Derek and Laurel are married! As they celebrate their nuptials, your hosts are back bringing the experience of getting married to their search for the perfect story. This week, they discuss the 1987 classic fairy tale/action adventure/true love story/satire/comedy/so many genres it’s inconceivable, The Princess Bride. Listen as Derek and Laurel struggle to stop endlessly quoting this timeless piece of cinema, as they pay homage to one of the greatest works of art ever put to film—that no one knew what to do with in its time. Derek and Laurel, both left handed, breakdown this narrative, looking to find what made it successful, why it still resonates, and why it is as close to the perfect story a film can be.
Some artists leave their mark on everything they make. This week on the Midnight Myth Podcast, we’re surveying the work of Christopher Nolan, with a particular focus on four of his most popular and important films: his Hollywood breakout Memento, the second installment of his Batman trilogy The Dark Knight, the mind-bending Inception, and his sci-fi epic Interstellar. As one of the few contemporary directors to garner both critical acclaim and box office mega-success, Nolan appears to have captured something universal in the way he tells stories. With a close look at these films and the global context surrounding them, Derek & Laurel unpack the themes Nolan tends to revisit, the choices of his contemporaries in post-War on Terror Hollywood, and the cinematic and historical influences on his filmmaking. As an overview of Nolan’s body of work relatively early in his career, we hope this episode will open the door for even deeper dives into his art to come.
The arrival of Pixar’s long-awaited sequel to ‘The Incredibles’ has us itching to revisit the beloved family of superheroes. Turning a critical eye to the story of the Parr family and their secret identities, we’ll explore each character’s journey toward becoming fully actualized beings—with or without superpowers. For a kids’ movie, ‘The Incredibles’ digs into surprisingly mature subject matter, like suburban dissatisfaction, political ideologies, and gender roles. We’ll do our best to leave no stone unturned in this analysis. No capes!
Eleven years after the iconic, genius, frustrating, scintillating, upsetting finale—the cut-to-black heard round the world, we’re jumping headfirst into the underworld of New Jersey crime, and into the den of the Sopranos. HBO’s critically acclaimed series captured viewers instantly by asking a simple question: what if a mob boss went to therapy? But instead of turning it into a punchline, the show used that springboard to open up questions about humanity, mental illness, family, and the American Dream. Now Derek and Laurel pull apart the characters, the influences, and the ultimate successes and failures of the series that brought epic, romantic stories back down to earth. Brief lessons on Italian Opera, the theatrical form Commedia dell’Arte, and the most famous thought experiment in quantum mechanics.
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Have you every questioned the nature your reality, or podcast? Per chance you should…Listen this week as The Midnight Myth applies its thoughtful analysis to the HBO hit series West World. Central to West World is the idea of the "west", a frontier, a lawless land ripe for civilized folk to come and claim— if they are tough enough to keep it. Amid the moral questions of artificial intelligence and a world created where humans can cater to every lustful wish and violent desire, is a narrative of America. This week Derek and Laurel seek to understand the narrative, from Ancient Rome, to Enlightenment Politics, and everything in between and hereafter.
Where did our obsession with zombies come from? Whether you cringe or cheer for the movie violence, plan for the zombie apocalypse, or animate corpses with your own home recipe, tune in to our latest episode for an exploration of zombies in pop culture. From its origins in Haitian and West African folklore to the serialized tv sensations of today, the zombie myth persists because it touches a very real, very universal fear. With a dash of Eighteenth Century history and philosophy, this zombie cocktail will delight and inspire.
Happy New Year from the Midnight Myth! As the clocks strike midnight, Derek and Laurel are back at podcasting, inspired by the sights, sounds, smells, and flavor of Louisiana. The topic today is the impact of Southern Gothic literature on TV and film as your two favorite podcast hosts reflect on their trip to the great American South. With each new year, there is promise, there is pain, there is something lurking at night, hunting humanity, in a neverending search for blood. That’s right, we are talking American Southern Vampires to ring in a new year. So sit back, relax, and watch your neck!
Everything is Batman. Listen as Derek and Laurel lift up the Batmobile hood to look at Gotham’s favorite son Bruce Wayne and his true self, the darling of pop culture, the Dark Knight, hero of heroes, Batman. In particular, we examine Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight Returns as a watershed moment in rebranding of the crime fighter from a campy Adam West cheeseball to a tortured lonely man who will stop at nothing to fight crime. The theme, why Batman? Why is he our hero, the one who’s fame and power shakes pop culture to its very knees?