(I never actually read Girly but it makes a good header image, huh)
I’m really bad at keeping up with stuff serially.
I’m getting better at it, I swear. There’s about four different web novels I read each new chapter of (albeit sometimes a week or two late), and I’m on top of any Steven Universe episode that ever airs (albeit that’s like once a year). But even still, for the most part, I’m unable to stay dedicated to serialized media series for a very long time–ironic for someone who writes a web serial, I know.
The only time in my life I can say I had anything resembling clinical depression was in Summer 2016. My semester at university had ended, my little baby brother had graduated high school, and I was free for three months to do whatever the hell I wanted until I went off to Nagoya, Japan to study there for a year.
But due to massive compounding anxiety and heartbreak as a result of being cheated on and emotionally toyed with as I struggled poorly to handle myself, I fell into a pretty dark place.
I was studying in Japan for its entire duration, so I had absolutely no first-hand impact. But I remember vividly the laughably absurd mania that infected the entire United States for a couple months over friggin’ clowns.
Like, do you actually remember it? This isn’t a rhetorical question. It’s been almost one decade since that video graced the internet, a ridiculously silly and wholesome video that instantly became an internet sensation. And yet, does anyone in the entire world today make reference to the fact that it existed?
I think America is really messed up in a lot of ways, but one way is in our collective short-term memory being a single news cycle long, and that’s on a good day.
Remember when, five years ago today, North Korea launched a state-sponsored terror attack against Sony Pictures, leaking thousands of e-mails, scripts, and other sensitive files, then threatening a repeat of 9/11 if The Interview was shown in theaters?
This actually friggin’ happened, and yet it’s barely a footnote in the 2010s somehow. What is wrong with us?
Darren Aronofksy’s Noah was a really good movie. It isn’t really talked about much anymore, though. It was a huge box office success, had great reviews, and generated tons and tons of controversy for presenting a decidedly non-Evangelical interpretation of the Book of Genesis.
But what I want to talk about with Noah is its Creation Scene, one of the most visually stunning sequences in any film in the 2010s. If you liked Aronofsky’s other heavily symbolic and religious The Fountain, this scene will be perfect for you; it works amazingly in-context as part of the moral drama of Noah and his family, but it also works completely separately as a standalone scene:
I’ll defend Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to the end of my days, which isn’t hard because nobody actually saw the movie to be able to criticize it.
The movie has some of the most inventive and visually interesting action sequences this side of Mad Max Fury Road, and the art direction is something else. Also, while everyone thinks Dane Dehaan was a poor choice for a leading man, that’s just because they wanted Valerian to be some generic Han Solo ripoff instead of accepting him for the skeevy scummy horndog he was meant to be. The second half is a lot quieter and maybe less interesting than the first half, but it’s got a fantastic not-actually-action-packed climax and a resolution that’s shockingly heartfelt as much as its political undertones are bitingly cynical.
But I’m not here to talk about the movie as a whole, except that oops I already did. I’m here to talk about the opening.