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Christian Genzel - page 2

Christian Genzel has 12 articles published.

Christian Genzel works as a filmmaker and journalist. He has written and directed the psychological thriller DIE MUSE/The Muse plus several music videos and short films. His mystery short CINEMA DELL' OSCURITÀ was nominated for the 13th Street Shocking Short Award in 2017. He is currently working on a documentary on cult filmmaker Howard Ziehm called FINDING PLANET PORNO. As a journalist, Genzel has been published in/at Film & TV Kamera, Celluloid, 35 Millimeter, GameStar, Neon Zombie, gmx.de and the All-Music Guide. He has conducted in-depth interviews with numerous filmmakers, musicians, game designers, and others.

Talking Pictures #2: Mark W. Travis, Director of GOING UNDER

Back in the Nineties, I came across a comedy on German television starring Bill Pullman that was called U-BOOT ACADEMY – a film that seemed to be in the same vein as the POLICE ACADEMY movies, with lovably goofy characters and a delightfully silly kind of humor. Even though Michael Winslow had a small part in it, the film actually didn’t have anything to do with the ACADEMY series, as I later found out – its original title was GOING UNDER. Regardless of its connection or lack thereof to the ACADEMY movies, I loved the film – its visual gags, its crazy ideas, its Zucker-style absurdity. Pullman was in his wonderful early comedy mode, and the film (which I’ve always seen in its dubbed version, which adds quite a lot of puns) remains endlessly quotable.

Over the years, I’ve always kept an eye out for other films made by GOING UNDER’s director, Mark W. Travis. While Mark has worked extensively in television and theatre, GOING UNDER remains his only feature film. However, Mark went on to become a well-regarded teacher, doing acting and directing workshops all over the world, and releasing several books on directing, e.g. THE FILM DIRECTOR’S BAG OF TRICKS. You can find out more about him on his website.

After revisiting the film and writing a piece on it for my German-language blog Wilsons Dachboden (here), I decided to contact Mark and interview him about the film. I was surprised to hear that there was a lot of behind-the-scenes drama in post-production, and the finished film isn’t what Mark wanted at all …

The mp3 file can be downloaded HERE.
The Talking Pictures podcast can be found on iTunes: HERE.

Photo of Mark W. Travis (C) Mark W. Travis.
Special thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner for audio editing. The music was created by Clark Kent.

Talking Pictures #1: Howard Ziehm, Creator of FLESH GORDON

In February 1994, a film that was shown late at night on TV caught my attention: FLESH GORDON MEETS THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS. It was labelled “flop of the day” by my TV guide, but that never stopped me from checking out movies that looked different and interesting. The film turned out to be one of the craziest comedies ever made – a SF spoof with no shortage of dirty jokes, inspired silliness, weird monsters and … yes, penis- and breast-shaped spaceships. Certainly not a film for everybody, but done with an amazing amount of creativity.

A couple years later, I got the UK VHS tapes of both FLESH GORDON and FLESH GORDON MEETS THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS. I watched them over and over again, sometimes with friends who I tried to introduce to the offbeat charm of both movies. And, having an Internet connection since 1996, I tried finding out more about FLESH GORDON creator Howard Ziehm. I gathered he had done a number of adult films and hadn’t made a new movie since 1989’s FLESH GORDON MEETS THE COSMIC CHEERLEADERS. Other than that, information was very sparse.

Turns out Howard Ziehm didn’t just direct a few random adult films – he was actually one of the pioneers of the porno revolution of the 70’s, having directed its first feature film with theatrical distribution, MONA THE VIRGIN NYMPH!

Several years later, FLESH GORDON was released on DVD – along with an audio commentary by Howard, who told the fascinating story of how that film came together. It’s a tale of accidents and police raids, betrayal and overcoming adversity – simply put: a riveting account that makes you wish it didn’t end after an hour.

Last year, Howard told the full story when he released his autobiography TAKE YOUR SHAME AND SHOVE IT – which isn’t just a highly entertaining story of a porn pioneer who’s also been the co-owner of a folk club in San Francisco and tried his hand (not too successfully, as he is quick to point out) at smuggling drugs from Mexico, but also a fascinating portrait of an era that brought immense social and moral changes.

And now, Howard’s my first guest on my new interview series Talking Pictures. I feel honored that he took the time to talk to me about his book and his career. We’ve discussed how he almost threw in the towel when making FLESH GORDON, how the adult movie industry has changed, why people are ashamed of their sexuality, what Howard’s stylistic touches are – and Howard gives the most concise advice ever on how to shoot good porn. Enjoy!

The file can be downloaded HERE.
The Talking Pictures podcast can be found on iTunes: HERE.

Many thanks to Howard and Judy Ziehm for the picture.
Special thanks to Dr. Wily, my Lichtspielplatz podcasting partner, and Dia Westerteicher, from the Evil Ed Podcast, for audio editing and mastering. The music was created by Clark Kent.

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