Everyone has a bit of a misspent youth, to varying degrees. No matter what you do, or what success you do or don’t have, that strange decade between college and your 30s is a confusing time. You think you literally feel opportunities pass by with an agitated prickling. Youth can feel like one of those dreams where you know you have something to run from, but your feet are stuck in sludge. The days collect together imperceptibly, but you can acutely feel the slow glug of a single second. The farce of Broad City captures that absurd time of adult youth in a totally new and refreshing way, and it does so on the back of a genuine friendship, something rare in both life and art.
It was 8 a.m., and Nora was in her beat-up car smoking, texting, and blaring Blood on the Tracks. Oliver could hear it from his upstairs bedroom. Everything was familiar, but he felt he had stepped through into another world. Nora had brought with her a tear in the universe. When he looked out the window, he saw Mrs. Roberts jogging, which elicited from him half-hearted feelings of guilt and desire. It was one of those cold, clear mornings that surged with sorrow and vigor, and his sister was downstairs disturbing the neighborhood.
The human experience is rife with darkness and horror. When most people encounter gross violence or monstrosities depicted in art, they may be shaken, sickened, intrigued and/or become desensitized to it, but a homocidal person may connect in a more sinister way not only to disturbing art, but to seemingly unrelated things. Art effects people, but it doesn’t cause people to kill people, or to commit crimes, and the artist isn’t to blame for actions people take after they encounter theart. That’s what I think, at least, but writer John Grisham once very publicly stated that he believed this wasn’t the case. He thought Oliver Stone, and practically everyone involved with the making and distribution of Natural Born Killers, should be help responsible for the deaths of people killed by “copycat” murderers. He argued that people can be “under the influence” of art to a degree where the artist should be held accountable. When art imitates life, and life imitates art right back, who’s really to blame?
Aside from a brief hiatus last year, Intervention has been with us for nearly 10 years now. LMN thankfully resurrected the compelling show after it got cut from A & E, and not only are they making new episodes, they are airing mini-marathons of the old ones. Critics of the show complain that it is voyeuristic, and it is, but it seems to be actually helping people on both sides of the screen.
Getting incoherency right is a hard job, but that’s exactly what Paul Thomas Anderson pulls off in his delicious adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. To further the disorientation a bit, some of the explanatory details from Pynchon’s packed prose had to be cut, like why Doc operates out of a dentist’s office. This added confusion makes the film even better, in my opinion. When you’ve entered a twisted, paranoid world like this, exposition can detract from the absurd brilliance.
Dylan’s mom Marie kept drinking after they got home. They had stopped at a convenience store on their way back to the beach house, and she got wine and a large bag of chips. Dylan convinced her mother to buy her several bottled coffee drinks because she was having trouble getting up in the mornings, getting out of bed. A little caffeine would help, she reasoned. Marie said she should just drink the coffee that Marie made every morning, but Dylan didn’t like that stuff. She needed something sweet and cold.
Half of the time I am trying to teach myself that it is ok to not be ok, and the other half I am trying to teach myself that it is ok to be ok.
And that’s what I love Don Hertzfeldt.
Ariel is grand, but you don’t know the tale of the little mermaid until you’ve read Hans Christian Anderson’s version. His decadent and mournful twist on mermaid lore has shaped our imaginations for centuries, and shines a searing light on the pains of growing up, identity crises, and, of course, unrequited love, which can snap an indescribable place in the heart. Cloaking this particular hurt in a macabre mythological tale gets this feeling precisely right, especially if you throw in the problems of bisexuality in an especially unaccepting time.
Stasia didn’t like the heavy, red pull of late Sunday afternoon. It ached with the menacing threat of the coming morning. Her body was sore from lack of use, and yet she couldn’t imagine moving. The summer heat baked into the rafters, and made the whole world thick.
We exist in a world of misty storytelling, covering up the flaws in our system with poetry and exaggerations.
But, what if we didn’t have to rely on such a faulty data storage system? What if everything we saw and heard was recorded from our perspective, through our eyes and ears, making replay possible? “The Entire History of You,” the third episode of the first season (2011) of the impeccably executed British sci-fi series Black Mirror explores a technology implanted in our heads that turns our eyes into cameras and projectors.