Netflix has been a boon for stand-up comedians these past few years, offering an enormous platform for artists whose work would have been a little more difficult to find for our generation of instant streamers. I fell into the rabbit hole of stand-up around the same time I started my Netflix subscription, which means for a while, I hadn’t done much else but listen to the upteenth comedian give a self-deprecating monologue.
The Oscars held its 91st annual ceremony on Sunday, awarding Hollywood’s most prestigious filmmaking awards to the best films of the year ... or that’s the idea, anyways.
Last Saturday, I went to watch the Hopkins Center’s screening of the collection of Oscar-nominated live-action short films without a clue of what I was getting into. I hadn’t looked up any of the films before my viewing, and in my innocence, I assumed that the brevity of the shorts meant they would toe the line between light-hearted and meaningful. They would not be too dark or bleak, I assured myself, before the lights went dim and the title card for the first short appeared on the screen.
There was a moment of collective solidarity on the Internet — which is really rare, considering it’s the Internet — when Fox announced the cancellation of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” in May of 2018. Fans of the show, from Lin Manuel-Miranda to Guillermo del Toro, all tweeted their outrage, leading to the show’s resurrection at NBC a mere 31 hours after the announcement of its cancellation.
When I returned home for the winter holidays this past November, my parents announced on the drive back from the airport that we were moving out of the home we had lived in for the last 14 years. I reacted as anyone might after an abrupt announcement that they were losing their childhood home: nervous laughter, and then an incredulous “What?”
There’s an image in Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning” that I still see when I close my eyes at night: a little boy approaches a burning greenhouse. He is inexplicably dripping wet — with water? with gasoline? — and he stares at the flames in a trance.
Last June, Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby released her Netflix stand-up special “Nanette.” The show received critical acclaim and an entire literature of think-pieces, not because it was especially funny or because the jokes were radical (although they were), but because Gadsby used her special to question what it means to use self-deprecating comedy as a woman, a queer individual and as an “other” who exists in the margins.
I’ll be the first to admit it — I am not a gamer. I don’t know much about any specific kind of game, about the world of gaming or of gamers in general.
There’s crazy, there’s satire, there’s dystopian, and then there’s “Sorry to Bother You.” Musician Boots Riley’s 2018 directorial debut takes place in an alternative-world Oakland — but don’t let the term “alternative-world” fool you.