AUSTIN, TX: To quote the leader of one of the biggest rock bands in the world, “It’s a waste of mental energy to think about this cesspool. You should just be in your …Read More
Why Did Gamergate Happen? SXSW Doc ‘GTFO’ Explores the Long, Depressing History of Misogyny in Gaming
AUSTIN, TX: The word “Gamergate” isn’t uttered until the brief epilogue of the new documentary GTFO, Shannon Sun-Higginson’s look at discrimination and misogyny in the video game world — which makes the movie timely, if not quite as timely as you might think. One day we may well get the definitive documentary about that particular brouhaha; think of this one as the prequel, the context, the setup. As one of Sun-Higginson’s subjects says of that story, “The problem exists on a much larger scale,” and she’s right. For those of us who don’t play games and don’t pay attention, GTFO serves as an eye-opening explainer on an issue that’s been knocking around this industry for quite some time.
AUSTIN, TX: Even under the blandly vanilla blanket title “Creating the Shows That We Like” (careful, don’t over-commit yourself there!), a television panel spotlighting both American Crime‘s John Ridley and The Last Man on Earth‘s Will Forte, Chris Miller, and Phil Lord seems like a bit of a stretch — these are, after all, two almost comically different shows, one a serialized drama about race, class, and crime, the other an absurd, post-apocalyptic comedy starring an SNL alum. And to their credit, one of the running jokes of the panel was what an odd pairing they are. “Similar to John’s thing,” Miller began early on, before hearing himself and adding, “And you can barely say anything is similar about American Crime and Last Man on Earth…” Yet the joke kept popping up, because both of these series — risky, potentially difficult shows more likely to wind up on cable these days — say quite a bit about how network television is responding to cable’s domination.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus on ‘Veep’ Season 4 and Whether Elaine and Jerry Could Have Lived Happily Ever After
AUSTIN, TX: Julia Louis-Dreyfus knows how to make an entrance. When she arrived at Monday morning’s SXSW panel “The Veep Speaks,” she was holding her phone, broadcasting her entrance via app-of-the-week Meerkat, and explaining to the 2000-plus-strong crowd, “I’m Meerkating this moment.” And then, after a perfectly timed pause: “By the way, I have no idea what I’m saying.”
“People Don’t Know What the Word ‘Feminism’ Means”: Amy Schumer on Internet Trolls, Her Comic Persona, and ‘Trainwreck’
AUSTIN, TX: “Judd Apatow is like an oracle,” Amy Schumer says of the director of her new starring vehicle Trainwreck, which premiered Sunday at the SXSW Film Festival. “If you look at people that are huge stars now, he put them in movies before you knew who they were, and he just has a good sense.” Then, as she does onstage, she catches herself, hears herself, and continues, “Not that I’m saying, like, ‘Guys, this is the last time you’ll see me, I’m about to blow up,’ but I’m saying…” We laugh, and she laughs, but it’s not exactly a joke; based on Trainwreck’s gangbusters reception, Amy Schumer is about to be a major movie star. And we’re ready for it.
AUSTIN, TX: In 1982, three 11-year-olds in Mississippi started remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark. That sentence, in and of itself, is not exceptional; little kids reenact movies and TV shows and cartoons that they love all the time. What made these kids different was the level of their commitment; their Raiders was a shot-for-shot remake that they put to VHS, complete with (charmingly low-rent) props and costumes and locations. And then they spent the next seven summers finishing it. I spent my summer vacations watching television and eating microwave burritos. How about you?
I am writing this on an iPad. My writing music plays into my head courtesy of an iPod Classic, one of the last of the big, 160GB jobbers. A few minutes ago, the iPhone in my pocket buzzed. It’s my wife sending me a video of our baby daughter back home, shot on her matching iPhone. We’re Mac people, is the point; have been since 1999, when I unwrapped my first iMac. But when Steve Jobs died in 2011, I didn’t feel like it was some kind of personal loss. He was a guy who ran a company — a cool company, sure, that made a lot of stuff I liked, but still not someone I felt the need to grieve for on the Internet or in front of an Apple store. I watched that public mourning, didn’t quite understand it, and forgot about it. Alex Gibney felt the same way, and made a …Read More