This Week You Will Learn:
- What those online kids are up to these days
- One Internet site’s most discussed movie of February 2021
- How the Internet rescued Dennis Hopper’s third film
- What demo tapes you should search your attic for and put online
- What to do while you wait for tomorrow’s Wordle
Thanks to Miller for mainlining the online and sending an article through the pipeline. Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion and Have a Happy Friday!
Letterboxd releases their 2021 Year in Review, sampling user reviews from the platform and revealing the stats on what was most popular – or just most discussed – throughout the year. Sure, there’s a big helping of the blockbuster big dogs, but also a reminder of how varied the film conversation can be from month to month and how connections with movies thrive aside from the omnivorous crowd-pleasers. Sometimes:
[On the “Most Divisive Movie of 2021”]: “They made a Goldbergian contraption comprised exclusively of wrong choices, it’s wondrous. Most movies aren’t good of course, and most of those movies that aren’t good aren’t worth the breath it takes to dismiss them. But Dear Evan Hansen, oh my lord what a gift… it is the rare movie that actually deserves your hate. A perfect film, five stars!” — kevintporter
Keith Phipps dives into the newly restored, little-seen, and unmistakably Dennis Hopper film Out of the Blue for The Reveal:
As with the restoration and re-release of The Last Movie a few years ago, Out of the Blue now plays like a revelation, a film whose forcefulness and daring help paper over its imperfections. Easy Rider ends with an expression of disgust and an explosion of violence. Hopper’s follow-ups offer variations as potent as they are exhausting, often because exhaustion is the point. Jumbled, confusing, and unforgettable, The Last Movie sometimes plays like a feature-length elaboration on the Easy Rider’s “We blew it,” the conclusion reached by Peter Fonda’s “Captain America” shortly before his death. Hopper’s Easy Rider character didn’t get what Fonda was saying, but early in The Last Movie, Kansas, the cowboy hat-wearing stunt coordinator played by Hopper, wanders away from a party in full swing and cries. Kansas doesn’t know why he’s crying, but he’ll find out. After deciding to stay behind after a movie shoot ends in Peru, which he views as a kind of new Eden, Kansas finds he’s just as capable of violence, misogyny, venality, and corruption as the world he was trying to leave behind. In 1996, the band Cracker released a song called “I Hate My Generation,” but Hopper said it first.
At Pitchfork, Mosi Reeves writes about the difficulty of filling in the gaps in the history of hip-hop, as early recordings gets lost or deteriorate:
The internet’s embarrassment of riches has expanded the public’s knowledge of hip-hop’s nooks and crannies beyond the Billboard charts, critics’ darlings, and hot regional scenes. But nearly everyone interviewed for this story identified demos that can’t be found online, whether it’s L.A. rapper Erule’s unreleased Pallas Records album or Chicago rappers Akbar and Mental Giants’ ’80s tapes. The magic of the internet, of course, is that these rarities may very well resurface shortly after this article is published. “The internet is far from scientific, man,” says Cross. “It’s far from objective, it’s far from complete, and it’s mostly driven by the collecting kinks of the people who are down to putting in the kind of hours to upload things, catalog things, and make them available to others.”
W Magazine‘s Greta Rainbow talks to “cringe” TikTok curator (and How To With John Wilson videographer) Leia Jospé:
I find it fascinating what people put online. I was super online as a kid, but it was all anonymous and not attached to my face or my name. I used pseudonyms to post on message boards and lied to my real-life friends about having internet friends. Thank god no one can read my 5th grade LiveJournal. I wasn’t cool; I wasn’t sexy or hot; I was a fucking freak. But the internet was the only place I felt comfortable talking to anyone. I can relate to these kids spending an insane amount of hours [on the internet], but now what they do there is attached to their entire being and they’ll never get rid of that. The internet became real life, there is no split or an escape. It’s not even an extension because, if anything, more is happening online than off.
And finally, if you’ve finished your Wordle for the day, there’s plenty of spoofs to try like Sweardle, Queerdle, and Absurdle:
Hello Wordl: This one is exactly the same as Wordle, but you can play multiple times a day and change the length of the word you’re guessing. If you manage to solve anything with more than six letters then congratulations to you. I struggled for 10 minutes with a 10-letter puzzle only to give up and be told the word was… adrenergic. Warning: for masochists only.