Harry Potter fans rejoice! With the film release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the success of the (unrelated) Off-Broadway play, Puffs, Kyle Willoughby and Claire White are ready to talk about magical creatures and the dangers of a wizarding education. Special guest, Matt Cox, playwright of Puffs: Or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic, joins them. Kyle goes in-depth on some of the many mythical connections weaved into J.K. Rowling’s creatures and Claire describes the process that brought back England’s most successful film franchise. Matt discusses his long appreciation of the Harry Potter books and the writing of his (unrelated) play. They conclude with their thoughts on Fantastic Beasts.
Kyle Willoughby and Claire White are taking this weekend off to eat turkey and spend time with loved ones. In that order. Here’s a teaser for next week’s episode and our special guest!
Fresh off the videogame Overwatch’s nomination for “Game of the Year”, Kyle Willoughby and Claire White discuss the game that is literally keeping Kyle up at night. Claire explains the long road to online multiplayer games and why it took so long for such an obvious idea to find support. Kyle looks into the making of Blizzard’s first new intellectual property in 17 years and how its success was born from one of the company’s biggest failures. Our hosts finish up with their thoughts on this remarkable hero shooter.(See show notes)
With the release of Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction feature film, Arrival, Kyle Willoughby and Claire White take the opportunity to dive back into The Big Book of Science Fiction. Kyle talks about the first alien ‘encounter’, when the Conquistadors met the Aztecs, and how the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis is key to understanding the film. Claire traces the film’s trajectory from a short story written by Ted Chiang, to a screenplay no production company would touch, to the record setting price Paramount paid for it’s distribution rights. The hosts close with their thoughts on the short story, the film, and why it’s exciting that it got made.(See show notes)
This past weekend Marvel Studios premiered Doctor Strange, directed by Scott Derrickson and starring Benedict Cumberbatch. This marks the 14th film by the studio, and has Kyle Willoughby and Claire White ready to talk about the master of the mystic arts. Claire begins with the doctor’s roots in the psychedelic 60s and how Steve Ditko’s art brought a new tone and style to the medium. Kyle gives insight into the decades long struggle to produce a Doctor Strange film, and goes on to consider why it is that so many directors lobbied to get this one. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the movie’s strengths and what they want from super villains.(See show notes)
Kyle Willoughby and Claire White are filled with the spirit of Halloween and nostalgia. Therefore, it’s time to look back at the Tim Burton classic that may also be the most influential Halloween movie ever. Kyle looks deep into the film’s “Halloween Town” and considers its originality as well as its Celtic roots. Claire gets into the collaborative process that formed the film as well as how it was shaped by the young Tim Burton’s creative frustrations at Disney. Our hosts cap off the episode with their thoughts on the film, how it holds up over time, and the surprises they encountered re-watching it.(See show notes)