Cosmos Café: Showing Up (film discussion) [TBD]

Attn: @ccafe

When: TBD. Please comment below if you would like to participate in this event! It will be scheduled once we have a couple interested participants.

A critic I’ve been following on Mastodon recently went out on a treacherous limb with the following comment:

I’m just going to say it, and what happens, happens. My wife and I made a rare foray into popular cinema this evening and watched “Barbie.” She and I agree: What a simplistic, boring film. That made $1 billion? Wow. Meanwhile, almost nobody saw 2023’s “Showing Up,” an exceptional, thoughtful, nuanced, witty film by the brilliant Kelly Reichardt. Go figure. Remind me to stick with art-house films.

We got into a friendly little exchange, because I basically agreed, though I thought the movie was fun enough when I saw it with Kayla and the girls. I particularly appreciated Rhea Perlman’s role, and no doubt, there were some good lines (like the last one). Still, I questioned how well Barbie would hold in 20 years, once we’re past this weird cultural moment.

But then I went and saw the trailer for Showing Up, and it looked pretty good. So it occurred to me that this could be a interesting film to talk about in an upcoming Café—if anyone else would be up for watching it, too. It relates directly to themes near and dear to my heart: the struggle of being an artist while dealing with all the demands of life and the f’d-upness of society (which at the same time keeps things interesting, if also exasperating). This film might also segue into a book I’ve brought up before and might propose that we read as a follow-up, Lewis Hyde’s classic, The Gift.

Here is a preview for Showing Up:

Watching / Listening

It will cost you $5. You can find it streaming in all the usual places:

Seed Questions

  • How necessary is “friction” to the creative process—or to life?
  • What is the role of community in shaping an artist’s work?
  • Why should we care about artistic work that is small, subtle, slow, organic, or in other ways antithetical to the speed and size of modern life?

Context, Backstory, and Related topics


Was planning on being there for the chat, but the Internet God$ have deemed me unworthy. The film is not available in Germany, nor can I stream it here if I do not have a US-based payment method. So much for the freedom of cyberspace once it has been commercialized. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Of course I wish you locals a rousing good time and engaging conversation.

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Oh, what rubbish! You’d think the film would be available in Europe since it first played at Cannes…


Yeah, you’d think … but when it comes to property rights (which Proudhon argued were the true root of all evil) they don’t fool around. What kills me is that Visa/Mastercard isn’t Visa/Mastercard: I’ve bought stuff all over the internet, but always get shafted when it comes to IP for some reason. Oh well, I don’t make the rules.

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Since @Michael_Stumpf is also indisposed tomorrow, I’m going to postpone and see if anyone wants to talk about this film next week some other time instead.