This Week You Will Get Snapped By:
- Rowdy theater patrons
- Chess politics
- A wiki celebrity
- A twitter celebrity
- More eroticism!
The FAR, however, is lucky to have the contributions of scb0212 and Ruck Cohlchez. Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday!
It would be irresponsible of the FAR to not feature Scott Tobias’s write-up of recent Solute cause célèbre The Color of Night:
Welcome to giallo, American style, brought to you by Hollywood Pictures, the Disney production label for live-action films considered too hot for Touchstone. (Though Color of Night would be by far as hot as Hollywood Pictures would get over its mostly ignominious 19-year run.) The definition of what films can be called giallo is fraught—our friend Noel Murray wrote about it when the term came up in connection to the giallo-adjacent Last Night in Soho and Malignant—and Color of Night is such an odd mishmash of tones or genres that it doesn’t fit into a single box. But many of the basic elements of work by Italian filmmakers like Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci apply here: The byzantine mystery plotting, the “masked” killer, the florid sexploitation, and, of course, the searing primary colors, which are so integral to the film that they’re worked into the title and the psychosomatic color-blindness that afflicts its lead character.
Following this train of thought, Beatrice Loayza contemplates the “wet dreams and twisted politics of erotic thrillers” for Current:
Thus, the erotic thriller, the love child of porno chic and film noir, was born. These films repackaged elements of soft-core porn (slow panning, silk sheets, and bare bodies in soft focus) and the conventions of noir (femmes fatales, murder plots, and relentless scamming) in varying proportions. The ways in which the classics of this genre—including perhaps the most famous of all erotic thrillers, Adrian Lyne’s Fatal Attraction (1987)—cut sex and murder into their brand of confectionary powder reflected the culture wars of the eighties. Sex had entered the mainstream, but with a catch. Spectacles like Madonna’s music videos and teen comedies like Porky’s (1981) were all the rage, yet shame had returned with a vengeance. The sexual liberation spearheaded by the feminist and gay rights movements of the previous decades had lost steam, weakened by antiporn activists and the sentiment that free love had only strengthened male supremacy and sanctioned predatory behavior. Meanwhile, according to the country’s newly ascendant religious right, the AIDS epidemic was a plague unleashed by an angry God. In Dressed to Kill, Dickinson’s Kate finds out that the random hunk she slept with has both syphilis and gonorrhea. But that turns out to be the lesser of the punishments she endures for daring to seek pleasure outside of her orgasm-deficient marriage; upon leaving her disease-ridden lover’s apartment, she’s sliced to pieces by a trench-coat-wearing psycho biddy.
Rowdy theatergoers attempting sing-alongs during a musical based on The Bodyguard instigate a “mini-riot.” Chris Willman with the story at Variety:
According to news reports out of Manchester and tweets from those inside the Palace Theatre, the show — based on the hit 1992 film — had already been temporarily halted once during the first act because of the disruptive audience sing-alongs, but was resumed. Later, though, with only about 10 minutes to go before the end, it was put on pause again while its star, Pussycat Dolls member Melody Thornton, attempted to sing the climactic song made famous in the movie by Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You,” over the sound of tuneless howling coming from audience members. Thornton’s mic was cut mid-song, the house lights came up and offenders were evicted — struggling against being pulled out by their shoulders, in video footage captured by attendees — and the show was officially called off.
Karim Zidan Sports Politika looks at the geo-political implications of an upcoming chess championship, and the way chess has played a role in international politics in the past:
The Soviets remained a dominant force for more than three decades until a young American prodigy named Bobby Fischer usurped the throne from Soviet grandmaster Boris Spassky in 1972. Fischer had almost single-handedly contributed to the resurgence of chess in the United States at the time with his brash personality and remarkable talent. In the lead-up to the 1972 World Championship, it became clear that the upcoming match-up had become a matter of foreign policy. President Richard Nixon’s National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger even made a personal phone call to Fischer urging him to play in the tournament for the “good of the country.” Fischer’s eventual success captivated his countrymen and served as a metaphor for the U.S.’s victory over their political rivals. Now, more than 50 years later, Russia is once again in a position to regain its standing as a chess powerhouse.
An interview in The Ringer with the world’s ultimate shitposter, dril, who finally unmasks himself and talks about, among other things, the challenges of being known as an online personality, and trying to build a comedy career away from Twitter:
To most people, he is nothing; show the unaffiliated some of his posts, and they will likely just generate confusion and possibly anguish. (“Uh, so, I think I’ll stick with gardening. Where bull poop helps good things grow, and the tweets come from birds, not nitwits,” read one of many upset people in the comment section of a recent Washington Post feature about Dril, inadvertently adopting their own Dril-esque cadence in the process.) But to a large sect of the Very Online, he is king—the undisputed poet laureate of shitposting, the architect of a satire so effective that it has become impossible to tell when Dril stopped mocking the way people speak online and when we, instead, started speaking like Dril online.
And finally, Defector‘s Annie Rauwerda goes in search of Wikipedia’s Shrug Guy:
It strikes a nerve. The photo has been handpicked for the “Shrug” articles on English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, and Bengali Wikipedias. It might be the most notable shrug in all of human existence, a particularly impressive distinction in light of how versatile and common the shrug can be. A shrug conveys ambivalence, sure. But when paired with a nod, it’s a “yes, obviously.” With a pout, it’s sheepish; with a smirk and a skeptical squint, it’s self-assured (“it’s gonna take more than that to bother me”). But for all its semantic versatility, it’s represented by a single moment in time in a Boston-area bar.