Drinking Buddies director Joe Swanberg — whose forte is slice-of-life filmmaking — has a new film which Flavorwire Film Editor Jason Bailey deemed “a series of keenly observed moments that defy your typical (read: dull) three-act conventions in favor of something messier and, frankly, more interesting” and Variety describes as “a lovely slice of everything and nothing.“Such words are surely enticing, especially when the film’s also been called an “embarrassment to [its] genre” by others. Digging for Fire sees a couple’s loyalty challenged as they’re tempted by various others while on a weekend retreat, where, meanwhile, human bones have been found in the backyard. The film’s trailer was released today, and features glimpses at performances by Rosemarie Dewitt, Sam Rockwell, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, Orlando Bloom, Judith Light and Melanie Lynskie. Watch it on Indiewire.
You can’t get much further from a slice-of-life artist than Takashi Murakami, whose children’s film Jellyfish Eyes (which the New York Times called “very bad”) was released at the IFC Center in NY (and will soon get a national run), after having been stuck in museums for the previous two years. But most of this feature film is actually live-action, and doesn’t give way to the known Murakami aesthetic until it nears its conclusion. In an interview with Hyperallergic, the artist explains the initially subdued look, and discusses how he wove the Fukushima disaster into a story about a boy adapting to a new school, while in Vogue he discusses why he ventured into narrative filmmaking at this time, saying:
After the great earthquake and tsunami disaster [in 2011, that spurred the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster], I kind of grasped the opportunity to create a narrative when I watched the TV documentaries interviewing the victims of the disaster. I understood that people were needing and wanting stories and narrative. Before that I was not able to bring myself to tell stories. But after seeing the interview and understanding the need for the narrative, I was able to move into filmmaking.
Murakami’s art has few equals in visual alienness, but the early designs of some of the most commonly used websites provide good competition. Paper Mag features screen caps of early versions of Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc. that make them all look far from the imposingly powerful cultural and economic forces that they are now.
And, while we’re in the habit of making comparisons, few forces can parallel the power of the aforementioned companies — perhaps with the exception of Taylor Swift. Recently, Ian McKellen dramatically recited the lyrics of “Bad Blood” and Patrick Stewart recited “Blank Space” (on separate platforms), and, after this display of devotion, Stewart asked Taylor Swift on Twitter whether they could join [her] squad, to which she responded: