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!
Episode 15: Velvet Goldmine (1998)
Enter the sensual, outrageous world of glam rock with Brian Slade and Curt Wild, as we examine Todd Haynes’ glittery musical Velvet Goldmine. We talk about the history of glam as a genre, the film’s role in queer cinematic history, and effects of David Bowie’s lack of endorsement.
Episode 14: The Wolf Man (1941)
A Universal horror classic embedded in global history, we examine writer Curt Siodmak’s flight from Nazi Germany, the ancient history of werewolf lore, and The Wolf Man’s inseparable ties from the post-war Jewish identity. Plus, bonus parallels with An American Werewolf in London!
Episode 13: Hausu (1977)
A group of teenage girls go on a countryside vacation and end up fighting for their lives in this layered Japanese horror-comedy. We discuss pre- and post-war Japan and Japanese cinema, Hausu’s multi-step inception, bakeneko, and My Little Ponies. (Friendship is magic, everyone.)
Episode 12: Mandy (2018)
Nicolas Cage? Check. Cocaine and LSD? Check. Chainsaw-wielding rampage? Check. This revenge-fantasy horror sci-fi delight breaks the boundaries of genre and takes the viewer on a two-act epic. We talk about the foils of masculine tenderness vs. violence, Mandy’s vital role in everyone’s life, power dynamics, and Nic Cage Rage.
Episode 11: Deep Blue Sea (1999)
In an episode straight out of Bonnie’s worst nightmares (literally), we watched this god awful shark movie (or is it?). Join us as we discuss the evolution of sharks and shark movies, thalassophobia, the USS Indianapolis, why we’re afraid of sharks in the first place, and why we need to conserve them.
Episode 10: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Our first requested-by-listeners selection, Hedwig is our tour guide through the history of LGBT culture in Eastern Germany, jungian psychology, the many iterations of “Hedwig” as a production. Plus, Hedwig’s genderqueer legacy, the rich conversation around binary the film creates, and the concept of gender as a performance.
Episode 9: Short Term 12 (2013)
Short Term 12 gives us a look at the troubling state of Group Homes, how we deal with and heal from trauma, when to break rules and push boundaries, and the crucial value of found family. Featuring a cast of not-yet-famous stars, this story about stories is one you can’t miss.
CW: non-graphic discussion around suicide, child abuse, sexual assault.
Episode 8: Spring Breakers (2012)
We’ve got the history of spring break. We’ve got race and privilege dynamics. We’ve got the American dream and the twistiness of metafictional storytelling. We’ve got shorts, of every color. We’ve got Scarface on repeat. Scarface, on repeat. LOOK AT ALL OUR SHIT, in this very special episode that discusses the psychedelic fever dream that is Spring Breakers.