After a really productive week, a bit of a lull, as I started two books and have spent much of my downtime watching the Olympics. But I’ve got a few things of note here, one of which is that my movie list grew because Kanopy put a bunch of new documentaries and other films I’d been interested in on its platform, so they are now on their watchlist. In the grand scheme of the Uncollecting, this isn’t as bad as, say, buying a pile of DVDs, but it still takes me further away from zero. I’ll start with two films that I watched as a result of this watchlist dump and then will get to a trade and a couple of podcasts.
Nathalie … A 2003 French film that’s supposed to be an erotic drama about a middle-aged wife stuck in a loveless marriage who discovers her husband (played by a very clueless Gerard Depardieu) might be cheating on her. She hires a prostitute to seduce him in some sort of entrapment scheme and becomes kind of enthralled herself by the whole thing. The film was sort of remade in the 2010s as Chole with Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, and Julianne Moore . This is … decently written and well acted, and even though I figured out at least one of the plot twists way before it came, I was entertained enough. Still? You’ll probably want to Skip.
Christine. Not the Stephen King novel about the car, but a 2016 movie wherein Rebecca Hall plays Christine Chubbuck, the Sarasota television news reporter who infamously shot herself in the head live on television in 1974. The film details the last few weeks of Chubbuck’s life, as she fights for better assignments at work and also fights with her own mental health, namely the depression that led to her on-air suicide. Hall carries this film and does it incredibly well. She portrays Chubbuck as awkward and high-strung as well as sympathetic, and while I knew the story behind her death, it still surprised me enough at the film’s end. Watch.
The New Teen Titans vol. 12. So I’m now at the point where I am done with the New Teen Titans trades and if I want to keep up with my read-through, I’m going to have to do it in single issues. Volume 13 is solicited and on pre-order, so I think I may take a break for a little while and read that when it comes out. As for this volume, it’s the end of the prolonged Brother Blood storyline, and is much more solid than I remember it being when I was scrounging for back issues in the 1990s. Maybe it’s because I’ve been here before? Maybe it’s because by this point, we’re done with the Tamaran business (in fact, Tamaran wouldn’t show up until the 1990 annual and then not until the very final storyline of The New Titans)? Maybe because Paul Levitz contributed the dialogue for a few issues? Whatever the deal, it’s tighter than I remember it, and better when read in trade. Keep.
This is probably where I did the most all week. Here’s a few recommendations …
Behind the Bastards: Dr. Oz. A couple of episodes of the show from a few months ago, this is a great look at Dr. Oz and how despite his successes in the field of medicine has developed into a talk show host/snake-oil salesman. It’s also a great examination of how charlatans can have an enormous amount of influence.
Citizen Kane Minute. Sort of selfishly plugging this because I’m on next week’s episode, but Rob Kelly is doing a great job looking at Citizen Kane five minutes at a time. I’m always up for people geeking out about film and not only are Rob and his guests doing this, but they’re both having a lot of fun and talking about something they really enjoy.
Ghosts in the Burbs. A fictional collection of ghost stories in Wellesley, Massachusetts as told by Liz Sower. I’m ten episodes in and the stories are fun and creepy and there seems to be a progressing storyline. Plus, when she’s not offering up all of the stories, Liz is also giving a great critique of suburban elite mom culture. If you like Jezebel’s annual scary stories, then this definitely is worth checking out.
The Cast with Rae & Jacquis. Two comedians look at great moments in reality television and then decide whether or not the people involved in said moments deserve to be on their “all-time reality show cast” (a hall of fame, if you will). I’ve only been listening to the episodes that cover moments I’m familiar with, such as Tyra Banks losing it on America’s Next Top Model and Diddy making the Making the Band 2 cast walk to Brooklyn to get a cheesecake, and largely ignore the “does this person go on the team” portion that’s the end of every episode. But their commentary on the actual moment is outstanding, especially if you remember those moments.
The Devil Within. A true crime podcast that centers around the story of Tommy Sullivan, a New Jersey teenager who murdered his mother in what apparently was a Satanic ritual during the 1980s. I don’t know how much the occult/Satanic stuff is real or is Satanic Panic, but that makes this creepy fun.
And that’s it for this moment. I’ll have a monthly update in the next couple of days and then we’ll head into August where hopefully I’ll stay awake enough to read or even watch stuff.