Tim here, back writing the newsletter again. If you missed it, I'm excited to let you know that next week, Chrysanthe Tenentes will be guest-hosting the site. I am a huge fan of the Kottke guest editor program — starting eight years ago, it quite literally changed my life — and I'm looking forward to reading Chrysanthe's version of the best blog in the universe.
Hold on; it turns out I'm not done thinking about Black Panther. (It's still the biggest movie going, and one of the biggest of all time, so we can all be forgiven.) I saw it again, and I'm still convinced the key line in the film is T'Challa's "every breath you take is mercy from me" — spoken to Klaw (but not just to Klaw; it's really T'Challa's attitude towards the entire world).
I also happen to know that this line is a lift from the comics, specifically New Avengers vol. 3, no. 22, written by Jonathan Hickman. (Consider New Avengers added to the recommended comics reading list for Black Panther.) There, T'Challa says it to Namor, whom he's also intent on killing in retribution for murdering Wakandans. And there, the line concludes, "... And I'm all out."
It seems important that Black Panther is a superhero who is willing to kill but prefers not to. Usually, superheroes are either killing people almost all the time (Logan, Deadpool, etc.), or they've sworn never to kill anyone (Batman, Spider-Man, etc.). Wonder Woman is one of the only other heroes who's ready and willing to use deadly force in extraordinary circumstances, but is generally bent on saving people rather than killing them.
Part of what this does is it makes Black Panther's mercy mean something. He saves, and offers to save, people he has every reason to kill. He's appalled by his father's lack of mercy — not so much for killing his own brother, but for abandoning his brother's son (and in a larger sense, all of Wakanda's lost children). T'Challa is a man who will not waste a single Wakandan, who would never give up a single Wakandan life. This is his strongest contrast with Killmonger/N'Jadaku, who treats every Wakandan (in fact, every person, including the black people of the diaspora he claims to champion) as totally disposable.
There's a terrific decade-old profile of BP director Ryan Coogler when he was still a film student. There's a trailer for Fahrenheit 451, with Creed/Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan. And there's a closer look at the typeface used in BP's closing credits. Ah; we covered the story, the filmmaker, actors, and design. That works out quite neatly.
I think you mean typefaces, but I got you. There are a full eight in use on the iconic Huy Fong sriracha hot sauce label, not counting the icon of the rooster. And if you just love crazy bits of juxtaposed text, you want this Winter Olympics wrap-up written on a predictive text keyboard. I for one cannot wait for speed torah-reading to become a thing.
You might know you should sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow, not your hands. You should know to fact-check things before you share them on social media, although I bet we've all been embarrassed at least once. It would help if we used our smart phones, um, smarter. But did you know that you're probably bending over wrong? It's not at your waist, or even with your legs; you should be bending with your hips. (In other words, you've got to stick your butt out.) This GIF shows you how:
I do too. Have you considered donating a ticket to see A Wrinkle In Time to a child in need? Have you seen Rihanna With A Pearl Earring (mashups of classic art with movies and video stills)? Or these amazing layout drawings from Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle? Maybe these famous scenes from 2018 Oscar-nominated movies, as reenacted by a family of young girls, is more your speed.
If history is any indication, the wrong movies will win, the right movies will find other ways to be remembered, and we'll have fun arguing about and overanalyzing it all. Besides watching and rewatching the movies, that's the part I like best.
👀 👋 🎉
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