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April 24, 2024, 11:06:47 PM

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White Woman's Instagram

Started by Barry Admin, May 30, 2023, 11:31:51 PM

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Jack Shaftoe

FFS, I watched this on Netflix, completely missed the bit about her parents (it being one woman makes more sense to me), thought 'ugh, this is a bit of an easy target, isn't it, surely there are worse things than going on about pumpkins?' and never went back to it. What a divot I am.

That YouTube dude is really interesting too, have subscribed.

Barry Admin

Quote from: dead-ced-dead on May 31, 2023, 11:52:23 AMI shared this with my mum who has no clue who Bo Burnham is. Not going to fix the punctuation or grammar as it's a copy from a text message. These are her insights:

Get Mum signed up here, that was great. 

Quote from: Papercut on May 31, 2023, 09:57:26 AM... or at least is using Instagram as a way of communicating all of the life events to her parents she wishes she could talk to them about.

I was chewing over the "is this heaven?" lyrics this morning, but too tired to get anywhere with them.  This is a very intriguing notion. 

Certainly it comes back again to the idealised, perfected image being carefully projected online, but this interpretation really interests me.

Barry Admin

Quote from: Jack Shaftoe on May 31, 2023, 12:47:37 PMFFS, I watched this on Netflix, completely missed the bit about her parents (it being one woman makes more sense to me), thought 'ugh, this is a bit of an easy target, isn't it, surely there are worse things than going on about pumpkins?' and never went back to it. What a divot I am.

I didn't get much sleep, and the simplicity of this bit has been kicking the shit out of me all day, really moving me:

QuoteStill figuring out how to keep living without ya
It's got a little better but it's still hard

Watching it again now, I notice the specific moment when the camera frame starts moving in again is when she starts to briefly list things in a way that arguably comes back to a more social-media-oriented approach.  Bolded below...

QuoteHer favorite photo of her mom
The caption says, "I can't believe it
It's been a decade since you've been gone
Mama, I miss you, I miss sitting with you in the front yard
Still figuring out how to keep living without ya
It's got a little better but it's still hard
Mama, I got a job I love and my own apartment
Mama, I got a boyfriend and I'm crazy about him
Your little girl didn't do too bad
Mama, I love you, give a hug and kiss to dad

So to explain, I scanned back through the thread to see if anyone had covered this point and saw this from Oosp:

QuoteWe can only smile for so long before the mask slips and the need to express something genuine proves overwhelming.

And I think the opposite may be starting to happen here; i.e. I think the moment of genuine sincerity has perhaps started to become compromised by a feeling of "oops, I'm being vulnerable and real; better get the mask back on and stop showing so much weakness."

I'm not saying that she doesn't also want to communicate these things to her Mum, just that the camera starting to move back in at that specific moment indicates to me that she may have moved from a one-on-one chat with her Mum, back to a more self-conscious, performative online persona.

(The "your little girl didn't do too bad" line strikes me as having that same kind of mix of sincerity and faux-humility/humblebragging.  Keeps making me think of Paul McCartney saying stuff like "we were in a little band called The Beatles".)

holdover

I love this song so much and this discussion is great.

I've seen comments on other places from people convinced the conversation with the dead mum is a lie and that the mum is still alive and just not talking to her.

Whereas I tear up when the "goats cheese salad" bit kicks in. Every damn time.

Sexton Brackets Drugbust

Bo Burnham is one of the popular comedians I just don't get. Like, I see what he's doing, but not the majesty that others describe. If nothing else, that sense of disconnect intrigues me.

Memorex MP3

I didn't like Inside as a whole even though lots of the parts are probably as good as anything he's done. Think a lot of it is just me tiring of his core approaches to comedy, there's very few comedians I don't start to tire of after 3 specials; his technical proficiency may have drastically improved but I'm not sure it adds anything for me and in some ways felt like a downgrade to the kind of intense energy of his live shows (I'm guessing a lot of that energy is just him absolutely hating being out there in front of a crowd).


Eighth Grade was great though, hope he does more films.


^^ RE sense of disconnect. I kind of have that issue with people who feel prodigious in general. There's something about what he does with his music comedy that feels totally effortless and it somehow makes it all a lot less exciting. Even with this track I think he absolutely nails the balance of mockery and sympathy but I also feel a bit odd about him nailing that balance cos of course he did, might prefer if he just went all out misanthrope.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: Memorex MP3 on May 31, 2023, 04:05:03 PMI didn't like Inside as a whole even though lots of the parts are probably as good as anything he's done. Think a lot of it is just me tiring of his core approaches to comedy, there's very few comedians I don't start to tire of after 3 specials; his technical proficiency may have drastically improved but I'm not sure it adds anything for me and in some ways felt like a downgrade to the kind of intense energy of his live shows (I'm guessing a lot of that energy is just him absolutely hating being out there in front of a crowd).


Eighth Grade was great though, hope he does more films.

I thiiiink he's signed on to write and direct the Sesame Street film. I could be talking bollocks, though.

Dr Rock

Inside is flawless and I watch it all the time.

Papercut

Quote from: Memorex MP3 on May 31, 2023, 04:05:03 PMEighth Grade was great though, hope he does more films.

Keen to see this - looks like it's on BBC Three this evening:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/schedules/p00fzl95

Dr Rock

I didn't like Eighth Grade much.

jonnyunitus

Yeah Eighth Grade is superb. Excellent soundtrack by Anna Meredith too

Thosworth

As father of two teenagers who let's say were not at the centre of the social circles at their school, I started crying from the opening shot of Eight Grade and didn't stop until quite a while after the end. Just glad it was at home on my own and not on the train. Amazing film.

Tiggles

Love Eighth Grade. Went to see it at The Barbican last year, with the soundtrack performed live as part of a brill Anna Meredith weekend.

Spoiler alert
The scene when she sings karaoke
[close]
always makes me cry, because
Spoiler alert
at that point I know she'll be ok.
[close]

Am also really loving the analysis of White Woman's Instagram. I spent ages picking it apart two years ago and I'm on the side that it's largely empathetic. Burnham is extremely good at making you feel, and this song definitely does that, if you pay close enough attention. Like most of Inside, I guess, which I think is largely about how our attention, behaviour and moral compasses have been screwed over by capitalism running rampant in Web 2.0 - particularly those born into it. 

If "Problematic" was easy to view on YouTube I'd love to have a discussion about how that skewers performative apologies and the tiring need to feed the attention machine. Or any of the songs on Inside, really.

lazyhour

Quote from: Barry Admin on May 31, 2023, 01:17:56 PMAnd I think the opposite may be starting to happen here; i.e. I think the moment of genuine sincerity has perhaps started to become compromised by a feeling of "oops, I'm being vulnerable and real; better get the mask back on and stop showing so much weakness."

I'm not saying that she doesn't also want to communicate these things to her Mum, just that the camera starting to move back in at that specific moment indicates to me that she may have moved from a one-on-one chat with her Mum, back to a more self-conscious, performative online persona.

(The "your little girl didn't do too bad" line strikes me as having that same kind of mix of sincerity and faux-humility/humblebragging.

This is exactly my take on this bit. I think it's definitely just a brief moment of real emotion before auto-correcting back to Instagram-ese and humblebragging. So beautifully observed. We're allowed to see this woman's pain and humanity but only for an instant before even the subject of her deep loss is folded back into twee mawkishness.

Fantastic song.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: Tiggles on May 31, 2023, 07:31:55 PMLove Eighth Grade. Went to see it at The Barbican last year, with the soundtrack performed live as part of a brill Anna Meredith weekend.

Spoiler alert
The scene when she sings karaoke
[close]
always makes me cry, because
Spoiler alert
at that point I know she'll be ok.
[close]


The emotional release from the dad's monologue always make cry.

The dialogue throughout the film is so stop-start that the release from the dad is really cathartic.

Tiggles

It also contains one of the most realistically horrific and tense scenes in recent cinema, that gives parents of teenage girls nightmares (and ex-teenage girls that jolt of horrible memory).


Tiggles

"YOUTH AGAINST CANCER'S" behind them on the board when she is having that incredibly cringe convo passing the thank you note to horrible Kennedy after the party never fails to crack me up.

Norton Canes

#48
Well when I woke up this morning I didn't even know who Bo Burnham was, now I've heard White Woman's Instagram and watched Eighth Grade

My ranking of everything I've seen/heard by Bo Burnham:

1. Eighth Grade
2. White Woman's Instagram

Barry Admin

Yeah, really enjoyed that, so glad it was flagged up here as being on the telly tonight.

Spoiler alert
Loved her phone physically hurting her, but that she persisted to use it anyway. 

I've been in the same boat of continuing to use the damn things all the time despite the screen being all smashed up such that it's hard to see and properly appreciate the thing you're glued to.  So dumb.

Definitely a moving film, did identify with bits of it.

The chicken nuggets scene was brilliant, really heartwarming and made me immediately laugh out loud because of the goofiness of the kid.

And the very low-key ending which sends you off in the wrong direction as she follows Aiden, but then just fairly calmly asserts herself, and realises that 1) she can actually be confident and that 2) cool people can also be real dicks.  She found that she shared interests and had actual fun with the kid who took pride in his dorky archery achievement.
[close]

Another nice detail I just noticed is he lights a candle at the start of the first chorus and then returns to the image at the end to blow it out, giving the video a nice sense of conclusion. Is there something in the fact that it cuts before he blows it out though? Like to actually show it extinguished would be too final, too 'dead' somehow, but to leave it kind of lingering is in line with the idea that she will continue to talk to her parents through the medium? Or at least that there is some kind of hope left?

And also there's a great image of his shadow grasping at what look likes fake flowers taped to a wall (at 1:51), trying to grab them, and since this all seems to be about 'connection', it seems like a really great visual metaphor for how the medium itself is inherently not capable of providing such a thing.

Pimhole

Quote from: Scarlett Tangible on June 01, 2023, 12:17:19 PMAnd also there's a great image of his shadow grasping at what look likes fake flowers taped to a wall (at 1:51), trying to grab them, and since this all seems to be about 'connection', it seems like a really great visual metaphor for how the medium itself is inherently not capable of providing such a thing.

Almost all of the images I think were things that women have literally posted on Instagram, including shadow hand, daisy eyes, bad/good words written on own face, tape on mouth etc etc. I saw Instafans wondering if he was "throwing shade" at specific influencers. But that's not to say he hasn't put the above level of thought into which ones to use, and I really like the point about the shadow hand failing to make a connection with something real.

Incidentally as a hay fever sufferer, the daisy eyes bit goes right through me.


chutnut

I havent really enjoyed most of what I've seen by Bo Burnham, but I loved Eighth Grade and had no idea it was by him.
The main actress appeared in Barry a while ago and it took me ages to work out where I recognised her from

Noodle Lizard

Quote from: Pimhole on June 01, 2023, 12:42:12 PMAlmost all of the images I think were things that women have literally posted on Instagram, including shadow hand, daisy eyes, bad/good words written on own face, tape on mouth etc etc. I saw Instafans wondering if he was "throwing shade" at specific influencers. But that's not to say he hasn't put the above level of thought into which ones to use, and I really like the point about the shadow hand failing to make a connection with something real.

Incidentally as a hay fever sufferer, the daisy eyes bit goes right through me.

That was what struck me too, it's remarkably well-observed and he absolutely nailed the visuals. It perfectly captures the essence of something we're all familiar with (but probably don't give much thought to), and he imbued it with a lot more depth than most would if given the same subject matter.

It helps to see it in the context of the rest of the special, though, as it's feeding into his wider critique of social media and the internet reducing our humanity and encouraging/exploiting our narcissism.

Despite being a lockdown special, I don't think Inside actually has very much to do with that (which should also mean it ages a lot better than any other lockdown special I can think of). It wouldn't surprise me if he'd already written a lot of these songs before the pandemic, as they expand upon a commentary he's been exploring since Eighth Grade at least. Obviously the lockdown intensified this schism between the Inside (our self-curated digital space) and Outside (the real world, where we have no control) and quite literally forced us to lock ourselves inside with our internet. Couldn't ask for a more apt manifestation of that kind of metaphor, I suppose.

Tiggles

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on June 01, 2023, 06:14:33 PMIt wouldn't surprise me if he'd already written a lot of these songs before the pandemic, as they expand upon a commentary he's been exploring since Eighth Grade at least.

I agree. In some of his later promotion for Eighth Grade, and some of the interviews for Promising Young Women at Cannes in early 2020, he hinted that his next project was going to be about the internet. Something about that's what he'd intended Eighth Grade to be about, but the dynamic with Elsie Fisher took things in the direction of exploring anxiety.

This is getting super-nerdy, but you can see various plans for Inside on the whiteboards in the background of various shots in the special (the bit just after White Woman's Instagram) and in the Outtakes. Some ideas were clearly there at the start, lots got chucked out - and it looks like some of them only turned up very late in the process. But this is true obsessive territory now!

Mr Vegetables

I like the song because it sucker punched me as I listened/watched it; it actively invites you to do the bullying side of social media and then makes you realise what you've done. And I also like that it seems like it's about how all this group of people all seem the same, then suddenly becomes about how human tragedy is still horribly individualising.

Now I've written that I guess all of Inside is similar in its way— it is about the protective shield Bo must put up to prevent feeling anything at the state of things, because if he does he will become overwhelmed by it? His irony is like the basic ways of the Instagram, in its way: it distances these things he can't cope with, until you catch a glimpse of them all beneath the surface. I really like the Phoebe Bridgers cover of That Funny Feeling because it feels like it downs the humour of it slightly and ups the sadness of it, and it's like that distance is falling away

Small Man Big Horse

Okay, so I'm going to tread super carefully here, and I could be very, very wrong about it...

It seems to me to be a quite accurate observation of how some white women use social media, and there's an awful lot going on here, Bo's not just mocking them, he's sympathetic, he's careful to show that tragedy is a confusing mess and how people deal with it may sometimes be attention seeking but at others just a way to deal with how they're feeling.

But... Given how women have been treated throughout mankind's entire history, and the misery, torture and torment they've suffered, is there any reason for this? Could he not have chosen another target? A male target which deserves to be mocked or satirised or even given the same kind of treatment? Even if it's meant to help us examine how we ourselves respond to social media, if it's going to upset female social media users, did he really need to construct this creation, when he could have written about a far more deserving subject?

Gah, I know everyone loves it so I'm almost definitely wrong, and I hope this post is seen in that spirit, that it's something I'm possibly misunderstanding, and if anyone could help me on this front I'd really appreciate it.

Noodle Lizard


Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Noodle Lizard on June 08, 2023, 03:35:33 PM@Small Man Big Horse Have you seen the rest of the special?

I haven't, which is weird, as I normally love musical comedy yet somehow it passed me by.

Tiggles

@Small Man Big Horse you should definitely have a look at it (and if you like it, The Outtakes that he edited and threw onto his YouTube channel a year later).

I like WWI and I enjoy the discourse around it - and I know that a lot of white women felt seen by it, in a good way (if also a bit of a called-out way). But in the context of the special as a whole, it helps to build an incredible experience. It's a lot more than a collection of jaunty piss-take songs.