A podcast with Joe Winston, the director of What’s the Matter With Kansas?

By Adam Lippe

Here’s an audio interview with Joe Winston who directed, along with his wife Laura Cohen, the documentary adaptation of Thomas Frank’s best-selling book, What’s the Matter With Kansas? Though you might think that this will be a discussion between two commie liberals bashing on heartland folk, that assumption would only be half right, because there’s a lot of introspection here, as well as an analysis of being honest with your subjects. And we tried to take the Creation Museum seriously. Anyway, other subject matter includes Christian baseball games,  what happens when your content is not as glib as your title, how slain abortion doctor Dr. George Tiller fits in, and my coining of a phrase to properly describe Bill Maher.

Because the film is just coming out on DVD and had a very limited theatrical run, I assume that most of you will have n0t seen the film and so, as I did with my podcasts with Jordan Brady and Chris Morris, I’m providing a visual glossary below, so any reference that Joe or I make will become clear if you click on each link as they come up during the discussion.

Click on each link to see the relevant image/reference.

Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford. Or, just a guy who used to work for Boeing.

Brittany Barden

Terry the Pastor/post-surgery Roger Ebert

What the pro-choice people think of the former Attorney General.

Main subject Angel Dillard.

M.T. Liggett and his political “art.”

‘Kansas author Thomas Frank. Not former baseball great Frank Thomas.

Wichita farming hero Donn Teske.

The Summer of Mercy and Operation Rescue

Don King-like Congressman Allen West.

Note that the interview was recorded on Thursday afternoon so my reference to Keith Olbermann as a current broadcaster was accurate, at least until Friday evening, when Mr. Olbermann announced he was leaving his show. Also, you may notice that the sound quality has been immensely improved from previous podcasts, as I upgraded some of the recording equipment. Credit to ProAudioStar.com for working with me on that.

Download the full interview.
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Now on DVD and Blu-Ray


By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.