Outside Reading — Tripping Halls edition

If Y2K-Era Movie Theater Carpets Could Talk by Foster Kamer

Now this is the sort of narrow-niche article that I crave. Writing for the blog of independent film distributor A24, Foster Kamer offers an appreciation for the garish aesthetic of movie theaters circa the nineteen-nineties. Special attention is given to the piñata-drop of color and geometric absurdities that were the carpets in such establishments Kamer even engages in some good ol’ fashioned journalism, contacting a prominent manufacturer of the notable floorwear to get the skinny on the specific reasoning behind the dizzying designs.

How Arthouse Movie Theaters Are Surviving the Pandemic by Keith Phipps

Sticking with movie houses, Keith Phipps presents an excellent assessment of the various ways indie theaters adapted to the pandemic taking a sledge hammer to their already precarious business model. As someone who’s benefited from the creative solutions detailed in the article, gladly taking advantage of previously unimaginable access to films that were unlikely to get booked during an initial run in my not-exactly-dinky college city, I truly hope the scheme of broader, digital-based access continues once we emerge from this society-scrambling mess. Much as I do miss seeing films on the big screen, titles like Bacurau and Martin Eden weren’t going to be readily accessible to me in that format anyway. This article is published by Uproxx.

I Survived 18 Years in Solitary Confinement by Ian Manuel

Few New Yorker articles have stayed with me quite like Atul Gawande’s piece, published over ten years ago, that persuasively argued that long-term solitary confinement is akin to torture. Ian Manuel makes the same point, coming from a place of personal experience. His words are powerful, and I think his story provides a devastating condemnation of the corrupt morality that has overtaken our systems of incarceration, which have entirely abdicated the responsibility to strive for rehabilitation. This article is published by The New York Times.

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