Lost in the Movies: Sorry to Bother You (LEFT OF THE MOVIES podcast #3/LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #18)

Sorry to Bother You (LEFT OF THE MOVIES podcast #3/LOST IN THE MOVIES podcast #18)

(embedded podcast player fixed at 8:30am - now features the correct episode)

Three years ago, Sorry to Bother You married a radical viewpoint with broad comedy and surrealist fantasy, causing a stir among left-wing viewers in particular who'd been hungering for this kind of pop cultural encapsulation of their own shift in consciousness. I saw the film then and offered my thoughts, and now I'm reviving that discussion at an opportune time. In Bessemer, Alabama next week, Amazon warehouse workers are voting on whether or not to unionize, so Sorry to Bother You's story of a strike at a telemarketing company, against the backdrop of a tech billionaire's diabolical scheme to turn workers into virtual slaves and literal workhorses, seems more relevant than ever. (Meanwhile, the tech billionaire is played by Armie Hammer, whose recent scandals and alleged crime lend an even darker underpinning to the decadent villain he plays onscreen). Boots Riley's film was released at a time when the young left felt as eager and optimistic as it did frustrated and alienated from the status quo. While the bulk of this recording dates from that time, it's worth asking what Sorry to Bother You tells us now in a post-Bernie, post-Trump, and (not quite) post-Covid world. If you have any thoughts, please share them and I'll respond on future episodes.

By the way, this episode has an unusual number of links including many other podcasts covering this film - see below.

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