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Native Americans In Movies: Why We Are Stupid

Native Americans In Movies: Why We Are Stupid

April 30, 2020

We made a glaring omission in our Native Americans in Movies podcast and we'd like to set the record straight and mention this guy Christopher Colombus. We also need your help for a new name for the podcast!

 


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Native Americans in Movies: Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, Apocalypto | History in Movies

Native Americans in Movies: Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, Apocalypto | History in Movies

April 27, 2020

Over the course of 400 years, from 1500 to 1900, the interaction between Europeans and Native Americans changed enormously. Initially, the new arrivals stepped off of their boats into a maelstrom of local events. By the end, events would be entirely dominated by European settlement, with native cultures fighting for their survival on the margins.

In this review, we look at three snapshots along the way of this process. We begin with Apocalypto (2006), where the Europeans almost don't matter at all. Then, in Pocahontas (1995), the native people and the settlers are roughly even-keeled and the latter are even temporarily rebuffed. By the end, in Dances with Wolves (1990), autonomous native life only exists in the remote prairies, which are set to change forever as well. There's also an epilogue based on Fargo season 2 (2015), when Native American character Hanzee Dent goes on a killing rampage.

So what of the depiction of native cultures in Hollywood movies? We are long past the horrific "cowboys and Indians" genre, but are things OK now? Have we swapped scalping savages with noble savages? Gil and Rutger explore.


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Rising Fascism in Movies: The Plot Against America | History in Movies

Rising Fascism in Movies: The Plot Against America | History in Movies

April 22, 2020

The HBO series "The Plot Against America", whose last episode aired on Monday April 20th, depicts the political rise of a Trump-like figure in the US during the early stages of WWII. In our podcast, Gil and Rutger discuss why this series hit us so hard. Family stories, our worries about the present, and the fragility of democratic systems come together in this review. We do say "triggered" a lot. Unintentionally, but there simply wasn't a better word. There are no spoilers in this review, but we do note that the series is based on the book by the same name by Philip Roth (2004).


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Biological Apocalypse in Movies: 12 Monkeys, Contagion, 28 Days Later | Science in Movies

Biological Apocalypse in Movies: 12 Monkeys, Contagion, 28 Days Later | Science in Movies

April 13, 2020

Hollywood's disaster movie industry has created the sub-genre of biological apocalypse movies, which are now more relevant than ever. In this podcast, Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos talk about movies that depict scenarios that were once farfetched but are now mostly just exaggerated: in 12 Monkeys (1997) a deadly virus wipes out 5 billion people, 28 Days Later (2002) follows a "rage virus" that we gave to animals and then they infected us with is which led to a total breakdown of society, and Contagion (2011) famously depicts how the Chinese animal industry got us all into lockdown and social distancing.


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Malicious Code Injection in Movies: The Imitation Game, Jurassic Park, Independence Day | Science in Movies

Malicious Code Injection in Movies: The Imitation Game, Jurassic Park, Independence Day | Science in Movies

April 6, 2020

Both nature and computing are at certain levels digital. Code organized in discrete symbols (DNA bases, bits) can be understood, decoded, and manipulated. But do we understand these systems well enough to meddle with them? In this podcast, Dr. Rutger Vos explores this question in a review of three movies: The Imitation Game (2014), Jurassic Park (1993), and Independence Day (1996). And, how will our ability to manipulate these codes affect our fight against the coronavirus?


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