Category Archives: Episodes

Episode 108. Souped Up: Blade (1998) and Constantine (2005)

 
Using two popular examples, Andrea and Alex look at the collision between the horror and superhero genres. From conservative leanings to taboo-breaking stories, we explore two films that deviate from the norm (and occasionally, their own source material) to embark in two very different directions. 
 
 

REQUIRED READING

Blade. Dir. Stephen Norrington, 1998. 
Constantine. Dir. Francis Lawrence, 2005. 
 

EXTRA CREDIT

How Blade created the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How Blade saved Marvel and set it up for cinematic takeover.
 
Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes. Adilifu Nama’s cultural history of the Black superhero genre. 
 
Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present. Robin R Means Coleman’s groundbreaking book examining Black characters and creators in the horror genre. 
 
Blade and the Power of Liminal Privilege. A retrospective look at how the film’s themes endure in the BLM era.

The Black Hero: A Cultural Impossibility. Kathryn Feeney’s breakdown of the Black superhero mirage. 
 
The Devil You Know. Ken Chen’s piece for the The New Inquiry on Hellblazer and John Constantine’s true origins. 
 
How 9/11 Changed Cinema. A look at how a tragic event upended the politics of popular films. 
 
Flying While Black: Two Creators on Inventing (and Reinventing) Black Superheroes. Eve L. Ewing and Evan Narcisse weigh in on the importance of representation in the superhero genre.
 

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Episode 107. Ultraviolence: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

 
Time to take a break from the ol’ Ludwig Van and join us at the Korova Milkbar for a trip into the near dystopian future of A Clockwork Orange. From our Pavlovian responses, to patient care and British Literature, we’ll slooshy what Kubrick’s film has to offer. 
 
 

REQUIRED READING

A Clockwork Orange. Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1971.
 

EXTRA CREDIT

The Angry Young Men Movement. An overview of the literary movement that shocked a nation in the late 1950s. 
 
Commedia Dell’Arte: An Actor’s Handbook. An in-depth look at the Italian theatre practice and all the characters within it, including the Alex reminiscent Il Capitano. 
 
Stanley Strangelove. The seminal pearl-clutcher by Pauline Kael for the New Yorker in 1972.
 

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Episode 106. Home Sweet Home: The Haunting (1963)

 
Time to walk the halls of the terrifying Hill House with Andrea and Alex as they explore what it means to be haunted, gender dynamics in times of duress and why it’s hard to remake a classic. 
 
 

REQUIRED READING

The Haunting. Dir. Robert Wise, 1963. 
 

EXTRA CREDIT

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. Ruth Franklin’s wonderful biography that explores Jackson’s life through her work. 
 
Rue Morgue #170 – September 2016. Featuring a cover story and roundtable interview on Shirley Jackson’s life and influence.
 
The Haunting and the Power of Suggestion. An article by Pam Keesey in Monsterzine #6.
 
Haunting Experiences: Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore. An in-depth look at why our past continues to return to us through ghosts and the supernatural.
 
American Nightmares: The Haunted House Formula in American Popular Fiction. Dale Bailey’s examination of how the haunted house narrative has served and subverted the American Dream. 

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Episode 105. Doom Scroll: Pulse (2001) and Suicide Club (2001)

 
In this episode, Andrea and Alex explore two different yet eerily similar films that came out of Japan in 2001. The conversation covers where history, humanity and community end, exploring what is left in its wake and the new limitations of imagining the future.
 
CW: Suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones: 1-800-273-8255. 

 

REQUIRED READING

Pulse. Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001.
Suicide Club. Dir. Sion Sono, 2001.
 

EXTRA CREDIT

Haunted by Leo Braudy. A wide ranging examination of horror and its tropes.
 
Apocalyptic Dead by Kirsten Moana Thompson. A deep dive into films at the turn of the 21st century and our fear of the future.
 
Too Lonely to Die Alone: Internet Suicide Pacts and Existential Suffering in Japan. Chikako Ozawa-de Silva looks at the troubling phenomenon in Japan in the early 2000s.
 
 
What You’re Feeling Isn’t a Vibe Shift. It’s Permanent Change. Elamin Abdelmahmoud’s piece for Buzzfeed on our shifting reality.
 
The End of History by Francis Fukuyama. The much cited piece about humanity’s (possible) end of ideology.

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