The new technologies haven’t just connected us to one another but also to the past. We’ve always been emotionally attached to what was, of course, but now we are practically as well. Every day is a high school reunion, a scrapbook stuffed with memories that look inviting from a distance. It’s comforting, sure, but is that how things should be? Is a revolving door between now and then our healthiest option? Should the past be something in our appointment schedules or largely in our minds?
The second Jason Reitman-Diablo Cody collaboration centers on a former teen queen who’s now a soused writer of young-adult fiction (Charlize Theron). The YA series is in decline, as is the author, who returns to her stifling Minnesota hometown seeking consolation from a former high-school flame who is now married with children. “He knew me when I was at my best,” she says, confusing a time of lesser self-knowledge for one of greater happiness. Things soon get messy. Even if you have Google Maps on that shiny screen in your pocket, you still can’t go home again. Watch trailer.
Shut Up, Little Man!: An Audio Misadventure
In Matthew Bate’s telling documentary, two Midwest punks, Mitchell Deprey and Eddie Lee Sausage, moved to a dumpy San Fran apartment building during the 1980s, unaware that their new neighbors were a loud, drunk, violent Odd Couple–an embittered redneck homophobe, Raymond Huffman, and his gay, surly roommate, Peter Haskett. When one punk confronts Ray about the noise, the “Cro-Magnon looking man with the neck muscles of a newborn” tells him to shove it. The punks moved on to plan B: popping a cassette into a boom box and recording the insane arguments. The mixtapes were shared with friends and gradually became an underground sensation, with playwrights, comic-book artists and filmmakers appropriating the very raw material to turn it into art (and profit). It was an analog precursor to our viral digital culture.
Questions abound in regards to intellectual property law and the nature of art, but perhaps the most revealing moment occurs during one of the “recording sessions,” when the punks snake a microphone outside Ray and Peter’s window to get better sound. The frenemies notice the device. “Oh, the neighbors are recording us,” one says, taking a brief break from swears and punches. But they quickly return to their brawl, disregarding the intrusion on their privacy. A couple decades later, their lack of inhibiton has become the norm. Watch trailer.
More recent films I liked now on home video: