Posts filed under 'Radio'

June 9th, 2009

Horror Cinema in Cultural Context, w/guest Kendall Phillips

How have horror films been reflective of the times in which they’ve been made? What sorts of differences do we find between American and foreign perspectives on horror? How has the depiction of religion in horror evolved over the years? My guest is Kendall Phillips, a professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, and the author of Projected Fears, which examines 10 landmark horror films (from Psycho and The Exorcist to Silence of the Lambs and Scream) and why they resonated with filmgoers during their respective eras. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in June 2009.]

 
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May 13th, 2009

Spring 2009 Political Roundup, w/guest Alan Gitelson

Returning as my guest is Loyola professor of political science Alan Gitelson, as we cover all sorts of recent happenings within the world of politics. We’ll discuss everything from the passing of longtime GOP leader Jack Kemp to the defection of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party — as well as examine the recent Pew Research Center studies regarding the public’s view of the early days of President Obama’s administration. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in May 2009.]

 
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April 22nd, 2009

Hollywood's Depiction of the Quest for "Happiness," w/guest Molly McAshan

How do we define “happiness?” How has that search been depicted in film and television throughout the years, through introspective characters who seek greater meaning in their lives (American Beauty), to displays of marital trauma and the breakdown of long-term relationships (The Ice Storm, War of the Roses)? Has the defining of the American Dream as one based on material wealth had a deleterious effect on our well-being? And what does the increasing presence of therapists in society (Mad Men, Ordinary People, Sopranos) say about our sense of satisfaction with life? Returning as my guest is Molly McAshan, a Chicago-area mental-health professional and a film blogger. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in April 2009.]

 
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April 6th, 2009

The Classroom in Film, w/guest Timothy Shary

The classroom has been a cinema battleground for students and teachers alike — from tales of social outcasts (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Napoleon Dynamite) to crusading educators (Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Minds), and examinations of school archetypes (The Breakfast Club, Clueless, Mean Girls). How have the depictions of the classroom in film evolved throughout the years? Has there been a shift in emphasis from stories involving athletics to ones featuring scholarly pursuits? How have the classroom archetypes of students shifted over time? And why do we see a great many films about high-school students, but comparatively few about their younger counterparts? Returning as my guest is Tim Shary, director of Film and Video Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and author of the book Generation Multiplex, an examination of youth culture in film. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in April 2009.]

 
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March 26th, 2009

Battlestar Galactica, w/guest Robert Thompson

In commemoration of the recent conclusion of the critically-acclaimed Battlestar Galactica television series, here is an interview I recorded with Robert Thompson near the end of 2006 covering all sorts of issues discussed on the show. We’ll be examining the political and religious themes depicted in the series, but don’t worry if you haven’t seen Battlestar; we’ll also be looking at the show in the context of larger pop-culture questions. What makes a show (i.e. the original BG) dated? Do some genres of fiction age more quickly than others? And why is science-fiction a particularly convenient medium through which to discuss societal issues? Robert Thompson is the founder of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in 2006.]

 
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March 11th, 2009

The Depiction of Wealth in Popular Culture, w/guest Leonard Pierce

One of the many “taglines” of America is that it is the “Land of Opportunity” where anyone can succeed… and above all, get rich. How has this impacted the depiction of wealth (and the desire for wealth) here in the United States in contrast to other parts of globe? How has television served as a snapshot of American propserity in each particular era, from shows such as All in the Family to The Cosby Show and Friends? And how have economic issues been depicted in futuristic utopias (like Star Trek) as well as dystopias? Returning as my guest is freelance writer and pop-culture critic Leonard Pierce, who blogs about film for Nerve.com’s Screengrab and whose commentary can be found at his website, ludickid.com. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in March 2009.]

 
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February 24th, 2009

The Future of Religion in American Politics, w/guest Charles Dunn

How much of a role did religion play in the 2008 elections? What might the founding fathers think of the fact that today’s presidential candidates are frequently peppered with questions concerning the Bible and Jesus? And why is America the lone economic superpower still beset with battles between secular and religious communities over issues such as the teaching of creationism vs. evolution in schools? My guest is Charles W. Dunn, dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University and editor of the new book, The Future of Religion in American Politics. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in February 2009.]

 
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February 9th, 2009

The World of Neo-Noir Film, w/guest Mark Conard

Whereas classic film noir (French for “black film”) typically defines movies — mostly crime dramas — depicting moral ambiguity that were released in the 1940s and 50s, the neo-noir genre has been borne out of America’s disillusionment with societal institutions and the search for our “identity” as opposed to any particular culprit. From issues involving artificial intelligence and what it means to be human (raised in Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi tale Blade Runner) to those of distorted memories (Memento) and nihilism (Fight Club), we’ll examine the world of neo-noir cinema. My guest is Mark Conard, associate professor of philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College and editor of the book Philosophy of Neo-Noir, a collection of essays that explore the philosophical foundations of neo-noir through film. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in February 2009.]

 
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January 28th, 2009

The Barack Obama Inauguration, w/guest Alan Gitelson

How does the inauguration of incoming President Barack Obama compare with those of other chief executives in recent history? Will the American public give Obama a much longer “honeymoon” of support than the ones granted to George W. Bush and Bill Clinton? And will history be kind to the GW presidency? Returning as my guest is Loyola University political science professor Alan Gitelson, who has provided political analysis for NPR, WGN, and countless other media outlets. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in January 2009.]

 
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January 14th, 2009

Nuclear War in Mass Media, w/guest Ian Abrams

“Duck and Cover” has been replaced by “Shock and Awe” in the public lexicon where military matters are concerned, but the prospect of nuclear war has loomed for decades, even as the tensions of the Cold War have faded*. How have the worlds of literature, cinema, and television portrayed the experience of nuclear armageddon and its aftermath? My guest is Ian Abrams, former screenwriter and current associate professor at the Westphal College of Media Arts and Design at Drexel University, and we’ll be examining everything from survivalist literary classics like Pat Frank’s Alas Babylon to Peter Watkins’ faux-documentary The War Game and the Stanley Kubrick dark-comedy classic Dr. Strangelove. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’s Under Surveillance in January 2009.]

* Check out this recent NY Times article concerning the worries over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

 
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Kevin Fullam is a writer and researcher, with extensive experience in fields ranging from sports analytics to politics and cinema.

In addition, he has hosted two long-running radio series on film and culture, and taught mass media at Loyola University.

Episodes of his two shows, Split Reel and Under Surveillance, are archived on the Radio page.