts, with “Erotic 80s” set to premiere on April 5. The second part — “Erotic 90s” — will premiere in the fall. Episodes will focus on erotic thrillers, body horrors, neo-noirs and sex comedies, and tackle the fall of the MPAA’s production code and the brief legitimacy of the X-rated movie, among other touchstones.
Some films discussed in the season will be American Gigolo, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Fatal Attraction, as well as works from Steven Soderbergh and Brian De Palma, among others. Each episode will focus on one year, discussing movies and stars, with the season culminating in the year 1999, focusing on Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut.
Longworth says that, while the pandemic has kept her traditional avenues of research like the Academy’s film archives shuttered, she turned to vintage magazines as source materials. “I am reading this vintage issues of People or Playboy, Us Weekly, GQ, Vogue, and seeing how different stars and filmmakers are being presented through the media,” says Longworth. She was particularly surprised to see the anger that surrounded the release of Flashdance, from critics to industry execs.
You Must Remember This, which won a 2021 iHeartRadio podcast award, is presented in partnership with podcast studio Cadence13. Recent seasons have focused on gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, and the lives and careers of Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.
“I don’t want anybody to be turned off because this season is so recent compared to talking about the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s,” notes Longworth. “What I am trying to do is put the ’80s and ’90s in the context of 20th century Hollywood and talk about the things that happened in the ’20s and the ’30s have a direct relationship to these movies.” The host surmises: “I am always excited to get people to watch movies that they maybe wouldn’t have watched otherwise or to look at movies that they think they know in a different way.”
You Must Remember This will debut its new season on April 5 with episodes available on Tuesdays.
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