Film & Water #141 – Xanadu


Episode 141: XANADU

Open your ears and hear what we have made is real! Rob welcomes back roller derby queen Laura Menck to strap on some wheels and watch the infamous 1980 musical extravaganza XANADU, starring Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly! PLUS: A special added attraction--comics legend J.M. DeMatteis visits to discuss writing the Marvel Comics adaptation of XANADU!

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14 responses to “Film & Water #141 – Xanadu

  1. First of all: thanks for covering this film. This show has such great variety and scope, for real. So, Xanadu: I recall that my family went out to see this when it came out (I was about 9 years old), and all I remember is that we walked out kind of confused about what we’d just seen, then likely went to get ice cream or something. Since then, I’d always thought of this a “soundtrack in search of a movie,” and I like the soundtrack a lot, especially since I am a huge ELO fan. However, I never tried to watch the movie again, so who knows what I’d think now? Also: it is always great to hear from JM DeMatteis! Talk about a bonus feature!

  2. It was a treat to hear both Laura and JM DeMatteis on the episode. Talk about a podcasting coup!

    I have to admit that I’ve never seen Xanadu, but I am familiar with several songs off the soundtrack. So, it was good to learn about the movie behind the music.

    It’s funny. When you mentioned that Olivia Newton John was more of a presence than an actor, and that she had to do a lot of heavy lifting to play a goddess, my mind immediately leapt to the 1988 TV movie Goddess of Love, which starred Vanna White in the role of Venus. Sadly, that movie lacked a good roller disco scene.

  3. What a great episode! More Laura, please. And more J.M.!

    Animated sequence by Don Bluth’s studio.

  4. I forgot to mention, re: kids getting into old movies, TV, etc. with streaming. My daughter voluntarily watched several Little Rascals shorts on Amazon Prime yesterday. All she had to go on with the property was the 90s movie and recent made-for-Netflix telefilm. She was laughing along with them, so she really enjoyed them.


  5. “I’m old enough to remember record stores.”

    Someone isn’t hip to the vinyl revival. ROFL.

    I get what you mean though. Painting giant covers may seem costly but I think that’s sounds like a fantastic job if you have the talent. Great episode though! I always love a new episode of FILM & WATER.

  6. Your podcast makes me happy! Thank you for letting me join in and hearing about J.M.’s experience was super cool!

  7. Such a fun episode! Xanadu still is being shown in theaters at midnight in Boston and NYC theaters, it Is a cult classic. The lead song was more popular than the movie.

    Rob mentioned “Skatetown USA” , which is dynamite! I hounded for that film for years and bought a badly copied VHS version on the grey market and then the dvd. It has Patrick Swayze as “Ace Johnson” , Scott Baio, and Flip Wilson. It is such a Rollerskating exploitation film.

  8. Thanks for this show. Brought back many fond, fond memories of watching this at the (long gone) Cinema 1 & 2 in Rockingham, NC ( Where I also saw Popeye, The Black Hole, Flash Gordon and TRON), crushing on Olivia Newton-John, loving the Marvel comics adaptation and all but wearing out the E.L.O. side of the soundtrack.

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