March 2, 2013

"Amelie" by Carrie Hunter

Her mother killed by a suicide.

A miniature shrine to his wife’s ashes.

        teddy bear forgotten in the rain;
        future bird’s nest

A movie based on a haircut.

Limps a little but never spills a drink.

March 1, 2013

"9to5" by Jen Benka

I could hear my mother trying to hold back her hearty laugh, but she couldn’t help herself and it bounced out anyway into the darkened movie theater. She leaned over to me and whispered, in between giggles, that what we were watching was “absolutely not funny.” She didn’t want me, her 12 year-old daughter, to get the wrong idea.

It was the scene in 9 to 5 in which three clerical workers—Violet (Lily Tomlin), Doralee (Dolly Parton), and Judy (Jane Fonda)—having kidnapped their boss, Franklin Hart, Jr. (Dabney Coleman), bind him in leather and chains, and suspend him several feet off the ground to prevent him from escaping.

February 28, 2013

"Cold Cash & Legs of Lamb: Shooting the Shame Curl with Gidget" by Jennifer L. Knox

Most people think I’m talking about the Sally Field Gidget, which was actually a TV show from 1965. I’m referring to the 1959 film starring Sandra Dee, James Darren and Cliff Robertson. The only people I know who’ve have seen the original are in their 60s, or they grew up near Los Angeles, as I did, where Gidget was always on TV—along with Abbot and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby road pics, and Gumby.

The screenplay was written by Frederick Kohner, based on his book, Gidget: The Little Girl with Big Ideas, about the experiences of his own daughter. I find it creepy: a grown man making money off his daughter’s puberty.

February 27, 2013

"Dancing on My Own" by Carley Moore for Odera Okaneme

A girl’s gotta breathe.

The horse is white and snorting.  The fish is sunlit and gasping.  The girl is out of breath and running.  The mom is drunk and dancing.  The little sister is angry and smoking.  The mom’s boyfriend is shirtless and driving away.   

February 26, 2013

"Don’t Tell Anybody About This, OK? It’s Just a Building Thing: Slums of Beverly Hills" by Nate Logan

We were in Cheryl and Kristie’s room—Beth, Cheryl, Dan, Jill, Kristie and me. It was my sophomore year at Ball State. This was before I decided my heart wasn’t in my psychology major and near the start of the two year relationship I would have with Jill. I’m pretty sure it was a Friday—watching a movie together as a group was near-impossible during weeks where we all were taking 15+ credit hours. I’m pretty sure it was October: we were going to watch a double bill: first off was Frogs.

February 25, 2013

“Paris Belongs to Them: Friendship, Empowerment, and Good Times in Celine and Julie Go Boating” by Dan Coffey

Celine and Julie Go Boating has enough material packed into its four hours to fuel any number of critical monographs and probably a few dissertations as well.* It’s part of the movie’s charm, though, and a self-referential nod to its own exploration of the qualities of magic, that it never feels heavy, stuffed, dense, or impenetrable. For almost 40 years the movie has remained open-armed, lighthearted, and glad to have you watch it. It’s even saved a seat for you on the sofa (literally).

February 24, 2013

"Make Me Feel Safe: The Loneliest Planet and Unspoken Vulnerability" by Jackie Clark

The Loneliest Planet is not your traditional chick flick.  While the subjects of the movie are the soon to be married Alex and Nica, there is no meet-cute, no plucky bridesmaids, and no real resolution—the penultimate scene of the movie is Nica puking by flashlight.  That said, this movie suggests a lot of things about the relationships of young women of a certain demographic.  And being, I suppose, a woman who can relate to said demographic, The Loneliest Planet gave me pause, if only because I have struggled to understand what it means to have seen these character traits in myself and in my own relationships.