Episode 80: Annihilation

This week, Gavia and Morgan dive into the mesmerizing world of Annihilation, the trippy new science fiction film from director Alex Garland. They discuss the film's frustrating distribution (or lack thereof), how it stacks up against Garland's other work and other science fiction classics, and What It All Means.

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Episode 79, Black Sails, Part I

This week, Gav is joined by guest hosts Elizabeth Minkel and Natasha Simonova for a very special episode about the pirate drama Black Sails. We explore the historical and literary themes of the show, including its similarities to 17th century Revenge Tragedy, and what "historical fiction" actually means. Spoiler warning: We cover all four seasons, so this is mostly aimed at Black Sails fans rather than new viewers!

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Episode 77: Black Panther

This week, Gavia and Morgan discuss Marvel's latest hit, the record-breaking Black Panther. Topics include the film's thrilling visuals, its departure from traditional superhero storytelling, its excellent women, and... The Lion King?

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Episode 75: Phantom Thread

This week, Morgan and Gavia dig into Paul Thomas Anderson's sumptuous masterpiece Phantom Thread. They discuss the film's magnificent costumes, its delectable use of food, how it compares to PTA's recent work, the wondrous Vicky Krieps, and the hungry boy.

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Episode 71: The Shape of Water

This week, Gavia and Morgan discuss Gavia's favorite film of the year, Guillermo del Toro's new creature feature The Shape of Water. They consider its topical political resonances, its mishmash of genres, how it fits into del Toro's filmography, and Sally Hawkins' luminous performance.

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Episode 70: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This week, Morgan and Gavia duke it out over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the latest, divisive installment in the Star Wars universe. Gavia is a fan; Morgan is frustrated. A disturbance in the Force!

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Episode 69: Call Me by Your Name

This week, Morgan and Gavia rhapsodize over Morgan's favorite movie of the year, indie sensation Call Me by Your Name. They compare it to director Luca Guadanigno's previous films, I Am Love and A Bigger Splash, reflect on its universal specificity, the brilliants of actors Timothée Chalamet and Michael Stuhlbarg, that peach scene, and more.

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Episode 68: Justice League

This week, Gavia reports back from DC's disappointing mega-blockbuster Justice League. Morgan refused to see this film on principle, so Gav gives a full report on the film's aesthetic mediocrity, the unfortunate effects of all that reshooting, and what on earth is going on with Ben Affleck.

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Episode 67: The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

This week, Gavia and Morgan revisit their childhoods with Philip Pullman's new novel La Belle Sauvage, the first installment of his new trilogy The Book of Dust, a companion to His Dark Materials. They discuss this book's relationship to Pullman's earlier trilogy, earnest children, frightening villains, Oxford, and—for some reason—Edmund Spenser's living situation.

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Episode 65: Halloween Special: Bram Stoker's Dracula

This week, Gavia and Morgan celebrate Halloween by watching Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 horror classic, Bram Stoker's Dracula. They discuss how it diverges from other Dracula films, its unconventional romance, Keanu Reeves' worst performance, and Gavia's dream Frankenstein adaptation.

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Episode 64: American Vandal

This week, Gavia and Morgan are joined by special guest Mallory Ortberg for a conversation about Netflix's surprise true crime spoof American Vandal. They discuss the show's relationship to true crime, its glorious depiction of dirtbag teens and innovative use of social media, and the relief of watching something that just feels not-terrible.

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Episode 63: NYFF / LFF 2017

This week, Morgan and Gavia report back from the New York and London Film Festivals, where they saw an eclectic collection of films including The Florida Project, BPM, Mudbound, Lady Bird, The Meyerowitz Stories, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and more.

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Episode 62: Blade Runner 2049

This week, Gavia and Morgan are lukewarm on Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fic classic Blade Runner. Topics of discussion include the films problems with women, its overly complicated screenplay, Harrison Ford's best performance in years, and whether the idea of a sequel was doomed from the outset.

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Episode 61: Book Club: John le Carré's "A Legacy of Spies"

This week, Gavia and Morgan change it up by diving into the latest novel by master spy novelist John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies, which marks his final return to the world of George Smiley and the Circus. Topics discussed include the novel's relationship to its predecessors, le Carré's difficulties writing women, Morgan's le Carré fandom, and Brexit.

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