Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 2/5/21

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Malcolm & Marie (CREDIT: Netflix)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Bliss (February 5 on Amazon) – Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek are living in a simulation
A Glitch in the Matrix (Theaters and On Demand) – The latest documentary from Rodney Ascher is living in a simulation.
Malcolm & Marie (Streaming on Netflix) – As played by John David and Zendaya.

TV
The Snoopy Show (February 5 on Apple TV+)
-Puppy Bowl XVII (February 7 on Animal Planet)
-Super Bowl LV (February 7 on CBS)

Music
-John Carpenter, Lost Themes III: Alive After Death
-Foo Fighters, Medicine at Midnight
-Hayley Williams, FLOWERS for VASES / descansos

The Super-Female Postmodern Thing

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This essay was originally written as my final paper for my Film Theory & Analysis class, taught by Royal Brown, in Spring 2014 at The New School.

“Trust’s a tough thing to come by these days.”
“Nobody trusts anybody now.”

the-thing

A common maxim of what makes the best horror movies effective is that they show relatively little, leaving the most terrifying parts to the imagination. What is unique about the John Carpenter-directed The Thing (1982) is how well it works despite, or because of (or despite AND because of) showing so much of its monster. A novice viewer would be forgiven for not realizing how much it actually does not show. Partly, the lack of showing is obvious: the famously ambiguous ending in which it is heavily implied that either Keith David’s Childs or Kurt Russell’s MacReady is now a Thing (or both are). But most of the rest of the film does not highlight how much is being hidden. It is, as Slavoj Žižek would put it, a product “with a distinctive mass appeal” (1). Its primary attractions are its tense action, creative makeup and special effects, and well-rounded performances. It is therefore qualified to be a postmodern work, and it fulfills that possibility with a premise and a villain that essentially guarantees open-endedness and speculative interpretation that goes beyond the narrative.

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