15 November 2019

“Hustlers of the world, there is one mark you cannot beat: the one inside.”

This Week

Thank you to everyone who sent messages last week with potential job leads or just simple appreciation. There were so many messages I’m still catching up with them all. Which is also to say that if I haven’t responded to you yet, I promise I’m getting there! I’ve heard from more than a few folks that I got put on their radar by a reader of this here humble newsletter, so also thank you for that. I assume that most of you actually read the newsletter, but, you know. It’s nice to know for sure. You’re all wonderful.

Incidentally, do you know how many movies and television shows one can watch when one is not working during the day? It’s so many. It’s great.


Links

The thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in photos.

“Ok boomer” isn’t really about age—it’s about status.

You probably could use this lovely, thoughtful profile of nice guy Tom Hanks.

Everything is amazing but nothing is ours.

As John Legend is crowned People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Daniel Ortberg is here with another entry in his bloody, dystopic Sexiest Man Alive saga. I love these.

Superstore is the only sitcom that gets progressive politics.

The token female Pixar story artist: Brenda Chapman and Brave.

The first fairy tales were feminist critiques of patriarchy. We need to revive their legacy.

“Slasher films are our stories regardless of whether or not a woman directed, because we look over our shoulder when walking the streets at night. We’re the people who make sure the door is locked. We check around corners and cross the street if someone looks dangerous. Slasher films have long been thought of as stories for men, but they’re ours, because we understand what it’s like to feel vulnerable. Men are the ones who have to work to relate to the final girl, but for women we are the final girl.” A terrific essay by Willow Catelyn Maclay on director Amy Holden Jones and the women of The Slumber Party Massacre. The Slumber Party Massacre, by the way, is available to stream on Amazon Prime.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • The Irishman. It takes a lot of expertise and courage to subtly, deliberately and artfully dismantle an entire cinematic mythology you in part helped create. But Scorsese just made sure no one can mistake the down sides of organized crime again. You can’t take any of it with you and it will all end in tears. The Irishman will slide right over you unless you pay closer attention. But if you do pay closer attention, it might devastate you. Go watch it. Have a good time.

  • The Housemaid. This 1960 South Korean film about social class, sexual intrigue and a bizarre home hostage situation was on my to-watch list for a while and it’s now on the Criterion Channel as part of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project. I’m bringing it up now because 1) it’s a great film, and 2) there’s a clear, direct line from The Housemaid to Parasite, so I highly recommend it to anyone who has seen and got obsessed with Parasite. Plus, the Criterion Channel has an interview segment with Parasite director Bong Joon-ho discussing his appreciation for The Housemaid, which really brings it all full circle.

  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix. If the Satanic Panic of the late 1980s had had any real basis, it might have inspired a story like this one. It’s about being a teenage girl in 1988 and having to save your best friend from a demon, but also about being a teenage girl and having to deal with change, growth and losing your best friend. It’s a tremendous amount of fun. And there’s a Spotify playlist to go along with it.

  • Wildcard, Miranda Lambert. It’s fun.


Stay cozy.

Love,

Jen


Connections

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This week’s quote is from Hunter S. Thompson.