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TV & Film

Beyond Bechdel

Updated about 23 hours ago

TV & Film
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Nevertheless, we ALL persisted. A podcast about film and feminism from writers behind liveforfilm.com.

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Nevertheless, we ALL persisted. A podcast about film and feminism from writers behind liveforfilm.com.

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iTunes Ratings

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Cover image of Beyond Bechdel

Beyond Bechdel

Latest release on Oct 15, 2020

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Nevertheless, we ALL persisted. A podcast about film and feminism from writers behind liveforfilm.com.

Rank #1: S2E32 - Specialist Subject - Sound with Emma Butt

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Can you hear us?
Our season opener and first 'Specialist Subject' episode is all about sound. ADR and sound production specialist Emma Butt takes us through her career and influences, and gives invaluable advice for anyone who also wants to be a sound specialist. She is funny and self-deprecating. That sounds perfect to us!
Find out more about Emma at www.emmabuttsound.com/ and by tweeting @EmmaButtSound
Speak to us @Beyond_Bechdel or beyondbech@gmail.com

Sep 17 2019

1hr 11mins

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Rank #2: S2E39 - Specialist Subject - Red Fem Redemption? With Dr Esther Wright

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Computer gaming - it's for boys only, right? Wrong!

And yet, history hasn't been kind to the gamer community, especially in terms of gender discrimination. Instead of laying blame, maybe it's time to look at whether the games themselves are contributing towards a culture. Contrarah enlists the help of Dr Esther Wright (https://twitter.com/EstherWrigh_) whose recent PhD delves deep into stereotypes within the historical Rockstar Games universe. Listen as they discuss campfire confessionals, seedy underbellies and the lack of trans representation, as well as the world's most lit photography assignment.

We're pausing on episodes for a while so that the team can bring you even more content, thank you SO MUCH for listening to this season.

Shout out to all of our kind and talented guests and to the audio genius of Andrew Evans (https://twitter.com/AndrewDEvans)

And to all you murdering psychopathic gun-toting outlaws...just pass that weapon to a nearby female (or non-binary if you can find em) NPC, she can handle herself too.

Nov 08 2019

1hr 26mins

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Rank #3: S2E34 - Specialist Subject - Stefanie Davis made a hot mess!

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Getting a film made is a huge undertaking. And the vast majority of films are produced and directed by men. So when we heard that Stefanie Davis had written. directed and produced her own feature, we hunted her down and begged her to share her secrets!
Stefanie and Contrarah go into detail about the path to filmmaking, Stefanie's championing of the 'survival job' and how her gender has both nothing and everything to do with how and why she made her movie.
In case you thought that we were criticising Stefanie's work(!), the title of the movie is Hot Mess in a Wedding Dress.
Watch it here: vimeo.com/ondemand/hotmessinaweddingdress
Congratulate Stefanie here: @HotMessMovie & @gypsyfilmmaker
Oh, and always check the weather report!

Oct 01 2019

1hr 10mins

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Rank #4: Captain Marvel EXPLAINED

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(NEWSFLASH: Boden & Fleck are not married - apologies to them and yay to the concept of platonic opposite sex filmmakers!) Hopefully you'll get that the title of this episode is a joke. BUT it's true that the MCU's masterpiece Captain Marvel means different things to different people.  Join Contrarah and Nick while they try to drill down the plot and try to separate their Skrull from their Kree. 
They then talk through what this film means for feminist filmmaking.
Higher, further, faster YEAH!
Feel free to send us your thoughts on twitter @Beyond_Bechdel or to beyondbech@gmail.com

Mar 13 2019

58mins

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Rank #5: S2E38 - Cinema

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What is Cinema?

Scorsese thinks he knows, but does he? Nick with his TV industry work knowledge and Contrarah debate this question focussing on art, entertainment with a segue into what exactly is a human being? Plus, do we want our Netflix content even faster?

Bonus Drinking Game: Take a sip every time someone says Transformers!

Tell us your definition of cinema at: beyondbech@gmail.com or https://twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel

Oct 31 2019

1hr 19mins

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Rank #6: 31: All I Want For Xmas is an end to gender bias, female director Oscars, less Die Hard & a quiz!

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Merry Christmas to you from Beyond Bechdel.

In this last episode of 2018 we give you a CHRISTMAS MOVIE MUSIC QUIZ! Followed by the obligatory discussion of the categorisation of Christmas movies, plus our review of 2018 and our hopes for next year's crop of films.

Thank you, as always, for listening. Please rate, subscribe and review and tweet to us @Beyond_Bechdel.

Baby, is it cold outside?

Dec 20 2018

1hr 24mins

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Rank #7: Completionism

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Are you a completionist? Find out by listening here. Contrarah and Nick take us through the cinematic steps that brought the world to the brink of obsession

Mild spoilers for Avengers: Endgame in the first half of the pod & Major Spoilers from around 0.45m in.

Apr 29 2019

1hr 17mins

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Rank #8: S2E37 - Trojan Horse - Romcom Heroines with JustJen

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It's easy to look back at films from 20 years ago and cringe hard, wondering, "what were we thinking?"

Yet the 90s brought us so many good things, including a new a golden age for the romantic comedy - a genre sometimes frowned upon today. Writer/director/producer Just Jen thinks we shouldn't dismiss 90s romcoms as featherweight, when the lessons they're bringing are more empowering than at first glance. 

The 90s romcom heroine as feminist Trojan Horse. Who knew?

Learn more about Jen's thoughts on culture @JustJen_02 on twitter and her own filming work https://www.instagram.com/sassyjamproductions/?hl=en on instagram

Tell us about your fave romcoms @Beyond_Bechdel

Oct 24 2019

1hr 13mins

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Rank #9: Pandemic Pod Episode 2: What these 15 films can teach us about surviving a pandemic

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Movies have long helped us to live out our best and worst fantasies. And what better way to cope with stressful times than by social distancing in the safety of your own home while watching famous, beautiful people do all the hard work. 

But can film actually help us during the coronavirus pandemic? Listen as Contrarah and Nick break down the (sometimes) invaluable advice found in 15 disaster movies.  

STAY HOME. STAY SAFE. WATCH MOVIES.

Apr 09 2020

48mins

Play

Rank #10: S2E40 - Top Ten Best Movies of The Decade (Part 1)

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The last decade saw some fantastic movies and some big steps forward for women in film.

Contrarah and Nick review their tastes in cinema from 2010 to 2019 - each with a wildly different focus. Did your movie make the cut?

Dec 30 2019

1hr 51mins

Play

Rank #11: 30: Kill the Bitch or Volcanoes? With Becky Matthews

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Mona Eltahawy said, "What would the world look like if girls were taught they were volcanoes?"

Women watching Fatal Attraction could be heard shouting "Kill the Bitch!" as the film concluded.

Anger can take many forms, so Contrarah and Becky Matthews explore how this new age of rage is playing out on screen.

Speak kindly to Becky @ https://twitter.com/bec_bebop
Shout at us @ beyondbech@gmail.com

And don't get mad, get....REALLY MAD!

Dec 01 2018

1hr 22mins

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Rank #12: Pandemic Pod Episode 1: How to Cope with the Calm Catastrophe

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In these strange times we wanted to bring listeners comfort, in the form of coping tips, media recommendations and the sound of three people laughing through the madness. Hope this helps.

Jen's brand new web series Phase 2 can be found here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCuS1mtCoDwYXiq2zALzLYqw

We're all on twitter if you want to talk:
twitter.com/bec_bebop
twitter.com/JustJen_02
twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel

Stay safe.

Mar 25 2020

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #13: S2E41 - Top Ten Best Movies of The Decade (Part 2)

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The last decade saw some fantastic movies and some big steps forward for women in film, but no one told Nick that, he just loves himself some MAN movies full of MEN. Thank goodness Contrarah weighs in with some big time, money-making, award-winning female films.

Contrarah and Nick continue their review of cinema from 2010 to 2019 - this time looking at 2014 to 2017, and they may have finally found some common ground. Do you agree with these choices?

Jan 13 2020

1hr 15mins

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Rank #14: ROMA backwards is AMOR

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The 2019 Academy Awards raise many questions for Contrarah, and she finds three directors who can answer them - with revolutionary films and performances.

Many spoilers for Oscar nominated films in this episode.

Roma, Roma, Roma!

Feb 25 2019

36mins

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Rank #15: S2E35 - Trojan Horse - Nurse! With Audrey Fox

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Remember old-school nurses? The white-starched uniform, kind bedside manner and comforting, feminine presence? Cinema remembers. A movie was made that sought to turn that stereotype on its head. 


Nurse Ratched is widely known as the most deliciously heinous member of the nursing profession. She's also - according to our guest Audrey Fox - a Trojan Horse, standing out as a powerful women in a world full of dangerous men. 


Contrarah and Audrey discuss Louise Fletcher's magnificent performance, as well as life behind the scenes on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.


Tell Audrey all of your medical problems https://twitter.com/audonamission

Tell us we must be crazy to make a podcast in a looney bin like this: https://twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel


Thanks as always to https://andrewevansmusic.com/about/ for our theme tune.

Oct 08 2019

1hr 6mins

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Rank #16: 27: Haircuts, Horniness and other lies about Trauma - with Dr Karen O'Donnell

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It's often the driving force behind plot, but female trauma isn't often truthfully depicted on screen. This is becoming a problem.

Contrarah speaks to trauma expert Dr Karen O'Donnell about the stages in trauma presentation and resolving, and how directors are spreading misinformation with dicey narrative decisions (e.g. I've suffered sexual assault I must go and have sex with someone else immediately!)

It's not all bad news, with television (mostly) exploring the issue with sensitivity, particularly in Stranger Things and Call The Midwife.

Learn about Dr Karen here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/codec/who/karenodonnell/
Buy her book here: https://scmpress.hymnsam.co.uk/books/9780334056249/broken-bodies

And let's have more talk about periods. Period.

Oct 18 2018

1hr 12mins

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Rank #17: 26: Stepping out of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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This 'Bit Beyond' celebrates the latest outing of everyone's favourite double-gun-toting treasure hunter.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara Croft's motivation, inner conflict and aggression are explored as never before. Probably because of the amazing work from the game's lead writer - Jill Murray.

Lara jumps impossibly far, hangs from the thinnest crevice, uses that bow to deadly effect and has multiple conversations with female characters about important matters like, oh you know, the destruction of the world and the Lara-caused apocalypse.

This one's for the players - and the girls.

Oct 03 2018

13mins

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Rank #18: 24: Everyone’s a Critic...except Women - with Bianca Garner

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According to a recent American study, for every 1 female critic there are 3.5 male critics.

Just to compare, in terms of world population, for every 1 female there are 1.2 males.

We speak to Bianca Garner - who is a critic and a woman, about why there is such a large gender discrepancy and what we can do to change it. Her solution involves David Bowie and Nicolas Cage....sort of.

Read Bianca's work at filmotomy.com and cc2konline.com/
Talk about film with her at https://twitter.com/thefilmbee

And you're all babes!

Sep 08 2018

1hr 6mins

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Rank #19: 23: What Women Want - with Just Jen

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This episode is about a common misconception in cinema, that men and women want different things. Studios are still dividing movies this way, an outdated practice.

We speak to Just Jen, a film writer who works in TV production about what makes a great movie. Jen doesn't believe in gender division, she chooses what to watch much like you do.

We discuss how filmmakers entice viewers, the role of stereotyping, whether race is a factor and what exactly it is about Tom Cruise movies that rev Jen's motor.

A quick warning: the sound isn't perfect, thanks for bearing with us.

You can find Jen on twitter https://twitter.com/JustJen_02
and her writing here: https://justjensreviews.wordpress.com/

Don't forget...I'm the bitch with the gun!

Aug 29 2018

58mins

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Rank #20: 14: Wonderful Women of Westworld

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SPOILERS IN THIS EPISODE
You can pass the Turing Test, but can you pass the Bechdel Test?

That's sort of the question asked by Nick and Contrarah as they take a deep dive into #Westworld. Both a TV show and a theme park that would be nothing without its female characters.

We explore the journey to consciousness experienced by leads Maeve and Dolores and get into how their differing paths act as pointers to how to the escape from the televisual patriarchy.

Come as a guest and go Beyond the Bechdel test...

May 09 2018

1hr 18mins

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David Fincher

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Is David Fincher the greatest hidden feminist of all time?

Unlikely, but his movies appeal to all of our darker desires.

Join us on a poorly lit but beautifully sounding journey through the director's back catalogue, and then decide for yourself:

Fincher - friend or foe of film feminism?

Oct 15 2020

2hr 11mins

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Loathe, Like, Love: Cush Jumbo and The London Film Festival

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This episode is devoted to the superhuman acting capabilities of Cush Jumbo.

It's also a teaser for our London Film Festival 2020 coverage - this year's festival is full of thought-provoking movies made by filmmakers with something to say. Clips in the episode are from:

Herself - Dir. Phyllida Lloyd

Undine - Starring Paula Beer

Reggae music doc (which inspired Lovers Rock - Dir. Steve McQueen)

Industry - Dir. Tinge Krishnan, Lena Dunham, Mary Nighy and Ed Lilly

Shirley - Dir. Josephine Decker

Nomadland - Dir. Chloe Zhou

What do you want to see? Email us beyondbech@gmail.com, tweet or contact us at beyondbechdel.com

Oct 05 2020

13mins

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Loathe, Like, Love: I Am The Law!

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We have a legal theme for this episode, asking: how is the law serving women on screen? 

Contrarah analyses a new Netflix show that might be doing more harm than good, followed by a quick retrospective of a legal titan.

You want to lay down the law? Contact us at 

beyondbechdel.com

Tweet us 

Send us an email

"You can disagree without being disagreeable."

Sep 25 2020

27mins

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Loathe, Like, Love: Cognitive Dissonance

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You know when you feel all the feelings, including thinking two alternative beliefs at the same time? Like....

Me: I hate this show, it's so trashy/horrifying/boring!

Also me: I love this show it's the best ever, I can't look away!!

That's what this episode is about.

Send us your conflicting opinions:

https://twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel and beyondbech@gmail.com and beyondbechdel.com

Sep 14 2020

25mins

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TENET

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A special bonus episode about the film that is going to 'save cinema'. Contrarah has braved TENET twice so she and Nick (a one-time slightly confused viewer) review and breakdown Christopher Nolan's latest complex and controversial spy caper. 
NOTE: The episode is broken down into a 1) non-spoiler section, 2) a full detailed plot analysis and 3) spoiler-filled discussion. See time codes below:
00:30 - 33.05 Part One: Discussion of TENET - no spoilers, all confusion.
33.:23 - 54:48 Part Two: Full plot explainer - if you're confused after watching or want to see TENET while holding all the cards completely spoiled, this is for you.
55:00 to end Part Three: A spoiler-filled review of the plot mechanics, characters and ideas in this crazy masterpiece. Here is the visual timeline mentioned in the ep (a gigantic spoiler): https://www.reddit.com/r/tenet/comments/ii38sl/tenet_character_timeline_my_first_attempt_to_map/?utm_source=amp&utm_medium=&utm_content=post_title
What happened, happened.

Aug 31 2020

1hr 33mins

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Loathe, Like, Love, Literature

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While we work on season 3, let's look at some things we love, and some that we loathe. In this episode: reading matter!

Aug 27 2020

22mins

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Loathe, Like, Love

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While we work on season 3, let's look at some things we love, and some that we loathe...

Aug 19 2020

17mins

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Pandemic Pod Episode 5: The Easy Watch

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Half-way through the year 2020 and who knows how far into the devilish reign of COVID-19, Contrarah asks if we're getting film fatigue? She and notorious series-hater Nick debate project length, subject and what two decades can do to our perception, and wonder if it's ok to simply enjoy programming, or should we also endure it? 

One thing is for certain, even with a mind at work, we haven't completed Netflix, have you?

Give us your easiest watches at:

beyondbech@gmail.com 

@beyond_bechdel.

Jul 23 2020

1hr 33mins

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Pandemic Pod Episode 4: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always, Always, Always

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Contrarah is joined by Nick again for a new bonus episode on some excellent new films with a common theme.
Firstly there's a discussion on enjoying versus enduring a movie, with our take on Joker.
Before the main event: looking in depth at two powerful movies directed by directors at the top of their game:
* Portrait of a Lady on Fire
* Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always
Join us to discover why we need to be championing this type of innovative cinema.
Have thoughts? Contact us by email at beyondbech@gmail.com or on twitter at @beyond_bechdel.
BLACK LIVES MATTER

Jun 01 2020

1hr 24mins

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Pandemic Pod Episode 3: What these 15 films can teach us about surviving a pandemic (Part 2)

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Movies have long helped us to live out our best and worst fantasies. And what better way to cope with stressful times than by social distancing in the safety of your own home while watching famous, beautiful people do all the hard work. 

In this second part of a two-parter, we look at the films that really went viral - and not in a good way...

But can films about GERM WARFARE actually help us during the coronavirus pandemic? Listen as Contrarah and Nick break down the (sometimes) invaluable advice found in  7 of these 15 disaster movies.  


STAY HOME. STAY SAFE. WATCH MOVIES.

Apr 20 2020

54mins

Play

Pandemic Pod Episode 2: What these 15 films can teach us about surviving a pandemic

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Movies have long helped us to live out our best and worst fantasies. And what better way to cope with stressful times than by social distancing in the safety of your own home while watching famous, beautiful people do all the hard work. 

But can film actually help us during the coronavirus pandemic? Listen as Contrarah and Nick break down the (sometimes) invaluable advice found in 15 disaster movies.  

STAY HOME. STAY SAFE. WATCH MOVIES.

Apr 09 2020

48mins

Play

Pandemic Pod Episode 1: How to Cope with the Calm Catastrophe

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In these strange times we wanted to bring listeners comfort, in the form of coping tips, media recommendations and the sound of three people laughing through the madness. Hope this helps.

Jen's brand new web series Phase 2 can be found here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCuS1mtCoDwYXiq2zALzLYqw

We're all on twitter if you want to talk:
twitter.com/bec_bebop
twitter.com/JustJen_02
twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel

Stay safe.

Mar 25 2020

1hr 3mins

Play

S2E42 - Bye, Bye Tennies, Hello Roaring Twenties (plus Best of the Decade Part 3)

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2020 - sounds good doesn't it? We predict great things for filmmaking in this new decade! Contrarah asked some previous pod guests what they are most looking forward to.  She and Nick also finish their discussion on the best films of the last ten years. 

In a Hole

Doll's House

Key time codes:

5:01 - Just Jen

27:02 - Audrey Fox

40:31 - Emma Butt

1:02:05 - Becky Matthews

(49:00 -Segue into the role of the score in filmmaking)

Our final lists:

Contrarah              

2010 - Winter's Bone

2011 - We Need To Talk About Kevin

2012 - Zero Dark Thirty

2013 - The Bling Ring

2014 - Selma

2015 - Fifty Shades of Grey

2016 - Certain Women

2017 - Lady Bird

2018 - Private Life

2019 - The Farewell

Nick

2010 - Inception

2011 - Tree of Life

2012 - Cabin in the Woods

2013 - Enemy

2014 - Whiplash

2015 - Knight of Cups 

2016 - Moonlight

2017 - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

2018 - Infinity War 

2019 - 1917

Jan 21 2020

1hr 28mins

Play

S2E41 - Top Ten Best Movies of The Decade (Part 2)

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The last decade saw some fantastic movies and some big steps forward for women in film, but no one told Nick that, he just loves himself some MAN movies full of MEN. Thank goodness Contrarah weighs in with some big time, money-making, award-winning female films.

Contrarah and Nick continue their review of cinema from 2010 to 2019 - this time looking at 2014 to 2017, and they may have finally found some common ground. Do you agree with these choices?

Jan 13 2020

1hr 15mins

Play

S2E40 - Top Ten Best Movies of The Decade (Part 1)

Podcast cover
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The last decade saw some fantastic movies and some big steps forward for women in film.

Contrarah and Nick review their tastes in cinema from 2010 to 2019 - each with a wildly different focus. Did your movie make the cut?

Dec 30 2019

1hr 51mins

Play

S2E39 - Specialist Subject - Red Fem Redemption? With Dr Esther Wright

Podcast cover
Read more

Computer gaming - it's for boys only, right? Wrong!

And yet, history hasn't been kind to the gamer community, especially in terms of gender discrimination. Instead of laying blame, maybe it's time to look at whether the games themselves are contributing towards a culture. Contrarah enlists the help of Dr Esther Wright (https://twitter.com/EstherWrigh_) whose recent PhD delves deep into stereotypes within the historical Rockstar Games universe. Listen as they discuss campfire confessionals, seedy underbellies and the lack of trans representation, as well as the world's most lit photography assignment.

We're pausing on episodes for a while so that the team can bring you even more content, thank you SO MUCH for listening to this season.

Shout out to all of our kind and talented guests and to the audio genius of Andrew Evans (https://twitter.com/AndrewDEvans)

And to all you murdering psychopathic gun-toting outlaws...just pass that weapon to a nearby female (or non-binary if you can find em) NPC, she can handle herself too.

Nov 08 2019

1hr 26mins

Play

S2E38 - Cinema

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What is Cinema?

Scorsese thinks he knows, but does he? Nick with his TV industry work knowledge and Contrarah debate this question focussing on art, entertainment with a segue into what exactly is a human being? Plus, do we want our Netflix content even faster?

Bonus Drinking Game: Take a sip every time someone says Transformers!

Tell us your definition of cinema at: beyondbech@gmail.com or https://twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel

Oct 31 2019

1hr 19mins

Play

S2E37 - Trojan Horse - Romcom Heroines with JustJen

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It's easy to look back at films from 20 years ago and cringe hard, wondering, "what were we thinking?"

Yet the 90s brought us so many good things, including a new a golden age for the romantic comedy - a genre sometimes frowned upon today. Writer/director/producer Just Jen thinks we shouldn't dismiss 90s romcoms as featherweight, when the lessons they're bringing are more empowering than at first glance. 

The 90s romcom heroine as feminist Trojan Horse. Who knew?

Learn more about Jen's thoughts on culture @JustJen_02 on twitter and her own filming work https://www.instagram.com/sassyjamproductions/?hl=en on instagram

Tell us about your fave romcoms @Beyond_Bechdel

Oct 24 2019

1hr 13mins

Play

S2E36 - Specialist Subject - True Crime Heroes

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Amber Hunt, Amanda Rossman, Elizabeth Andes.
Madeleine Baran, Parker Yesko, Bertha Tardy.
Liliana Segura, Jordan Smith, Donna Brown.

You might not know their names. All women. All important. Listen to find out why.

Bad things happen to women every day, and women are doing invaluable work to make the world a better place. We get to be a part of the process through the power of audio. Contrarah makes the case for true crime pods, but not all true crime media is the same.

Serial: serialpodcast.org/
Accused: podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/accused/id1145990861
In The Dark: www.apmreports.org/in-the-dark
Murderville: theintercept.com/podcasts/murderville/ (& full long-form content: theintercept.com/series/murderville/)

Want to recommend a true crime podcast? Email beyondbech@gmail.com and/or tweet us @Beyond_Bechdel

Oct 17 2019

27mins

Play

S2E35 - Trojan Horse - Nurse! With Audrey Fox

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Remember old-school nurses? The white-starched uniform, kind bedside manner and comforting, feminine presence? Cinema remembers. A movie was made that sought to turn that stereotype on its head. 


Nurse Ratched is widely known as the most deliciously heinous member of the nursing profession. She's also - according to our guest Audrey Fox - a Trojan Horse, standing out as a powerful women in a world full of dangerous men. 


Contrarah and Audrey discuss Louise Fletcher's magnificent performance, as well as life behind the scenes on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.


Tell Audrey all of your medical problems https://twitter.com/audonamission

Tell us we must be crazy to make a podcast in a looney bin like this: https://twitter.com/Beyond_Bechdel


Thanks as always to https://andrewevansmusic.com/about/ for our theme tune.

Oct 08 2019

1hr 6mins

Play

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