"So... no marmalade?"

The Friday Article Roundup: Worlds Collide

This Week Witness Collisions Between:

  • Lena Dunham and critics
  • VFX artists and their bosses
  • Neighbours and the rest of your career
  • Cox and Cox
  • Paddington and everything else

Thanks to Casperwallflower, and Ruck Cohlchez for contributing this week! Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday!

Good news for lovers of Cox: noted physicist and professor Brian Cox talks with actor Brian Cox about science, Shakespeare, and humanity:

Prof Brian Science is necessary – but certainly not sufficient – to understand our place in the universe. It’s necessary, for example, to know we are not at the centre of the universe. If you go back to the ancient Greeks – they weren’t idiots, but they thought the Earth was at the centre of the universe because what they observed was that everything falls towards the Earth.

Actor Brian And that’s the terrible thing about ego. Ego makes you think you are the centre of the universe, and that’s the curse of the performer. We have to be careful that we don’t believe in our own mythology.

A VFX artist for Marvel is tired of getting “pixel-fucked” by the studio, and tells all to Chris Lee at Vulture:

The main problem is most of Marvel’s directors aren’t familiar with working with visual effects. A lot of them have just done little indies at the Sundance Film Festival and have never worked with VFX. They don’t know how to visualize something that’s not there yet, that’s not on set with them. So Marvel often starts asking for what we call “final renders.” As we’re working through a movie, we’ll send work-in-progress images that are not pretty but show where we’re at. Marvel often asks for them to be delivered at a much higher quality very early on, and that takes a lot of time. Marvel does that because its directors don’t know how to look at the rough images early on and make judgment calls. But that is the way the industry has to work. You can’t show something super pretty when the basics are still being fleshed out.

The AV Club may have let its edge go, but Jordan Hoffman still has knives out to whittle Lena Dunham’s latest film Sharp Stick:

Had there not been a minor brouhaha during the film’s debut at virtual Sundance earlier this year, Froseth’s Sarah Jo would safely be described as a “young neurodivergent woman.” There is no explicit diagnosis of such, but her performance is an avalanche of “Oh, no, I can’t believe she is making that face.” (The producers say she is not coded to be neurodivergent.) Her story arc is, essentially, a love affair between herself and a newly discovered taste for orgasms. This is sex-positive Simple Jack.

As Solute touchstone Neighbours prepares to end, the Sydney Morning Herald talks with some of the show’s alumni including writers and producers about what the show meant for their career:

I acted as a Neighbours ‘villain’ for three weeks before joining the script department about a month later. If for some wild reason you can’t recall my stellar performance as Rhonda Brumby – a bad gal from the wrong side of the tracks who ran a stolen-goods racket from Marlene’s antique shop – shame on you. I was 19 years old, very green, eager to learn, an emotionally chaotic teenager obsessed with the Beastie Boys. The first script I wrote was full of soliloquies and monologues, and a wonderful editor pointed out that nobody ever spoke like that in real life. I had to learn the craft of breaking up a sentence, to really listen to how characters express themselves. It taught me that you have to actually care about a show and its characters – to invest in the stories and the stakes – in order for the script to have heart.

Mental Floss‘s Ellen Gutoskey interviews Jason Chou, the genius who has photoshopped Paddington into a different movie or TV Show every day for the past 500 days:

In a win for procrastinators everywhere, some of Chou’s most successful posts also happen to be the ones he created “at the very last minute.” His personal favorites include Marriage Story (2019), Interstellar (2014), and anything in the Halloween franchise. He has never actually forgotten to post, per se, but a power outage did once keep him offline for a weekend. His dedication has also interrupted his social life on at least one occasion. “I have an embarrassing story where I was at a party late at night and all I could think about was, ‘Oh no, I don’t have access to a computer, my streak is going to end,’” Chou says. “But luckily my friend had a computer I could use and I made one right on time.”