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Now displaying: 2019


Hosted by Charlie Bennett and Christian Sager.

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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Jul 26, 2019

This 1988 Japanese anime film broke the bank with its high production budget, but it is still remembered for its masterful artwork and deep themes about adolescence and post-war dystopia.

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Jul 19, 2019

Thanks to our Co-producer Miriam Meaney for this week's topic!

This 1964 collection of short science fiction stories shows a writer in conflict with his own genre in the wake of horrible family tragedy. We discuss Ballard's interest in psychological inner space and speculative fiction to better understand his role in the history of literature.

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Jul 12, 2019

This album from 2000 came out more than 20 years into the career of this genre fusing music group. We look at their commercial apex and their struggles with racist expectations to understand what led to this attempt at a new beginning.

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Jul 5, 2019

This 2017 Netflix television show is a critically acclaimed fictional depiction of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling that were popular in the 1980s. We discuss how the show's creators handle representation of stereotypes while also criticizing the worst of America's fears.

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Jun 21, 2019

This 1985 fantasy film is remembered fondly by our generation, but may not hold up under re-examination. We look at the studio process it was made under, while thinking about how it tries to subvert our expectations of fairy tales.

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