Middlebrow Madness


1.25 – Internet of Toilets

We’re a little late, but no worse for wear, sports fans! This time around, our intrepid hosts ponder whether the crew of Sunrise actually got a pig drunk, the concept of audience manipulation in cinema, and contend with Derek’s wild, earth-shattering take about Ridley Scott. Plus, a new chapter in the Untitled Isabelle Arf Fan Fiction Project (that I swear Derek didn’t sandbag; there were some recording shenanigans at play, I promise). In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Amadeus v. Sunrise Gladiator v. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale–Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord!–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line:…

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Isabelle’s Philosophy Corner, Episode 2: The Judicial Theory of Carl Schmitt

Hot off our viewing of Judgment at Nuremberg, Isabelle schools us on the work of German political theorist Carl Schmitt and how they intersect (or don’t) with Stanley Kramer’s film.NOTE: It was raining during the recording of this episode, so please forgive the sound quality. And yes, Isabelle knows that “Weimar” is pronounced with a “V,” she was just very tired.Political Theology Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty by Carl Schmitt–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

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1.24 – Show Me the Wizards

Sports fans, this one’s got everything you can ask for: weird bits, charlatanry, amphibian Messiahs, v i b e s, nostalgia, smart stuff, dumb stuff, and what is probably the single most shocking scene in any film we’ve covered so far. Here’s a hint: it has something to do with the movie with the word “Nuremberg” in the title. in the bracket. In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Heat vs. Judgment at Nuremberg The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King vs. Dog Day Afternoon–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on…

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1.23 – Big L for Atreyu

Sports fans, Derek knows he fucked up the number of the show in the intro, don’t worry about it. But despite that rocky start, our intrepid hosts navigate between the twin poles of Wild Digressions (conspiracy theories! the recorded output of the Decemberists!) and Hard-Hitting Film Criticism (the lingering effects of propaganda! agreeing in bad faith! the Cable Hall of Fame career of Wolfgang Petersen!). Plus, chapter 2 of the Untitled Isabelle Arf Fan Fiction Project. In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Das Boot v. Platoon The Lives of Others v. The Wages of Fear–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD]…

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1.22 – Ass-Slap Sam

We’re back with a vengeance, sports fans! We talk about the why of the dudebro canon, director market correction, the funny side of Ingmar Bergman, and the motion picture with the credits that have perhaps aged the worst of all the movies we’ve covered so far. Plus, Isabelle introduces a new node in her increasingly elaborate web of bits. In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Snatch v. Wild Strawberries The Usual Suspects v. La haine–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

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The ‘Rona Special

Sorry for the radio silence, sports fans! Derek and Isabelle are here to bring you to up to speed with the goings-on in their lives, the ongoing pandemic, and gauge interest in a potential fan Discord (among other things).–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

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1.21 – Legs Don’t Smell the Same As Feet

Sports fans, I’m not going to lie to you: thins get real blue and real weird real fast in this on. If this pod had a rating, it’d be a hard R. It’s also an episode that swings wildly between the twin poles of “tangential bullshit” (left-of-centre fetishes and 90s rom-coms where one of the leads would later come out as gay) and “actual movie stuff” (a discussion how 2001 aged so well, two very different reads on Blade Runner 2049). In short, another classic episode!CWs for kink, sexual assault, racism, and probably some other stuff, but those are the…

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1.20 – How Do We Know That Lindsay Lohan Is Not a CIA Asset

We’re back, sports fans, and we’re ringing in the new year! Only we don’t make reference to this fact at all, since we recorded this some time ago. Our intrepid hosts experience both sides of the quality coin in this one, from baffling slogs to baffling successes. There’s also talk of Baz Luhrmann and chili recipes. In other words, another classic episode!CW for reference to sexual violence, racialized violence, other kinds of violence, police brutality, Nazis, and general unpleasantness.This week’s matchups: Downfall v. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Fight Club v. The Handmaiden–Sheet Pan Vegetarian Summer Bowl (via Self)–See the…

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1.19 – Better than Watching Porn With Your Bros

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

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Isabelle’s Philosophy Corner, Episode 1: Normative Statements and Capitalist Realism

Hard swerve! Isabelle takes the reins in this solo minisode where she elaborates on the concept of normative statements and how they apply in our criticism of the 2005 feature film V for Vendetta.NOTE: AT 4:39, Isabelle says “descriptive” when she meant “prescriptive.”–Motherfuckin’ show notes!83: The Unchecked Conservative Ideology of US Media’s ‘Fact-Check’ Verticals — Citations NeededCapitalist Realism by Mark Fisher — Zer0 BooksHbomberguy — YouTubePhilosophy Tube — YouTube

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