The Pointless Century

S2E6 - M (1931) / Psycho (1960)

Matthew S. Wise talks about the evolution of the horror genre; we all agree that these great films productively question the usefulness of the police; but Frank then explains how one might be secretly or accidentally fascist.

1 year ago

Episode Notes

M, film still feat. Gustaf Gründgens (Nero-Film, 1931) S2 E6: M (1931) / Psycho (1960)

*TW: murder, implied sexual assault

M. Dir. Fritz Lang. Writ. Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou. Perf. Peter Lorre, Otto Wernicke, Gustaf Gründgens. Nero-Film, 1931.

Ménilmontant. Dir. Dimitri Kirsanoff. Perf. Nadia Sibirskaïa, Yolande Beaulieu, Guy Belmont. 1926.

Hereditary. Dir. Ari Aster. Perf. Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne. A24, 2018.

Psycho. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Perf. Janet Leigh, Pat Hitchcock, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, Anthony Perkins. Paramount, 1960.

Matthew S. Wise talks about the evolution of the horror genre; we all agree that these great films productively question the usefulness of the police; but Frank then explains how one might be secretly or accidentally fascist.

The Pointless Crew: Matthew S. Wise (he/him/his) – Author of the poetry collection Everything Is Ed Wood // Frank Fucile (he/him/his) – Lit & Theory, Film & Media, Genre, Enviro & Tech Studies // Anna Wendorff (she/her/hers) – Communications, Rhetorics of Sci & Tech, Feminism // Rachel Hamele (she/her/hers) – History, Humanities, Queer Studies, Fandoms // Madalyn McCabe (she/her/hers) – Sound Editing, French, European Studies

CLARIFICATIONS: Frank and Anna refer obliquely to Hitchcock’s and Lang’s notorious treatment of their actors. See Robert Evans’s Behind the Bastards for two episodes dealing with Hitchcock’s pranks and his treatment of leading women specifically. Plenty of anecdotes about Lang are also accessible online, and his treatment of Brigitte Helm on the set of Metropolis was mentioned in S2E4. Frank suggests that Lang may have practiced some forms of non-vanilla sexuality, but other sources claim that Lang fled Nazi Germany because his mother was ethnically Jewish (though she had converted and raised him as a Catholic).

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MUSIC: Refused – “Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull” from The Shape of Punk to Come (Burning Heart, 1998)

Cardiel – “Sheriff Hernandez” from Local Solo (La Roma, 2014)

ART: Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World. Oil on canvas, 1918. Imperial War Museum.

M, film still feat. Gustaf Gründgens (Nero-Film, 1931)

Find out more at https://the-pointless-century.pinecast.co

The Pointless Century is a podcast of informal discussions about literature and film seeking to understand 20th century history and illuminate 21st century politics. Professor Frank Fucile and research assistants Anna Wendorff and Rachel Hamele work their way through comparative studies of canonical works, examples from pop culture, and some cult classics while reflecting on subjects like technology, art, class, race, gender, sexuality, the environment, (as always) war, and (inevitably) fascism.