This Week, You Will Be Set Straight About:
- movie similarities
- DeLillo adaptability
- Paddington’s loyalties
- butt appreciation
Thanks to Miller 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!
Tasha Robinson steps in at Polygon to demonstrate that Tár and Marcel the Shell With Shoes On are the exact same movie:
Weird that we needed two movies in one year about the same thing. But hey, remember the time we got Armageddon and Deep Impact, two action blockbusters about asteroids threatening Earth, in the same year? This is exactly like that. In fact, maybe we should rewatch both those movies to see if they have similarities with Marcel and Tár, too.
As White Noise hits Netflix, Crooked Marquee’s Zach Vasquez writes on the film adaptations of the supposedly unadaptable Don DeLillo:
That said, his stories tend to contain a narrative propulsion ripe for cinematic adaptation, and are chock-full of the stuff Hollywood loved to film back when they still made movies for adults: assassinations, cults, terrorism, espionage, shady political and business dealings, technological paranoia, celebrity sex tapes, sports, love affairs and infidelity, and the movies themselves. In fact, few novelists have mined the psychic effect of movies on the American mind as DeLillo, with his debut novel of 1971, Americana, a proto-Mad Men tale of an advertising executive-turned-film director undergoing a dark spiritual and mental transformation. Some of the most memorable scenes in other books, including White Noise, Underworld, and his late-period novella, the Antonioni and Hitchcock-inspired Point Omega, revolve around specific movies and movie stars.
Róisín Lanigan takes to The Face to chart the evolution of Paddington Bear from stuffed friend to (right-wing?) symbol of national mourning:
2022: PADDINGTON (MAYBE) KILLS THE QUEEN: The sweet bear cements himself as a symbol of The Establishment. At the Platinum Jubilee he appears in a sketch at Buckingham Palace with the Queen eating marmalade sandwiches and tapping out We Will Rock You on teacups. Ominously, this will be one of Her last public appearances before she dies and the country loses its mind, queuing for 25 hours to see her coffin. A meme shows Paddington holding the Queen’s hand as he leads her to… whichever place she is going to. A speech bubble reads: “Take me to my husband, Paddington.” He becomes a symbol of national mourning as a soft toy mountain at the palace gates threatens to swamp Britain’s entire landfill capacity. Nobody has the balls to point out that this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, because the bear is not even dead, and so the implication is that he occupies some liminal space between the living and the dead, ferrying the recently deceased to the underworld before returning to our realm. Anyway, very British not to understand death.
At Unherd, Kat Rosenfield casts a skeptical eye on a book making racial claims on who gets to appreciate a fine derriere:
To be fair, it surely is not [author Heather] Radke’s intention to inculcate racial anxiety in her reader: Butts: A Backstory feels like a passion project, deeply researched and fun to read, offering a deep dive into the history and culture of the human rear end, from the Venus Callipyge (from whose name the word “callipygian” is derived) to Buns of Steel to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s seminal rap celebrating all things gluteal. It is a topic ripe for well-rounded analysis, so to speak. But having been written in the very particular milieu of 2020s America, Butts unfortunately falls victim to the contemporary vogue for viewing all matters of culture through a racial lens. The result is a work that not only flattens the butt, figuratively, but makes the book feel ultimately less like an anthropological study and more like an entry into the crowded genre of works which serve to stoke the white liberal guilt of the NPR tote bag set.
Vox’s Izzie Ramirez reports on why consumer products are going to shit, and what we can do to make it better:
The beauty of fixing an object and keeping it around in your life, Dinicola continues, is that the object becomes very sentimental. “That’s one thing that I just know from being in this business,” he says. “These mixers really become part of the family, especially when they’re handed down from grandmother to mother. I’ve worked on third- and fourth-generation mixers that have been handed down from great-grandma to grandma to mom to daughter.”