Seeing us through to the end of the year we’ve reached out to a number of our favourite artists and cultural creatives to join us in celebrating good things. A bunch of five things that make their world go around, inspire them or just need celebrating for what they are. There’s no theme here. It’s no kind of “best of year” round-up. These are just five things of the many things identified as making the world a better place to be. We’re all about positivity. Almost all of the time. We promise…
Steven T Hanley founded the pop-up cinema club Deeper Into Movies a few years back. Initially playing neglected movies in the back rooms of bars Deeper has grown to be one of the most innovative and adventurous (and hardest working) outfits on the London film scene. Recently they have set up their own streaming platform for new movies and overlooked cult classics which blows away Netflix and Mubi when it comes to the perfect pitch of high brow/ low brow screen time. And their podcast has featured interviews with the likes of Hal Hartley, Mike Leigh and Abel Ferrara. Here’s Steven with a fab five.
Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast.
This podcast for me has been a constant source of inspiration and a weekly companion for 10 years.
After 25 years as a cult comic, Marc Maron was close to giving up when he finally found success on his own terms: turning his intense personality into a hit podcast.
Marc Maron rebuilt his life from a garage in Los Angeles. When the comedian reached his lowest ebb in 2009, having been fired for the third time in a row and divorced for the second, it didn’t look like things could get any worse.
After two-and-a-half decades as a stand-up, Maron’s ferocious, bare-all sense of humour had alienated him from the comedy industry. After running out of options, he converted his garage into a makeshift recording studio to pursue WTF with Marc Maron, a podcast of in-depth conversations with celebrities
What immediately set the show apart was his unflinching interview technique – one shaped by Maron’s recovery from addictions to alcohol and cocaine. Not only had it made him more empathetic and interested in others, but drawing from his own struggles and insecurities allowed him to elicit the same level of vulnerability from guests.
Six years and over 700 episodes later, Maron’s podcast remains a twice-weekly dispatch from his garage – but its reach has extended far beyond anything he could have imagined.
Bret Easton Ellis – Glamorama
My favourite novel of all time. Part satire of fashion and celebrity culture and part Robert Ludlum espionage thriller.
Everything thing about about this book is incredible from the Chip Kidd hardback jacket, the books chapters counting down from 40-1, the minimal prose style and the incredible open section detailing the run up to the clubs opening.
This is Bret’s magnum opus written over eight years. I always come back to this book every few years to re-read and it’s still gives me so much pleasure.
After Hours (1985)
Scorsese’s criminally slept on masterpiece.
Maybe the most stressful viewing experience I’ve ever experienced. An ordinary word processor (Griffin Dunne) has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho. There’s been a few “worst night /what else could go wrong movies” but nothing can touch After Hours with its manic desperate energy and a real sense of darkness and danger.
Paris, Texas (1984)
Wenders' masterpiece and my (other) favourite film of all time.
Like the title alludes to, the film captures both a European art film sensibility and a romance for the vast American landscape. It follows the mysterious, nearly mute drifter Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) as he tries to reconnect with his young son.
The movie belongs to the late great Harry Dean, it's hard to think of any other actor who could have brought such vulnerability, history and soul to the character yet saying so little – but you've only got to watch Harry to feel it- his face is the story.
Taylor Deupree – Faint
I’ve always loved ambient music and I found myself playing this record after my film events. I’d usually leave the venue around 11-12 at night and can’t handle loud music or anything with lyrics so I’d gravitate toward soundtracks or ambient and this album became an instant favourite.
I love the stillness of this music.
This is deeply melancholic record.
Staring out the window of my Uber ride as we travel through empty London at night listening to Thaw is one of my fav things to do.
Steven T Hanley photo by Cat Linton.
Deeper Into Movies can be found here. Check out their new streaming platform or go to one of their screenings if you are in London (or elsewhere for more irregular pop-ups). Follow @deepermovies on Instagram for the latest info.
There is an excellent short doc from 2018 on Deeper Into Movies (dir. Christopher Rogers) which can be seen here.