Illusion Travels by Streetcar, after over 100 episodes, has proven itself as THE film podcast par excellence, to trounce all its half-baked buttoned-down blather-fest contemporaries. What makes it so great, and its peers so godawful? Well, it’s the absence of NPR-style ‘respectability’ hosting. No belabored introductions for ‘esteemed guests.’ No “wow, that’s fascinating” or “thank you for joining us” or “the last shot is truly a transcendental moment, in the Bressonian vein.” ITBS is a very focused show, a very direct show, a very erudite show, but it is never so humorlessly any of these things as to discourage a little irreverent sidetracking. Directors under discussion are not there to be fawned over, but to be discussed in concrete historical terms that auteurists generally shy away from. All credit is due to Tom Sutpen who, contrary to the average cinephile, does not find history to be irrelevant. Studio politics, matrices of collaboration and conflict, competing currents in the larger national culture — in short, what movies are actually made of, more so than the lyricism-in-a-vacuum that other cinephiles harp on at length. Perhaps my love of ITBS has a little something to do with the fact that I am a co-host, but there is a reason I was a fan of the show before I became so affiliated.
All of this is the preface to a very exciting announcement, an unprecedented event in ITBS history: our first ever LIVE show, two days from now at 8PM EST. Like any quality show, Illusion Travels by Streetcar has, over the span of two years, forged its own internal behind-the-scenes history: spoofs and spats and all sorts of embarrassments as enacted by a supporting cast of bad and beautiful weirdos. And on this LIVE show, the hosts with the most will be indulging in this scandalous dimension of the podcast, with unedited chitchat informed by listener comments! How do YOU get involved? Simple! Just visit the Illusion Travels by Streetcar facebook group, where the esteemed Tom Sutpen will be providing a link to the livestream. And from there, things get cookin’!
We hope to see you all there!