Modern film has become a dynamo for discussions about our world, our culture and our humanity. This role has been especially prominent with the release of a Wonder Woman film, starring Gal Gadot. Audiences have come out en masse to marvel at her superhuman strength, commitment to justice and to appreciate her role as a female superhero in a comic landscape which often highlights male narratives. As many critics of the film have pointed out, it serves as a tent-pole of sorts, one which may determine the market viability of future female-led superhero movies. This week we're joined by Aayesha Siddiqui to examine the commentaries made by the film and to explore its unique and widespread influence. What does the movie articulate about heroism, gender and personal growth? What arguments does it put forward about the horrors of war and the conflict between bravery and cowardice?
So much of our experiences as people rests upon the spaces and environments we occupy and traverse. In particular, the rooms where we socialize, rest, eat, learn and work have a heavy bearing on who we are and how we live. But when these spaces change, how does that process affect us? This week, Mark Ashin joins us to discuss the phenomenon of rooms shifting in time and how our memories and perceptions are tied not only to rooms themselves, but particular decorations or appearances the room might take on.
Cultures and societies around the world have embraced and leaned upon music since time immemorial and for various reasons. Music can soothe, invigorate and stir deep reflection and profound emotional reactions. But when we introduce lyrics, perspectives and personally-charged stances into songs, how do they change? How does music allow us to communicate ideas that speech or other means of communication might not? This week, we welcome Evan Rasch to work through this concept. What are the dangers that music, as a form of communication, might present? Do we utilize music for messaging out of fear of being more direct?
Many of us point to people, stories or experiences that really make us think or open our minds. But how often do we go to spaces or habits and rituals to actually deviate from the typical or mundane thoughts we have? This week we welcome Liam Leonard-Solis to examine this idea by looking specifically at the bed and the shower as spaces where many of us have time alone at the beginnings and ends of our days. How might that solitude offer us a freer space for thinking? What could we draw from these places and apply elsewhere in our lives?
In living our lives and putting our experiences, creations and selves into the world, we also draw attention for various types of scrutiny and critique. While it's certainly valuable to have feedback - ideally constructively so - many people take an aggressive or hostile tone under the guise of criticism. This week we're joined by Amy Young to explore the distinctions between "the critical" and "the hurtful". How might typical human tendencies presume input to be negative when that may not be intended? How could we avoid the discomfort that many of us associate with criticism by proactively seeking it out? Are there certain figures or relationships which permit criticism more openly or with lower potential for conflict than others?