Friday, October 07, 2005

assorted comments, recent films, and Dawson's Creek

I responded to emdashes with thoughts on New Yorker literary gentlemen of historic import William Shawn and Roger Angell.

I compared keeping pets to wearing fur at the fun and smart as a whip FLUFFY DOLLAR$$$ blog. I also wrote about Tom and Katie in response today's post there (Oct 7). I've revealed my perverse sympathy for these two before, in my own blog when I praised The New Yorker piece "Tom Cruise is My Dog."

I offered thoughts on public transport in Pittsburgh, DC and Durham, North Carolina at the local Pittsburgh AntiRust blog. I've posted on the Pennsylvania State Stores (for alcohol) at AntiRust before, and I think my experience is still telling, despite that myopic and conceited response from someone named "Rich" - if my name were Richard, I'd go by $omething el$e. Say, perhaps, "Dick" ?? OK, nevermind.

I made my own country and found this a lot of fun, following a link given by juniper pearl at i am a pretentious hack.

I also met with my dissertation committee and, by a kind of elaborate coincidence, my old advisor from my undergraduate days, to ask for diss feedback, fellowship letters and validation of my entire existence. Ha. Ha? Ha . . . They were great, really positive and, as always, pushing me to follow through on the wildest of my wild ideas, but its been exhausting . . .

Recent Films: Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967), The Eyes of Laura Mars (Kirshner, 1978) and Vera Drake (Leigh, 2004). All of which might lead to some speculation about historical relationships among women, sex and violence. If you consider Gosford Park (Altman, 2001) to be a charming little film about class and violence, I like it better than Vera Drake. The Eyes of Laura Mars tries to be arty, but acheives a real 1970s dirty glow. It borrows explicitly from Helmut Newton - they are his images - but also from Diane Arbus and Susan Sontag too. And Bonnie and Clyde, why does no one mention Clyde's fear of sex?

We also watched Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burghundy and this film lead to the most spirited household discussion - Why can't the women be funny? These straight women sidekicks (in Zoolander or Austin Powers 2, or Hitchhikers Guide, or . . .) are awkward and hard to play and aren't given any of the subversive gender mocking power of the films' humor, of which there is plenty in each example. Lucy, Lucy, why have we abandoned you? Ah, for the Golden Days of the Golden Girls . . . Even poor Margaret Hoolihan is allowed embody, poke fun at and transform stereotypes of femininity.

Back to Katie, I hated the smug, self-righteous, disciplined, repressed, manipulative, and ENTIRELY UNFUNNY good girl she played on Dawson's. And I dislike what seems similar in Lindsay, moral center of Freaks and Geeks. The show is more critical of her than DC was of Joey, but . . . Ok, time to visit Television Without Pity. You've heard enough.

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Blogger mzn said...

I wouldn't say I hated the qualities you name in Joey and Lindsay (I don't think I watched DC long enough to get to the manipultiveness and I don't think it applies to Lindsay). I recognize that they are valid descriptions, but often what makes interesting characters interesting is that we both like and dislike them, no?

12:15 PM  
Blogger zp said...

Oh totally. They are both so open to interpretation. Which makes them both a bit of a blank slate, which is interesting in itself. For instance, it is utterly impossible to imagine a psychological interior to Joey - she's just one decision, emotion, moue at a time. A kind of ultimate screen, on which to project.

4:05 PM  

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