Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Show: The Secret History of Hollywood
Where You Can Stream It: The podcasting app of your choice.
The Pitch: The Secret History of Hollywood is the most compelling, immersive, and emotional podcast I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Each season consists of deep dives into a major Hollywood figure, tracing its subject’s rise to prominence and giving incredible insight into their home lives, painting a portrait so captivating and well-rounded that biographies or books on the subjects could only dream to achieve.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Listening: I’ve been thinking about this podcast a lot since I first stumbled across it several years ago, but I think it’s especially appropriate to recommend it right now because some of its episodes are incredibly lengthy – many clock in around an hour and a half, but some of them stretch to four, six, or even nine hours long. Yes, really. Some of you may scoff, but isn’t being in quarantine the perfect time to give a long-form podcast a chance?
Adam Roche, the voice behind the show, had no background in sound editing or sound production when he got started, but he could have fooled me: the series reminds me of an old-time radio show, complete with sound effects and Roche doing voices as he plays the people in a given scene. I realize that may sound cheesy, and it absolutely would be in less-capable hands. But trust me: Roche’s mellifluous voice and incredibly researched accounts are perfect for this type of storytelling.
The show has brought me to tears multiple times over the years, and I think a huge part of the reason for that is because of the long episode lengths. Like a great TV series you never want to end, you get to spend hours and hours with the subjects of these episodes and build emotional connections to them, so when they they experience hardships, a project goes wrong, or they lose a loved one, the results can be unexpectedly powerful.
The show has earned the attention of Hollywood vets like Peter Ramsey Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mark Gatiss Sherlock, Game of Thrones, the latter of whom lends his own terrific voice to introductions of the most recent season, which covers the prolific producer Val Lewton Cat People, The Body Snatcher, The Ghost Ship. I knew nothing about Lewton or his work before I listened to the eleven episode season, but by the end, I feel like not only do I know all about him, but I feel I’ve experienced his highs and lows right alongside him. It’s truly spellbinding stuff, and it comes with my absolute highest recommendation.
I’ve talked about the show a couple...
With the Academy Museum finally, finally set to open to the public on December 14, eight years since the project was first announced, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has lined up a new group of world-class talent to contribute to the museum’s programming. Spike Lee and Pedro Almodóvar are among recently announced filmmakers who will curate exhibits for the Academy Museum, with more directors to come, AMPAS said on Saturday. Specific details on the exhibits have yet to be announced.
“Joker” composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, the first woman ever to win the Best Original Score Academy Award, will also collaborate on new exhibits. So will veteran sound-effects whiz Ben Burtt, an editor and Oscar winner on the original “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”
“We will open the Academy Museum with exhibitions and programs that will illuminate the complex and fascinating world of cinema — its art, technology, artists, history, and social impact — through a variety of diverse and engaging voices,” Academy Museum director Bill Kramer said in a statement. “We will tell complete stories of moviemaking — celebratory, educational, and sometimes critical and uncomfortable. Global in outlook and grounded in the unparalleled collections and expertise of the Academy, these first exhibitions will establish this museum as incomparable in the world of cinema.”
Kramer also acknowledged that the Academy is moving full speed ahead, despite the current challenges of the pandemic, in hopes of a light at the end of the tunnel. “We are keenly aware that we're working towards the opening of the Academy Museum during a time of great challenge. Over the past century, motion pictures have reflected and impacted major historical issues and events. The stories we tell in the Academy Museum are part of those bigger stories, and we are committed to highlighting the social impact of motion pictures. We look forward to brighter days for everyone, everywhere,” he said.
With three stories and 50,000 square feet of gallery space, the Academy Museum at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles already has several planned exhibitions, including a focus on films from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. With the help of Leonardo DiCaprio, the museum was able to obtain a pair of the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz,” which will be on display.
Read IndieWire’s report on the latest developments at the Academy Museum from Anne Thompson here.