Last week’s post, on artificial sentience and the rules of personhood (who says we don’t know how to have a good time here?) span naturally out of our usual process for link-gathering here at The Cut. We’re always fascinated by a good idea explored well, and the story of Blake Lemoine and LamDA deserved more than a simple paragraph. Once we began to consider the implications and map them onto current events—well, we had 1500 words. We’ll try and do more of these sort of posts, just to switch things up.
In the meantime, we’re back on our basic bullshit. Check out linkery on film restoration, stomp boxes and the rebirth of twee.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
But first, a comic. More specifically, one written by an AI. Now, as the post makes clear, some light editing has been applied. But then you could say that to all written works. You wouldn’t believe how many drafts an episode of The Cut gets through before we hit the big red publish button. What, you think this just falls out of our heads perfectly formed?
Wim Wenders is a genius of film—thoughtful, tender and fearsomely intelligent. We loved this interview in which he talks about the recent tranche of restoration given to a big chunk of his catalogue. This is all pertinent to aspects of Editor Rob’s day job, and he reports Wenders knows of what he speaks. If you’re a film fan of any description, you’ll want to check this one out.
More from our pal Patrick Marlborough at Vice. He nails a bothersome trend in the ongoing spinout of intellectual property to extended universes—that is, the things that made them fun in the first place get polished away by committee. The general sense of disappointment in the latest Star Wars iteration, Obi-Wan Kenobi, can be traced to this pasturisation of the experience. We’re with Patrick. Raise the freak flag high!
Pride Month is done, but that don’t mean the celebrations have to end. Let’s take a look at the life and work of cameraman Austin McKinney, who was behind the lens of a ton of classic trashy movies. This is from Daily Grindhouse, doing great work as ever. We could fill The Cut with their output every week cheerfully.
Same vibe, different flavour. Over to Eater, where writer Rachel P. Kreiter talks us through how the coded language of Polari has spread into food slang and jargon. This is good fun, especially if you don’t know Polari.
We reposted an article published on Excuses And Half Truths in 2018 a couple of weeks back to a pleasingly positive response. Coming across this bit, again from Eater, made us wonder whether the nice comments were about the writing, or simply because peeps do love their deep-fried chicken cutlets. We’ll take the praise however it was engendered.
Only Murders In The Building is back, baby! We’re so happy. Season One was a highlight of 2021 (and gods know, we needed all the highlights we could get). Twisty plot and crazy characters aside, one of the big draws is The Building itself. The Arconia is a place of many hidden rooms and secret corridors. It’s a cast member too. Turns out the place the series is filmed in has its own stories.
Netflix has found a home for Rowan Atkinson. His new show, Man vs Bee, is stuffed with his trademark physical comedy—although we’re not convinced by the lumpen attempts at character development. Atkinson has always been at his best as a near-silent clown. This treatise on visual comedy released on home video in the 90s goes through the essentials in forensic detail. It’s also, helpfully, very funny.
Playing electric guitar is not just about the instrument. To get your signature tone there are hundreds of different variations of pickup, string choices, the kind of pick you use (if you choose to use one at all). Then you’re into the whole tangled mess of the sort of amp you play through, how hard you run it, if you modify it in particular ways (Dave Davies of The Kinks slashed the speaker cone of his Vox amp to create the signature fuzz on You Really Got Me). And all this before we get on to the wild and mysterious world of the effects pedal. That’s a subject all to itself. We’re concerned with the general aesthetics of the stomp box, and how the form and function can be used for other bits of kit. Trust us, this is not as dry as it sounds…
And finally. Twee appears to be making another comeback, with mellow songs and comfortable clothes reappearing on those socials. We are big fans of Belle And Sebastian so this resurgence pleases us. Of course, there was always more to the scene than sweet tunes and great cardigans. Twee is a gentle pushback to rock and roll cliches with an admirably sharp edge and cheeky sense of humour.
If it’s a month with a Y in it, it must mean a new Guided By Voices album is out. The most prolific band out there is still rolling out the goods, with head Guide Robert Pollard unable to quell the voices. There’s a dizzying array of music to choose from if you’re a newbie (we recommend the excellent sampler Human Amusements At Hourly Rates). As a taste, try one of our favourite tracks, live in the 90s. Someone tell me why I do the things that I don’t wanna do…
See you next Saturday, teens.