Episode 161: Scene of the Crime: On Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's 'From Hell'
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
1M ago
Listener discretion advised: This episode delves into the disturbing details of the Whitechapel murders of 1888, and may not be suitable for all audiences. Serialized from 1989 to 1996, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's graphic novel From Hell was first released in a single volume in 1999, just as the world was groaning into the present century. This is an important detail, because according to the creators of this astounding work, the age then passing away could not be understood without reference to the gruesome murders, never solved, of five women in London's Whitechapel district, in the fall ..read more
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Mid-Hiatus Bonus: On Horror and the Retail Experience
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
1M ago
Every off-week, listeners who have chosen to support Weird Studies by joining our Patreon at the Listener's Tier get to enjoy a bonus episode. These episodes are different from the flagship show. Less formal and entirely improvised, they offer Phil and JF a different way of exploring the weird in art, philosophy and culture. To tide our listenership over until the next new episode drops on January 24th, here is a recent example of a Weird Studies audio extra, recorded as the holiday season was getting under way. Happy New Year ..read more
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Episode 160: The Way of All Flesh: On John Carpenter's 'The Thing'
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
2M ago
As a horror movie, John Carpenter's The Thing seems to have it all: amazing practical effects, body horror, psychological drama, Kurt Russell ... Indeed, there is only one element this movie lacks, and that is anything at all corresponding to the titular villain. There is no thing in The Thing! What we have instead is a process, a pattern, a way for which the term "thing" is as good as any other. (What is a thing anyway?) In this episode, Phil and JF, having decided that Carpenter's film qualifies as a Christmas movie because there is snow (and a dog) in it, explore the metaphysical implicatio ..read more
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Episode 159: Three Songs, with Meredith Michael
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
2M ago
Every once in a while, JF and Phil like to do a “song swap.” Each picks a song, and the ensuing conversation locates linkages and correspondences where none was previously thought to exist. In this episode, they are joined by the music scholar Meredith Michael – Weird Studies assistant, and co-host of Cosmophonia, a podcast about music and outer space – to discuss songs by Lili Boulanger, Vienna Teng, and Iron & Wine. Before long, this disparate assortment personal favourites occasions a weirdly focused dialogue on time, impermanence, control, (mis)recognition, and the affinity of art and ..read more
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Episode 158: As Above, So Below: On Plato's 'Timaeus'
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
3M ago
In this episode of Weird Studies, we delve into the mysterious depths of Plato's Timaeus, one of the foundational texts of our civilization. In his characteristic brilliance, Plato blends cosmology and metaphysics, anatomy and politics to tell a creation story that rivals the most fantastical mythologies, yet he does it while remaining grounded in a philosophical rigor that announces a radically new way of thinking the world. Here, Phil and JF try unravel the layers of the dialogue, revealing how Plato's vision of a divinely ordered cosmos echoes through the corridors of esoteric thought from ..read more
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Episode 157: Long Live the New Flesh: On David Cronenberg's 'Videodrome'
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
3M ago
"Death to Videodrome! Long live the New Flesh!" It was perhaps inevitable that the modern Weird, driven as it is to swallow all things, would sooner or later veer into the realm of political sloganeering without losing any of its unknowable essence. David Cronenberg's 1983 film Videodrome is more than a masterwork of body horror: it is a study in technopolitics, a meditation on the complex weave of imagination and perception, and a prophecy of the now on-going coalescence of flesh and technology into a strange new alloy. In this episode, recorded live after a screening of the film at Indiana U ..read more
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Episode 155: Dispatches From the Inside: On Planet Weird's 'The Unbinding'
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
4M ago
One of the most surprising aspects of paranormal experience is how often it takes on a storylike form, unfolding exactly as you would expect it to in, say, a Hollywood horror film. Viewers of Karl Pfeiffer's film The Unbinding will get a sense of this in the early sequences of Greg and Dana Newkirk's latest occult adventure. The haunting comes on strong and takes rather familiar forms. But the almost too-good-to-be-true frights -- effective as they are in an almost fairy-tale way -- soon give way to a procedural that invites us to ponder the ethics and methodologies of paranormal investigation ..read more
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Episode 154: Into the Night Land, with Erik Davis
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
5M ago
William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land is without a doubt one of the weirdest entries in the annals of weird fiction. Set in the earth's distant future, after the sun has gone out and the planet has been cleaved in two by an unspecified disaster, a telepathic scientist dons his armour and weapons to brave the monster-haunted yet strangely monotonous wastes that engirdle the massive pyramid in which the last humans took refuge, hundreds of thousands of years earlier. If Samuel Beckett tripped hard on ayahuasca, he might have come up with something like Hodgson's genre-defying novel, which reads ..read more
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Episode 153: Celestial Machine: On the Temperance Card in the Tarot
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
5M ago
Even learned commentators on the tarot are likely to point out at the fourteenth major arcana, Temperance, is a bit of a boring card. At least, it comes off as dull until you look at it closely, as JF and Phil do in this episode. What they find is that the Temperance card is actually a diagram, a kind of blueprint for a celestial machine that underlies human technology, beckoning us to restore even the most mechanical contraption to the raw weirdness at the source of everything. Header image by Rolf Dietrich Brecher via Wikimedia Commons It's not too late to join JF's Nura Learning course, ["A ..read more
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Summer Bonus #2: Art and AI
Weird Studies
by Phil Ford and J. F. Martel
5M ago
In this bonus episode, originally released on July 26th on the Weird Studies Patreon, Phil and JF explore a few ways in which artificial intelligence will impact the arts. The podcast returns with a new official episode on September 13th. Enjoy ..read more
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