019 – Better than Watching Porn With Your Bros (Round 1, Part 19)

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Our march towards the championship match chugs on, sports fans! Our intrepid hosts cover everything you’ve come to expect from the show: Sex! Metagaming! Personality quizzes! They also go deep on three of the funnest films they’ve covered so far on the pod, and, uh… one that is decidedly less fun. We’ll let you figure out which ones are which.

This week’s matchups:
North by Northwest v. Life of Brian
Grave of the Fireflies v. Rush

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

018 – Hail Seitan (Round 1, Part 18)

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It’s time to get into the spirit of giving, sports fans! Isabelle gives Derek a gift! The Middlebrow Madness will give you a bonus episode! We give some searing hot takes on some beloved classics! And best of all question mark?, we give you CWs for racism, CSA, and transphobia. It’s another classic episode of the best independent bracket-based film criticism show in the known universe.

This week’s matchups:
Scarface v. V for Vendetta
The Silence of the Lambs v. The Wizard of Oz

Oh shit, it’s show notes, baby!

Body Talk: Conversations on Transgender Cinema with Caden Gardner — Curtsies and Hand Grenades

“Hard Time for the Hardcore” by Nick Pinkerton — The Baffler

Listener Hersh’s black bean and seitan rice recipe

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

017 – Full Offence to Adolf Hitler (Round 1, Part 17)

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Break time is over, sports fans! We actually talk a lot about music at the top of this one. (Tangents? On a podcast?! My word!) But fear not, we resume our dizzying climb to the top of the bracket in short order. This time around, we talk about the limitations of charm, the value of human experiences, and our relationship with good ol’ QT. We also field some viewer mail for good measure.

This week’s matchups:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind v. Kill Bill Vol. 1
Terminator 2: Judgment Day v. Catch Me If You Can

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

I01 – I’m the Cum Baby (Intermission #1)

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Sports fans! We are 25% of the way up the bracket, and so we’re planting a marker and taking stock of how far we’ve come. We talk about out picks, mourn the fallen, pick some superlatives, and we answer some 100% genuine grain-fed grade-A viewer mail. Stray topics include the films of S. Craig Zahler, cinematic crushes, and the fine art of metagaming.

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

016 – Billy Bass American Eagle (Round 1, Part 16)

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We’re back (a dinosaur’s story), and we come bearing the gifts of CWs for sexual assault, rape, and CSA! But also, we’re talking about some great movies, including one of those slippery, queasy Awesome Movies Directed By a Reprehensible Person, and one movie that’s kind of a dud. Also, now we’re 25% of the way done with the first round, hooray!

Oh yeah, and just so we don’t get any emails or tweets about it: Isabelle does in fact mean to say Sam Spade (the famous fictional detective), and not Sam Malone (Ted Danson’s character on Cheers). To be fair, “Sam Malone” would be a good name for a noir gumshoe.

This week’s matchups:
The Great Escape v. Chinatown
The Godfather Part II v. Perfect Blue

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

015 – I Fell on My Robo-Butt (Round 1, Part 15)

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We’re back on the bracket beat, sports fans, and we’re asking the tough questions! Does The Dark Knight Rises have a coherent ideology? What is the “normie” Andrei Tarkovsky movie? What’s the deep ecology read on WALL-E? Why were the 90s such a fecund period for stories about the falseness of reality? We answer all of these questions, and several others, over the course of the show.

This week’s matchups:
The Dark Knight Rises v. Andrei Rublev
WALL-E v. The Truman Show

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

014 – Horses Are Racist (Round 1, Part 14)

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A little late but no less great! That’s right, sports fans, we’re back with another classic episode of the pod, where we reaffirm our positions as heads of the Newman/Redford Booster Club, fawn over a certain pair of directorial brothers, and marvel at a film that smiles in the face of a cruel, uncaring world. Oh, and we should note, one of these movies did not age well. How badly did it age? Well, badly enough that our discussion merits big ol’ content warning for CSA. It ain’t all roses in this one, but there are great discussions all around. Also fuck horses.

This week’s matchups:
The Sting vs. No Country for Old Men
Leon: The Professional v. Nights of Cabiria

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

013 – ChAPPlin (Round 1, Part 13)

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Three heavy hitters in this one, and a fourth one that’s… okay? Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. One of these movies is definitely not like the others. Also, this episode isn’t as blue as the last few, but there’s plenty of Boner Content to go around for the faithful. We also talk about a shitty movie that is not in this bracket that should be appended with every CW and -ism you can think of, so be forewarned. But we also talk about William H. Macy’s life imitating William H. Macy’s art, liking movies for different reasons as an adult, and how the 2002 Best Animated Picture Oscar went to the right movie. Takes abound, sports fans!

This week’s matchups:
Full Metal Jacket v. Fargo
City Lights v. Monsters, Inc.

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

012 – The Pope Is a Normie (Round 1, Part 12)

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Sports fans, I’ve got to to come clean: we are a couple of dirty, dirty birdies at the top of this one. Like real filthy. There’s also some mental health talk. But we do talk about movies, specifically about the influence of classical Hollywood film, mental illness in film, “middlebrow” as a qualifier, and navel-gazing as a stylistic conceit. So in other words, another classic episode of the pod!

This week’s matchups:
All About Eve v. A Beautiful Mind
Inception v. 8 1/2

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

011 – Don’t Quote Me on Any of That, But Most of That Is True (Round 1, Part 11)

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Holy cannoli, sports fans, did this one ever get away from us. Get a load of that runtime! 76 god damn minutes! Well, if you’re into weird tangents, you’re in luck: this has one stuff ranging from late-period classic rock to everyone’s least-favourite Canadian lobster man. But crucially, we get to talk about some movies! The power of emotional filmmaking, feminist critiques, the thrill of watching a master at work, ruminations and time and love… But to get to all that, you have to deal with a little bit of branded  content. #BadDragon #SponsoredContent

This week’s matchups:
Your Name. v. Gone Girl
Apocalypse Now v. Before Sunrise

See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]
Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod
Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan
Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g