Welcome to my Friday Weekend Boost. This weekly post is one of my favorite things to write about because I get to share a part of me with all of you.
I’ve got some real treasures this week, starting with a new Joni Mitchell release, a superhero movie with a twist, a throwback Western that is also a throwforward (I made that word up), a witty mystery, and an exciting graphic novel. Bon appetit.
Joni Mitchell Archives Vol. 2: The Reprise Years (1968-1971)
Joni Mitchell is one of the best five songwriters in the past hundred years. She single-handedly changed music with her fusion of jazz, country, folk, and rock. Her intimate yet poetic lyrics elevated songwriting for decades as other writers who were inspired by her tried to match her genius. Fortunately, Joni has a new 5-CD new release that features various live performances and previously unreleased originals. Maybe you remember the line from my favorite Christmas movie, Love, Actually, when Emma Thompson says, “It was Joni Mitchell that taught your cold-hearted British wife how to feel.” Several generations—of men and women—feel the same way. But she also taught us how to think about those feelings.
This video is from the album. Even though she and James Taylor (who were a romantic item at the time) are singing one of Taylor’s songs, it’s still a lovely version.
Get album here:
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Eternals directed by Chloe Zhao
Marvel movies and TV series are enormously entertaining, in part, because they have the formula down: massive special effects, dark emotional moments, formidable villains, and lots of wit and humor. They do it better than anyone else, whether it’s an Avengers movie or the Loki TV series.
Eternals, however, is not cut from the same cloth, which is why it’s actually better in some ways and also why there has been some backlash from fans. This group of superheroes is the most ethnically and otherwise (I’m avoiding spoilers here) diverse we’ve seen. The special effects are just as stunning, the dark emotional moments are there, there’s a massively formidable villain as well as smaller but efficiently lethal sub-villains, and there’s wit and humor.
What I especially like about Eternals is its attempt to ask some deeper philosophical questions about faith and morality. It riffs on some ideas from Blade Runner about obligation to creators, whether gods or merely powerful beings (like parents). When do we need to reject the boss in favor of our own ideas? Is genocide justified in the name of survival? None of these questions interfere with the action and character development, they actually enhance it. Plus, there are some startling plot twists throughout.
Here’s the trailer: