In This Episode
Louis is joined by two guest hosts, comedian Solomon Giorgio and critic Angelica Jade Bastién, and together they ford the long-awaited The Flash, pick the greatest summer blockbusters of all time, and marvel at some Juneteenth opinions. Then Ira rejoins for an interview with ASTEROID CITY star Jason Schwartzman.
Louis Virtel And we’re back with a new episode of Keep It. I’m Louis Virtel, but nothing else here is the same. I don’t even remember Ira’s last name. Did he contribute much to the show? From what I remember, he knows nothing about game shows anyway. Moving on, we have two guests here today. Since Ira is off traveling. What was he doing covering the war? Well, well thought of Ira and Beirut at some point. No. Today we have my very good friend. One of the funniest people I know. Solomon Georgio, who’s his credits include, by the way, Everything. I’ll be at a party with Solomon. I’ll be like, What are you working on right now? And the answer is three things. He’s a fabulous stand up. One of the wittiest people I know. Welcome to Keep It.
Solomon Georgio Thank you so much. I’ve not been doing much lately, which is great. Oh.
Louis Virtel You’ve done too much.
Solomon Georgio I’ve done too much. The strike came in at the right time.
Louis Virtel Yeah. I will say, what’s your strike strategy when you go to the picket, do you talk to a lot of people? Do you talk to nobody?
Solomon Georgio Oh, I walk in silence. I’m the Lance Bass of the chance. You could not find my voice.
Louis Virtel It’s just you, frosted tips, and silence.
Solomon Georgio Okay. Yeah, Just walking around. And then until. Until my legs are tired and I go, You know what? It’s time to go home.
Louis Virtel Got it. And our other guest is equally esteemed. I controversially invited two adults here today, which will change the timbre of the podcast entirely. She is a fabulous critic. Just read her review of The Flash and Vulture the other day. But if she knows movie history back and forth, I would rather talk about Bette Davis with no one else. It’s Angelica Jade Bastien reporting from Chicago. Hi, Angelica.
Angelica Jade Bastien Hello. Bringing Fabulousness and Chicago energy to this podcast, which is not like The Bear. If that’s your idea of Chicago. It’s much more interesting.
Louis Virtel You know, Can I say about The Bear? The one thing I couldn’t get past as a I’m from the Chicago suburbs myself. It didn’t remind me of Chicago at all. I kept thinking we were in Boston or something.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah, it’s like very weird show in that regard because it’s, you know, I thought it was a cute show and I was like, Oh, we’ll see where it goes in the second season. But it’s very easy to clown on the Chicago stuff because it doesn’t feel like Chicago doesn’t have that very broad shouldered, sort of welcoming, slower pace energy that Chicago has. And then there’s like little details that I’m like, Oh, you all bitches, don’t be knowing Chicago. Cause I was like, Why does he have a 773 tattoo? Who cares about that area code? It’s 312.
Louis Virtel Right, Right. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I still have Iraq a 630 over here, which is not legit at all. But anyway, anyway, I’ve invited my friends here to discuss things frankly, I’d normally wouldn’t discuss. First of all, this movie called The Flash came out, which, as I understand it, is part of what is known as a comic book, a comic and not like Rodney Dangerfield. This is like drawings they stitch together. I learned this all just the other day.
Solomon Georgio Your reference point for a set of comics is Rodney Dangerfield.
Louis Virtel You know what? Still slaps.
Solomon Georgio Yeah. No, I love it but I it’s a great reference point by comic books and yeah it’s I feel like The Flash is a very good comic. It is old. It is like the fifties is the first one.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah. He’s, he’s, he’s a really interesting character who’s kind of like maintained a sort of silver Age vibe, which is like a zaniness that is nowhere to be found in this movie. It’s really weird the approach they took to this movie I am still baffled by.
Louis Virtel We will get to that momentarily and then we will move to a broader conversation about our favorite summer blockbusters ever. And I have to tell you, I ended up thinking hard about this because I wasn’t sure what I really wanted ultimately out of a summer blockbuster since, you know, my ideal movie is Rabbit Hole, which is not like that. So we’ll pick the criteria for that, pick our favorites in that regard, and then we’ll invite these two very spicy people to pick Keep Its also, which should be I’m really thrilled about. And then also, Ira actually momentarily returns. We have an interview this week with Star of Asteroid City and every other Wes Anderson pop up book in history, Jason Schwartzman, who is a delight to talk to, looks fabulous. A beard really works on Jason Schwartzman. I don’t know if you guys have thought about this recently, but we will get into that momentarily right after this.
Louis Virtel Since Ira is not here, it falls on me, Louis, to talk about some stupid comic book. Keep on with the Speed Force. Don’t stop till you get enough. See, I am involved yet. Am I getting it? The Flash premiered this weekend and response from the fans has been off to a slow start. The controversy surrounding Ezra Miller did not help. Controversy. We pretend like that was singular. It was an ongoing, baffling saga where each story seemed to elicit a response from three other different people that made the situations all the more confusing.
Solomon Georgio He terrorized a whole set of islands for six months.
Louis Virtel Yeah, right. For Carmen San Diego villain. Is this an omen for all the other upcoming summer blockbusters? I guess I’ll start this conversation by asking What is your history with The Flash? Angelica You just told us this was your entry into this entire universe of creativity.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah, I mean, for me, around ten years old, Mark Wade’s run on The Flash dropped. Born to Run, which introduced Wally West, who was formerly Kid Flash, is now taking on the mantle of The Flash. So my version of The Flash has always been more Wally West because of that. And like Justice League Unlimited and Justice League, the cartoon that had the involvement of people like Dwayne McDuffie, R.I.P., one of the greatest black writers and artisans in the comic book world. So I come into The Flash with a lot of love for the mythos and this character, which is basically the exact opposite of how Warner Brothers feels about any character in DC Comics that doesn’t have the name Bat and Man in It, or even Superman that they don’t seem to know what to do with. So I was like, This is going to be I was already like, this is probably going to be a mess. But whoa, it was so bad. I, I’m still baffled. I’m like, Why did they make these decisions? Who is this for? What is the point of doing a movie with The Flash if you’re just going to swagger jack Batman and Superman, as if he the character’s own mythos and villains don’t matter. I’m like, This is like a film that’s leading to nowhere. It is so pointless. It is astounding. I mean, that closing cameo, Joe kind of told me, Oh, this this movie is just nothing. This is just I think I wrote in my review is just brand management and flailing motion is.
Louis Virtel It’s interesting because I would say so there’s a multiverse component of this movie, as there are to, I guess, 99% of movies now. And it feels like each one of each are sort of tendril into another universe is really to lead to a quote unquote in-joke for the audience. Like, oh, that Batman actor is appearing now. Or, you know, it’s like this sort of like self-congratulatory or a borrows we are getting in where it’s just like we’ve sort of exhausted the possibilities of what the multiverse can offer us, or they’re just not as interested in exploring what it does. But anyway, Solomon, you’re also a fan of the original comic.
Solomon Georgio I’m a fan of the original comic book also. And I’m I kind of know a little bit about what’s going on in the movie, which is them trying to bring together all the other DC films into like one sort of unifying. That was that was at track.
Angelica Jade Bastien This is what’s weird about the movie. You would think that’s what they would do if you’re going to riff on The Flashpoint comic from 2011. The whole point is, Oh, we’re going to actually change things. But, you know, calling it or referring to it as a snake eating its own tail is the right way to put it, because it’s actually weirdly mostly beholden to Zack Snyder in terms of the esthetic, in terms of the world. And it’s kind of weird how they don’t reference a lot of DC things because it’s like if you’re so obsessed with bringing back past Batmans, it’s going to be very glaring that nothing Christopher Nolan has really alluded to at all amongst all these worlds. So it, it just makes DC Universe feel very claustrophobic and like the only real characters are like Batman and Superman and riffs on them. Hmm.
Solomon Georgio Yeah, it’s just it’s kind of wild to me that the CW is doing a better job of bring these characters together than an entire film, which is like, it’s which.
Louis Virtel By the way, it’s worth noting that the quote unquote, production on this movie truly began around 2007 before The Flash TV series. So the basically Grant Gustin was born after the conception of.
Solomon Georgio That is hiysterical.
Louis Virtel What we saw on the screen. But something that’s really worth talking about is Ezra miller’s performance, which I will say this. This sounds like I’m denigrating the performance. I would describe it as a pretty good Disney Channel performance, which is you give this character a sitcom and his whole thing is he’s a little bit annoying, a little bit, can’t stop babbling. And I feel like it’s rare that, you know, a guy in a movie of this size is just annoying, which is a quality I ascribe that I feel like is a word that we usually lob at like females. I was reassured that they were making character choices that I felt weren’t always endearing, which I feel like is a trap in these movies where they’re so obsessively relatable out of the superhero costumes that they aren’t people at all. They’re just, you know, people we’re not mad at. Yeah. What did you think of Ezra’s choices?
Angelica Jade Bastien So I think most of the acting doesn’t work really now. So I don’t want to put it at the feet of Ezra Miller. I think they at least make some choices that are kind of eye to the point where you kind of can’t ignore them. It’s not like they’re just getting kind of lost in the scenery in the background, but the way they play Barry is incredibly obnoxious and the one thing they really fail at, which I think is mostly because of the writing or primarily because of the writing, is that none of the emotional stakes really work or matter. That’s a huge problem in this movie. They ostensibly care about everything the Barry character is dealing with with regards to his parents, his mother’s murder and his and his father’s imprisonment. But the way Ezra plays it, I never felt the weight of anything that was going on. And I think a problem they are butting against as a performer is the film also doesn’t care about these things. A glaring thing in this movie is we never learn who the fuck killed the mother.
Louis Virtel Right now it’s a fault scream type death where there’s just a stabbing and we don’t know what occurred there. By the way, I guess I should say we’re going to spoil this movie again and again. We’re going to get into a lot of cameos and stuff. So if you’re particular about that kind of thing, stop listening to podcasts about pop culture. I blame you.
Angelica Jade Bastien Exactly.
Solomon Georgio Yeah, you had that a few days for me. Also like this, regardless of the whole situation going on in Ezra, in real life, I think it was miscast to begin with because the character.
Angelica Jade Bastien Definitely.
Solomon Georgio Is like Ezra as a performer is just a grim character like End to End and The Flash is pretty like, pretty likable and like, joyful, like, goofy. And you don’t get that exuding from Ezra at all. So I can only assume that their performance was weird.
Louis Virtel Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Also, I’m not somebody who goes and sees the Fantastic Beasts movies, so I still associate Ezra miller, mainly with Perks of Being a Wallflower. And I will say in this performance, so it’s a Back to the future type story where the character is revisiting the past and has to encounter a former version of himself and correct certain things and not correct certain things. But anyway, so you get Ezra and then younger Ezra. And I have to tell you, the juxtaposition of these two characters, I think in particular is not interesting because the younger version of, of The Flash is just obnoxious teenager. You know, what was getting the United States of Tara? It was just here, Here comes another version of myself, except this one. This time I’m moody and my arms.
Solomon Georgio Are full that, oh gosh, you know.
Louis Virtel Now. No, I do not know. Shade to Toni Collette, who of course, killed it on that Showtime series.
Solomon Georgio But but I do feel like it’s like. Like the teacher substituting maths teacher. Like, what’s going on here? Like, you’re not supposed to be in this room.
Louis Virtel Yeah, I have nothing to learn from you. But yeah, as I said, there’s a ton of strange cameos in this movie that some are successful. I would say maybe the best part of the movie is that Michael Keaton shows up as Bruce Wayne or not Batman. I feel like I can only say things wrong when I’m introducing characters in this movie, but I never thought of myself as a superfan of Michael Keaton. But it’s occurring to me now. It is always nice to see him. I can’t explain it. There’s a gravitas there.
Angelica Jade Bastien It it is really nice to see him. And in a way, I think this vindicates him because like the way people reacted to his Batman for a long time was not like liking the world, but being like, Why isn’t Batman? Fans are some of the most annoying motherfuckers in comics. And they are. And I can’t stand comic book fans the same way. I can’t stand cinephiles. If you describe yourself as a cinephile, you’re probably an asshole would never describe you, me or anyone I like like that.
Louis Virtel No one has ever said that kind of thing to me. Thank you so much.
Solomon Georgio But Tim Burton had to fight for Michael Keaton.
Angelica Jade Bastien He did have to fight for Michael Keaton. And and so it’s really interesting seeing him in this I. He does bring at least a little energy, but I don’t think anyone feels like they really want to be in this movie. It doesn’t seem like they’re able to kind of gain purchase on any of the emotional stakes or any of the comedy that should be there.
Louis Virtel No comedy either. You’re right. I just I can’t think of a scene that would in this that Michael Keaton would be like, oh, I get to really sink my teeth into this. It really is just about the novelty value of he’s appearing in this.
Angelica Jade Bastien Exactly. It is all novelty value. And you can tell that on multiple levels. There’s the way they inelegantly trot out that Danny Elfman score and crucial moments. But the thing that really cemented for me that this movie sucks dog shit was how they portrayed the Gotham that this future, you know, older Bruce Wayne played by Michael Keaton inhabits. It is bland, it is sterile. If you were expecting any, like real gothic excess at all, you’re not getting that. So I’m like, Well, what’s the point of taking the Tim Burton Batman if you’re not going to play with the esthetic world he inhabited? That’s a big problem with The Flash. This movie visually is ugly as hell and has really no perspective or point of view on how to experiment with the multiverse. I feel like the multiverse narrative has potential, but the way Hollywood uses it is pretty much a dead end. It’s not really for letting artists go wild with their imagination is more So how can we extend this IP? How can we get people who maybe have fallen off but like the old shit to come back? Well, yeah, let things die.
Solomon Georgio But honestly, this is what happens when you let studio execs believe that they’re creative and they are not. That is like they generally they market, they focus group everything to death and it becomes and they don’t have like one person carrying on a vision and they fire people. They’re like that. I like their idea. People in the middle of filming stuff, you’re like, What are you doing right? Like you are making a $330 million mistake in that instance. Yeah.
Louis Virtel I also I think you’re right. Like nothing about this movie evokes the I’m going to call it whimsy of the Tim Burton movies. Like when you watch those movies like the Steam coming off the ground, like the way like a camera would pan and on the face and Jack Nicholson would let out a cackle or something like, There’s no I hate calling it camp, but like, you know, just something, you know, that like the naughty fun of those movies you get. Nothing about this is not like the look of this movie. Reminds me of computers. Like I’m watching someone at an edit bay work on this movie that’s like, Yeah, that’s the esthetic value you’re getting here. There’s just no, it’s flavorless. I would describe it as flavorless.
Solomon Georgio Like, it’s like I feel like with those Tim Burton movies, especially, like they are timeless. Yeah, you will not. You can watch any of those original Batmans and they are forever they feel like especially Batman Returns I think is one of the greatest DC movies ever made and they should try to find a way to go back to that. But yeah.
Louis Virtel It’s Oh yeah. And you will get nothing on the level of Michelle Pfeiffer in this movie. Let me just say that.
Angelica Jade Bastien No, no. You mean a performance that could body pretty much everybody. There’s no proof. It’s such a weird movie because it almost feels like a fake movie to me. It almost feels like a movie that just, like, exists because they need to remind people that the DC universe exists. It also doesn’t really make sense to me because I’m like, You know, if you’re a comic book fan coming into this, you’re noticing, Oh, they’re their name checking flash point in a lot of ways. And Flash Point, the 2011 crossover event which led to the new 52. I do not like Flashpoint, but I find myself almost being like, Well, at least they had imagination, right? It’s the same sort of setup. He goes back in time, you know, to save his mom and he fucks everything up. But when he fucks everything up, the changes are dramatic. It’s not just, Oh, look, there’s an older Batman in a sterile Gotham. It’s Bruce Wayne is the one who died in the alley, not his parents. So his father becomes Batman. And I think this is very sexist, but his mother loses her mind and becomes the universe’s joker, which I’ve always thought was a wild choice. And it’s like Aquaman’s, a warlord. Wonder Woman is incredibly violent and their kingdoms are fighting. It’s like mayhem. And I’m like the whole point of riffing on Flashpoint and using this premise is to play right, is to, like, go in wild directions and have some fun. It never feels like anyone involved in this production on any level had anything close to fun making this movie, right? It is so grueling, it is so gray, it is so checked out of its own story. And it’s just I don’t know, it makes me feel bad for like audiences. I’m like, don’t don’t go See, this is a waste of your full attention. Hollywood is is basically telling us, oh, we think y’all will eat up anything. Anything, because there’s nothing this movie offers to anyone.
Louis Virtel It’s also like a key example of I have this reaction to a lot of movies like this actually reminds me of Marvel’s Jessica Jones, which was when you introduced this character. And then it starts with some complexities and they have a strange past, an unresolved past or whatever. I’m on board, and then once they get to the super powers or what it’s like, then the blandness sets in. I’m like, Oh, she can pick up a car now. I don’t care. You know what I mean? It’s like, this doesn’t have poetic resonance to me ultimately. Yeah, there are a couple other cameos in this movie that are fascinating. One concluding one that I was actually pretty surprised to see. But again, so you clap at the cameo and it’s I guess I can say it as George Clooney comes in right at the end. And he, of course, has, you know, made fun of his own appearance in Batman and Robin several times. He’s not a fan of the movie. I think he calls it his worst work. He’s made tons of jokes about the nipples in the Batsuit, whatever. He has one line here. But actually this his cameo reminds me of the weakest part of this movie, which is I think even though I, I am affectionate towards certain parts of Ezra Miller’s performance, not a single joke lands in this.
Angelica Jade Bastien Not a single joke.
Louis Virtel I thought the audience in this watching this movie was dead silent when I was watching this, like there’s nothing hit. And I feel like that’s the part of the movie where how don’t they get that right? You know, even though another problem I have with these movies is the sense of humor is always the same. The heroes are always reacting to something, some gigantic disaster with that like gulp, and that’s not supposed to happen or that’s, you know, but it’s like, oh my God, can someone it’s it’s so multicam. The humor is so multicam on these.
Angelica Jade Bastien Mm mm mm.
Louis Virtel Did I forget a funny part? I guess I didn’t.
Angelica Jade Bastien No.
Solomon Georgio I love the Big Bang Theory entire entire DC movie like right where no jokes. So you need a laugh track to get those jokes land. Otherwise, I don’t know.
Louis Virtel This movie could have used Melissa Rapp I think she could have. Slater Anyway, so I guess it’s like I don’t go ahead and see this movie though for my own sake, I’m happy I am. Once every three years I make the trek to go. I’m like, All right, what the fuck is Ragnarok? I’ll try it. And then it turns out I’m still right about my own taste. So congrats to me for making it through it. Angelica, you have a fabulous review that should be inspected at Vulture.
Solomon Georgio And I’ll continue not to watch it support you guys.
Louis Virtel Thank you. I think you did the right thing. I think you did the right thing. In just a second, I’ll be right back with Ira to interview the lovely Jason Schwartzman.
Ira Madison III We are so excited to have this incredible artist with us today. I don’t even know which of his hundred projects that we’re going to get to today, but Rushmore, Grand Budapest Hotel, Scott Pilgrim versus the World. The list goes on and on. And right now you can catch him starring in the best movies right now, Across the Spider-Verse and Wes Anderson’s new hit, Asteroid City. Please welcome to Keep It, Jason Schwartzman.
Jason Schwartzman Hello. Hello. How are you?
Ira Madison III Hi.
Louis Virtel Okay, so watching this movie and realizing you have now worked with Wes Anderson more than half your life, I assume this man knows you extremely well and has an idea of what you’re going to bring to any given project. Do you have any opportunity to surprise him when you’re working on a movie with him?
Jason Schwartzman It’s a great question. I think, honestly. I think that we we worked together like more than half my life. I don’t know anyone else. I don’t think really besides someone in my family that I’ve that I’ve known for that long. It’s so it’s so rare. And to be able to also work with that person, it’s such a unique dynamic. And I also say that, you know, working with West like he. As much as you know some I think like he this is a forgive this really cheesy metaphor but I was that I just came up because I went to my left and my. Like the street, but it’s like a GPS, sort of like, you know, you type in an address and I never pronounce it that way before. An address. Address. And there’s that address. I don’t think I said that I was, but, you know, give you three routes, some, you know, the longer way. But they’re all going to this way. And it’s a line on a on a on a phone or a map. And it’s right turn here. That’s sort of what it’s like to to have this script and to begin to work with less. But the walking the trip, the the actual steps you take, you to walk three blocks is different than to look at three blocks from above. And so that’s the stuff that is in. You have no idea what’s going to happen. So I think working with West is like that’s the great thing is like trust that this person has some directions, they know where they want to go and they’ve done all this work to find this is the best way. Trust me, we’re going to go down this avenue, we’ll do this this way. But what happens along that walk through you bump into. Do you tie your shoes? Is do you walk by a broken light? I think that’s all the stuff that he wants to have happen and that he that’s why he invites these, I think, incredible actors to come participate in the movie because he wants. You know, he he encourages that and he’s like, that’s what he’s hoping for. He doesn’t want what he. Every time I’ve tried to do something for Wes, I think this is what he wants. I’ve always been wrong. Hmm.
Ira Madison III That’s so interesting too, because I feel like this asteroid city in particular is so interesting for a West because, you know, it’s taking place in sort of two different worlds. You have the black and white stuff, which is the, you know, the theater troupe, which I would suppose sort of mirrors what it’s like to work with Wes on a project, I guess. What was that? What’s it like when you are coming in just as an actor with him? And then also you’ve collaborated with him to some extent on some of the other projects that you’ve done with Wes?
Jason Schwartzman Well, I could say that it’s the I think there’s a consistency or a continuity about West that I just I don’t know anyone that works harder and does it in their own way. It’s not a I know you can work hard in different ways, but you know, the the prototypical image, or at least that I first of like someone who works really, really hard is kind of kinetics and movement. Like, you know, it’s it’s not that with it, but it’s just constant and it’s because he loves it. So instead of like doing something once a week because it’s good for you, you have to do a little bit of it all day long because because it sustains you. And he just works slowly and longer than anyone and cares more than anyone. It’s all sort of the same. A feeling. Which is that. You know, I think when you’re when we’ve worked together on scripts and things, it’s really fun and really interesting to watch that process because you’re there, you’re essentially you’re trying to do the same thing, which is help this person realize what they. Are getting at what they’re after. And I think that’s what’s great about West is that he’s not he doesn’t make a movie because he knows all about it or write something because he knows all about it. I found that he’s very like, it’s always coming from a much more curious place. So the writing is kind of investigation into something he’s interested in and learning about, and that continues into the onset approach. So it’s kind of similar in a way, except, you know, on one of them you’re on a film set, the other one you’re by yourself, I would say. But like when we work together on scripts, it’s so fun because we act out all the scenes and we play the parts. I mean, it’s not that different. It’s just three of us and no cameras.
Louis Virtel So something very specific about Wes Anderson, though, I feel like maybe more than any other director, there is a musical sense of the dialog in almost all the movies he does nowadays. And I feel like when you’re on the set, you must be able to hear kind of the metronome of the movie as you’re filming it. Does that mean you are doing a ton of takes to make sure you get that rhythm exactly right? Because I’m sure I can just picture him watching and knowing, you know, he’s like J.K. Simmons in Whiplash, you know, not my tempo. Do it again, Jason.
Jason Schwartzman You know, what I’ve observed or felt is that there is like a natural rhythm to just a conversation or, you know, that all that kind of talking over each other and went this way. And by the way, Zoom, I mean, this whole thing is it’s so interesting how we now things are highlighted when the persons we can see when we’re talking over someone and. So I think that with West too, it’s there’s definitely like a it’s important to know like the, the, the beat the BPM in a way like what is you know, what is the what is the tempo. But the great thing about West is like he’s open to hearing, like figuring it out. But on a movie like this, there’s so many people, so many scenes and it’s like, I think it would be sort of like and not everyone’s together. It’s it’s little stories that are connecting. And so, you know, even though we’re they’re watching each other and supporting each other, you don’t you know, you’re also worrying about your themes and thinking. And so you, you know, your job is to be responsible for your part of it, Do the best you can at your being, and then it will all add up to something is what you like a team. And I think that that’s West is the great thing that a director or like a conductor, someone is like it’s letting letting each musician know where they are in the greater the greater peace. Do you know what I mean? Because we’re just zooming in on, you know, you can just zoom in on your own stuff. And so if you’re just talking really, really fast, like something that isn’t that’s not like the standard answer, because if they’re talking, not anyone can be doing the same thing at the same time all the time. And he’s the one who has sort of figured out if it is a piece of music, the counterpoint. And so, you know, there isn’t just like a given tempo, but there’s definitely that. When you say music, I think there’s definitely like a feeling of listening and parts complementing each other. You can’t just and respecting that and not just like, like going off on your own completely, but it’s like, how do you play it? That really is the important thing.
Ira Madison III Mm.
Louis Virtel Obviously your first collaboration with him was, I believe, your first movie, which was Rushmore. You’ve never not been the star of movies, you’re the star of that movie. And I just want to say, like as I listen to you talk, there’s like, there’s a humility about you and a graciousness. The how assured you are in that movie, that comedy performance is so unforgettable. I just rewatched it last night, was just loving it. The scene at the table with Olivia Williams and Bill Murray and Luke Wilson just unforgettable. Where did you get that confidence? I mean, like you had never been in a movie before. Just it’s like a one of a kind character. And you were completely, um. Well.
Jason Schwartzman Thank you. And I, you know, it’s funny, I haven’t I really don’t know, other than when I went to the audition for that movie. One thing stood out was I remember Wes asking me an opinion about something, like, about a hat. And I gave him my answer and he listened to it. And I remember thinking in that moment, I mean, I’m sure it’s happened here and there are other parts, but that that was a defining moment for me in my life because I thought besides my family or something, this is the first time anyone who’s an adult, even I was so young and is asking me what I think was something in his cares. But the answer, like I had never felt like my opinion was really worth that much then. I mean, like it was like and I was like, just stunned by that. And I think that sort of and I think he encouraged, you know, he loves people and actors and he likes talking to people. And I think so once we got onto the set, you know, I was so scared. And I just remember he said, stick with me. We’ll stay together and we’ll do it. You know, we’re going to we’re going to get through it. And what a nice thing to hear in such a chaotic time of one’s life or, you know, it’s just all new and and he must have been probably freaked out. I don’t know what he was. I mean, how did he get to camp? I don’t know. But like, to me, hearing that, I was like, okay, Like it was what I needed. It was like a lighthouse. Like it was like and I and I lived by that. And so I think that any confidence or anything with that, maybe just because I said to Wes at one point early on, so does my character look up to Bill Murray’s character? And he goes, No, I don’t think you look up to him. I think you see eye to eye with him. And that was such a funny, amazing idea. And I think because it was so foreign to me as an idea, it was really enjoyable to do because that was like, yeah, it was like a slight feeling of, Oh, this is wonderful feeling to be taken seriously. And I think. West But, but Wes, I think was encouraging that by asking me questions and listening to me or encouraging this thing of you are valuable and have an idea. And even if you’re 70, whatever, you’re it’s okay to state how you feel to be confident. People can take. You know what I mean? Like, I think that was the beginning of of that. Maybe in some in some way.
Ira Madison III So interesting because then you play sort of like basically the opposite of that. And one of my favorite films of yours, which is Shopgirl. You know, you’re sort of like more of an aimless character who doesn’t see eye to eye. And then, of course, you had the whole thing going on with Steve Martin as well.
Jason Schwartzman Yes.
Ira Madison III And his words, too. I love Steve Martin as a writer, too. So it must’ve been nice to, like, work with him as he had written this. But then you’re also acting opposite him.
Jason Schwartzman Cruel Shoes in his book, Cruel Shoes. It’s real important both to me. And his writing is amazing. His is born Standing up is is an incredible book and the audiobook of it. He, in fact, reads and performs. It’s a really great experience if you’ve at the time. And yet he is someone that meant a lot to me growing up. And I think without knowing it as a when I was very young. But getting it more even now is in watching movies, that is with my kids of his his use of language in the way he uses words is a distinguishing quality and but he smuggles it in in such a you don’t realize it and that’s I think the beauty of it you know what I mean? And I feel like that with him, like he makes everything sound like you’re just talking. And then later you go, Wow, He was talking about all these things that were so, you know, heavy. And I was nervous. I only had a few scenes of them in real life, but in the movie. But because we are, I guess, competitors. But we. But we but he was there every time I worked and I was so scared. I didn’t know what to I didn’t know what to do. I was like, Maybe that helps too, because I remember when I went to meet him, I thought for sure, there’s no way this is going to work because, you know, I’m not sure Movies and music, these things do mean a lot to me, and I am never sure how to navigate the telling someone that you admire. They’re like, Is that going to make it? You know? I mean, and I remember, like Steve Martin probably does not want to talk about what it was like, but this is the way we had to meet and talk and go through it all a few times. And I was like preparing for this meeting with him. Like, it was like almost like I was not in training, but I was like, okay, don’t say this, don’t say this, this. Try not to do, you know, really like and I remember saying, like, don’t just talk about this movie. Don’t be so free. Just he wants to talk about this is an artist. This is where he’s at. Let’s just begin here. And I remember walking in and saying that I was like, Hi, I just want to say Three Amigos is one of my favorite movies of all time. And I to get really happy to be like everything that happened. And I also remember, I had written on my hand like three things that I thought were important about Shopgirl that for the movie and that were like my I really felt like they were just like key bullet point things, but I knew what they are meant. And and that was what I was coming to speak about by the time we got to talking was so I looked and my hand just blew with such a it was horrific. And so but it was a good lesson just to be in the moment. But he’s the best.
Ira Madison III I mean, even hearing you talk about like the musicality of his writing and Wes. Like, I forgot that you were also in a band before you left.
Jason Schwartzman Yes. Yes.
Ira Madison III You know, you were in Phantom Planet before you became an actor. Yes. Yeah. It’s so interesting to be like I’m in a band, but I’m like, I’m want to leave music and performing and be a performer in a different type of way.
Jason Schwartzman So yeah, I mean, very unusual. I mean, it just oversimplify it, but it’s the truth is that I think growing up, for me at least, like we lived near westwards or near a bunch of movie theaters in Los Angeles, so lots of movies playing in single theaters, you know, And coming out on Friday, going to the movies was something that I really looked forward to it. And I would go with my, you know, my father and my brother. It was a real, you know, on Friday nights waiting in line and movies that I was seeing as a at that age, I guess were huge comedies or also big blockbuster. That was what was available and playing in these theaters. And I never once looked at a movie and was like, I’m going to be up there because Hollywood, like movie that was so big was an event to drive to the theater, big screen. You know, there was like something so big a. About it. Whereas music in that exact time made a cassette player. And I could take it with me from room to room. I can’t. I don’t know if it makes sense, but it’s a different like it became my it was mine. Just even just technologically speaking, the way you could experience it was just so much more personal and private. And that’s why there’s the, you know, cliche of someone just like putting on headphones and like, I really was it meant a lot to me. And so was like, I definitely I love movies just like thing really. So the music was like, this is what I, I hope to be able to do because it was like very early on, it was like music meant everything to me. And so yeah, and it’s still that like and needed. You need it.
Louis Virtel I don’t think I’ve ever asked this of a guest before, but I want to ask this because she is your costar in Megalopolis, which I’ve learned from Wikipedia. But how is your mom? One of the great screen stars, Talia Shire.
Jason Schwartzman SHe’s great. Thank you. Oh, she’s amazing. She is really amazing, actually. The truth be told, she’s she’s actually in New York, currently in New York, working here for the last little while. But I didn’t really know what my mom did, to be honest, for much longer than you would maybe assume to not know what one’s parents do. But I remember definitely being aware when I go to a friend’s house houses that records books or movies, television. They were never on. They were just there. Whereas in our house there’s music hanging in one room and there’s like a movie playing and there’s book like. And I remember taking note of that, not just like, Oh, maybe we are a bit messier. So now when I took them, it was like, I see that my mom is someone that like these. These are not just music. She like is like living this like, sustains her, you know, it’s like nutritious. I remember clocking that it was like a boy. I guess you’re asking how she is. I just want to thank her for inadvertently being, like, filling the filling the space up with, you know, appreciating, you know, music and art and stuff and not realizing it deep down that it was also just a wonderful, I don’t know, just life lessons. But the way she did it was in a wonderful way. But she’s like, but she can’t help to be an act. I mean, she she loves teaching, acting to my son, my grandson, my son. He came over when I watched this huge building that my mother he laid on the ground and pretended to do something. And he goes, Now that’s that. And I watch this and then he totally can totally differently goes, Which one did you like better? It’s like, I don’t know. The second one was more real, right? Totally taught me to do it. But if you don’t, if you don’t get it right on. And it wasn’t like to be an actor, it’s because it’s a sharing an enthusiasm of just studying life and people. My mom was always like, encouraging us like everywhere we, you know, be sitting someplace. You’d say, Where’s that person going? Like, what’s their house like? What’s their ride home? Like, how long did it take them to get here? Like, ever since you were a little. She’s always like, it’s always asking questions of people’s lives. How does that person feel? Is that what’s a lot? When’s the last time? A Something was awesome. They had a drink. And these are things that when you’re like nine and you’re at a mall, they’re pretty annoying. I mean, it’s like if you have a friend who’s like reading like a ton of, like self-improvement books and just like, everything they say is like, you know, there really is no there is no being awesome, really. You know, it’s like we’re supposed to be a mystery that we’re not there. And that is technically the definition of being loved. But it was annoying. But I’m just saying, looking back and it’s kind of all hitting me now because this movie is about actors. Ultimately, if you zoom out, you know, it’s about actors and and the work that goes into it and it’s really like West is kind of a love letter to to acting. And he just loves watching actors work and stuff. And I think as I zoom, zoom, zoom out now, talking to you, I haven’t thought about this, but I really want to thank her because that’s like without realizing that’s all that’s sort of where I, I think it became like I noticed it in some way.
Ira Madison III Oh, I love that. And honestly, in a way, it’s almost like you sort of mirrored her. You know, you’re working with Wes and collaborating with him on so many films. And I mean, what an honor. I mean, it must have been so fun for her, you know, to have originated it to. Iconic characters. Come on, Adrian. And to be able to play them multiple times.
Jason Schwartzman Yes. Yes.
Ira Madison III And revisit them.
Jason Schwartzman Yes, you’re right. Absolutely. I never thought about that. But it’s true.
Ira Madison III Sure. Well, thank you for thank you for being here, Jason.
Jason Schwartzman Thank you.
Louis Virtel Yeah. What a pleasure.
Jason Schwartzman Fun. So fun.
Louis Virtel This year, we have a return to blockbuster franchises with a new installment of Indiana Jones. I am not loving those review Transformers and the Marvel catalog. But what are the franchises and summer blockbusters we love most? E.W. has a great list of the 30 best summer blockbusters of all time. There’s a 75 best summer blockbusters of all time list from Rotten Tomatoes. Type it into the Internet. It keeps coming up. We’ll start with you, Solomon. What does it what does summer blockbuster mean to you? What do you look for? Do you like them?
Solomon Georgio It’s I guess there’s also like for me, like, I don’t know if it’s considered blockbusters, but it’s those the sleeper Indians have become big Buster movies, and those are the kind of ones that I end up falling in love with because that’s kind of what happened in the nineties. Like all these all these movies just became big hits. But I also I do love I love the way because there used to be not that many of them. Yeah, like three or four summer blockbusters when you were younger and they were just I loved the going to the I loved going to see trailers and for especially for doing some. So that’s for me, that’s always like the big trailers, the big flashy, the the, the all these so many of them. You have to wait months for them for you to even see them outside of the theater. And now it just feels like that’s not the case as much as it used to be. And every movie tried to be a blockbuster, right?
Louis Virtel Yes, It’s right there in the budget. Yes.
Solomon Georgio But like, I think for me, like I will always like I just like Kill Bill one and two are my favorites. The first will week out, October the second came out in the summer. And that one, Kill Bill, volume two was like for me was just like, like full of like waiting patiently on the edge of my seat for something. And that was like the perfect blockbuster for me.
Louis Virtel I can’t think of another movie going experience. I’ve had like that where you watched the first one and then then there’s just like an extra breath before you see the second one and you had to see it. And I liked the first one well enough, but I personally like the second volume a lot better.
Solomon Georgio It’s stylistically, it’s insane. I love and Daryl Hannah got her character was built like more into it and I, I truly every aspect of it I enjoy and like to this day I still star myself off of Uma Thurman’s outfits from Kill Bill.
Louis Virtel Oh, God, yes. I will say that I think my favorite scene in both of those is Vivica A. Fox in the first one with the Serial by Vernita Green. Yes, I love that character and I love that casting. She’s so amazing in it.
Solomon Georgio But also I think felt like Jill, like Bill’s death is one of my favorite, like the whole seven point thing. And he had to wait like five steps before he died. Yes, right. That was. And then like the mama bear ending with her daughter like that just it’s it’s for me, it’s it’s such a perfect film. It is.
Louis Virtel Angelica, What are your what’s your history with summer blockbusters? Do you have favorites? What are your criteria? Go on.
Angelica Jade Bastien So I find the summer blockbuster an interesting form, partially for the reasons you mentioned about, you know, they were rare. We were. They would be solely in the summer. Now, blockbusters are kind of throughout the year. I mean, it’s really intriguing. I have to shout out shout out my first film I ever saw in theaters. This is what my mom tells me. This is what she says was my first movie. I don’t remember it, but I think, you know, I appreciate that this was my first Jurassic Park. Okay?
Louis Virtel I, really. Yeah
Angelica Jade Bastien Like a platonic ideal of what a traditional summer blockbuster should do. If you’re going to go big, go big, play with the visuals, give us artistry, give us real characters, give us real stakes, Make it feel like, you know, this world has meaning and you don’t have to make the stakes, the world ending, the universe collapsing all the time. It can just be, Damn, are these bitches going to survive by dinosaurs? Um, but there’s, you know, there’s a lot of summer blockbusters I like. I mean, speed that pal.
Solomon Georgio Chase.
Angelica Jade Bastien Twister, childhood favorite.
Louis Virtel And we’re getting Twister soon. Come on, now.
Solomon Georgio Oh, yeah.
Angelica Jade Bastien And I guess it can kind of count this year. I really did like across the spider-verse when it comes to a big multiverse movie, I think it does what a multiverse movie needs to do and that everyone else is kind of failing at. So I think the form of the blockbuster can be a lot of fun, but the fact that it has become the primary form that Hollywood thinks of movies through is the problem. And I think a lot of filmmakers and execs have learned the wrong lessons from the successful blockbusters of the past. They think by bringing them back and prolonging the story, that that’s what drew people to these worlds. And I’m like, No, a lot of what worked with these movies is that they felt fresh. They, you know, they had.
Louis Virtel A sense of occasion to them. Yeah, right.
Solomon Georgio Yeah. They’re treating the entire movies like a filler episode. It’s really insulting what it is. It’s like, why do we have a background story of a character that doesn’t matter to this whole entire thing? But that’s essentially what they’re doing.
Louis Virtel Right? Right.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah. It is
Louis Virtel I will see this Indiana Jones and the. The Dial of Destiny movie because I can’t explain it. Phoebe Waller-bridge did something or achieved something where I have to follow her for at least ten more years. I don’t know. I’m a big fan of what she does. I think she has a genuine droll quality, which is so rare and somebody who achieves that much success. You know, I just it’s a quality I associate with, like indie comedies and stuff and someone you have to really like explain to your friends who they are and like, hope they bubble up one day. But she really has. I mean, she’s been in solo now she’s in Indiana Jones. So I mean, she basically couldn’t be any bigger based on a brand. She established herself on a TV show. She wrote herself. So it’s very rare. That said, if I had to pick a favorite blockbuster ever, I think I am going to go with Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I will say this. First of all, it has what Angelica just said, which is great characters. I feel like when there’s a lacking if you can’t have a movie about set pieces and then not juxtapose it with a personality that is sweet, generous and rad, basically, you know, like Jurassic Park has three or four characters who I haven’t seen them in other movies. They only are in that movie. And I feel like a lot of attention has to be paid to the personality and not just the quote unquote, quirks the character has. Make them seem like real adults or real kids or whatever. Find a way to get like banal, but kind of banal but unexpected versions of humanity to put into the movie. Yeah.
Solomon Georgio It’s it’s it’s so layered. But also at the same time, Nazis are getting their faces melted. Yeah, it is like you still you can have these two things exist. This thing can be like story along with like really well put together act like yes.
Louis Virtel Get makes sure that they have moments between each other that remind us, oh we’re watching people like us, the audience.
Solomon Georgio In the movie.
Louis Virtel This seems sort of basic, but something I love about Raiders of the Lost Ark. I think the best version of a summer blockbuster to me is is all about this set pieces. There should be an American Ninja Warrior quality to these movies where it’s like you’ve got this obstacle course thing. Now you’ve got to climb up that thing. It’s culminating with this weird jump off a mountain, which I do have to say. I think maybe the Mission Impossible Series has graduated into becoming the best action series of all time. Just in terms of, you know, you can expect.
Angelica Jade Bastien I Know.
Louis Virtel Stunts and then they always go about getting to them in an unusual way. I’m not going to sit here and pimped the extoll the virtues of Tom Cruise. I find him like fun enough to watch. I’m not obsessed with him, but I always bothers me when people pretend like it’s novel to announce that he’s a good actor girl. He has three Oscar nominations. He’s been famous for a million years. It would be bizarre if you weren’t even.
Solomon Georgio He’s been doing this longer than I think we’ve been alive. Yes.
Louis Virtel At least me.
Solomon Georgio Yeah, he’s well.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Risky Business is 83, so I think I would say. And in terms of not just a set PC summer blockbuster, I think Airplane counts as a summer movie came out during the summer and just this is a movie that comes up a lot in this podcast, but you can it’s one of the few movies where it is unfair to pick a favorite part because literally there’s always something else in the movie that was just as deranged or just as unexpectedly cutting or, you know, something you haven’t seen in another movie. And I watch it every year. So in terms of something I revisit, Airplane would be my summer blockbuster. Are you a fan of it, Anjelica?
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah, it’s funny thinking about the summer blockbuster and how unfunny they are.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Angelica Jade Bastien Like where’s the comedy? The characters make quips, but they’re not like, there’s not actual real built up jokes.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Angelica Jade Bastien We’re in a very strange time when Solomon said something about how, you know, a lot of these movies are filler, I kind of think we’re living in a filler era theory. I’m kind of mulling over because it seems like everything is just a stopgap for something else. Like, that’s kind of how I felt watching The Flash through out. Yeah, good things going to happen. Like it. It has to write something good. Oh. Oh, wait. The movie’s over. Oh, okay. I guess nothing good has happened yet.
Louis Virtel You’re good. You’re good. Part is in another castle, you’re like, Oh, I thought we got here. No, wait. There’s more to come.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah, exactly.
Louis Virtel You know what I will say about funniness in these movies? Harrison Ford historically has been a pretty good gap between the excesses of a summer blockbuster and then the funny character moments. You need to sustain yourself through the kind of audacious stunt build that I think we haven’t had many Harrison Ford’s in that way. Like, I think the best part of Star Wars is his line readings.
Angelica Jade Bastien Oh, definitely. I think he’s hilariously not into it. Yes, great. He casts some like he gives friction to things, which I really like because he just tolerates no bullshit. I like that sort of energy from. And to kind of piggyback on something you said a little earlier with writers, I think writers and like a good summer blockbuster does something interesting with the human body through stunt work. And if it’s not really showing the limits and wonder of the human body, then why the hell am I here?
Louis Virtel Yeah, no, literally, it’s like watching Helen Hunt run from a twister. I’m like, I just don’t know that I would ever see her run off was like, You know what I’m saying? There’s an urgency here. Yeah, she wasn’t up and she wasn’t wearing a track suit in the movie. The session she and Paul Reiser were not, you know, hitting the hurdles in Mad About You.
Solomon Georgio No, Look, she made a great action. Action. It is very weird. It’s her and Nicolas Cage. I’m like, Why are you guys what are we doing here?
Louis Virtel Yes. Right. I think that is an interesting quality about certain blockbusters, though, is like someone who doesn’t belong in a blockbuster. Casting them, I think, automatically makes it more interesting.
Solomon Georgio It makes it like, Look, ConAir, was it The Rock or The CornAir. I can remember watching it, but both of them are insane. And those both were like, I love those movies. Yeah, but Nicolas Cage is the weirdest action hero of All right.
Louis Virtel No, I mean, like, in, like a year before he’s been leaving Las Vegas, a movie he belongs in.
Solomon Georgio Yeah.
Louis Virtel Yeah. And then when we elevate him to these crazy movies with Diane Warren on the soundtrack, it’s just, like the strangest juxtaposition ever. I cannot stop thinking about the movie City of Angels. First of all, a a movie we all about the soundtrack to because it had that U2 song on it. It had Uninvited by Alanis Morissette and Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. And we had.
Solomon Georgio I did not buy the soundtrack to that, but I believe other people did.
Louis Virtel Okay. Well, let me tell you why I did it. And it’s like we had Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan together as some sort of cure. Yeah.
Solomon Georgio Was he a paramedic in that? Yes. Oh, yeah, that’s. He’s a dad.
Louis Virtel Or. Yeah, right. Okay. By the way. Terrible. Imagine remembering it five way. But the casting alone just a Yeah. That X factor of why him and okay. And there should be a reluctant quality that wins us over a bad boy when it comes to these these gigantic films. Are you a Nicolas Cage person, Anjelica?
Angelica Jade Bastien I really appreciate Nicolas Cage. I think it’s really rare to watch actors that I can tell actually care about film as a medium. He cares about film, he cares about his job. He makes some wild ass choices no matter where or what I’m watching him in. And I really appreciate that.
Louis Virtel And when you’re Nick Cage and when you watch an interview with him and he starts to explain why he made the choices he made, you come out more confused. You know, there is just life. There is a puzzle brain in there, like there’s a labyrinth and a bunch of smoke going on and the brain of Nicolas Cage that you never are able to figure out, which, by the way, sets him apart from this is going to sound insulting, but like. Actors who are really competent and really good on screen and logical like this is just the person who came to mind. Amy Adams. I’m happy for those people, but I get Amy Adams. You know, there’s not like she’s not really giving me anything baffling, and I feel like you should baffle us every once in a while on the silver screen. You know.
Angelica Jade Bastien You should you should at least surprise us. And I think a lot of times actors like Amy Adams get into this like sort of wheel of I need to get the accolades. And to do that, I need to do something expected. I need to do what they want. You should never give audience what they think they want. You give them what they actually need, which they usually aren’t always aware of what they’re really rooting fir.
Solomon Georgio I know, it’s it’s I don’t feel like there’s kind of two ways to play it. Like you can be like a Joe Pesci or you get the same kind of thing, but you know, it’s gonna be great. But you can also be like a Gary Oldman. You get something completely different every single time. And I think, Yeah, but yeah, some people have been getting stagnant lately, especially the bigger actors. I’m like, I can’t do miss that. Like the weird castings that are actually do work.
Louis Virtel Gary Oldman is actually an interesting example because once upon a time he really would zig and zag from role, the role that they had nothing to do with each other. And then as the years progressed, got a little bit more mainstream then then sort of found the roles that were more traditional and accolade earning, I mean, Darkest Hours, one of the most traditional Oscar movies of all time. But man, when you watch him in True Romance and That Village guys, that is not a normal performance for look. And I mean, it’s very jarring to see him in that movie And.
Solomon Georgio Drexel is the name of a character. I will never forget it. It is truly one of the wildest acting choices. And it was it’s so I can’t even explain the character. And when you find out it’s him, you’re like, That’s impossible. No, that is.
Louis Virtel This may be wrong. Yeah. Could the credits be incorrect?
Solomon Georgio Yeah.
Louis Virtel Oh, my God. No, that is. We watched that because we just had Patricia Arquette here last week. Fabulous performance from Patricia Arquette.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah. Yeah, Definitely.
Solomon Georgio Underrated.
Louis Virtel Anyway, throw us your favorite summer blockbusters. I’m sure there are several we have not thought of. I didn’t expect to congratulate Harrison Ford so much during this conversation, but he really is sort of the king of the genre ultimately. We will be back with our favorite segment of the show, Keep It in just a moment. And we’re back with our favorite and meanest segment of the show. It’s Keep It. Angelica, What do you have to say Keep It to this week?
Angelica Jade Bastien Well, we’re recording this the day after Juneteenth, which has me feeling a lot of things about how non-black people interact with black struggle. So I’m saying Keep It to every non-black, not just white, because some yall ain’t white. Not black person who I personally know is trifling with black people sharing stuff about helping out niggas for Juneteenth. And sidenote, all you people I saw saying, Oh, you got to help out Negroes. I don’t see no money in my Venmo and I know you’re trifling, so keep that little Instagram bullshit, you care about Negroes one day a year and then sometimes in February. And I don’t trust y’all. I know you don’t like black people. You only like black art and what you can steal from us. So keep that
Solomon Georgio Ooh.
Louis Virtel First of all, for you to address Madonna like that I found very troubling. She has a name. Second of all, literally for for Juneteenth. Yesterday I saw The Flash, and I believe I did my part because white people should spend time in hell.
Solomon Georgio You know what I’m saying?
Angelica Jade Bastien I agree. I think white people should suffer.
Solomon Georgio A little bit.
Angelica Jade Bastien Period.
Louis Virtel Or, like, work twice as hard. I mean, just think logically about this for a moment.
Solomon Georgio Never going to happen. They fall apart.
Louis Virtel Did you guys do nothing for Juneteenth? But what was your plan or struggle or what did you do?
Solomon Georgio I was invited to a few things. I did what I love to do, which is not show up. Yeah. And that’s, I think, what my ancestors would have done and wanted for me. So I took three good naps and I deserved all three.
Angelica Jade Bastien That sounds beautiful. Our ancestors want us to rest. We are tired. We have been struggling for hundreds of years. We are tired. So what I did yesterday, I watched a Marlon Riggs film, Black Is… Black Ain’t, which was great and amazing and one I hadn’t seen before from his work. And I smoked a lot of weed and hung out with my great boyfriend, Black Love, baby. That’s right.
Louis Virtel That’s actual holiday behavior, by the way. Think of, like, the ritual we do for all these other ones. Like, I just. I don’t need someone, like, over at dinner worried. You know what I mean? That just, like, I don’t need, like, Catherine O’Hara angst because somebody was left out of, you know, a Christmas time picture or something. Anyway, good for you.
Solomon Georgio I think specific for Juneteenth, you should allow you to allow yourself the day to be left alone. If you’re a black person, Leave me the hell alone.
Louis Virtel Solomon, What is your Keep It today?
Solomon Georgio My concern is that shoes are getting chunkier and chunkier with every season that passes and somebody who’s grown up in the early 2000s and has bad ankles, I need us to revert back to shoes that are not heavy. And I don’t want another generation to be in early orthopedics because of our bad decisions. It is. I feel like I’m I’m now like it’s like it’s now getting to like cartoon level sizes of shoes. And I’m just like, I’m looking at them like, what are we trying to prove here? I need to know, first of all, that it’s not comfortable. I know it’s not going to bear wearing gigantic galoshes. If they get a little bit of moisture, it’s going to ruin your day. These shoes need to go back to a adequately normal size. And also, you’re not caring about us with narrow, narrow, bony feet. I mean, I mean, it’s true that I’m just I’m just very concerned. The chunkier, the shoe, the more curves your feet will be. And I think we need to be we need to go back to a to the time of responsible shoe.
Louis Virtel When I think of chunky shoe wear and who should be wearing it, you better be performing Groove is in the Heart. You know what I’m saying?
Solomon Georgio Well, I think that’s like if it’s like if it’s a platform, like a chunky heel. Perfect. But I’m talking about just sneakers that are getting like sideways, big, fat, big heel. Like, like first of all, don’t you’re not three inches taller than you are. Let’s go back. Let’s first of all, that’s one thing I want to do. I want people to know what their actual height is and live a living living it.
Louis Virtel That is sort of a thing of the past. Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. I have no idea. Any given time, especially if I go to something like Queer where everybody has to wear like a Daria. But now, you know, it’s like. So you’re like five, eight, but now six two. Yeah, it’s very confusing.
Solomon Georgio It’s while it is weird, like, like if you’re like, unless you’re performing a drag performance for me, I think your heels should be reasonable.
Louis Virtel Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I concur. Yeah, yeah. The Kleenex box. Look. Yeah, yeah. You know what I mean? Just like there’s a reason we don’t wear rectangular prisms on our feet.
Solomon Georgio Look, look, K-Swiss died and should have, Should have. And we do not need to return to that era of shoes.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Angelica, what is your summer shoe wear of choice?
Angelica Jade Bastien Um, this is going to be surprising for some, but, like, if I’m just running a quick errand, a bitch is actually into Birkenstocks. My mom got me a pair of, like, Wow, these are very comfortable. Beyond that, I’m also a masochist who will hold on to wearing my Doc Martin’s as long as possible throughout the year, like a full. And then there comes always a point in the summer I’m like, This is too high. What are you doing to yourself? Why are you doing this?
Solomon Georgio I love that. Shit kickers.
Angelica Jade Bastien Like.
Louis Virtel I call them Garoppolo’s. Yes, yes.
Angelica Jade Bastien Exactly.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yes. But I have a really cute pair of sneakers to kind of go full circle on DC Comics stuff. These really cute pair of limited edition pumas that are styled with art with Poison Ivy. And it was like linked to the Harley Quinn animated show. It’s really, really pretty like really Rich Green and and I love the sneakers, but they’re actually nice so I try not to wear them. So usually it’s Doc Martens.
Louis Virtel Well, let me tell you something. I wear Doc Martens all the time. I also find it to be they don’t pay us in any way. I can’t believe I’m saying this. I find. To be reasonably priced, just like like a good shoe sturdy where I wear them all the time. I just think a boot looks good, generally speaking.
Angelica Jade Bastien Me too.
Louis Virtel I’m brainwashed also by Tomb Raider, which I think has made me think boots are what I should wear for the rest of my life. And also, like again, the most glamorous person who ever had an anthropology degree, Lara Croft. No shade, of course, to Indiana Jones. But second place, I’ve.
Solomon Georgio Never actually owned a pair of Doc Martens. But since you guys discuss it, I might actually go and get a pair today. Where would you recommend?
Louis Virtel By the way, in terms of summer blockbusters, I cannot express how disappointing I find the Tomb Raider films. I was. I was put on this earth to like a movie like that. A woman who gives like a saucy glare out of the side of her eye and then has to discover an amulet somewhere and China or whatever she does.
Solomon Georgio First of all, I enjoyed watching Angelina Jolie learn to do an English accent in front of all of us, and she never nailed it. I enjoyed it.
Louis Virtel Right. I’m sorry to be Jon Voight’s daughter and to achieve something even approaching Cosmopolitan. Yes, I have to applaud.
Angelica Jade Bastien That’s a good point.
Louis Virtel My Keep It this week. Yesterday or today, as we record this, it is Nicole Kidman’s birthday. I think Nicole Kidman now has established herself just one of the greatest movie stars who ever lived. She’s she’s given at least 20 excellent performances going back to the beginning of her career, which is now over 30 years. My Keep It is in defense of Nicole Kidman. My Keep It is to the Academy Awards last year for not nominating her for The Northman. I think she gave one of the best performances of the year last year. It was definitely a a kind of a plum role. It’s all about one big scene, which, by the way, nothing wrong with the supporting performance. That’s all about one big scene if the scene is good enough. But anyway, it’s, you know, it’s Alexander Skarsgard on a sort of mythological journey, lots of violence. It sort of looks like The Revenant at times. That movie a little overlong for being such a simple story. But anyway, Nicole Kidman shows up and does the thing people always forget she does, which is be fucking twisted. She is not a normal person. This is somebody who signed on to a role and she goes, Give me three fucked up things to do. Have you seen The Paper Boy recently? What? Nicole did that?
Angelica Jade Bastien That is wild, that is wild.
Louis Virtel Well, Emma Stone will never do something that fucked up in a movie when you’re from Australia, I think, and you eat that many bugs. Look up the video of Nicole Kidman eating bugs, which she says she does.
Solomon Georgio I believe it. I assume that’s not true. I feel like she just does it from your own hair if she wants to. Yeah, right. Just like what’s.
Louis Virtel Happening in this wig? A cricket. I just. I just respect the unexpectedly deranged quality of many of her roles. She. She plays many conventional ones, too, but routinely she’s very funny. There are some mediocre misfires in there. You get like the prom. Every once in a while you get a nine every once in a while. But for the most part, very glad we have her. And still Rabbit Hole is my number one favorite Nicole performance. Do you have a particular Nicole you cherish?
Angelica Jade Bastien Probably Birth.
Louis Virtel Oh. Uh. You can’t just bring.
Solomon Georgio To Die For is always going to be my favorite.
Louis Virtel To Die For. These are overwhelming choices. Birth, is a movie that is a rare genre. You’re wondering if it’s a supernatural movie you can’t tell as it’s going along, you know, And you’re like, there’s I guess it’s movie magic. I guess they could be tripping into something, you know, paranormal here, but you’re never sure. And of course, Anne Heche, fabulous in that movie, too.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yes. I think it’s of it’s a very intense movie. For some reason. I thought it was a good idea to show my mom at seven and she was like, what the fuck you?
Louis Virtel So it is a very what the fuck movie, you know? And also it’s like a has that indie quality where it’s like an adult having a very strange relationship with a kid thing that only occurs in movies of that size. And to die for of course, maybe my favorite Joaquin Phenix movie too.
Solomon Georgio Oh yeah, it. He’s young, he’s a young guy. And it I think it’s also like, probably like Matt Dillon’s also finest work as well.
Louis Virtel Yes, correct.
Solomon Georgio But she’s so she plays that demented character so well. And I kind of that’s for me, that was probably the first time ever see I do a villain in a film and like and I think every time she does a villain, it’s so like the only good part of the Golden Compass movie, Right?
Louis Virtel Right. Every once in a while we throw in something like The Golden Compass. No, in To Die For, that, to me, has the particular feeling of a role she had to fight to get. You know, maybe. Maybe there was some gay person in the wings who knew she would be great for it. But it just feels like the kind of role where she herself had to and says, Oh, no, I am a strange person, you know that. And like, look up her weirder choices. Look up Stoker, look up Fur, these are movies that have a lot to offer in them. You know.
Angelica Jade Bastien Stoker is that girl. I just had a conversation with a friend about Stoker, and she was like, Oh, have you ever seen Stoker? And I’m like, You mean the movie that had that really weird scene?
Louis Virtel Angelica Just held up a postcard of Stoker.
Angelica Jade Bastien Yeah, Like I made a bookmark. Like I saw that movie several times in theaters when it came out in like 2013 or something, a little younger cinephile. And Nicole Kidman was giving me what I want, which is if you’re going to do a movie about mommy issues, that mommy better be intense. She better be unhinged. And it gave it to me. I loved it.
Louis Virtel Take that, Frances McDormand. All right. I consider that a shots fired if you’re well. Thank you both for being here. My God. Let’s just do this. Let’s. Let’s kick Ira out more often. We we accomplished so much more here and so many fewer accents.
Solomon Georgio Oh, I was going to bring them in heavy.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Your puppets emerge from behind the table.
Solomon Georgio No, thank you. I love this.
Louis Virtel If you both would like to pimp where we can see your work, please do. Solomon, you first.
Solomon Georgio Yeah. I’m Solomon Georgio. All across the board. I’m currently on strike as a writer, so please support the union and not the studios. So that’s. That’s all I’m doing until further notice.
Louis Virtel It is nice that it feels like everyone is supporting the writers. I can’t really think of like some celebrity voice jumping out, being like they’re all wrong or whatever.
Solomon Georgio For now.
Louis Virtel Yeah. All right. There’s still time. Angelica?
Angelica Jade Bastien You can find me on Instagram. I have a substack. But really, you can mostly just find me at my main girl, Vulture in New York magazine, where I have my job as a film and TV critic. And, yeah, just, I don’t know, Google me. Angelica Jade Bastien, you’ll find Instagram and whatever silly shit I’m thinking about, but I’m not on Twitter. Thank God I am free.
Louis Virtel Wouldn’t it be amazing if I just defended Twitter right now? You’re wrong. There’s a lot going on, productive conversations, namely that you’re not privy to. This has been Keep It, we will see you next week.
Ira Madison III Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the Third and Louis Virtel.
Louis Virtel This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team, Megan Patsel and Rachel Gaewski, and to Matt DeGroote and David Toles for production support every week.
Ira Madison III And as always, Keep It as recorded in front of a live studio audience.