Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 24, 2022

Bill Shute discusses Ed Wood on two-part ‘Ephemeral’ podcast

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:32 am

Very happy to announce that the IHeartRadio podcast “Ephemeral” has released a two-show feature on filmmaker-writer Edward D. Wood, Jr., for which I did an interview last December.

The first show deals with Wood’s beginnings through about 1960, and my comments are probably 70% of the content. Kathy Wood’s (EW’s widow) friend Bob Blackburn is also interviewed, providing insight into Wood’s life (I avoided any speculation about his personal life, asking the producers to talk to Bob about that, since he had direct knowledge through Kathy Wood–I usually try focus on the work, not the personal lives of artists and celebrities). The show is very well-produced (production worthy of, say, This American Life), and it would be an excellent introduction to Wood’s life and work for someone who’d just heard his name and knew nothing about him. It should get a large audience over the years.

There is also a second show, the first half of which discusses his career from 1960 on (Bob B and I are included on that too), and then the final half, which is of less interest, has the three show producers chatting about Wood (that can be skipped, IMHO).

Besides giving a chronological survey of EW’s career and explaining that I considered his work up through THE SINISTER URGE as attempts to fit his unique vision into existing genre-film categories (that’s the way you get a film financed and made and released in the low-budget feature film world, then or now), I also wanted to champion Ed Wood’s work, explain why I totally reject the condescending “bad film” approach, and describe how Wood has been an empowering and inspirational figure to many creative artists. Above all, I wanted to present a narrative about Edward D. Wood, Jr. that his grandchildren, if he’d had any, would have been proud to listen to. I also discussed how Wood would no doubt have re-emerged into the SOV slasher/horror market of the 1980s and 1990s, had he lived.

EW’s marginal, z-grade productions are still charming, entertaining, and fascinating audiences today, 60-70 years after they were made. Since the VHS boom of the 1980s, I’ve re-watched a Wood film every month or two, and I still do today. If I’m feeling antsy or bored, not sure of what to watch, I can put on pretty much any Wood feature or short, pre-1962, and I will be entertained and kept glued to the screen.

Fortunately, the producer left in my mention of the recent collection of Wood’s 1970s adult magazine non-fiction pieces WHEN THE TOPIC IS SEX (Bear Manor Media), which Bob Blackburn edited/compiled and I wrote the introductory essay to, and gave it a few other mentions too. If you are looking for 545 pages of edgy, idiosyncratic, free-associational sex-oriented (mostly) writing to meet a deadline and a word count–a situation that curiously allows Wood’s unique themes and images and wording to be front-and-center–you’ve got an incredible bounty of riches here. However, as with rich food, be sure to sample this content sparingly, or you’ll get the mental and emotional equivalent of a tummy ache!

Here is the link to the first show:

https://omny.fm/shows/ephemeral/ed-wood-i

And the link to the second show:

/https://omny.fm/shows/ephemeral/ed-wood-ii

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Of course, if you REALLY want to take a deep dive into Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s prolific career as a writer and filmmaker, you need to start with what is the ultimate guide to all things Wood, Joe Blevins’ amazingly deep and amazingly documented ED WOOD WEDNESDAYS. When I try to describe this mind-blowing resource to people, as I often do, I use as an example how readers are provided with transcriptions of the captions Wood wrote for hardcore porn loops. That’s only the beginning, my friends…. Once you go down that rabbit hole, you’ll never come back and you’ll probably become a lifelong Ed Wood champion. You can find the index to ED WOOD WEDNESDAYS here:

/https://d2rights.blogspot.com/2013/09/you-know-what-this-weekend-would-be.html

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