WPKN Archives: Live Culture with Martha Willette Lewis Episode 63:The Making of "Shirley"

Episode Info

Original Aired:
Saturday, July 25th, 2020
11:00AM to 12:00PM

1 hour

Saturday, July 25th, 2020 11:03AM



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Episode: Live Culture with Martha Willette Lewis Episode 63:The Making of "Shirley"

My guests this month on Live Culture are Film Director Josephine Decker and Film Editor David Barker to discuss their new film Shirley, which won the 2020 Sundance Film Festival
Special Jury Prize for Auteur Filmmaking.

In the Film, renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson is on the precipice of writing her masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband. The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young couple at their door.

Shirley, which Opened Digitally on June 5th, Stars Elizabeth Moss in the title role, and was written by Sarah Gubbins, based on the book of the same name, written by Susan Scarf Merrell.

Josephine Decker has said about Shirley Jackson: "I remember reading some critic or biographer noting that Shirley wasn’t a political writer. But I believe that Shirley grounded the political in the personal and that this is why her work continues to resonate today. Her stories are so deeply human that they are also timeless. She battled racism, classism and sexism through the unusual, the psychological, the manipulative rhythms of the subconscious.”

Join Josephine, David and I for a conversation about the mechanics behind making the film, with its distinctive coloring, camera style, and wonderfully detailed sets and costumes. As the film came out during the pandemic we discuss the logistics of that, and how Jackson herself is memorialized in this deeply creative blending of her life and her fiction, creating a new reality that very much speaks to the now. A feast for the eyes and ears, the film also has a remarkable soundtrack including original music by Tamar-kali and tracks by Huddie Ledbetter, The Bell Sisters and Clarence Ashley.

watch the trailer here
for more about the film see here


Josephine Decker
by Sarah Gubbins
by Tamar-kali

Elisabeth Moss
Odessa Young
Michael Stuhlbarg
Logan Lerman

Distributed by NEON

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