Reloading the Canon

Reloading the Canon is an intercontinental film podcast where Michelle Arf and Ross Birks debate potential underlooked classics and attempt to create a film canon of their very own. Previously 30 Below.

(30 Below) Episode 1: The Love Guru Ft. Matt Rebeiro


Michelle Arf and her guest Matt Rebeiro (@mattgcn) discuss The Love Guru and its classic characters, Dick Pants and Jacques "Le Cocq" Grande.

Recommendations in this episode: Bojack Horseman by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Broadcast News by James L. Brooks

(30 Below) Episode 2: Johnny Mnemonic Ft. Derek Godin


On episode 2 of 30 Below, Derek Godin (@derek_g) and I discuss 90's cyberpunk classic Johnny Mnemonic, the movie with a cybernetic hacker dolphin.

Recommendations in this episode: Buzzard by Joel Potrykus, The Tunnel by William H. Gass

(30 Below) Episode 3: Exorcist- The Beginning Ft. Chris Mello


On episode 3 of 30 Below, Chris Mello (@realchrismello) and I both agree that Renny Harlin's Exorcist: The Beginning is better than The Exorcist.

Recommendations in this episode: Sinister 2 by Ciarán Foy, Song of the Sea by Tomm Moore

(30 Below) Episode 4: I Melt With You Ft. Juan Barquin


In episode 4, Juan Barquin (@woahitsjuanito) and I talk about I Melt With You, the movie where people without problems have lots of problems with their lack of problems. We also talk for a long time about Woody Allen. Like, for 20 minutes. It's a bit looser than the others (and longer, which I didn't plan on and will try and keep to a minimum in the future), but it's pretty fun.

Recommendations in this episode: Somewhere by Sofia Coppola, Permutation City by Greg Egan

(30 Below) Episode 5: Joe Dirt Ft. Robbie Chachere


On today's long-awaited 5th episode, Robbie (@ripggallin) and I discuss Comedy Central mainstay and slightly less hateful than usual Happy Madison production Joe Dirt. You know, the movie where he gets the poop on him.

Recommendations in this episode: Black Devil Doll from Hell by Chester Novell Turner, An Octave Above Thunder by Carol Muske

(30 Below) Episode 6: Twixt Ft. Jess Brazas


On episode 6, Jess Brazas (@oldtobegin) and I talk about Twixt, Francis Ford Coppola's best movie (said no one in history except me). There's also a dog and some audio issues towards the end, sorry. For the audio issues, not the dog.

Recommendations in this episode: Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola, Art Angels by Grimes, Cries and Whispers by Ingmar Bergman, the general concept of Letterboxd I guess?

(30 Below) Episode 7: The Island Of Dr Moreau Ft. Owen Brazas


In this episode, Owen (@OwenBrazas) and I talk about the troubled and delightful 1996 version of The Island of Dr. Moreau. Can't get enough of that Kilmer.

Recommendations in this episode: Crimson Peak by Guillermo del Toro, Bone Tomahawk by S. Craig Zahler, Entertainment by Rick Alverson, and Blood Glacier by Marvin Kren

(30 Below) Episode 8: The Master Of Disguise Ft. Matt Rebeiro


Matt's (@mattgcn) back to talk about another failed project from one of the stars of Wayne's World! We spend the longest episode yet talking about The Master of Disguise, and also how bad SNL is. Turtle!

Recommendations in this episode: Ash vs. Evil Dead by Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi and Tom Spezialy, Dirty Work by Bob Saget

(30 Below) Episode 9: The Adventures Of Pluto Nash Ft. Sam O'Brien


Today, Sam (@clintisiceman) and I talk about Eddie Murphy, Luis Guzmán, and the affable nature of Pluto Nash. Sorry for the bad audio on my voice, none of my microphones were working so I had to use my macbook onboard mic.

Recommendations in this episode: Bowfinger by Frank Oz, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island by Brad Peyton, The Limey by Steven Soderbergh

(30 Below) Episode 10: Waking Life Ft. Derek Godin


In today's episode, Derek Godin (@derek_g) is back, but this time it's a very special Sacred Cow episode, where instead of talking about a critically reviled film I like we talk about a critically lauded film I hate. In this case, we discuss Waking Life. We talk for a damn long time, get way too deep into ontological pedantry, and I swear at a guy wearing overalls with no shirt. Pretty par for the course really.

Recommendations in this episode: The McElroy Content Empire (My Brother My Brother and Me, The Adventure Zone, Things I Bought at Sheetz,, et all), Film in Which There Appear Edge Lettering, Sprocket Holes, Dirt Particles, Etc. by Owen Land

(30 Below) Episode 11: Birdemic Ft Ross Birks


On today's episode, Ross Birks (@rossbirks) and I discuss Birdemic, one of my absolute favorite films, and I almost cry about bad movies.

Recommended in this episode: Contamination by Luigi Cozzi, Nightmare City by Umberto Lenzi, The Crazies by Breck Eisner, All I Need to Know About Filmmaking I Learned from the Toxic Avenger by Lloyd Kaufman and James Gunn, How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime by Roger Corman and Jim Jerome, Hedgehog in the Fog by Yuriy Norshteyn

(30 Below) Episode 12: Skinwalker Ranch Ft. Nathan Fredette


On this episode, Nathan Fredette (@itoumeanathing) and I talk about Skinwalker Ranch, kinda, but more so just found footage horror in general. And also like 10 minutes is spent with me praising Bloodborne, something that is a game, not a movie at all.

Recommended in this episode: Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films by Mark Hartley, Bloodborne by From Software

(30 Below) Episode 13: Doom Ft. Darcy


Karl Urban and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson star (along with Gone Girl herself) in a silly movie that's both incredibly faithful to its inspiration and astonishingly different. Darcy and I also talk about videogames way more than I usually do on the podcast, and I get mad about Sharknado (yes, again).

Recommendations in this episode: The Last Remnant by Hiroshi Takai, the various musical work of Jason Molina

(30 Below) Episode 14: Bloodsport Ft. Jeff Brister


On today's episode, me and Jeff Brister discuss Bloodsport, the movie where Forest Whitaker falls into a river.

Recommendations on this episode: Drunken Master II by Lau Kar-leung, Your brother. Remember? by Zachary Oberzan

I apologize for how long this episode took to put out. I promise we will soon be catching up and getting back on schedule, and there will also be a big change in the near future that you all can look forward to. Thanks!

(30 Below) Episode 15: Gleaming The Cube Ft. Coleman


Today, Coleman and I discuss what it means to gleam the cube, and whether the homoerotic tension involved is accidental or on purpose.

Recommended in this episode: Why do the Heathen Rage? by The Soft Pink Truth, Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Various short films by Lillian Schwartz, E•MO•TION by Carly Rae Jepsen

(30 Below) Episode 16: Stolen Ft. Ian Mathers


Ian Mathers and I watched Stolen, everyone's favorite Nic Cage joint set in New Orleans featuring Josh Lucas in a scraggly blonde wig. Note: this is not the movie Stolen from 2009, which also co-stars Josh Lucas. These things can be a bit hard to track.

Recommended in this episode: Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky, Knight of Cups and To the Wonder by Terrence Malick

(30 Below) Episode 17: Confessions Of A Shopaholic Ft. Maureen O

4.7.2016 yes really

On this episode, Maureen (@marine0h) and I talk about Confessions of a Shopaholic, romantic comedies in a broader sense, and how Isla Fisher should've really been in more debt (in the movie, not in real life).

Recommended in this episode: Burlesque by Steven Antin, 9 to 5 by Colin Higgins, Lemonade by Beyoncé, Ugly Cherries by PWR BTTM, Against Equality edited by Ryan Conrad

(30 Below) Episode 18: Event Horizon Ft. Callum


It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Sam Neill without eyeballs! Me and Callum (@hootboots) talked about Event Horizon, everyone's favorite movie that's 98% stolen from other, better movies.

Recommended in this episode: Pandorum by Christian Alvart, The Rough Sea at Dover by Birt Acres and Robert W. Paul, The Haunted Castle by Georges Méliés, Monkeyshines by William K.L. Dickinson, Workers Leaving the Lumiére Factory by the Lumiére brothers

Episode 1: Lake Mungo


On episode one of the revamped podcast, Michelle and new permanent co-host Ross talk about the premise of the podcast, as well as the little-seen but wonderfully creepy Australian horror film Lake Mungo.

Recommended in this episode: Her Story by Sam Barlow, Crystal Lake Memories by Peter M. Bracke

Episode 2- Naked


On episode 2 of Reloading the Canon, we sit down and discuss Naked, Mike Leigh's breakthrough (and controversial) film about one messed up and loquacious man named Johnny and the dismal world that surrounds and traps him.

Recommended in this episode: Kentucky Route Zero by Cardboard Computer, Suture by Scott McGehee and David Siegel

Episode 3- Zorns Lemma


Is an hour long structuralist film featuring, as its main cast member, the roman alphabet worthy of being in the canon? Ross and Michelle talk for probably too long about experimental film classic Zorns Lemma.

Recommended in this episode: Big Numbers by Alan Moore, The Leftovers by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, Bojack Horseman by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Intro music is "Trucker's Atlas" by Modest Mouse. Please don't sue me Up Records.

Episode 4: Apocalypto


On today's episode, we discuss Apocalypto, the 2006 epic action film directed by none other than Mel Gibson. Also, Ross forgets the word "pyramid" and Michelle expresses sympathy for Mel and immediately backpedals.

Recommended in this episode: Payback by Brian Helgeland, the DLC for Dark Souls 2 by FromSoftware

Intro music is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 5- After Last Season


Abstract CAD animations. Sets decorated with plain white printer paper. Invisible murderers. Insert shots of towels in rooms where no towels exist. Yes, today we talk about Mark Region's strange, often bewildering After Last Season, and Michelle uses the phrase "post-formalist" and references Carl Jung because we figured our audience wasn't niche enough yet.

Recommended in this episode: Soundtrack from Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti, Possibly In Michigan and Beneath the Skin by Cecelia Condit

Opening song is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 6: Goodbye Dragon Inn


Sorry for the one day delay. I (Michelle) have a day job.

On this episode, we discuss Tsai Ming-Liang's masterful Goodbye Dragon Inn, Ross talks about straws, and Michelle makes a decision she already kinda regrets.

Recommended in this episode: The Oliver Stone Experience by Matt Zoller Seitz, Moderan by David R. Bunch

Intro song is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 7- August Underground


On today's episode, Ross and Michelle discuss August Underground, a movie that you will probably regret watching should you follow our lead.

Content warning for discussion of sexual assault, torture, graphic violence, and murder.

Recommended in this episode: House of Psychotic Women by Kier-La Janisse, Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany

Bonus Episode 1- August Underground Sequels


BONUS EPISODE! As promised, Ross and Michelle discuss the August Underground sequels, Mordum and Penance. Blame Ross.

Episode 8- Reloading the Canon's First Annual Halloween Special


Happy Shocktober everyone! On today's extravagantly sized episode, we do something a little different, dropping the regular format to talk about some Halloween traditions, some terrible horror films, some underrated gems, and the ways our favorite holiday differs in the USA and the UK. If you're stumped on what to watch this Samhain, we have at least 10 great options for you to pick from here (and more than a few you should avoid). Also, Ross doesn't know who Les Claypool OR Svengoolie are, so can we really trust him?

Recommendations in this episode: Too many to count.



Ross and Michelle move to a weekly schedule and discuss INLAND EMPIRE, David Lynch's last (as of now) feature film, and maybe his defining one. Also, Ross does his David Lynch impression.

Recommended in this Episode: The Secret History of Twin Peaks: A Novel by Mark Frost, Writing on Games by Hamish Black

Episode 10- Red Riding Hood


In our most contentious episode by a country mile, Michelle tries to convince Ross that Red Riding Hood by Catherine Hardwicke is an undiscovered classic. It doesn't go well.

Recommended in this episode: Conquest of the Planet of the Apes by J. :ee Thompson, The Criterion boxset Always For Pleasure featuring the films of Les Blank

Episode 11- One Hour Photo


Sorry for the late arrival! Michelle had internet issues on Friday.

Either way, this week's film is One Hour Photo, one of Robin Williams' most uncharacteristic (and best) roles, and a movie that trades intensely on discomfort. Hopefully our hosts will be more agreeable than last week to contrast.

Recommended in this Episode: Reflektor by Arcade Fire, Sing Street by John Carney

Episode 12- Millennium Actress


Happy Black Friday! For today only, Reloading the Canon episodes cost a shockingly low $0.00! Make sure to get in quick, because tomorrow they'll go back to being free.

On today's episode, Ross and Michelle discuss Millennium Actress, the 2001 Satoshi Kon film, and more broadly Ross' problems remembering anime films. Also, Michelle reveals where her sympathies lie in the constant battle between robots and humans.

Recommended in today's ep: Altered States by Ken Russell, Paterson by Jim Jarmusch

Episode 13- After Hours


On today's episode, we look at Martin Scorsese's After Hours, talk about the minor efforts of major auteurs, and talk about Ridley Scott for longer than either Michelle or Ross expected going in. I don't know, but I think this Scorsese kid is going places.

Recommended in today's episode: Robin and the Dreamweavers by Kamoon Song, American Gangster by Ridley Scott

Episode 14- Lillian Schwartz Megamix


On today's episode, Ross and Michelle talk about eight different short films by Lillian Schwartz (UFOs, Mirage, Apotheosis, Metamorphosis, The Museum of Modern Art, Pixillation, Alae, Pictures from a Gallery), abstraction in mainstream film, and what the future of cinema might look like. Jem and the Holograms gets mentioned.

Recommended in this episode: Punch-Drunk Love by Paul Thomas Anderson, Focus by Cynic, 4K TVs (just as a concept)

Episode 15- Ms .45


On today's episode, Ross and Michelle discuss Ms .45, Abel Ferrara's exploitation nasty that might be something more. Warning for discussion of sexual assault.

Recommended in today's episode: Let it Die by Grasshopper Manufacture, Movie Love by Pauline Kael

Intro music is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 16- Freddy Got Fingered


It's finally here. The film that started it all, the reason 30 Below began and the main target when it changed to Reloading the Canon- today, Christmas comes early as Ross and Michelle talk the legendary, the singular, the incredible Freddy Got Fingered.

Recommended on today's episode: Charlie's Angels by McG, Atlanta by Donald Glover

Intro music is "Trucker's Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 17- 2016 Year End Special


Today's episode is a little different, as Ross and Michelle take two and a half hours to sum up the year in film for 2016. They reveal their top ten films of the year, talk about disappointments and surprises, and heap praise on Shane Carruth, who didn't even have a film released this year. Eight films are discussed at length (Dead Slow Ahead, American Honey, Everybody Wants Some!!, This House Has People In It, The Bones Brigade Video Show, Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41, Sunspring, and Paterson- yes, two of those didn't come out in 2016. It's explained in the podcast), and there might even be a few additions to the canon this week. Michelle also explains skateboarding terminology to Ross.

Intro music is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse



Blood! Sex! Jennifer Tilly! Yes, you could say Bound has it all, and on this episode Michelle and Ross talk about the Wachowski's first film and all the cool shit in it. We also end up talking about pretty much everything else the Wachowski's have made too.

Recommended in this episode: Curse of Chucky by Don Mancini, Ed Wood by Tim Burton

Intro song is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 19- Pioneering Women Directors


On today's episode, Ross and Michelle discuss two films: The Birth, the Life, and the Death of Christ by Alice Guy-Blaché, and The Seashell and the Clergyman by Germaine Dulac, which both share a common thread of being pioneering but now mostly forgotten films directed by women. Michelle also makes sure to take the opportunity to insult Pixies, because not enough people distrust her art opinions yet.

Also sorry we're a day late, Michelle forgot how time works.

Recommended on this episode: Resolutionary by Vivien Goldman, Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy

Intro music is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 20- Elephant


Today Ross and Michelle discuss Elephant. No, not the Gus Van Sant film, the Alan Clarke one from 1989. A minimalist made-for-television film about The Troubles, it's certainly one of the more challenging pieces of work to be broadcast during prime time on a major TV station. There's also an extended discussion about the different reasons people watch movies, and what cinephiles can learn from the filmgoing hoi polloi.

Recommended in this Episode: How Fiction Works by James Wood, Flowers of Romance by Public Image Ltd

Intro song is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 20- The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover

[sic] 29.1.2017

It's time to talk about the artiest film to ever conspicuously involve dogshit, cannibalism, vomit, and rotting meat- yes, Ross and Michelle got together to talk Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. There's also long diversions about British vs. American filmmaking and a certain movie involving a talking dog and an early Oscar Isaac role. Long in the tooth and a bit looser than usual, but fun nonetheless.

Recommended in this Episode: Sense8 by the Wachowskis, Morgan by Luke Scott

Opening song is "Trucker's Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 22- Confessions


As Steven Spielberg's animation studio Amblimation predicted in 1993, We're Back! Yes, after a few months in the wilderness, Ross and Michelle are here to talk about Confessions, a 2010 Japanese film by Tetsuya Nakashima that features way more blood-drenched children than is usual in films that make $45 million at the box office.

Recommended in this episode: Tao Films, Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life And Art of Edward D. Wood Jr. by Rudolph Grey

Episode 23- Wet Hot American Summer


In today's episode, we discuss Cabin Boy, Scary Movie 2, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, Dirty Work, and Hot Shots Part Deux. Oh, and Wet Hot American Summer, I guess.

Note: We apologize for this episode being a week later. There will be another episode soon as a bonus to catch up, then we will resume our regular schedule.

Recommended in this episode: Star Wars: The Force Awakens by JJ Abrams, "Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88" by Kevin J. Anderson, Prevenge by Alice Lowe, Dark Night of the Scarecrow by Frank de Felitta

Episode 24- She's Gotta Have It


In honor of Spike Lee's 60th birthday (only about a month late), Ross and Michelle discuss his first film, She's Gotta Have It, along with more or less his whole career. We also discuss the best way to eat yogurt on the go.

Recommended in this episode: A Crow Looked at Me by Mount Eerie, Things by Andrew Jordan

Episode 25- Yeelen


We're back! With an episode we recorded literally months ago! We discuss Souleymane Cissé's Yeelen, an African film that's basically Lord of the Rings, but with far more people standing still pretending they've been frozen by magic. It's a delight.

Recommended in this episode: John Hughes: A Life In Film by Kirk Honeycutt, John from Cincinnati

Theme song is "Truckers Atlas" by Modest Mouse

Episode 26- Bad Timing


We're back. For real this time (it's all Michelle's fault, and she apologizes). We're here to talk about Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing, "a sick film made by sick people for sick people". Spoiler: Art Garfunkel has sex.

Recommendations: The World Is Ever Changing by Nicolas Roeg, Inquiry: The Great British Housing Disaster by Adam Curtis, Arrival by Denis Villeneuve, Call Me by Al Green

Episode 27- Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez!


We're back! Again! Maybe for the last time? Probably not. Anyways, Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! is a reimagining of The Holy Mountain made entirely from film clips of dogs. It's great, no matter what Ross said.

Recommendations: The Complete Western Stories by Elmore Leonard, Psycho 2 by Richard Franklin, Hell House LLC by Stephen Cognetti, Whitenoise by Radu Malfatti and Mattin

Episode 28- Schizopolis


Back in the horse's saddle mouth, or however that expression goes. We're here today to talk about Steven Soderbergh's weird absurdist satire Schizopolis, a movie with an erotically charged pest exterminator, Muzak, a spy (and a mole), and Steven Soderbergh's only starring role(s). In the event that you find certain sequences or ideas of this podcast confusing, please bear in mind that this is your fault, not ours. You will need to listen again and again until you understand everything. Also, Michelle explains dating sims to Ross.

Recommendations: Getting Away With It by Steven Soderbergh, Amsterdamned by Dick Maas, Crush Crush by Sad Panda Studios, Overnight by Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith, The Night is Short, Walk on Girl by Masaaki Yuasa

Intro is "Shit Luck" by Modest Mouse. Please don't sue me Isaac Brock

Episode 29- Landscape Suicide


After some discussion of chili, Ross and Michelle get on with it and chat about Landscape Suicide, one of James Benning's defining works. Will Ross like it? Will Michelle do a Sean Connery impression? How many Borat jokes will there be? These questions and more will all be answered, despite the audio problems (sorry about those by the way).

Recommended in this episode: Kuso by Steve Ellison, Buzzard by Joel Potrykus, The Hours and Times by Christopher Münch, Deranged by Alan Ormsby and Jeff Gillen

Intro song by Modest Mouse. Please don't sue me Isaac Brock.

Episode 30- The Lure


Look, we might be a few weeks late (and publishing this on a Wednesday and not a Friday), but that's only because Michelle is an incredibly lazy editor. In this episode, we discuss The Lure, the only (as far as we're aware) Polish horror-musical-comedy-drama released by Criterion in recent years, and debate whether it's depraved or not quite depraved enough. There's also an extended discussion of Boxing Day that will be of interest to no one.

Recommended in this episode: Axe and Kidnapped Coed by Frederick R. Friedel, Strong Island by Yance Ford, Wormwood by Errol Morris

Intro song is "Shit Luck" by Modest Mouse

Episode 31- Red Spirit Lake

17.01.2018 yes really

This one goes out to all the Cannon Enthusiasts. In this episode, we discuss shot on video horror/softcore masterpiece Red Spirit Lake, what we got for Christmas, and whether TV and movies are different (or, more specifically, why Twin Peaks: The Return won't be up for any Dim the House Lights awards this year).

Recommended in this episode: Antiporno by Sion Sono, Twin Peaks: The Return by David Lynch

Intro song is "Shit Luck" by Modest Mouse

Episode 32- 2017 Year End Special


Only a day late and multiple dollars short, we wrap up our 2017 thoughts with a massive, over 2 hour long episode. We spend a lot of time on Get Out, Song to Song, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Evil Within, Sleep Has Her House, and mother!. We also talk for a shorter time about literally dozens of other films that came out in 2017. We ALSO talk about Schlock and Krysar, two films that did not come out in 2017. There's a lot going on.


Intro: 0:25 -2:54
2017 Film Trends: 2:54 -21:44
Song to Song: 21:44 -30:21
Get Out: 30:21 -39:46
Krysar: 39:46 -47:26
Schlock: 47:26 -55:29
The Evil Within: 55:29 -1:05:53
War for the Planet of the Apes: 1:05:53 -1:24:33
The Other Films of 2017: 1:24:33 -1:52:57
Sleep Has Her House: 1:52:57 -2:03:43
mother!: 2:03:43 -2:19:09
Outro/Plugs: 2:19:09 -2:22:21

Intro song is "Shit Luck" by Modest Mouse

Episode 33- The Last Episode


So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen...yes folks, it is our last episode, coming (somewhat) unexpectedly, I admit. But to make it up for you, we discuss two films: Both the promised Gerry, and something that has been brought up from almost episode one: I Am Here....Now by one Mr. Neil Breen. Plus, we do a complete rundown of every film we've discussed to confirm/deny its canon status (with a couple of reevaluations), and instead of recommendations, we briefly mention about 30 films we were considering for future episodes that will not happen. It's a lot of talking, which is appropriate for our finale.

P.S. The archives of the earlier episodes will be going down at the end of the month. If you want copies of old episodes after that, email us at

Thank you all for your support throughout the podcast's life.

Intro song is "Shit Luck" by Modest Mouse. Please don't sue me Isaac Brock.

End. Posted 2021-01-16. text file version.