Pod Academy
The History of Imperial China in Movies

The History of Imperial China in Movies

September 28, 2020

Imperial China has survived from antiquity all the way to the beginning of the 20th century - an unequalled historical feat. How do Chinese filmmakers view that? Are there differences between directors from Hong Kong, from Taiwan, and from the mainland? What does Hollywood do with it?

Rutger and Gil glide through 2000 years of rich history through a Pod Academy record of 9 movies: Hero (2002), Red Cliff (2008), Dragon Blade (2015), Mulan (animated, 1998), The Great Wall (2015), Mulan (live-action, 2020), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001) and The Last Emperor (1987).

 


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US Election Possible Scenarios: A Global Outlook

US Election Possible Scenarios: A Global Outlook

September 21, 2020

In anticipation of the US elections coming up in November, Rutger and Gil go over the possible scenarios on the table from a global perspective.


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Human-Animal Hybrids in Movies

Human-Animal Hybrids in Movies

September 14, 2020

Human imagination has been rife with creatures that are part human and part animal ever since we started to express ourselves artistically as a species. Centaurs, satyrs, the minotaur, mermaids, werewolves, Ganesha, and on and on.

In our time, science has progressed to the point where hybrid creatures have started to become possible, whether as chimaeras of different stem cell lines or knocked out and spliced model organisms. What do want and fear from these developments? 

In this episode, Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos review three movies that depict human-animal hybrids: Prometheus (2012), Splice (2009), and The Lobster (2015). With guest appearances from Ripley, The Beatles, a very expensive orca, Jeff Goldblum (but not in The Fly), Frankenstein, Leonard Nimoy, Napoleon Dynamite, and the chestburster from SpaceBalls.


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Depictions of the European Countryside in Movies

Depictions of the European Countryside in Movies

September 7, 2020

Bucolic, by Henri Martin

The tension between the big city and the bucolic village has existed since settled societies were formed. In this episode, we explore the depiction of the European countryside in movies: the clichés, imaginations and twists. PhD candidate Anke Bosma joins Rutger and Gil to share about her research, which covers that topic and was turned into the idea for this episode by Anke. We rely on the movies Hot Fuzz (2007), Welcome to the Sticks (2013), Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) and A Man Called Ove (2015).


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Consciousness and the inner voice

Consciousness and the inner voice

August 31, 2020

The android hosts in the series Westworld are programmed to emulate consciousness using a 'bicameral' model: the left side of their brain processes voices generated in the right half, voices that instruct and admonish them. The show writers reference a book (The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind) that proposes that earlier people operated similarly, at least up until the Late Bronze Age collapse when the current, more integrated sense of self was adopted via cultural evolution.

The unusual theory is totally at odds with both the thinking in biology, which assumes that human consciousness is simply the gradually evolved outcome of primate cognition on steroids, and in psychoanalysis, which conceptualizes consciousness as layered. In this episode, evolutionary biologist Dr Rutger Vos and psychoanalyst Dr Noga Ariel-Galor discuss representations of consciousness in science and pop culture. How did the Homeric heroes think? And the antiheroes of Woody Allen? The prophets of the Bible?

Featuring guest appearances of The Byrds, Noam Chomsky, Anna and Elza, Donald Rumsfeld, Debussy, Josh Wink, and Petra the African Gray.


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Research: How The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Affects Therapy

Research: How The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Affects Therapy

August 24, 2020

How does an ongoing violent national conflict influence a one-on-one therapy session between two people on opposite sides of this conflict? Is the conflict that's out there detrimental to therapy? How can therapy work in such conditions? Our very own Dr. Noga Ariel-Galor shares her research with Gil, talks about the Israel-Palestinian conflict in particular, and national, ethnic and racial conflicts in general.

 


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“Peace” Between Israel and the UAE: Ending a Conflict That Never Was

“Peace” Between Israel and the UAE: Ending a Conflict That Never Was

August 17, 2020

In a completely unexpected announcement, Israel and the United Arab Emirates made peace. The development between the eternally warring neighbors is especially surprising because they are not neighbors and have never really been at war with one another. Also, is it really a peace deal or is it a deal to cancel annexation? Just for now? Gil and Rutger discuss.

 


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Game of Thrones and History: The Interbellum Period

Game of Thrones and History: The Interbellum Period

August 10, 2020

The story of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones begins in an interbellum period, meaning: a period between two great wars. Looking back, there are interesting parallels between the first part of the story and the view towards the White Walkers and the views that some politicians in Europe espoused to avoid another conflict at all cost. Rutger and Gil discuss the similarities as well as the historical lessons.


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The Evolution of Male Friendships in Movies

The Evolution of Male Friendships in Movies

August 3, 2020

Compared to movies about male-female romantic relationships and and movies about female friendships, there's a dearth of movies about male friendships. We highlighted three of those movies to explore what they teach us about male relationships throughout life, from childhood friends (Good Will Hunting, 1997), early 30s (I Love You, Man, 2009) and then into full-blown adulthood (The Nice Guys, 2015). Therapist Noga Ariel Galor joins Gil Kidron again to break it all down.

 

 


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How The Wire Teaches Us Linguistics

How The Wire Teaches Us Linguistics

July 27, 2020

The Wire (2002-2008) is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly-rated series of all time, with its impact on TV storytelling, and on local and global politics far outstripping most other scripted shows. In this podcast episode, linguist Mallory Aler joins Gil Kidron to break down the different languages that are prominent in The Wire, from "street" slang to the police language, followed by a deep dive to find what this teaches us about... well, everything.

 

Check out the Chomsky - Foucault debate https://youtu.be/3wfNl2L0Gf8

 


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