What got our gutchies in a googoo outside of horror in 2015? We thought you’d never ask!
Carcassonne: Winter Edition
Full disclosure: I was going to give praise to Star Trek Deck Building Game: The Next Generation and it totally deserves it (and for more than just the nostalgia factor), but I received Carcassonne: Winter Edition for Yule and I’m addicted. It’s a tile-laying board game where you get points by building cities and roads and farms and monasteries. It won’t take you long to catch on to the mechanics, but as Meredith says, “it’s thinky.” The artwork is awesome (courtesy of Anne Patzke) and full of snow and woodland creatures, including a cute mythical fox. You might notice that Meredith and I talk about board games a lot. Perhaps The Whorer will delve into horror-themed games in 2016. #GatherYourParty – Fem
Art Angels by Grimes
Grimes’ previous album Visions fueled many a late night / early morning work session. To put it succinctly, it was dreamy. She took a lot of misogynistic bullshit in the music press as to whether she is a great tunesmith, or just a flash-in-the-pan novelty act. Doubters were slayed divine retribution style with the release of Art Angels. Sure, I do wish it was more industrial / goth, but there is no more b.s. about whether she’s a producer to be reckoned with. The next Bjork? Possibly maybe. Shortly after this album came out, I was at Fem’s apartment listening to this record on headphones mumbling about “a million dollars… a million dollars.” She screams at me, “what are you saying about a million dollars!” “Oh, I was just thinking I hope Grimes makes a million dollars.” –Meredith Continue reading
To prove that we have lives outside of horror, here are our best-of-2014 choices:
Laibach’s Jesus Christ Superstar was released back in 1996, but it dominated my world in 2014 as the thing most listened to during my travels / commutes. Ever since watching Nymphomaniac and hearing Rammstein’s “Fuhre Miche,” I’ve had the Laibach itch and have clung to this particular piece of work. Maybe because I’m all too familiar with the broadway musical, but I guess more so just because I’m a perverted immature heathen.
Jesus Christ Superstar is an obsession, but FKA twigs is a passion. After discovering her and her album, LP1, the experience prompted me to tweet this:
And then as luck would have it, her tour brought her to Nashville! Regretting the time I skipped Grimes, I bought tickets 3 months in advance. It’s easily the best consumer decision I made in 2014.
P.S. Meredith cast FKA twigs in the role of Chani in his version of DUNE The Musical. – Fem
This documentary about the breaking of the NSA surveillance story by the person who broke it, filmmaker Laura Poitras, is visceral cinema verite – as emotionally cutting as it is historically relevant. Facts about mass surveillance are well known (thanks to Poitras) but the dramatic arc of this story is the transformation of Glenn Greenwald from skeptic to believer. The final scene is a heart stab. When the credits rolled the theater was a blackhole of hopelessness, a communal emotional void-space. I hadn’t experienced anything like that in a theater since The Act of Killing. (Checkout last year’s Whorer Awards) Perhaps the only thing more hopeless is the apathy of the American public. Of specific interest to The Whorer is Poitras’ list of free software tools used in the making of the movie. At least one of those tools has since been compromised. This is of specific interest to The Whorer because without free software this website and all its content would not be possible. The tools Poitras mentions though are not creative tools but tools that protect users’ right to privacy. Without such tools, Poitras would have been unable to complete Citizenfour. She’s been on a government watchlist and her computers are routinely seized and searched since the release of her film My Country, My Country. This film was critical of the second Iraq War. Early in The Whorer, I asserted feminism and free software are part of the same project; i.e., peace and justice. Citizenfour is evidence of this. Now I feel guilty for using (abusing?) a movie that has genuine historical significance to put a feather in my Cap of Self-Righteousness. Sometimes you can see me on the street, wearing it, mansplaining things to people. – Meredith Continue reading
A reprieve! The best of what wasn’t horror this year.
Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers
This film is the only film I saw in 2013 that blew my mind (and yes, I do watch other genres in addition to my usual horror, sci-fi, and fantasy). I loved it instantly and exactly like I loved Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo, no afterthought required. I was kind of disturbed by the theater-goers that brought their kids ranging in age from 4-12 years, but then again that’s partly why I loved it. If you watch this movie and think it’s vapid teenage porn glorification you obviously haven’t done much research on Harmony Korine. I mean, do you really think his use of Skrillex is unconscious and just trendy? It’s a social commentary and speaks volumes of truth. This review does a decent job of summing up most of my feelings about Korine’s latest work. – Fem
John Waters’ best of year list in Artforum
Am I going to plug someone else’s best of the year list on my best of the year list? Why the fuck not? As I have said on the show, podcasts like ours are the toilet paper of culture. 90% of the time we are critiquing someone else’s work with someone else’s theory. We are the parasites of the parasites. (That’s a good name for a movie.) So here’s an aging genius’ list. Of the movies that I’ve seen on there, I’ve loved them. As for the rest, I want to see them. There are even a few we could shoehorn into the show. Maybe I am just high on French filth after our Martyrs episode. Regardless, his favorite film was my favorite film – Spring Breakers – which is unsurprisingly absent from all the other middle brow lists this year. He also gives a shout out to Blackfish which is near and dear to Fem’s heart. The only film Waters is missing is the soul crushing The Act of Killing. After watching that you’ll never laugh at any b-movie featuring machetes ever again. The best archival piece I saw this year was Joel DeMott & Jeff Kreine’s Seventeen but that was a 16mm shown as a one off at a music venue so good luck buddy. Are DeMott & Kreines stupid enough to think it would hurt them if that film was on internet? – Meredith Continue reading
Here they are! Our end-of-year / new year shout-outs! We liked them in 2012 and we’re excited for what they’ll bring us in 2013. Cheers.
Fucking While Feminist
A podcast hosted by writer, performer, and activist Jaclyn Friedman exploring how to negotiate your sex life with your feminist values and oh, so much more! Personally, I very much enjoyed the episode with Jessica Danforth, founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. -Fem
Comicbookgirl19 has a Youtube show and a blog where she posts reviews and recommendations from most nerd movie genres. Her approach is fun and casual which lets her be entertaining while slipping in a lot of insightful commentary and historical knowledge. One of the unstated goals seems to be to teach the younger denizens of Youtube a bit of film culture. Which she does with aplomb. She was my go to source for info about the frustrating Prometheus. I recommend her analyses of the theatrical release and the Blu Ray disc. She isn’t afraid to say the word misogyny and often includes her grandmother in her videos. –Meredith Continue reading