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Middlebrow Madness

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin

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Middlebrow Madness

Middlebrow Madness

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin

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About Us

Isabelle Arf and Derek Godin use the tried and true method of the single-elimination bracket to find out which movie from the IMDb Top 250 is the best one.

Latest Episodes

Legs Don't Smell the Same As Feet

ESports fans, I'm not going to lie to you: thins get real blue and real weird real fast in this on. If this pod had a rating, it'd be a hard R. It's also an episode that swings wildly between the twin poles of "tangential bullshit" (left-of-centre fetishes and 90s rom-coms where one of the leads would later come out as gay) and "actual movie stuff" (a discussion how 2001 aged so well, two very different reads on Blade Runner 2049). In short, another classic episode! CWs for kink, sexual assault, racism, and probably some other stuff, but those are the three main ones. This week's matchups: 2001: A Space Odyssey v. Finding Nemo The Intouchables vs. Blade Runner 2049 - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

61 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Legs Don't Smell the Same As Feet

How Do We Know That Lindsay Lohan Is Not a CIA Asset (Round 1, Part 20)

EWe're back, sports fans, and we're ringing in the new year! Only we don't make reference to this fact at all, since we recorded this some time ago. Our intrepid hosts experience both sides of the quality coin in this one, from baffling slogs to baffling successes. There's also talk of Baz Luhrmann and chili recipes. In other words, another classic episode! CW for reference to sexual violence, racialized violence, other kinds of violence, police brutality, Nazis, and general unpleasantness. This week's matchups: Downfall v. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Fight Club v. The Handmaiden - Sheet Pan Vegetarian Summer Bowl (via Self) - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

71 MIN3 w ago
Comments
How Do We Know That Lindsay Lohan Is Not a CIA Asset (Round 1, Part 20)

Better than Watching Porn With Your Bros (Round 1, Part 19)

EOur march towards the championship match chugs on, sports fans! Our intrepid hosts cover everything you've come to expect from the show: Sex! Metagaming! Personality quizzes! They also go deep on three of the funnest films they've covered so far on the pod, and, uh... one that is decidedly less fun. We'll let you figure out which ones are which. This week's matchups: North by Northwest v. Life of Brian Grave of the Fireflies v. Rush - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

71 MIN2019 SEP 4
Comments
Better than Watching Porn With Your Bros (Round 1, Part 19)

Isabelle’s Philosophy Corner, Episode 1: Normative Statements and Capitalist Realism

EHard swerve! Isabelle takes the reins in this solo minisode where she elaborates on the concept of normative statements and how they apply in our criticism of the 2005 feature filmV for Vendetta. NOTE: AT 4:39, Isabelle says “descriptive” when she meant “prescriptive.” - Motherfuckin'show notes! 83: The Unchecked Conservative Ideology of US Media’s ‘Fact-Check’ Verticals — Citations Needed Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher — Zer0 Books Hbomberguy — YouTube Philosophy Tube — YouTube

21 MIN2019 AUG 8
Comments
Isabelle’s Philosophy Corner, Episode 1: Normative Statements and Capitalist Realism

Hail Seitan (Round 1, Part 18)

EIt's time to get into the spirit of giving, sports fans! Isabelle gives Derek a gift! The Middlebrow Madness will give you a bonus episode! We give somesearing hot takes on some beloved classics! And best of all question mark?, we give you CWs for racism, CSA, and transphobia. It's another classic episode of the best independent bracket-based film criticism show in the known universe. This week's matchups: Scarface v. V for Vendetta The Silence of the Lambs v. The Wizard of Oz - Oh shit, it'sshow notes, baby! Body Talk: Conversations on Transgender Cinema with Caden Gardner — Curtsies and Hand Grenades "Hard Time for the Hardcore" by Nick Pinkerton — The Baffler Listener Hersh's black bean and seitan rice recipe - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

67 MIN2019 AUG 8
Comments
Hail Seitan (Round 1, Part 18)

Full Offence to Adolf Hitler (Round 1, Part 17)

EBreak time is over, sports fans! We actually talk a lot about music at the top of this one. (Tangents? On a podcast?! My word!) But fear not, we resume our dizzying climb to the top of the bracket in short order. This time around, we talk about the limitations of charm, the value of human experiences, and our relationship with good ol' QT. We also field some viewer mail for good measure. This week's matchups: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind v. Kill Bill Vol. 1 Terminator 2: Judgment Day v. Catch Me If You Can - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

65 MIN2019 JUL 24
Comments
Full Offence to Adolf Hitler (Round 1, Part 17)

I'm the Cum Baby (Intermission #1)

ESports fans! We are 25% of the way up the bracket, and so we're planting a marker and taking stock of how far we've come. We talk about out picks, mourn the fallen, pick some superlatives, and we answer some 100% genuine grain-fed grade-A viewer mail. Stray topics include the films of S. Craig Zahler, cinematic crushes, and the fine art of metagaming. - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

55 MIN2019 JUL 10
Comments
I'm the Cum Baby (Intermission #1)

Billy Bass American Eagle (Round 1, Part 16)

EWe're back (a dinosaur's story), and we come bearing the gifts of CWs for sexual assault, rape, and CSA! But also, we're talking about some great movies, including one of those slippery, queasy Awesome Movies Directed By a Reprehensible Person, and one movie that's kind of a dud. Also, now we're 25% of the way done with the first round, hooray! Oh yeah, and just so we don't get any emails or tweets about it: Isabelle does in fact mean to say Sam Spade (the famous fictional detective), and not Sam Malone (Ted Danson's character onCheers). To be fair, "Sam Malone" would be a good name for a noir gumshoe. This week's matchups: The Great Escape v. Chinatown The Godfather Part II v. Perfect Blue - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

69 MIN2019 JUN 25
Comments
Billy Bass American Eagle (Round 1, Part 16)

I Fell on My Robo-Butt (Round 1, Part 15)

EWe're back on the bracket beat, sports fans, and we're asking the tough questions! DoesThe Dark Knight Rises have a coherent ideology? What is the "normie" Andrei Tarkovsky movie? What's the deep ecology read on WALL-E? Why were the 90s such a fecund period for stories about the falseness of reality? We answer all of these questions, and several others, over the course of the show. This week's matchups: The Dark Knight Rises v. Andrei Rublev WALL-E v. The Truman Show - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

67 MIN2019 MAY 22
Comments
I Fell on My Robo-Butt (Round 1, Part 15)

Horses Are Racist (Round 1, Part 14)

EA little late but no less great! That's right, sports fans, we're back with another classic episode of the pod, where we reaffirm our positions as heads of the Newman/Redford Booster Club, fawn over a certain pair of directorial brothers, and marvel at a film that smiles in the face of a cruel, uncaring world. Oh, and we should note, one of these movies did not age well. How badly did it age? Well, badly enough that our discussion merits big ol' content warning for CSA. It ain't all roses in this one, but there are great discussions all around. Also fuck horses. This week's matchups: The Sting vs. No Country for Old Men Leon: The Professional v. Nights of Cabiria - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

65 MIN2019 MAY 9
Comments
Horses Are Racist (Round 1, Part 14)

Latest Episodes

Legs Don't Smell the Same As Feet

ESports fans, I'm not going to lie to you: thins get real blue and real weird real fast in this on. If this pod had a rating, it'd be a hard R. It's also an episode that swings wildly between the twin poles of "tangential bullshit" (left-of-centre fetishes and 90s rom-coms where one of the leads would later come out as gay) and "actual movie stuff" (a discussion how 2001 aged so well, two very different reads on Blade Runner 2049). In short, another classic episode! CWs for kink, sexual assault, racism, and probably some other stuff, but those are the three main ones. This week's matchups: 2001: A Space Odyssey v. Finding Nemo The Intouchables vs. Blade Runner 2049 - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

61 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Legs Don't Smell the Same As Feet

How Do We Know That Lindsay Lohan Is Not a CIA Asset (Round 1, Part 20)

EWe're back, sports fans, and we're ringing in the new year! Only we don't make reference to this fact at all, since we recorded this some time ago. Our intrepid hosts experience both sides of the quality coin in this one, from baffling slogs to baffling successes. There's also talk of Baz Luhrmann and chili recipes. In other words, another classic episode! CW for reference to sexual violence, racialized violence, other kinds of violence, police brutality, Nazis, and general unpleasantness. This week's matchups: Downfall v. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Fight Club v. The Handmaiden - Sheet Pan Vegetarian Summer Bowl (via Self) - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter: @middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter: @derek_g

71 MIN3 w ago
Comments
How Do We Know That Lindsay Lohan Is Not a CIA Asset (Round 1, Part 20)

Better than Watching Porn With Your Bros (Round 1, Part 19)

EOur march towards the championship match chugs on, sports fans! Our intrepid hosts cover everything you've come to expect from the show: Sex! Metagaming! Personality quizzes! They also go deep on three of the funnest films they've covered so far on the pod, and, uh... one that is decidedly less fun. We'll let you figure out which ones are which. This week's matchups: North by Northwest v. Life of Brian Grave of the Fireflies v. Rush - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

71 MIN2019 SEP 4
Comments
Better than Watching Porn With Your Bros (Round 1, Part 19)

Isabelle’s Philosophy Corner, Episode 1: Normative Statements and Capitalist Realism

EHard swerve! Isabelle takes the reins in this solo minisode where she elaborates on the concept of normative statements and how they apply in our criticism of the 2005 feature filmV for Vendetta. NOTE: AT 4:39, Isabelle says “descriptive” when she meant “prescriptive.” - Motherfuckin'show notes! 83: The Unchecked Conservative Ideology of US Media’s ‘Fact-Check’ Verticals — Citations Needed Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher — Zer0 Books Hbomberguy — YouTube Philosophy Tube — YouTube

21 MIN2019 AUG 8
Comments
Isabelle’s Philosophy Corner, Episode 1: Normative Statements and Capitalist Realism

Hail Seitan (Round 1, Part 18)

EIt's time to get into the spirit of giving, sports fans! Isabelle gives Derek a gift! The Middlebrow Madness will give you a bonus episode! We give somesearing hot takes on some beloved classics! And best of all question mark?, we give you CWs for racism, CSA, and transphobia. It's another classic episode of the best independent bracket-based film criticism show in the known universe. This week's matchups: Scarface v. V for Vendetta The Silence of the Lambs v. The Wizard of Oz - Oh shit, it'sshow notes, baby! Body Talk: Conversations on Transgender Cinema with Caden Gardner — Curtsies and Hand Grenades "Hard Time for the Hardcore" by Nick Pinkerton — The Baffler Listener Hersh's black bean and seitan rice recipe - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

67 MIN2019 AUG 8
Comments
Hail Seitan (Round 1, Part 18)

Full Offence to Adolf Hitler (Round 1, Part 17)

EBreak time is over, sports fans! We actually talk a lot about music at the top of this one. (Tangents? On a podcast?! My word!) But fear not, we resume our dizzying climb to the top of the bracket in short order. This time around, we talk about the limitations of charm, the value of human experiences, and our relationship with good ol' QT. We also field some viewer mail for good measure. This week's matchups: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind v. Kill Bill Vol. 1 Terminator 2: Judgment Day v. Catch Me If You Can - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

65 MIN2019 JUL 24
Comments
Full Offence to Adolf Hitler (Round 1, Part 17)

I'm the Cum Baby (Intermission #1)

ESports fans! We are 25% of the way up the bracket, and so we're planting a marker and taking stock of how far we've come. We talk about out picks, mourn the fallen, pick some superlatives, and we answer some 100% genuine grain-fed grade-A viewer mail. Stray topics include the films of S. Craig Zahler, cinematic crushes, and the fine art of metagaming. - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

55 MIN2019 JUL 10
Comments
I'm the Cum Baby (Intermission #1)

Billy Bass American Eagle (Round 1, Part 16)

EWe're back (a dinosaur's story), and we come bearing the gifts of CWs for sexual assault, rape, and CSA! But also, we're talking about some great movies, including one of those slippery, queasy Awesome Movies Directed By a Reprehensible Person, and one movie that's kind of a dud. Also, now we're 25% of the way done with the first round, hooray! Oh yeah, and just so we don't get any emails or tweets about it: Isabelle does in fact mean to say Sam Spade (the famous fictional detective), and not Sam Malone (Ted Danson's character onCheers). To be fair, "Sam Malone" would be a good name for a noir gumshoe. This week's matchups: The Great Escape v. Chinatown The Godfather Part II v. Perfect Blue - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

69 MIN2019 JUN 25
Comments
Billy Bass American Eagle (Round 1, Part 16)

I Fell on My Robo-Butt (Round 1, Part 15)

EWe're back on the bracket beat, sports fans, and we're asking the tough questions! DoesThe Dark Knight Rises have a coherent ideology? What is the "normie" Andrei Tarkovsky movie? What's the deep ecology read on WALL-E? Why were the 90s such a fecund period for stories about the falseness of reality? We answer all of these questions, and several others, over the course of the show. This week's matchups: The Dark Knight Rises v. Andrei Rublev WALL-E v. The Truman Show - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

67 MIN2019 MAY 22
Comments
I Fell on My Robo-Butt (Round 1, Part 15)

Horses Are Racist (Round 1, Part 14)

EA little late but no less great! That's right, sports fans, we're back with another classic episode of the pod, where we reaffirm our positions as heads of the Newman/Redford Booster Club, fawn over a certain pair of directorial brothers, and marvel at a film that smiles in the face of a cruel, uncaring world. Oh, and we should note, one of these movies did not age well. How badly did it age? Well, badly enough that our discussion merits big ol' content warning for CSA. It ain't all roses in this one, but there are great discussions all around. Also fuck horses. This week's matchups: The Sting vs. No Country for Old Men Leon: The Professional v. Nights of Cabiria - See the bracket [SPOILERS AHEAD] Drop us a line: middlebrowmadness@gmail.com Follow us on Twitter:@middlebrowpod Follow Isabelle on Twitter: @spacejamfan Follow Derek on Twitter:@derek_g

65 MIN2019 MAY 9
Comments
Horses Are Racist (Round 1, Part 14)
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