Some interesting links 04.20.18

Crash Symbols is one of my favorite cassette-only music labels, releasing left-field electronica and more. They just released a compilation/sampler and I’m all over it. Check out Touched by an Angle.

Here’s Weird Al Yankovic covering “What Is Life” by George Harrison

Everybody should read the stories flooding Twitter under the hashtag #LivingWhileBlack. Daily indignities.

This amazing 47 minute video essay on the four versions (so far) of Body Snatchers:

Remaking Fear: Evolution of the Body Snatchers from Peet Gelderblom on Vimeo.

 

Some Interesting Links 04.19.18

Rebecca Solnit on how the white male narrative is always privileged in media.

More Americans work in museums than work in coal, but coalminers are treated as sacred beings owed huge subsidies and the sacrifice of the climate, and museum workers—well, no one is talking about their jobs as a totem of our national identity.

This amazing collection of Russian experimental music from the 1920s can be streamed here. I’m particularly fond of the first piece by Arseny Avraamov

This Nerdwriter mini-doc on Lauren Hill connects the dots between Nina Simone and Cardi B:

Some Interesting Links 04.18.2018

Here are things I read today:

Kottke is still blogging and he’s made the point that post-Facebook, post-social media, you gotta own your own material. Recently he asked others if they were still blogging. And yes, yes they are. I particularly liked the mjtsai blog on tech

This track was used in a loop on a 2006 Joe Frank episode I was listening to:

We’re nearly finished with Season 3 of Better Call Saul. I enjoyed this convo with Michael McKean (so good!) and showrunner Peter Gould.

Exploring an abandoned Chinese fishing village by drone.

How #metoo is affecting the world of stand-up comedy. Tiny violins for guys who can’t make crap sexist jokes anymore, bwaaaaa.

 

Girls Trip, 2017 – ★★★

Girls trip

Five stars for the first half, which had the freewheeling abandon of watching four friends just enjoy each others’ company and go nuts in New Orleans. I unapologetically laughed many times out loud, esp. due to Tiffany Haddish, because, yes, she’s a rising talent for a reason.

Two stars for the second half that had to bring in conflict and problems so that we could come out of it learning “friends are important,” which was plainly obvious in the first half. “Oh what a falling off was there!” as Shakespeare said.

Broad City does this shaggy-dog friendship so well, it’s a shame these lessons aren’t learned more.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

The Death of Stalin, 2017 – ★★★★½

Pitch black satire that might surprise those coming from the relatively light Veep…but probably not. This is brutal (and brutally funny) stuff, as the struggle to find a successor to Stalin travels similar territory to Veep and The Thick of It, but with 1000 percent more fear and firing squads. But if you’ve been watching Iannucci all this time, he’s always been pointing in this direction.
Everybody is perfect, but man, Steve Buscemi’s Nikita Khrushchev is amazing, and Simon Russell Beale is an evil bureaucratic monster playing Lavrentiy Beria.
It warms me ol’ cockles that this is banned in Russia…because you know the underground DVD/file market on this is exploding.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Logan Lucky, 2017 – ★★★½ (contains spoilers)

This review may contain spoilers.

Because SS has made so many heist movies, I wonder what he’s trying out in this new one. I feel mayyyybe he’s seeing what elements he can leave out and still make the film work. Because it’s at a racetrack (albeit a NASCAR one) I couldn’t help but think of The Killing, but there’s very little indulgence in the planning–we barely see them even discuss it–and there’s very little investigation and (spoiler) very little punishment. There are no weak links in the crew though everybody is presented as a potential weak link. In the end, there’s a sort of proletarian support of the crime by everybody save the Feds, and an ending that suggests that while justice might be just around the corner, the film could care less. Great frikkin’ soundtrack, btw.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Annihilation, 2018 – ★★★½

Bits of Arrival, Stalker, J.G. Ballard novels, Possession, and yes, a bit of Monsters and Predator. Natalie Portman leads a group of doomed women into a “forbidden zone” where alien life is replicating and copying life at a mutated pace. At the same time, as some have pointed out, a metaphor about depression, where all the characters are manifestations of dealing with trauma. Understandably not a favorite with the crowds because the execution and the metaphor begin to peel away from one another. However, very enjoyable in a headtrip way on the big screen with amazing sound design and soundtrack. Deep Dream meets Rousseau.

Also: nobody seems to care this is a “doomed army mission” sub-genre piece with a fully female cast.

Also: Actually a bit too straightforward and on-the-nose, which puts it at odds with its preceding film, Ex Machina.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills

Paddington, 2014 – ★★★½

Very, very adorable and cute, with plenty of great Brit actors, a perfect CG bear, moments of sadness and pathos along with smart British TV humor: I went in skeptical but came out with the warm fuzzies. Plus it has a lovely inclusive message without being didactic. Last third does bow to “action movie finale” conventions, but nothing too offensive.

Vía Letterboxd – Ted Mills