Middlebrow Madness

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin use the tried and true method of the single-elimination bracket to find out which movie from the IMDb Top 250 is the best one.

All Episodes

Now I'm not one for boasting, sports fans, but this one is a corker. We have an instant-classic opening bit, a huge upset (wink), and an all-time difficult opening round matchup pitting two masterpieces that have a surprising amount in common despite the 75 years that separate them. Also Isabelle makes her co-host laugh the hardest he ever laughs, and Derek does a dramatic reading of an old film review of his. In short, another classic episode! This week's matchups: Reservoir Dogs v. The Bandit The Great Dictator v. Mad Max: Fury Road NOTE: During our discussion on The Great Dictator, Isabelle says that in Nazi Germany "Jewish people were fine with the Nazis" when she meant to say "The Nazis were fine with Jewish people." As ever, the context of the episode clarifies this. We trust your intelligence, dear listener, but we thought we'd point it out anyways just so we're crystal clear. Kick a few bucks Palestine's way: iF Charity Palestine Children's Relief Fund See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Aug 10

1 hr 51 min

NOTE: This episode contains discussions of suicide. Sometimes the Universe gives you a gift, and sometimes that gift is a poisoned chalice. Sports fans, I have to tell you, our second matchup in this episode has no business happening in Round 1. But the Bracket Gods are capricious, and they will do as they please. In between discussing four very good-to-masterful movies, our intrepid hosts take the time to talk about Oddworld, arena football, #WhiteBoySummer, bar bands, and noted Isabelle reclamation project, Renny Harlin. There's even metagaming in this one.; In short, another classic episode! This week's matchups: The Apartment v. Mission: Impossible — Fallout Star Wars v. Jaws See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Jul 6

1 hr 50 min

Sports fans, as we being a-tumblin' down towards the end of round one, we encounter in these matchups a couple of mirrored pairs. We have two movies that our intrepid hosts revisit for the first time in a long time, and two masterpieces of their form, each close to one host's heart. Who will gracefully bow out? Who will live another day to possibly become the Greatest Movie of All Time*? What the fuck is up with Cluck Klosterman? The answer to these questions, dear listener, is yes. This week's matchups: Amélie v. Shutter Island Raiders of the Lost Ark vs. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Orson Welles vs. John Landis | @JFrankensteiner on Twitter See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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May 4

1 hr 29 min

In the words of the great American philosopher Jon Bon Jovi, we're halfway there! Well, we're halfway through the first round of this white elephant we call the Middlebow Madness bracket, which means we're really only a quarter of the way there. In any case, our intrepid hosts take a load off and contemplate the road travelled between episodes 17 and 32. We name some superlatives, do a little metagaming, and crack a few jokes about spinach and morgellons. In short, sports fans: another classic episode! See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Apr 21

44 min 2 sec

It was bound to happen sooner or later, sports fans: we finally cracked two hours. Naturally, this episode is packed to the gills with tangents about crawdads and Twitter Jail and Derek's dubious acting career. Not that there isn't any movie talk at all: Isabelle has a galaxy-brain take to end all galaxy-brain takes regarding one of our competitors, and Derek, well, he mostly just puts on his Film Bro(tm) hat on for this one. But any way you slice it, once these two matches are through, we will officially 25% of the way to figuring out what exactly is the #1 movie of all time!* This week's matchups: Incendies v. The Third Man The Godfather v. Close-Up Derek's Planes: Fire and Rescue review, via PopOptiq NOTE: While discussing Incendies, Isabelle makes a few statements that are unclear and appear to directly conflate the Iranian revolution with the work of Sayyid Qutb. While Qutb was very influential both during and after the Iranian revolution, conflating his work with the revolution (and specifically Ruhollah Khomeini) is imprecise and simpler than she meant to imply. See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Mar 31

2 hr 4 min

Sports fans, a good podcast episode is only as good as its digressions, and this one has several (shocking, I know). What do our intrepid hosts talk about that isn't the four movies listed below? Isabelle's corny jokes! Derek's pet theory about musical theatre! One of them reads a little Faulkner! Which host, you ask? Listen to yet another classic episode on the road to crowning The Greatest Movie of All Time* and find out! Punctuation!!! This week's matchups: Witness for the Prosecution v. Rang De Basanti Coco v. Stalker See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Jan 27

1 hr 36 min

Sports fans, we nominally talk movies about on the show, but you know what else crops up a lot in this, our landmark 30th episode and our first missive of 2021? Racism in Hollywood, and piss. Lots of it. Not necessarily in that order. We go short on some masterpieces and long on what Derek loves to call "rich texts." There's even a little metagaming going on. All in all, another classic episode on the road to crowning The Greatest Movie of All Time*. This week's matchups: The Kid v. Gone With the Wind Diabolique v. The Green Mile A spot of context for both our matchups today: Magical Negro | Wikipedia See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Jan 13

1 hr 48 min

Sports fans, you are getting four podcasts for the price of one this week! In addition to the usual movie bracket-based shenanigans, we have a QAnon-skewering politics podcast at the top, a short true-crime missive in the middle, and a full-on miniature games podcast to close the whole thing out. Digressive? Us? Perish the thought. The march towards crowning the Greatest Movie of All Time* continues! This week's matchups: To Kill a Mockingbird v. Gran Torino Psycho v. La La Land Isabelle's favourite murder (Hinterkaifeck murders | Wikipeda) See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Dec 2020

1 hr 50 min

Running parallel to our intrepid hosts' quest for the Greatest Movie of All Time* is their quest to make each episode of the show longer and more digressive than the previous one. And sports fans? Both quests are humming along quite nicely. So what treasures does this episode contain? The residual evils of pandemic capitalism! An NBC fantasy miniseries no one remembers! A song lyric open mic! And oh yeah, two of the greatest masterpieces of world cinema going head-to-head in a first-round matchup better befitting the Sweet Sixteen. Plus, of course, takes, takes, and more takes. In short, another classic episode! This week's matchups: Yojimbo v. The Seventh Seal Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers v. Before Sunset See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Dec 2020

1 hr 43 min

A little bit of inside baseball for you, sports fans: when Isabelle sent Derek the edited version of the show, she titled it "The One Where It Goes Off the Rails." What could possibly have made the longest episode of the show to date disintegrate in such a way? Could it have something to with the giant detours (Sasha Grey: Cinephile, the tragedy of Kelsey Grammer, the "Reverse Roger Deakins," a class project gone horribly wrong, the legacy of Current TV) that our intrepid duo take while talking about a rock-solid quartet of participants? Listen to what is shaping up to be another classic episode and find out! This week's matchups: M v. How to Train Your Dragon Memento v. Spotlight NOTE: Re: Precious, yes, we know that Mo'Nique in fact won the Academy award for Best Supporting Actress while Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for Best Actress but lost. Don't worry about it. Five Favorite Films with Adult Film Star Sasha Grey | Rotten Tomatoes See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow the show on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord

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Nov 2020

1 hr 42 min

It's been a long, long six months, sports fans, but the show is in fact back from the dead! We pick up right where we left off, which is to say we have a long X-rated digression right at the top and then remember that there are movies to talk about. Four movies to be precise. Four flicks enter, two flicks leave! It's like every other episode, but with different discursive tangents about pop culture ephemera! We're back, baby! This week's matchups: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade v. Room The Matrix v. The Help - An Open Letter to the Fans of The Help | Association of Black Women Historians See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Nov 2020

1 hr 34 min

We’re a little late, but no worse for wear, sports fans! This time around, our intrepid hosts ponder whether the crew of Sunrise actually got a pig drunk, the concept of audience manipulation in cinema, and contend with Derek’s wild, earth-shattering take about Ridley Scott. Plus, a new chapter in the Untitled Isabelle Arf Fan Fiction Project (that I swear Derek didn’t sandbag; there were some recording shenanigans at play, I promise). In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Amadeus v. Sunrise Gladiator v. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale–Join the Middlebrow Madness Discord!–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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May 2020

1 hr 12 min

Hot off our viewing of Judgment at Nuremberg, Isabelle schools us on the work of German political theorist Carl Schmitt and how they intersect (or don’t) with Stanley Kramer’s film.NOTE: It was raining during the recording of this episode, so please forgive the sound quality. And yes, Isabelle knows that “Weimar” is pronounced with a “V,” she was just very tired.Political Theology Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty by Carl Schmitt–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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May 2020

23 min 44 sec

Sports fans, this one’s got everything you can ask for: weird bits, charlatanry, amphibian Messiahs, v i b e s, nostalgia, smart stuff, dumb stuff, and what is probably the single most shocking scene in any film we’ve covered so far. Here’s a hint: it has something to do with the movie with the word “Nuremberg” in the title. in the bracket. In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Heat vs. Judgment at Nuremberg The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King vs. Dog Day Afternoon–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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May 2020

59 min 39 sec

Sports fans, Derek knows he fucked up the number of the show in the intro, don’t worry about it. But despite that rocky start, our intrepid hosts navigate between the twin poles of Wild Digressions (conspiracy theories! the recorded output of the Decemberists!) and Hard-Hitting Film Criticism (the lingering effects of propaganda! agreeing in bad faith! the Cable Hall of Fame career of Wolfgang Petersen!). Plus, chapter 2 of the Untitled Isabelle Arf Fan Fiction Project. In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Das Boot v. Platoon The Lives of Others v. The Wages of Fear–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Apr 2020

1 hr 22 min

We’re back with a vengeance, sports fans! We talk about the why of the dudebro canon, director market correction, the funny side of Ingmar Bergman, and the motion picture with the credits that have perhaps aged the worst of all the movies we’ve covered so far. Plus, Isabelle introduces a new node in her increasingly elaborate web of bits. In short, another classic episode!This week’s matchups: Snatch v. Wild Strawberries The Usual Suspects v. La haine–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Apr 2020

1 hr 13 min

Sorry for the radio silence, sports fans! Derek and Isabelle are here to bring you to up to speed with the goings-on in their lives, the ongoing pandemic, and gauge interest in a potential fan Discord (among other things).–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Apr 2020

19 min 40 sec

Sports fans, I’m not going to lie to you: thins get real blue and real weird real fast in this on. If this pod had a rating, it’d be a hard R. It’s also an episode that swings wildly between the twin poles of “tangential bullshit” (left-of-centre fetishes and 90s rom-coms where one of the leads would later come out as gay) and “actual movie stuff” (a discussion how 2001 aged so well, two very different reads on Blade Runner 2049). In short, another classic episode!CWs for kink, sexual assault, racism, and probably some other stuff, but those are the three main ones.This week’s matchups: 2001: A Space Odyssey v. Finding Nemo The Intouchables vs. Blade Runner 2049–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jan 2020

1 hr 1 min

We’re back, sports fans, and we’re ringing in the new year! Only we don’t make reference to this fact at all, since we recorded this some time ago. Our intrepid hosts experience both sides of the quality coin in this one, from baffling slogs to baffling successes. There’s also talk of Baz Luhrmann and chili recipes. In other words, another classic episode!CW for reference to sexual violence, racialized violence, other kinds of violence, police brutality, Nazis, and general unpleasantness.This week’s matchups: Downfall v. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Fight Club v. The Handmaiden–Sheet Pan Vegetarian Summer Bowl (via Self)–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jan 2020

1 hr 11 min

Our march towards the championship match chugs on, sports fans! Our intrepid hosts cover everything you’ve come to expect from the show: Sex! Metagaming! Personality quizzes! They also go deep on three of the funnest films they’ve covered so far on the pod, and, uh… one that is decidedly less fun. We’ll let you figure out which ones are which.This week’s matchups: North by Northwest v. Life of Brian Grave of the Fireflies v. Rush–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Sep 2019

1 hr 11 min

Hard swerve! Isabelle takes the reins in this solo minisode where she elaborates on the concept of normative statements and how they apply in our criticism of the 2005 feature film V for Vendetta.NOTE: AT 4:39, Isabelle says “descriptive” when she meant “prescriptive.”–Motherfuckin’ show notes!83: The Unchecked Conservative Ideology of US Media’s ‘Fact-Check’ Verticals — Citations NeededCapitalist Realism by Mark Fisher — Zer0 BooksHbomberguy — YouTubePhilosophy Tube — YouTube

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Aug 2019

21 min 5 sec

It’s time to get into the spirit of giving, sports fans! Isabelle gives Derek a gift! The Middlebrow Madness will give you a bonus episode! We give some searing hot takes on some beloved classics! And best of all question mark?, we give you CWs for racism, CSA, and transphobia. It’s another classic episode of the best independent bracket-based film criticism show in the known universe.This week’s matchups: Scarface v. V for Vendetta The Silence of the Lambs v. The Wizard of Oz–Oh shit, it’s show notes, baby!Body Talk: Conversations on Transgender Cinema with Caden Gardner — Curtsies and Hand Grenades“Hard Time for the Hardcore” by Nick Pinkerton — The BafflerListener Hersh’s black bean and seitan rice recipe–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Aug 2019

1 hr 7 min

Break time is over, sports fans! We actually talk a lot about music at the top of this one. (Tangents? On a podcast?! My word!) But fear not, we resume our dizzying climb to the top of the bracket in short order. This time around, we talk about the limitations of charm, the value of human experiences, and our relationship with good ol’ QT. We also field some viewer mail for good measure.This week’s matchups:Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind v. Kill Bill Vol. 1 Terminator 2: Judgment Day v. Catch Me If You Can–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jul 2019

1 hr 5 min

Sports fans! We are 25% of the way up the bracket, and so we’re planting a marker and taking stock of how far we’ve come. We talk about out picks, mourn the fallen, pick some superlatives, and we answer some 100% genuine grain-fed grade-A viewer mail. Stray topics include the films of S. Craig Zahler, cinematic crushes, and the fine art of metagaming.–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jul 2019

55 min 17 sec

We’re back (a dinosaur’s story), and we come bearing the gifts of CWs for sexual assault, rape, and CSA! But also, we’re talking about some great movies, including one of those slippery, queasy Awesome Movies Directed By a Reprehensible Person, and one movie that’s kind of a dud. Also, now we’re 25% of the way done with the first round, hooray!Oh yeah, and just so we don’t get any emails or tweets about it: Isabelle does in fact mean to say Sam Spade (the famous fictional detective), and not Sam Malone (Ted Danson’s character on Cheers). To be fair, “Sam Malone” would be a good name for a noir gumshoe.This week’s matchups: The Great Escape v. Chinatown The Godfather Part II v. Perfect Blue–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jun 2019

1 hr 9 min

We’re back on the bracket beat, sports fans, and we’re asking the tough questions! Does The Dark Knight Rises have a coherent ideology? What is the “normie” Andrei Tarkovsky movie? What’s the deep ecology read on WALL-E? Why were the 90s such a fecund period for stories about the falseness of reality? We answer all of these questions, and several others, over the course of the show.This week’s matchups: The Dark Knight Rises v. Andrei Rublev WALL-E v. The Truman Show–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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May 2019

1 hr 7 min

A little late but no less great! That’s right, sports fans, we’re back with another classic episode of the pod, where we reaffirm our positions as heads of the Newman/Redford Booster Club, fawn over a certain pair of directorial brothers, and marvel at a film that smiles in the face of a cruel, uncaring world. Oh, and we should note, one of these movies did not age well. How badly did it age? Well, badly enough that our discussion merits big ol’ content warning for CSA. It ain’t all roses in this one, but there are great discussions all around. Also fuck horses.This week’s matchups: The Sting vs. No Country for Old Men Leon: The Professional v. Nights of Cabiria–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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May 2019

1 hr 5 min

Three heavy hitters in this one, and a fourth one that’s… okay? Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. One of these movies is definitely not like the others. Also, this episode isn’t as blue as the last few, but there’s plenty of Boner Content to go around for the faithful. We also talk about a shitty movie that is not in this bracket that should be appended with every CW and -ism you can think of, so be forewarned. But we also talk about William H. Macy’s life imitating William H. Macy’s art, liking movies for different reasons as an adult, and how the 2002 Best Animated Picture Oscar went to the right movie. Takes abound, sports fans!This week’s matchups: Full Metal Jacket v. Fargo City Lights v. Monsters, Inc.–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Apr 2019

1 hr 12 min

Sports fans, I’ve got to to come clean: we are a couple of dirty, dirty birdies at the top of this one. Like real filthy. There’s also some mental health talk. But we do talk about movies, specifically about the influence of classical Hollywood film, mental illness in film, “middlebrow” as a qualifier, and navel-gazing as a stylistic conceit. So in other words, another classic episode of the pod!This week’s matchups: All About Eve v. A Beautiful Mind Inception v. 8 1/2–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Apr 2019

1 hr 3 min

Holy cannoli, sports fans, did this one ever get away from us. Get a load of that runtime! 76 god damn minutes! Well, if you’re into weird tangents, you’re in luck: this has one stuff ranging from late-period classic rock to everyone’s least-favourite Canadian lobster man. But crucially, we get to talk about some movies! The power of emotional filmmaking, feminist critiques, the thrill of watching a master at work, ruminations and time and love… But to get to all that, you have to deal with a little bit of branded content. #BadDragon #SponsoredContentThis week’s matchups: Your Name. v. Gone Girl Apocalypse Now v. Before Sunrise–See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Mar 2019

1 hr 16 min

This episode features three celebrated auteurs from three different countries, and a fourth guy who thought making The Godfather twice as long and ten time more impenetrable was a good idea. And also some digressive NSFW goofiness off the top because Isabelle will make “melt Derek’s brain at the top of the show” a bit come hell or high water.This week’s matchups: A Separation v. The Elephant Man Seven Samurai v. Gangs of Wasseypur—See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Mar 2019

52 min 50 sec

That’s right, sports fans, it’s time to **checks index card** blaze ya dead homie?! Wait, hold on, I got my cards mixed up. It’s actually for **checks new index card** a crash course in how to properly pronounce the name of a French-Canadian auteur??? I thought this was a movie podcast! I mean, Isabelle and Derek do talk about Yasujiro Ozu’s direction, Aamir Khan’s axe to grind, and a couple of goofy thrillers that think they’re Serious and Important, so I guess that counts for something. Oh, and uh… CW for **checks index card again** suicide, assault, and CSA?! What the hell are these two up to this time?This week’s matchups: Like Stars on Earth v. Tokyo Story Whiplash v. Prisoners—Show notes… of the damned!!! Whiplash (as reviewed by a jazz musician) – Adam Neely –See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Feb 2019

1 hr 6 min

We’re back after a short hiatus, and let me tell you, this episode has everything. Dramatic readings! Our first wild card movie! Ill-advised usage of internet slang by a man in his thirties! Oh, and thoughtful considerations regarding trauma, faith, and the moving image.CW: some saucy shit in the front, and Nazi shit in the back.This week’s matchups: Raging Bull v. Howl’s Moving Castle Schindler’s List v. Winter Light—Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Feb 2019

57 min 39 sec

Derek and Michelle are back in town and ready to send two more movies to the second round. This time around, our intrepid hosts consider two of the best close-up movies of all time, a no-frills war picture from the 50s, and a movie that, frankly, shouldn’t even be on this list. Also, Michelle keeps her “mention Come and See” streak alive and Derek makes several embarrassing admissions regarding the classic movies he hasn’t seen yet.This week’s matchups: Once Upon a Time in America v. In the Name of the Father Paths of Glory v. The Passion of Joan of ArcDrop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jan 2019

48 min 47 sec

Who’s ready to get deeply uncomfortable? What do the Bracket Gods have in store for us this time. Well, uh, cringe-inducing drama, the spectre of the Confederacy, and 21st century terror! Yeah, baby! But the movies are pretty good, and the breakdowns are too. Also Derek forgets the word “harbour,” so that’s pretty funny.One note from the fact-checking desk: the disaster that 9/11 was a stand-in for in the Indian films mentioned was the 2008 26/11 Mumbai attacks, not the 2006 Mumbai train bombs as said by Michelle.This week’s matchups: The Hunt v. The General Spirited Away v. A Wednesday–Holy moly, we have show notes!Loose Canon: 9/11- Part 2 – Lindsay EllisHayao Miyazaki and the Art of Ambivalence | Video Essay – Big Joel–Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Jan 2019

40 min 27 sec

This one is weirdly suicide-heavy, so maybe know that going in?Another podcast means another four contenders step up to the plate! Our long march to the finals continues as we take our first trip to India (and it is a doozy), talk about how cool Bogey is, and take sides in the eternal Keaton/Chaplin debate.–This week’s matchups: 3 Idiots v. Sherlock Jr. Modern Times v. The Maltese Falcon–Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Dec 2018

41 min 48 sec

Well, we’re here, sports fans. We have to contend with who is possibly the biggest boil on cinema’s ass to date, and possibly of the whole bracket. But not before we screw up the names of fantasy dudes and silent film pioneers and generally just make a mess of things. But fear not, we gets some pretty good joke in there too! Four new cinematic combatants enter the cage, but only two can come out victorious on the long, long road to the finals.–This week’s matchups: Unforgiven v. The Bridge on the River Kwai Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring v. Annie Hall–Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Dec 2018

50 min 18 sec

Onward and upward through the IMDb Top 250 bracket we go! Two reprehensible Hollywood leading men go head to head in the director’s chair, and Michelle continues the great podcasting tradition of Derek’s co-host cursing him out. Which of these movies deserved their Oscars? Which ones didn’t? The answers may shock and confound you!–This week’s matchups: Braveheart v. Into the Wild Cinema Paradiso v. Million Dollar Baby–See the empty bracket Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Nov 2018

43 min 27 sec

Our intrepid bracketeers have returned to take on the next two matchups in the IMDb Top 250 tournament. Which classic film will hang its head in shame? Which kind of neo-noir is superior? How many times is Derek going to assert that a movie “fucks?” Listen and find out!–This week’s matchups: L.A. Confidential vs. The Wolf of Wall Street Paper Moon v. Seven–See the empty bracket Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Nov 2018

33 min 21 sec

And they’re off! Michelle and Derek cover the first two matchups of the IMDb bracket’s first round. They also talk about movies from their childhood, Letterboxd pranksters, and that sexy sexy so-and-so Paul Newman.–This week’s matchups: A Clockwork Orange v. Cool Hand Luke Back to the Future v. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid–See the empty bracket Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Oct 2018

37 min 49 sec

It all begins here. Michelle Arf and Derek Godin of Dim the House Lights have decided to take on the Herculean task of plugging the Internet Movie Database’s Top 250 films (plus six wild cards) into a single elimination bracket and finding out which one is the real middlebrow champion. In this inaugural episode, they lay out the rules of the tournament, talk about the eccentricities of the list itself, and parse their own biases.–See the empty bracket Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Michelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

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Oct 2018

17 min 55 sec