Saturday, July 30, 2022

Between Legacy and History: On Peele's Nope

Seeing Nope at the Bridgton Twin Drive In 

Movie critics, even amateur ones, love puns, love working the title into their reviews in some sort of play on words. So it takes a certain amount of confidence to call a film "Nope". It just invites too many titles for negative reviews, say "Nope to nope" and so on. In the case of Peele that confidence is earned. It is the third movie by a director who is developing his own vision in an era where such things as vision or style, even directors as auteurs, are increasingly obsolete. The title of Nope recalls the title of Peele's first film, Get Out  which was an homage to Eddie Murphy's bit about how a haunted house movie would never work with a black family, they would Get Out at the first warning.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Blogging in the age of the Podcast: Some video and audio


In the past few months I have done quite a few video lectures and guest spots on podcasts. I decided to post them here for anyone who might be interested, and, at least for a moment, to admit that blogging is increasingly archaic in an age of podcasts and youtube lectures. 

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Becoming Saul: Reflections on the Last Season of Better Call Saul (Part One)


The prequel is defined by a particular kind of paradox. As much as it aspires to reach the point from which original story began, connecting with the present that it is the past of, the more that the point recedes, and become unreachable. Its very existence means that it can never reach what it aims for, its ending will always be different from the beginning of that which it is a prequel of. Or, more to the point it, overreaches its mark. This is especially true of the some of the worst versions of this, the movie Solo forgets that the name Han Solo is cooler if we never hear its hackneyed origin, that having a wookie as friend and sidekick is more interesting if we never see the first time they meet, and that the Kessel Run sounds cool but that does not mean we need to see it. A character can be defined more by the way the enter the screen in media res than by fleshing out their backstory. More becomes less and the more you add the less it alls seems to matter.