Ep. 363: Baz Luhrmann’s Great New Movie "Elvis" is Much More Than The Sum of Its Parts

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This week’s very special episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show focuses on Baz Luhrmann’s new movie Elvis and the life, music, legend, meaning, and enduring importance of “The King” Elvis Presley.

“Champion” Joe Lansdale is the award-winning author of more than 50 novels including the amazing Hap and Leonard series. His Bram Stoker Award-nominated novella, Bubba Ho-Tep, was made into a movie of the same name by Don Coscarelli and featured Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis.

Joe Lansdale shares what it was like experiencing the Elvis cultural phenomenon as a young man; the power of black music and Presley’s relationship to it; youth culture and sex; and Luhrmann’s new movie as a work of art and a type of true lie.

Joe Lansdale also shares a powerful memory about exactly where he was and what he was doing the moment he found out that Elvis Presley had died.

And Joe Lansdale reflects on getting to know Michael Kenneth Williams, shares some thoughts about his beloved cult classic film Bubba Ho-Tep, and of course updates folks on the future of Hap and Leonard.

Michael Bertrand is the second guest on this week’s installment of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

He is a professor of history at Tennessee State University and the author of the book Race, Rock, and Elvis.

Bertrand separates fact from fiction about Elvis Presley’s relationship to black music and the color line; the complex dynamics of race and class in Presley’s life, career, and cultural meaning; and why we are still talking about The King almost five decades after his death.

Chauncey DeVega goes to the movies and reviews The Black Phone, Mr. Malcolm’s List, Crimes of the Future, Brian and Charles, The Phantom of the Open, and Top Gun: Maverick.

And Chauncey is overwhelmed with emotion while watching G.I. Joe: The Movie 35th Anniversary.

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