The Metrograph embodies everything “Old Hollywood” is all about and tries to bring that magical era to life in present day. This Thursday night, the Metrograph will be showing the 1959 film “Pillow Talk” along with the 2014 Oscar-winning animated short “Feast.”
Patrick Osborne, the director of “Feast” and John Epperson will be hosting the evening and will also host a Q&A to give more insight about both films. Epperson chatted with Metro to give us the scoop on what to expect for the exciting evening.
This is the 60th anniversary of “Pillow Talk”— what makes this film so timeless?
Well, times have changed certainly, and part of my introduction will be about nowadays, some of the things that happened in the movie would no longer be considered appropriate with sex and gender politics of today. But it is still timely because men and women are still attracted to one another, of course, one the most interesting things about the movie is that Rock Hudson was playing a heterosexual as he did in the 50s and beyond—but privately he was not. In fact, he plays a duplicitous character in the movie, so you can look at it as though he’s playing himself. He’s playing two different sides of himself.
Why do you think the appeal of “Old Hollywood” is still so magical for people?
I think part of it was that stars were allowed to have personality. Stars today don’t have or don’t seem to be allowed. Why that is? I think the internet has something to do with it.
What other old films do you think people should watch?
I recommend to everyone that they should see “Imitation of Life” that was made in 1959 with Lana Turner. Another one of my favorite movies that’s kind of the sister movie to that one is the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Marnie” that was an opera, you might know about that.
Doris Day, Rock Hudson. GETTY IMAGES
I also recommend to New Yorkers that they see a movie from 1971 called “Klute” with Jane Fonda because you can see a kind of gritty glamour that the city used to have, it doesn’t really have it anymore. I also recommend a movie that people pooh-pooh called “The Fury” from 1978 by Brian De Palma with Amy Irving, just because Brian DePalma’s having so much fun making a movie that you can feel it. I’m sure you’ve seen the movie “Carrie.” But the movie “The Fury” that he made a couple of years later is like “Carrie” with a budget.
Patrick Osborne’s short film “Feast” is playing prior to “Pillow Talk.” Can you give us any insight on what that movie is about?
Well, it’s a very cute film I enjoyed it a lot. In a way it is kind of the same thing as what “Pillow Talk” is about, male and female relationships and how people find one another. It’s about a little dog and it has the Disney stamp on it: The main character of the film is a little dog who can show so many different emotions. But one of my questions to Patrick Osborne is why when we go to the movies do we not see cartoons like that before the feature film starts? I went to go see the Disney “Mary Poppins” reboot and I saw a lot of commercials for Coca-Cola and cellphones but they didn’t show a cartoon, and that would have been perfect for the audience. When I was growing up when you went to the movies you saw the cartoon before the movie. Well, as it turns out, that’s kind of what we’re going to do for Thursday night.
Could you see yourself hosting at the Metrograph again?
Yeah, absolutely, I wouldn’t mind hosting one of those movies I mentioned before.
Will there be a Q&A after the film?
Actually, I’m going to talk with Patrick Osborne after the screening of “Feast,” his animated film, and that’s going to be first and then I’m going to introduce “Pillow Talk” and explain to the audience who some of the people are. Because some people may not know about Rock Hudson’s history or his dark days- or a lot of people don’t know that Ross Hunter was a gay man who produced “Pillow Talk.” There are a lot of gay people who are involved with “Pillow Talk,” not just Rock Hudson. Even the man who directed it was blacklisted during the 1950s Communist witch-hunt, and this movie was his comeback. For about five years he didn’t direct a movie because he was blacklisted by McCarthy and Roy Cohn, and you know who Roy Cohn is and how Roy Cohn fits into today.