A podcast about political cinema and our crumbling world. Hosted by Will Sloan and Luke Savage.
Exclusive subscriber-only episodes: https://www.patreon.com/michaelandus/overview
#189 - JOHN RAMBO INNOCENT!!! (w/ Micah Uetricht)
Before he became a conservative warrior, John Rambo was just a mixed-up vet. We're joined by Jacobin deputy editor Micah Uetricht to parse the ambiguous politics of FIRST BLOOD (1982), where Sylvester Stallone is just as frazzled by right-wing cops as he is by left-wing protestors. We also situate the film among other Vietnam War movies, and compare the Vietnam canon to Iraq War cinema. PLUS: Luke has been reading Obama's autobiography and has some thoughts.
Check out Micah's podcast The Vast Majority - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-vast-majority/id1462787412
Check out Bigger Than Bernie: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism, by Micah and Meagan Day - https://www.versobooks.com/books/3167-bigger-than-bernie
PREVIEW - #188 - Champagne and Hot Wings
PATREON-EXCLUSIVE EPISODE - https://www.patreon.com/posts/44409791
We return to the legendary and problematic writer, quipster, and socialist-turned-warmonger Christopher Hitchens. We discuss notable essays from his not-particularly-good late-period essay collection ARGUABLY, including his purplish prose on Harry Potter, Gore Vidal, and pesky waiters at restaurants. We also analyze why we remains a figure of fascination for us, despite everything. PLUS: random attacks on writers we don't especially like.
Our first Hitchens episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/124-fahrenhitch-30842827
#187 - RudyLeaks
Before he was the President's attorney, he was America's Mayor. Made not long after 9/11 briefly turned Giuliani into one of the most beloved men in America, RUDY: THE RUDY GIULIANI STORY (2003) still can't hide the stone cold fact that its subject (played by James Woods!) is a complete piece of shit. We discuss Giuliani's long and sordid career, up to and including his recent hijinx. PLUS: learning to love the Snyder Cut, remembering Obama's 2009 message to David Brooks, and the loss of a beloved Toronto landmark.
PREVIEW - #186 - New Skin for the Old Ceremony
PATREON-EXCLUSIVE EPISODE - https://www.patreon.com/posts/44083560
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded and that the good guys lost, but also that like the tidal flood beneath the lunar sway - imperial, mysterious in amorous array - democracy is coming to the USA. We explore these contradictions and others as we do a deep dive into Leonard Cohen. We discuss the classic Canadian documentary LADIES AND GENTLEMEN... MR. LEONARD COHEN (1965) and his legendary performance at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970. PLUS: thoughts on pandemic politics as the lockdown looms again in North America.
#185 - Red and Blue
We travel to Lumberton to plumb the dark depths of David Lynch's BLUE VELVET (1986), in which good and evil are forces that are intertwined - and not a strict dichotomy. We discuss how critics then and now have received the film's provocations, and our own relationships to Lynch's work. PLUS: red states vs blue states, Joe Biden's cabinet, and Tim Allen's discovery of Marxism.
PREVIEW - #184 - Raising Kael (w/ Violet Lucca)
PATREON-EXCLUSIVE EPISODE - https://www.patreon.com/posts/43832093
For decades, Pauline Kael reigned as the most feared and respected film critic in America, and even today carries a greater literary reputation than any of her peers. The not-very-good documentary WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL (2018) tries to make a case for the New Yorker critic as an iconoclastic thinker... but inadvertently reveals her many limitations. We're joined by our old friend Violet Lucca (host of The Harper's Podcast) to discuss her much-imitated prose style, her ideas about art and trash, and the limits of a shoot-from-the-hip critical methodology. PLUS: post-election malaise, and the return of the XFL.