Notes from the Kraken: April

In All, Notes by Kyu

Welcome again to We Have Always Live the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this month’s posting schedule, but first here are some thoughts.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fuck April. This month deserves no further discussion. (Plus, most of the Kraken staff is busy playing Persona 5 anyway.)

Kyu Saiewitz

From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this month.

The Life in the Kraken Podcast concludes its in-depth series covering Season 2 of Syfy’s The Magicians in our Life in the Kraken Podcast: Fillory Edition.

Guest author Matt Morris’ popular feature on the lost video games of yesteryear, Hidden Levels, is back with a look at OneShot, an indie PC experience that’s much more than it first appears.

Keskel has a bunch of recommendations on the surprisingly strong Winter anime season. Check it out!

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week Month.

Special note: we’re exploring new ways that you can support the Kraken. If any of this week’s recommendations interest you, feel free to click on our Amazon affiliate links below. We get a small kickback on anything you buy at no extra cost to you, and that money goes toward sustaining and improving the site. Thanks!

Keskel: Per… son… aaa…


Kyu: This month I’m recommending a strong new horror film, the French/Belgian coming of age movie Raw. The debut film from writer/director Julia Ducournau, the movie is gross, funny, sensual, bloody, and horrifying on a primal level. Many horror movies are, in essence, about the eyes, the things characters see that scare them; but Raw is a film about the mouth, as the locus for desire. As a story about a strict vegetarian teenager who goes to veterinary school and discovers an increasing hunger for meat–even human meat–Raw is concerned with how it feels to be frightened of what you want (and of getting them). The plot is relatively loose, with the film instead focusing on protagonist Justine’s subjective experience as she descends into cannibalism. As a horror movie, it’s almost schematic, forcing Justine and the audience to confront every stage of the taboo, every line that gets crossed. The more powerful desire gets, the more it breaks those barriers–first the internal sense of shame, then the fear of public humiliation, and so on. The revelations in the final scene may or may not make sense on a story level, but they’re really the final twist of the knife, suggesting that in Justine’s world there is no taboo anymore. The perfect freedom to do wrong is the scariest notion of all. Raw is as compulsive as Justine’s desires, but at least for now you can’t eat it, only look at it. Watch it in theaters–but I’d skip the popcorn.

David: Netflix has struck again–but, umm, maybe Netflix isn’t the best place to watch this recommendation, because for the love of God, do not binge watch 13 Reasons Why. That’s not to say it isn’t very bingable, because it totally is, and I totally watched it very, very rapidly. But man, watching a show that systematically explains why a girl commits suicide, and knowing there is nothing the characters (or you for that matter) can do about it is devastating. The best system is two episodes a day at most. Part of this is to avoid an overload of feels, but the other part is that this way you can view the total work of each of the show’s directors in one sitting, as each director covered two episodes in a row. 13 Reasons Why is not for the faint of heart, but it really does create a picture about how suicide can happen, and more importantly, how it can be prevented. In the process, the show manages to create relatable characters, even if most of them, well, suck as human beings. There is stuff from this show that is going to stick with me for quite some time, so don’t watch it too fast, and honestly, maybe it is best to find someone to watch it with. The feels are going to be very real.

That’s it for this month, which even the Kraken acknowledges is the cruelest. May can’t come soon enough.