Chelsea: Zelda Williams Defies the Trolls (Review)

Chelsea Handler Netflix

Thursday’s episode of Chelsea left porn behind and focussed on politics and Zelda Williams.  Williams is playing transgender character Drew Reeves on Freeform’s Dead of Summer and has a couple of films coming out.

The show opened with Chelsea outlining the first 100 days of both presidential candidates. It was funny and irreverential.  This led nicely to the first guest of the episode, President Obama’s speech writer Jon Favreau.

He and Chelsea spoke of flying in Air Force one and the DNC.  Favreau explained what writing speeches for Obama was like. Chelsea expressed amazement that the president could find time to write at all.

Favreau explained what being an American really means; as Obama pointed out in his speech. Chelsea mentioned David Axlerod which segued nicely into an interview with the author and politico.
Axlerod spoke of Hillary Clinton and what she is like.

It was a nice look at the potential new president of the United States. Back to Favreau, he talked about what made Clinton into the politician she is today.  The conversation moved onto what candidates are allowed to know about classified material.

The conversation with Favreau ended with a Clinton/Obama comparison and Chelsea reminding  the audience to register to vote. She then interviewed 25 year CIA veteran Phil Houston. He can tell if people are lying without a polygraph machine.

Like the father in “Meet the Parents” Houston uses “tells” and body language to work out if suspects are lying. Chelsea then took Phil to interview her staff to see who has been lying to her.  A very amusing segment that was pre-recorded.

The next and final guest of the episode was Zelda Williams; the daughter of the late Robin Williams. She has a film coming out on Lifetime “Girl in the Box”  and she is a regular on “Dead of Summer.”

She and Chelsea spoke about her bisexuality, keeping to the show’s theme of LGBTQ, and then moved onto Zelda’s break from Twitter.  Rather interestingly, Williams pointed out that Twitter use is actually part of Hollywood contracts now.

The 27 year old actress gave great interview and came across as someone who has “their sh*t together.”  Zelda spoke briefly about her father’s death and how she handled it.  She also talked about her voiceover work and how that helped her to focus on the good things.

“Girl in the Box” was the next topic of conversation.  It is based on a true story about a couple who kept a kidnapped girl in a box (under their bed) for seven years.  Chelsea wound up the episode with “The Word of the Day” which turned into a lesson for Donald Trump on what “sarcasm” really means.

Chelsea left out sports figures in this episode as it was pretty equally split between Favreau and Williams. The political segment was more personal than informative which made it more enjoyable. Zelda’s segment gave the audience a chance to see what lay behind the tragedy and how she coped.

Williams came across as the type of person who is down to earth and focussed. She is, perhaps, the best guest on the season thus far. Ms. Handler’s talkshow streams on Netflix three times a week. Tune in for a breath of fresh air and some Chelsea humour.

Transience (2013): Silent Message (Review)

Timothy J. Cox

Written and directed by Tan See Yun, Transience is a silent film that conveys a message of cunning simplicity.  Starring Timothy J. Cox and Joshua Michael Payne the film follows George and Tom in a typical day. 

Shot in black and white, this journey in silence shows that the two men have stopped talking to one another. The lack of dialogue mimics their lack of communication. Each man has specific interests. George is the hardworking one who cooks a breakfast for his spouse.

Tom is more interested in his looks and playing the field.  He gets annoyed at the freshly prepared breakfast and avoids eye contact with George after he slips back on his wedding ring.  Later,  as the film progresses Tom prepares a meal for George and it is a TV dinner.

In essence the two men are opposites. George is the “grownup” and Tom the child. Yun uses flowers, meals and chess to tell the story of the two men and their relationship. At the start, George replaces the dead flowers with new ones. He also makes a move on the chessboard. Tom ignores the game board and concentrates on breakfast.

Later the chessboard is used to show that things have been reset. The flowers are also replaced again. Each item indicates that the relationship has survived this rocky patch and that both men have re-invested in one another. However, the microwave meal versus the properly cooked breakfast  shows that the two men are still very much opposites.

There is a scene in the short film where Tom “sees” George at the park. The other man is asleep on a park bench. A chessboard sits opposite him and an empty chair is in front of the table.  On the ground beside George is a walking cane.

This scene appears to motivate Tom. The appearance of George is a sort of vision, apparently. where an older version of his partner looks lost and alone. Tom is moved to re-invest in his relationship and makes an effort.

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The entire film is silent. There is no score or peripheral noise, aka Foley Effects, and not one scrap of dialogue. These two men’s world is silent as death and this reflects the vacuum they have created with their own non communication.

Transience works as a romantic cautionary tale. The message is as clear as the photography on the project. “Talk to each other.”  A lack of communication, verbal or non-verbal creates a vacuum where nothing survives. Things  may not be rotten, but they  are not growing either.

Space is a vacuum and it has no gravity. Objects float away, not held together by anything, and the two men’s relationship is also floating away at first.

Cox and Payne has a good chemistry in the film. Their interaction does feel like a truthful representation of a long term couple who are having issues.

Transience is a  cracking little silent film. It also appears to be Yun’s only short film to date.  This is a solid 4 star effort, it loses one star due to the confusion in the park scene, but is masterfully done overall.