Liz Marshall, Director of “The Ghosts In Our Machine”

by | Mar 5, 2014

Liz Marshall—an award-winning filmmaker whose latest project is directing the acclaimed documentary “The Ghosts In Our Machine,” which chiefly examines the work and life of photographer Jo-Anne McArthur—discusses the meaning behind the film’s titular ghosts. Opening NightShe also explains the rationale behind making a full-length documentary about McArthur as she photographs an array of abused and exploited (and happy!) animals, and the attendant issues raised, rather than simple shooting a doc focused directly on those animals and issues; Marshall notes the magnified large_i214UXhjNSS12IIwRqc0zqjw0f5cinematic power here in documenting the documenter, as it were, feeling this gambit would amplify McArthur’s work and the awareness it engenders. Marshall recounts how, before starting the project, she had limited familiarity with many of the animal welfare issues exposed and explored in “The Ghosts In Our Machine,” which likely accounts for the way the film projects a sense of discovery, of learning, as it unspools. She also addresses the three scenes in the movie during which McArthur is engaged in the happy work of photographing cows and other animals at Farm Sanctuary, an ongoing experience that’s clearly restorative for her. Marshall adds, at the end of the conversation, a brief anecdote about receiving Radiohead’s permission to use their song “Give Up The Ghost,” over which the film’s end credits roll. (,

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Debra Starr of The Animal Network, a nonprofit organization in Manatee County, discussing their so-called “Love Posts”—an ongoing art project through which people can salute their pets, past and present, and support Animal Network’s efforts in the process. (,

COMEDY CORNER: Robert Schimmel’s “Swimming With A Dolphin” (portion)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” They Might Be Giants’ “CowTown,” Radiohead’s  “Give Up The Ghost,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  The Everly Brothers’  “Bird Dog”



Listen Online Now:


| Open Player in New Window

Sign up for Updates

Get weekly updates about upcoming shows and events!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Talking Animals. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Archives by Date

In Memoriam

Otis McGarr
(Nov. 1989 – Jan. 4, 2006)

John Taylor
(Sept. 29, 1961-Aug. 20, 2011)