Peculiar Picture Show

Brandon Gregory, Maria Milazzo

Hosts Brandon Gregory and Maria Milazzo, two neurodivergent former English majors, talk about movies as they relate to mental health, mental illness, and invisible illness. From blockbuster hits to arthouse films, there are plenty of movies commenting on these issues. Conditions ranging from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder to PTSD, emotional abuse, and oppression are discussed.

All Episodes

Joker is a 2019 film centered on the origin story of DC’s Joker. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, the movie may be the first of its kind to focus more on mental health and mental illness than any other supervillain story up until this point. Maria and Brandon talk about this, its impact on how mental illness is viewed, and what the film has to say about toxic masculinity.

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Nov 12

49 min 32 sec

Maria and Brandon talk about what they like in horror movies, Halloween traditions, and their favorites in the genre.

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Oct 29

32 min 12 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 1991 sci-fi/action film Terminator 2: Judgment Day—also known simply as T2. The two agree that the film’s reputation as one of the greatest action movies is well deserved. They also discuss some of its flaws—like the character John Connor—and comment on its depiction of a “psychotic” Sarah Connor.

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Oct 1

45 min 15 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 1992 film Batman Returns, the second in the Tim Burton Batman series, and the last. This movie made the other cheesy Batman movies possible. We also talk about violence against women in movies during that time and trauma.

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Sep 18

55 min 12 sec

Maria and Brandon talk about the 1977 Woody Allen hit Annie Hall, including the movie's intellectual nature and how problematic Woody Allen's personal life was. They also talk about how mental health was treated in the middle of the 20th Century, and age gaps in relationships.

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Sep 4

1 hr 1 min

Maria and Brandon have a candid conversation about dealing with grief, society's folly when dealing with grieving people, and a few movies that deal well with grief.

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Aug 21

40 min 27 sec

Brandon and Maria rank their top three (or four) Marvel films. Maria picks films that are just more entertaining, whether they are funny, Rated R, or contain a hot Cate Blanchett. Brandon picks films that are deep and tell a human story. Obviously we know who is the better person from these choices.

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Aug 6

9 min 52 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 2016 film Elle. They talk about how uncomfortable the film can be and what that means for viewers. Maria explores gamergate and shame, and Brandon focuses on grief.

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Jul 24

1 hr 2 min

Brandon and Maria discuss the 1976 film Network, talking about how, although this movie may seem outdated in terms of style, the themes are still relevant today. Brandon does some research on misinformation, hate, and the media today. Maria talks about the exploitation of mental illness.

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Jul 10

51 min 20 sec

Maria is just getting back from vacation. Brandon has pneumonia (again). So Brandon tells Maria (and you) the story of when he wrote Royal Caribbean cruiseline asking them to host a formal cat wedding. Complete correspondence in our show notes.

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Jun 25

10 min 22 sec

Since radioactive spider was already taken, Maria and Brandon talk about the origins of their superpowers: bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Tune in for some early stories of heroism and even some villains.

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May 28

49 min 56 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 2013 movie Her. They agree the movie has a lot of things to ponder, including the ideas of love, technology, human evolution, and therapy.

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May 15

45 min 10 sec

Maria and Brandon talk about 2020 films, this year's Oscars, and the new movies they want to add to their list to cover.

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May 1

22 min 18 sec

This aggression will not stand, man! Maria and Brandon discuss the 1998 movie The Big Lebowski. Brandon explores the movie’s commentary on political discourse in America, and Maria explores some philosophies presented in this film. Maria drinks a white Russian and Brandon reminisces about drinking one once.

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Apr 16

52 min 8 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 2007 film There Will Be Blood, talking about the literary nature of the film and how superb they found the filmmaking. Brandon analyzes the psychology of capitalism and religion while Maria explores invisible illness. Maria also tries to do an impression of Daniel Day-Lewis playing Daniel Plainview.

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Apr 2

48 min 7 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 1994 film Serial Mom. They discuss John Waters, the types of films he typically makes, and how this movie says a lot about capital punishment and societal norms. Maria also proposes that the movie becomes the official movie mascot for the podcast, and Brandon agrees!

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Mar 19

49 min 33 sec

Brandon talks about women in the movies (both characters and filmmakers) and the bias and other challenges they face that are holding back many films from being made.

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Mar 6

14 min 34 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 2010 Best Picture winner The King’s Speech. This film is one of the rare ones that talks about stuttering, but also portrays it in a positive light. Brandon gets into some statistics regarding stuttering and how a stutter has affected President Joe Biden. Maria gives her views on what we all lose when people in power hide their maladies and weaknesses from the world. They also play a game to see how stuttering has historically been portrayed in films.

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Feb 20

57 min 20 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 2003 film Monster, based on the Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos. They discuss Florida and the film’s message, and they also discuss at length the need to de-stigmatize sex work/prostitution and how poverty plays a role in health.

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Feb 6

52 min 23 sec

Brandon and Maria talk about Split, a 2016 M. Night Shyamalan movie that does way more harm than good in the fight for de-stigmatizing mental illness and people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Brandon attempts to set the record straight as he talks about the characteristics of DID and also gives us some statistics that prove why accurate portrayals of mental illness in media and film is important. Maria discusses her discomfort with the film, particularly regarding the strange mental health messages it seems to be giving. Also, have no fear: Brandon and Maria still very much hate Shakespeare in Love.

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Jan 23

46 min 49 sec

Brandon and Maria talk about the 2014 film Boyhood. They discuss how real the movie portrays childhood and family life. They also discuss personality and abuse.

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Jan 9

1 hr 18 min

Brandon and Maria talk about the 2002 film Secretary with guests Marion and Kim from More Than a Crush, a podcast about love. The four agree that this movie is a positive one on the mental health front, and Kim, a therapist, lends her analysis on main character Lee and the family systems in the movie, including the stable relationship that Mr. Grey provides Lee.

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Dec 2020

1 hr 6 min

Brandon goes over five films he likes to watch while he's depressed. How many sad indie films make the list? Wait—there's a classic film? Listen and find out!

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Dec 2020

10 min 31 sec

In this episode, Brandon asks Maria a series of questions to uncover what a day in the life of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is like.

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Nov 2020

45 min 46 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 1988 Studio Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies. The film provides a unique Japanese civilian perspective of World War II, and they both agree (along with Reddit) that this may be the saddest film of all time. From a mental health perspective, the duo discusses Japanese and wartime culture and how physical health and mental health are inextricably linked.

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Nov 2020

41 min 24 sec

In this Spooktacular Halloween episode, Brandon and Maria discuss the 1976 not-so-horror film Carrie. They have their first ever idea exchange where dogs are the butt of the joke. Maria’s favorite part of the movie turns out to be Brandon’s lease favorite part. What a twist! Additionally, Brandon discusses the stigma around trauma and criminal behavior. Maria discusses dissociative identity disorder and parapsychology.

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Oct 2020

55 min 4 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 2000 movie American Psycho. They talk about the movie’s negative portrayal of American society, particularly in the 1980s, and the movie’s ending that makes us believe someone like Patrick Bateman—a white, rich man—can literally get away with murder.

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Oct 2020

49 min 42 sec

Brandon talks about his recent struggles with anxiety and realizing that he's had chronic anxiety for a long time. Anxiety looks a lot different than he initially thought. Maria asks probing questions.

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Oct 2020

44 min 42 sec

Brandon and Maria review the 2019 film Jojo Rabbit, discussing the movie’s interesting way of telling a World War II story, as well as why that works in this film. Brandon explores nationalism and how that is seen in the U.S. today, and Maria explores the psychology of imaginary friends.

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Sep 2020

48 min 39 sec

Thoughts on the 2010s in film Different perspectives Black cinema went mainstream and is largely just considered cinema Get Out, Black Panther, Moonlight, 12 Years a Slave, Sorry to Bother You, BlacKkKlansman, Selma 1 Oscar for Best Picture, 2 for Best Screenplay Female characters and directors also getting more of a chance in the spotlight … Continue reading Minisode: Our Favorite Movies 2010-2019

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Sep 2020

33 min 28 sec

Brandon and Maria welcome guests Stephanie and Tux to discuss the 2013 film 12 Years a Slave. Stephanie and Tux’s podcast Beyond Reproach is a history podcast about scandals and scandalousness in politics and government, and so they fit right into the discussion of this film, and they help us to unravel the history behind when the movie takes place, which is the pre-Civil War era. They also discuss how hard the film can be to watch but agree that sometimes that pain is necessary. Plus, Brandon reads more negative reviews from offended white people. The mental health section is chock full of discussion of trauma and dehumanization. It’s another episode focused on systemic racism and the harm this system has caused all Americans.

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Aug 2020

1 hr 16 min

During this not-so-mini miniature episode, Brandon and Maria discuss Borderline Personality Disorder. Maria reveals a past diagnosis with BPD, and she talks about navigating through this realization.

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Aug 2020

43 min 27 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror film Get Out. They both enjoy the film for its messages about racism, especially how the film addresses modern racism. Racism today is not overt; instead, it’s more subtle, but ultimately about power over Black people.

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Jul 2020

40 min 54 sec

A mini-episode in which Brandon discusses his movie crushes, many of which involve mental illness because it's Brandon.

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Jul 2020

13 min 39 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 2018 Spike Lee film BlacKkKlansman and what it has to say with systemic racism in America, focusing on the importance of the movie’s message, as well as describing how racial trauma disproportionately affects Black and Indigenous People of Color. They also make connections between toxic masculinity, the police, and racism.

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Jun 2020

1 hr 3 min

Maria and Brandon discuss the 1999 film American Beauty, and they don't like Lester this time around. They discuss how the movie embodies the 1990s and a white male fantasy (what else is new). Maria also talks about her various hospitalizations due to mental health issues. It’s the episode where Brandon sums it up eloquently: Lester Burnham is the type of person who wouldn’t wear a mask during a pandemic.

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Jun 2020

1 hr 5 min

Maria and Brandon discuss the 1981 accidental comedy Mommie Dearest. The episode is riddled with bad Joan Crawford impressions. The hosts discuss Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; trauma and abuse; and Borderline Personality Disorder.

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May 2020

43 min 50 sec

Maria admits she doesn't like Kevin Smith movies as much as she used to; Brandon admits he's never really liked Kevin Smith movies. Chasing Amy gets some things right and a lot of things wrong, but it still has a place in cinema history.

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May 2020

47 min 56 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss Love & Other Drugs, a 2010 film whose only interesting thing is that it contains Parkinson’s. They talk about the movie’s accurate portrayal of someone dealing with a chronic illness. Also, in celebration of Jake, Brandon plays the new game, “When’s That Gyllenhaal?”

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May 2020

48 min 30 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 1986 film She’s Gotta Have It, directed by Spike Lee. They wax intellectual on the film’s smart nature and its feminist views and how that relates to how life for women was changing in the 1980s.

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Apr 2020

33 min 50 sec

Some of the things people do to help others with mental illness cause more harm than good. In this mini-episode, Maria and Brandon discuss these things that people often say with the best intentions that just make things worse.

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Apr 2020

23 min 9 sec

Special episode in which Maria and Brandon talk about how the pandemic has affected them personally, their mental health, and what's working to keep their sanity intact.

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Mar 2020

32 min

Brandon and Maria discuss Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), one of Maria’s first loves. The movie is extremely nostalgic for her, and Brandon talks about how that relates to mental health. Maria also re-caps her recent event that she attended with Paul Reubens for the 35th anniversary of this movie.

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Mar 2020

52 min 44 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 2016 film Colossal, a film with a big monster, but ultimately a film not about actual monsters. They spend time talking about all the metaphors that present themselves in this film, and take an even deeper dive into the film’s portrayal of abuse and addiction.

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Mar 2020

35 min 22 sec

Brandon and Maria discuss the 1987 Best Picture winner The Last Emperor. They didn’t really like it. Did we really need to see a young Puyi take a shit? Probably not. Regardless, the two discuss how this movie relates to Attachment Disorder and ponder what Freud may have said about the breast-fed Puyi. Plus, a new game: Pick that Shit.

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Feb 2020

41 min 46 sec

Maria and Brandon reveal the new 2019 movies that will be added to their list of films to cover! (Not a real episode.)

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Feb 2020

5 min 19 sec

Juno is an excellent portrayal of ADHD and touches on teen pregnancy and postpartum depression. Also, Maria really likes Sonic Youth.

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Feb 2020

55 min 16 sec

Maria and Brandon discuss the 1982 Academy Award-winning film Gandhi, including what they knew about Gandhi and what they now know. Brandon digs into the psychology of protest, and Maria tries to connect Jimmy Hoffa and Gandhi. Also, Maria loves shame, so watch out, because she might shame you!

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Jan 2020

44 min 32 sec

Brandon and Maria talk about Office Space and Sorry to Bother You. Both focus on the workforce, but have different takes on it. Brandon dissects the movie through the lens of Gen Xers vs. Millennials; Maria rambles about genres and meaning.

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Jan 2020

1 hr 4 min

Brandon and Maria discuss the 2017 indie film darling Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and talk about the brilliant performances and script, and what this film has to say about the nature of good people and bad people.

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Nov 2019

49 min 53 sec