I’m Not There: Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper”

I’m Not There: Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper”

[The following contains spoilers for Personal Shopper.]

 

I had more difficulty writing about Personal Shopper than almost anything else I’ve written about, because of what’s been happening in my life of late. Just last month, a mere week before I saw the movie, my uncle passed away after a long struggle with his health. There’s a hole in my life he left that I don’t think I’ll ever fill; he was a kind and giving man to everyone, a fantastic brother to my mom and my other uncles and was never anything but supportive of me. Sometimes it’s still hard to grasp that he’s gone. I feel like he’s still with me even now. Personal Shopper was exactly the movie I needed to see at that moment, because its statements on grief, technology, and how the two are intertwined profoundly moved me and helped me achieve some kind of closure.

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The Dangers of Sincerity on the Internet, or, The Saga of Rebecca Black

The Dangers of Sincerity on the Internet, or, The Saga of Rebecca Black

I don’t know about you, but Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is one of the biggest defining cultural milestones I can remember from my teenage years. Not just the song itself, mind you, although its repetitive earworm-iness has definitely stuck with me for quite some time. Mostly, it impacted me via the music video’s reception and subsequent meme-ification by the public. It’s hard to overstate how mainstreamed mockery of the video was: we had Youtube Poops, comedic dubs, “reviews” by angry men screaming in their basements (that I will not link to), and worst of all, an inevitable Glee cover. Yikes. All this over a song by a 13-year-old who signed with a record company that’s made an industry out of making children with rich parents into “pop stars” that was never even intended to make much of an impact, and certainly not in this way.

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