Friday, February 3, 2023

M.J. Dorian: Arts/Creativity/History (Shooting Azimuths)

Dorian, M.J. "Carl Jung • The Red Book (Part 1)." Creative Codex #11 (November 18, 2019) ["On this episode we dive into one of the strangest and most enigmatic books ever written: The Red Book. This is a book so infamous that it was kept locked away for fifty years after Carl Jung's death, raising concerns that it might prove that the world renowned psychologist was actually insane. Is it a work of visionary creativity or divine madness? Let's find out."]

---. "Carl Jung • The Red Book (Part 2)." Creative Codex #12 (February 3, 2020) ["In this episode we join Carl Jung as he meets Death, Satan, and his own soul. Join the journey as we deep dive with soundscape simulations of Jung’s visions, exploring the Archetypes, the Mundus Imaginalis, and Active Imagination."]

---. "Frida Kahlo (Pain Becomes Art)." Creative Codex #3 (February 25, 2019) ["Is creativity linked with emotion? Can life's tragedies and heartbreaks be resolved through creating art? In this episode we try to answer those questions with the help of one of the most iconic artists of all time: Frida Kahlo."]

---. "H.R. Giger: A Beautiful Darkness." Creative Codex #9 (September 2, 2019) ["H.R. Giger is considered by many to be the most evil artist in history. Join us as we take a deep dive into the abyss where Giger's strange ideas are born. In this episode we also explore: how did Giger create a style so distinct that people see it as 'out of this world'?"]

---. "Leonardo Da Vinci's Secret." Creative Codex #2 (September 3, 2018 ["What made Leonardo da Vinci so consistently inspired? What was his secret?"]

---. "Leonor Fini • Mirrors of the Dark Sublime (Part I)." Creative Codex (April 22, 2022) ["Leonor Fini was one of the most prolific and mysterious artists of the 20th century. Her career spans an impressive 67 years, she completed over 1,100 oil paintings, and her art was featured in over 350 international gallery exhibitions during her lifetime. Yet she is virtually unknown to us today. Her art and career are shrouded with the mystery of a sphinx's riddle. This is the story of Leonor Fini, one of the 20th century's great creative geniuses." Part 2: "Leonor Fini • The Dark Masquerade."]

---. "Listener Q&A." Creative Codex #10 (September 2019) ["Our first Listener Q&A episode!!! So many compelling questions including: Are left handed people more creative? Was Nikola Tesla spiritual? How do you quiet the doubting voices in your mind? What was Frida Kahlo's life like after the accident? Is creativity a supernatural force? What is the nature of evil?"]

---. "Marina Abramović • IMMATERIAL • Part 1: Life or Death." Creative Codex #36 (February 2, 2023) ["This is Part 1 of a three part series about the legend of performance art: Marina Abramović. On this episode, we explore her childhood, Marina's first forays into art, and her controversial Rhythm series. In a first for podcasting, we explore her performance art through sonic simulations of the works as they are discussed."]

---. "Nikola Tesla & the Paradox of Genius." Creative Codex #5 (May 9, 2019) ["Nikola Tesla's unique genius is the stuff of fantasy; he electrified the world, feuded with Thomas Edison, invented a death ray, and caused an earthquake in Manhattan. In this episode we try to untangle the paradox of Nikola Tesla's life: how can a man of unrivaled genius change the world but die a hermit with no money to his name?"]

---. "The Origin of Art." Creative Codex #1 (August 18, 2018) ["Travel back 40,000 years to the first known art made by human hands. How did creativity begin? Why does 'art' exist?"]

---. "Salvador Dali (Saint of Delusion)." Creative Codex #7 (July 3, 2019) ["Salvador Dali is one of the most successful artists of all time. Join us as we find the origin of his unmistakable style, discover the secret to his creative process, and unravel the lies of the enigmatic: Dali."]

---. "The Subtle Art of Mirroring." Creative Codex (December 6, 2022) ["Have you ever noticed that you mirror your closest friend's habits and interests? Have you ever wondered: 'how do I think like Leonardo da Vinci or Albert Einstein?' On this creativity tip, we are going to explore something we all do naturally: mirroring. And how we can use to inspire our creative work in new and unexpected directions."]

--- . "Vincent van Gogh • A Strange Boy (Madness, Genius, & Tragedy: Part 1)." Creative Codex #22 (May 26, 2021) ["Can madness and genius be contained in one individual? Can psychosis and the rarest artistry be contained in one mind? These contradictions pervade the story of Vincent van Gogh. And in the final three years of his life, they culminate in a whirlwind. You may think you know Vincent, you may have heard about him on a TV show or a podcast. But not like this. Over the next three episodes, we will explore Van Gogh’s personal letters, doctor’s reports, police reports, and family letters, to paint a vivid picture of Vincent in his three final years, these are the years that produced his most famous and beloved works, and the years in which Vincent’s final tragic descent begins. Was he actually psychotic or just misunderstood? Did he really cut off his ear and commit suicide? Was he actually a creative genius or is it all just hype? Let’s find out."]

---. "Vincent van Gogh • The Ear Incident (Madness, Genius, & Tragedy: Part 2)." Creative Codex #23 (June 11, 2021) ["On this special episode, we dive into the full truth about the most infamous event in art history: Vincent van Gogh's ear incident. The 'ear incident' serves as a catalyst event, which signals the onset of a mental affliction which will torment Vincent van Gogh for his final three years. Paradoxically, at the same time his mental health is in decline, his paintings are showing the signs of a creative genius. "]

---.  "Vincent van Gogh • The Asylum (Madness, Genius, & Tragedy: Part 3)." Creative Codex #24 (July 29, 2021) [MB: I was just listening to this on a stroll in the morning sun and I was struck at the incredible love & support of Theo van Gogh for his tortured brother Vincent. MJ Dorian's exploration of it literally brought me to tears and I marveled at how important the sibling relation is (blood or otherwise). Here's to all the equally supportive & loving brothers and sisters out there - much love and gratitude to you all :) Episode description: "On May 8th, 1889, Vincent van Gogh checks in to a mental asylum. What begins as a three month stay extends into a year. A period of time during which Vincent paints 141 masterpieces in between bouts of debilitating psychotic attacks. On this episode, we dive into Vincent and Theo's letters to finally uncover all of the details about Vincent's yearlong stay in the asylum."]

---. "Vincent van Gogh • At Eternity's Gate (Madness, Genius, & Tragedy: Part 4)." Creative Codex #25 (August 26, 2021)  [MB: "Working around the household this afternoon, I finished Pt. 4 of MJ Dorian's 4 part Creative Codex series on Vincent van Gogh. It is one of the most impressive podcasts I have listened to: providing the intellectual & artistic biography of Vincent's early years, the inspiring story of his relationship with his brother Theo, Vincent's battles with mental illness, serious myth busting of the misconceptions of his illness & art, a riveting true crime investigation of Vincent's death, Theo's ultimate fate, and the unfairly ignored Johanna van Gogh-Bonger's pivotal, tireless role of rescuing Vincent van Gogh from the dustbin of history, through posthumously exhibiting Vincent's art and building his legacy, translating the brothers hundreds of letters into multiple languages, and literally being the reason we know Vincent van Gogh as an artistic giant, rather than as a tragic footnote. I was left breathless :) Episode description: "On this episode we explore the tragic death of Vincent van Gogh. We seek to answer, once and for all, was it: suicide or homicide? In the process we discover that the two popular theories explaining Vincent's death are deeply flawed, and a new theory emerges. This episode follows the events of that fateful day through Theo's perspective. After a thorough investigation, we explore the aftermath, and meet the woman who made Vincent van Gogh a household name: Johanna van Gogh-Bonger."]

---. "Why Do Humans Need Art." Creative Codex #14 (April 26, 2020) ["Why do humans need art? Hidden within the answer to that question is a profound truth about the human experience. Join me as we travel around the world to narrow down three primary reasons why humans need art. In our quest for the answer we will explore Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the Game of Thrones TV show, the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Carl Jung's art therapy methods, Mozart's Requiem, and the visionary art of Alex Gray. Get your thinking caps on, this one's a bonafide deep dive."]

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Stephen West: Philosophy/History (Shooting Azimuths)

 


West, Stephen. "A Basic Look at Post-Modernism." Philosophize This (May 21, 2018)

---. "Antonio Gramsci on Cultural Hegemony." Philosophize This! #131 (May 23, 2019) ["Gramsci begins his explanation by evoking and repurposing a word that had been thrown around all throughout human history but it was a word that he thought in recent years was starting to take on an entirely new meaning. The thing that was responsible for allowing a particular social class to ascend to power and then maintain a privileged status…was what he called Cultural Hegemony. This concept of hegemony is going to become massively important to the political conversation of the 20th and 21st centuries and by the end of this arc of the show we’re going to have looked at it from a lot of different perspectives. Maybe we should start from the origins of the word…the word hegemony originates in ancient Greece…the root of the word comes from the greek word meaning “to lead”, some translators say it’s closer to “to rule over”…but either way during antiquity there were things called hegemons…now in the context of ancient Greece a hegemon was typically a state that had a significant military advantage over another state…the arrangement being that if the weaker state didn’t comply with certain demands from the hegemon they would be annexed or dominated militarily or burned to the ground, take your pick. The term hegemony implied the threat of physical dominance over a population of people…this was the case all throughout human history. But Gramsci is going to say that in our modern world the definition of the word hegemony needs to evolve with the political reality we are living in. We are no longer living in a world where most political control is exercised by military dominance over a population of people. Since the advent of mass media people in positions of power have realized that a much more effective way of controlling populations is by manipulating the cultural parameters that citizens have to navigate. The general idea is this: to be a human being living a life in our modern world…you always HAVE to be living that life immersed within a particular culture. But what IS a culture other than an elaborate collection of norms, rules, structures, mores, taboos, rituals, values, symbolic gestures…these things are not exactly abstract concepts…they are acute. They are visible. This is the cultural custom of a handshake to pay deference to someone else. This is not talking with your mouth full. This is the sum total of every ritual we engage in on a daily basis that all come together to create a cohesive society. But what Gramsci is going to ask is: who exactly created all of these norms and taboos that we abide by?"]

---. "The Buddha." Philosophize This! #9 (November 10, 2013) ["... the life of Siddhartha Gautama and his Heisenberg-esque transformation into Buddha. We learn how Buddha left a lifestyle of being fed grapes and being fanned with palm leaves to pursue a life of celibacy, starvation, and sleep deprivation. We also learn about how Buddha reached enlightenment while sitting beneath a fruit tree à la Isaac Newton, and about the four noble truths which he believed were the key to ending human suffering once and for all. "]

---. "Capitalism vs Communism." Philosophize This #81 (May 10, 2016)

---. "Carl Schmitt on Liberalism, Part 1." Philosophize This! (July 1, 2019) ["When John Dewey and Antonio Gramsci show up with their lunchbox the first day at the new job…this is the first order of business that people like them are going to have to deal with. Now, it’s right here that we can understand why the two of them went in the respective directions they did…because like we talked about the beginning of the 20th century can be broadly understood in terms of three major branches of political discussion, three primary conversations…that are going on…we’ve already talked about two of them and understanding all three of them is absolutely crucial because the contents OF these conversations is going to go on to dictate the direction of almost all subsequent political philosophy all the way up to the present day…when a philosopher sets out to contribute something to the political discussion of the 20th century they are almost without exception doing so in consideration to one of these three major critiques of the way we’ve done things in the past. Once again, what we’ve done in the past is Liberal Capitalist Democracy…the three major critiques are going to be John Dewey and his critique of traditional Democracy…Antonio Gramsci and his critique of Capitalism…and the guy we’re going to be talking about today…the philosopher Carl Schmitt and his critique of Liberalism."]

---. "Carl Schmitt on Liberalism, Part 2." Philosophize This! (July 1, 2019) ["So maybe the best place to begin our discussion today is just to say that the fact that the sovereign still exists at some level in our Liberal societies shouldn’t come as an enormous surprise to people. I mean, after all what exactly are systems of norms like the constitution trying to normalize? Carl Schmitt would ask if the constitution is a regulatory document…what exactly is it regulating? He would say that what it is regulating is the more fundamental, underlying political process that has been going on since the dawn of civilization. Liberalism’s been tacked on after the fact…makes us feel good…helps us FEEL like the world is a lot more peaceful and tolerant than its ever been…but once again, the reality of the world to Carl Schmitt, the reason we haven’t seen a respite from dictatorships, bloodshed and political instability is because we are still engaged in the exact same political process we’ve always been engaged in…one ROOTED in intolerance…to Carl Schmitt the foundation of the political lies in a distinction between friend and enemy."]

---. "Confucianism." Philosophize This! #8 (October 29, 2013) ["On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Confucius, a man whose ideas impacted China and eastern philosophy for thousands of years after his death. We find out how Confucius went from being the poor, friendless son of an ancient Chinese 'Teen Mom' to becoming one of the most quoted people in history, as well as how he was reduced to selling his philosophy door-to-door after a brief career as a politician which ended in conspiracy and bribery."]

---. "Consequences of Reason." Philosophize This! #134 (August 7, 2019)

---. "Daoism." Philosophize This! #7 (August 9, 2013) ["So, this demand to find strategies and guidelines to follow in an attempt to rule more efficiently and masterfully caused these officials to spread out and sort of innovate and teach their own versions of what the most effective way to rule people was. There were a lot of them, and a lot of great wisdom comes from their teachings. A few of these stood out from the rest, the best of which still affect Chinese and Asian culture to this day. But all of their ideas collectively became known as the One Hundred Schools of Thought. Daoism and Confucianism are two of these hundred. So, philosophy in the East arose by means of necessity."]

---. "Derrida and Words." Philosophize This (June 25, 2018)

---. "Dewey and Lippman on DemocracyPhilosophize This #130 (May 23, 2019)

---. "The Frankfurt School - Introduction." Philosophize This #108 (August 17, 2017) ["The Frankfurt School, also known as the Institute of Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung), is a social and political philosophical movement of thought located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It is the original source of what is known as Critical Theory. The Institute was founded, thanks to a donation by Felix Weil in 1923, with the aim of developing Marxist studies in Germany. The Institute eventually generated a specific school of thought after 1933 when the Nazis forced it to close and move to the United States, where it found hospitality at Columbia University, New York."]

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 2) - The Enlightenment." Philosophize This #109 (August 26, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 3) - The Culture Industry." Philosophize This #110 (September 7, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 4) - Eros." Philosophize This #111 (October 20, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 5) - Civilization." Philosophize This #112 (November 6, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 6) - Art As a Tool for Liberation." Philosophize This (December 2, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School (Part 7): The Great Refusal." Philosophize This (December 23, 2017)

---. "The Frankfurt School: Erich Fromm on Love." Philosophize This! #150 (January 30, 2021) [A discussion of Erich Fromm and his book The Art of Loving.]

---. "The Frankfurt School - Walter Benjamin, Part 1." Philosophize This! (March 19, 2021) [With a focus on "The Task of the Translator."]

---. "Frederick Hayek - The Road to Serfdom." Philosophy This! #139 (February 11, 2020)

---. "Guy Debord: The Society of the Spectacle." Philosophize This! #171 (November 1, 2022) ["... if you were lost in a city…right now in 2022…what would you do to find your way back home? I don’t know about you, but I would pull out my phone, and I would map my way back to wherever I wanted to go. Back in the 90’s though…maybe you’d pull out your Thomas Guide to find your way home. Back in the 70’s maybe you’d ask someone for directions. In the 1800’s maybe you’d pull out a compass and a map. 20,000 years ago maybe you’d look at your relative position to the sun and trace your steps back to where you came from. Point is: the technology available to you, changes how you live your life. And if the technology available to you is an elaborate spectacle … that perpetuates a religious obsession with appearances, alienates you from other people, keeps you hypnotized never really knowing what’s going on in reality, commodifies your relationships, personal information, even where your eyes are pointing…if this is what technology is doing to us… we can’t look at this stuff as just disinterested technology anymore…to Guy Debord this is a clear degradation of human life and relationships. Not to mention the fact that you face a situation with this technology that no other human generation has ever had to deal with. You can’t just choose to abstain, from the economic system like someone can just walk out of a Catholic mass if they think it’s all nonsense. You have to be a part of it in some way. And as you do that…there are literally teams of people working in close correlation with algorithms… super smart people…where their entire job …is to look at your tendencies on these screens…and find any way they can to get you to spend more time contemplating the spectacle instead of living."]

---. "Hannah Arendt - The Banality of Evil." Philosophize This! (November 1, 201

---. "The Hellenistic Age Pt. 5: Race to the Dark Ages." Philosophize This! #14 (January 18, 2014) ["On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Middle Platonism and the Race to the Dark Ages. We learn how Philo of Alexandria reconciled Judaism with Plato's vision of God as a master craftsman, and find out how this relates to building an IKEA bookcase. We also discuss the important distinction Plutarch made between a flatterer and a friend, and why he would have absolutely hated Facebook. "]

---. "John Rawls - A Theory of Justice." Philosophize This! (January 2, 2020) ["But another way to think about the answer to this question is to say that every, great philosopher in their own way...QUESTIONED the fundamental assumptions that were present in the thinking of their time. THAT is a hallmark of a great philosopher...because when seeking solutions to philosophical problems...casting aside the cultural or linguistic assumptions of a particular snapshot in time...very often leads philosophers of the next generation to understand how those assumptions have been limiting our ways of thinking about things.The philosopher we're going to talk about today falls into this category...and he's going to question an assumption that seemed to others as radical as it was dangerous. His name was John Rawls...and this was the assumption that he questioned: Can human beings ACTUALLY LIVE and flourish for any extended period of time in liberal democratic societies?The political paradigm of the Enlightenment...liberal democratic societies. A government BY the many. Democracy. Liberal in the sense that there is a STRONG focus on rational discourse, the acceptance of outside ideas... the legitimacy of political ideas being decided by having conversations between competing ideas, let the best ideas rise to the top and direct the future of society for the time being, and if those prevailing ideas don't happen to be the ones you believe in, you're supposed to ACCEPT those ideas as part of the greater political process and work to defend your positions better the NEXT time we're having a conversation."]
 
---. "Jürgen Habermas – The Public Sphere." Philosophize This! #143 (May 1, 2020) ["When transnational corporations with very specific ends they’re trying to achieve OWN major media outlets. When there is so much power in controlling people’s values…Habermas thinks the economic/governmental system COLONIZES the lifeworld. Where we used to sit around the dinner table and have discussions to determine our thoughts about the world…we now turn on a screen and are SOLD ways to think about things. The further we got from the origins of the public sphere in those coffee houses back in France …the further we got away from communicative rationality. We got so far away from it we could barely SEE it anymore…to the point where brilliant thinkers like Adorno and Horkheimer wrote an entire book about rationality and didn’t even consider its existence! But for any chains we were supposedly wrapped in by the Enlightenment, Habermas thought the key to get us out of them was built into the Enlightenment all along. We just lost sight of it. The emancipatory potential of reason…reason’s ability to direct us AWAY from treating people as a means to an end…the type of reason GROUNDED in communication…GROUNDED in the pursuit of genuinely trying to understand the other person’s perspective and then working towards agreement…the type of reason that can allow us to make our decisions about things not by buying into an endless sales pitch, but by talking to our fellow citizens in the lifeworld comparing our individual perspecitives… True democracy, to Habermas, is when the lifeworld controls the system. Not the system controlling the lifeworld."]

---. "Leo Strauss: Moderns vs Ancients." Philosophize This! (October 9, 2019)

---. "Michel Foucault (Part 1)." Philosophize This (August 15, 2018) ["Foucault himself would never describe [Discipline and Punish] as a 'history' of anything. Foucault hated the word history and almost never used it in his writing. He used words to describe this book more like, a geneology of the way we’ve treated criminals, or an archaeology of how criminals have been punished over the years. He hates the word history…because so often the word history brings with it a connotation… that we exist in our modern world at the end of this long historical timeline of events that have led to near constant progress. This idea that, hey, we used to be these barbaric savages that followed the playbook of Machievelli, the ends justify the means, we used to believe that it was morally acceptable for the king or the people in power to brutally torture and kill someone that was guilty of a heinous crime…but then HISTORY happened. Time went on…progress was made. Great political theorists came along…great leaders, great ethical philosophers did their work and we all realized the error of our ways and brought into existence a more modern world where everyone is much more free…the people in power inhibiting the lives of the average citizen far less than they used to . Foucault is going to call this assumption about history into question and really dig deeper into the idea of: how much has really changed when it comes to the fundamental relationship between those in power and the citizens?"]

---. "Michel Foucault Pt. 2 - The Order of Things." Philosophize This! #122 (September 24, 2018)

---. "Michel Foucault Pt. 3 - Power." Philosophize This (September 24, 2018)

---. "On Media: Manufacturing Consent, Pt. 1." Philosophize This (December 17, 2020) [On Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman's landmark book Media Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.]

---. "On Media Pt. 2: Marshall McLuhan." Philosophize This! #149 (January 5, 2021)

---. "Plato." Philosophize This! #4 (June 20, 2013) ["In this week's episode, we learn about Plato's "Symposium", which you might think of as philosophy's version of fan fiction. We also learn about Plato's "Theory of Forms" and ask ourselves what makes a tree, well, a tree. This leads to discussion of Plato's famous "Allegory of the Cave" and calls into question whether or not everything we see is merely a shadow of its true self. Finally, we learn about Plato's views on society and government and why he thought democracy was one of the worst forms of government, second only to tyranny."]

---. "Richard Rorty." Philosophize This! 142 (May 1, 2020) ["Some people called Rorty a postmodernist…which would usually place him in staunch opposition to anything that even sounds like the word Enlightenment. Like excitement! But let me tell ya…Rorty was a very exciting man. He rejected the title of postmodernist and most titles for that matter. He operated in a very unique realm for a thinker where like a typical post-structuralist he didn’t believe in any sort of grand narrative that could explain away the universe…but yet he was still…a die hard, card carrying fan…of the project of the Enlightenment overall. See in a world where there are so many 20th century thinkers hating on the Enlightenment…here is a guy some viewed as a post-structuralist, coming to its defense. Let me explain why he would do something like this."]

---. "Robert Nozick - The Minimal State."  Philosophize This! #138 (January 21, 2020) ["Robert Nozick and the book of his we're going to be talking about today is titled Anarchy, State and Utopia. Now, just to give the following conversation a little preliminary structure...that title, Anarchy, State and Utopia is referencing the three major sections that the book is divided into. The first section would be Anarchy...where Nozick spends a considerable portion of time being understanding of the Anarchist's aversion to government, but ultimately making a case that they go too far. The middle portion of the book, State, has Nozick laying out the TYPE of state that HE thinks is best...and in the Utopia section is where he describes WHY his version of a state is the best...Utopia is a sort of tongue in cheek musing by Nozick..he by NO MEANS thinks his system is an actual Utopia...but he thinks it's FAR BETTER than other systems that have been tried and he argues for why he thinks that is.See, Nozick is not a fan of there being a BIG state, with a lot of responsibilities...he's not a fan of there being no state...so what is he a fan of? How big should the government be and what exactly should it do? Nozick is a fan of what he would call "the minimal state". The best way to start understanding what he means by this is probably to contrast him with both the work of Rawls and the Anarchists of his time..."]

---. "Simone Weil - Attention." Philosophize This! (November 21, 2022) ["If you’re Simone Weil around this time in her life we’ve been talking about…and you’re LOOKING at the world around you and trying to diagnose what the problems are that maybe we can improve upon…this psychological and spiritual CRISIS that she calls Affliction… this is going to be at the top of her list. This dehumanized state of learned helplessness, has infected millions and millions of people around the globe…which is ALSO to say…that you don’t just FIND Affliction in FACTORY workers that are being treated like a means to some ECONOMIC end. Or in soldiers on the front line being treated as a means to a POLITICAL end. You will find affliction, Simone Weil says, where ever you find people being transformed from human beings into things…and then those THINGS being grouped into COLLECTIVES that are easier to control…and then through VARIOUS different strategies those people are rendered INCAPABLE of THINKING their way out of the stuck place that they EXIST in. And ALL of this… mediated… by a sort of organizing principle of human POLITICAL movement, that Simone Weil is going to refer to throughout her writing as Force."]

---. "Socrates and the Sophists." Philosophize This! #3 (June 23, 2013) ["This week we talk about the prosperity of Athens and how it led to the rise and ideas of a group of philosopher teachers called the Sophists, we tied up some loose ends and helped put all that we've learned in the last two episodes into context with a graph of the Presocratics, and we ended by talking about a man named Socrates."]

---. "Structuralism and Context." Philosophize This (January 28, 2018) ["On this episode, we talk about the origins of Structuralism. Included is a discussion on the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, (born Nov. 26, 1857, Geneva, Switz.—died Feb. 22, 1913, Vufflens-le-Château), Swiss linguist whose ideas on structure in language laid the foundation for much of the approach to and progress of the linguistic sciences in the 20th century."]

---. "Structuralism and Mythology (Part 1)." Philosophize This! (March 18, 2018) ["On this episode, we talk about the mythology that underlies the media we consume and how it serves as an access point to the structures of culture."]

---. "Structuralism and Mythology (Part 2)." Philosophize This! (March 18, 2018)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Jeremy Carr: Film Studies (Shooting Azimuths)

 Carr, Jeremy. "Notebook Primer: Film Noir." Notebook (Aug 27, 2020) ["Film noir revels in a realm of desperation, despair, and dread, engineering an entertaining and engaging descent into humanity’s dark side."]

---. "Notebook Primer: Ida Lupino." Notebook (July 30, 2020) ["As an actress, writer, producer, and director, Ida Lupino was a revolutionary female filmmaker and a forerunner of independent cinema."]

---. "Notebook Primer: Sergei Eisenstein." Notebook (August 13, 2020) ["A hugely influential filmmaker and theorist, Sergei Eisenstein epitomized the uneasy, if often dynamic, synthesis of art and politics."]

---. "Notebook Primer: Werner Herzog." Notebook (July 2, 2020) ["Becoming something of an existential philosopher in the process, Herzog’s career-long presentation of a mysterious, multifaceted world is an overwhelming collective exhibition. While he is not religious, his films — transcendent meditations on faith, superstition, and sublime experience — have a pronounced spiritual constitution. He finds humanity within pure chaos and mysticism in the ostensibly banal. Perhaps more than anything, however, Herzog is driven by an unceasing search for new visual encounters. As he notes when discussing the enigmatic mirages of Fata Morgana (1971), he remains occupied by a “quest for images that you haven’t really seen yet,” and, he affirms, “I’ve not stopped searching.”]

---. "Notebook Primer: The Western." Notebook (July 16, 2020) ["The Western is a compendium of cultural dichotomies and iconic symbols, locations, and characters, with countless variations."]

Friday, January 27, 2023

The Hidden Fortress (Japan: Akira Kurosawa, 1958)




The Hidden Fortress (Japan: Akira Kurosawa, 1958: 139 mins)
A grand-scale adventure as only Akira Kurosawa could make one, The Hidden Fortress stars the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan’s princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director’s most beloved films and was a primary influence on George Lucas’s Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa’s trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity. -- Criterion's The Hidden Fortress page

"A Guide to Samurais and Cowboys." Metrograph (2023) ["The samurai and the cowboy—each towering icons of their respective “national” cinemas, the Japanese chambara, and the American Western—are frequently compared, both being elite fighting heroes who roam across a lawless landscape where violence and villainy run rampant, guided by a personal code that must be upheld at all costs. The two genres were born out of vastly different cultural contexts, and each has its own discrete iconography, most notably the samurai’s swords swords (daisho) and the Westerner’s six-shooter. Looking past surface differences, however, we can see two genres both concerned with principled warriors who frequently find themselves facing off against corrupt enemies in steely showdowns, confronting their own inner demons along the way. Like their Chinese counterparts in wuxia films—period-set martial arts movies depicting high-flown feats of derring-do, many of these influenced from the chambara—these warriors are resolute in purpose and indifferent to pain. They are willing (in theory, at least) to sacrifice their own lives to fulfil their duty with honor intact."]

"From the Kurosawa Archives." Current (March 23, 2017)

Lucas, George. "On Akira Kurosawa." Current (March 19, 2014)

Phipps, Keith. "The Hidden Fortress." The Dissolve (2014)

Russell, Catherine. "The Hidden Fortress: Three Good Men and a Princess." The Current (March 18, 2014)

White, Armond. "The Hidden Fortress." Current (May 21, 2001)









Thursday, January 26, 2023

EO (Poland/Italy: Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)


 EO (Poland/Italy: Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022: 88 mins)

Balaga, Marta. "EO." Cineuropa (May 20, 2022) ["Among the films devoted entirely to animal protagonists, EO still sticks out a little. The veteran Polish director’s take on the ever-changing fortunes (and whereabouts) of one donkey is weird and occasionally hilarious. There is something about it that feels very young, film school-y even, but it’s quite inspiring that instead of delivering safer fare, Skolimowski still feels like playing."]

Dargis, Manohla. "‘EO’ Review: Imagining the Lives of Other Creatures." New York Times (November 17, 2022) ["The titular character of this fantastic adventure is no Disneyfied, cutesy creature. The director Jerzy Skolimowski emphasizes his animality and un-knowableness."]

Hodsdon, Bruce. "Great Directors: Jerzy Skolimowski." Sense of Cinema #27 (July 2003)

Hudson, David. "Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO." Current (May 23, 2022)

Kasman, Daniel. "The Donkey’s Eyes: Jerzy Skolimowski Discusses EO." Notebook (November 18, 2022)

Pinkerton, Nick and Sean Price Williams. "An interview with Jerzy Skolimowski and Ewa Piaskowska on their new film EO."   Metrograph (2022) ["Between films, Jerzy Skolimowski paints. Or is it between paintings, he films. Mr. Skolimowski claims the two artforms, for him, do not intersect. In his brain these activities have no collision. Coincidently, many of his paintings are roughly the size of a movie theater screen. And coincidently, his newest film, EO roughly resembles some of his paintings. One painting from 1999, titled Agonia, features a vivid red that one finds all over the new film. A red that saturates the haunting love story Deep End, from 1970. A red that is often found in promotional materials for many of Mr. Skolimowski’s films. It’s almost as though he has the patent on the color."]

Shields, Randy. "EO: Bearing witness in the hell of speciesism." Monthly Review (December 13, 2022)

Skolimowski, Jerzy. "On EO." Film Comment Podcast (October 14, 2022) ["In his Cannes 2022 dispatch, Jonathan Romney wrote “Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO is a flamboyant, visionary work: its execution—including drone shots set to blazing red filters—and wayward, fragmented narrative showed an energy shared by that little else at the festival. Corny but true: the wildest, youngest film in the lineup was made by an 84-year-old director up for anything.” With EO making its U.S. premiere at this year’s New York Film Festival, we sat down with Skolimowski over Zoom to discuss his radical reimagining of Bresson, which follows a pure-hearted donkey set adrift in a cruel world. Though the filmmaker—known for classics like Walkover, Deep End, Moonlighting, and The Shout, among others—wasn’t able to attend this year’s festival in person, he was happy to field our many questions about his latest, a powerfully empathetic work of striking beauty and visual imagination."]






Andrew Huberman: Neuroscience/Health/Body & Mind (Shooting Azimuths)

 Galpin, Andy and Andrew Huberman. "How to Assess & Improve All Aspects of Your Fitness." Huberman Lab (January 18, 2023) ["In this episode 1 of a 6-part special series, Andy Galpin, PhD, professor of kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton and world expert on exercise science, explains the 9 different types of exercise adaptations that can be used to transform the functional capacities and aesthetics of our body, and benefits each adaptation has for our health. He explains the best evidence-based protocols to optimize your progress in building strength, endurance, muscle growth, flexibility and for optimal recovery, and he provides zero-cost and low-cost tests to assess all aspects of your physical fitness. This episode provides a foundation and tools for establishing a comprehensive assessment of your current fitness level, allowing you to select the ideal fitness programs to implement toward your goals. Subsequent episodes 2-6 in this special series explain goal-directed protocols to reach those goals."]

 Huberman, Andrew. "ADHD & How Anyone Can Improve Their Focus." Huberman Lab (September 13, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder): what it is, the common myths, and the biology and psychology of ADHD. He discusses both behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for ADHD and brain-machine interface tools. Dr. Huberman also discusses behavioral training protocols that can improve focus in people with ADHD and those without ADHD and for people of different ages. He discusses the role of dopamine in coordinating ‘default-mode’ and ‘task-related’ neural networks, attentional “blinks” (lapses of attention) and how to overcome them, and the role of actual blinks in time perception and attention. Finally, Dr. Huberman reviews some of the prescription and over-the-counter compounds for increasing focus, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Modafinil and Armodafinil, the racetams, Alpha-GPC and phosphatidylserine and the role of diet for managing ADHD (and the controversies of diet for ADHD). The role of cell phones/technology in ADHD and ADHD-like challenges with focus are also discussed. Throughout, both basic science and clinical scenarios, as well as applicable tools and resources, are covered."]

---. "Controlling Your Dopamine for Motivation, Focus, and Satisfaction." Huberman Lab (September 27, 2021) ["This episode serves as a sort of “Dopamine Masterclass.” Dr. Huberman discusses the immensely powerful chemical that we all make in our brain and body: dopamine. He describes what it does and the neural circuits involved. He explains dopamine peaks and baselines and the cell biology of dopamine depletion. Dr. Huberman includes 14 tools for how to control your dopamine release for the sake of motivation, focus, avoiding and combating addiction and depression. He explains why dopamine stacking with chemicals and behaviors inevitably leads to states of underwhelm and poor performance. He explains how to achieve sustained increases in baseline dopamine, compounds that injure and protect dopamine neurons, including caffeine, from specific sources. Dr. Huberman describes non-prescription supplements for increasing dopamine—both their benefits and risks—and the synergy of pro-dopamine supplements with those that increase acetylcholine." Huberman recommends two books: Anna Lembke's Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence and Daniel Z. Lieberman's and Michael Long's The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human.] Race]

---. "Developing a Rational Approach to Supplementation for Health & Performance." Huberman Lab (January 9, 2023) ["In this episode, I explain how to design a supplementation protocol to support maximum mental and physical health and performance depending on your specific needs, nutrition, lifestyle and finances. When most people hear about “supplements,” they think they are vitamin supplements, but there are many compounds that are powerful and sold over-the-counter that can enhance our health in performance and that can’t be obtained from foods. First, I discuss “foundational” supplements to support overall health, including water and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, adaptogens, and prebiotics/probiotics. Then I explain how to use single-ingredient supplements to enhance specific aspects of your physiology, such as aiding sleep, cognitive enhancement, and focus supporting healthy hormone levels (e.g., testosterone, estrogen and growth hormone, thyroid). Finally, I explain when it makes sense to add supplements to your lifestyle and discuss how best to use supplements, including how to determine dosage, sourcing, continuous schedules and cycling, and how to layer different supplements most effectively. This episode will explain how to design the safest, most biologically effective, cost-effective supplementation protocol to meet your particular goals and support your overall health, including vitality and longevity."]

---. "Effects of Fasting & Time-Restricted Eating on Fat Loss and Health." Huberman Lab (October 11, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses the science and practice of fasting, also called time-restricted feeding. He reviews the data on how limiting food intake to specific portions of every 24-hour cycle (or fasting longer) impacts weight loss, fat loss specifically, liver health, mental focus, muscle, longevity and more. Dr. Huberman explains how “fasted” is contextual and relates to blood glucose levels and their downstream effects, and how the depth of fasting can be adjusted with behaviors such as different types of exercise or with glucose disposal agents. He also discusses the optimal fasting protocol: and both the absolute (non-negotiable) and variable (contextual) features of a fasting/time-restricted-feeding protocol that will allow you to get the most benefits. He also discusses what does and does not break a fast, the effects of fasting on hormones like testosterone and cortisol, and fertility. Dr. Huberman also reviews how different feeding windows of 8 or 10 or 4 hours differentially impact the effects of fasting and why the classic 8 hour feeding window came to be but also might be ideal. He discusses mechanisms and offers tools to discern the optimal fasting duration and timing for you."]

---. "Erasing Fears & Trauma Based on the Modern Neuroscience of Fear." Huberman Lab (December 6, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses fear and trauma, including the neural circuits involved in the “threat reflex” and how specific experiences and memories activate that system. He also discusses how our body is involved in trauma and fear. First, Dr. Huberman describes the logic of fear mechanisms and how “top-down” processing–meaning connections from the parts of the brain that assign meaning to our feelings, are involved in fear and erasing fears and traumas. Then he discusses what successful fear and trauma treatment must include and considers various treatments for whether they meet that standard, such as EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Ketamine, other drug-assisted therapies, and more. Dr. Huberman also reviews new data on how 5 minutes per day of deliberate, self-imposed stress can erase fear and depression. And he reviews the role that social connection plays in erasing or maintaining fears by activating specific molecular pathways in the brain and body. Finally, he reviews supplementation with over-the-counter compounds for their effects on anxiety and fear and when to take them, if at all."]

---. "Healthy Eating & Eating Disorders – Anorexia, Bulimia, Binging." Huberman Lab (September 6, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses what drives hunger and satiety and the role our brain, stomach, fat and hormones play in regulating hunger and turning off the desire to eat more. He also addresses how protein is assimilated better early in the day than it is later in the day and why those using intermittent fasting might want to shift their feeding window to earlier in the day. Then he delves into the topic of disorders of eating: Anorexia Nervosa, where people starve themselves and Bulimia Nervosa, where people binge and purge their food. Dr. Huberman discusses some common myths about Anorexia, such as the role of media images increasing the rates of Anorexia and the myth of the “perfectionist” anorexic. He also reviews the symptoms and the brain and chemical systems disrupted in this condition. He explains how anorexics become hyperaware of the fat content of foods and develop reflexive habits of fat-hyperawareness. Then Dr. Huberman discusses the most effective treatments ranging from family-based models to those that target the habitual nature of low-fat/calorie food choices. He also discusses new, more experimental clinical trials on MDMA, Psilocybin and Ibogaine for Anorexia and both their promise and risks. Dr. Huberman reviews the latest work on binge eating disorder and brain stimulation, drug treatments and thyroid disruption in Bulimia and why the treatments for Bulimia are so similar to those for ADHD. Finally, he discusses “cheat days,” body dysmorphia and the growing list of novel forms of eating disorders from start to finish. As always, science and science-based tools are discussed."]

---. "How to Enhance Your Gut Microbiome for Brain & Overall Health." The Huberman Lab #61 (February 28, 2022) ["In this episode, I discuss the profound effect the gut has on the nervous system. I cover the structure and function of the gut-brain axis and the role of the gut microbiome in the brain and overall health. I describe how the gut controls hunger or satiety by affecting neurons in our brain. I also contrast the many pathways by which the gut influences the brain: direct vs. indirect pathways, chemical vs. mechanical, and fast vs. slow signaling. Additionally, I discuss what defines a healthy microbiome and how your lifestyle impacts the gut microbiome, including the effects of stress, fasting, antibiotics, pets, environment, prebiotics and probiotics. I address how different foods shape the gut microbiome, in particular, the emerging data that fermented foods can increase the diversity of healthy gut microbiota. Throughout the episode, I explain peer-reviewed and textbook findings that reveal the critical role of the gut microbiome in supporting mental and physical health and I outline simple tools that anyone can use in order to enhance their gut microbiome health."]

---. "How Your Brain Works and Changes." The Huberman Lab #1 (January 4, 2021) ["... an introduction to how the nervous system works to create sensations, perceptions, emotions, thoughts and behaviors, as well as how we can change our nervous system— a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. The information sets the stage for all Huberman Lab Podcast episodes that follow by covering neurons, synapses, brain chemicals and the rhythms that control our ability to focus, learn and sleep… and more."]

---. "Ido Portal: The Science & Practice of Movement." The Huberman Lab #77 (June 20, 2022) ["My guest is Ido Portal, the world’s foremost expert on human movement. Ido has spent a lifetime studying, combining and evolving elements from an enormous range of martial arts, dance genres, athletic endeavors, and science, to develop a unified theory and practice of movement called “The Ido Portal Method.” Here we discuss all things movement, including the role of the nervous system, reflexive versus deliberate movement patterns, and the link between emotions and awareness in movement. We also discuss learning and neuroplasticity, the mind-body connection and how movement itself can be leveraged toward expanding other types of skills- cognitive, creative and otherwise. As one of the most sought out teachers of movement alive today, the knowledge Ido shares in this conversation can benefit everyone—children, adults, athletes, dancers, clinicians and trainers and the everyday person."]

---. "Master Your Sleep & Be More Alert When Awake." The Huberman Lab #2 (January 11, 2021) ["Today’s episode provides a host of information on what makes us sleepy, sleep soundly, and feel awake and alert. It covers a broad range of tools for anyone wishing to improve their sleep and wakeful state. The science and logic for each tool are described."]

---. "Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance." The Huberman Lab #42 (October 18, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman describes science-supported nutrients for brain and performance (cognition) and general nervous system health. He describes ten tools for this purpose, including specific amounts and sources for Omega-3 fatty acids, which make up the “structural fat” of neurons (nerve cells) and allow them to function across our lifespan. He also reviews data on creatine, phosphatidylserine, anthocyanins, choline, glutamine and how they each impact brain function in healthy people seeking to reinforce and improve their cognition and in those combatting cognitive decline. Dr. Huberman describes both food-based and supplement-based sources for these compounds and their effective dose ranges based on peer-reviewed literature. Then he reviews the three factors: gut-brain signaling, perceived taste, and learned associations that combine with the metabolic and blood-sugar-elevating effects of food to determine what foods we seek and prefer. Amazingly, it’s not just about what tastes good to us. Next, Dr. Huberman explores how we can leverage the neural circuits of learned food preference toward seeking and enjoying the right foods for brain health and performance. He also reviews new data on non-caloric sweeteners and why consuming them with glucose-elevating foods can be detrimental, in some cases rapidly leading to insulin dysregulation. This episode covers more than ten actionable tools for those seeking to improve and/or maintain brain function. It explains modern neuroscience underlying our sense of taste, our food-seeking preferences, and brain metabolism."]

---. "Optimize & Control Your Brain Chemistry to Improve Health & Performance." The Huberman Lab (July 11, 2022) ["In this episode, I explain the biological roles of the four major neuromodulators—dopamine, epinephrine (aka adrenaline), serotonin, and acetylcholine—and describe how these neuromodulators impact a wide variety of mental states and behaviors, including focus, creativity, motivation, drive, learning, alertness, mood, relationships, and feelings of well-being. Then, with that foundational understanding in mind, I describe a potent toolkit of science-supported behavioral, nutrition, and supplementation tools that can be used to increase baseline levels of individual neuromodulators and that can be modified for specific goals. This episode summarizes low-or-no-cost, actionable, science-based tools that can benefit anyone in order to enhance their levels of brain chemicals and improve mental health, physical health, and performance."]

---. "The Science of Creativity & How to Enhance Creative Innovation." The Huberman Lab (December 19, 2022) ["MB: An understanding of creativity from a neuroscientist. The base line definition and explanation of creativity is excellent, the explanation of how we all are essentially creative is helpful (use it or lose it, but even more, you need to cultivate it), the functionality of our brain and the centers which control and modulate our creative impulses is enlightening, also ways to increase your creativity and hindrances to your potential creativity (some which literally kill it). At the bottom of the page there are links to more resources. "In this episode, I explain how the brain engages in creative thinking and, based on that mechanistic understanding, the tools to improve one’s ability to think creatively and innovate in any area. I discuss how convergent and divergent thinking are essential for generating creative ideas and provide three types of meditation tools (open monitoring meditation, focused attention meditation & non-sleep deep rest; NSDR), which improve our ability to engage in these creative thinking patterns in specific and powerful ways. I also discuss how dopamine and mood contribute to the creative process and describe behavioral, nutritional and supplementation-based approaches for increasing dopamine to engage in creative thought and implementation. I explain how movement and storytelling (narrative) approaches can generate novel creative ideas and how substances like alcohol, cannabis, and psilocybin impact our creative ability. Excitingly, creativity is a skill that can be cultivated and enhanced; this episode outlines many tools to help anyone access creativity and apply."]

---. "The Science of Love, Desire, and Attachment." The Huberman Lab (February 14, 2022) ["In this episode, I discuss the psychology and biology of desire, love and attachment. I explain how childhood attachment types are thought to inform adult attachment styles to romantic partners, and I describe some of the major theories of human mate selection, relationships and infidelity. Additionally, I explore the neurobiology and proposed subconscious processing underlying desire, love and attachment, including the roles of empathy and “positive delusion”. I outline how self-awareness can shift one’s relationship attachment style towards securely bonded partnerships. Finally, I describe specific tools and supplements that have been researched to increase libido and sex drive. Throughout the episode, I explain the science and key mechanisms underlying romantic love and outline tools for those seeking to find a strong, healthy relationship, or for those wanting to strengthen an existing relationship."]

---. "The Science & Health Benefits of Deliberate Heat Exposure." The Huberman Lab (April 25, 2022) ["I describe the mechanisms by which deliberate heat exposure impacts body temperature, metabolism, heart health, hormone production, exercise recovery, cognition, mood, and longevity. I detail specific protocols for deliberate heat exposure, including exposure times, temperature ranges to consider, time of day, and delivery mechanisms (sauna vs. hot bath vs. open air heat, etc.) in order to achieve different specific outcomes, including dramatic growth hormone releases, or reduction in cortisol levels. I also discuss the ability of locally applied heat to heal or otherwise improve various bodily tissues and new data on how local application of heat may induce the conversion of metabolically sluggish white fat to metabolically robust beige fat."]

---. "Science of Social Bonding in Family, Friendship & Romantic Love." The Huberman Lab (December 20, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses the science of social bonding- the process by which we form attachments. He explains the neural and hormonal basis for “social homeostasis” (our drive for a given amount of socializing), which reveals why we get lonely, why we seek out connection with others and how power dynamics (hierarchies) shape those connections. Dr. Huberman also discusses the neurochemical basis of introversion and extroversion, of trust and how shared experiences that promote similar physiological states in two or more individuals lead to more rapid bonding. He also discusses how food and oxytocin play key roles in social bonding. This episode covers quality peer-reviewed science and practical tools for anyone seeking to find, build or end relationships."]

---. "Toolkit for Sleep." The Huberman Lab Podcast Neural Network (September 2021)

---. "Understanding and Conquering Depression." The Huberman Lab #34 (August 23, 2021) ["This episode, I explain what major depression is at the biological and psychological level and the various treatments that peer-reviewed studies have revealed can help prevent and treat depression. I explain the three major chemical systems that are altered in depression: norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. I discuss genetic predispositions to depression and how stress, thyroid hormone and cortisol play a role in many forms of depression. I also discuss inflammation as a common feature of many depression symptoms. I review 8 specific science-supported protocols for treating and avoiding depression, including EPA fatty acids (which have been shown to rival certain prescription treatments), how exercise protects against depression, studies of creatine, adjusting dopamine balance and more. I also discuss the results of ongoing clinical trials for ketamine and psilocybin for depression, how these compounds work and finally, I review how ketogenic diets can help in certain cases of depression, especially treatment-resistant major depression."]

"Understanding and Controlling Aggression." The Huberman Lab (May 9, 2022) ["This episode I describe the neural mechanisms that activate and control aggressive states and beahviors and the role of hormones—estrogen and testosterone—in mediating violent and and/or competive aggression. I also describe tools that can be used to modulate the factors that have been shown to ‘prime’ an individual for aggression, including sunlight, estrogen sensitivity, competition within social settings, and overall stress levels, and the hormone cortisol. I discuss how substances such as caffeine and alcohol can impact impulsive behaviors, and how nutrition and supplementation can be used to regulate mood and aggression."]

---. "Using Light (Sunlight, Blue Light & Red Light) to Optimize Health." The Huberman Lab (April 18, 2022) ["I describe the mechanisms by which different wavelengths of light impact the cells, tissues and organs of the human body, and how specifically timed light exposure of specific wavelengths can be used to improve sleep, enhance alertness, modulate hormone levels, and improve mood. I also explain the use of ultraviolet and infrared phototherapies to relieve pain increase testosterone and estrogen levels; improve skin health, appearance and wound healing; and how red light can be used to offset age-related vision loss and provide neuroprotection. Throughout the episode, I describe the mechanisms of light-based therapies and actionable tools that people can use positively impact mental and physical health."]

---. "Using Play to Rewire & Improve Your Brain." The Huberman Lab (March 20, 2022) ["In this episode, I discuss the transformative nature of play—how it changes our feelings, thoughts and actions and indeed, how it can rewire our brain to function better in all contexts. I explain the role of play in childhood, as well as adulthood in skill and social development and describe key characteristics of the mind and body during play. Additionally, I explore how play allows the brain to test contingencies in different roles/environments. Throughout, I discuss the underlying neurobiology of play. I also describe how low-stakes play, and tinkering can broaden and shape your future capabilities. Finally, I discuss how our childhood ‘personal play identity’ informs our adult personality. Throughout the episode, I use the science of play to outline recommendations for using play as a means to enhance neuroplasticity and explore novel situations, regardless of age."]

---. "Using Your Nervous System to Enhance Your Immune System." The Huberman Lab #44 (November 1, 2021) ["This episode teaches you a lot about the immune system, immune-brain interactions and offers 12 potential tools for enhancing immune system function. I discuss how our immune system works and science-supported tools we can use to enhance our immune system. I discuss the innate and adaptive immune systems and our various microbiomes-- not just in our gut but also in our nose, eyes and mouth and how to keep them healthy. And I review how specific patterns of breathing and foods maintain a healthy mucosal barrier that is crucial for fighting infections. I discuss how certain neurochemicals called catecholamines enhance our immune system function and how to use specific breathing protocols, types and timing of heat and cold exposure, and, if appropriate, supplementation to activate catecholamines. I also discuss the role and use of serotonin for the sake of accessing the specific types of sleep for recovering from illness, and I discuss how to increase glymphatic "washout" of brain debris during sleep. I also review fever, the vagus nerve and the use of atypical yet highly effective compounds for rhinitis (nasal inflammation)."]

Huberman, Andrew and David Spiegel. "Using Hypnosis to Enhance Mental & Physical Health & Performance." Huberman Lab (February 21, 2022) ["... Dr. David Spiegel MD, Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health and Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Spiegel has more than 40 years of clinical and research experience with hypnosis, stress physiology, and psychotherapy. In this episode, we examine the role of clinical hypnosis for the treatment of trauma, chronic pain, anxiety and more. Dr. Spiegel explains how to determine your level of ‘hypnotizability’ and provides case studies of incredible successes with hypnosis to treat a variety of ailments. We also discuss how breathing, vision and directed mental focus can modulate internal states and enhance performance. Additionally, we discuss how the adoption of self-hypnosis techniques can reduce stress and enhance sleep in anyone. Dr. Spiegel teaches us how hypnosis works at the neural circuit level to enhance cognitive flexibility. Throughout the episode, Dr. Spiegel summarizes key clinical trials and peer-reviewed findings and resources to work with a trained clinical professional or to do guided self-hypnosis."]

Huberman, Andrew and Matthew Johnson. "Psychedelic Medicine." Huberman Lab (September 20, 2021) ["In this episode, Dr. Huberman discusses medical research on psychedelic compounds with Dr. Matthew Johnson, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. They discuss the biology and medical clinical-trial uses of psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, DMT, and LSD. Dr. Johnson teaches us what the clinical trials in his lab reveal about the potential these compounds hold for the treatment of depression, addiction, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD, and other disorders of the mind. Dr. Johnson describes a typical psychedelic experiment in his laboratory, start to finish, including the conditions for optimal clinical outcomes. And he explains some of the potential hazards and common misconceptions and pitfalls related to psychedelic medicine. Dr. Johnson explains flashbacks, the heightened risks of certain people and age groups using psychedelics, and the evolving legal and pharmaceutical industry landscape surrounding psychedelics. Dr. Johnson also describes how the scientific study of psychedelics is likely to set the trajectory of psychiatric medicine in the years to come. Dr. Johnson is among a small handful of researchers who have pioneered the clinical study of these powerful compounds. He has unprecedented insight into how they can be woven into other psychiatric treatments, changing one’s sense of self and reality."]

Rutger Bregman: History/Economics/Ethics (Shooting Azimuths)

Bregman, Rutger. "Rutger Bregman's Utopias, and Mine." The Ezra Klein Show (July 22, 2019) ["Universal basic income. A 15-hour work week. Open borders. These ideas may strike you as crazy, fantastical, maybe even utopian... but that’s exactly the point. My guest today is Dutch historian Rutger Bregman, whose book Utopia for Realists is not only about utopian visions but about the importance of utopian thinking. Imagining utopia, he writes, “isn’t an attempt to predict the future. It’s an attempt to unlock the future. To fling open the windows of our minds.” He’s right. And so this isn’t just a conversation about his utopia, or mine. It’s a conversation about how to think like a utopian, and why doing so matter most when the days feel particularly dystopic."]

---. "Utopia for Realists." Panpsycast #56 (March 10, 2019) ["Rutger Bregman is a historian and author, best known for his bestselling book, Utopia for Realists: and how we can get there. Arguing for new utopian ideas such as a fifteen-hour work week and universal basic income, Utopia for Realists has been translated into over 30 different languages, making headlines and sparking movements across the world. ... At best, Bregman provides us with a desirable and achievable vision of human progress; a world with no borders, 15-hour work weeks and a universal basic income for everybody. At worst, Bregman wakes us up from our dogmatic slumber, encouraging us to ask important questions about 21st-century life. In his own words: “Why have we been working harder and harder since the 1980s despite being richer than ever? Why are millions of people still living in poverty when we are more than rich enough to put an end to it once and for all? And why is more than 60% of your income dependent on the country where you just so happen to have been born?”"]

Bregman, Rutger and Rebecca Solnit. "When Things Fall Apart." Throughline (January 26, 2023) ["Climate change, political unrest, random violence - Western society can often feel like what the filmmaker Warner Herzog calls, "a thin layer of ice on top of an ocean of chaos and darkness." In the United States, polls indicate that many people believe that law and order is the only thing protecting us from the savagery of our neighbors, that the fundamental nature of humanity is competition and struggle. This idea is often called "veneer theory." But is this idea rooted in historical reality? Is this actually what happens when societies face disasters? Are we always on the cusp of brutality?" Rutger Bregman is the author of Humankind: A Hopeful History (2020) and Rebecca Solnit is the author of A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster (2010)]

Monday, January 23, 2023

Psycho (USA: Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

 



Psycho (USA: Alfred Hitchcock, 1960: 109 mins)

Andrews, Nigel. "Psycho analysis: Released fifty years ago, Alfred Hitchcock's throwaway horror film tore down the shower curtain and changed cinema history." Financial Times (March 19, 2010)

Byrne, Joseph. "The Male Gaze in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho." ENGL 245: Film, Form, and Culture (October 14, 2013)

Dirk, Tim. "Psycho (1960)." Film Site (ND)

Durgnaut, Raymond. A Long Hard Look at Psycho. British Film Institute, 2010. ["Upon its release in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho divided critical opinion, with several leading film critics condemning Hitchcock's apparent encouragement of the audience's identification with the gruesome murder that lies at the heart of the film. Such antipathy did little to harm Psycho's box-office returns, and it would go on to be acknowledged as one of the greatest film thrillers, with scenes and characters that are among the most iconic in all cinema. In his illuminating study of Psycho, Raymond Durgnat provides a minute analysis of its unfolding narrative, enabling us to consider what happens to the viewer as he or she watches the film, and to think afresh about questions of spectatorship, Hollywood narrative codes, psycho-analysis, editing and shot composition. In his introduction to the new edition, Henry K. Miller presents A Long Hard Look at 'Psycho' as the culmination of Durgnat's decades-long campaign to correct what he called film studies' 'Grand Error'. In the course of expounding Durgnat's root-and-branch challenge to our inherited shibboleths about Hollywood cinema in general and Hitchcock in particular, Miller also describes the eclectic intellectual tradition to which Durgnat claimed allegiance. This band of amis inconnus, among them William Empson, Edgar Morin and Manny Farber, had at its head Durgnat's mentor Thorold Dickinson. The book's story begins in the early 1960s, when Dickinson made the long hard look the basis of his pioneering film course at the Slade School of Fine Art, and Psycho became one of its first objects."]

Insdorf, Annette. Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes. Columbia University Press, 2017. ["Your professor has a copy of this book."]

Isaacs, Bruce. "The Art of Pure Cinema: Hitchcock and His Imitators." New Books in Film (September 28, 2020) ["The Art of Pure Cinema: Hitchcock and His Imitators (Oxford University Press) is the first book-length study to examine the historical foundations and stylistic mechanics of pure cinema. Author Bruce Isaacs, Associate Professor of Film Studies and Director of the Film Studies Program at the University of Sydney, explores the potential of a philosophical and artistic approach most explicitly demonstrated by Hitchcock in his later films, beginning with Hitchcock’s contact with the European avant-garde film movement in the mid-1920s. Tracing the evolution of a philosophy of pure cinema across Hitchcock’s most experimental works – Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, and Frenzy – Isaacs rereads these works in a new and vital context. In addition to this historical account, the book presents the first examination of pure cinema as an integrated stylistics of mise en scène, montage, and sound design. The films of so-called Hitchcockian imitators like Mario Bava, Dario Argento, and Brian De Palma are also examined in light of a provocative claim: that the art of pure cinema is only fully realized after Hitchcock."]

Kuersten, Erich. "CinemArchetype #5: The Human Sacrifice." Acidemic (February 28, 2012)

LoBrutto, Vincent. "Dark Side of American Cinema: Psycho." Becoming Film Literate: The Art and Craft of Motion Pictures. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005: 229-235. [BCTC Library: PN1994 L595 2005]

Mogg, Ken. "Great Directors: Alfred Hitchcock." Senses of Cinema #36 (July 2005)

Palmer, Julian. "Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Manipulates an Audience." (Posted on Youtube: March 16, 2016)

Pereira, Jose. "Psycho: Haunted House." (Posted on Youtube: August 8, 2014)

"Psycho: Study Guide." Film Education (1995)

Sevilla, Susanna. "Things Are Not What They Seem." (Posted on Vimeo: February 2015) ["A video essay on title sequences from Hitchcock and Fincher films. An exploration of motion graphic design from analog to digital."]

















Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Oslo, August 31 (Norway: Joachim Trier, 2011)

  Oslo, August 31 (Norway: Joachim Trier, 2011: 95 mins)

"About Joachim Trier." The Seventh Row (Ongoing Archive)

Allen, Julien. "Oslo, August 31st: Last Embers." Reverse Shot (May 24, 2012)

Heeney, Alex, et al. "Are Men Ok? Masculinity, Mental Health, & Addiction in Another Round and Oslo, August 31st." Seventh Row (December 15, 2020) 

"Joachim Trier." Dialogic Cinephilia (Ongoing Online Resource Archive)

Weston, Hillary. "The Art Form of Memory: A Conversation with Joachim Trier." Current (April 8, 2016)

 Yoshioka, Maximillian. "Norwegian Nihilism: On Joachim Trier's Oslo August 31st. Bright Lights Film Journal #78 (November 2012)



April and the Extraordinary World (France/Belgium/Canada: Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, 2015)





 

April and the Extraordinary World (France/Belgium/Canada: Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, 2015: 105 mins)


"April and the Extraordinary World / Songs from the Second Floor." Filmspotting #585 (May 13, 2016) ["Comic artist Jacques Tardi is little known in the U.S but revered in his native France. His expressionistic, historical graphic novels are the inspiration for the new animated film APRIL & THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD, which just opened in limited release."]

Dirks, Tim. "Animated Film." Film Site (ND)

Tallerico, Brian. "April and the Extraordinary World." Roger Ebert  (March 25, 2016) 

Wilson, Shane. "April and the Extraordinary World (2015)." 366 Weird Movies (February 15, 2022)