Media Diet on Thursday
Attracted To Problematic Characters
We have 5 new sign ups this week, and none of them are people I know! This is easily the most accomplished I’ve felt in years, so thank you.
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Movie of the week
Annette (2021) by Leo Carax
Annette is a movie on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Part bizarre musical, part eloquent shit-post - like “A Star Is Born”, starring evil Bo Burnham and directed by David Lynch.
Look, there is no way I can defend Annette. It’s a musical full of clever cinematic references for old white theater gays, but I DIDNT HATE IT, which is as shocking to me as it is to you.
There is something enigmatic and sinister and captivating about Annette, about the narcissism performed by Adam Driver, about the power of repeating simple lyrics over and over and over again, about over-the-top sceneries of malice and grandeur.
This movie just kept coming back to me over the past week, and again, I have no explanations for this, and will simply write it off as one of those “magic movie moments”.
Watch Of Shame
“And Just Like That” (Season 1)
Despite featuring skin colors that transcend 50 shades of beige, “And Just Like That” already feels old and stale. When “Sex And The City” was airing, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte were (arguably) at the height of culture. In “And Just Like That”, their characters are thrown into a ‘strange new world’ as if they’d somehow missed out on every paradigm shift and political discourse? Are ageing women destined to be tatty, old and confused? Does the future hold nothing for me but an Android phone and vinyl records from the 60ies?
Urgh. Perhaps then it’s a saving grace that everything takes an unexpected darker turn in the second episode, and we might yet get to see Carrie Bradshaw navigate profound emotions such as grief, anger and sadness instead of new Birkin collections and restaurant reservations.
Belfast (2021) by Kenneth Branagh
This memoir of tumultuous Irish boyhood makes for a perfect movie - you know, the kind of movie that you can enjoy almost without controversy if you accept that history, here, is written through rose-colored glasses and inspired by the bittersweet memories of the director.
This is certainly what ‘we in the business’™ call oscar-bait. Pleasant, unchallenging, inoffensive, nice and easy. Jamie Dornan and Caitrin Belforte can move me out of the country anytime. 😏😏😏😏😏😏
There Will Be Blood (2007) by Paul Thomas Anderson
In preparation to “Licorice Pizza” I’ve started rewatching PTA movies that I missed out on, but now I regret watching There Will Be Blood because loving this movie is not aligned with my 💫feminist principles💫.
I watched There Will Be Blood while I straightened my hair, lord forgive me, I WATCHED THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER WHILE I WAS DOING SOMETHING ELSE because I just couldn’t believe that a movie that has no women in it can be on top of any top movie list, let alone mine?!?!?!?!, but here it is, there it goes, I have passed over to the world of 🤙 certified moviebros 🤙, you know who I mean, and to what level will I sink next, I wonder? Tarantino? The Cohen brothers? Please just kill me before I start shilling Lars von Trier or, God forbid, Noah Baumbach.
We Are Lady Parts (Season 1)
I definitely have to close out this newsletter with something exquisitely hilarious and gushingly female lest I grow a goatee or something, and so I offer the Gods this highly original BBC sitcom. We Are Ladyparts is a silly and sweet sitcom about an all-female, all-Muslim punk-rock band that definitely passes the Riz test!
The series is authentic and fearless without being hashtag 🤮 girlboss 🤮 annoying. The characters are made up from different ethnic and family backgrounds, and religion (thankfully) does not take center stage - although there is a soothing, underlying current of faith that shows the multi-facetted interpretations of what it means to believe in Islam without making a mandate of it.
As if to say … the female Muslim experience could be diverse? And funny? Can Muslims be funny?! IS THIS ALLAHS ANSWER TO PHEOBE WALLER-BRIDGE?!
House of Gucci (Ridley Scott)
Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay)
C’Mon C’Mon (Mike Mills)
The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)
The Worst Person In The World (Joachim Trier)
Red Rocket (Sean Baker)
Spiderman: No Way Home (Jon Watts)
The Matrix: Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)
🎧 Snail Mail, “Valentine” (YouTube)
From the category “Olivia Rodrigo For Grownups”
From the category “I Don’t Remember Anything I’ve Ever Heard In A Podcast”