This weekend, I saw Interstellar, and I saw Beyonce’s new video for “7/11.” One of them I couldn’t stop thinking about. So here’s my piece for Slate about why I find a little more hope in Beyonce’s hand-held, participatory digital aesthetic than I do in Christopher Nolan’s big-screen throwback.
“‘7/11’ is already made of GIFs; it Vines itself. When she claps on the balcony or twerks on the chair in the bathroom, the looped image comes built into the texture of the video. ‘7/11’ is a series of pre-manipulated moments, moves and visual non sequiturs that you immediately want to see again in part because you’ve already seen them rewound and repeated before your eyes. If you’ve watched ‘7/11’ once, you’ve watched it at least twice.”
“Is Beyonce the Future of Digital Cinema?”
I’ve inaugurated a new Dear Television feature for The Los Angeles Review of Books. “Necro-streaming” is the watching of a television show’s remaining episodes after it’s been canceled. Today, I wrote about Selfie, Freaks and Geeks, and the mercifully un-canceled Jane the Virgin.
“But there is something lovable about a piece of culture whose life was so awkward and brief. Something worth pausing over about a show that stands up briefly only to be toppled. This is a nasty business, this pilot season — everything I’ve just said above totally erases what I’m sure is the total agony of being a writer or performer on one of these shows — but there’s something precious about the feeling of loyalty that begins to catch in your throat only to be swallowed back down.”
“Necro-streaming: Notes on Watching a Dead Show”