Archive | Film Matters

Our Lunar Tides, Our Selves

I know menstruation is one of the few taboo topics on social media (cockocracy!) but today I cried over the Comey hearing, a late-’90s Julia Roberts film that will go unnamed (ok, Stepmom), a certain permakitten when she rested her chin on my toe, and the fact that my dress wasn’t ready at the tailors. Tonight’s potent full moon is not helping, nor is our massive Constitutional crisis. Overall, though, I just need to (insert verb, Mad Libs-style) already. Our periods are a blessing for which I am all the more grateful since I realized mine was an endangered species. But the period before our periods blows as hard as our alleged president–very, very hard.

And the Portions Are So Small

I’m still laughing about a cinema club talk I gave recently. We were screening a dour Polish biopic that I couldn’t entirely endorse but didn’t want to bad-mouth since our attendees had paid good money and gotten up really early. It turned out they were not into it either, a fact made abundantly clear.

The way things usually go: We screen the film, I give a 15-minute talk, and then we open up the discussion to a question and answer period, during which everyone tells me the film was great and my interpretation supersmart. (I preen, I tell you; all hail the unbeloved child.) This time, they were just plain pissed. While I was talking, everyone kept screaming SPEAK UP YOU TALK TOO SOFTLY WE CAN’T HEAR YOU’RE MUMBLING. Continue Reading →

Six Packs & Soft Underbellies: ‘The Outsiders’

Like many growing up in the 1980s, I regarded “The Outsiders,” Frances Ford Coppola’s adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s 1967 young adult novel, as the ultimate babe fest. To date, it may be the greatest shrine to young male beauty ever filmed. Starring Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, and Emilio Estevez at the apex of their hotness, a pre-orthodontia Tom Cruise was the ugliest dude in the cast. Turning flips in the air, popping perfect biceps in rolled-up black tees, lolling cigs out of rosy pouts, and batting long lashes beneath expertly combed pompadours, these boys were so appealing that they triggered early puberty in a whole generation of tweens (then called preteens).

Thirty-odd years later, I dig this parade of Aphrodites even more, and for mostly loftier reasons. Howell stars as 14-year-old protagonist Ponyboy Curtis, so named by dead parents who left him in the care of 17-year-old brother Sodapop (Rob Lowe), a dreamboat of a high school dropout, and biggest brother Darrel (Patrick Swayze), who has forfeited his dreams of college to keep his younger siblings out of foster care. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Curtis boys live on the wrong side of the tracks – we’re reminded of this from the first scene’s lonely train whistle– and they provide a homebase for all the tenderhearted, rough-hewn “greasers” in their gang. Continue Reading →

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