Matt Zoller Seitz, writing for RogerEbert.com about the recent release of Endgame and “The Long Night” episode of Game of Thrones:
Art house cinemas (which have a business built around stand-alone, non-tentpole features) are struggling to stay open, and their proprietors face increasingly old crowds that aren’t being replaced by younger viewers. Theaters generally are on what an exhibitor friend of mine bitterly referred to as “Disney life support.” Forty percent of domestic box office receipts come from that one studio, most of its business is based around serialized, mega-expensive, dopamine-hit franchises. […]
It gives me no pleasure to write any of this, having come up in what retrospectively seems like the death throes of an older culture, only to enter a spectacular and in some ways unnerving new one. Sometimes it feels as if I’m chronicling the things I love as they take their sweet time fading to black.
But I can also honestly say that, at this point, I’m more curious than apprehensive about what the future will bring. This is the kind of cultural moment that people tell their grandkids and great-nephews and nieces about. Whether the tone of the remembrance is sad or wondrous depends on who’s telling it, but tell it they will, because it’s happening, right now, to all of us. It’s not often that you get to watch the complete transformation and eventual fusion of two art forms, the transformation of art and entertainment itself, and the technology that supplies and defines it.
It’s still staggering to me that Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones are both ending major chapters of pop culture lore in the span of a few weeks. Both achieved the nearly impossible. In the case of Endgame, the MCU sustained 22 films’ worth of storytelling and somehow managed to tie them together in a satisfying way in Endgame. In the case of Game of Thrones, it may well end up being one of the last instances of mass-appointment viewing in America. Millions of people watch together every Sunday, and by the time the episode is over, the memes have already begun.
It’s possible we may never see anything like them again. And it is exhilarating to be able to witness it all as it happens.
In the meantime, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to speak in-depth about Endgame and Game of Thrones with some interesting, intelligent people:
- I did a spoiler-free chat with Lindsey Romain on Periscope.
- I recorded a 40-min long YouTube video with Ben Pearson discussing the film with spoilers.
- For a 2-hour long discussion about the film featuring Patrick H Willems, check out the /Filmcast.
- I spoke with Brian J Roan about why he finds Avengers: Endgame morally reprehensible.
- Mike Ryan has a fun piece about the implication of Endgame (with spoilers).
- Peter Sciretta from /Film ponders the nature of time paradoxes.
- Ryan Arey has a cool video on all the references/easter eggs in Endgame.
Here are some of my reactions to this week’s Game of Thrones, “The Long Night”:
- I did a Periscope reaction dvideo right after the episode aired.
- Here’s this week’s analysis of the episode on “A Cast of Kings.”
- I appreciated Willa Paskin’s analysis of this week’s episode.
Some other recent links I’ve found interesting:
- I spoke with filmmaker Megan Griffiths about how to independently distribute your indie film.
- Jeff Cannata and I laid out the case against watching movie trailers.
- Heather Havrilesky has written a beautiful meditation on the nature of marriage for The Cut.
- Taffy Brodesser-Akner has a brilliantly written blockbuster investigation of sexual harassment at Sterling Jewelers for The New York Times Magazine.
- Catherine Price wrote about why putting down your phone may help you live longer.
- New podcast service Luminary had a catastrophic roll-out. A rough first strike in the podcast wars to come.