In the latest episode, Neil and Dario are drawn back to one of their favourite topics to talk about, Sci-Fi, albeit in a slightly different context. Neil talks to author and screenwriter Simon Stephenson about his acclaimed debut novel Set My Heart To Five, which tells the story of Jared - a bot who develops feelings. Simon is also adapting his book into a screenplay, with Edgar Wright attached to direct.

Around this conversation, Neil and Dario talk about a host of topics including the legacy of classic Sci-Fi cinema and in particular representations of artificial life/intelligence, Hollywood cinema of the 80s and 90s as a classic era, the differences between reading and watching Sci-Fi, the adaptation process and why Kevin Costner is great. Though for a full Costner love-in you will need to subscribe to the Patreon bonus episode that accompanies this main episode. (

Also as part of the episode, the hosts wax lyrical about their love for MUBI to coincide with their partnership for the release of Dea Kulumbegashvili’s Beginning - - and on the occasion of MUBI’s 14th birthday, for which they are giving away a free day of movies on February 14th - - a gesture you’ve just got to love.

Thank you to Simon for a wonderful chat. Buy his brilliant novel here (or wherever ethical that you buy your books), it’s out now in paperback.

Links to other material discussed in episode 115:

Into the Blue: Transposing the Frame in Derek Jarman’s Blue by Edwin Miles for Bright Wall/Dark Room.

The video essays of Ian Garwood on Vimeo

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Music Credits:

‘Theme from The Cinematologists’

Written and produced by Gwenno Saunders. Mixed by Rhys Edwards. Drums, bass & guitar by Rhys Edwards. All synths by Gwenno Saunders. Published by Downtown Music Publishing.

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