Pod Academy
Police Violence in Movies: Do The Right Thing, La Haine, Crash, Ajami, Fruitvale Station

Police Violence in Movies: Do The Right Thing, La Haine, Crash, Ajami, Fruitvale Station

June 8, 2020

Police violence 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 human societies around the globe have put in place that produce the same result, over and over 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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Westworld and Philosophy: The Mind Body Conundrum, Free Will vs Free Choice

Westworld and Philosophy: The Mind Body Conundrum, Free Will vs Free Choice

May 25, 2020

Westworld has a lot of philosophical and psychological themes and elements, and in this episode therapist Noga Ariel Galor joins Gil Kidron to breakdown how Westworld season 3 addressed the relationship between our bodies and our minds, how separate or integral they are to eacho ther, as well as the differences between free will and having a choice between options.

 


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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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Evaluating Daenerys’ Use of Airpower with Ret. Airforce Lt. Col. Dan Mosqueda

Evaluating Daenerys’ Use of Airpower with Ret. Airforce Lt. Col. Dan Mosqueda

May 11, 2020

 Daenerys Targaryen used the only planes on her planet to conquer Westeros, much like her ancestors did some 300 years before her. Gil Kidron welcomes Dan Mosqueda, a retired Lt. Col. from the US Airforce to talk about how realistic was her use of air power (i.e. dragons) compared to real world use of it, by American forces in conflicts around the world.

To listen Dan's car podcast https://ro.player.fm/series/2100462


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Game Theory in Movies: A Beautiful Mind, Dr. Strangelove, WarGames, Fail Safe | History in Movies

Game Theory in Movies: A Beautiful Mind, Dr. Strangelove, WarGames, Fail Safe | History in Movies

May 4, 2020

When you interact with somebody 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.

When the cost of making the wrong choice is exceptionally high - such as in the case of nuclear standoffs - it is prudent to weigh the different options very carefully and hope that your opponent follows predictably similar logic. This is why game theory was widely applied in the context of the cold war.

In this review, Gil and Rutger explore four movies on this topic. A Beautiful Mind (2001) depicts the life and times of John Nash, one of the pioneers of game theory. Dr. Strangelove (1964) and Fail Safe (2000), based on the same book and basic plot, take nuclear retaliation to its horrifying logical extreme. WarGames (1983) shows that sometimes it is best not to play this game at all.


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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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