In this episode of Always Already, Emily, John, and B engage in a little film analysis for their first time on the show (and possibly in their lives!) Starting with the Pakistani cartoon Burka Avenger, your critical team struggles to uncover whether there is a reproduction of liberal rights discourse. Is there a colonized narrative behind the superheroine, whose full burka cloaks her schoolteacher identity as she confronts evildoers with books and pens and the ancient arts of inner peace? Always Already then tackles the highly abstract movie, “Upstream Color,” wondering WTF?, linking its metaphysics from Descartes to its more clearly metaphorical references to rape, trauma, and agency in a completely confusing world. What does it say, we ponder, about the relationships between human animals, non-human animals, and nature? We also deconstruct a dream about a plane in autopilot, and determine each others’ Star Wars characters. Don’t miss it!
Thank you to Brett for suggesting we watch Burka Avenger, and to Carter for asking after Upstream Color. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer on the show? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.
- Interview with Haroon, the creator of Burka Avenger + debate on the show on India’s NDTV
- Novelist and journalist Bina Shah on the burka in Burka Avenger
- Write-up of Burka Avenger in the NYT
- Haroon’s website and available tracks on Spotify
- Lila Abu-Lughod’s Do Muslim Women Need Saving? at Harvard UP
- Collected reviews of Upstream Color at Metacritic
- Reviews of the film at AV Club and The Village Voice; The New Yorker on Thoreau and the film (“The Thoreau Poison“)
- Director Shane Carruth‘s previous film, Primer