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Beyond Bechdel

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Nevertheless, we all persisted. A podcast about film and feminism from writers behind


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Nevertheless, we all persisted. A podcast about film and feminism from writers behind




73 - Why You Should Watch The Premise

OH NO WHITE MAN PRIVILEGE ALERT! Correct, this is an episode about a TV show produced by a white, straight, male showrunner, BUT it's different, we promise. The Premise is a new comedy anthology on Disney+ (shocking) looking at our pre-conceived ideas about gender, morality, race and sex and turning them on their heads to hopefully bring empathy, education and thought to our polarised times. Contrarah was blown away at the quality of the writing, directing and star power involved, but, even...


72 - Dune and Foundation or So What Exactly is Hard Sci-Fi?

We're back! And here with a look at the new age of Hard Sci-Fi. Is it new? Is it good? Is it female-friendly? How hard, is hard? We answer all these questions and a whole lot more in the episode focused on Denis Villeneuve's new movie and Apple TV's new series, based on not-so-new IP. Please rate, subscribe, review and always USE THE VOICE!


71 - Top Ten Films about Humanity

We invite back the delightful and witty Courtney Hodgkiss ( to talk movies that are so awe-inspiring, breathtaking, maddening and emotional that you can't stop yourself shouting about them to anyone who'll listen. We came up with ten, count em, TEN movies that fit the bill - using various weird sub-categories and went to town talking about the joy and pain of the stories these movies tell. Let us know what we missed. Because visual-storytelling is what...


70 - Thank Heaven For Little Girls (but Don't Thank These Movies)

You're minding your own business, watching classic movies, movies that won Best Picture at the Oscars, and then you stop and think...does this film glamourise child prostitution?! Nick and Contrarah take a look at three classic films from yesteryear examining them through a 2021 lens. They are well-made and were financially and critically successful, but the plots and focus on social convention displayed are wild. Get to know Gigi, Fanny, Iris and Betsy with us. Have thoughts? Email us @...


69 - A Quiet Place 2 Explained

We are back in the cinema with a big, bold action movie that celebrates sound and champions hearing loss - A Quiet Place: Part 2. Join Contrarah for an episode about what the film represents, if it's any good and how Millicent Simmonds is its runaway star. This episode contains SPOILERS in certain places, so please consult the running order below if you don't want to be spoiled. 00:00 - 01:25. Intro 01:25 - 11.46. Spoiler free recap and review 11:47 - 25:25. Full plot summary BURSTING WITH...


68 - Lillian & Julia Vs Mary & Muriel

This episode delves into Hollywood history and the fascinating back story surrounding the 1977 Oscar-winning movie 'Julia'. Based on the memoirs of playwright Lillian Hellman and starring Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, Julia is a strange and thrilling story about Hellman's real life brush with espionage and German fascism...or is it? After the film was released and won 3 Oscars (including for Adapted Screenplay) it was suggested by Hellman's rival Mary McCarthy that Hellman may have...


67 - How Ella Greenwood Became an Award-winning Filmmaker by Shining a Light on Teen Mental Health.

Filmmaker Ella Greenwood packed in a lot in the last couple of years. She made an award-winning short film about her struggles with teenage mental health issues (Faulty Roots), she made an animated film to bring those discussion topics to a younger audience (Dreary Days), she started working on her next film Self Charm with the award-winning Bukky Bakray and she was announced as one of the Forbes' 30 under 30 (at age 19). Ella takes Contrarah through this story, her work with Broken Flames -...


66 - Were the most popular movies of 2020 actually bad?

Ah 2020, a great year for health, positivity, movies.... in the immortal words of Thor, is it, though? Contrarah researched what movies we went to see at the cinema and on streaming services, and some interesting trends emerged. Did we choose movies to watch because they were the best? Or because they were the best available? Or because they were simply, available? Let us know what films you most loved from last year by mailing us at, tweeting @Beyond_Bechdel or on...


65 - Paris, Open City (for Filmmakers and Content Creators)

This is a real treat of an episode for anyone wanting tips on how to find work in cinema, and for anyone who loves Paris (that's everyone, surely?) Contrarah is joined by director, actress, writer and film festival producer Jenna Suru to talk about the Paris International Film Festival and her film career, including her feature L'Age D'or (The Golden Age), and film reviewer, content creator and PR guru Latoya Austin AKA Franglais27 about her fantastic career and how these two women came to...


64 - Jen loves Producers, Becky loves Authors, I Love Dick

Now that we have your attention... In honour of (and a little bit in spite of) IWD we made an episode about the women who inspire us - every day - across the arts. Contrarah asked filmmakers Becky Lima-Matthews ( and Jen Francis (Sassy Jam Productions) to come talk, champion and celebrate women in multiple fields and they delivered! Our choices cover producing, writing, gaming, acting, directing and philanthropy (in no particular order) are: Becky: Deborah Levy, Samantha...


63 - Has Lesbian Cinema Finally Gone Mainstream?

To celebrate and commemorate LGBTQ History Month (in the UK) we take a look at lesbian cinema, focusing on movies that put gay relationships front and centre. Join Contrarah and Nick as they discuss what's good and bad about films made in the 1960s, the 2010s and right now in 2021, and the complexities of putting queer stories about women on screen.


62 - Wandavision. Why it's good, What has happened and ALL of the Theories.

We turn our attention to Wandavision, the mystery box show that everyone is talking about and nobody fully understands. If you have a passing interest in the new Disney+ show but don't have the energy to find out what's happening, let Contrarah do the hard work for you. She sets out why it's such a female-friendly show, then gives an episode by episode recap for the first five episodes (both parts are spoiler-free), before moving to a full on geek-out investigating all the spoilers, all the...


61 - 5 Movies that Predicted 2021 Politics

Welcome to a new era...of (hopefully) better, kinder government. The film industry has seen its fair share of political scandal and Contrarah wonders if we can learn lessons from movies, especially those made many years ago. We discuss 5 movies spanning a period of worldwide political upheaval from the 1940s all the way to end of the last century, and find an uncanny resonance with what's happening in 2021. Join us for a trip down memory lane just before a new US inauguration.


60 - The New Oscar Rules & Movies We Love that Break Them with Kristin Janssen of SIWTS

2021! A new year and a renewed opportunity to get excited about the Academy Awards! Kinda... Soon the Academy will be implementing a new set of diversity and inclusion rules, which can't come soon enough. Kristin Janssen - podcast host of So...I'm Watching this Show joins Contrarah to break down the rules and talk about the films she loves and loathes, many of which wouldn't be eligible for nomination under the new rules. Join us for in-depth chat and fits of giggles. Read the new rules...


59 - Mank

This is part 3 of a now 4-part series (screw chronology) because Mank is a movie with so many layers it demands its own episode! While David Fincher is definitely not the greatest closet feminist of all time, Mank says a lot about Hollywood hierarchies, gender roles, politics and numerous power battles. It's a masterpiece, and requires an explainer. So Contrarah and Nick watched both Mank and Citizen Kane, to help them take you through all of the inside baseball that Fincher delivers about a...


58 - Why 2020 was a Great Year for TV Soundtracks

Yeah, yeah 2020 is a living it though? The prestige TV world is booming and this year we were able to enjoy some of the best shows around. Also, we could finally concentrate on listening to the music behind these big shows. Music can be very subjective, as Contrarah found out, when a tweet called one of her favourite 2020 TV songs THE MOST ANNOYING! (she hasn't yet recovered) Judge for yourself whether you agree with our taste, as we take you on a musical journey through...


57 - David Fincher - Part 2

In Part 2 of this series, we're still to determine whether David Fincher is the greatest closet feminist of all time? In this period Fincher starts to utilise a range of female characters, takes a view on disability and even hires some (read: a few) people of colour. But we cannot deny that the brilliantly dark auteur treats people as people, and that's to be commended. Come listen to our amusing analysis, where Fincher's dark soul tries to reach for the light! David Fincher - friend or foe...


56 - David Fincher

Is David Fincher the greatest hidden feminist of all time? Unlikely, but his movies appeal to all of our darker desires. Join us on a poorly lit but beautifully sounding journey through the director's back catalogue, and then decide for yourself: Fincher - friend or foe of film feminism?


Loathe Like Love: Cush Jumbo and the London Film Festival

This episode is devoted to the superhuman acting capabilities of Cush Jumbo. It's also a teaser for our London Film Festival 2020 coverage - this year's festival is full of thought-provoking movies made by filmmakers with something to say. Clips in the episode are from: Herself - Dir. Phyllida Lloyd Undine - Starring Paula Beer Reggae music doc (which inspired Lovers Rock - Dir. Steve McQueen) Industry - Dir. Tinge Krishnan, Lena Dunham, Mary Nighy and Ed Lilly Shirley - Dir. Josephine...


Loathe Like Love - I Am The Law

We have a legal theme for this episode, asking: how is the law serving women on screen? Contrarah analyses a new Netflix show that might be doing more harm than good, followed by a quick retrospective of a legal titan. You want to lay down the law? Contact us at * * * "You can disagree without being disagreeable."