Listen Now: Episode 53: Out of the Past Act II (with Jonathan Santlofer, author of Anatomy of Fear)

Out of the Past Poster LargeOUT OF THE PAST is perhaps the most carefully structured of all films noir—a narrative divided (like protagonist Jeff Markum/Bailey) between an inescapable past and an impossible future, teetering on the slimmest hope for the present such that any action taken by its poor players tips them down into the abyss. Director Jacques Tourneur, cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring perfectly synchronized their efforts on this film, creating a narrative masterpiece where every image perfectly accompanies or contrasts every line of dialogue, where the whole is so self-conscious that it forces us to view each moment through every other, creating a true mise-en-abyme. …

Listen Now: Episode 52: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (with Scott McGee of Turner Classic Movies)


Appearances can be deceiving. On the surface, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is pure science fiction, the tale of seed pods from outer space that produce emotionless body doubles of each citizen in the small town of Santa Mira. Often read as an allegory of either Communism or McCarthyism, where every person who becomes "one of them" loses autonomy by willingly buying into the unthinking collective, the film in fact plumbs questions of humanity in the modern era with subtlety and nuance more common to films noir than to science fiction movies. …

Clute and Edwards, 2005-2012