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:
It will cost you $5. You can find it streaming in all the usual places:
- 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?
- American Masters: Creative Spark: Kelly Reichardt Breaks Down Her Filmmaking Process Behind "Showing Up" on Apple Podcasts
- 'Showing Up' review: Michelle Williams stars as a struggling artist : NPR
- “Showing Up,” Reviewed: A Masterwork About an Artist’s Life | The New Yorker
- The Minor Gesture reading group on Infinite Conversations (2018)