by Anthony King
I always told people I played bass because the rhythm section was the absolute foundation of any band (particularly jazz trios, which is what paid my bills). While I didn't necessarily want to be up front and center with the spotlight focused on me, I still knew my job was important and if I wasn't there things would fall apart. I suppose that's natural thinking for any human, but we have to unlearn that way of thinking. Some have already unlearned it, some, like me, are working on it. But most people still either a.) want/crave the spotlight for good or bad reasons; or b.) are convinced the world will stop spinning if they stop doing whatever it is they're doing. More in a bit, but first, what I've been watching.Scream (1996). I had never wanted to see any of the sequels, which is silly because Scream is one of my all time favorite movies. With the new entry in the franchise coming out this year I thought I'd better play catchup. So after watching the original four, my wife and I sat down for Scream (2022) since we were seeing the new one. I really enjoyed it, and I was once again reaffirmed in my belief that the boys of Radio Silence are in the top echelon of working directors today. Their love for the art of filmmaking is inspiring, and their brilliant craftsmanship is extremely evident in every one of their films. I'd only seen Jenna Ortega in X (2022), a movie in which I loved her performance, and here it was again impressed upon me that she is well on her way to becoming a movie star. It was great seeing the three legacy characters return, and I particularly loved Jack Quaid's performance. I wasn't totally sold on the new friend group immediately, and I really didn't like Melissa Barrera's performance. Things would change when we got to the next movie.Scream VI (2023). Going in completely blind to movies is always preferable, but I really felt the impact of that this time around. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have delivered a perfect legacy sequel in Scream VI. The incorporation of New York City, some of their regular stock company, and the way they were able to keep the meta aspect of the franchise going without it feeling shoehorned in was awe-inspiring. I don't know if it's because I came to the remainder of the franchise 20 years after the fact, and that people hold the original movie in such high esteem, but I don't understand the dislike and sometimes flat-out hate for this movie. I disagree with the lazy writing arguments, the lack of innovation, and claims that it's boring. I finally understood that Melissa Barrera is actually a good actor, and I am totally on board with the new friend group. I contend we'll get one more Scream since there are seven Stab movies, but I'm probably wrong because Hollywood is... well, you know. Scream VI is my favorite movie of the year so far.
Shorts films I've watched recently of note:
The Big Shave (Martin Scorsese | 1967 | 6 min.)
Coffee Shop Names (Deepak Sethi | 2020 | 8 min.)
A Nightmare (Georges Melies | 1896 | 1 min.)
What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (Martin Scorsese | 1963 | 9 min.)
Every day I scroll my social media timelines and read essays and reviews, and inevitably I come across multiple things that cause me to think, “Oh. Oh no. Why are you writing these things?” Is it because deep down, even though someone claims they don't want the spotlight shining on them, this person wants to stir the pot a little? Speaking from personal experience, and as someone who has stirred the pot a little with this very column, the answer is yes. I'll admit right here that I know exactly what I'm writing in my column and what I say on a podcast and why I'm saying it. I think Katherine Hepburn is an awful actress. I said it on a podcast, and I'm writing it here. It's my opinion, and I wholeheartedly stand by it, but I also smile thinking I'm getting a reaction out of someone. This is about as far as I'll go when it comes to “trolling,” though (and I don't even know if it's trolling to say I hate Kate Hepburn). I'm not out there maliciously seeking attention by spewing hateful propaganda. But mixing the salt with the sugar can be enjoyable sometimes, let's admit it.