A podcast with Billy Corben, director of Cocaine Cowboys, Raw Deal, Square Grouper, and The U

By Adam Lippe

Below is an interview with director Billy Corben, who made the two Cocaine Cowboys films, Raw Deal, Limelight, Square Grouper (his new documentary about pot smuggling in Florida, which he happened to be promoting at the time of this interview), and The U, which is relevant now since its subject is Miami University’s football team, and Billy is the go-to expert talking head for any news station or TV show that happens to be covering the current scandal.

Tommy Smothers lookalike

Our interview focuses more on Square Grouper and his first film, Raw Deal: A Question of Consent, since I had wanted to interview him about it even before Cocaine Cowboys was made. As per the usual, this isn’t a conversation that stops to explain references, so you’ll find most of the more obscure stuff in the images and the audio file (which refers to a quote about Jimmy Buffet) below.

As for the topics that come up in the midst of this 90 minute back and forth, you will learn what the mysterious reasons are behind why Magnolia bothers with theatrical releases (since they simultaneously release their films in the theater, on DVD, air them on TV, and make them available on demand), why Bernie Kosar looks so disheveled in his interviews for The U, and how piracy can actually help a small film become a financial success.

Tom Noonan lookalike

Also, take a look at the Canadian cover for Square Grouper. Billy mentions its “quality,” but the point can’t be made with words alone.

Note that the actual 90 minute interview is underneath the final images, not the tiny clip right beneath this sentence.


“Even if Jimmy Buffet’s a manatee-huggin’ son-of-a-bitch.”

Download the clip here.
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Mr. Corben offers a microphonic proposition to the DA.

Mr. Corben dressed well for his interview with the DA.

Mr. Corben chasing the DA

Mr. Corben shows off his bare legs.







































Download the full podcast below or subscribe to it on Itunes (search for A Regrettable Moment of Sincerity, Adam Lippe, or Billy Corben).


Download the full interview.
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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.