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All Dressed Up (NY Film Critics Circle Awards)

Near the end of the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday, January 5, Patricia Arquette could be found outside, bundled up in a winter coat and talking to friends who were huddled over their cigarettes. When asked if she found it difficult as a performer to socialize with reviewers of her work, she burst out laughing, her adorably crooked teeth flashing. “You’d think so,” she said. “But it’s actually lovely.”

Earlier in the week, the existence of critics’ awards had generated some online debate, especially after the National Society of Film Critics had deemed Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language” the year’s best picture – a selection that some deemed deliberately obscure. “I find the opinions of individual critics infinitely more interesting than their collective choices,” tweeted New York Times co-chief film critic A.O. Scott. “Voting is the opposite of criticism.” RogerEbert.com editor in chief Matt Zoller Seitz had chimed in, tweeting that one year he’d gone on a “crusade to abolish the [NY Film Critics Circle] awards dinner.”

Seitz, though not a voter in the 2014 awards, was in attendance at Monday’s dinner anyway, which speaks volumes. Given the cross purposes at which reviewers and filmmakers often find themselves during the rest of the year, it may be awkward to socialize for an evening. But it’s also quite fun. Continue Reading →

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Bra Burned

Coming home on the subway tonight from a gala, I was decked out in grownup lady finery–high heels, LBD*, hair blown out, mascara, red lipstick, sheer stockings. At first it was pleasant. I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be out and about in high femme garb since I’ve been dressing like a 12-year-old boy for months now. Then this guy sailed on at Union Square and began making eyes at every girlygirl on the train. Actually, “making eyes” is an understatement. The lout (30ish, clad in bratty fratty gear) was working his way down the traincar, leaning over every unaccompanied woman wearing lipstick, and saying things like You’re gorgeous. Will you marry me? until she finally looked up and everyone else looked away to avoid poking the bear.

Then he headed in my direction.

I had steam coming out of my ears. Here I had thought one advantage of middle age was invisibility, and this Alexander Dumbass was haranguing me like he’d been appointed king of a goddamned harem. And then it hit me: I really didn’t have to take this crap. I’d never had to, of course, but at this point I was old enough to know I didn’t have to. I’d been living in NYC for 22 years, and had every right to take a subway in my hometown–on my own line, even–without a joker acting like he owned my personal space. I wasn’t some stammering coquette. I was a grown-ass broad.

I stared at him. “So this is your game? You’re just going to walk down the train and mess with every woman you like?” He raised his eyebrows and hands– Whatsa matter? I’m just complimenting you–but I channeled a furious Harriet the Spy. “C’MON, FINK. GET OUT OF MY FACE BEFORE I MAKE YOU.”  A few guys shrank as if I’d just screamed at them but most of the female passengers started cackling. And when the dude heard our laughter, he beat a hasty retreat to the next subway car–where, I hoped, another weary middle-aged woman was poised to bellow at him some more.

*Little Black Dress!

O Hallowed Evening Sky

It’s winter solstice, one of the holiest days of the year.  Scrub out the debris from your inbox, your closet, your spirit, your mind. Make an intention and align it with this evening’s new moon in make-it-happen Capricorn. Invite Uranus’ blue bolts of lightening into those plans; smile broadly at the unexpected. Tap the power of Venus, newly reborn in the sky after regenerating her values. Bask in the embrace of dear Mama Mary. Open your heart to receive grace (prosperity, beauty, big-scale love). Bring gratitude, generosity, and faith to your daily practice, whatever that may be. Roll up your sleeves and get to work. Joyously. Here’s to more light in our countries, our cities, our hearths, our hearts.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy