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.
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)
21: Crooked Kingdom – Magic in the Low Countries – And Interviews with Leigh Bardugo and Lauren Fortgang
This is a special episode of DSRA with two guests! Following the release of the second book in the Six of Crows duology, Kyle Willoughby and Claire White interview New York Times and USA Today best selling author Leigh Bardugo. Set in a world that is both magical and industrial, Bardugo’s story follows an international group of young criminals on a dangerous heist. Kyle and Claire are also joined by award winning narrator, Lauren Fortgang who has worked on all of Bardugo’s audiobooks in “The Grishaverse”. Over the course of the show our hosts and guests will discuss the influences behind the fictional city of Ketterdam, as well as the process behind the novel and its audiobook.(See show notes)
Netflix has a new hit original series. Luke Cage is a super hero Harlem resident with bulletproof skin and super strength. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White discuss how Luke Cage became Marvel’s first Black superhero to get his own comic and the process of re-imagining him for the Netflix series. Kyle traces Cage’s creation in the 1970s to the success of that era’s Blaxploitation films. Claire describes how show runner Cheo Hodari Coker grappled with that legacy while pursuing something deeper. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the show, including its ambitious use of music and new perspective.(See show notes)
It’s Kyle Willoughby and Claire White’s first Comic Convention! They spent a whole Friday at New York Comic Con (NYCC) – the largest comic convention in North America. After enjoying the panels, artwork, and cosplay, our hosts discuss the origins of fan conventions and the tremendous amount of work that goes into one of this scale. They also chat about their time at BookCon, a part of NYCC for the first time. Kyle and Claire conclude the show with their biggest takeaways and lament that one day isn’t enough!(See show notes)