Steven T. Hanley of @DeeperMovies Plays Fuck, Marry, Kill With the Challengers Trio


Steven T. Hanley of Deeper Into Movies, photographed by Min Sett Hein.

We’re more than halfway through the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, where highly anticipated releases from Andrea Arnold, Francis Ford Coppola and Yorgos Lanthimos are being screened for the very first time. While we’re being drip-fed red carpet looks and reports about insanely long standing ovations, we thought it was only right to get into all of it with Steven T. Hanley, film curator, host of the Deeper Into Movies podcast, and the brains behind the beloved account @DeeperMovies. Over the past few years, Deeper Into Movies has hosted screenings in both London and New York, followed by live Q&As with some of the most exciting figures in film. On his podcast, you can hear him in conversation with filmmakers like Bret Easton Ellis, Todd Haynes, and Ti West. But this time, we got him all to ourselves. As festival season heats up, we slid into Hanley’s DM’s to talk Cannes, Challengers, Letterboxd slander, and Paul Schrader’s unhinged Facebook rants.


SANDSTROM: Let’s jump in!

HANLEY: Thanks for having me, I’m typing from an Uber en route home.

SANDSTROM: Where are you coming from?

HANLEY: I met up with a pal from NYC and then I went to Five Guys for a hotdog as I’m obsessed with them.

SANDSTROM: Love that. A/S/L?


SANDSTROM: What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

HANLEY: Hug my dog (he’s called Blu-ray) then play music and make tea and check Instagram/messages.


SANDSTROM: Awww. What did you listen to this morning?

HANLEY: Usually ambient music (Brian Eno, Stars of The Lid, Taylor Deupree). I need something soft.

SANDSTROM: Which Cannes 2024 release are you most excited about? What’s on your radar?

HANLEY: Paul Schrader – Oh Canada, Francis Ford Coppola – Megalopolis, Ali Abbasi has a Donald Trump movie called The Apprentice, and I always like Christophe Honoré movies so I wanna see Marcello Mio.

SANDSTROM: Have you been following the Megaloplis drama?

HANLEY: Yes! I love Francis so much and I found it so inspiring he’s just said fuck it, I’m paying for this myself and fulfilling my dream. Also his Instagram presence is so earnest and pure.

SANDSTROM: Okay, most overhyped movie this year?

HANLEY: I’m thinking… I thought Challengers wouldn’t live up to the hype and buzz. BUT IT DID for me.

SANDSTROM: I love to hear this. It did for me too.

HANLEY: Every big movie suddenly becomes a meme. It’s a weird new era.

SANDSTROM: That’s a good segue into my next question. Can you do a quick Fuck, Marry, Kill with the Challenger’s trio?

HANLEY: That’s an amazing question. Fuck Zendaya, Marry my pal Hailey Benton Gates who cameos as his date at the hotel. And kill… Mike Faist. Final answer.

SANDSTROM: Great answer. Wait, what are we doing with Josh O’Connor in that case?

HANLEY: He gets to live.

SANDSTROM: Oh, thank god.

HANLEY: He has a great career ahead of him.

SANDSTROM: Where do you spend the most time online?

HANLEY: Instagram + eBay and I hate to say it but I buy loads of DVDs and Blu-rays from Amazon. Disclaimer: there are lit no stores still selling physical media so I have no choice.

SANDSTROM: Good point. Tell me about your affinity for physical media? You collect some really cool stuff.

HANLEY: I love owning stuff. I love artwork, director commentaries, making of bonus features, being able to look at stuff and hold it. And streamers are chaotic. Often, things will be bought and go to a new company. Or say, Disney will take all their movies and make their own streamer. Or won’t bother to host a movie on their platform as it’s so niche.


HANLEY: Anyway if you OWN IT it’ll always be there. And I grew up renting and going to the video store and record store or book store. So I have deep romantic/nostalgic connection to that.

SANDSTROM: Can definitely relate. Do you have a specific memory of one movie you’d constantly keep going back to rent?

HANLEY: Oh, I was so addicted to The Lost Boys from 1987. It made me wanna be a vampire. And they go to rent movies in a really cool video store in the movie. So I was like “Omg dress goth! Rent movies! Never die! Have hot girlfriends = goals.” Disclaimer: I was 13.

SANDSTROM: Who’s your dream podcast guest?

HANLEY: Steve Buscemi, Chloë Sevigny, Terry Zwigoff, Brian De Palma or Charli XCX. In no particular order.

SANDSTROM: Describe your private browsing persona in three words.


SANDSTROM: I’ll allow it. Do you have a fave celeb feud?

HANLEY: That’s a great question. It’s too long to explain but Robert Altman HATTTTTING Quentin Tarantino is an amazing story, please Google. The shade was legendary.

SANDSTROM: I will be doing a deep dive. How many unread DMs do you have?

HANLEY: None. It gives me anxiety when I see the notification. I try and reply to everyone as it’s usually just nice film people asking about a movie.

SANDSTROM: What’s the last film you gave a one-star rating?

HANLEY: I am THE WORST LETTERBOXD user. I am trying to reform and be a better geek. I have just started logging the films I watch but I don’t have time to review. It’s lit a diary.

SANDSTROM: It really is a diary.

HANLEY: I don’t score or rate but the last movie that got the ❤️ was Anyone But You with Sydney Sweeney. And the Harmony Korine movie AGGRO DR1FT.

SANDSTROM: What did you like about AGGRO DR1FT?

HANLEY: It was like a PlayStation 2 era video game and so sensory and I just kinda fell under its spell. It reminded me of being awake at 2am on weekends at uni playing Grand Theft Auto.

SANDSTROM: Did any of his movies impact you growing up?

HANLEY: YES! Gummo + Julien Donkey-Boy esp. Seeing a young weird messy late teen and 20 something have this impact it blew my mind and gave me hope. I think he was still a teenager when KIDS came out.

SANDSTROM: That is crazy to think about. Strangest DM you’ve received?

HANLEY: Ha, I got a nice DM about me and podcast guest saying she liked how our voices worked together. And then I got this really long almost erotic fan fiction message of what she thought went down after the pod.

SANDSTROM: How did you respond?

HANLEY: Oh, that was READ and left.

SANDSTROM: Can you send a screenshot of a text of the last movie you were bitching about?

HANLEY: This is me and my bestie Dhara who runs Deeper Into Movies with me. But again, it’s just more Challengers love. I’m not sponsored, BTW.


SANDSTROM: Love that. Will you be wearing tennis gear this summer then?

HANLEY: I love preppy / athleisure anyway but I’m pissed the UNIQLO tennis shirts aren’t for sale. I googled it straight after the movie. Guadagnino missed a merch opportunity.

SANDSTROM: Which rising filmmaker should we keep our eyes on?

HANLEY: I’m gonna plug my friends, who I truly believe in: Harris Dickinson is making his debut movie, Bret Easton Ellis to make his horror movie Relapse, New York filmmaker Eugene Kotlyarenko has a new film. Mike Bilandic is amazing. Dasha Nekrasova’s debut was incredible and she’s working on a new movie. And my bff Dhara Wright just made a 10-min movie about us discovering a closed down video store, which I’m obviously a fan of. I co-sign all these talented people.

SANDSTROM: Awesome list, thank you. Do you have a favorite or memorable movie review?

HANLEY: I love Paul Schrader on Facebook. He’s got NO FILTER. And I love Dasha Nekrasova’s Poor Things review ….  😂😂😂😂


SANDSTROM: Did you ever have the privilege of seeing it before it got removed?

HANLEY: No! It was gone before I could see it. But I’ve never seen a BANNED Letterboxd review so it’s my fav.

SANDSTROM: Thats so funny. Also, is “Deeper Into Movies” a reference to the Yo La Tengo song?

HANLEY: So it’s 50% Yo La Tengo but it’s from Pauline Kael’s book of film criticism. Pauline was the GODDESS of film reviews. She’s the best to ever do it. She’d write about the cinema, the crowd, the mood in the theatre. Long before anyone was doing this.

SANDSTROM: What’s your favorite movie theatre in NYC?

HANLEY: Metrograph. It has amazing curation. The cinema is stunning. The snacks and beverages are great. The book store is cool. And all the staff are beautiful (or were in 2019). Are they all still looking like models and actors?

SANDSTROM: Fortunately, yes.

HANLEY: Okay, don’t ever change

SANDSTROM: What should I watch tonight?

HANLEY: Okay, movies to watch, I usually just listen to my favs: Paris, Texas, The Lost Boys, After Hours, They All Laughed. That’s my Letterboxd top 4. And The Sopranos season 1-6

SANDSTROM: Thank you so so much for taking the time!!!