The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast

Two sarcastic and mildly embittered film scholars analyze, appreciate, and excoriate important works of pop culture.

Black Panther (2018) - The Irreverent Cineastes Podcast Year Four

April 25th, 2019

Aw yeah.  So, if there was ever a podcast that justified being longer than the movie itself, it’s this one. Because we wanted all hands on deck, Brooke Edge, Ph.D. rejoins us to offer her scholarly insight to this film.  And frankly, we killed this, analyzing and assessing the film for what it is: not only an absolutely great superhero movie, but also a major step forward in representation and diversity in high-end, blockbuster film.  Andrew particularly shares some fascinating details about his background and how films like this can be contextualized by those who don’t think of themselves as Americans first.  We dig deep into why this worked so well and how it incorporated many different influences, such as hip-hop, post-colonialism, and Shakespeare.  We especially discuss how important a concept like Wakanda can be despite being a fictional and even fantastical space, and naturally go very in depth to the resonance and effectiveness of Killmonger – how he subverts narrative expectation, how his worldview shapes the hero’s, and what good and bad can be learned from the perspective he brings and where it originated from (and how #NakiaWasRight).  Building on that, we also get into how this film positively engaged gender relationships and representation, and how it can serve as a template for employing female characters into male-led blockbuster films.  And not to be outdone, we also criticize some of the conservative backlash the film faced, especially from right-wingers like Ben Shapiro, whose disparaging of the film’s “identity politics” undermines why things can and should be significant and how they can add to a culture and a conversation.  This may have been our best episode ever, so if you’re interested in an in-depth discussion of an important film, check it out! Explicit language.

Content Advisory:  T’Challa, Killmonger, “Eric” Killmonger, really just lots of Killmonger, the Carters, Apeshit, museums, colonialism, T’Chaka’s lazy eye (don’t pretend you didn’t notice it – everyone but Brooke noticed it! WE’RE NOT BAD PEOPLE!), Nakia, Klaue, the Dora Milaje, husbands kneeling before their wives, token beautiful people, Ben Shapiro, the genuine insight of Ben Shapiro’s four-year-old daughter, the writings of Franz Fanon, Afro-futurism, Shakespeare, theater-in-the-round, the CIA,  the City on the Hill, no mentions whatsoever of Octavia E. Butler (that might be our only major oversight, though), and, of course, Wakanda Forever.