Episode 5

Desert Hearts (1985) and Diner (1982)

In the fifth episode of our Set in the 1950s cycle, we discuss the 1980s hidden gem Desert Hearts and the highly lauded Diner.

Special Guest: Friend and frequent guest, Molly, who led us both to the existential oasis that is Desert Hearts

We often try to choose two films that create a discourse between them, but here I think it is safe to say both films are talking past each other. Desert Hearts was an impossible film that was made through sheer will and determination. Donna Deitch raised 1.5 million to make the film mostly via individual stock sales to investors. Unheard of back then and today. The film itself exudes that deep poetic desire. Diner, on the other hand, feels ramshackle and blase. Despite its high stature amongst film critics, the movie plays like a playboy who has had one too many, slipping and sliding through life as if no consequence could cut the wrong way. These two films are about the same decade, but they are about completely different worlds.

Note: This podcast was recorded and produced during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of writers and actors currently on strike, Asteroid City and The Fabelmans would not exist. Support the artists who make the art you love.