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The Canon

A TV and Film podcast
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Best Episodes of The Canon

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158 The Talented Mr. Ripley (w/ Tom Bissell)
This week, writer Tom Bissell (The Disaster Artist) joins Amy to discuss the 1999 film “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Tom discusses his personal connection to the film as the ostensible inspiration for Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” before they dive into a conversation about its focus on male friendship and attraction, issues of class, and the layered performance of a young Matt Damon. Should “The Talented Mr. Ripley” take a place amongst the greats in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
160 Tommy (w/ David Fear)
Film critic David Fear joins Amy this week to discuss the 1975 rock musical “Tommy.” They’ll trace the roots of rock star celebrity hysteria plus The Who’s many contributions to the art form before getting into the film’s uninhibited tone, its contrast of trauma with excess, and the cultural flowing of “sick humor.” Plus, we’ll hear about Ann-Margret’s power performance and how “Tommy” finds heart within a loud premise. Should “Tommy” be inducted into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
147 The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (w/ Jen Yamato)
LA Times writer Jen Yamato joins Amy this week to discuss the 1964 French-German romantic musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” They talk about the background of director Jacques Demy, the film’s focus on youthful romantic optimism, and how “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” went against the tone of French cinema on its release. Plus, we’ll hear about the film’s use of color to reflect emotion and feeling as well as how it frames the ultimate tragedy of dreams that are destined to die. Should “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” enter The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!This episode is sponsored by FilmStruck.
144 Fat Girl (w/ Ruben Östlund)
Ruben Östlund, director of Best Foreign Language Film nominee “The Square” joins Amy this week to discuss the 2001 French drama “Fat Girl.” They talk about the controversy surrounding the film’s title and its sexual themes, the relationship between the characters of Anais and Elena, and shocking ending before making their final cases. Does “Fat Girl” belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
145 The Lost Boys (w/ Dallas Sonnier)
Producer Dallas Sonnier joins Amy this week to discuss the 1987 Joel Schumacher film “The Lost Boys.” Amy and Dallas talk about the otherworldly portrayal of California, the look and fashion of the film, and the acting contributions of Jason Patric and Dianne Wiest. Plus, they note how attention to tiny details and the unusual structure of the film work in its favor. Should “The Lost Boys” find a place in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This epispode is sponsored by FilmStruck.
123 Martyrs (w/ Adam Egypt Mortimer)
Filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer joins Amy to continue Horror Movie Month with one of Adam’s all-time picks, the French 2008 film “Martyrs.” They discuss the New French Extremity movement, the film’s unorthodox exploration of trauma, and how it puts the horrifying back into the horror genre. Plus, Amy and Adam break torture porn down to its basics before making their cases as to whether “Martyrs” should enter The Canon. Cast your vote now on the Earwolf forums!This episode is sponsored by Mubi.
153 Cry Uncle! (w/ Lloyd Kaufman)
Renowned filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Entertainment) joins Amy to discuss the 1971 comedy “Cry Uncle!” Lloyd talks about his work as a production manager on the film as well as the auteur style of director John G. Avildsen. Plus, we hear about the film's brand of modern feminism, Lloyd’s cameo in “Rocky,” and the puritanism of American cinema. Does "Cry Uncle!" belong in The Canon? Go to the Earwolf forums to cast your vote now!
141 Midnight Cowboy vs. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (w/ Russ Fischer)
Film critic Russ Fischer joins Amy for the second week of Oscars Month with a showdown from the 1970 Academy Awards: “Midnight Cowboy” vs. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” First, they discuss the Texas cowboy identity, X-rating, and treatment of homosexuality in “Midnight Cowboy.” Then they tackle “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” noting what it pulls from Greek myth, its combined star power of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and how it set the blockbuster paradigm. Should “Midnight Cowboy” or “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is sponsored by MUBI and RXBAR (code: CANON)
131 His Girl Friday vs. The Philadelphia Story (w/ Chris Klimek)
NPR film critic Chris Klimek joins Amy this week to pit two 1940 Cary Grant screwball classics against one another: “His Girl Friday” vs. “The Philadelphia Story.” They discuss the underlying cynicism of “His Girl Friday” and why it isn’t a true romance upon deeper inspection. Then they break down the themes of class and wealth in “The Philadelphia Story” as well as the way Katherine Hepburn plays with the audience perception of actress as goddess followed by an assessment of the portrayal of writers in both films. Should “His Girl Friday” or “The Philadelphia Story” enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is sponsored by MUBI and Casper Mattresses (code: CANON).
121 The Matrix (w/ Cameron Esposito)
Comedian Cameron Esposito joins Amy this week to discuss the 1999 sci-fi film "The Matrix." They break down "The Matrix" as a product of queer theory as well as the implications of the famous "red pill, blue pill" scene. Then they consider the film's relevance to technology and culture at the end of a millennia, how it utilizes a mashup of styles to entertain the viewer, and why the success of "The Matrix" changed the playing field for new directors. Does "The Matrix" belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now! 
114 9 to 5 vs. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (w/ Alan Scherstuhl)
Film editor Alan Scherstuhl of Village Voice/LA Weekly joins Amy this week for a Dolly Parton double-hitter! They pit Dolly's 1980 landmark comedy "9 to 5" against the classic 1982 film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas." Amy and Alan assess Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds as the epitome of the ultra-feminine and ultra-masculine, the historical significance of each film, and Dolly's unique comedic chemistry with her co-stars in both pictures. Plus, we hear about how "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" plays with the idea of hypocritical politics and what "9 to 5" reveals about how much the workplace has evolved for women. Which Dolly Parton film will enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is brought to you by Casper ( code: canon).
105 Eraserhead vs. Blue Velvet (w/ Michael Nordine)
Michael Nordine of IndieWire joins Amy this week to honor the Twin Peaks revival with a special David Lynch head-to-head! They pit the enigmatic director's 1977 horror film "Eraserhead" against the 1986 neo-noir "Blue Velvet," touching on the foreshadowing of body horror trends, male postpartum depression, Jack Nance's captivating face, why Kyle MacLachlan screams leading man, and Isabella Rossellini's portrayal of the ultimate femme fatale. Which Lynch film will take the honor of being inducted into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now! This episode is brought to you by The Harold Ramis Film School.
111 Lost in Translation vs. Marie Antoinette (w/ Stephanie Zacharek)
This week, Time film critic Stephanie Zacharek joins Amy for a Sofia Coppola-directed head-to-head between 2003's "Lost in Translation" and 2006's "Marie Antoinette." They discuss what "Lost in Translation" has to offer up in the way of Coppola's unorthodox techniques with the cast and its themes of taking seriously the problems of the privileged. Then, they get into how "Marie Antoinette" tells story through its costumes, explores perceptions of class, and what it reveals about the nature of fame. Which Sofia Coppola film belongs in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
112 Footlight Parade (w/ Bryan Cogman)
Writer and producer Bryan Cogman returns to The Canon this week to discuss Busby Berkeley's 1933 musical film, "Footlight Parade." Amy and Bryan explore everything from finding humanity in the choreography to the death of the theatrical experience, noting the risks the film took as a result of being made pre-Code and its early Hollywood innovation. Plus, they take a look at some of the film's more unsavory historical elements. Should "Footlight Parade" enter The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums to cast your vote!This episode is sponsored by Casper (
104 Female Trouble (w/ Jake Fogelnest)
Writer Jake Fogelnest returns to The Canon this week along with his pick, the 1974 dark comedy "Female Trouble." Jake explains how seeing the film at a young age shaped his perspective on life and led to a penpalship with director John Waters. Then, he and Amy discuss what makes the film so inclusive, the discrepancies of an NC-17 rating, and the difference between "good" bad taste and "bad" bad taste. Should "Female Trouble" be entered into The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now! This episode is brought to you by the Harold Ramis Film School.
99 Sign o' the Times vs. Stop Making Sense (w/ Armond White)
Film critic Armond White joins Amy this week to pit two classic concert films against one another. Prince's "Sign o' the Times" goes head to head with Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" in a musical battle for the ages. Amy and Armond discuss what makes a great movie musical, the potency of a strong-willed auteur, and each films' respective generosity towards showcasing talent. Plus, they assess the evolving means by which we associate music and images before leaving it to a final vote. Which film will enter the Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums to cast your vote!
96 The Bad Seed (w/ Eva Anderson)
Special guest and writer for FX's "You're the Worst" Eva Anderson joins Devin and Amy this week to review the 1956 film "The Bad Seed." They explore the pop psychology of the film as well as the many layers of Patty McCormack's performance before discussing generational parallels the movie brings to the forefront. Finally, the gang debates the value of camp in the horror genre. Does "The Bad Seed" belong in the Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums!This episode is sponsored by Now Hear This, Universal Pictures, and Shudder.
1 Goodfellas
Welcome to The Canon with Devin Faraci and Amy Nicholson. This week they’re debating if Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas belongs in the canon of the greatest films of all time. Does Devin’s Italian heritage sway his feelings for Scorsese? How can Amy insist Goodfellas is overrated when normal people say it’s the best mafia movie ever made? Are the women portrayed unfairly? And is Joe Pesci, who won an Oscar for the role, miscast? Tune in for the battle — and then cast the deciding vote!
120 Last Tango in Paris (w/ Alison Willmore)
This week, BuzzFeed film critic Alison Willmore joins Amy to bring the 1972 erotic drama "Last Tango in Paris" to the table - and to make her case as to why it shouldn't enter The Canon. They discuss how the film pushed the boundaries of mainstream eroticism, the fallout faced by director Bernardo Bertolucci for certain controversial scenes, and the most authentic of Marlon Brando's rambling monologues. Plus, they question the lasting profoundness of the film and its long-term effects on actress Maria Schneider. Does "Last Tango in Paris" belong in The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!This episode is sponsored by Hello Fresh ( code: CANON30).
65 Election (w/ Paul Rust)
Paul Rust of LOVE on Netflix joins Devin & Amy this week to nominate the Alexander Payne 1999 film Election into The Canon! The movie stars Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister, a popular high school social studies teacher in suburban Omaha, Nebraska, and Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, around the time of the school’s student body election. When Tracy qualifies to run for class president, McAllister believes she does not deserve the title and tries his best to stop her from winning. Tune in to hear why Pau l believes this film should be in the canon — and head to the forums on Wolfpop to cast the deciding vote!
102 The Fellowship of the Ring vs. The Return of the King (w/ Joanna Robinson & David Chen)
Joanna Robinson (Vanity Fair) and David Chen (/Film) join Amy this week to pit the bookends of The Lord of the Rings trilogy against one another in the ultimate battle for Middle-Earth canonization. They discuss and debate the relative technological strides each film achieved, the narrative significance of central character arcs, and Peter Jackson's masterful (and sometimes questionable) retooling of key scenes from the books. Is FOTR or ROTK the one film to rule The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums to cast your vote now!
122 The Tingler (w/ Witney Seibold)
Film critic and co-host of the podcast Cancelled Too Soon Witney Seibold joins Amy to kick off Horror Movie Month with William Castle's 1959 film "The Tingler." They talk about Castle's use of the "Percepto!" gimmick, the interactivity and creativity of the film's scares, and why it was made for film lovers especially. Plus, they discuss the role LSD plays in the movie. Does "The Tingler" belong in The Canon? Head to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!This episode is sponsored by Casper Mattresses ( code: CANON).
148 Point Break (w/ Andrew Barker)
Writer Andrew Barker of Variety joins Amy to discuss the 1991 action thriller “Point Break.” They examine the film as an entrance to the 90s, the complex dynamic between Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, and the greatness of character names like Johnny Utah before before getting into director Kathryn Bigelow’s strong understanding of male relationships. Does “Point Break” deserve a spot in The Canon? Head over to the Earwolf forums now to cast your vote!
161 Grey Gardens (w/ Alissa Wilkinson)
Vox film critic Alissa Wilkinson joins Amy this week to discuss the 1975 documentary “Grey Gardens.” They break down the film’s more difficult moments, examining the relationship between Big Edie and Little Edie as well as the undercurrent of latent sadness. Plus, they consider the direction and vision of Albert and David Maysles, themes of capitalism and decay, and how “Grey Gardens” encapsulates the central question of documentary. Should “Grey Gardens” enter The Canon? Cast your vote on the Earwolf forums now!
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Podcast Details
Mar 23rd, 2015
Latest Episode
Aug 13th, 2018
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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