The cows are joined by author and film critic Tom Shone (The Nolan Variations) to discuss Christopher Nolan’s epic dream-heist blockbuster, Inception. We discuss Nolan’s obsessions with knowledge and self-deception and his ambivalent obsession with fantasy and escapism. We explore the film’s central premise — that the cinematic experience is akin to a shared dreamContinue reading “INCEPTION (2010)”

AMADEUS (1984)

The cows are joined by friend Edward Lewis to revisit one of the greatest films of all time, the shortest three hour movie, Milos Foreman’s Amadeus. We witness genius through Salieri’s eyes, marvel at his ability to appreciate and translate the beauty of Mozart’s music to the uninitiated, and resign ourselves to our own mediocrities.Continue reading “AMADEUS (1984)”


The cows are joined by friend Adam Kane to talk about Tom Cruise’s first outing as Ethan Hunt. We discuss what makes spy movies so appealing and fun, and situate the movie in the broader cultural context of the post-Cold War nineties. We explore the weird and wonderful career of Tom Cruise and how heContinue reading “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE (1996)”


Emily VanDerWerff (Vox) joins us to discuss Ari Aster’s folk horror masterpiece, Midsommar. We discuss how the film subverts folk horror genre tropes to craft a compelling story about the loss of a relationship, self-discovery, and adoption into a new family. Emily articulates a trans reading of the film, and we discuss how it grapplesContinue reading “MIDSOMMAR (2019)”

TRUE LIES (1994)

The cows revisit True Lies with Van Lathan (The Ringer), discussing how James Cameron inverts the hero’s journey to tell a story about a spy struggling to connect emotionally with his wife and kids while saving the day and causing a lot of mayhem and destruction in the process. Is it the best action comedyContinue reading “TRUE LIES (1994)”


We crack open a few cold ones (figuratively) with Paul Keelan (Cinematic Underdogs) to unpack and disagree about the Oscar-nominated Another Round. How does the film experiment with existentialism, and how does it explore our complicated relationship with alcohol? Is it worthy of being recognized as among the best films of the year, or isContinue reading “BONUS EPISODE: ANOTHER ROUND (2020)”


We head down to the Big Easy with Nicolas Cage scholar Keith Phipps (author of The Age of Cage: Four Decades of Hollywood Through One Singular Career) to discuss Werner Herzog’s hallucinatory tale of a bad cop trying to do the right thing, of addiction in the swamp, of nature’s ever-encroaching wildness into our staidContinue reading “THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (2009)”

THE BROOD (1979)

Do you suffer from intergenerational trauma that is manifesting itself in physical malformations on your body and raising red flags for your significant others? Then join us and Jed Shepherd (writer/executive producer of Host) to discuss David Cronenberg’s self-described “more realistic Kramer vs. Kramer,” a film about a couple working through some issues while plaguedContinue reading “THE BROOD (1979)”


The cows take the 405 to Sherman Oaks with friend Andrea Rosen (Fleming Museum of Art) in this revisit of Amy Heckerling’s totally wicked rom-com about modern girl friendship. We discuss the nature of Chers and Karens, how power relations structure what counts as knowledge, and who does and does not count as “clueless.” WeContinue reading “CLUELESS (1995)”


The cows are joined this week by Dan Harris (Philosophy, Hunter College) on their journey through past lives to uncover and exorcise a few trillion-year-old traumas. We consider how Paul Thomas Anderson depicts a divided soul across three individuals struggling to find order and humanity in a chaotic, animalistic, world, and explore how trauma andContinue reading “THE MASTER (2012)”

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