After a few months off, during which Mike has forgotten how to record podcasts – sorry about the audio early on – we’re back for Barbenheimer weekend. Never mind your Infinity Wars, this is the crossover they said would never happen, and the clash of tone between joy-of-pink Barbie and sin-of-man Oppenheimer, coincidentally released during the same weekend, has unexpectedly and charmingly reignited the public’s interest in going to the pictures. The question isn’t, “which one will you see?”, it’s, “which one will you see first?”
And we picked Barbie. Our screening was packed with young girls typically unaddressed by the biggest releases, and this film does a great job of correcting that. José describes its treatment of patriarchy as a fact as one of the most radical things he’s seen, and it’s a sign of where we are culturally that it can be, and that every joke and piece of commentary the film builds upon it is implicitly understood by an audience the film treats as intelligent.
Yes, Barbie‘s a toy advert. Yes, you’re always aware that every joke at the expense of Mattel and Barbie’s cultural footprint has the company’s stamp of approval. Yes, Mike brings up Jean Baudrillard. (He’s such a Ken at times.) But it’s also witty, ironic, self-knowing, and really good fun.