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Travis Bickle On The Riviera

Hi there! I'm Tucker Stone, one of the three guys who hosts a podcast called Travis Bickle on the Rivieria. I've written for places like Flavorwire, The Comics Journal, Comixology and The Factual Opinion, and am currently punching the clock at Nobrow, a publisher of comics, graphic novels and children's books. Back in 2012, my friend Sean Witzke, a movie critic whose most recent work can be read at Grantland, started this podcast as a way to continue the conversations (and arguments) we had been having about movies amongst our mutual blogs.

Although neither one of us had listened to a lot of podcasts, we felt that our cantankerous, expletive laden diatribes might be of interest to others, and in the years since, we have been extremely lucky to be proven right: people, for whatever reason, like to listen to a couple of miserable depressives wax nostalgic over action movies from the 80's. (It probably didn't hurt that the hugely talented Michel Fiffe drew our logo image!)

When I became a father in 2013, longtime friend of the show and frequent guest host Morgan Jeske came on board to keep Sean from going stir crazy with backed-up opinions. Jeske--the talented cartoonist behind books for Image Comics like Change and Zero--rapidly made himself indispensable, and after my return to the show, it only made sense to welcome him on as an official host, turning this gruesome twosome into the trio it had always been destined to be. As the episodes have piled up (you can check out our episode guide, with every movie, director and special episode listed here), the show was continually graced with a murderers row of guests from the world of comics and film--you can see all of those amazing people at that link as well.

All of that brings us right up to right now, a cold day in October: the day where we ask for help. Simply put, the increased interest in the show has meant that we've had to put a bit more into the nuts and bolts of paying for it than we used to, and we thought 133 episodes (at most recent count) was enough to try passing the hat to help meet the costs. The show isn't in danger of going anyway anytime soon--Sean, Morgan and I like hurting each others feelings just a little too much for that to be a real concern--but we would appreciate the breathing room that financial support will allow.  Below you'll see the various levels of pledge options and the rewards they provide--we're pretty excited about them, especially the one where we send you surprises you can't return--but even if you come away thinking that we don't deserve one thin dime, it still means a lot that you stopped by in the first place. Thank you for reading, but most of all thank you for listening!

Mar 10, 2015

0:00:00 - 0:19:47 - Morgan watched Alien 3 (1992), directed by David Fincher, starring Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Brian Glover, and Lance Henriksen. 

Also discussed in this section: Alien, Aliens, Alien: Resurrection, Alien vs. Predator, Neil Blompkamp, The Defenders, JJ Abrams, the Blade Runner sequel, James Cameron, Michael Beihn, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Soldier, Walter Hill, David Giler, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, abortion, Obvious Child, The Fly, The Fly 2, Nymphomaniac 2, Denis Villeneuve, Apocalypse Now, Paget Brewster, Ridley Scott, Prometheus, Prisoners, Roger Deakins, Rosemary's Baby, David Peoples, Kurt Russell, and Ghosts of Mars

0:19:48 - 1:17:23 - Morgan has been going through the work of John Cassavetes:

Morgan watched A Woman Under the Influence (1974), directed by Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowands, Peter Falk, and Fred Draper. 

MHere's an interview with Gena Rowlands & Cassavetes about ‘Woman Under The Influence’ at AFI (of which Cassavetes became a “student” through Fellowships they offered so that he could get funding and crew).

Both Morgan and Sean watched The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976, re-released in 1978), directed by Cassavetes, starring Ben Gazarra, Timothy Carey, Seymour Cassel, Azizi Johan, Al Ruban, and Haji.


M: Recommended reading Cassavetes On Cassavetes by Ron Carney. It’s an amazing collection of interviews and essays the move chronologically through his filmography. Anything that I could add here is better articulated by the man himself. If you’re thinking about going to film school, don’t. Go buy a copy of this book.

Morgan watched Opening Night (1977), directed by Cassavetes, starring Gena Rowlands, Gazzara, Cassavetes, Joan Blondell, Paul Stewart, and Zhora Lampert. 


M: One of the few interviews (unaired) done for Opening Night

Both Sean and Morgan watched Love Streams (1984), directed by Cassavetes, starring Rowlands, Cassavetes, Cassel, Diahne Abbot, and Margaret Abbot.

Also discussed in this section: Shadows, Faces, Catcher in the Rye, Akira Kurosawa, Boxcar Bertha, Martin Scorsese, Minnie and Moskowitz, Cassavetes on Cassavetes, Peter Bogdanovich, John Flynn, Bob Fosse, Mean Streets, Reservoir Dogs, The Killing, Jim Jarmusch, Roger Corman, Herschell Gordon Lewis, John Lewis, Andy Warhol, "Indie" movies, mumblecore movies, Olivier Assayas, Kurosawa's Dreams, 50 First Dates, Boogie Nights, Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, Gordon WIllis, 48 Hrs, Lucio Fulci, Seijun Suzuki, Gloria, The Professional, Big Trouble, Paper Moon, Ronin, Steven Soderbergh, Fincher, Robert Duvall, Quentn Tarantino, George Clooney, Michael Mann, The American, and that song from Kelly's Heroes.

And finally, for here's Peter Falk, Ben Gazarra, and Cassavetes on Dick Cavett sort of promoting Husbands. The funniest shit e v a r.


M: Director Michael Ventura documented the making of Love Streams in the doc “I’m Almost Not Crazy…” (a great bit of dialogue delivered by Gena Rowlands in the film) More so than any of his other films, and perhaps underlined by Cassavete’s health, Love Streams echoes back to and mirrors many of his previous films. Mabel from ‘Influence’, elements of which appear in Richard and Sarah. Cassavetes/Rowlands interrogating their own relationship through avatars or playing characters themselves. The dissolution of the marriage consummated in ‘Minnie & Moskowitz’. Characters perceived as “crazy” by those around them. Love. Love. Love? Love. Where to put it. What happens when it goes away. Is it constant? Though this wasn’t his last film—that was the terrible work-for-hire ‘Big Trouble’—-Cassavetes thought of it as summation of his life’s work.

1:17:24 - 1:38:20 - Hottest Film Directors Rankings:

Nominations include: David Cronenberg, John Cassavetes, Antoine Fuqua, Shane Carruth, John Sayles, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Zack Snyder, Ringo Lam, David Lynch, Cary Fukunaga, Roger Corman, David Fincher, Kathyrn Bigelow, Anne Banecroft, Claire Denis, Paul Thomas Anderson, John Waters, Noah Baumbach, Sofia Coppola, Steve McQueen, William Friedkin, Sylvester Stallone, Amy Seimetz, Robert Rodriguez, and Renny Harlin.

Also discussed in this section: Woody Allen looking like a turtle, Bob Fosse, Orson Welles, Joe Dante, Casa De Los Babys, Michael Mann, Ron Perlman, Joan Rivers, Brian De Palma, John Carpenter, Sam Fuller, Joe Swanberg, Paul Verhoeven, Steven Soderbergh, Akira Kurosawa, The Fury, and Roman Polanski, and American directors who were nazi sympathizers. 


1:38:21 - 1:48:22 - To close out the show, Sean watched two films by Larry Cohen: 

It's Alive (1974), directed by Cohen, starring John P. Ryan, Sharron Farrell, James Dixon, and William Wellman Jr.

Also discussed in this section: Black Caesar, John Carpenter, Halloween 3, They Live, Hell Up In Harlem, Steven Spielberg, Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan, God Told Me To, Phone Booth, Maniac Cop 1-3, Robin Wood's "Return of the Repressed"/"American Nightmare" articles, Keifer Sutherland, David Lean, Stanley Kubrick, Rick Baker, and Cronenberg on Cronenberg