the meaning of life, moving pictures, etc
"When a pop star like Katy Perry uses Tumblr for aesthetic inspiration, she’s revealing the ‘chicken or the egg’ nature of all trends. The empowered ‘I’d rather have a pizza than a boyfriend’ sensibility that originated as escapist humor for teens is now being sold back to them as ads for cheap frozen foods and cheap fast-fashion t-shirts."
~ “Snackwave: A Comprehensive Guide to the Internet’s Saltiest Meme,” Hazel Cills and Gabrielle Noone, The Hairpin
"Sight came to dominate the hierarchy of the senses, and was quickly deemed the appropriate ally of theoretical ideas. Western philosophy thus sprang from a dualism between the intellectual senses, crowned by sight, and the lower “animal” senses, stigmatized by touch."
"In my main line of work as a film critic, I have watched over the past 15 years as the studios committed their vast financial and imaginative resources to the cultivation of franchises (some of them based on those same Y.A. novels) that advance an essentially juvenile vision of the world. Comic-book movies, family-friendly animated adventures, tales of adolescent heroism and comedies of arrested development do not only make up the commercial center of 21st-century Hollywood. They are its artistic heart."
"The wordless, heaving chorus of “Wake Up” remains one of the most thrilling, bracing moments in recent rock history, the sort of jaw-dropping jolt that you’ll always remember experiencing for the first time. It’s the sound of all the pain and frustration that went into the making of Funeral being unleashed in one tsunami-sized cry, an enduring testament to the communal power and cathartic effect of singing in unison. It’s also become the most ubiquitous vocal device in contemporary rock, the 21st-century indie equivalent of what Eddie Vedder’s “I don’t mind stealing brrreaad” groan became for late-’90s alterna-grunge."
~ “Arcade Fire’s Funeral and the Legacy of the ‘WHOA-OH’,” Stuart Berman, Pitchfork
"We live in an era stocked with grim adult dramas whose themes boil down, in the end, to abstractions about good and evil, darkness and light. For all its daffy, dirty ways, “Orange Is the New Black” is more strongly rooted in the real world. Like “The Wire,” it intends to illuminate injustice by using stories so bright that you can’t ignore them."
~ “Lockdown: The Lessons of ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘Louie’,” Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker
"While emoji offer creative expression within their own terms, they also may confine us to a type of communicative monoculture. What’s more, emoji also hold out the promise of emotional standardization in the service of data analysis: if a feeling can be summed up in a symbol, then theoretically that feeling can be more easily tracked, categorized, and counted."
"At its best, politics is able to organize extremely complex world views into manageable and communicable systems so they can be grappled with and studied abstractly. But even the most noble efforts to organize the world are essentially futile. The best we can usually achieve is a crude and messy map of life from one particular vantage point, featuring a few grids, bullet points, and sketches of its various aspects and landmarks. Anything as infinitely complex as life, reality, and the human experience can never be summed up or organized in a definitive system, especially one based on “left or right,” “A or B,” “us or them.”"
"The way I work, where the movies are improvised and the actors are like, writing them with me, is fundamentally different from the get-go. I’m asking [the actors] to bring a lot more than most people are. I’m asking them to share themselves in a different kind of way. I have been on sets — not my own — where somebody doesn’t want to do something and the answer is, “Well, tough shit. You signed the contract. You took the money.” That’s so different from the kind of relationship I’m in with the people I work with, where usually they’re not being paid, and contracts don’t get signed until much later when distribution already exists. It’s like the movies are being entered into as a friendship, as relationships."
Partly the problem is Pawlikowski’s insistence on keeping Anna so silent, rarely letting her speak, so that we can only infer what might be happening in her mind and heart. Such inferences are made from closeups, rapturously beautiful but also stark and discomfiting, that evoke the luminous facial studies of Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc. Pawlikowski heightens his film’s mystery—and beauty—at the risk of making the character at the heart of it truly enigmatic. I would have liked to hear more.
But this is perhaps to fault a film for its strength. Ida sets itself on stillness and silence, and in so doing, takes aim at difficult and rewarding ironies."
"When the film ended I just sat in my seat. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t want to go anywhere. This isn’t a post-screening lobby film. You don’t quite mill about after. What could anybody possibly say? In part, that sense of speechlessness is a response to the film’s muted artistry. In part, it’s a response to the movie’s transparency. For instance, you sometimes think the n-word has lost its power to appall, and yet every time it is used in 12 Years a Slave — as an appellation, a title, or a matter of fact — it hurts."