Well I’m In

What the … July 24?!

THE FRENCH DISPATCH brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city. It stars Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson.

Music Geek Documentary Recs

I watched them on Hulu, but they’re available everywhere, I’m sure. The first recommendation is The Quiet One, a film about retired Stone Bill Wyman. I think it was released last summer.

Throughout his three-decade career as a founding member of and bassist for The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman was known to the world as the “quiet one” in the band. Now, the famously private music legend speaks out about his extraordinary life and experiences as part of “the greatest rock and roll band in the world.” Opening up his vast personal archive—a lifetime’s worth of previously unseen home movies, photographs, and memorabilia—Wyman reflects on his early years with The Stones, the band’s meteoric rise to fame, and his search for a sense of “normalcy” amidst the whirlwind of sex, drugs, and rebellion. Endearingly humble and down-to-earth, Wyman pulls back the curtain to offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on life as a reluctant rock star.

The second is 2007’s Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, which you bastards have probably already seen. I missed it, somehow.

… paints an uncommonly colorful picture of the onetime leader of The Clash. Director Julien Temple reveals Strummer as more than a punk legend, but a stunning cultural communicator whose influence knew no bounds.

The Greatest Internet Comment About Star Wars Ever

Tickets purchased, expectations lowered. Sigh. The Rise of Skywalker is currently hovering at a 53 on Metacritic.

And, submitted for your approval, a rare and wonderfully insightful thought plucked from the Internet. (Birth. Movies. Death., specifically.)

I couldn’t agree more.

If you go back and look at George Lucas’ “Star Wars” from in the context of 1977, it fits right into the canon of New Hollywood greats. But while his contemporaries were pulling from the French New Wave or Italian neorealisim, George Lucas cribbed influences from Kurosawa, Flash Gordon, John Ford, Joseph Campbell. It felt personal, in its own strange way, driven by the point of view of one auteur. As timeless as it seemed, it felt current and relevant to the outside world; its not hard to draw a comparison to the Vietnam war watching Star Wars, fresh on the minds of every American in the late 70s. It took risks, even when it was traveling in cliches and archetypes, and went on to inspire multiple generations of creativity.

But somewhere along the way, Star Wars became just another risk averse IP in our increasingly IP-driven world. As its universe expanded, it ironically put on a cap on the possibilities of what “Star Wars” could mean. It is now Star Wars as product, “market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption” as Martin Scorsese recently put it. Where once Star Wars drew on the outside world, its now merely about itself and its finite number of themes and ideas. The films that once showed audiences things they’d never seen before is now just another franchise built to deliver exactly what we remember, forever and ever, until we’re all dead.