"When asked about how he, a grown man, was able to get into a teenage girl’s head, he said he simply googled “kids talking online”. It sounds silly at first but, like what I said earlier, sometimes you can learn a lot about the amateur through their vlogs, especially one who hasn’t yet mastered the technique of completely hiding themself behind a self-assured veneer. It’s clever on Burnham’s part to not necessarily draw experience from his own youth, since teenagers now have different experiences than his when he was young. In another wise choice, he also distanced himself from the protagonist by making her a girl. He made her real, multi-layered – angry but sad inside, fearful but attempting to project confidence – and, to be honest, a little unlikable." -@alvinadrianlee
This week, Alvin returns to the desk to pen this review of Bo Burnham's A24 and directorial debut, Eighth Grade. It's a sharp, witty and exacting look at the film's ups and downs.
Peep the full review over at HQ. Link in the bi-bi-biooooo!
"Raising the stakes from high to astronomical, @bingliu89 turns the camera on himself, revealing gradually that he saw his own experience in his subjects, having had similar experiences as well. Like Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, another Sundance 2018 premiere, Liu introduces his own story late in the project. During a staged interview scene, Liu confronts his mother, who overlooked the violence of his step-father, to open dialogue about his trauma for the first time." @theoschear
This week we unleash @theoschear's review of Minding The Gap, an intimate look at skaters whose childhoods end up taking centerstage. From childhood abuse to difficult dialogues, the documentary gets deep. Peep Theo's full review over at HQ.
Link in bio!
And like that, the #Blindspotting tix are gone! But you should still come out and support @blindspotting this week/end. For those who got tix, our sis @delatorreashley will be out front to help you get situated. Got questions? DM us!
Special thanks to @instamaia, @theoschear, @youthradio and all the other homies that pitched in and supported this lil movement.
See you Friday!
The cat's out of the bag here: we're excited to meet De La & Maia's movement. So we've added 10 tickets for local Oakland natives who wanna peep the film this Friday, 7pm, at Grand Lake Theater!
Hit us in the comments if you're interested and we'll connect you.
"It’s most absurd moments conjure up similar scenes from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, How High, Dude Where’s My Car, The Big Lebowski and Half-Baked. With hijinks and high-flying absurdity, Riley is able to combine the bitter pills of well-worn activist woes—union-busting, homelessness, prison industrial complexes and capitalism-at-its-worst—with heart-warming ridiculousness like a “nigga moment” between Cash and Salvador turned into a hostile battle of pleasantries.
Whereas (mostly white) stoner comedies embrace the hijinks and absurdity (dare I say, also magical realism?) in the pursuit of las drogas, @Sorry2BotherYou simply uses them as a tool to further the cause of teaching lessons about oppression. This stylistic fusion forces us to come to grips with whatever given *message* @BootsRiley has in play, from the horrors of real life to just how bad the diminishing returns we cash in from mainstream society really are." -@dapisdope
"...the film places a clear link between Mr. Rogers’ usage of puppetry as a proxy medium for his own voice and his childhood that all-but-explains his preternatural ability to connect with the children; to truly see them for who and what they are. Perhaps not so ironically, that same ability only connected with adults when they were as open as he was. This theme is repeated many times throughout the film, to different responses. And it’s important to see them, because they contextualize the fluctuation of Rogers’ power. For some, he was the kind uncle that raised some generations, for others he was a strange and overly nice man who fought an inevitable tide in television programming and larger societal shifts." #reelydope#wontyoubemyneighbor#mrrogers#focusfeatures#documentary#review#oakland#sffilm#sanfrancisco#movie#pbs#wgbh#boston#media
"Of course, the first time you see Grey really put the moves on a motherfucker, it’s bewildering and exhilarating. However, Upgrade doesn’t only treat violence as a thrill ride. Rather, the core of each action scene is a deepening—and arguably degrading—dialogue about control between STEM and Grey. So much so that, by the end of the film, your feelings about Grey’s enhanced “ninja” moves may not be entirely positive.⠀
This slippery slope defines the circuitous conclusions of Upgrade and its ostensibly B-movie/Twilight Zone moralizing about our tenuous relationships with intelligent technology."⠀
"The first half of They Remain is pretty great. Clever editing in the dream sequences makes for some nice jump scares, but it’s more unnerving than scary. A lot of credit has to go to the fantastic score by Tom Keohane, full of warped lo-fi ambiance that sucks the temperature out of the picturesque woods. There are a few too many Insta-photographer shots of the sun from behind a tree, bush, blade of grass, etc., but otherwise cinematographer Sean Kirby uses the landscape to invent his own way of expressing dread and foreboding. All the ingredients of a low-budget cult hit are there." -Adam
Do you like minimalism, clean colors, spooky settings and the terror of not knowing the difference between fever dreams and your own paranoia? If so, you may like They Remain, which drops on VOD and physical today! Adam explains fully how all these elements combine to create the film and the experience in general in his review. Peep the whole kit and kaboodle at HQ. Link in bioooooo.
"But Reverend Toller is troubled as well. He pours whisky in his cereal milk, his son died in Iraq under his persuasion to join the army, his wife left him, his piss is tinted red, and the church organ is out of order. The organ, literally and figuratively, serves as the thematic through-line: not only is the church’s organ malfunctioning just weeks before the 250th anniversary, but Toller’s internal organs are enflamed with cancer. The planet’s organs are no better." - @theoschear
"Sometimes you want to enjoy a murder mystery without thinking about our fucked-up country. And that’s okay, you deserve that (unless you’re a cop). Maybe that’s why British and Scandinavian police dramas are so popular. Signal and Stranger have their share of K-drama wackiness, but they can also feel like “prestige” cop shows from all over the world.
South Korea has its own cultural myths and anxieties about its justice system. They’re very different from America’s; the country has one of the lowest overall crime rates in the world. Meanwhile, its institutional corruption is worse than America’s, with Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index ranking it at #54 (compared with #16 for the US). As a result, you’re more likely to see the hero cops in K-dramas go after crooked politicians than drug dealers and gang members." -Adam
After months of hard work and binging, Adam comes to us with an incisive and reflective look at two of South Korea's interesting K-Dramas, Signal and Stranger. It's a long read, but we promise it'll tickle your grey matter in a good way. (BTW: Stranger is available on Netflix in the USA!) Peep the full piece at HQ. Link in bio.
"There’s been interesting talk of how this kind of “pure” genocidal logic, and the character attached to it, don’t make sense given that genocide is almost always attached to an ism (racism, sexism, jingoism, etc). I’d push back on that though and say this: while we don’t get the “romance with Death” narrative of the comics, Thanos’ Fabuloso Cleansing does stand on its own because it’s simply absurd. And because this is a comic book movie. Not everything has to make absolute sense. Because these are….comic book movies. We’re watching African Panther Men use unobtanium claws to fight Freaky Frog Men from space—and look!—there’s a woman who uses weird-sci-fi-quantum-energy to destroy a glowing Cubic Zirconia Piece in the head of an Android Man she’s been fucking for a year or so!" -@dapisdope⠀
"It’s thrilling that these flicks are gaining traction because I remember when I was growing up that gay-themed movies almost always ended with the character unable to be with the one who ignited their love. And instead, out of societal obligation, they’d enter into a straight marriage with an oblivious and unfortunate partner, or worse, they end up dead. Today, at least onscreen, queerness doesn’t have to equate tragedy or death." -@alvinadrianlee