This Week You Will Toast:
- the reigning Best Picture winner
- action hero names
- childhoods, truncated or endless
- bland home decor
- The Sauce!
Pour one out for scb0212 and Ruck Cohlchez for contributing this week! Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail for inclusion, post articles below from the past week for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday!
VinePair celebrated the 95th Oscars with several articles on drinking on film, from the “Blue-Collar Booze” in Jaws to the role of martinis in Billy Wilder’s work. Plus, how to create convincing drink props and inebriated performances:
The most common mistake actors at all levels make when it comes to intoxication is “trying to be drunk when they’re acting drunk on film,” Fine says. Instead, he instructs them to locate the specific sensory conditions that come with intoxication — like slurred speech and loss of balance — then try to overcome them. “So if I locate thickness in the tongue, for example, that causes me to slur my words,” he says, demonstrating this in the last half of the sentence. “Or for equilibrium, imagine standing on the deck of a ship that’s moving,” Fine says. “From there you try not to have those conditions. So you’re trying not to slur; you’re trying not to lose your balance.”
For the LA Times, Justin Chang wrestles with his mixed feelings on the legacy of a Best Picture win for Everything, Everywhere All at Once:
For that matter, I’ve thought about the generational divide that many have noted between those who couldn’t stand the movie, like my uncle, and those who adored it, like my younger cousin and most of my undergraduate film criticism students. But I’ve also reflected on the folly of such generalizations, which are nearly as reductive as the notion that every Asian American everywhere — myself included — must love the year’s most acclaimed and popular Asian American movie. How to reckon, then, with the fact that “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” with its phenomenal box office success and seven Oscar wins Sunday night, now stands as the most culturally and commercially significant Asian American movie ever made? It’s undeniably a watershed moment, and after roughly a century’s worth of Hollywood indifference to Asian characters, actors, stories and storytellers — plus the past few years’ heightened anti-Asian violence and rhetoric — it’s not one to be taken lightly.
Devon Ivie interviews American Auto star Ana Gasteyer for Vulture:
I took a road less traveled. I loved SNL, but so much of it for me was a blitzkrieg of creativity and anxiety and fame. The whole situation is explosive. The adrenal experience left me feeling a little depleted. The way I saw things by the time I left was, The best I can do is not fail every Saturday, as opposed to, You’re always pulling it off on that show. Why are you even thinking, “Oh my God, I hope I pull it off?” If you didn’t fuck up, you won. I was really attracted to theater in part because there’s so much discipline, perfection, and rigor to it. You get to do the same thing over and over and over again and make it better each week.
Slate‘s Demetria Glace crunches the numbers and asks Why do the vast majority of action heroes have a name that starts with the letter J?
As a data researcher, I had to get to the bottom of it. What followed was months of categorizing hundreds of action movies, consulting experts in the field of name studies, reviewing academic papers and name databases, and seeking interviews with authors and screenwriters as to the rationale behind their naming decisions. It turned out I had only scratched the surface.
At Teen Vogue, Fortesa Latifi talks about the difficulties of now-grown children of influencer parents who had their young lives uploaded as content:
“It’s easier to tell you what my mom didn’t post,” Cam said. It got to the point where Cam didn’t want to tell their mom anything about their life because they knew it would be turned into content. When they met new people, they wondered if they had looked online at their entire life history. In high school, kids would text them “embarrassing photos” from their mom’s Facebook page. They no longer go by their legal name because they didn’t want people to be able to track their digital footprint. They recently testified in favor of Washington state’s HB 1627 which would aim to protect children of influencers, including granting them the right to, as NBC News reports, “request permanent deletion of their likenesses, names, or photos.” In their video testimony, Cam’s voice cracked with emotion as they implored the House members to pass the bill. “I plead [with] you to be the voice of this generation of children because I know firsthand what it’s like to not have a choice in which a digital footprint you didn’t create follows you around for the rest of your life.”
At Dazed, James Greig warns against pervasive self-infantilisation in culture:
Although it’s mostly just annoying, self-infantilisation’s pervasive existence in the culture could also be the harbinger of something more sinister. Last year, the comic book author Alan Moore suggested that the popularity of superhero films represents an “infantilisation that can very often be a precursor to fascism”. This might sound hyperbolic, but it’s true that a certain kind of kitsch infantilism was always a feature of Nazi art, which was hostile to moral ambiguity and formal complexity. Hitler himself was a Disney adult.
Kate Wagner takes to The Nation to discuss the ubiquity in real estate of greige (gray and beige) and neutral home staging as a symptom of viewing spaces as investments over homes:
However, if we really want to move past interior conformity, we have to think about housing and home in a radically different way. The house has a use value and an exchange value, and as long as capitalism has governed our world, the exchange value has reigned supreme, affecting everything from housing scarcity to aesthetic homogeneity in the pursuit of profit. The reality is, most of us don’t live in perfectly staged houses. We live in kinda shitty walk-up apartments stuffed to the gills with our own personalities. Those never make it on HGTV. If we as a society liberate our homes from the real estate–industrial complex, if we start viewing them not as investment assets but as canvases for creativity and self-expression—regardless of what others think about, say, lime green walls—then greige is definitely done for. When housing itself is seen as a human right, when it is freed from the tendrils of capital, then, and only then, will our walls and floors and kitchen countertops be free. And even then, you can still paint them greige if you really want to.