⬆ It wasn’t a dream or implanted fake memory, The X-Files (No. 5) really did premiere this week. ☆ An unfortunate acronym, a positive ranking. The SAG Awards came back at No. 11. ☆ It’s the live action musical we want (ooh, ooh, ooh, honey). Grease: Live debuted at No. 14.
Movies: The next big reunion isn’t for another 15 years.
☆ Lazer Team (No. 6), the movie that Kickstarted off with $2.4 million, was released. Sorry, Zach Braff. ⬇︎ The reunion is over, everyone is going home. High School Musical is slowly dropping out at No. 9.
☆ Amber Rose is at No. 2 after issuing the clapback heard around the world. #WeWon’tUseTheHashtag ⬇︎ Gigi Hadid, or Zayn Malik’s current muse, moved up to No. 6. ☆ Leonardo DiCaprio’s (No. 17) date to The Sag Awards was a vape pen. Vape life, etc.
Games: M.R.E.A.M. Memes rule everything around media.
The last time I ran into Philip was at Bar Centrale, a theater restaurant, when he came in with a group that included Chris Rock, Zach Braff, and a bunch of great stage actors. At the time, I had read that Philip had gone to rehab for heroin. I was shocked, because you don’t think that a person who absolutely everyone acknowledges as great, would have such problems. But that was foolish, because addiction cares nothing for personality. It is an illness, not a matter of will, class, intelligence, or lifestyle. I have no idea what happened to Phil before he was found dead, but a friend of mine told me they saw him the day before he passed and he looked happy. This says to me that Philip was not someone who had given up. He didn’t throw it all away. He was just someone—a very special someone—who was sick. His death is shocking to us because his greatness made him seem invincible. At the very least, all the incredible art he gave us should warrant him another chance.
By the time Braff decided to Kickstart some funds for his second movie he had become a rich media guy. When Garden State came out he was scrappy, but in 2013 he was the kind of entrenched figure against whom the scrappy guy scraps. And in the years since Garden State our tastes in indie cinema had changed a bit. They had become a bit more sophisticated (if still susceptible to bald-faced emotional manipulation). When Braff showed up with the same kind of fucking twee whimsy he had a decade ago, and then asked people to help pay for it… well, this is how backlashes are born.
What Zach Braff makes is essentially whitesploitation films, movies aimed directly at the suburban lizard brains of slightly disaffected honkies who will never know true trouble, just the nagging sense that things should be easier for them than they already are. And in the decade since Garden State we’ve kind of outgrown that. We’ve started calling this stuff ‘White People Problems’ and ‘First World Problems,’ and we’ve realized it’s pretty fucking gauche to go on and on about them. Sure, you can still make these movies (and Fox Searchlight might even distribute them for you), but we all understand that they’re $14 million faux-indies that are guaranteed a nice placement at Sundance and that let actors feel okay about taking big paychecks for superhero movies. And we all understand that you pay for these things the way movies are always paid for, not using the funding model for people who are outside of the system, people who face actual adversity when trying to get their vision accomplished. People who, basically, don’t have nine seasons of sitcom royalties.
Braff’s further sin was that he admitted he didn’t even need the money (and not personally. No one should ever self-finance a movie, no matter what their residual checks look like). He could get his movie made in the standard system - he just couldn’t get it made the way he wanted to get it made. So he needed you, his Shins-bumping fanbase, to help him out. Zach Braff basically didn’t want to take notes from a studio, and he asked other people to put up the money so he didn’t have to take those notes. Martin Scorsese works within this system, but not Zach Braff.
Endings are never easy. I always build them up so much in my head they can’t possibly live up to my expectations; I just end up dissappointed. I’m not even sure why it matters to me so much how things end here. I guess its because we all wanna believe that what we do is very important, that people hang onto our every word, that they care what we think. The truth is you should consider yourself lucky if you even occassionally get to make someone, anyone feel a little better. After that its all about the people that you let into your life. And as my mind drifted to faces I’ve seen here before I was taken to memories of family, of coworkers, of lost loves, even of those who have left us, and as i rounded that corner they all came at me as a wave of shared experience. And even though it felt warm and safe, I knew it had to end. Its never good to live in the past too long. As for the future, thanks to Dan it didn’t seem so scary any more. It could be whatever I want it to be. And who’s to say this isn’t what happens? Who can tell me that my fantasies won’t come true just…this…once…