So Here’s What Happened! is back for our first episode of 2021 with our top film, reading and TV picks of January and February. For Carolyn’s film picks she gives a brief overview of some of her favorite films from this years Sundance Film Festival, new independent comic Living Heroes, and both hosts get into theories for WandaVision, Disney’s new addition to the Marvel Television Universe. Not sure if that’s what it’s being officially called, but that what we’re calling it.
Summer of Soul (…Or When The Revolition Will Not Be Televised) by Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson
In 1969, during the same summer as Woodstock, a different music festival took place 100 miles away. More than 300,000 people attended the summer concert series known as the Harlem Cultural Festival. It was filmed, but after that summer, the footage sat in a basement for 50 years. It has never been seen. Until now.
Wild Indian by Lyle Michell Corbine Jr.
Makwa, a young Anishinaabe boy, has a rough life. He often appears at school with bruises he says he got falling down, but no one believes him. He and his only friend, Ted-O, like to escape by playing in the woods, until the day Makwa shockingly murders a schoolmate. After covering up the crime, the two boys go on to live very different lives. Now, as adult men, they must face the truth of what they have done and what they have become.
Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir by James Redford
Literary titan Amy Tan analyzes her life, her work, and her family—in the present and past tense—in this longitudinal biopic directed by James Redford. As Tan traces her childhood through The Joy Luck Club and her later compositions, she dissects issues of representation, multigenerational trauma, and the stigma and challenge of illness. Forcefully matrilineal in focus, this film moves through generations of Tan’s family, revealing listening as the heart of Tan’s creative practice and contextualizing the patience with which Tan broke through barriers and waited on the other side, welcoming the world to join her.
Book: Living Heroes is a hilarious, witty and smart comic written by Stephanie Williams. Inspired by her love of 90s hit sitcom Living Single, Stephanie created a new world where her favorite Black and other People of Color characters from the Marvel and DC universes reside in shady harmony sharing meals, rescuing civilians and sharing entanglements.
Film: Earwig and The Witch by Gorō Miyazaki (2020)
A headstrong orphan discovers a world of spells and potions when she is adopted by a selfish witch. This is the first Studio Ghibli film in four years and the studio’s first feature length CGI.
Book: The Art of Howls Moving Castle
A generous collection of concept sketches, fully rendered character and background drawings, paintings and cell images, The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle brings the movie into your library. Along with the stunning visuals, the book also presents interviews and comments with the production staff, including key points directly from the director.
As the first televised Disney+ show of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, WandaVision is a unique, inventive and once you get into gimmicky aesthetics of television shows from days gone by thoroughly entertaining show. For fans of the MCU, and Wanda centric comics, there are tons of references to pick through and decipher. Beyond the fun call backs and clues to potential plot development, what makes WandaVision so intriguing to watch is how grief has been placed at the center of the story.
After losing Vision, and almost the entire Avenger squad in End Game, Wanda created a reality where her life is perfect. Vision is alive, and they’re living the quintessential American dream of a suburban home, with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids, but perfection doesn’t exist in any reality. And try as she might, Wanda can’t avoid her grief forever, and when she will have to face it, the world will be broken apart, and nothing will be the same again. And we can’t wait to see how that happens.
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Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.