This Week You Will Get Directions to:
- a well-reviewed new series
- a well-reviewed new movie
- the secrets of a recent release
- public rehabilitation
- trading card shakedowns!
Please direct your thanks to scb0212 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!
Boots Riley reveals new motion picture work with screenings of episodes of his upcoming Amazon series I’m a Virgo. The Oaklandside‘s Azucena Rasilla with the story:
Riley’s embrace of Marxist ideology plays throughout the show, much like the themes in his 2018 feature film debut, Sorry to Bother You. In one of the episodes, a friend of Cootie, Jones (played by Kara Young), tries to recruit him to help with an eviction defense action for tenants in Fruitvale during a rent strike. The scene is fictional but not far-fetched; it echoes a real scenario that played out in 2021 when 21 tenants organized and sued their landlord over habitability issues at their apartment complex in Fruitvale. Evictions and how they affect low-income residents in Oakland are things that Riley has been paying attention to. On April 19, the Oakland City Council voted to end its eviction moratorium on July 15 while also adopting new tenant protections. “The idea of phasing out the eviction moratorium, at all, is something I’m not down with,” he said. “It all gets put on the renters and on poor people in general. Every question comes down to: How are poor people going to handle it?”
Based on the now 50-year-old YA book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret has been getting immaculate reviews, including this one from Jezabel‘s Rodlyn-mae Banting:
But as occasionally wise as she might be, the best thing about Margaret is that she’s just a regular pre-teen growing up in the ‘70s. In Are You There God?, pre-adolescence is not a stage to blow past—instead, it’s a time to explore in earnest. Thankfully, these humiliations and thrills are relatively harmless and all too amusing: As Margaret and her friends tumble through the confusing landscape of ~becoming a woman~, they earnestly chant ludicrous things like “I must! I must! I must increase my bust!” willing their budding breasts to grow faster and much, much larger. Margaret begs her dad (Benny Safdie) to use her crush Moose’s (Aidan Wojtak-Hissong) mowing services, and her friend Nancy (Elle Graham) lies about getting her first period (via postcard, of all mediums). It is so relieving to watch young girls be young girls, eons away from the pre-teens of today who seem to me like they have to achieve growing up way before their time.
Slate‘s Sam Adams returns to Beau if Afraid to decode its clues, themes and hidden gags (elsewhere on the site there’s a whole freeze frame explainer, obviously both articles are chock full of spoilers – maybe bookmark it if you haven’t seen the movie):
Beau Is Afraid, Aster said in a recent interview, is “so obviously about guilt that it’s not even worth saying that.” But the movie’s sheer, over-the-top bluntness is part of the point. If Aster’s previous movies prompted viewers to scrutinize every frame for hidden clues—the Satanic cult symbol carved into a fateful utility pole in Hereditary, the tapestries detailing the gruesome rituals to come in Midsommar—Beau throws them in your face, cramming the screen with more signs and symbols than it’s possible to take in at a glance. But reading those signs will only take you so far. It’s a movie framed by therapy but frustrated by it, set at the point when self-analysis becomes counterproductive and you need to stop exploring the inside of your head and just get out of it.
At The Daily Beast, Izzy Ampil considers John Mulaney’s comeback special and the double standards of public rehabilitation it illustrates:
Part of the problem is that Spears—like other famous women in similar positions—had her public breakdown thoroughly photographed. It’s hard to combat the power of a photograph, and the privacy of famous women has always come second to the possibility of profiting off of their image. Spears’ half-shaved head, Lindsay Lohan’s mugshots, Amanda Bynes in a rumpled blonde wig at her courthouse appearance, Amy Winehouse stumbling on stage, Cara Delevigne barefoot at the airport: All of these images have fueled public fascination with the respective stars’ substance use, puncturing the celebrities’ reputations more gravely than a piece of tabloid gossip ever could.
Wizards of the West Coast taps the Pinkerton Detective Agency to help retrieve supposedly leaked or stolen Magic the Gathering cards reports Linda Codega at Gizmodo:
Cannon told io9 that he believes received these cards because of a distribution error. He says he was not aware of any embargo on revealing these cards, and says that YouTubers frequently open early boxes and are allowed to show off cards early. He claims he purchased these cards for about $4,000 under the impression that they were from the already-released set, March of Machines; there would have been no restrictions or rules given to him at any point. […] “A simple email or phone call from Wizards of the Coast and I would have cooperated,” Cannon says. “There was absolutely no need to send such a notorious agency to my house to frighten my wife and threaten us.”