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41: Deep Thoughts About King Kong with William Patrick Day

Updated: Jul 2

June 25, 2024

Was it beauty that killed the beast? Or was it capitalism…aided by airplanes?

On this week’s episode of Deep Thoughts, Tracie and Emily welcome Oberlin College Professor William Patrick (Pat) Day to talk about the ape, the myth, the movie legend: King Kong. Prof. Day walks us through how the original filmmakers in 1933 used new technology (A musical score! Claymation! The newly-built Empire State building!) to critique how technology destroys nature. The conversation covers all three versions of Kong: 1933 starring Fay Wray, 1976 starring Jessica Lange, and 2005 starring Naomi Watts, and we discuss the sexualized and racialized nature of Kong’s threat to the beautiful blond woman and what it means that Watts, unlike her predecessors, truly sympathizes with the doomed ape
Grab your headphones and join us on our voyage to Skull Island!

Mentioned in this episode: (Note from Emily: I could have sworn it was Ebert who said that if Kong fighting one T-Rex is cool, then him fighting three is even BETTER, but that does not appear in his review here. If anyone can remember who said that back in 2005, please let us know!)

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