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The Sociologist's Dojo Podcast

Jan 21, 2023

On this month's episode of The Sociologist's Dojo, return guest Dr. Ea Madrigal and I compare Nightmare Alley(s). We talk the historical and social differences between the 1947 Classic directed by Edmund Goulding, and the 2021 Remake by Guillermo del Toro.  The Conversation includes discussions of "What makes a Geek", self medication, and the historical importance of stories regarding the Supernatural. Spoilers abound for both films 


Production Notes:

Intro: 0:00-110

For the Love of Old Movies (2:00-16:00)

  • New Films vs. Old 
  • The Monoculture of Superheroes (and its fatigue)
  • Prestige TV and Awards Category Fraud 
  • Remakes 

The Basics of Nightmare Alley(s) (16:01-32:05)

  • Plot 
  • Trivia

Historical Context (32:19-72:03) 

  • Tone Matching the Context
  • Films failed to find footing
  • Tyrone Power +Characters 
  • Post-War Hollywood, Mentalism and the Supernatural
  • Media Reflects Culture
  • Escapism 
  • Not For Current Audiences?
  • A Cautionary Tale?
  • Use of Alcohol as Self-Medication 
  • Historic Lack of Social Services 
  • The Psychoanalysis Aversion 
  • The Outsider and Acceptance of "The Other"
  • Context Matters 

Social Analysis (77:18-107:26)

  • Female Characters of Noir 
  • Lack of Racial Diversity 
  • Genre over dispelling stereotypes 
  • Collectivism vs. Individualism 
  •  Compassion is Power 
  • Rankings 

Outtro (107:27-109:57)

  • Plugs 
  • All Clips used under Fair Use 

Stick around for:

  • Debate over if films need a Happy ending 
  • The Pitch for Nightmare Alley 2: The Accountant