This Week You Damn Kids Are Keeping the Neighbors Up With:
- film canonization arguments
- animated failure
- religious profanity
- intimate stand-up
- punk rock!
Hands in the air for 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!
The new Sight & Sound is up! We will live under its rule for the next ten years.
At Vox Alissa Wilkenson says it’s best to go into the new number one film knowing nothing about it:
There are lots of factors that led to this point. The movie is astounding, to be sure. Akerman, its director, who is a pioneer of feminist filmmaking, died in 2015, three years after the last poll. The film also was restored and re-released in the Criterion Collection in 2017, which means people like me who hadn’t seen it previously (we didn’t all go to film school) got a chance to do so in theaters. And the pool of voters from which the final list was drawn has been diversified since 2012, so it’s possible that helped with a film that is, undoubtedly, an ur-text of feminist film. But I don’t want to discount the fact that Jeanne Dielman offers something unique: it runs against the grain of the frenetic, effects-heavy, plot-driven cinema world we now inhabit. It treats its audience like adults, people who have developed the ability to pay attention to something without looking at a second screen every three minutes. It’s repetitive. It feels like watching time. It does not explain what it is about because it thinks you will watch long enough to learn.
Rolling Stone presents a collection of lost photos from New York’s eighties punk scene:
Brooke Smith will forever be known to moviegoers for her role as Buffalo Bill’s kidnap victim, Catherine Martin, in The Silence of the Lambs. But before she “put the lotion in the basket,” Smith was a part of a New York hardcore punk scene that congregated at dingy clubs on the Bowery like CBGBs and Great Gildersleeves for shows by Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Bad Brains, and other underground icons. “I was attracted by the anger of the music,” says Smith. “And the outsider-ness of it all. You recognize your tribe when you meet them. I just felt, ‘This is where I’m supposed to be.'” From the very beginning, she brought her camera along with her and captured intimate photos of both the performers and the fans. They sat in boxes for decades before she uncovered them during a move. They were initially presented at a New York City art gallery, and now those images are the centerpiece of her new art book, Sunday Matinee. “Nobody was trying to get rich or famous back then,” she says. “It was our scene. We controlled it.”
SlashFilm‘s Kayleigh Donaldson looks back at the biggest flop in animation history twenty years later:
It’s a disheartening reality that Walt Disney Animation seems to have abandoned its rich past of hand-drawn work in favor of 3D features. That’s not to say they can’t be beautiful films but to see the company that defined 2D animation see the medium as a relic seems like a mistake. “Treasure Planet” isn’t top-tier Disney, but it is a fun action-adventure lark that saw the company take a risk with a new formula and some truly stunning visuals. It also contains perhaps the company’s most affecting portrayal of a father-son relationship in the dynamic between Jim and John Silver. It’s when “Treasure Planet” has to remind itself to be a Disney movie that things fall apart, from the irritating robot sidekick voiced by Martin Short to the intensely dull Goo Goo Dolls songs. As dazzling as the sci-fi visuals are, there are moments where you can’t help but wonder if the film would be more narratively sturdy had it just been an adaptation of “Treasure Island.”
Speaking of animation, Caleb Murray writes for U.S. Catholic about the good heart within the profane FXX series Little Demon:
Behind the ample f-bombs and blood is a certain pathos. For example, Chrissy (Lucy DeVito) attempts to use her dark powers for good, often to unforeseen effect; Satan’s demonic buddies worry that his burgeoning relationship with a previously estranged human daughter is turning the Prince of Darkness (Danny DeVito) into a softie; and Chrissy’s mother, Laura (Aubrey Plaza), struggles to coparent with the worst ex ever. It’s The Good Place meets Rick and Morty. Complicated morality collides with gratuitous violence and cartoonish gore in fantastical animation sequences about sophomoric banter and potty humor. Or, as Chrissy puts it, “We’re like the Incredibles, but gross.”
And finally, familiar face C.M. Crockford writes at Paste about Maria Bamford’s prescient and odd The Special Special Special:
The set’s DIY feeling—Maria jokes nervously that she has chosen her house as the venue because “it is free to perform in your own home”—and cute weirdness are highly specific to this decade of media. But Bamford’s use of her own space, her parents being the main audience, and the inclusion of her beloved pug Burt felt different. Other alt-comedians of her generation, like Patton Oswalt and Zach Galifinakis, were appearing on TV or were outright movie stars at the time. They were now more accessible than ever, but Bamford was offering the viewer, through this performance and her material, intimacy—albeit of a strange and discomforting kind.