Reeder On Anders

Allison Anders is a name that doesn't get mentioned nearly as much as it should. And thanks to Jennifer Reeder, this month we're pointing out why this is a mistake that needs to be corrected. From Gas Food Lodging to Grace of My Heart and Things Beyond the Sun, Anders was one of the defining voices of 1990s American indie cinema. So what happened? We take a decent stab at figuring it out, as we celebrate the remarkable films that Anders has made and continues to make.

Blink and you’ll miss her: director Nicole Holofcener cameos as a prison guard in one shot of Mi Vida Loca (1993)

Jennifer was in London for the BFI Flare Festival, and by an amazing coincidence, so was Allison Anders! Jennifer’s film Signature Move was Flare’s Closing Night Gala film, and Allison’s seminal Gas Food Lodging was celebrating its 25th anniversary with a restored 2K digital print. Before you get excited, we don't actually have Allison on this episode, but we are working to get her on a future show to find out which filmmaker she herself admires. Nevertheless, Sophie managed to track her down and snap a photo with her, which you can see below!

Before we talk the films of Allison Anders, Sophie and Lee tackle some new releases, looking at a couple of very different films with an unexpected thematic link: James Mangold's Wolverine swansong Logan, and Sara Taksler's Bassem Youssef documentary Tickling Giants.

Pre-fame cameos: (l-r) Jason Lee, Spike Jonze and Tiffany Anders doing a deal in Mi Vida Loca (1993)

Then Sophie joins Jennifer in her hotel room to talk all things Anders, and find out why she was such an influence on a young Jennifer Reeder. Sophie then checks back with Lee for some final thoughts on AA’s films. As with all of our episodes, we do our best to appeal to both Anders fans as well as those with no knowledge of her films. Like Ted the Bellhop, we do our best to cater to everyone.

A couple of familiar names appear on-screen in Gas Food Lodging (1992) (left) and Sugar Town (1999) (right)

Further reading:

  • That moment in the Man of Steel trailer that Lee talks about obsessing over can be seen here about 22 seconds in
  • Two pieces that explore Bassem Youssef's move to the US, including this interview on NPR's Fresh Air and this one with Rolling Stone
  • Sophie references the Amy Schumer Show sketch “The Last Fuckable Day” (which was, coincidentally, directed by Nicole Holocener)
  • Lee mentions his repeated viewings of the Four Rooms trailer, which you can take a look at here, if you’re curious
  • Since Nicole Holofcener's come up a number of times this month, we should point out you can listen back to our Holocener episode with our guest, actress Pollyanna McIntosh
  • With this episode, we're three quarters of the way through covering anthology film Four Rooms, which Allison Anders co-directed by Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Alexandre Rockwell. While we wait for a guest to pick Rockwell, you can listen back to our Tarantino episode (also our third anniversary show) with director Brian Trenchard-Smith, and our Rodriguez episode with comedian Jon Bennett
  • Sophie mentions the epic Greta Garbo record collection that Allison Anders owns, and you can read Allison's blog about it right here
  • Want to see some more from Jennifer Reeder? Take a look at her website here

Outro music: “God Give Me Strength”, written by Burt Bacharach & Elvis Costello and performed by Kristen Vigard, from Grace of My Heart (1996)

Jennifer and Sophie get purple at the Flare Festival (photo credit: Carol Morley)
Sophie runs into the subject of this episode, the one and only Allison Anders, at the BFI (photo credit: Anna Bogutskaya)

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Jennifer Reeder talking the films of Allison Anders, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed via our website.

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