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An international podcast combining pop culture and academics, with series such as History in Movies, Politics in Movies, Science in Movies, Psychoanalysis in Movies, and more.
1 day ago
Roman Britain in Movies
In our third installment of Ancient Rome in movies - we move from the centers of power to the most distant province - Britannia, annexed in the year 47 CE. It is a fabled and mysterious land full of Celtic-type peoples who do their best to stop the Roman advance - and fail. Until 400 years later they cut and run when other so-called barbarians are encroaching on the Roman mainland.
Feb 22, 2021
Geopolitical & Historical Breakdown of the Morocco-Israel-U.S. Deal
We bring in a special guest to talk about Morocco, its internal politics, its geopolitical game, its history and the many Moroccan communities that live outside the country. Special guest: longtime patron Younes Al Alami!
1 hr 40 min
Feb 15, 2021
Introducing A Podcast of Biblical Proportions
Gil has a new podcast with his former partner in Got Academy, looking at the stories of the bible from the perspective of the people who wrote and listened to it. It's an engaging journey! Check out the website https://podcastofbiblicalproportions.com/
Feb 8, 2021
The Expanse Season 5 Scientific & Historical Review
The Expanse season 5 highlighted two historical processes: 1. the Belter factions fighting for independence in different ways, reminiscent of many fights for freedom against colonial and post-colonial powers; 2. The American War on Terror. We also discuss the science of vacuum.
Feb 1, 2021
About The Violent Riots in The Netherlands
There have been worse riots in The Netherlands in January than the country has seen in 40 years. The government is reinforcing the lockdown and tries to appear tough, while not offering any solution to the problems at hand. Elections are due in March, but it doesn't look like much will change.
Jan 25, 2021
Julius Caesar in Movies Part 2
In our second episode about the depictions of Julius Caesar in movies and shows, we go over the most compelling episodes of his life - the conquests, the incursions, the ingenuity, the civil war - and the dramatic assassination.
1 hr 15 min
Jan 18, 2021
Julius Caesar in Movies Part 1
Julius Caesar might be the most iconic historical figure of all time, yet since he was such a complex and interesting man of flesh and blood, each movie or TV version of him depicts him in a different way, emphasizing one or several sides of him.
Jan 11, 2021
How To Train Your Dragon vs Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
How the animated fantasy children's movie How To Train Your Dragon accurately reflects the views of white privileged liberals who are living in an intractable conflict. Guest appearance: Omri Cohen.
Jan 7, 2021
The Expanse Episode 6 Review: Tribalism
Episode 6 of The Expanse season 5 had a lot of tribalism in it.
Jan 4, 2021
The Americans (FX) and The Immigrant Experience in the US
The Americans is ostensibly a spy thriller set during the Cold War, but it is also a story of the struggles of immigration to the US, and negotiating your old and new identities. Linguist Mallory Aler joins Gil to talk languages.
Dec 31, 2020
The Expanse S05E05: Post Colonialism
In The Expanse season 5 episode 5 there are many storylines that scream of post colonial thinking. Can the oppressors resent the violence perpetuated by the oppressed? Can they judge the struggle for freedom and self-determination? We discuss.
Dec 28, 2020
Classic Academy: Jesus in Movies
Reposting the episode from Christmas 2019: To mark Christmas, we look at movies depicting the life and times of perhaps the most controversial rabbi of the Second Temple period: Jesus of Nazareth. We rewatch the Life of Brian and are reminded of Empire and of the brutality with which the Romans imposed their will homogenously across enormous swathes of land, ironically setting up the environment in which the ideology of the guy they executed could spread. We then go over the odious Passion of the Christ, which features prosthetic noses and blood curses, and wrap it up with the interesting but slow-moving Last Temptation of Christ. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and everything else!
1 hr 11 min
Dec 24, 2020
The Expanse S05E04 Review: Science and History
In episode 4 of season 5 of The Expanse, space Bin Laden/space Alexander The Great deals earth a potentially debilitating blow.
Dec 21, 2020
The Expanse Season 5 Kicks Off
The Expanse is back on Amazon for its fifth season. We go back to the sci-fi show to explore its rich historical themes and its Solar System geopolitics to talk about those, as well as science. This is a review for episodes 1 through 3 (that were dropped together), but from this coming Thursday, we'll post on Thursdays episode reviews for the new episode aired on Wednesdays. Those will be on top of our regular content.
Dec 13, 2020
The Rise of Rome
In our first episode on Rome in antiquity, we look at the rise of the eternal city from an insignificant hamlet ruled by petty kings to an empire spanning much of the known world. Gil and Rutger watch The First King (2019, about the founders Romulus and Remus; Coriolanus (2011), on the warfare between city-states during the early republican era; and Hannibal (2006), where Rome defeats its last existential threat. We wrap up with an early look at I, Claudius (1976), at the dawn of the imperial age.
1 hr 6 min
Dec 7, 2020
Downfall of the U.S. in Movies: Lincoln is Obamaesque
In our fourth installment in the series, we review the 2012 Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln and its portrayal of America's most iconic president. But is it actually a movie about Lincoln? Or is it a movie about Barack Obama? Gil and Rutger dive in.
1 hr 12 min
Nov 30, 2020
The Downfall of the US in Movies: Gone With The Wind
In our third instalment of The Downfall of the U.S. in Movies, we go back to the most iconic Hollywood movie ever made: Gone With The Wind. How does the highest-grossing movie in history (adjusted for inflation) tell the story of the American Civil War and the following Reconstruction? Gil and Rutger dive in.
1 hr 7 min
Nov 23, 2020
The Downfall of the US in Movies: The Birth of the Nation
In our second installment of The Downfall of the U.S. in Movies, we go back to the official and popular stories of the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, which led to the formation of a new nation. The movie we chose for that dramatic event is A More Perfect Union (1989), with a sprinkle of Hamilton the musical (2015).
Nov 16, 2020
Social Resistance in Movies: Psychoanalysis
In so many countries and societies around the world, social unrest is flowing out from homes social media into the streets. In this episode, Dr Noga Ariel Galor joins Gil Kidron to break down the psychoanalytical perspective of this very tense moment in history, through a wide array of movies depicting fictional and real civil unrests and revolts.
Nov 9, 2020
The Downfall of the U.S. in Movies: The Creation Story
We launch a new series of episodes titled The Downfall of the U.S. in Movies to draw a line from American history - and more importantly, their depiction of American history - to the political, social, and economic crisis it is living through now. The first episode is about America's creation story - its War of Independence. Its so-called Revolutionary War. The movie we chose for that momentous occasion is The Patriot (2000), starring Mel Gibson, encapsulating all that is wrong in the way Americans think of their beginnings.
Nov 5, 2020
U.S. Elections: Global and Historical Analysis
The 2020 elections in the United States have rocked the nation and the world. How do these recent events inform us about the world's empire? Should we look differently at its history and meteoric rise to world superpower status? Gil and Rutger rant, scream and cry.
Nov 1, 2020
Pod Academy 100th Episode: A Celebration of Democracy
One of the largest scheduled events in the world is set to take place this week, and so are the US elections. Gil and Rutger give the inside scoop and talk baseball. Inside baseball. Attention: this is not the only episode for the week, we will record another one on Wednesday.
Oct 26, 2020
War in Nagorno-Karabakh
A month ago, Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in its territory. This is at least the fourth war over this area and is among a number of recent wars in the wider Caucasus region. The conflicts are fed by the gradual decline of Russian influence being replaced by Westernization on the one hand and Islamization and rising Turkish influence on the other. In this special episode, Rutger Vos summarizes the events over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and analyzes what might happen next.
Oct 19, 2020
U.S. Elections in Movies
To prepare for the upcoming presidential elections in the United States, we tackle movies that depict elections, from the 1970s all the way to this past decade. What can we learn about the way the Americans hold this process? About the lead characters? In this episode, Rutger and Gil start with the most recent movie, and then move back in time: The Ides of March (2011), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Primary Colors (1998), Bulworth (1998), Wag The Dog (1997) and Being There (1979).
1 hr 16 min
Oct 12, 2020
The Boys Season 2 Eviscerates America
Amazon's The Boys season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off and takes it up a notch: portraying America as a capitalist empire that will cooperate with Nazis to make a buck, and corrupt ideas such as feminism, racial equality and gay right to sell more merchandise and movie tickets. Writer Dana Schweppe joins Gil Kidron for a very enthusiastic review.
Oct 5, 2020
Fictional U.S. Presidents in Movies
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.
1 hr 14 min
Sep 27, 2020
The History of Imperial China in Movies
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).
1 hr 20 min
Sep 20, 2020
US Election Possible Scenarios: A Global Outlook
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.
Sep 13, 2020
Human-Animal Hybrids in Movies
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, and all the way to modern sci-fi stories. Centaurs, satyrs, the minotaur, mermaids, werewolves, Ganesha, and on and on. 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.
1 hr 9 min
Sep 6, 2020
Depictions of the European Countryside in Movies
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).
Aug 30, 2020
Consciousness and the Inner Voice
The writers of Westworld reference the book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which proposes that humans until the about 12000 BCE experienced life believing their inner monologues were voices that instructed and admonished them. Evolutionary biologist Dr Rutger Vos and psychoanalyst Dr Noga Ariel-Galor discuss representations of consciousness in science and pop culture. Featuring guest appearances of Homeric heroes, Woody Allen, The prophets of the Bible, The Byrds, Noam Chomsky, Anna and Elza, Donald Rumsfeld, Debussy, Josh Wink, and Petra the African Gray.
1 hr 9 min
Aug 24, 2020
Research: How The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Affects Therapy
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.
Aug 17, 2020
"Peace" Between Israel and the UAE: Ending a Conflict That Never Was
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.
Aug 10, 2020
Game of Thrones and History: The Interbellum Period
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.
Aug 3, 2020
The Evolution of Male Friendships in Movies
Compared to movies about male-female romantic relationships 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), through their 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.
1 hr 13 min
Jul 27, 2020
How The Wire Teaches Us Linguistics
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.
Jul 19, 2020
Revolutions in Movies 2: Russia and China
In our second instalment 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 footnotinghistory.com
1 hr 23 min
Jul 13, 2020
Revolutions in Movies 1: America and France
Revolutions are some of history's most dramatic events and have entered our collective psyche, and mostly - the story each collective is trying to tell about itself. These stories are also told through movies, and in this first instalment of Revolutions in Movies we are going to focus on the American Revolution (via The Patriot, 2000) and the French Revolution (via Les Miserables, 2012, which depicts a failed revolution that came after the original one). Gil and Rutger are happy to have on the show the two wonderfully smart and engaging Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge and Christine Caccipuoti from the wonderful history podcast Footnoting History. Check them out here footnotinghistory.com
1 hr 20 min
Jul 9, 2020
Name Change to "Pod Academy" and New Website! Listen in!
We're changing our name to POD ACADEMY! We have a new website! And a new logo! Woohoo! Rutger and Gil are officially tying the knot in their partnership (well, our partnership), as the two halves of this podcast - Pod Academy. We're keeping the Academy brand name, and leaving the GoT to the YouTube channel. We also have a new website where we'll post all our new episodes, and in the future add a blog and some other cool stuff. We want to thank our patrons for supporting our work!
Jul 6, 2020
Fauda: A Conversation with the Arab Translator of the Show
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.
Jun 29, 2020
Talking To A Beautiful Mind: Conversation w/ A Schizophrenic
What do we know about schizophrenia? What do we know about the lived experience of those who suffer from it? Should we treat them as sick weak people, or as people with their own abilities and ways of viewing the world? We have a very special guest on this episode, David Israel Cohen, a schizophrenic who break down with Gil Kidron the movie A Beautiful Mind (2001) with Russel Crowe, depicting the life of schizophrenic math legend, Nobel Laureate John Nash, the Father of Game Theory.
Jun 22, 2020
Exit Strategy: Coming Out of Lockdown in Disney Movies
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?
Jun 15, 2020
The Evolution of Paris in Movies
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.
1 hr 14 min
Jun 8, 2020
Cinematic Depictions of Police Brutality in Different Countries
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).
1 hr 25 min
Jun 1, 2020
Final Corona Special: What Went Wrong and Why?
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.
May 25, 2020
Westworld and Philosophy: The Mind Body Conundrum, Free Will vs Free Choice
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 each other, as well as the differences between free will and having a choice between options.
May 18, 2020
Michael Jordan and The Last Dance: A Political Review
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.
May 11, 2020
Evaluating Daenerys' Use of Airpower
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 airpower (i.e. dragons) compared to real-world use of it, by American forces in conflicts around the world.
May 3, 2020
Game Theory in Cold War Movies
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).
1 hr 13 min
Apr 30, 2020
Native Americans In Movies: Why We Are Stupid
We made a glaring omission in our Native Americans in Movies podcast and we'd like to set the record straight and mention the movie 1492, and this guy Christopher Columbus. We also need your help for a new name for the podcast!
Apr 27, 2020
The Changing Depiction of Native Americans in Movies
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.
1 hr 12 min
Apr 21, 2020
Rising Fascism in Movies: The Plot Against America
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 this episode, 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.
1 hr 8 min
Apr 13, 2020
Biological Apocalypse in Movies
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.
1 hr 17 min
Apr 6, 2020
Malicious Code Injection in Movies
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?
Mar 30, 2020
Corona Special: Cabin Fever and Isolation in Movies
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).
1 hr 6 min
Mar 23, 2020
Corona Special: The Race for the Cure - and the Nobel Prize
Scientists from all over the world are working tirelessly on three fronts: 1. testing 2. treatment 3. vaccine. In this podcast, Dr Rutger Vos joins Gil Kidron and details where we're at now, how does it work and what is being done in order to get to the Holy Grail that will save humanity from the virus that has upended civilization and will win the Nobel prize.
1 hr 3 min
Mar 19, 2020
Corona Special: Political Change According to George R R Martin
In this podcast, we welcome patron Omri Goldshtrom to discuss political change according to the epic story George R R Martin is still writing. What can we glean from the political processes that are occurring and from Martin's views on government, reform and history? This was recorded pre-Corona, but is made all the more relevant and pertinent now that the entire world has changed and political institutions are adapting to an increasingly unsustainable reality.
1 hr 8 min
Mar 16, 2020
Corona Special: The Collapse of the Neo Liberal Order?
As the world changes so rapidly because of the spread of the Coronavirus, it is a time for us humans to take stock of the society we have created for ourselves and make decisions about the world we want to live in moving forward. After this historical ongoing event, some conventional wisdoms and ideological dogmas will have to be cast aside. Dr Rutger Vos joins Gil Kidron for a conversation about the world after the Corona pandemic.
1 hr 1 min
Mar 3, 2020
Israeli Elections 2020: Did We Narrowly Avoid Disaster?
The Israeli elections of January 2020 were heading towards a victory for acting prime minister Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu, who needs 61 seats in parliament to avoid standing trial for corruption. As of the time of this taping, he has 59 seats and has fallen short. Sadly, his rivals have proven themselves incapable of mounting a serious charge and make their case to the public. At the same time, the Jewish left has been decimated while the Join Arab List has gotten a record number of seats. Actor and former activist Yonatan Miller joins Gil Kidron to make sense of it all.
Feb 23, 2020
The Australian Political Climate Crisis: How It Got So Bad
The Australian fires have already affected the global climate crisis and will also impact the local (and global?) economy. How did Australia get to where it got in January, where venturing outside was as dangerous as smoking 37 cigarettes in one day? Gil Kidron welcomes patron and Australian environmentalist Alex Rooke to break it all down.
Feb 17, 2020
The Jungle in Movies
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.
1 hr 7 min
Feb 10, 2020
Trump's Deal of the Century for Peace: What Does it Mean?
U.S. President Donald Trump triumphantly announced his so-called Deal of the Century for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clapping alongside him. But what is actually in the deal? What's not there? How does it correlate to reality? Who wins? Who lost? Why is the Israeli government rejecting its own deal? Gil Kidron and Rutger Vos breakdown the reality behind the political theater.
Feb 3, 2020
Corona Virus Epidemic: Dr Rutger Vos on the Science and Politics
The coronavirus 2019-nCov has been spreading out in the world and in the headlines. But what is a coronavirus anyway? Should we be worried? In this episode, Gil Kidron and Dr Rutger Vos (a biologist) discuss some of the basics of this thing that's going around (Is it alive? How is it structured?) and the search for some of the essential facts-on-the-ground (How fast does it spread? How lethal is it?). We also look at some of the social and political implications: the current events have led to very unfortunate outbreaks of another thing - racism against mainland Chinese people, who already have to undergo a very heavy-handed, dystopian government response.
Jan 27, 2020
The Democratic Primaries and the Israel Question
As the Democratic primaries in the United States kick off, we break down the candidates positions on Israel and the Palestinians: who is repeating talking points? Who is pandering? Who is taking it seriously? Who can really affect change? Political activist and data expert Benjy Cook, himself an Israeli-American, joins Gil Kidron to unpack the empty rhetoric, provide context, parcel the different coalitions and try to lay out what will things look like in the Middle East if this or that candidate becomes president.
Jan 20, 2020
Harry, Ron & Hermione: Three Ways To Become a Hero
Harry Potter's three main characters are the heroes of the story, but in vastly different ways, which can teach us a lot about ourselves and how to face injustices in our societies. We welcome back huge Potterhead and patron Lireza Elezaj to join Gil Kidron in breaking down Harry's heroism in facing his inevitable fate with his head held high, Ron's decision to endanger his privileges and family to fight for the rights of other people and Hermione's journey to accepting that the deck is stacked against her and that others want to risk themselves for her.
Jan 13, 2020
World War I in Movies
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.
1 hr 26 min
Jan 6, 2020
The Expanse Science: How Can a New Planet Sustain Life?
In an offhand remark, The Expanse claims that other forms of life are possible, such as forms based on silicon rather than carbon. How plausible is that? And what else would need to be in place? You'd need liquid water, for one. In fact, a whole bunch of things would need to fall exactly into place. Things that are on the one hand rare - but given the enormous numbers of stars and exoplanets would still occur many times. So where are all the aliens? In this podcast, Gil and Rutger talk about habitability and the origin of life.
Jan 2, 2020
The Expanse: Founding Belter Nation vs Founding of U.S.
The Expanse might be set in the 2300s, but it is written by 21st-century people and inspired in many ways from history and current political contexts. In this episode patron Omri Goldshtrom, history buff, joins Gil Kidron to find the very many similarities between The Expanse, the path towards the independent Belter nation and the histories of the United States and Israel. We will get into the founding of these immigrant nations vs the immigrant Belter nation, refugees, terrorism and more.
Dec 30, 2019
The Expanse Science: When Species Discover New Habitats
In this episode, we dive into The Expanse season 4 and its many layers. As humans travel farther than ever before, to a new world - new evolutionary opportunities arise. And pitfalls. Rutger and Gil break down the evolutionary opportunities and pitfalls that await organisms that move to new habitats. In our own world, new environments sometimes open up either because they suddenly appear - like volcanic islands rising up from the ocean floor - or because key innovations in the evolution of a lineage make the environment accessible. For example, when a lineage evolves the ability to fly and the skies open up. In The Expanse, a whole universe of different planets has suddenly opened up. What might that mean for humans if they radiate outward into this vast space? And what about the organisms they might bring along? What do bats have to do with it? And jellyfish in the Mediterranean?
Dec 23, 2019
Jesus Christ in Movies
To mark Christmas, we look at movies depicting the life and times of perhaps the most controversial rabbi of the Second Temple period: Jesus of Nazareth. We rewatch the Life of Brian and are reminded of Empire and of the brutality with which the Romans imposed their will homogenously across enormous swathes of land, ironically setting up the environment in which the ideology of the guy they executed could spread. We then go over the odious Passion of the Christ, which features prosthetic noses and blood curses, and wrap it up with the interesting but slow-moving Last Temptation of Christ. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and everything else!
1 hr 19 min
Dec 19, 2019
The Expanse: USSR Collapse, Wild West, Space Shooting
The Expanse season 4 has been out on Amazon Prime since December 13, and it is the best season of this scifi story, rife with historical elements, such as Mars collapsing after reaching a truce with Earth in the same vein that the USSR collapsed after the end of the cold war, the expansion out to the American west or Age of exploration elements, all the way to compelling scientific questions such as new biomes and the sounds guns make in space. Rutger joins Gil to celebrate this season, its writing, acting, production value and pace, and complain a bit about the final two episodes.
Dec 9, 2019
UK Brexit Elections Breakdown
The UK elections will be held on Thursday, December 12, and the results will impact not only the British people but Europeans at large - for decades to come. Will unelected incumbent conservative Boris Johnson win an outright majority? What will that mean? Will opposition leader and beleaguered head of Labor Jeremy Corbyn shock the world by tiptoeing around Brexit and focusing on social programs? Will the smaller parties make a splash? Gil Kidron hosts patron John Ellis, a Welshman with a B.A in Politics, to break it all down.
Dec 5, 2019
The Expanse & Game Theory: Earth v Mars, US v USSR
The Expanse is a political story about a society set 200 years in the future, led by humans who are making the same sort of calculations leaders today make - weighing options, trying to figure out what other people will do in all kinds of situations. Rutger joins Gil to talk about game theory, the thinking behind it and its applications in all walks of life, including when dealing with a trans-planetary conflict with several factions, and the sub-factions within them. The conflict between, Earth, Mars and the Belt is shaped by the decisions, assumptions and misjudgments of its leaders, and exploring game theory through this Amazon Prime show is a great way to learn more about The expanse and game theory.
Dec 2, 2019
Israeli Prime Minister Indicted For Bribery, Loses His Mind (w Noga)
After long years of on-and-off investigations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for corruption charges - including bribery. His upcoming trial changes the political situation in Israel after 10 years of solid reign for King Bibi, which increasingly now seem like they will soon be in the past. Therapist Noga Ariel Galor is joining Gil Kidron on the podcast to break down Bibi's deteriorating mental state and how it endangers the fabric of a society that is very diverse to begin with.
Nov 25, 2019
The King (2019): Brexit, English Nationalism & Evil French
The King (2019) is a Netflix movie adapting a play from William Shakespeare's Henriad, about Henry V of England, who united the realm and went to successful wars in France. Rutger joins Gil to talk about the political relevance of The King in the UK's shattered politics in the age of Brexit, as the union is breaking apart at the seams. We go into detail about the actual historical context of the 100 years war that fostered national sentiments on both sides of the English channel, leaving an old world of warrior kings behind, to be later replaced by rich royal courts, all-powerful monarchs and world explorations. We also discuss the historical figures and the context in which the plays were written, some 200 years later.
Nov 11, 2019
Game of Thrones: The Portrayal of LGBTQ Characters was farcical
Game of Thrones turned several gay side characters from the books into caricatures of contemporary gay people, weak gay men and butchy gay women, while the gender fluidity in the books of characters like Cersei and Daenerys was left in the editing room. Gotributor John Taggart, with a BA Film and Television Studies and currently working on his Masters, joins Gil Kidron for a pleasant conversation that devolves into frustrated rants.
Nov 4, 2019
In Defense of Severus Snape: Fought The Nazis. Eventually.
Is Severus Snape a horrible person who abused a traumatized child or a fighter against the dark forces? Is he a cynical person who only saw the light when the darkness consumed his loved one, or is he a victim of his upbringing? Anke Bosma, a long time patron of Got Academy with a Masters in Literary Studies and an ardent Potterhead, is coming to defend Snape against the evil forces who want to disparage him, aka Gil Kidron and his arguments about child care.
Oct 28, 2019
The Expanse: Oppression, Nationalism and History
One of the best things about The Expanse is the language spoken by the Belters, who live in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Saturn. Belters are made up of Americans, Chinese, Russians, South Africans and more, and the society that they have created, under the oppression of Earth and Mars, is very much represented in their common language, that unifies people who live millions of kms (or miles) apart. Mallory Aler, linguist extraordinaire, comes back to the podcast and joins Gil Kidron to talk about the history of creole languages, the role of languages in forming new nation-states and what we can learn from the history of our own world and project into The Expanse.
Oct 21, 2019
The Evolution of Wall Street in Movies
Wall Street and its flaws are a common theme in movies, which emphasize the excesses, the risk-taking, and the societal fallout. But once upon a time, banking and finance were boring, steady occupations - and even before that, they were the domain of Florentine family businesses and Venetian Jews. What changed, and why? In this History in Movies podcast Gil Kidron welcomes again Rutger Vos, this time to talk about how Hollywood portrays the world of finance capitalism.
Oct 14, 2019
Joker Review: Hegel's Master and Slave Theory and Social Change
What is the underlining ideology of the the movie Joker, and what's its stance regarding the ability of different populations to work together for the common good? In our first podcast review of Todd Phillips' Joker, starring Joaquin Pheonix, therapist Noga Ariel Galor joins Gil Kidron on the podcast to psychoanalyze the way the movie portrays the masses and their relationship with the 1%, through Sigmund Freud, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Donald Winnicott and Jessica Benjamin.
Oct 7, 2019
In Defense of Dumbledore: He's Not a God and Knows to Prepare Students For Life
Is Dumbledore really to blame for the flaws in the wizarding world? Should he have done better? After last week's podcast with writer Ariella Yashar, airing out her beef with the great Albus Dumbledore, huge Potterhead and patron Lireza Elezaj comes to his defense with very compelling arguments. He is a powerful wizard, but not a deity, so he doesn't know everything that is going on in Hogwarts; his hiring practices are inclusive, look at the big picture and are oftentimes restricted by reality, and he knows that young wizards need to go through trials and tribulations to be prepared for the wizarding world, knowing and controlling their powers. Gil Kidron waves a white flag, apologizes to the great Dumbledore and tries to repent.
Sep 30, 2019
Harry Potter: Why Dumbledore is BAD At His Job
Hogwarts principle Dumbledore is a revered wizard and beloved character in the Harry Potter series, but is he any good? Harry Potter is a timeless story that has captivated millions and millions of people, with its world-building, loveable characters, steady narrative through the years and holistic feel. Even though we admire it and its writer, JK Rowling, we need to talk about Albus. Writer Ariella Yashar has a beef with Dumbledore and she wants to set things straight - he's very bad at his job. Gil Kidron tries to rush to the legendary headmaster's defense.
Sep 23, 2019
Epidemics and Pandemics in Movies
In this Science in Movies podcast Gil again welcomes Rutger, this time to talk about how global epidemics (known as pandemics) have been portrayed in movies. We talk about Outbreak (1993), Contagion (2011), Philadelphia (1993), and Black Death (2010). We discuss the scientific aspects of these epidemics, fact-check their movie versions, how they have affected society in the past or will affect us in the future, and how the depiction of pandemics has evolved in the past few decades.
1 hr 6 min
Sep 22, 2019
Israeli Elections Review: Bibi Lost! We Won!! (Sort of)
For the second time in 2019 - Israelis went to the polls, to elections that were unlike any previous elections. Thankfully, we evaded the worst and acting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to get the majority he needed to evade corruption charges. And not for lack of trying: he tried to postpone the elections by initiating a war, broke election laws several times and incited against the Israeli Arabs population. Gil Kidron speaks with Got Academy patron Ariella Yashar about it all. For the full Patreon exclusive podcast https://www.patreon.com/posts/30153314.
Sep 16, 2019
2019 Israeli Re-elections: Fire, Blood and Chaos Are Coming
For the second time in 2019 - Israelis are headed to the polls, but these elections are unlike any previous elections, because if current prime minister Benjamin Bibi Netanyahu gets his way - he'll be able to form a ruling coalition with the most racist, vile and violent parts of Israeli society in a coordinated effort to avoid standing trial on corruption charges, while dismantling what is left of Israel's democratic identity, replacing it with a strongman state, backed by factions who seek violence and apartheid. There are several better scenarios too - Gil elaborates on some of them in this shortened version and on all of them in the complete podcast, exclusively for patrons on https://www.patreon.com/posts/29981054
Sep 9, 2019
Mindhunter: A Show About Misunderstandings and Miscommunications?
Mindhunter by David Fincher is a Netflix show about the history of profiling serial killers by the FBI. There are clear psychological and historical elements to it, but in our conversation with contributor Mallory Aler, who is doing her Masters in linguistics, we want to focus on the linguistic aspects: language, performance, procedures, and the politics and society from which those are born.
Sep 2, 2019
Tarantino's Obsession With Death: Psychological Review
In our first podcast review of Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood we talk about the death instinct in this movie and in the Tarantino filmography in general. And for this happy occasion, we host our very own Noga Ariel Galor, on her first podcast appearance! She gives us the psychoanalytical angle on the various deaths in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: the death of careers, characters, actual people who are about to die, people who actually died but are spared in this movie, and above all - the upcoming death of Tarantino's film career.
Aug 26, 2019
The Boys on Amazon: Forget Everything You Know About Superheroes
Welcome to another conversation with novelist, Literature Prof. and Writing Professor Theo Gangi and Gil Kidron. In this podcast, we review The Amazon Prime show - The Boys. The Boys takes a subversive take on the superhero genre and injects realism into it - how would these kinds of people be like if they were real. How would their existence affect our society, politically, geopolitically and economically? What kind of people would these superheroes be? Would they be kind and smart or egomaniacal assholes? We debate those issues and how current this adaption to the 2006 comic book series actually is.
Aug 19, 2019
Linguistic Thoughts on Chernobyl and Tarantino
There are so many ways to looks at stories, and in this podcast, we're looking at a couple of them from a linguistic point of view, with Mallory Aler, who is doing her Masters in linguistics. We're talking about the hit HBO show Chernobyl, that takes place in Ukraine, with Russian-speaking people talking in British English, and about a couple of Tarantino movies that have several languages in them, mostly Inglorious Basterds and Kill Bill.
Aug 15, 2019
Using Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Tank Warfare Strategies To Fight White Walkers
Welcome Avi K. to the Got Academy Podcast to talk to Gil Kidron as part of Got Academy Gotributor special offer! Avi harnesses military philosophers such as Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tsu, the ancient Greek terms of strategy and tactics, and concepts of offense and defense, as well as the power of religion - to think about the best way to fight the Others / White Walkers.
Aug 12, 2019
American vs European Comic Books: History, Culture, Social Commentary
What are the main differences between the American and the European comic book? Their history, their political context, topics they choose to focus on, the culture they represent, and social commentary. Gil talks with Theo and Rutger about Asterix, Tintin, Superman, Marvel, Stan Lee, Herge, Thorgal, Manga and much more. We discuss the context in which the art form first boomed. The role of the Second World War, during which time the medium became politically polarized and a tool for propaganda. The post-war recovery, when new identities and narratives were being constructed and colonialism was winding down. The technological development, going from cheap serials to hardcover graphic novels. The professionalization of comics, when series started to be taken over by studios rather than the original authors. And the big question: why is Belgium a comics superpower?
Aug 5, 2019
The Evolution of Robin Hood in Movies
In this History in Movies podcast, Gil Kidron and Dr. Rutger Vos are breaking down three Robin Hood movies, to learn how the image of Robin Hood has changed since its inception, throughout the centuries, and more specifically since its popular portrayal in the 1991 Kevin Costner Prince of Thieves, the 2010 Russel Crowe Robin Hood and the super political 2018 version. The presentation of a legendary character can tell us so much about the social and political values of the time, according to the changes and additions to it.
Aug 1, 2019
Why Machine Learning Failed to Predict Game of Thrones
Welcome Mitchell Dale to the Got Academy Podcast to talk to Gil Kidron as part of Got Academy Gotributor special offer! Mitchell is into machine learning, and he applies this knowledge to breakdown how computers tried to predict the conclusion of Game of Thrones, and why they failed.
Jul 29, 2019
Stranger Things 3: Weaponized Nostalgia
Are 1980s shopping malls the best breeding grounds for capitalist monsters and zombies? With divorce rates peaking, were the sickly sweet boy-gets-girl-in-the-end movies of that time even believable for the kids living through it? Is there any ideology there or should we just crack open a (new!) Coke and enjoy the ride? Gil and Rutger have a love fest over Stranger Things 3. Alert: spoilers. And another alert: there is some singing. Proceed with caution and at your own risk.
Jul 22, 2019
The Expanse: Predicting the Year 2350
In our Inaugural The Expanse podcast we take a look at the reality presented to us in The Expanse's year 2350 solar system. The evolution of human societies, cultures, languages, political establishments, media and religion. Rutger joins Gil yet again, to dip our toes in everything The Expanse has to offer, with more yet to come.
Jul 18, 2019
Game of Thrones From An Existential Perspective
Welcome Francesca Lewis to the podcast to talk to Gil. Francesca has studied creative writing, psychology and existentialism, and she applies the latter to the conclusion of Game of Thrones, being that the only reason Bran Stark becomes king is that the meaning we ascribe to his story are the most meaningful, at least according to Tyrion. Through existentialism, or absurdism, as Albert Camus' outlook on life is referred to, in his books The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus, we try to find if there is any meaning to Game of Thrones from our perspective, and from that of the characters.
Jul 16, 2019
Reviewing The New Spider-Man: American and Outsider Perspectives
Welcome to another conversation with Theo and Gil. In this podcast, we review Spider-Man Far From Home, the new spider-man instalment, which has Peter Parker and friends travel to Europe and then fight Mysterio. Gil and Theo disagree, as Gil gives his non-American perspective of the depiction of Europe, with Rutger, a Dutchman, coming in as a guest to lament the way The Netherlands was portrayed.
Jul 10, 2019
Transferring Love from Tolkien to Martin and the Immigrant Experience in Age of Brexit
Welcome Teodor Zhelyazkov to the podcast to talk to Gil! Teodor has been a diehard fan of JRR Tolkien's work, way beyond Lord of the Rings, and stayed away from Game of Thrones. Until he didn't. Then he binged five seasons in ONE WEEKEND (please consult your physicians before doing that) and never looked back, his appreciation for both stories only growing. We also dive into the immigrant experience of a young Bulgarian lad studying and working in Portsmouth, UK, in the age of Brexit, and similarities between South-Eastern European psyche and the Mediterranean one.
Jul 8, 2019
Natural Disasters in Movies
In this Science in Movies podcast Gil again welcomes Rutger - this time to talk about natural disasters on an unprecedented scale: asteroids, sudden climate change, and the eruption of a supervolcano. We break down the science, fact check it and review the way movies portrayed these disasters at the time they were made. The movies are Armageddon (1998), The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and Supervolcano (2005).
Jul 1, 2019
The Rise and Fall of Fandoms, And Taking Over The World
Welcome Mathematician Nets Katz to the Podcast to talk to Gil! Nets is a veteran of several fantasy and sci-fi fandoms, since he was a kid in the 70s, and he has strong opinions on George R R Martin's role in those fandoms, and the basic flaw in the very concept of fandoms.
Jun 27, 2019
The Starks' Russian Soul: Ingroups and Outgroups
Welcome Ganna to the podcast to talk to Gil! Ganna, a twice immigrant Russian Ukranian, who lived in the US and now lives in Tokyo, explores the ideas of ingroup and outgroup, shares about The Russian Soul concept, and life in Japan.
Jun 24, 2019
King Arthur in Movies: Excalibur, King Arthur, The Holy Grail
In this History in Movies podcast, Gil Kidron and Dr. Rutger Vos, a huge history buff, are breaking down three movies centered around the Arthurian Myth, to learn more about the different legends are Arthur, the historical details, the mythical additions, the way the story changed throughout history, what it says about the 3rd-century Roman-era Britain, about the time these movies were made, and about our present days.
Jun 20, 2019
Remaking Game of Thrones Through Live Action?
Welcome Casey Koons to the podcast to talk to Gil! Casey, a cloud engineer, shares a meeting that he had with HBO in 2016, about remaking Game of Thrones as a more faithful adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, through scanning the books, using the likeness of the actors and the existing art and locations to produce a live-action show.
Jun 17, 2019
Dangerous "Nice Guys" in Movies: Snape, Jorah and Jacob
In our second Social Justice in Movies podcast, Gil Kidron welcomes new collaborator Dr. Ashley Phillips. In this conversation, we talk about the "nice guy" archetype in movies, and not the kind of nice guy we automatically think about, the teddy bear kind who just wants to help and then finishes last. More like the guy who thinks that if he does certain things that are considered "nice", he's entitled to get the girl.
Jun 13, 2019
The Iron Bank vs Medieval and Modern Economics
Welcome Michael Talley to our podcast to talk to Gil! Michael, an economics major, focused on the Iron Bank, its role in Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire and its parallels to medieval economic history and how it connects to our modern economy and politics.
Jun 10, 2019
HBO's Chernobyl: Historical, Political and Scientific Analysis
HBO's Chernobyl mini-series has been a smash hit with audiences and critics alike, lauded for its brutal realism, historical accuracy, cinematography and great acting. In this podcast, Gil and Rutger break down the main political messages in Chernobyl, the depiction of the USSR in light of the (mis)handling of the disaster, relate it to current politics and geopolitics in the age of climate change, and talk about the state of nature in and around Chernobyl today.
Jun 3, 2019
How Does GoT Season 8 Affect Prequels, HBO vs Disney, Netflix & Amazon
Welcome to another conversation with novelist, Literature Prof. and Writing Prof. Theo Gangi and Gil Kidron. In this podcast we talk about the bigger picture of the Game of Thrones season 8 disaster, what it means for HBO now that they have stiff competition from streaming outlets like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and very soon - Disney. How bad is the damage to the Game of Thrones and HBO brand with loads of Marvel shows coming up, with Lord of the Rings coming to Amazon along with The Expanse, and Netflix's sheer quantity of content? Will the prequels save them or doom them?
May 30, 2019
How Linguistics Foiled Daenerys' Ambitions
Welcome to our inaugural conversation with patron Mallory Aller! Mallory, who's doing her Masters in linguistics, opens up for us a new way to look at Game of Thrones, through the power of language and the way that Game of Thrones characters use it. We talk about Daenerys' Common Tongue problem, Sansa's natural ability to speak the King's Landing dialect, how (book) Arya must be multilingual in the deepest sense, and more.
May 28, 2019
Game of Thrones Historical Review: Middle Ages, Renaissance, Trotsky and Napoleon
Now that Game of Thrones season 8 is behind us and the conclusion is that the 7 kingdoms are now two kingdoms made up of 6+1, with Bran Stark king in the south and Sansa Stark Queen in the North, Rutger and Gil break down the conclusion from a historical and political point of view. What happened to the decline in feudalism? To British history? Is Bran the Dalai Lama or the Fisher King? Is Daenerys Targaryen Stalin, Trotsky or Napoleon? We talk Game of Thrones and history!
May 21, 2019
Human Evolution in Movies
We launch our new series of podcast episodes - science in movies! With Dr. Rutger Vos, an evolutionary biologist from Leiden University and Naturalis Biodiversity Center, both in The Netherlands. In our inaugural science podcast episode, we talk about the evolution of humans from apes, and how this theme is portrayed in movies. Our movies of choice: the original Planet of the Apes (1968), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Altered States (1980). What do these movies say about how we view ourselves? Our predecessors? Our evolution? And what do they say about the scientific thought when they were made.
May 15, 2019
Which Captain America Movie Is The Best One?
We continue our Avengers Marvel podcast episode series, as Gil Kidron and Theo Gangi debate which one of the Captain America movies is the best one - Captain America The First Avenger, Captain America Winter Soldier or Captain America Civil War. Your answer depends on what you put a premium on: history, storytelling, villains?
May 6, 2019
Avengers Endgame Review: The Biggest Small Movie of All Time
Finally, our Avengers Endgame review is here! Gil Kidron and Theo Gangi discuss how the Russo Brothers accomplished this incredible achievement of creating a gigantic superhero movie about an intergalactic war full of CGI - that feels like an emotionally personal movie. Tony Stark/Ironman, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Thor, the Hulk, Nebula - all had fulfilling arcs that left us wanting more.
Apr 30, 2019
Ancient Greece in Movies
Welcome to our first History in Movies podcast! Gil and Rutger break down three movies about the classical period, to learn more about Ancient Greece, about the time that the movies were made, and about how things look different today. For this podcast episode, we review the movies Troy, 300 and Alexander.
Apr 24, 2019
Is Breaking Bad a Show About Angry White Men?
We're launching our new podcast series of social justice on screen with Eliana Cohen, breaking down one of the best shows of all time, Breaking Bad, as a predictive cultural event that is about angry middle-aged white men who feel that the world has been taken away from them. When Walter White learns that he has cancer, he resorts to violence, which only grows as the story moves forward. Yet still, we root for him because he feels aggrieved that things are not the way he wanted them to be. Eliana is doing her PhD in social psychology. For our attached conversation where Gil rants about what he calls "toxic femininity" https://www.patreon.com/posts/26326954
Apr 15, 2019
Marvel: Thanos' Hero's Journey
Welcome to our first Marvelous podcast series! Novelist, writing professor and literature professor Theo Gangi joins Gil to break down Marvel movies from every direction, angle and point of view we want/can: mythology, psychology, personal, and comic. In this podcast, we look at the villain of Avengers Infinity War, Thanos, through the lens of Joseph Cambell's Hero's Journey, a widely used arc in Hollywood writing that has its roots in human myths from all around the world.
Apr 10, 2019
Analysis of the Israeli April 9, 2019 Election Results
The Israeli elections were held on April 9, Gil records his initial thoughts a day later before the dust completely settles. The final results have since been reported, and Netanyahu's coalition will number 65 out of 120 seats, and he will have a hard time that he would have hoped to promote laws that will prevent the Attorney General from indicting him and taking him to trial on three counts, one of them of bribery.
Mar 28, 2019
How Nazis Combined Life and Work at Concentration Camp
In this podcast, Gil talks to Tahel Goldsmith, Program in Cultural Studies, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, about her unique research into the daily lives of Nazi guards, soldiers and SS officers who served in and around death camps, and how they, their family and their surroundings managed to lead normal lives in these extremely violent circumstances they took an active part in.
Mar 28, 2019
Global Authoritarianism: A Conversation with a Professor and Activist
In this podcast, Gil Kidron and Dr. Noam Hofstadter a researcher of political science and human rights, have a very interesting conversation about the rise of global authoritarianism, in Israel, Europe and the US.
Mar 28, 2019
Psychoanalyzing Sexual Assault Victims
In this podcast Noga Ariel Galor explains to Gil Kidron the damage to the psyche of sexual assault victims and how do they cope with this damage for the rest of their lives.
Mar 28, 2019
Psychoanalyzing Sexual Predators
In this podcast Gil Kidron and Noga Ariel Galor discuss, in the light of the emerging #metoo movement, the psyche and motivations behind sexual predators.
Mar 28, 2019
Trump Moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem: Explained
In this podcast, Gil Kidron breaks down the political theater that is Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moving its embassy there. To watch the video on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/posts/15774304