Pod Academy
Depictions of Fictional U.S. Presidents

Depictions of Fictional U.S. Presidents

October 5, 2020

With the elections in the United States coming up this November, we map out five different archetypes of fictional TV and movie presidents (Frank Underwood, Jed Bartlet, Charles Lindberg, the president from Independence Day and Dave), and what they tell us about how America sees itself through its president, what it wants to imagine about itself and what kind of image it wants to send to the world. Writer and editor Omri Harel joins Gil Kidron to look at it all from an outsider's perspective.


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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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“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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Revolutions in Movies 2:  Russian & Chinese Revolutions (ft. Footnoting History)

Revolutions in Movies 2: Russian & Chinese Revolutions (ft. Footnoting History)

July 20, 2020

In our second installment of Revolutions in Movies, we look at two of the most earth-shattering societal overturns history has ever seen, the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Communist Revolution.

We analyze the Russian Revolution via the classic Doctor Zhivago (1965), and the turmoil in China that led the nation from imperial rule to Maoism via The Last Emperor (1987). Joining Gil and Rutger yet again are Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge and Christine Caccipuoti from the wonderful history podcast Footnoting History. Check them out at https://www.footnotinghistory.com.


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Fauda: A Conversation with the Arab Translator of the Show

Fauda: A Conversation with the Arab Translator of the Show

July 6, 2020

Fauda is a hit Israeli television series about an Israeli undercover unit fighting Palestinian terrorism. It has been picked up by Netflix and turned into an international success, with season 4 being in the works. Abed El Rahman Natour is the Arabic translator for the show, taking the parts of the scripts that need to be translated into Arabic, either for the Arab-speaking characters, or the Jewish characters working undercover as Palestinians.


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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. 


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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).


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Final Corona Special: What Went Wrong and Why?

Final Corona Special: What Went Wrong and Why?

June 1, 2020

The Corona pandemic seems to be on its way out of our lives, at least for now, so it's a good opportunity to go over the mistakes, bungled models and government policies that turned the global effort against the virus to be less than stellar. Dr Rutger Vos joins Gil Kidron again to break down the scientific angles of the virus. 


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Michael Jordan and The Last Dance: A Political Review

Michael Jordan and The Last Dance: A Political Review

May 18, 2020

The Last Dance, the Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls Netflix documentary says a lot about the 1990s, as well as about today. Theo Gangi, Knicks fan extraordinaire joins Gil Kidron to talk about the political and social angle of the hit documentary series that chronicles the greatest basketball team of all time and the greatest basketball player of all time.

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