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October 3, 2010

An Angry Black Woman...

  1. I wrote a review of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps for a local outfit and got some pretty lovely feedback. I wasn’t expected anything, since my review wasn’t especially provocative. I just said the movie was entertaining, but for the most part doesn’t need to be seen in the theater unless you’re a fan of the original or an Oliver Stone completest. Despite being a member of the former group, I wasn’t exactly sure how to engage a readership who might only be vaguely familiar with the original. So I tried to focus on the individual elements, which might compel a tightfisted movie goer to part with their hard earned cash. Basically, I wrote about how wonderful Brolin, Langella and Douglas were, while reminding folks that Stone has never been particularly interested in portraying women outside of the context of their relationship to powerful men. It was that final point, which garnered the bulk of my positive praise. I wasn’t even trying to make a Rosa Parks moment out of it; just stating my opinion about the abysmal female characters that usually populate Stone’s films. I likened Susan Sarandon’s one note shrill character to Mrs. Garrison as played by Sissy Spacek in Stone’s otherwise wonderful (as a political thriller and though not necessarily a historically accurate political thriller) JFK. I also noted Brolin’s beard deserves its own praise and if there was any doubt Josh is James’ son that beard clarified the matter forever. Nobody in cinema rocks a beard like a Brolin. True story.

    “This Must Be the Place” aka that damn Wall Street I’m RICH, BEEYOTCH song. I swear every time Bud Fox bought so much as a stick of gum this song played over the scene.

  2. David Duchovny‘s been making an appearance in my dreams again. There was a six month period in 1997 (according to the journals I kept during the era) where he showed up in my dreams every NIGHT. Usually as some variation of Mulder, always just sort of there. Duchovny should have been a bigger crush during that point in my life, but unfortunately, La Mommie pointed out – on more than one occasion – his resemblance to Richard Gere. I already liked Gere, so crushing on Duchovny seemed redundant. The dreams are pleasant enough, but I have the feeling that even dream Duch realizes my heart isn’t really in it.
  3. Despite the lack of a dress, ring or date, I am determined to have Mandy Patinkin sing at my wedding. I even have a couple of songs picked out. Oddly enough no standards or showtunes. The front runners include: “The Main Event” by Babs, “It’s Coming Back to Me Now” – don’t front, you know you’d pay cashmoney to see Mandy shut down that Celine Dion cut – , “Faithfully” by Journey and this track:

    For some reason I could totally picture Mandy in a sharp suit getting a little shimmy going while taking this cut to school. Shoot, with Gail Ann Dorsey tearing up them nasty bass licks; I tell you what…You better ask somebody!

  4. I am having so much fun with my Cinemalphabet series. I am trying to be spontaneous with it, despite hatching out a tentative list of films one night when Babby and I were out to dinner. Despite being four films in, I haven’t really clarified the mission of the posts. Now is probably as good a time as any. I already mentioned the series was inspired by the incredible film criticism Alex does over at Film Forager. I read that blog rather religiously and find her film writing smart and wildly accessible. At times I forget that above all else I am a cinemabuff first. Yes, I’m a feminist. Yes, I’m all about some intersectional feminism. However, as a writer, that’s not where my strengths lie. My writing strength comes from my love of pop culture, which is informed by my lived experiences and social justice activism and not the other way around. I’m not the go-to person for in depth analysis of whatever -ism is getting kicked around today. I don’t have the emotional energy for the level of engagement it requires. I am, however, the go-to person for finding ways to satisfyingly engage with the imperfect pop culture of the past and (sometimes) present.
  5. So increasingly I’m finding it difficult to spend a lot of time engaged with that style of pop culture analysis. Cinema brings me joy, lulz and often makes me grateful to be alive. Even when it’s corny – like Capricorn One, I’m grateful. I grew up extremely privileged as far as class goes and while it intersects differently with race and gender, and regardless of whether the society frames my existence as such, I am very aware of how my class background/values inform my pop culture consumption. Having said all that, part of my annoyance with feminist blogging is the notion that being visibly marginalized in ways other than gender requires that you must demonstrate your feminist credentials on a daily basis by writing rant after rant, because that manner of online engagement is privileged and anything falling outside of that is suspect, if you’re visibly marginalized. Whereas those benefiting from racial privilege, but marginalized by gender – regardless of what topics they explore – seem to be granted the benefit of the doubt as far as feminist cred is concerned provided they like the right bands, self identify as geeky, own a lot of hoodies and cut their bangs with safety scissors at home.
  6. I’m slowly digging myself out of my email backlog, which is filled with smart things you’ve written to me, questions you want me to explore in future blog posts and things you wish I’d stop doing/writing about. Stay tuned…

In honor of s.e.’s great Fry Butter post on the men who have played Bond. So glad to have you writing for Fry Butt!!!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 3:28 pm

    Aw, thank you! All the great conversation about Bond themes in comments has me pondering a followup.

  2. October 3, 2010 6:48 pm

    You’re so right about Stone! Would it have hurt him to make the ambitious young moneygrubber a woman? And I would have been happy enough for the movie to have been all about Gekko using his protege to redress an old grudge, I could have done without the old “heal the family” storyline.

    Keep working the Mandy angle!

  3. bumerry permalink
    October 3, 2010 8:08 pm

    The Mandy angle is working for me. You should get married as soon as his schedule allows just SO Mandy will sing for you. You could marry my partner, then just divorce him before tax time. 🙂

    Also, Mandy rocked a righteous beard in Yentl, the best pornographic film of my youth. I’m practically orgasming just recalling that scene with him all wet and naked and bearded in the sunshine like that. I love that movie for all kinds of reasons, but that would be primary.

  4. bumerry permalink
    October 3, 2010 8:22 pm

    Also: recently listened to my first ever Journey album bought with my allowance. Realized that every single Journey song boils down to “I’m a huge rock god, and I’m just not that into you.” This evoked speculation on WHY I loved Journey so much.

    The answer: unrequited love for Jerry Reynolds. He was my arch enemy Scott Odren’s friend in junior high / POW camp. He shielded me from most of Scott’s torture. I couldn’t help loving him, he couldn’t help not returning it, and he was patient and kind about my crush.

  5. October 4, 2010 12:24 am

    I love the cinemalphabet! I’m glad you’re doing what makes you happy, and you’re so damn good at it.

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