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Loud Murmurs is a Mandarin-Chinese podcast about American pop culture, brought to you by four bilingual and bi-cultural women in the U.S. and their friends. We discuss movies, TV, documentaries, and the social, political issues reflected on by a piece of pop culture work. Too often, race, gender and other political and cultural issues are the subtext in pop culture. We seek to make the subtext explicit, question it and challenge it. The show is now in its third season, updated biweekly. We h ...
 
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Today, our hosts Afra and Ina are joined by friends and guests of the show, Professor Eileen Chow and journalist Muyi Xiao in our discussion of K-Drama. While some of us jumped into the K-Drama obsession early on, for others, it was a new hobby from the pandemic days. We dive into fan culture and its influence on TV shows, South Korea’s TV and Film…
 
The pandemic quarantine has fueled new hobbies, and one of ours is the British Monarchy related content: THE Oprah interview, all four seasons of The Crown, and way too many biographies, documentaries and diaries (from the people who experienced it first hand). This episode, we are joined by a fellow unofficial “scholar” of the British Monarchy and…
 
Korean American director Lee Issac Chung’s semi-autobiographical film “Minari” is one of those films that make you think back to it days after watching. The film tells the story about a Korean-American family seeking the American dream in rural Arkansas in the 1980s. "Minari" is a tender and nuanced film that leaves you feeling nostalgic and reflec…
 
This is our Part Two of our two-part International Women’s Day Special Programming, in collaboration with our friends over at The Weirdo Podcast. Listen to Part One here. Our two-part special centers around the six categories of female characters that we’d like to see on screen. We combed through our Clubhouse discussion notes, our own experiences …
 
This is our Part One of our two-part International Women’s Day Special Programming, in collaboration with our friends over at The Weirdo Podcast. In February, we teamed up with our friends at the Weirdo Podcast and hosted a discussion on Clubhouse, inviting our listeners to share what their ideal female character on screen would be like. The two-ho…
 
In celebration of Chole Zhao becoming the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Director, we are revisiting this episode we recorded last year. Our three hosts Izzy, Diaodiao and Ina discuss ‘Nomadland,’ a recent favorite of ours and of the film festival award circuit (winner of the top prize at the Venice Film Festival). We try to put i…
 
“Soul” is a movie about death, about jazz, about longing and limitation. Since its premiere, many people in the U.S. and in China praise the movie for warming their hearts and nourishing their souls. As we immerse ourselves in the positivity the movie brings, we realize that this heartwarming feeling is temporary and its existence is closely tied t…
 
What you are about to hear is the trailer of our special episode - "Xianzi and her friends". You can find the full episode by searching "唠得默默” in your favorite podcast app, or add through the rss feed provided below - https://loudermurmurs.typlog.io/episodes/feed.xml On December 2, 2020, the trial for one of China’s most high-profile #MeToo case be…
 
With a sigh of relief, we’re proud to say that this year has finally come to an end. And what a year it has been! There are not enough words to accurately capture all that has happened this year, and as much we want to forget what this year has brought to us as both individuals and as societies, we shouldn’t. The most important thing to happen this…
 
In this episode, hosts Izzy, Afra and Diaodiao talk to our old friend Lin Santu and new friend, standup comedian Huey (TikTok @drhueyli), about two recent political films starring Sacha Baron Cohen. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a dramatized reenactment of the 1969 trial of seven activists charged by the federal government with conspiracy, for thei…
 
The “Queen’s Gambit,” the new Netflix show about chess genius Beth Harmon, has managed to give us some joy amid this long period of listless pandemic-induced depression. Hosts Ina, Izzy and Diaodiao bring you this free-form, overly enthusiastic discussion filled with feminist (and other types of) rage where we try to get to the bottom of why this s…
 
In this episode, our two hosts and two guests continued our discussion on Netflix’s “Social Dilemma”. We talked about how the industry shaped us as practitioners (0:47) -- how it encouraged our uninhibited curiosity and restricted our imagination of what the Internet could have been(5:40). We also debated whether users should also be considered “la…
 
This is the first section of our two-part discussion of Netflix’s “Social Dilemma.” Brace yourself as our two hosts and two guests dive into a collective mental breakdown while breaking down the complex set of problems the documentary shed light on -- surveillance capitalism, attention economy, and social media addiction. We discussed our reaction …
 
In this episode, our three hosts Izzy, Diaodiao and Ina discuss ‘Nomadland,’ a recent favorite of ours and of the film festival award circuit (winner of the top prize at the Venice Film Festival). We try to put into words the ennui and other hard-to-grasp feelings the film evokes. We examine our own relationships with nature and the land on which w…
 
In this episode, Diaodiao and Afra talk about their latest obsessions — dance competitions! We are talking about Youku’s electrifying reality dance show "The Street Dance of China", and HBO Max's vogue ballroom dance competition "Legendary" with a special guest: Bazi, who is the father of House of Kawakubo, the first vogue ballroom family in China.…
 
This is a very special episode we put together in 3 days. On September 18, 2020, Friday evening, we learned that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87. It was one of those news stories where you remember exactly what you were doing when you heard it. For this episode, hosts Izzy and Afra are joined by our guests Dan…
 
This is the episode you’ve all been waiting for. Let us save you the time of reading 10,000 think pieces on why the movie is bad, by telling you exactly why the movie is bad. Together with our beloved guests Tony Lin and Rui Zhong, hosts Ina, Izzy and Afra spend an hour talking about why we are thoroughly unimpressed by Disney’s 2020 live action re…
 
When the musical “Hamilton” first came out, all four of us were in our early 20s, trying to find our own place in a new country. We found hope and inspiration in the story of Alexander Hamilton as told by the musical—the story of a young, ambitious immigrant who became a hero of the American revolution. This past July 4th weekend, a original Broadw…
 
Violence is unsettling; violence in a civil demonstration is, for many, somehow more unsettling than violence sponsored by the state. This is the last episode in our three-part conversation about Black Lives Matter. Hosts Afra, Diaodiao and guests talk about the idea of “rioting” as presented in two movies: the National Geography’s documentary LA92…
 
This is a very special episode and the second of our 3-part conversation about Black Lives Matter. Longtime listeners of Loud Murmurs know that we have talked about “Black Panther” and “Green Book” when they first came out—about white savior complex in “Green Book” and the significance of Black futurism in “Black Panther.” But we want to bring back…
 
The Hollywood classic "Gone With The Wind" has recently been removed from HBO Max, and returned to its cinematic library a mere two weeks later with additional content: an optional intro that gives “frank assessment of both the film’s own racist content and the racism of the times and environment into which it was released” and another hour-long re…
 
This is one of the most anticipated episodes on Loud Murmurs for Afra, Izzy, and Ina, who share a (un)healthy obsession with the Nickelodeon cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” We’ve also invited a special guest, Eris Qian (Zhuoyang), New York-based director and playwright, to talk about why we love the show so much. It’s not just us. The 15-year…
 
Michelle Obama is one of the most iconic women of our time and one of the most beloved First Lady in U.S. history. Her memoir “Becoming” has been a book that is giving us life in a year filled with crises. For this episode, hosts Ina and Afra invited Dr. Guo Ting at the University of Hong Kong to talk about Michell Obama’s memoir—the lessons we can…
 
Hosts Diaodiao, Afra, and Izzy talk about Mindy Kailing’s new Netflix series “Never Have I Ever,” a coming-of-age comedy about Devi, a second-generation Indian American girl in California. We talk about our own past as overachieving high school nerds (more than one of us were also in Model UN ahem), the feeling of othering when you move to a new co…
 
This episode is dedicated to one of our quarantine favorites -- Netflix’s The Half of it, a quirky coming-of-age romantic comedy written and directed by Asian American director, Alice Wu. We unpacked the literary references of the film, and discussed why the references perfectly captured the mindset of a teenager literature reader. We also talked a…
 
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