Snapshot: Media Consumption Week of February 4

weekofFeb4
White creative women with bleak futures. (L-R clockwise) Miranda July in “The Future,” Charlize Theron in “Young Adult” and Lena Dunham in “Tiny Furniture”

FILM

  • Young Adult by Jason Reitman
  • Tiny Furniture by Lena Dunham
  • The Future by Miranda July

Theme of this week’s films: arty white girls with bleak future prospects. Each of the films had aspects I liked and disliked–overall as a group though they were interesting to watch so close together. They helped me think about how to develop a character (with financial privilege) who is hitting an all time “low” without making them too whiny or over the top. The three films, despite their starkly different script styles, all also share in common that none of the characters progress or evolve by the end of the story, raising interesting challenges to the classic hero based three act structure that Hollywood feeds us.

TV

  • The Millionaire Matchmaker 3 episodes. I’m not ashamed to admit.
  • King of the Nerds. 1 episode. TBS’ new competition reality show that plays on classic nerd tropes. It’s still early on so I don’t have much to say about it yet, but so far it seems to be entertaining in a classic reality TV formula kind of way.

No “quality” TV for me this week, apparently.

BOOKS

  • Finished The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I’m at least a decade behind everyone else I know in reading this stunning book. Morrison’s writing style is so poetic, keeping you engaged as she weaves between story lines without losing her audience in the back and forth of a nonlinear story line. Her characters are complex and force you to question judgement in the face of their personal histories and trauma due to race, class and gender. It was the kind of book that made me sit and think in silence for a good while after finishing it. I love when an author can take me to that place.
  • Started DMZ, the graphic novel series by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. A futuristic story set in Manhattan in the midst of an American Civil War, the story follows an aspiring photojournalist as he navigates the demilitarized zone on the island which falls in the middle of the two warring sides. The artwork is excellent and the story well executed–I think it might just be a little too violent and action packed for my personal taste since I’m not as much a fan of war stories.
  • Continued Creating Characters: How To Build Story People by Dwight Swain.

PODCASTS

  • NPR MUSICAll Songs Considered, episode on GLOBALFEST
  • New Your TImes Music Popcast, episode on copyright
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