2015: Favorite Screen Miscellany

Artwork: K.E.T.

Welcome to Screen Week! Join us as we explore the films and TV shows that kept us staring at screens. More from this series



Instagram

Bread Face Blog (by @breadfaceblog)

A video posted by Bread Face (@breadfaceblog) on

It is highly unlikely that “Bread Face Blog — the Instagram of a woman who records herself smushing her face into various breadstuffs in a studied, ritualistic fashion — will accrue any substantial cultural relevance outside of the realm of year-end lists and internet flotsam. Categorized by The New York Times into the lineage of “physicality” fads like #planking” or #owling, #breadfacing is the genuine, kooky invented hobby of an anonymous 27-year-old copywriter living in Brooklyn, who has amassed nearly 42,000 followers through 25 postings in about half a year, at the time of this writing. Yes, she knows people are likely to read it as a sex thing, and she’s fine with that, but it’s not her intention — it’s simply an acceptance of the rules of the internet’s homecourt. Her bread smushing is harmless and, frankly, pleasant-looking for some of the softer goods. The consistent form of the videos (same camera angle, new outfit, new music, new breadstuff) lends them a calming, elegant tone. Before rolling her face in tortillas, injera, a pretzel or a panettone, she puts the breadstuff in front of the camera, squeezing and turning it around, like a magician letting the audience inspect the card deck before a trick. She also has a Tumblr, presumably for rating the face-feel or a few choice breads. Read it as part of a beauty routine, a comment on the gluten-free lifestyle, or one woman’s flirtation with disciplined strangeness — it doesn’t matter, just enjoy. That’s clearly what she’s doing.

Video Games

Final Fantasy VII Remake & Shenmue III Reveal Full Reaction

Ad Campaign

Tony is Back! (Dir. Jani Leinonen)

In 2015, a report conducted by Action on Sugar found that there were “worryingly high” amounts of sugar in 50 breakfast cereals available in the UK. And that ain’t the worst of it; according to the data, many of the highest sugar content cereals are aimed squarely at children. I mean, I love a mid-morning bowl of Milch Kissen as much as the next person, but there’s something decidedly sinister about dressing up potentially serious health drawbacks with vibrant colors and advertising mascots. Tony the Tiger is one such character: he’s the face of Britain’s second sugariest cereal, as well as a “beloved icon” of the Kellogg company, who has helped kids with their breakfast hardships for decades. The fake Tony is Back! campaign shattered this relatable façade, emulating the premise of 80s Frosted Flakes adverts with grown-up problems for a different world. Sex work, police brutality, and suicide bombing are all aided by Tony’s vitamin-packed product, a far cry from the horse-riding or skiing of better, simpler times. Naturally, it didn’t take long for the whole campaign to be silenced, with the Twitter and Facebook accounts suspended; it also emerged that this was the work of Jani Leinonen, a Finnish artist who’s certainly no stranger to desecrating cereal mascots. Tony is Back! captured the irresponsibility of our largest corporations in a twisted, bleakly humorous way. The devil was in the detail: continuity between the three adverts, the hilariously slapdash pouring of milk, and the personification of Tony on the campaign’s website were all part of the project’s oblique allure. It’d be doing Leinonen and his team a disservice to call this a mere “prank” — Tony is Back! was culture jamming of the highest order.

Shia LaBeouf

#Introductions (LaBeouf, Rönkkö, & Turner)


 

Documentary Short

Wendell’s Hat Thief (Dir. Normal Bob Smith)

Sometimes I daydream about what would happen if I totally lost it in a public place, but it’s never been half as surreal and compelling as this video.

Science Fiction

All Six Star Wars Films at Once (Dir. Marcus Rosentrater)


 

Home Movies

Memory Hole

In the 2010s, found footage group Everything is Terrible received unprecedented access to the complete archives of one of America’s longest-running prime time television shows. From 1989 to 1997, Bob Saget was the host of TV show America’s Funniest Home Videos. Bob Saget is 6’4” tall. Access to this archive has been an unprecedented coup for the digital art world, and the project, called Memory Hole, makes posts on Vine, YouTube, and its own World Wide Website. Bob Saget is a talented stand-up comedian and actor who has also been the voice of Ted Mosby in the situational comedy How I Met Your Mother. Bob Saget is omnipotent, while Memory Hole likewise combines our nostalgia for lo-fi VHS home movies into something both nightmarish and transcendent. In 2015, Bob Saget confirmed his involvement as an actor in the upcoming series Fuller House, which revisits the themes and characters of the seminal series Full House, in which he starred. Memory Hole asks us, how much death is there embedded in all of the good times of the past? Why does the void of nothingness laugh at us when it has such bad teeth?

Opening Credits

Weird Simpsons (Dir. Yoann Hervo)

 

Welcome to Screen Week! Join us as we explore the films and TV shows that kept us staring at screens. More from this series


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