‘You’re the Worst’: Why Sunday Funday Had to End, According to Aya Cash, Kether Donohue and Stephen Falk

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/10/youre-the-worst-sunday-funday-aya-cash-sunday-funday-interview-1201733408/

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: The real reason Wednesday’s episode of “You’re the Worst” marked the end of the comedy’s glorious “Sunday Funday” tradition is simple, and best described by series creator Stephen Falk:

“Because they are rather pretentious, narcissistic, provincial people, who are deeply afraid of being normal.”

So when Jimmy (Chris Geere), Gretchen (Aya Cash), Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Lindsay (Kether Donohue) discovered their rebellious ritual had been taken over by the very schmucks they’d been mocking, the very Sunday Funday they were preparing to enjoy — “Sunday Funday, better than a Monday, can only do it one way and that is the drunk way!” — had to become “The Last Sunday Funday.”

But there’s a lot more to it than that, at least when it comes to why the show’s creators and actors saw this as a fitting end to a grand, three-season tradition. IndieWire was lucky enough to be on set when part of the episode was being shot, and we sat down with Falk, Cash and Donohue to discuss their thoughts on the end of fun(day).

YOU'RE THE WORST -- "The Last Sunday Funday" -- Episode 306 (Airs Wednesday, October 5, 10:00 pm e/p -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly, Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler, Desmin Borges as Edgar Quintero, Kether Donohue as Lindsay Jillian

The “Creation” and Completion of Sunday Funday

“Sunday Funday was just some thing we’d kind of heard of three years ago,” Falk said. “We’ve watched it getting corporatized and monetized, and we thought the characters would have also observed that. So what would their reaction be? To burn it all down.”

“I think when you end up on a Forever 21 t-shirt, it’s the beginning of the end,” Cash said. “There’s a tipping point, and that’s a good sign that maybe you want to do something new.”

It’s important to note that neither Falk nor the stars take any credit for “inventing” Sunday Funday.

…well, all except one:

Donohue: I think what makes the show so special is that it originates new things, like “new phone, who dis?”

Cash: But that’s also something that’s already in the culture. Stephen didn’t make up, “new phone, who dis?”

Donohue: Oh, I thought he made it up. [laughs]

Cash: [laughs]

Donohue: [uncontrollable laughter] I’m just going to go.

IW: Don’t worry, I’ll just delete all of that.

Donohue: No, no. You should keep it. I’m not ashamed of my asshole-ness.

IW: I don’t think that’s what that was…

Cash: But Stephen is connected into the collective unconscious in a way that’s really great. So we get credit sometimes from people who haven’t heard it before — like Kether.

Donohue: I thought he coined the term!

Falk may not have come up with Sunday Funday, but “You’re the Worst” played a big part in bringing a weekly last gasp of drunken joy to the masses — much like they did with “new phone, who dis?” and other obscure in-jokes, which brings us to…

YOU'RE THE WORST -- "The Last Sunday Funday" -- Episode 306 (Airs Wednesday, October 5, 10:00 pm e/p -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly, Desmin Borges as Edgar Quintero, Kether Donohue as Lindsay Jillian, Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler

The True Meaning of Sunday Funday

“I think it’s something that starts to bubble in pop culture but has not, necessarily, blown up in the mainstream, and we just happen to hit at the right time,” Cash said of the show’s knack for capturing the zeitgeist. “We take no credit for that. That’s Stephen.”

“What I end up finding myself fascinated by, and then we end up putting in the show, are the conflicting feelings I feel within myself,” Falk explained. “I demand that my writers all have a high degree of self-awareness. We’re all kind of east-side a-holes, but at the same time, we’re aware of how silly and stupid a lot of the views we hold are, and we try to dramatize that.”

Examining cultural trends and absorbing them into the series is part of what makes “You’re the Worst” feel fresh and pressing. From its Silver Lake setting to taking on taboo topical issues (like clinical depression and PTSD), Falk’s series is pertinent, of the now and, yes, hip — but in the best possible way.

“We like to be leaders of coolness,” Donohue said.

“It makes me think about — and this is kind of a weird analogy — gentrification,” Cash said. “The artists move in and create the culture of cool that raises the rents and then all the other people move in, and then the artists move out and do it again [somewhere else]. There’s a weird tension around that because artists want to feel like they’re authentically creating, and yet they’re displacing people as well. It’s a complicated issue. But I think it’s like as soon as you make it cool, well, that’s not the thing anymore. It’s like what Edgar said: ‘Hipster shit is just poor Latino shit from 10 years ago.’ So it’s also commandeering the culture.”

“I think the shadow that falls over the show is not even the fear of not being cool, but of settling; of being normal and boring and old, which is really just being afraid of death,” Falk said.

YOU'RE THE WORST -- "The Last Sunday Funday" -- Episode 306 (Airs Wednesday, October 5, 10:00 pm e/p -- Pictured: (l-r) Aya Cash as Gretchen Cutler, Kether Donohue as Lindsay Jillian, Desmin Borges as Edgar Quintero, Chris Geere as Jimmy Shive-Overly

The Last Sunday Funday…Or Is It?

From that somber note to another: We’ve now witnessed the last Sunday Funday. What started two years ago as a simple day of drinking, making lists of fun activities and drinking while exploring said activities, morphed into a wild Halloween adventure in Season 2 that saw the gang explore a truly freaky haunted house.

“We had such a fun time last year with the Halloween episode,” Falk said. “It kind of broke a few rules of the show. It didn’t make 100 percent sense [in that] there were a few shots in there that couldn’t exist in reality. I always try to be very realistic, very true to life as a show, even though we clearly exist in a higher dimension to some degree. But at the same time, it was just so goddamn fun to experiment.”

And when it came time to consider a third Sunday Funday episode, Falk knew “we still had more juice in the tank.”

“I think this year we wanted to challenge ourselves to see if we had anything left to say — differently,” Falk said. “We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t find something pretty good.”

From all imaginable perspectives, “The Last Sunday Funday” was beyond “pretty good.” In Wednesday’s episode, the sixth of Season 3, Gretchen led the gang on a scavenger hunt seeking a secret speakeasy promising retro decor and refreshing cocktails. Jimmy’s repressed joy for solving riddles brought about similar feelings in the hearts of fans (and reminding at least one viewer of Ron Swanson’s giggly excitement for scavenger hunts on “Parks and Recreation”). Lindsay and Edgar developed their ongoing narratives in surprising and visually stimulating storylines (respectively), while Gretchen pushed all the right buttons within the group, operating as a de facto puppet master to obtain what she wanted.

YOU'RE THE WORST "The Last Sunday Funday" -- Episode 306 Chris Geere, Aya Cash

“It’s a very hard episode to shoot, but a pretty fun episode to write,” Falk said. “It’s fun thing after a fun thing. It’s very episodic, [but] we’ve tried to make sure everyone has a drive or goal beyond just the day. […] In burning Sunday Funday down, we’re really just doing another one. It’s just in a different guise.”

But why, other than the corporatization eluded to in the opening minutes, does it have to be the last Sunday Funday episode?

“It’s absolutely an effort to not feel like the tail is wagging the dog,” Falk said. “[Discarding] the expectation that fans or critics are deciding one of our precious 13 episodes per season — what it’s going to be. So [this episode is] like an impotent reclaiming of it, in a way, since we’re still doing it.”

“I think this is a group of snobs,” Cash said about the characters. “So if everybody’s doing it, it’s not the cool thing anymore. Now that the masses have discovered it–“

“–the hipster masses of Los Angeles,” Donohue added.

“They’re done,” Cash concluded.

…Or are they?

“Yes, it’s the last Sunday Funday,” Falk said. “But, you know, there’s been ‘Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter’ and then ‘A New Beginning’ is the next one. Who’s to say there can’t be a reboot or a remake? […] Maybe we’ll have Thirsty Thursday, or Taco Tuesday.”

So maybe there isn’t only one way to do Sunday Funday — just not on a Monday, and not sober.

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Crops of African Origin or African Diffusion in the Americas

https://afroculinaria.com/2016/10/05/crops-of-african-origin-or-african-diffusion-in-the-americas/

So–Some of you have come to me with the question about the African origins of crops found in the Americas.  I want to give simple answers here so you have something at your fingertips.

Let’s talk about crops in the African Atlantic World—everybody is moving them around–Africans, Arab traders, Southeast Asian mariners, Europeans.  Europeans move around certain crops as they create castle and fortress after castle and fortress on the coast to establish the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  See Stanley Alpern’s work for solid documentation on each and every crop or foodstuff and how it was incorporated.  Judith Carney has done excellent scholarship with her books Black Rice and In the Shadows of Slavery, complete with charts showing crops of African origin.  Some foreign crops had been in Africa for so long that they diversified under the hand of Africans–like plantains and bananas, mangoes, and taro.  By the time these crops arrive in the Americas, they arrive from Africa with Africans as part of the slave trade.  There would be no American banana republics without first African bananas–and banana–is a word brought into European languages from Wolof, the main language of Senegal–a coastal nation and historically a major part of the slave trade.  Coffee is a crop of African origin–from Ethiopia–and but there were coffee varieties across the Sahel and down into Central Africa–(Coffea stenophylla and C. excelsa) but no C. “Arabica,”  in Brazil and Jamaica and Haiti without it first diffusing from Africa to Arabia and through the Levant to Europe, but Africans from across the continent knew what to do with it.

The yams of West Africa are not sweet potatoes, however sweet potatoes did fit well into cultures already used to relying on root crops.  When Africans encounter sweet potatoes as enslaved people they utilized them in ways similar to tropical yams.  Later, African varieties of sweet potato, like the Dahomey sweet potato, cross the Atlantic ocean and come to America.  Millet, sorghum, guinea grass and other forage and grain crops make multiple appearances.  Kola nuts and tamarind and varieties of oil palm may never have made it to the U.S. (as they did in Brazil and other parts of tropical Latin America) but they certainly became a later part of the economy through soft drinks, condiments, foodstuffs and industry.  Rice comes over in both African and Asian varieties.

Because Africa was so prolific in its varieties of food crops and animals during this period–many foods became known as “Guinea,” or “Angolan.”  Guineos–was a knickname for bananas in parts of Central America, the heart of the banana republic region.  Guinea squash, guinea grass, guinea hogs, guinea pigs, guinea hens, Angolan chicken, Congo eels, you name it–different species were attributed–sometimes erroneously to Africa.  No collards are not African, but they fit the bill in a diet much more in love with the year-round consumption of leafy greens than that of early modern Northern Europe.

There were also American crops and species that became important in West Africa through the time of contact through the period of slavery.  Tomatoes, corn, peanuts, tropical fruits like papaya, pineapple, guava and avocado became incorporated in the West and Central African diet, on the terms of the adapters.  Africa enjoyed incredible edible botanical diversity, incorporating crops from every corner of the world.  Unfortunately slavery, political upheaval, and colonialism underminded the ability of most societies to sustainably feed themselves, and famine Africa was born.

Crops of African Origins in the Americas:

Okra                                                  Coffee

Yams                                                 Miracle Fruit

Sorghums, Grain and Sweet      Lablab/Hyacinth Bean

Millets                                               Balsam Apple

Tamarind                                          Oil Palm

Cowpeas/Black Eyed Peas           Akee Apple

Pigeon Peas                                     Guinea Grass

Burr GherkinsBurr Gherkins            Cotton

African Rice                                     Bottle Gourd

Watermelon                                    Muskmelon

Benne/African Sesame                African Eggplant/Guinea Squash

Hibiscus/Sorrel/Roselle              Jelly Melon

Amaranth spp.                              Bamana GroundnutBamana Groundnut

Kola 

wpid-20141011_091656.jpg

Crops of Asian or American origin diversified and naturalized in Africa introduced to different parts of the Americas with African cultivars:

Plantains

Bananas

Taro

Mangoes

Peanuts

Hot Chilies

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Sugarcane

Asian Rice

wpid-20141011_090505.jpg

Animal varieties of African Origins in the Americas:

Guinea Fowl

Fulani cattle

African Hair Sheep 

Guinea Hogs

Camels

Cattle Egrets

100_1692

 

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‘The Birth of a Nation’: Activist Group F*ck Rape Culture to Hold Candlelight Vigil During Thursday Night Showings

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/10/fck-rape-culture-candlelight-vigil-the-birth-of-a-nation-nate-parker-1201733828/

The activist group Fvck Rape Culture is holding a silent candlelight sit-in vigil for unnamed victims of sexual assault tomorrow night. The event will be held at the Arclight Hollywood theater, where Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” is showing. “FRC recognizes the need to hold space for those celebrating the advancement of people of color in Hollywood while continuing to fight for the victims of sexual assault and rape around the world,” the group said in a statement, adding that anyone seeing the film are invited to join in.

READ MORE: Nate Parker Attacks the Media, Asks Whether Journalists ‘Care About Anyone Involved’ in Rape Scandal

Elyse Cizek of FRC wrote the following statement:

“Nate Parker and Fox Searchlight,

“I am your audience. I have something to say. I refuse to give you my money or my praise for this film. I refuse to support a project that insists on treating me and other survivors of rape as plot accessories. I refuse to have my story written and glorified for the advancement of a man who refuses to support my right to exist of my own truth.

“Nate Parker has the platform at this time to speak to his brothers on how to listen to us, respect our boundaries and rights as women, and lead the conversation on consent. When this happens, when he is willing to listen before silencing us, and when he can join the dialogue on what can be done to advance the voices of women everywhere silenced by rape culture and toxic masculinity, I will be his greatest support.

“Until then I will not stand for it. Instead I will sit, in quiet solidarity, with those in need of a moment of silence for the lives and stories ignored by those who care more about the appearance of change than the responsibility of creating it.”

READ MORE: Nate Parker Says He Was ‘Vindicated’ in 1999 Rape Trial, Won’t Apologize

Parker, who wrote, directed and stars in the film, was accused of raping a fellow student while attending Penn State in 1999. He was acquitted, while his “Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin was found guilty and had his conviction overturned on appeal; their accuser took her own life in 2012. The movie officially opens this Friday, October 7, but many theaters will begin screening it tomorrow night.

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‘Certain Women’ NYFF Press Conference: Watch Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern Discuss Kelly Reichardt’s Drama

http://www.indiewire.com/2016/10/certain-women-nyff-press-conference-kristen-stewart-laura-dern-video-1201733749/

On Monday, October 3rd, Kelly Reichardt, Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern and Lily Gladstone spoke at a press conference for their new film “Certain Women” before its premiere at the 54th New York Film Festival.

The women sat down for a 35-minute discussion where they answered questions about the film, talked about their experience on set and how they choose their next projects, among other topics. Film Society of Lincoln Center released the full video of the conference, which you can check out below.

“The thing that I admire so much about Kelly’s work, and why I was so thrilled to be invited to this journey, is that she’s interested in the life that happens in the pauses,” expressed Dern. “And as an actor, you get to come into that space, and it is that space where no one’s watching, that you reveal the most of yourself.”

READ MORE: Kristen Stewart On Choosing Her Roles and ‘Making Good Sh*t’ – NYFF 2016

Directed by Reichardt, “Certain Women” follows three women striving to forge their own paths amidst the wide-open plains of the American Northwest. Michelle Williams stars as a new home owner, wife and mother, who is having relationship problems with her husband (James Le Gros). Stewart portrays a young law student who strikes up a bond with a lonely ranch hand, played by newcomer Gladstone, and Dern is a lawyer who finds herself contending with both office sexism and a hostage situation.

Throughout the movie, their stories intersect in powerful ways and shows the characters’ process of defining themselves.

READ MORE: ‘Certain Women’ Trailer: Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and Laura Dern Collide in Kelly Reichardt’s Sundance Drama

“Certain Women” arrives in theaters on October 14, via IFC Films.

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