Episode 22: All the President’s Men (1976)
Let’s talk about the importance of investigative journalism, the edge-of-your-seat anxiety that this film creates, Woodward and Bernstein as heroes, and why the pen is truly mightier than the sword. Plus, the state of newspapers today, and why we need independent journalism more than ever in 2020. Featuring special guest Phil Linsalata, award-winning investigative reporter.
Phil Linsalata is a former daily newspaper reporter. He has been an investigative reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. His work has appeared in the New York Times and the Columbia Journalism Review and national wire services. He specialized in coverage of legalized gambling, organized crime, financial failure of major insurance companies and political corruption.
Episode 21: Vice (2018)
We review the history of two of our most outlandish Vice Presidents (other than Dick, obviously), the tonal ambiguity of Vice as a film, the value of a good montage sequence, and our inherent discomfort with Cheney’s legacy.
Episode 20: Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
We lay out the best real-life Las Vegas heists, debate whether or not heist movies are their own genre, and explore why Ocean’s Eleven still works almost 20 years later. Let us steal some of your time with this episode!
Episode 19: Jurassic Park (1993)
Learn about the “Jurassic Park generation” of paleontologists, how the film affected the scientific community, some amazing fan theories and, the, uh, lasting impact of Dr. Ian Malcolm as the film’s moral center. Hold onto your butts!
Episode 18: The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
What makes an epic truly EPIC? Why were the 80s so intense for evangelical Christians? What’s up with Jungian psychology? Why was The Last Temptation of Christ so controversial when other bible movies are so formulaic? All these questions AND MORE answered in our very special holiday episode. Merry Chrysler! It’s Chrismin.
Episode 17: Maleficent (2014)
In a stunning rape-revenge twist on a Disney classic, we look at Maleficent’s origins in the Sleeping Beauty myth, breaking the cycle of abuse, the importance of found family, and the symbolism of the film’s rich costuming. Featuring our very first special guest, costume designer Chad Edward Evett.
Episode 16: West Side Story (1961)
The history of Puerto Rican migration to New York City, the tradition of the Hollywood musical, and how West Side Story broke the mold. We also discuss brownface, compulsory heterosexuality, and the role of discrimination in (white) cultural assimilation.
In an effort to explore a more accurate portrayal of the Puerto Rican culture than West Side Story, we reached out to PR artist Ronnie Garcia (@coquiwi on Twitter) for recommendations on further reading/study outside of the film. (Aside from In The Heights, which we mention on the episode, and you should absolutely seek out.) Here are Ronnie’s recommendation:
We hope you’ll listen to the episode, and then do more watching/reading/learning to understand what a vast, beautiful galaxy of Puerto Rican culture exists outside of the musical – go forth and learn!