Cinema's resident himbo
Army of the Dead, Special, Who Killed Sara?
Welcome to Close All Tabs, a weekly newsletter where we collate the best bits of screen culture from around the Internet. In other words, we’re online 24/7 so you don’t have to be. Mwah!
Close All Tabs is part of Netflix Pause, a publication that’s all about hitting pause to reflect on the latest film and TV. Subscribe now to get three free newsletters in your inbox every week diving into screen culture.
Earlier this week, I twisted my knee bouldering (which is actually just a flex to say that yes, I boulder and am famously in my jock era), and as a result, I have spent even more time than usual sitting in my chair without moving for 8+ hours, staring at my screen. Behold, all the tabs I have opened in that time:
8 Army of the Dead tabs
There’s no getting around it: Army of the Dead is a Snyderfest. Army of the Dead is zombies, but also a heist, but also a tortured father story and that father is Dave Bautista. Army of the Dead is a zombie movie where ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries plays. Army of the Dead may or may not be camp. Army of the Dead may or may not transcend distinctions of taste entirely.
In true Snyderfest tradition, Army of the Dead opens with an explosion of an intro sequence: guns, gambling, and garish Vegas icons (or their zombified versions). Watch Snyder himself explain the creation of his iconic title sequences — from 300’s blood-soaked graphics to Army of the Dead’s slo-mo extravaganza — in Episode 1 of Snyder School, a 4-part series speaking to the director’s craft.
At The Ringer, Miles Surrey writes on the irresistibility of Snyder’s pull — so OTT, so visually bombastic that it’s easier to surrender all defences and give into the excess. “Perhaps it’s best to admire Snyder not only as a blockbuster auteur,” he says, “but as cinema’s resident himbo incorporating Greek mythology, slo-mo, and on-the-nose needle drops for the simple reason that he thinks it’s dope.”
Also, it’s lore by now that Tig Notaro — AKA the heist mission’s wise-cracking, whipsmart helicopter pilot — was entirely edited into the film post-production, an unbelievable feat that Vulture catalogues here, detailing the long and ultimately rewarding process of swapping Tig in. Also, this choice quote from the comedian herself: “My phone started blowing up: ‘You’re trending on Twitter! Everybody’s talking about how you’re sexy AF.’”
One time, Tig Notaro called me a filthy piece of shit. It was awesome.
Finally, no Snyder production would be complete without its fair share of surprises, and this one has them in spades, from robot zombies…
…to that skeleton scene, which might hint at some kind of twisted time warp…
…to our favourite zombie tiger, who was based on a tiger owned by … Carole Baskin???!!?!?!?!?!!! (Zack Snyder is the Tiger King confirmed.)
For more Easter eggs and world-building details, take a listen to the most recent episode of our podcast The Big Film Buffet, where hosts Alexei and Gen flew to Melbourne to chat to Sndyer *live* from Supernova. It’s a good one:
2 Special tabs
Iconic writer/director/actor Ryan O’Connell’s iconic show Special — based on his 2015 memoir about ‘coming out’ with cerebral palsy as a queer man — has returned for a second, final, and iconic season. This is a show that’s equal parts awkward and charming, cynical and celebratory, and — as a long time Ryan O’Connell stan — it’s been a uniquely heartening viewing experience all the way through. Earnest check!
Joseph Longo speaks to Ryan at Men’s Health about the undue pressures placed on marginalised creators: “There’s also this attitude as a marginalised person you’re allowed to take up space to a point then it’s like oh you’re getting too greedy,” says O’Connell. “I’m just going to continue telling the stories I want to tell…and right now it’s taking me to disability gay sex land again and again, which I celebrate.”
And at Most, Ryan pitches the queer comedies sorely missing from the canon:
27 Iced Coffees also describes my daily diet, which is why I am wracked with anxiety during every waking minute (and definitely not because of the 100+ tabs I have open).
1 Who Killed Sara? tab
Look, if you were expecting a show called Who Killed Sara? to reveal who killed Sara within two seasons, you would be incorrect. In this latest season of the Mexican mystery, though, we do come much closer to solving the very tangled web of uncertainties surrounding Sara’s death — an experiment, a huntress, a mysterious body — so much so that yes, we almost find out who killed Sara in the final episode.
Once you’ve watched that, you may read this *extremely spoiler-heavy* FAQ on Thrillist which unpicks the whole sordid affair with investigative zeal. Happy hunting.
Okay, 1 more tab
This image of me listening to ‘brutal’ for the 47th time today.