2018 in Review: June

2018 in Review: June

Posted in 2018 Updates by - July 01, 2018
2018 in Review: June

The Everyday Lives of Male Bodybuilders

“A Skin So Soft (originally in French, Te peau si lisse) is not quite in line with all these other works, even though it is about male bodybuilders, whom you would naturally think of as the living embodiments of this physical ideal. Quebecois director Denis Côté instead dismantles the very concept of “perfection,” showing just what his subjects undergo to achieve it.”

“Whether they like Westerns or not, most people already know an intrinsic shorthand of specific clichés within the genre, and that gave us a great foundation. Out of the gate, you have that shorthand established with the audience, setting up certain expectations. Once you ground it with that familiarity, it gives you an easier launchpad to deviate from.”

“Geyrhalter favors a specific set of techniques: still shots, wide views, long takes, keen attention to soundscapes, and no music. Certain frames could be mistaken for photos, were it not for the audio of howling wind or dripping water or rustling trees. These are not merely films that you absorb, but ones which you must consider and sometimes confront as you watch them. Every scene strikes up a new encounter. “Here is how your burger is made, the various kinds of exploitation that come together to make it possible.” “Here is what happens to a mall when it has not been used in years, what will be left over when we are all gone.” “Here is how a government operates late at night.” “Here is how people far removed from the internet go about their day.” The films don’t even feel like provocations, simply that they are presenting facets of reality that cannot be ignored, even though many of us do.”

Review: Gumballs

“Nations’ drawing style emphasizes angularity and few soft curves. He names Matt Groening as a major influence, and you can see it in the lovingly ugly-cute way he depicts people. Like many graphic novelists, the cartoony aesthetic cushions some intense subject matter, from physical dysphoria to mental illness to sexual assault. It also renders the mundane and the clinical, like descriptions of Nations’ physical changes during hormone therapy, into a visually engaging format. Nations continually expresses anxieties connected to his body, and in that light the abstraction of the human form on the comics page takes on new meaning. Gumballs isn’t a retreat from the real world, or precisely a safe space, but it lets him process the messier aspects of his life through a lens he controls. The book never preaches on any subject at a volume louder than respectful assertion, but that control imbues it with some hefty inspirational power.”
This post was written by
Dan Schindel is a writer and editor. He lives and works in New York.
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