mixgoldenphoenix

mixgoldenphoenix:

Okay, but Robert Berens’ comment is a double-edged sword for y’all. ‘Cuz he’s “throwing shade” on the entire fandom. Sarcastically commenting that we have great writers because we bitch a lot. Which means, as you all should have picked up on, we have shitty writers because all we do is criticize. Like, completely ignore the subject one may be criticizing and completely ignore the GOOD things the fandom comes up with like meta and well-written fanfiction that utilizes the mythology of the show to come up with a story

Not really. I meant it literally: I know the fandom has good writers because the wank that I’ve read is well-written, even the wank I disagree with.
airsofgrace

airsofgrace:

Proof that Robert Berens is one of those Cis White Gay Men

I’d say yourfaveisproblemtic is actually pretty fucking accurate most of the time

But that last tweet takes the cake though

because slurs, racism, transmisogyny, ablism, misogyny, abuse, rape culture, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia are SUCH FUCKING PLEASURES.

PLEASE, DONT LET ME INTERRUPT YOU BEING A FUCKING ASSHAT, YOU’RE HAVING SUCH A GOOD TIME.

PEOPLE DIE OVER THIS SHIT 

fuck Robert Berens

THOUGHTS ON “CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER”

As Marilu is interviewed, her face evades and confronts the camera with trembling simultaneity; we can’t tell if she wants to escape from its gaze or dive right into it. She appears unstable, unhinged, her hands a fidgety blur; we find it difficult to imagine a woman in this much emotional distress will survive in Paris for long. (She mentions suicide longingly, as an option unavailable to her only because it would be too “phony.”) We wonder: is the camera observing this raw-nerved woman’s emotions, or is it heightening—even creating—them? Is she truly this distraught, or is she merely performing her suffering for the filmmakers’—and our—benefit? 

The film answers the question for us. “Chronicle of a Summer” cheerily concedes the effects of Morin and Rauch’s experiment on its subjects, acknowledging that without the intervention of their project, Marilu’s dislocation, her existential despair, and even her poverty would’ve existed at a low boil, unwitnessed, never blistering through into the spectacular emotional performance that forms the film’s centerpiece, its nakedly beautiful beating heart. In this way, the film itself becomes the cure for the disease(s) it so powerfully documents: alienation, indifference, impotence, dehumanization, despair. Marilu is transformed by her radical act of on-camera self-exposure: the next we see her, she has gotten a better job, has opened herself up to relationships beyond one-night stands, and now trembles onscreen with a happiness as vivid and bracing as her former despair. The movie argues that through the act of speaking and performing our grief and our disappointments on camera—owning our roles, as Marilu does when she plays her part of “Unhappy, ‘Loose’ Urban Woman”—having our performance documented, and then, crucially, sympathetically witnessed by the audience—we can transcend our circumstances and reclaim our power. We can finally affirmatively reply to the question posed by Morin and Rauch at the beginning of the film: “Are you happy?” It goes without saying that their conception of the power of documentary testimonial is breathtakingly, brazenly utopian.

After the film’s “end,” the lights dim and the cameras turn to a brightly-lit screening room, peopled by all of the film’s subjects, having just seen themselves—not to mention each other—on a film screen, likely for the first time in their lives. The workers, the students, and the professionals have dressed up for the occasion, and seated in the same room and in the same chairs, they are an audience of equals, each as qualified as the other to criticize or comment on what they’ve just seen: “Boring,” “fake,” and “shameful” are three recurring negative reactions. When I realized what Morin and Rauch were pulling off—a masterstroke of postmodern reflexivity and auto-critique that yet embodies the most humanistic and egalitarian of ideals—I broke down in tears of wonder and joy. I might be alone, but I’d rank the moment among the most sublime and revelatory moments in all of cinematic history. 

To say that “Chronicle of a Summer” has lost none of its power in the fifty years since its release would be an understatement. It has only gained in depth and relevance in our era of instantaneous self-exposure: for better and worse, we now live on the other side of a wall it smashed down. 

One of the middle-aged female subjects in the screening room is scandalized by what she’s witnessed: Marilu’s extreme disclosure offended her sense of propriety, and she loudly calls her and the filmmakers out for their indecency. Was it Marilu’s allusion to casual sex that so offended her? Or was it the fact of the camera, the whole modern project of making the “personal” public? Is she merely “slut-shaming” Marilu or is she condemning the entirety of the film we’ve just watched/are still watching? This raises a larger and more contemporary question: is this woman an antique moralist, or is her kind alive and well, in the form of those stoical, prim-seeming holdouts from our Facebook/reality TV culture? We at first judge this woman harshly—Morin himself, so outraged and disappointed by her unexpected response to Marilu’s story, even punctures the spirit of open critique he’s fostered among the participants in order to berate the woman, bemoaning her small-mindedness—but in a culture as awash in televised intimacy and internet self-exposure as ours, so much of it so sordid, her petit-bourgeois moral reflex can almost be retroactively viewed as a prophetic last gasp in defense of stoicism and privacy… perhaps something vital got lost in the age of self-revelation ushered in by “Chronicle of a Summer?” 

Part of what makes “Chronicle” so stirring to a contemporary viewer is the experience of tracing back the tropes of so much current docusoap programming (what is that screening room segment but the original “Real Housewives” Reunion Special?) to their source, and discovering with a shock—though, really, it shouldn’t surprise us—that they sprung from an idea and an ethos so cultured, so humane, and so fundamentally anti-commercial. There are many levels on which “Chronicle of a Summer” is no different in its form and methods than “The Real World” or “The Real Housewives” franchises, and so many ways in which it is fundamentally different… perhaps the most resonant difference being that the subjects of “Chronicle of a Summer” did it all—revealed themselves, played themselves in front of the camera—for the first time. What Morin and Rauch and their band of subjects did has been repeated a million times since but, as with all first times, it can never truly be repeated. Reality TV has its vices and its virtues, but watching “Chronicle of a Summer” it is hard not to feel a sharp stab of regret to live in our ersatz, copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy present and not in the shimmeringly naïve black & white—they could never know what they were in the process of unleashing!—of the participants’ historical moment.

THOUGHTS ON “CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER”

As Marilu is interviewed, her face evades and confronts the camera with trembling simultaneity; we can’t tell if she wants to escape from its gaze or dive right into it. She appears unstable, unhinged, her hands a fidgety blur; we find it difficult to imagine a woman in this much emotional distress will survive in Paris for long. (She mentions suicide longingly, as an option unavailable to her only because it would be too “phony.”) We wonder: is the camera observing this raw-nerved woman’s emotions, or is it heightening—even creating—them? Is she truly this distraught, or is she merely performing her suffering for the filmmakers’—and our—benefit?

The film answers the question for us. “Chronicle of a Summer” cheerily concedes the effects of Morin and Rauch’s experiment on its subjects, acknowledging that without the intervention of their project, Marilu’s dislocation, her existential despair, and even her poverty would’ve existed at a low boil, unwitnessed, never blistering through into the spectacular emotional performance that forms the film’s centerpiece, its nakedly beautiful beating heart. In this way, the film itself becomes the cure for the disease(s) it so powerfully documents: alienation, indifference, impotence, dehumanization, despair. Marilu is transformed by her radical act of on-camera self-exposure: the next we see her, she has gotten a better job, has opened herself up to relationships beyond one-night stands, and now trembles onscreen with a happiness as vivid and bracing as her former despair. The movie argues that through the act of speaking and performing our grief and our disappointments on camera—owning our roles, as Marilu does when she plays her part of “Unhappy, ‘Loose’ Urban Woman”—having our performance documented, and then, crucially, sympathetically witnessed by the audience—we can transcend our circumstances and reclaim our power. We can finally affirmatively reply to the question posed by Morin and Rauch at the beginning of the film: “Are you happy?” It goes without saying that their conception of the power of documentary testimonial is breathtakingly, brazenly utopian.

After the film’s “end,” the lights dim and the cameras turn to a brightly-lit screening room, peopled by all of the film’s subjects, having just seen themselves—not to mention each other—on a film screen, likely for the first time in their lives. The workers, the students, and the professionals have dressed up for the occasion, and seated in the same room and in the same chairs, they are an audience of equals, each as qualified as the other to criticize or comment on what they’ve just seen: “Boring,” “fake,” and “shameful” are three recurring negative reactions. When I realized what Morin and Rauch were pulling off—a masterstroke of postmodern reflexivity and auto-critique that yet embodies the most humanistic and egalitarian of ideals—I broke down in tears of wonder and joy. I might be alone, but I’d rank the moment among the most sublime and revelatory moments in all of cinematic history.

To say that “Chronicle of a Summer” has lost none of its power in the fifty years since its release would be an understatement. It has only gained in depth and relevance in our era of instantaneous self-exposure: for better and worse, we now live on the other side of a wall it smashed down.

One of the middle-aged female subjects in the screening room is scandalized by what she’s witnessed: Marilu’s extreme disclosure offended her sense of propriety, and she loudly calls her and the filmmakers out for their indecency. Was it Marilu’s allusion to casual sex that so offended her? Or was it the fact of the camera, the whole modern project of making the “personal” public? Is she merely “slut-shaming” Marilu or is she condemning the entirety of the film we’ve just watched/are still watching? This raises a larger and more contemporary question: is this woman an antique moralist, or is her kind alive and well, in the form of those stoical, prim-seeming holdouts from our Facebook/reality TV culture? We at first judge this woman harshly—Morin himself, so outraged and disappointed by her unexpected response to Marilu’s story, even punctures the spirit of open critique he’s fostered among the participants in order to berate the woman, bemoaning her small-mindedness—but in a culture as awash in televised intimacy and internet self-exposure as ours, so much of it so sordid, her petit-bourgeois moral reflex can almost be retroactively viewed as a prophetic last gasp in defense of stoicism and privacy… perhaps something vital got lost in the age of self-revelation ushered in by “Chronicle of a Summer?”

Part of what makes “Chronicle” so stirring to a contemporary viewer is the experience of tracing back the tropes of so much current docusoap programming (what is that screening room segment but the original “Real Housewives” Reunion Special?) to their source, and discovering with a shock—though, really, it shouldn’t surprise us—that they sprung from an idea and an ethos so cultured, so humane, and so fundamentally anti-commercial. There are many levels on which “Chronicle of a Summer” is no different in its form and methods than “The Real World” or “The Real Housewives” franchises, and so many ways in which it is fundamentally different… perhaps the most resonant difference being that the subjects of “Chronicle of a Summer” did it all—revealed themselves, played themselves in front of the camera—for the first time. What Morin and Rauch and their band of subjects did has been repeated a million times since but, as with all first times, it can never truly be repeated. Reality TV has its vices and its virtues, but watching “Chronicle of a Summer” it is hard not to feel a sharp stab of regret to live in our ersatz, copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy present and not in the shimmeringly naïve black & white—they could never know what they were in the process of unleashing!—of the participants’ historical moment.

atlmalcontent

The five best things about ‘Citizen Ruth’

Whoever this is, they GET IT. “Dale’s out today…YOU collect carts!”

atlmalcontent:

  1. Wondering whether Burt Reynolds knew he was playing a pedophile.
  2. The Sapphic ode to the “Moon Mother” 
  3. Swoosie Kurtz and Mary Kay Place. In the same movie. 
  4. Ruth’s mother: “What if I had aborted you?” Ruth: “Well at least I wouldn’t have had to suck your boyfriend’s cock!”
  5. Norm (Kurtwood Smith)’s reaction when his boss tells him to collect the shopping carts.

Infinite Jest

I’m on what is either my third or fourth full read-through of IJ. (I honestly can’t remember which it is, third or fourth: I definitely read it once in high school, when it was published; I definitely read it once in college, for a paper; and then I think I read it another time at some point in my twenties, but I’m not 100% sure I actually did, which I don’t know what that says about my twenties, that I can’t remember.)*

Now I’m having that familiar pgs. 200-300-of-IJ-experience, where the book ceases to feel like a brilliant but exhausting and problematically sophomoric exercise and starts to seem like undoubtedly the best book ever written, ever (sic), and all of the book’s grotesquely overscaled future-historical comic inventions (subsidized time, O.N.A.N, mutant hamsters and Quebecois assassins and etc.), the humor of which has not aged especially well, begin to recede, cease seeming to be the (possibly misbegotten) point of the whole book and start to become like the essential, heartbreaking wallpaper over the shoulders of his characters’ exquisitely well-rendered miseries, which miseries we wouldn’t be able to see quite so clearly and up-close if the wallpaper behind them weren’t so lurid and fantastical and ridiculous.

*That I am doing a low-grade DFW impression is involuntary, and I think a forgivable consequence of immersing myself in this book again.