hi, my name is david ehrlich, and i'm a film critic who you might know from the internet or possibly even from real life.
maybe you've read some of my articles on IndieWire, or watched one of my annual countdown videos, or listened to the podcast i never publicize because the sound of my own voice makes me wish we lived in the post-apocalyptic world of A QUIET PLACE. maybe you follow me on twitter. maybe you regret it.
as you might imagine, i'm a pretty opinionated person. i like some things, but — here's where it gets wild — i don't like other things. things like BRIGHT. or MOTHER'S DAY. or VINEGAR (that's not a movie title, it's just too disgusting not to spell out with all capital letters ).
having said that, the two things i've been most outspoken against in my time as a film critic are the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and gun violence. it goes without saying that one is a much greater threat than the other, but both have become ubiquitous in recent years, both are distinctly American phenomena, and both would be extremely confusing for the Founding Fathers.
when it comes to the movies of the MCU, i've never had trouble speaking truth to (super)power. i'm high on BLACK PANTHER, i love THE AVENGERS, and i'll go to my grave believing that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is a huge improvement over the first one. generally speaking, however, these things are not my jam. at all.
when it comes to gun violence, on the other hand, i've always been plagued by the same feelings of helplessness that so many of us have come to know all too well, and all too often. and while the remarkably brave survivors of the Parkland tragedy have propelled this topic back into the national conversation with the urgency it demands, we have to remember that the crisis isn't only limited to our schools (where there were 17 harmful or fatal shootings in the first 12 weeks of 2018 alone). it isn't only limited to our movie theaters, or to our churches, or to our concert venues. or to our city streets, especially where the poorest Americans don't have the luxury of allowing gun violence to slide down the list of clear and present dangers. it's a stain in the very fabric of who we are, and it's not going to wash clean unless we work together to remove it stitch-by-stitch.
i can't pretend to be as brave as Emma González or David Hogg or any of the other young people whose names we've come to learn because of the lessons we still haven't — mercifully, i haven't had to be. but, in my own (very) small and (very) ridiculous way, i feel like i have to do something. not just to help the cause and stem one of America's most vile and eminently preventable epidemics, but also to remind myself that every single one of us can. we can all help to ensure that marches and tweets are an expression of the fight, but not the fight itself. we can all put our money where our mouths are.
On April 25th, the AMC 25 in Times Square is hosting a 31-hour Marvel movie marathon, beginning with IRON MAN at 1:30pm and ending with AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR at 6pm the next night. i will be submitting myself to this absurdly grueling ordeal for your twisted amusement, and also to raise money for Everytown for Gun Safety.
A non-profit that formed when Mayors Against Illegal Guns merged with Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety works to "support efforts to educate policy makers, as well the press and the public, about the consequences of gun violence and promote efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals." Most recently the group has focused on efforts to require universal background checks on firearms purchases. The organization also produces research and studies on gun violence.
thank you, Wikipedia.
i'll be tweeting about the ordeal between movies (and during the frequent breaks i assume will be necessary for my sanity), and writing a lengthy diary-like post about it on IndieWire if / when I survive (although this fundraiser is not formally endorsed by or affiliated with my employer in any way). it will hopefully be funny. it will definitely be sad. but hopefully it will be sad in a funny way. and who knows, maybe i'll come out of this experience as a born-again Marvel fanboy! anything's possible.
thanks to YouCaring's free model, almost 100% of the money you donate will go directly to Everytown for Gun Safety (minus Paypal's fee of 2.9% + $0.30/transaction). when the fundraiser concludes on May 2nd, i'll be donating the full amount to Everytown, and sharing proof of the transaction.
please help me work towards ending gun violence in America, because otherwise the problem is only going to get worse, and these Marvel movie marathons are only going to get longer.
thank you! -d