Venus in Scorpio, Jupiter in Scorpio, Sun in Scorpio, new moon in Scorpio. With all these planets in the sign of reckoning and power, you can feel the ground shifting beneath your feet even if you don’t believe in astrology. In our individual lives, in our country, in the heavens themselves, what lurks below has been exploding in our faces for months now. But with Scorpio now looming in planets of love and manifestation, identity and emotionality, we’re finally seeing the power balance shift—-to glimpse the fetid core of patriarchy itself. Continue Reading →
There are films that ripen on the vine, and then there is “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” Richard Brooks’s 1977 adaptation of the Judith Rossner novel inspired by a NYC schoolteacher killed by a one-night stand. It was a crime that seized national attention – for some, as a cautionary tale about women’s liberation; for others, as a case study in lethal misogyny. Rossner’s fictionalized account–lurid and lucid both–was such a critically touted bestseller that the term “Mr. Goodbar” became mainstream slang for a hot one-night stand. But while Brooks’s film also made bank, reviews were mixed. Viewed forty years later, you can see why. Its ambivalence about independent female sexuality makes for a jarring, fractured viewing experience if also a fascinating time capsule of the hypocrisies necessitating today’s #metoo revolution.
Fresh off the heels of her “Annie Hall” success, Diane Keaton stars as Theresa Dunn, roughly based on real-life victim Roseann Quinn. But while Keaton retains some of Annie’s daffiness, Theresa’s shadows live much closer to the surface; she’s haunted by her repressive Irish Catholic upbringing and a childhood scarred by scoliosis. When we meet her, she’s studying to become a teacher and sleeping with her married professor (Alan Feinstein), a pipe-puffing cad who sports the unfortunate male perm that was de rigueur in the late 1970s. While he struts in front of her classroom, she fantasizes about fucking him in a hot flash; the film is very big on psychosexual stills a la “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist.” Continue Reading →