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Now displaying: Category: episode


Hosted by Charlie Bennett and Christian Sager.

Jan 24, 2020

This 1969 double-album has been described as both “unlistenable” and “one of the greatest albums of all time.” We discuss its volatile production while trying to understand its composition and how it influenced another fifty years of weird music.

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Jan 17, 2020

This 1999 cannibal-horror-comedy film went through three directors in a troubled production. We discussed how it successfully critiques American consumption and Manifest Destiny despite its financial failure.

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Jan 10, 2020

This comic book series by Neal Adams is a strange combination of talent and narcissism, along with the realization that its lead character and its creator aren't as in control as they want to be. We discuss gun violence, Expanding Earth theory, and generational conflict to try to make sense of this one-of-a-kind experience.

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Jan 3, 2020

This 1996 film is a purported biopic about a famous painter by another famous painter, Julian Schnabel. We ask whether the narrative this movie presents is an inaccurate portrayal of its subject because it exploits him or because the director is commenting on his own place within the world of fine art.

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Dec 27, 2019

This is a repost of a 2016 episode.

In our 2016 holiday episode, we looked at the forgotten Christmas Eve tradition of telling ghost stories. M.R. James' work from over a hundred years ago best represents this Victorian trend, so in his honor we brought horror to academia and safe spaces.

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Dec 20, 2019

This 2013 novel is a sequel to The Shining. With guest Emily Lewis, we consider how King continues his own redemption arc through these stories about alcoholism and parenting.

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Dec 6, 2019

Thank you to our Co-producer patron Kevin Wetter for selecting this week's topic!

This 1994 indie rock album means a lot to its fans as proof positive that you can survive a romantic breakup. We look at the small business that drove its creation and try to put ourselves in the shoes of the listeners who cherish it.

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Nov 29, 2019

This animated series was an MTV oddity, televised between 1991 and 1994 in a blur of non-linear, ambiguous chunks. We talk about how creator Peter Chung got this made while inserting symbolic references to the limits of 1990's storytelling. We also wonder why we're so nostalgic for a simpler time when our entertainment was more nebulous and weird.

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Nov 22, 2019

This 1975 children's book by Roald Dahl is about class conflict and an idealized relationship between a child and their parent. We talk about Dahl's notoriously disagreeable personality while trying to reconcile it with this genuinely joyful story.

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Oct 11, 2019

This collection of non-fiction essays attempts to define two modes of storytelling by providing examples of each from popular culture. We talk about how Fisher's argument fits into our larger discussions of horror stories and how his definitions may be useful for considering the end of capitalism.

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Oct 4, 2019

Thank you to our Co-producer patron Kevin Wetter for selecting this week's topic!

This 2009 TV show, helmed by Joss Whedon, was meant to be a thematic exploration of identity and sexuality but many have argued about its problematic story. Was that because of corporate interference or Whedon's own issues with feminist representation?

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Sep 27, 2019

THIS IS A REPOST OF A 2016 EPISODE. As the release of the film JOKER looms, we revisit our discussion about Batman, the Joker, and ambiguity.

Looking back on the Batman film “The Dark Knight,” does it stand for anything? Or does it simply soak up whatever morals we bring to it? Christopher Nolan’s intentions remain mysterious, but we do our best to figure them out.  

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Sep 20, 2019

Thank you to our Co-producer patron Miriam Meaney for selecting this week's topic!

This 1985 Peter Greenaway film approaches storytelling with the perspective that there is no meaning to reality despite our organized attempts to create it. We talk about how Greenaway uses the traditions of Dutch paintings and anatomical animal studies to get this message across or frustrate us by trying.

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Sep 13, 2019

Thank you to our Co-producer patron Chris Marlton for selecting this week's topic!

This 2002 Japanese art film is slow, meticulously shot, and has wonderful, ornate costumes. We discuss how it was influenced by a form of traditional puppetry but should be approached more like a meditative painting.

 

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Sep 9, 2019

In this 1978 non-fiction book, Gardner argues that art and writing should be moral and that his peers in the literary community are immoral for failing to uphold this tradition. We discuss Gardner's tragic life story while trying to process this debate and whether he was right, wrong or just an asshole.

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Aug 23, 2019

This 2005 video game tried to capture the atmosphere and experience of H. P. Lovecraft's mythos. It is now called a commercial failure and a cult classic. We discuss its unique, immersive gameplay, and its Lovecraftian approach to knowledge as a thing to fear.

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Aug 9, 2019

This 1986 horror film adapted an H.P. Lovecraft story into a transgressive "video nasty" about repressed sexuality. We learn about the production methods that brought its "pineal glands" to life, while discussing Lovecraft's fear of sex in contrast with From Beyond's smashing of taboos.

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Aug 2, 2019

This 2016 novel explores sci-fi and horror in the 1950s from the perspective of an African-American family already accustomed to prejudice and dread. We have an uncomfortable conversation about how it addresses H.P. Lovecraft's racism and the question of whether a white author should tell stories about the black experience.

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