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Weekly Clickables – 3/16/2015

Welcome to Weekly Clickables, a new feature through which we share articles, videos, interviews, essays–anything we find during our casual web-browsing–with our readers. Every Monday, we’ll provide you with a few items to click on during the week. They might speak to something we’ve already posted on the site, or might just be something to bring up at your next cocktail party so that you appear to be well-informed and thoughtful (or hilarious, or insightful, or charmingly offbeat–it depends on what we find for you!).

What we’ve got for you this week:

Videos

  • For the newest film lovers: So You Want to Be A Film Nerd, Episode 1. The first episode of StrucciMovies’ new YouTube film series seeks to instruct and inspire new lovers of film. What is unique about this series, at least in its premiere chapter, is the understanding tone with which it addresses its audience. The landscape of film criticism (particularly of the internet variety) can often be a cynical, competitive, and elitist one, and narrator/author Shannon attempts to help viewers sidestep these poisonous or discouraging attitudes by recalling the work and philosophy of Buster Keaton, Francois Truffaut, Jean Luc Godard, and Quentin Tarantino. See it here!
  • For followers/fans of The Criterion Collection: Director Edgar Wright stops by The Criterion Collection offices in New York City, and selects three of his favorite films from the collection. Which three will he choose?
  • For fans/critics of the Alien series and/or director Neill Blomkamp: BBC3 Film Critic Mark Kermode reflects on the Neil Blomkamp Alien project, and postulates on the Alien 3 film that could have been. Hear Kermode’s thoughts, and learn about the original Alien III project and the events that led to its demise.

Articles/Essays

  • “The Male Gaze Has Outlived Its Usefulness” In his essay appearing in Movie Mezzanine, Jake Pitre illustrates a history of the damage done by the film industry’s insistence on maintaining a male gaze as the standard movie perspective.  According to Pitre, this perspective supports a “patriarchal society [that] will produce patriarchal art–women in film are passive while men are active, and men engage in and are rewarded for their desire to look while women are not.” Pitre posits that the model is obviously outdated, and campaigns for its abandonment and cultural repair.
  • On Birdman (Nebel Without a Cause). This discussion on the most recent Best Picture winner offers a uniquely sympathetic perspective toward the events in Birdman. Critic Sebastian Nebel interprets all of the film’s events, even those in which the main character is absent, to be illustrations of Riggan Thompson’s fight against (and eventually loss to) severe depression.
  • Good news for indie film fans: Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling are teaming up for a Netflix series that will begin streaming in 2016. It’s a drama called The OA, but no other details such as plot or cast have yet been revealed (The Playlist).  Read more about it here.

Interviews

  • If you’re in the mood for some serious talk about comedy, cultural policing, and boundaries, check out Salon’s interview with Patton Oswalt. Comedian Patton Oswalt and Salon have a very colorful history.  The liberal magazine’s culturally  analytical approach to policing comedy and the progressive comedian’s philosophy on the rules of comedy have brought the two parties into some combatant exchanges as of late.  In this long interview, Salon’s David Daley engages Oswalt in a brilliant and necessary discussion about outrage and comedic boundaries.

That’s all we’ve got for you this week. Check back next Monday for fresh suggestions from the AE staff!

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Katherine B. Shelor
A very average thirty-ish woman living in Virginia with a dream of one day earning a living using the education on which she spent so much time. For now, she uses it for things like writing movie reviews, alienating strangers, composing critical analyses via texts to her decreasingly patient friends, or correcting her coworkers' grammar (silently, and only to herself, for fear of offending those whom she serves).