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Friday
Aug012014

Podcast: A Smackdown Companion w/ Dana Delany

Dana Delany loves talking movies! You can see her next in "Hand of God" on Amazon PrimeYou've read the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1973. Now hear its companion Podcast 

On this special episode of the podcast -- meant to enhance and extend the current Supporting Actress Smackdown conversation to include the films themselves -- Nathaniel welcomes two time Emmy winner Dana Delany (China Beach, Desperate Housewives, Body of Proof), as well as EW editor at large and "Five Came Back" author Mark Harris, "You Must Remember This" podcast goddess Karina Longworth, Bill Chambers from Film Freak Central, and Kyle Turner from The Movie Scene.

You'll want to listen to this one. Trust me on this: your week will not be complete until you hear Dana's Sylvia Sidney impression and Mark's childhood Exorcist story. 

Smackdown 1973
00:01 Introductions
02:45 American Graffiti: nostalgia, sexism, George Lucas, actors vs screenplay
13:15 Summer Wishes Winter Dreams: New Yorkers and Joanne Woodward's psyche
20:30 Paper Moon: Tatum O'Neal and the matter of child actors
23:15 The Exorcist: assembled performances, stand-ins, horror subjectivity
29:45 "Collaborative Performances" Andy Serkis & Linda Blair
34:00 We share childhood stories about seeing scary/adult movies
40:00 Behind the Scenes history & Dana talks Emmys & the awards circus
45:35 Paper Moon: Madeline Kahn, great screenplays, category fraud, and films about The Great Depression 
55:00 Final Questions / Goodbyes 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.

NEXT ON THE SMACKDOWN: 1989 on August 31st

Smackdown Companion 1973

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Reader Comments (23)

Hope these are going to be a regular part of the Smackdowns. They're a highly enjoyable follow up to the write ups. It's a terrific way to get a bit more deeply into the films and performances and to hear why someone responds a certain way about different performances or films. Loved Dana's dual Sylvia Sidney/Mercedes McCambridge impersonations.

I thought all the panelist were super but I hope that Dana and Melanie can participate again. I know since they are working actresses, which is great, it's more difficult for them to have the time to do it but having a professional performer's perspective on the work adds so much.

A little aside, I was delighted that Dana loves The Last of Sheila! I get such a kick out of that trippy little film, it's a favorite go-to movie of mine too.

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

joel - this is high on my list now because people keep mentioning it. As for return visits from working actresses -- they're busy! I thank them for their generosity but i'll have to find new victims probably since both of them have jobs :) but when possible I will try to get one industry person on the panels. That's harder for the more recent years.

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nathaniel-Would love to hear what you think of Sheila once you've watched it.

I'm sure it is tough both for them to find the time to participate and for you to find someone willing to put in the time and effort. I think everyone who reads the blog appreciates the amount of work it takes you in pulling the Smackdowns together, I know I do.

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Loving these smackdown podcasts, and it was a particular pleasure to put a voice to the name Mark Harris, whose Pictures at a Revolution is just a perfect document. Anyone who comes here should read it. I love that book so much, and can't wait to start Five Came Back.

And I'll share my grown-up movie story:
The only thing I know about The River Wild is that it's the ticket I bought in order to sneak in to Pulp Fiction alone.
The only thing I know about The Road to Wellville is that it's the movie my best friend wound up watching when he wimped out of coming with me.

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

OMG Mark Harris

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

joel - oh and i fully intend for each smackdown to now have a podcast. i worried it was overkill but people seem to like.

mike - HAHA. the punchline of your story is aces.

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I had such a wonderful time listening to all of you! Great panel.

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

What a complete delight. I loved all the reminiscences (to include Karina getting high to The Exorcist) and all the questions about how everyone's day job prompts them to see certain things or consider certain angles when they contemplate these films, or any films. Obviously Nathaniel always sets such a blessedly cheerful tone, but it's still so refreshing to hear some of the smartest people on the web have such a mirthful time and easy rapport discussing all these performances. The podcast is worth it for Dana's laughter alone. Thanks for inviting us to what plays like a fantastic dinner party!

August 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Nathaniel, you have spoiled us so much with all these projects and the wonderful people you invite to participate!
I enjoyed this a lot.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

James -- thank you. Yeah. I'm afraid so. I have no idea what to do for an encore. lol.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

You should try asking Linda Blair, Tatum O'Neal or Candy Clark to the next Smackdown! :)

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSanty C.

Just adding my appreciation and thanks to you and your panel for such a lively and interesting podcast. Nick expressed my sentiments perfectly, It really was like listening to a witty dinner party, which I did not wish to see end. I jsut wanted them to move on to another year.

The podcast adds a bit of background to the written summaries, and helps me to understand the participants opinions. I saw Paper Moon, American Graffiti, and The Exorcist in the theater, and I was glad that Dana, Mark, and Katrina were able to explain how much of a cultural impact these films made at the time. It was a great year to re-visit.

Thank you again for such a treat, please continue this wonderful series.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Santy - BRILLIANT.

August 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

this was such a fun listen. So many fave bits I may just have to listen to the whole thing again.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

This was my first podcast. And it was unbelievable! Just terrific stuff. I love hearing personal stories how films I admire affected other people and informed their tastes.

Nathan, you got a great voice!

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I meant to add: I thought the whole exchange about how to approach performances composed of many parts was really thoughtful and sharp, distinguishing different gradations of the issue (Blair vs. Serkis, etc.) and taking measured stock of the different creativities involved and their implications for how we evaluate "performance." More nuanced than a lot of discussions around similar issues than I've heard.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

i sent this link to tatum on twitter.

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy

I really enjoyed the podcast too. Thanks!

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

This is epic. These Smackdown podcasts have really been on a whole different level. And Nathaniel, I don't think you get nearly enough credit for just how great you are at facilitating the discussion and making sure everyone's voice is heard.

(BTW I bought my mother the entire series of China Beach for her birthday, and if anyone hasn't seen that show or has vague memories of it, I highly suggest seeking it out. It really holds up. One of the better female ensembles on a show I've seen.)

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwill h

Great podcast! Kudos to Nat! You did a great job moderating and including everyone's opinions... it never seemed like anyone was ignored or talking over. Everyone had great stories to tell!

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

will h & bia -- very sweet of you to say. It's not actually that easy to do :)

jimmy -- yay. thank you. I've always loved her. I was kinda obsessed with LITTLE DARLINGS as a kid though i didn't find a way to mention it on the podcast.

brookesboy --- WHAT? why haven't you listened before?

August 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Really enjoyed listening to this and hope you keep up with the post smackdown podcasts. Dana was great and loved she wasn't afraid to speak. Hope you manage to get more industry folks to join in the future, even if they are not actresses.

August 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

This was such a fun smackdown podcast. I liked a lot Dana's comments on Sylvia Sidney's performance, how it felt real to her, how it reminded of her won mother, how she probably would have played the character that very same way, but still hated it, probably because it hit too close to home. It's always interesting to see someone analytically approach their own visceral reaction.

I also appreciated very much the opportunity for Karina to expand on her negative opinion on the Exorcist. As laid out on the smackdown post alone it seemed a little biased and predetermined, like she had decided to hate the movie before she watched it. With context, I am less likely to brush off her opinion, like I was inclined before. I still completely disagree, I think the movie holds up well and deserves its place in the horror canon, but hearing a dissenting voice offer valuable criticism is a nice challenge to our notions and makes for good food for thought.

Mark Harris, like I knew he would, was great! I appreciate his comments about how the filmmakers of the 70s fed on living through the Depression when exploring the subject on screen, but that comment about the locker room in Carrie was the best line in the whole podcast!

Kyle's and Bill's contributions were also very interesting. I kinda forgot how young Kyle was until the very end when he made that endearing comment about aspiring to be like the fellow panelists. Sweet kid! And, Nat, great moderating, especially by the end when you picked up on Bill's not commenting much on Paper Moon and offering the chance to do so (even if he didn't take it and just co-signed to the previous praise)!

August 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

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