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Exit Strategy: Coming Out of Lockdown in Disney Movies

Exit Strategy: Coming Out of Lockdown in Disney Movies

June 22, 2020

Disney movies have a surprising number of characters who are coming out of some sort of lockdown, after going through voluntary or, more often, involuntary social isolation. In this episode, therapist Noga Ariel Galor and Gil Kidron explore the different kinds of exit strategies and challenges, as depicted in movies such as Frozen, Tangled, Moana, The Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Up, The Little Mermaid, Mulan and more. What are the difficulties, the pitfalls, the opportunities, and straight-up dangers?

The Evolution of Paris in Movies

The Evolution of Paris in Movies

June 15, 2020

We re-tell the story of 20th century Paris through four movies from different time periods that represent the evolution of the French capital in the 20th century. Moulin Rouge (1998) takes us back to the bohemian wave of 1900 (La Belle Epoque); Midnight in Paris (2012) hearkens back to the Roaring Twenties (Les Annes Folles) when post-WWI Paris was a Mecca for artists from around the world; we then leap over WWII and the fall from grace as the US ascended to dominance, to get to Amelie (1997), a French fascist movie masquerading as a rom-com, and we end with the hit drama La Haine (1995) and its intense portrayal of the downtrodden minorities that live around The City of Light but were never part of its story. Does Paris live up to its hype? Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos disagree.

Cinematic Depictions of Police Brutality in Different Countries

Cinematic Depictions of Police Brutality in Different Countries

June 8, 2020

Police brutality has been on display in the United States since George Floyd's murder became an international story, but the problem with policing is, unfortunately, a global phenomenon. In this episode, Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos explore five movies (three Americans, one French and one Israeli) to better understand what kind of system has been put in place that produces the same result, over and over again in so many places. The movies are: Do The Right Thing (1989), La Haine (1995), Crash (2004), Ajami (2009) and Fruitvale Station (2013).

Game Theory in Cold War Movies

Game Theory in Cold War Movies

May 4, 2020

When you interact with someone else and you have to decide whether to cooperate with them or cheat them, the difference between the choices can sometimes be expressed in simple cost/benefit analyses. If we are generous with each other we might both reap the rewards. But maybe cheating is cheaper - unless you punish me for it. The mathematical analysis of these choices is called game theory. Extrapolate that to the Cold War. In this episode, Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos explore four movies on this topic: A Beautiful Mind (2001) about the life and times of John Nash, one of the pioneers of game theory, and three Cold War nuclear stare-down movies, Dr Strangelove (1964) and Fail Safe (2000), and War Games (1983).

The Changing Depiction of Native Americans in Movies

The Changing Depiction of Native Americans 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, Rutger and Gil 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.

 

Biological Apocalypse in Movies

Biological Apocalypse 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 episode, 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.

Malicious Code Injection in Movies

Malicious Code Injection 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 episode, 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?

Corona Special: Cabin Fever and Isolation in Movies

Corona Special: Cabin Fever and Isolation in Movies

March 30, 2020

As 3 billion people find themselves in isolation, quarantine or lockdown, our lives might seem unrecognizable. So we go to classic movies who feature isolation, alone or with families, to see what we can learn or derive from them: Cast Away (2000), The Martian (2015) and The Shining (1980).

The Jungle in Movies

The Jungle in Movies

February 17, 2020

The jungle has long been a very attractive topic in movies and books, with its unstoppable nature teeming with mysterious and dramatic creatures and plants. In this episode, Dr. Rutger Vos joins Gil Kidron to talk about the jungle from a scientific perspective, as well as about how it is perceived in the human imagination. We explore the topic through five movies: Apocalypse Now (1979), Avatar (2009), Apocalypto (2006), Jungle Book (2016) and The Legend of Tarzan (2016). One fictional jungle and jungles in Latin America, India, Africa, and South East Asia. 

World War I in Movies

World War I in Movies

January 13, 2020

World War 1 has left an undeniable mark on the world, and in many ways shaped it, even though it is relatively under-represented on screen. It could be because of the lack of clear narrative for the war, the anti-Hollywood elements in trench wars and lack of goodies and baddies, or the fact that it preceded a much more interesting and important war. In this History in Movies podcast Gil Kidron welcomes again Rutger Vos, this time to talk about World War 1 in movies.

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