Supporting Characters

Host Bill Ackerman talks to writers, bloggers, podcasters, fanzine publishers, programmers, preservationists and more about their creative endeavors and today’s film culture.
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Supporting Characters






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Now displaying: 2018
Nov 26, 2018
Bill talks to filmmaker and film programmer Chris O’Neill. They discuss his experiences in film culture, from childhood movie rental rituals to directing short films, working in distribution and programming for theatres like Kino Cinema and Triskel Christchurch. Topics include Irish cinema, tape trading, STRAW DOGS, Brad Stevens, the changes William Friedkin made to CRUISING and the impact of parenthood on work/life balance.
Visit the official site of Triskel Christ Church:
Listen to an interview with Chris O’Neill about the 59th Cork Film Festival.
Chris O'Neill - Triskel Arts Centre #CorkFilmFest - Fred Industry Channel
Watch film and video work directed by Chris O’Neill:
Read a piece by filmmaker Maximilian Le Cains about Chris O’Neill's work as a filmmaker:
Experimental Conversations:
Nov 12, 2018

Bill talks to film critic Manuela Lazic. They discuss her experiences in film culture, from reading Cahiers du Cinema with her sister in middle school to writing for publications like Little White Lies, The Ringer, Vague Visages, and Birth.Movies.Death. Topics include: Erotic thrillers, influential teachers, Christopher Nolan, writing about performance, podcasts, BLOW UP, drawing Freudian inspiration from Sasha Alexander's performance on NCIS, positivity and branding on social media.

Visit Manuela Lazic’s official site:

Read “The Wild Innocence Of Melanie Griffith”:

Read Manuela Lazic on PERSONAL SHOPPER: 

Read “Alma Matters: Modelling And Being in PHANTOM THREAD”:

Hear Manuela and Elena Lazic discuss THE PARENT TRAP on Blank Check:

Read Manuela and Elena Lazic on THE NEON DEMON:

Read Manuela Lazic in Cinema Scope:

Read Manuela Lazic in Little White Lies:

Follow Manuela Lazic on Twitter:

Nov 5, 2018

Bill talks to film programmer and historian Sergio Mims about some of his many pursuits in film culture, from working on the set of films like PENITENTIARY to co-founding the website Shadow And Act and festivals like Blacklight and Black Harvest Film Festival. Other topics include: influential books, classical music, tips for conducting celebrity interviews, J. Lee Thompson, the L.A. Rebellion film movement, Films And Filming, working in radio and having the good sense to turn down work on a film with a title like THE BABYSITTER MURDERS.

Visit the official site for the Black Harvest Film Festival: 

Read Sergio Mims on Shadow And Act:


Hear an interview with Sergio Mims on SSW Radio:

Visit the official site of WHPK 85.5 FM Chicago:

Oct 31, 2018

Bill speaks to author and musician Stephen Thrower about some of his contributions to film culture, from his earliest film criticism for Shock Xpress and his film journal Eyeball to the development of books like BEYOND TERROR: THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI, NIGHTMARE USA: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE EXPLOITATION INDEPENDENTS and MURDEROUS PASSIONS: THE DELIRIOUS CINEMA OF JESS FRANCO. Other topics include: Dr. Who, Roxy Music, POSSESSION, David Lynch, Ramsey Campbell, THE BROOD, Derek Jarman, DUFFER, Throbbing Gristle, DON’T GO IN THE HOUSE, hedonistic writing techniques, approaches to film scoring and how certain films can be analogous to drugs. 

Visit the official website of Cyclobe: 

Read Stephen Thrower’s essay “From Goblin to Morricone: the art of horror movie music”

Read Stephen Thrower’s memorial essay on Jesús Franco: 

Read Stephen Thrower Top 10 list for the 2012 Sight & Sound poll: 

Buy Stephen Thrower’s books BEYOND TERROR: THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI and NIGHTMARE USA from FAB Press: 

Buy Stephen Thrower’s books on Jesús Franco, MURDEROUS PASSIONS and FLOWERS OF PERVERSION from Strange Attractor: 

Listen to the Daughters Of Darkness two-part podcast series inspired by NIGHTMARE USA: 

Listen to the audio from Stephen Thrower’s introduction to POSSESSION from the 2016 Kinoteka Film Festival:

Oct 22, 2018

Bill speaks to artist and exploitation film preservationist Lisa Petrucci about her experiences in film culture, from childhood encounters with horror movies at the drive-in to running Something Weird Video. Topics discussed include: Mike Vraney, working at Michael Weldon’s original Psychotronic Store in the East Village, early 90s exploitation film fan culture, Reel Wild Cinema, the evolution of Something Weird’s customer base, screening sexploitation films for today’s audiences and how her dad came up with idea for G.I. Joe. 

Visit Lisa Petrucci's official website:

Visit the official Something Weird Video website: 

Visit the official American Genre Film Archive website:

Subscribe to the Something Weird Youtube channel:

Buy Pop Surrealism: The Rise of Underground Art       

Buy Kickass Kuties: The Art of Lisa Petrucci  

Buy Issue #12 of Grindhouse Purgatory: 

Stream Something Weird movies on NightFlight Plus:

Check out the new record Something Weird’s Greatest Hits:

Oct 8, 2018

Bill speaks to Peter Biskind about his various endeavors in film culture, from editing for publications like American Film and Premiere to writing books like THE SKY IS FALLING, DOWN AND DIRTY PICTURES and EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS: HOW THE SEX-DRUGS-AND-ROCK-‘N’_ROLL GENERATION SAVED HOLLYWOOD. Topics discussed include: Biskind’s work as a documentarian, Brandon Films, getting reprimanded by Francis Coppola, the development and reception of EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS, comic book movies and extremism in popular entertainment, Harvey Weinstein and having to axe a piece by Christopher Hitchens because of his insufficient notes.

Buy The Sky Is Falling  - How Vampires, Zombies, Androids, and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism

Visit Simon & Schuster’s author page for Peter Biskind:

Visit the official site for FilmColumbia 2018 film festival:

Listen to the Movie Geeks United interview with Peter Biskind:

Watch Peter Biskind discuss film and technology with Robert Rodriguez and Richard Linklater at SXSW 2001:

Read Thunder on the Left: The Making of Reds -

Aug 20, 2018

Bill speaks to author and film critic Adrian Martin about how a childhood interest in science fiction fanzines lead him towards a rich and varied life in film culture, from teaching film at age 19 and working as a freelance film/arts critic to writing books, co-editing online journals like Rouge and collaborating with fellow critic Cristina Álvarez López on audiovisual essays. Topics include: writing techniques and outfoxing subeditors, progressive rock, specializing in certain films/filmmakers, audio commentaries, Bill Krohn, discussing troublesome directors, early 1980s Melbourne film culture, Josef Von Sternberg and experiencing premonitions in dreams concerning PLANET OF THE APES.

Visit Adrian Martin’s official site, Film Critic: Adrian Martin:

Film Critic: Adrian Martin

Support Adrian Martin’s site via Patreon: 

Watch an interview with Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin on their audio-visual essays:

Watch a discussion led by Peter Mares, critics Adrian Martin, Mel Campbell and Fenella Kernebone and filmmaker Gillian Armstrong about the place of the film critic in our cultural landscape.

Watch THEN HE KISSED ME, a Cristina Álvarez López/Adrian Martin audiovisual essay on TWIN PEAKS - THE RETURN:

Watch STRANGULATION BLUES, a Cristina Álvarez López/Adrian Martin audiovisual essay on BAD TIMING:

Watch WOMAN IN A LANDSCAPE, , a Cristina Álvarez López/Adrian Martin audiovisual essay on Barbara Loden’s WANDA

Visit Adrian Martin’s Mubi author page:

Read Adrian Martin on PURPLE RAIN:

Visit Senses Of Cinema: 

Visit Rouge: 

Visit Lola Journal:

Visit Screening The Past:

Read essays by Bill Krohn:

Aug 8, 2018

Bill speaks to writer Rachael Nisbet about her creative endeavors, from developing the website Hypnotic Crescendos to writing booklet essays for Dario Argento and Sergio Martino home video releases. Topics discussed include: Umberto Lenzi, Edinburgh film culture, research practices, erotic thrillers, Kat Ellinger, DON’T LOOK NOW, Scalarama and how to apply the aesthetic of an Italian giallo to one’s wedding reception. 


Visit Rachael Nisbet’s website, Hypnotic Crecendos:

Read Rachael Nisbet’s essay about the building that the New York apartment in Dario Argento’s INFERNO was modeled after:

Read the essay “Fashion & Italian Horror: Tenebrae (1982)”

Hear Rachael Nisbet on the Screaming Queenz Horror Podcast:

Hear Rachael Nisbet on the Cinema Junkie podcast:

Follow Rachael Nisbet on Twitter:

Rachael Nisbet (@rachael_nisbet) | Twitter
Jul 23, 2018

Bill speaks to film critic Ela Bittencourt about her many pursuits, from past programming efforts like the Neither/Nor Polish retrospective at True/False Film Fest and the LGBTQ Brazil series at the Museum Of The Moving Image, to writing for publications like Slant and Film Comment and creating the website Lyssaria to call attention to the work of young filmmakers. Other topics include: Polish Cinema in the 1990s, hybrid documentaries, Andrzej Zulawski, the importance of good editors and the childhood experience of playing an extra in an Andrzej Wajda movie.

Visit Ela Bittencourt's website, Lyssaria:

Read Ela Bittencourt in Reverse Shot:

Read Ela Bittencourt on 

Read about the LGBTQ Brazil series:

Read about Ela Bittencourt’s upcoming screening at UnionDocs:

Read Ela Bittencourt on COSMOS:

Watch a panel discussion with Ela Bittencourt, Nick Pinkerton and Adam Nayman at the 2014 True/False Film Fest:

Read Ela Bittencourt in Artforum:

Visit the True/False website, where you can download Ela Bittencourt's 2015 monograph on chimeric Polish Cinema of the '70s, '80s and '90s:

Jul 9, 2018

Bill speaks to writer and film programmer Eric Allen Hatch about his many endeavors, from writing criticism for Baltimore’s City Paper to his years serving as director of programming for the Maryland Film Festival. Topics discussed include the Filmmaker Magazine piece “Why I Am Hopeful”, The Red Room Collective, Video Americain, Skizz Cyzyk and MicroCineFest, Beyond Video, Baltimore Museum Of Art’s Free First Thursdays film series, memes and social media, POSSESSION, Metrograph, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and the need for community engagement as a programmer.

Read “Why I Am Hopeful”, Eric Allen Hatch’s Filmmaker Magazine piece on the future of arthouse programming:

Read Eric Allen Hatch’s 2015 piece on Baltimore movie theaters of the past:

Hear Eric Allen Hatch discuss POSSESSION on The Cinephiliacs:

 Visit Beyond The Boonmemes, Eric Allen Hatch’s new Patreon page:

 Read “Cinema Without Safety Goggles”, Eric Allen Hatch’s new essay for Metrograph:

Learn about Beyond Video, the Baltimore Video Collective’s not-for-profit video rental store:

Jun 12, 2018
Bill speaks with filmmaker and Blue Underground CEO Bill Lustig about his many experiences in film, from his childhood experiences on 42nd Street regular to directing cult favorites like MANIAC and VIGILANTE and working in home video with companies like Anchor Bay Entertainment. Topics discussed include Netflix, ALICE SWEET ALICE, filming car chases with Randy Jurgensen, character actors, the differences between East and West Coast adult films of the 1970s, Duke Mitchell, TRUE ROMANCE and  the economic realities of the home video business.

Visit the official site of Blue Underground:
Blue Underground - DVD and Blu-ray Cult Classics

Hear Bill Lustig in conversation with Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment:
William Lustig: Maniac and Vigilante

Hear Bill Lustig talk about his uncle, Jake LaMotta, on Movie Geeks United: 35th Anniversary: RAGING BULL

Read Bill Lustig's interview with Daily Grindhouse:

Mar 6, 2018
Bill speaks with critic and author Alexandra Heller-Nicholas about her many pursuits, from co-founding Fiend Magazine and writing books like RAPE-REVENGE FILMS and FOUND FOOTAGE HORROR FILMS to editing for Senses Of Cinema and co-curating the Pioneering Women program on Australian women filmmakers of the 1980’s and 1990’s. Topics covered include: Carol Clover, Plato’s Cave, date movies, masks, MEGAN IS MISSING, writing and editing tips, Hal Hartley, THE STENDHAL SYNDROME, Graveyard Shift Sisters and the predatory behavior of Pepé Le Pew.

Visit Alexandra Heller-Nicholas’s official site:
Visit Alexandra Heller-Nicholas’s site Generation Starstruck, focusing on Australian women’s filmmaking made between 1980-1999:
Visit Alexandra Heller-Nicholas’s Amazon author page:
Watch this panel on cinephilia, featuring Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Jonathan Rosenbaum, David Jenkins, Conor Bateman and Cerise Howard:
Visit the online film journal Senses Of Cinema:

Hear Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on The Cinephiliacs:

Buy the Region B Arrow Video edition of Brian De Palm’s CARRIE, featuring audio commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Lee Gambin:

Read Daphne du Maurier’s THE BLUE LENSES:

Read a roundtable discussion conducted by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on LOST GIRLS:

Read Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on Andrzej Zulawski:

Read Alexandra Heller-Nicholas' celebrated essay on MAD MAX: FURY ROAD:

Hear Alexandra Heller-Nicholas on the Plato’s Cave radio program:

Visit the official site of Graveyard Shift Sisters:

Feb 5, 2018

Bill speaks with film writer and DVD/Blu-Ray producer Michael Brooke about his various endeavors, from his years at Hampstead’s Everyman Cinema and the BFI to producing Blu-Ray releases for labels like Arrow Video and Indicator. Topics covered include: London repertory cinemas of the 1980s, Béla Bartók, revisionist video transfers, Ken Russell, video label economics and limited editions, Mehelli Modi and Second Run DVD, Jan Švankmajer, Channel 4's adventurous 1980s programming, audio commentaries, The Quay Brothers and how testing pasta shells for your children can lead you to reconsider appearing on camera.

Read Michael Brooke’s BFI author page:

Read an overview of Michael Brooke’s contributions to Sight & Sound:

Read Michael Brooke’s essay for Criterion on FANTASTIC PLANET:

Read Neil Snowdon’s interview with Michael Brooke:

Visit BFI Screenonline:

Visit Powerhouse Films:

Visit Second Run DVD:

Jan 22, 2018
Bill speaks with author, critic and publisher Maitland McDonagh about her creative pursuits, from the origins of books like THE 50 MOST EROTIC FILMS OF ALL TIME and the landmark BROKEN MIRRORS/BROKEN MINDS: THE DARK DREAMS OF DARIO ARGENTO to blogging for TV Guide and founding 120 Days Books. Topics covered include: ballet, COLUMBIA FILM REVIEW, Times Square grindhouse culture, Dennis Gifford’s A PICTORIAL HISTORY OF HORROR MOVIES, writing for TV Guide, contemporary horror films, film theory, DARKER THAN AMBER, cat counselors and Abel Ferrara’s approach to ensuring a quiet setting for an interview.
Visit the official site of 120 Days Books:
Visit Maitland McDonagh’s blog Miss Flick Chick:
Visit Maitland McDonagh’s author page at Film Comment:
Visit Maitland McDonagh’s author page at Culture Sonar:
Visit Maitland McDonagh’s author page at
Read about Maitland McDonagh’s first screening of DEEP RED:
Hear Maitland McDonagh on the Film Comment Podcast:
Hear Maitland McDonagh on DECOY:
Hear Maitland McDonagh on NIGHT OF THE CREEPS with Heather Drain:
Hear Maitland McDonagh on STRANGER ON THE THIRD FLOOR with Samm Deighan:
Hear Maitland McDonagh on THE RED SHOES with Daniel Bird:
Jan 8, 2018
Bill speaks with film journalist, critic and film festival programmer Alan Jones about some of his many endeavors, from writing childhood film diaries to co-directing the UK's largest International genre film festival. Topics covered include: Dario Argento, The Portobello Hotel, punk rock, auditioning for Russ Meyer, CARRIE, The BFI, Guillermo del Toro, disco and Jones’ forthcoming book DISCO MANIA for Nicolas Winding Refn, Asia Argento, visiting film locations, and how following the writing advice of Jackie Collins can allow you to accept the pleasures of alliteration.
Visit the official FrightFest Site:
Visit Alan Jones’ Amazon author page:
Watch Nicolas Winding Refn and Alan Jones discuss their book THE ACT OF SEEING
Watch Alan Jones in conversation with George A. Romero:
Hear Alan Jones discuss giallo thrillers on the Evolution of Horror podcast: