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‘You Must Remember This’ Will Take on ’80s and ’90s Erotic Films, from ‘Fatal Attraction’ to ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

Podcast host Karina Longworth is taking on psychosexual thrillers, neo-noirs, and teen comedies for her new season, from "American Gigolo" to "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

"Eyes Wide Shut"

“Eyes Wide Shut”

Warner Bros/Everett Collection

Hollywood history podcast “You Must Remember This,” hosted by generously insightful historian and movie expert Karina Longworth, is set to dive into erotic films of the 1980s and 1990s, with a two-part season premiering April 5.

While juicy recent seasons have focused on Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, and the life and forgotten-by-many career of producer and production designer Polly Platt, Longworth is taking on more recent cinematic history for her next outing.

The upcoming “You Must Remember This” season will be split into two parts, with “Erotic 80s” debuting on April 5, and “Erotic 90s” set to premiere in the fall. Episodes will focus on genres including erotic thrillers, body horrors, neo-noirs, and sex comedies, and will also trace the fallout of the Motion Picture Production Code, as well as the rise of X-rated movies. As always, new episodes will debut on Tuesdays.

Films like Paul Schrader’s “American Gigolo” (starring Richard Gere in his heartthrob heyday), Amy Heckerling’s teen sex comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and Adrian Lyne’s all-time influential psychosexual thriller “Fatal Attraction” will be discussed, as well as movies directed by Steven Soderbergh and Brian De Palma. Each episode will take on a single year, all leading up to 1999 with the release of Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut,” the director’s swan song that promised audiences a glimpse into Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s sex life, but ended up delivering something far stranger.

Host Longworth told The Hollywood Reporter that the latest theme for the series was inspired by re-watching movies from the past three decades during the lockdown.

“One thing that became clear to me is that the world has changed in many ways that are very evident in cinema,” Longworth said, citing that racism, sexism, and homophobia were at the forefront of these films. “[But] at the same time, there was this sense that a lot of really big, hit movies — that reflected the culture — dealt with people’s sex lives in a way that movies don’t do anymore, at least Hollywood movies. I wanted to try to figure out why that was.”

Longworth also will delve into the media response to film releases, adding, “I am reading vintage issues of People or Playboy, Us Weekly, GQ, Vogue, and seeing how different stars and filmmakers are being presented through the media.” Longworth cited the backlash to “Flashdance” from critics and industry executives.

“I don’t want anybody to be turned off because this season is so recent compared to talking about the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s,” Longworth added. “What I am trying to do is put the ’80s and ’90s in the context of 20th-century Hollywood and talk about the things that happened in the ’20s and the ’30s have a direct relationship to these movies. I am always excited to get people to watch movies that they maybe wouldn’t have watched otherwise or to look at movies that they think they know in a different way.”

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