Dr. Riep, who studies representations of disability in literature and visual arts, discusses common misconceptions about people with autism and how many of those erroneous ideas are turned into on-screen stereotypes. He then, with praise, points to how The Reason I Jump (2020) fights against those stereotypes and tries to provide audiences with an experiential, empathy-building opportunity.
Former IC director Chip Oscarson guest hosts an episode featuring a discussion with Prof. George Handley about the 2016 documentary Death by a Thousand Cuts. The documentary considers the complex relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic along their shared border. The situation on the border discussed by Handley and Oscarson points to the ways that environmental issues are often caught up in a web of historical, racial, social, colonial, and economic forces.
Professor of Scandinavian Studies, Dr. Julie Allen begins by explaining why the Scandinavian countries have continually topped international surveys on happiness. She then connects those reasons to the unique twisting of disaster movie conventions in the pan-Nordic film Breaking Surface (2020).
Professor Anna-Lisa Halling of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese speaks with IC co-director Doug Weatherford about The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (Brazil, 2006, dir. Cao Hamburger). The pair consider the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the film and suggest, in particular, that the film celebrates a young protagonist’s coming-of-age in a moment in which Brazil suffers under a military dictatorship while celebrating the nation’s victory at the 1970 World Cup.
Director of BYU Global Women’s Studies, Dr. Valerie Hegstrom outlines the perceived choice women are faced with between family and career. Not only is this choice not a simple binary, but it inordinately affects women especially in China as represented in the documentary Leftover Women (2019).
This week, we discuss Bicycle Thieves (Vitorio De Sica, 1949) with Professor Dan Paul from the BYU French and Italian department. In this podcast professor Paul talks about Italian Neorealism, the cultural and historical backgrounds of the era, the meaning of the bike in the film, how the masculinity of the main character is portrayed, how society fails the individual.
IC co-director Douglas J. Weatherford examines the presence of Peruvian poet César Vallejo in Roy Andersson’s critically acclaimed film, Songs from the Second Floor (2000, Sweden). Weatherford suggests that Vallejo’s anguished poetry can be felt throughout this experimental film and that both filmmaker and poet create an “Hagiography of the Ordinary,” or a celebration of everyday people overwhelmed by the absurd nature of everyday life.
North Korea has continually baffled Americans for the duration of its existence. To help form a clearer understanding of the so-called “hermit kingdom,” Dr. Kirk Larsen gives a succinct overview of some of the myths we hear and offers a more complete picture of North Korea. After addressing these myths, viewers of Assassins (2020) can better form their own opinions based on the film’s evidence.