Get Out (Dir. Jordan Peele)

Get out

Jordan Peele’s Get Out would not have been green-lit in any year but this one. Had someone described the premise of this film to me a few years ago, I would not have believed them- that not only does this film exist, but that it is a tremendous hit both critically and commercially. And it’s a blessing, really, because if Get Out had been released two years ago it might have been more polarizing if it had even been released at all. The fact that a film with such a supposedly controversial premise has done so well is a testament both to how good this movie is and, very likely, due to the current political climate. It’s a daunting task to create a thought-provoking and genuinely scary film that can include humor sparingly and with purpose, but Jordan Peele has pulled it off.

Get Out is not a “horror comedy”. It is a horror film with moments of comic relief to keep the audience grounded. The humor in this film will come from one of two sources: the uncomfortable familiarity of upper middle class white culture, or Lil Rel Howery as audience surrogate Rod Williams. Rod’s job is to act as the voice of reason most horror movies are missing. See this movie in theatres while you can, because part of the experience is developing this camaraderie with the other viewers through Rod. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie that warranted applause at three separate scenes.  

SPOILERS BELOW

Continue reading

Place Your Bets: Oscars 2017

emma-stone-lala-land

I hate the Oscars; I know that they are entirely meaningless and serve little purpose other than to reward those who gave the most money to the Academy. I know that the same types of films are nominated every year, as they follow the same focus group-tested algorithm and were factory-built for award season. And I know that it is a tacky ceremony that spends most of its time congratulating itself and the many white people who didn’t do much to deserve it. But I watch it every year. I love complaining to no one when my favorites don’t win, I love the ridiculous over-polished musical performances and I love placing my bets. So here they are.

Continue reading

Place Your Bets: The 2017 Grammy Awards

46th Annual Grammy Awards - Pressroom

To me, The Grammys are the Super Bowl.  I always want to gamble on it.  I usually know what’s going to happen.  I’m glued to the TV for hours, and I get drunk while doing it.  Unlike the Super Bowl though, the person who wins is either met with indifference or excitement, rarely anger.  This year, BurgerADay are laying out the pics for who will win versus who should win.  Check out our picks, and either way, just remember it’s much more important than the Patriots and Falcons.  No one’s deflating these balls.

 

Album Of The Year:

25 — Adele

Lemonade — Beyoncé

Purpose — Justin Bieber

Views — Drake

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Should Win: Lemonade-Beyoncé

I may have been late to the party for a long time, but at the tail end of 2016, I listened to Lemonade, and it’s pretty damn great.  Beyoncé is completely worthy of all the praise she’s gotten for this album.  As most of the best albums of the year, Bey mixed the political with the personal, and the record can transition from an emotional gut-punch like on “Pray You Catch Me” or “Don’t Hurt Yourself” to a genuinely fun as hell hype song like “Formation.”  There may be a little protest to the politicization of Beyoncé, but as someone who’s never been on board with her as a simple pop-artist, she’s certainly left a great impression this year.

Continue reading

“You’re All a Bunch of Fucking Sadists”: Looking at Christine Chubbuck Through Film

kateplayschristine christine_2016_film

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival featured two separate and unrelated films about the life and death of Christine Chubbuck, a news reporter who committed suicide by gunshot during a live broadcast on July 15th, 1974. Apart from these two films, titled Christine and Kate Plays Christine, little has been spoken of Chubbuck in the past forty years. The footage of the event is under lock and key, and the only people who have seen it, as far as I’m aware, were those present during the event. And it seems odd that such an unusual story is suddenly getting film adaptations after so many years of being largely forgotten- but it seems fitting for 2016. In an era where information is more widely accessible than ever before, it’s frustrating to know that this video exists but isn’t available with the click of a button. And in this age of information, everything we do can be publicized and exploited- it’s difficult to keep anything private. Christine made a premeditated decision- she wanted the gruesome end to her miserable life to have an audience. And maybe in this performative culture we live in today, she has once again become relatable.

Antonio Campos’ Christine is a fairly straightforward biopic while Robert Greene’s Kate Plays Christine is labeled a documentary. I say labeled because it isn’t really a documentary, but it is disguised as one. It is centered around Kate Lyn Sheil, a method actress trying to understand Chubbuck in preparation to portray her in a movie that does not exist. Sheil puts on a wig to look more like her, speaks to people who knew Chubbuck, learns about the gun used during the suicide, speaks to mental health professionals, et cetera. And while it is interesting to watch this woman in a wig run in circles around Sarasota looking for lost footage, this movie feels aimless until the very end. As Kate prepares to re-enact the suicide, she is clearly distressed and struggles to get through the entire scene. During the last take, she turns the gun away from her own head and toward the audience: “If you want me to do it, you have to tell me why you want to see it…I keep looking for an angle to make her death worth more than her life and there just isn’t one.” When she doesn’t receive a response, she finally says “fuck it,” and shoots herself in the head. After a long pause, she lifts her head back up and looks back at the audience: “Are you happy now? You’re all a bunch of fucking sadists.” And she was not wrong. This movie’s pointlessness is part of its point. It’s slow and meandering and it’s hard not to constantly wonder when the bloodshed will occur, because there is unfortunately no other reason for a film about her to exist. We know little about her life and she wasn’t a hero or a martyr. Her death is the only reason she is discussed at all. And that’s why Campos’ Christine can’t work as a whole. While it was engaging enough and Rebecca Hall gave a fantastic performance, a film about a person whose death was more notable than their life will be exploitative and soulless no matter how competently made the film is. It is a straightforward biopic that attempts to explain her death, but that can’t be possible when so many of its details were made up for the sake of driving the plot forward. Kate Plays Christine shames the audience for subconsciously craving that forbidden footage. And we should be ashamed.

 

Marisa Winckowski

Views from the Women’s March: New York, 1/21/17

img_7604

Still to this day you hear people saying, “I thought it was a joke that he was running.” But to me, it was never a joke. When you hear hateful rhetoric, it cannot be taken as a joke.

I remember the days leading up to the election feeling a mixture of dread and giddiness. On the one hand, we could be pushing women’s rights in this country further than ever by electing not only the first female president but one with a progressive campaign promise. On the other hand, we ended up with a man with no experience, spewing hate and making enemies with whomever he could.

img_7572

When the news hit, when they sent everyone home from the Javits Center in the middle of the night, when he made is acceptance speech, I cried well into the night. I had friends who took the next day off. The unthinkable had happened, and not in the way we all wanted. And, while ‘we’ sounds like an oppressive term, remember, that he did not win the popular vote. Hell, forty percent of eligible voters did not show up.

Then came announcements of a Women’s March on Washington and it started growing, soon there were sister marches from Denver to New York being planned, and I knew that no matter where I was I would show up.

img_7579

What I did not realize was that ‘we’ would show up. This was everyone’s march.  This was our time to come together, as Americans, and show what ‘we’ believe in. As a woman, I expected it to be mostly women and a few bad ass guys. Yet, the New York sister march was almost 50/50. I went to the march with three of my guy friends, which in it of itself was powerful. There was so much energy in the streets. According to the Mayor’s office, over 400,000 people marched from 42nd and 2nd Ave to 55th and 5th Ave. For us, it took over five hours.

This march was for so much more than women’s rights. The official organizers announced a radically progressive agenda they were marching for, and the people came through with signs about everything from sexual assault justice to ending the Electoral College to climate change to simply promoting love and kindness. This march stood up for ‘we’ the people and our major and legitimate concerns about the next four years.

Some of the chants that resonated through the canyons of buildings were, “My Body, My Choice!” Followed by, “Her Body! Her choice!” Some other popular ones were, “We are the popular vote!” Our voices all blended together and filled up all the air. Every way you turned there was someone holding up a sign and “fighting for their rights”.

At the end of the march, I was filled with hope and energy and a renewed faith that this is who my country is. And at the same time there was desperation, that not only were we marching for women’s rights, but LBGTQ rights, for a right to fair education, the legitimacy of climate change and our acceptance of all immigrants to our nation of immigrants.

As I rode the train home that night, the numbers began to spill in. Almost 800,000 in Los Angeles, 200,000 in Denver and a march too large it turned into a rally in Washington DC, not to mention the cities globally that joined in. ‘We’ the people had come through and shown we will not back down.

img_7613

Nina Mascheroni

‘Our First 100 Days’ Recap: 1/20-1/27

a0144000676_161

Well, it’s been a week.  During his first week in office, President Trump has reinstated the Global Gag Rule, argued about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, confirmed that he plans to build the wall, and silenced various government agencies from making official statements.  While there’s already been a number of cons, there have been some good things to come out of it: the Women’s March, the punch heard ’round the world, and our first week of songs from Our First 100 Days.

Our First 100 Days is a compilation in a similar vein as the 30 Days, 30 Songs campaign.  Every day for Trump’s first 100 days in office, a new song will be added the the campaign’s bandcamp page.  The whole comp can be pre-ordered for $30 with all funds going towards organizations that Trump’s policies will affect.  It already boasts some artists that have released some of the best albums of last year, and it promises more big named artists.
As is often the case with large scale comps, Our First 100 Days is something of a mixed bag ranging in quality.  During the first week, just about everything is tolerable, at the very least.  The only real clunky song is Avey Tare’s demo of “Visit the Dojo,” which is mind-numbingly annoying.  The only other real complaints that could be made are about Women’s “Group Transport Hall,” which is too atmospheric for my taste, and Jason Molina’s “Royko.”  Molina’s song isn’t my cup of tea, but it also seems somewhat difficult to put a man who’s been dead for four years on a political compilation.  That being said, I never knew Molina’s politics, so who am I to judge?  Meat Wave’s “Dogs at Night” is another that is fine as a song, but there’s not much special about it.
Angel Olsen’s introductory song is a great little song.  Production wise, it bears a strong resemblance to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  The song is surprisingly apolitical for the first song on an actively political compilation.  That being said, Olsen’s delivery and instrumentation at the beginning of the song sounds militant.  It is a sweet little number that would have easily fit on My Woman though.
PWR BTTM’s “Vacation” is easily the best.  The song begins like a sad, lazy song, but it ends with passionate shrieking.  Although this seems to be simply another unrequited love song, the sentiment of “it’s going to be a long day,” certainly echoes the feelings of the past week.
Suuns and Tilman Robinson & Luke Howard’s songs are the most interesting sonically.  Robinson & Howard’s “Requiem for 2016” is a dreary classical composition that certainly reflects some of the feelings of disassociation and numbness.  Suuns’ “Native Tongues” captures a similar emotion, but the distorted screeches in the background along with the processed vocals certainly seem more accurate to what we’re living in now.

BurgerADay Seeks new writers

14203654_1261523193860033_1311749266_o

Hi all, over the summer, you probably know that I started my website/blog, BurgerADay.com.  The original goal for BurgerADay was to post some form of content at least once a day, but due to my new job, it’s become increasingly difficult to regularly post to BurgerADay.  For 2017, in addition to finding a way to continue my original goal, I have 2 new goals: 1. I want to get more visitors for BurgerADay (maybe monetize it, somehow?), and 2. Get more writers for a variety of topics.

I feel the second goal is necessary in order to reach goal one and continue the original one, thus I’m searching for writers.  I’m seeking people who are passionate about any of the following: movies, TV, politics, fitness, food, books, beverages, celebrities, restaurants, pop culture, tech, comedy, theatre, music, sports or anything that can be of interest to others.  If you can write competently about one or more of these topics and you’re looking for a place to showcase some writing, BurgerADay is the place for you.  The ideal BurgerADay writer has a wide knowledge of pop culture, a sense of humor and interesting, original ideas.  Submit the Google form below and send an email with 2-4 writing samples to burgeradayofficial@gmail.com.  Currently, BurgerADay is unable to provide payment to writers.

 

Google Form