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CHIRP Podcasts

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Split Reel is CHIRP's podcast on film, television, and societal attitudes, where host Kevin Fullam tackles the world of mass media with the help of academics and cultural critics around the country. For more information, visit www.kevinfullam.net.

Split Reel The “War on Terror” and Popular Culture

What were the “flash points” which signified the “War on Terror” was having a concrete impact on popular culture? If the Hollywood norm over the past decade has been to showcase films that highlight the failures of American policy rather than champion it… then how does this fit within the framework of rah-rah patriotism that erupted in the wake of 9/11? And what sort of impact will the new strain of anti-government movements have in the wake of the Obama White House administration?

My guests are Andrew Schopp and Matthew B. Hill, co-editors of the recent book The War on Terror and American Popular Culture: September 11 and Beyond.

For more information and archived shows, visit kevinfullam.net.

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Topics: film, hollywood, popular culture

Split Reel Generation X in Cinema (with guest Christina Lee)

How has Generation X been defined in film over the past few decades, from the landmark John Hughes films of the ’80s through the “slacker” movies of the ’90s and beyond? What distinct qualities do Gen X films possess which differentiate them from those of previous (and later) generations?

We’ll be discussing everything from Pretty in Pink to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. My guest is Christina Lee, lecturer at the Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia, and the author of the recent book Screening Generation X: The Politics and Popular Memory of Youth in Contemporary Cinema.

For more information and archived shows, visit kevinfullam.net.

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Topics: generation x, hollywood, popular culture

Split Reel Crime Cinema (with guest Leonard Pierce)

It’s been over four years since the infamous “Cut to Black” finale of The Sopranos polarized America — while many vociferously protested the lack of closure, some argued that the ambiguous (or perhaps not?) closing was simply the last in a long line of masterful strokes from the paintbrush of creator David Chase.

What can’t be debated is the show’s status as a landmark television achievement, one that has undoubtedly had a monumental impact on narrative TV storytelling in the 21st century. Returning as my guest to talk about the show as well as the “Century of Crime” that preceded it is Leonard Pierce, cultural critic and also author of the brand-new (and pretty spectacular!) book If You Like The Sopranos: Here Are Over 150 Movies, TV Shows, and Other Oddities That You Will Love. Leonard’s writing can be found at ludiclive.com .

For more information and archived shows, visit kevinfullam.net.

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Topics: crime, hollywood, popular culture

Split Reel Late-Night Comedy and American Politics, w/guest Russell Peterson

How much of our political information is gathered through the filter of comedic shows? What does it mean when the writers for Saturday Night Live seemingly have a concrete impact on the way that our elected officials are being perceived?

No format in recent years seems to have had as important an impact on how we view the political and governmental scene as late-night comedy shows, from Jay Leno’s Tonight Show to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and SNL. Presidential hopefuls, who once rarely strayed from Sunday morning talk shows, are now frequently seen on these sorts of shows — even occasionally poking fun at themselves. Not exactly the sort of thing we’d imagine our Founding Fathers would do, eh?

My guest is Russell Peterson, who is an adjunct assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Iowa, as well as author of the recent book Strange Bedfellows: How Late-Night Comedy Turns Democracy Into a Joke.

For more information and archived shows, visit kevinfullam.net.

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Topics: comedy, politics, popular culture

Split Reel The Second Golden Age of Horror, w/guest Kendall Phillips

George A. Romero. Wes Craven. John Carpenter. These three icons revolutionized the horror genre of cinema during the late 1960s and ’70s via films like Night of the Living Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, and Halloween — movies that were particularly attuned to the American zeitgeist at the time.

Why do many credit this trio of directors with ushering in a second “golden age” of horror? In what ways do we still feel their influence today? Returning as my guest is Kendall Phillips, a professor of communications at Syracuse University and the author of the new book Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film.

For more information and archived shows, visit kevinfullam.net.

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Topics: hollywood, horror

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