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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Bonus: Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)

This movie won't be available for physical purchase until June and as I've seen it four times in four weeks and can't stop thinking about it, it felt like it deserved some love.

I'm not sure what I want to say about the plot of this film because I think it's helpful to go in as unwitting as possible and hey, it's still in theaters so there's a good chance you could still go see it after reading this. Please go see it.

Suffice to say that this movie is about two women who are deeply disappointed in what their world has to offer and it gets to a point where it feels like the only way to escape that ennui is through the multiverse. One by choice, one by coercion. Thematically, the movie is about choices, love, mother daughter relationships, father daughter relationships, husband wife relationships, potential, creativity, risk, and kindness.

I was hyped for this movie. I'd seen the trailer a few times but it does a glorious job of not giving away the plot so I didn't totally know what to expect. Mostly, I want to stress that while my expectations were through the roof, this movie managed to exceed them. I laughed more than I've laughed in a movie theater in a long time (and everyone else was laughing too - out loud! throughout! a communal experience!) and I wept. I've laughed and wept every single time. I suspect I will continue to. I'm looking forward to owning it to watch in the privacy of our home while I'm by myself some day so I can let loose the primal scream I feel building in me every time I watch. Nothing bad, or good, I guess. Just a lot of feeling that I want to let out all at once. I feel it acutely when Evelyn is screaming through the multiverse. It resonates.

As I've been going through my healing journey, largely through this project and therapy, I've been delighted (and scared and nervous and and and) to carve away bits of necessary armor I acquired over the years to find myself again. To find the voice that has been silenced in so many different ways (eye rolls, talking over me, interrupting me, changing the subject, walking away and and and) and Reader, I am weird. I'm weird and sentimental and I thought that was wrong for so so long. I adore absurdism, but more to the point, I like sweet, sappy absurdism. But still with a little bit of bite. Sarcasm or edge or something. And I don't know if it's kismet from the universe or this is just a result of healing that I'm noticing but there is a lot of truly strange and sappy media these days. And it resonates. I cannot overstate how much it means to me that a film like Everything Everywhere All At Once was made let alone finding all the other sweet weirdos out there who love it like I do. It's maybe the best movie I've ever seen, maybe will ever see, but my attachment has nothing to do with that and everything to do with feeling seen by this movie. I've long thought of my personal aesthetic as whimsical melancholy but the odd, benevolent nihilism of EEAAO feels truer. Nothing matters so be kind. Do whatever you'd like but be kind. *mind blowing up for eternity* And then there's Jobu.

I read a tweet that said something to the effect of "straight white men have the Joker, Jobu is for the rest of us." And truly, if I ever lose it, I hope I lose it like Jobu. Her anguish is deeply relateable. And while it's chaotic and unhinged, it's not without hope. That she cries while telling Evelyn about the bagel, that she sought an Evelyn who would understand, who would see something more than she could. My god. She has so much pain but she still holds out that there's something more to make sense of it. I love that the family does eventually put their pieces together to form the most perfect mantra I could ever have: nothing matters (Joy) so we can do whatever we want (Evelyn) as long as we're kind (Waymond). The first shot of the movie brings me to my knees each subsequent viewing because the three of them together is the answer.

On a less philosophic level, I adore Jobu's sartorial choices. She can wear whatever she can imagine and BOY DOES SHE. I want that confidence and daring.

Spoiler alert, because I'm already in the middle of it, I'm painting another denim jacket. After I did Fury Road, I was worried that I'd never wear it. But I wear it all the damn time. I love it. It's empowering. Shout out to the drunk girl in an elevator who said, "I LOVE YOUR JACKET. AND THE MESSAGE. ...LIKE WHO DID KILL THE WORLD THOUGH?" to which her friend replied, "Men, probably." I decided I wanted to paint my pink denim jacket with Selina Kyle's apartment post-trashing ("HELLo tHERE"). I haven't done it yet. But then I thought, what about EEAAO? It deserves a jacket. I want to wear Jobu and I want to bedazzle a nihilistic bagel. And then I remembered a great black denim jacket in the closet that I'd forgotten about. I realized (and then talked extensively about in therapy) that all of these scenes/characters are deeply entrenched in anguish and feminine rage. And while, as I've often written about, I hesitate to link myself to anger, let alone rage!, I'm angry. I'm anguished. I want to burn a good many things down to ash. I have deep, deep rage. And while I'm struggling to voice that (still, forever?), there is something incredibly satisfying about bedazzling my rage and fucking wearing it.

Denim jacket and paint and rhinestones and glitter and vinyl


-This was all I wanted to work on this week. I was so delighted by this work. I have a heap of things that need my attention but this is all I wanted to do.

-I learned lots (again!) about this process. This jacket absorbed more paint than the Fury Road jacket so that took some adjusting. The Metallic Vinyl I used for the confetti is a new trick I learned for this and I'm *stoked* to use it in a show sometime.

-This jacket is still 100% machine washable which is WILD and for someone like me who thinks about laundry a whole lot? Big. Really big.

-I'm bummed that photos don't totally capture how sparkly this is. I used myriad rhinestones and studs and pearls and glitter and and and. Ben thinks the front of the jacket needs something. Googly eyes, maybe.

-Figure drawing is so much easier than it used to be. Not to say it's perfect or even easy. But easier. Drawing five Jobus didn't make me sweat nearly as much as drawing one Furiosa and that was just six weeks ago, or so.

-I should note that the idea for this jacket (in addition to how much I loved the Fury Road one) was watching the movie a fourth time and thinking "I wonder if I could bedazzle that bagel."

Next week-ish: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure! The schedule is a little wonky right now. I still have to finish and post Chamber of Secrets (like I said, this is all I wanted to do this week), and I suspect Movie Club is a list movie this week and also we're going on vacation and I have three shows I'm designing this summer. I...might be in trouble. Anywho, I'll watch movies and make art, it just might be a little wacky for a month.

Have a terrific week. Open up new worlds to yourself. Be present. Embrace that failure is as much a part of what got you here as success. And if nothing else, just be a rock.

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