Archive | Film Matters

Baptizing the Monster: ‘Mary Shelley’

What follows is a transcript of a talk I gave about the biopic Mary Shelley for the Westchester Film Club, where I often deliver lectures on new independent and foreign film releases.

The best way to discuss this film may be to unpack it like one of those Russian nesting dolls that stack level upon level upon level.

So let’s start with who is behind this lens. As David may have told you, it is directed by Haiffa al Mansour, who also cowrote the script with Emma Jensen. Haiffa’s first feature was 2013’s Wadjda, the first Saudi-Arabian film to be directed by a Saudi woman. That in itself is a mind-blowing accomplishment, given the restrictions women face in that country, but the movie itself, a coming-of-age story about a female tween rebel, is a wonder. I strongly recommend it if you have not already seen it. Continue Reading →

Sweet and Steady: Taurus New Moon

Tonight’s new moon in Taurus only deepens the beautiful magic we’ve been experiencing since the sun entered this sign on April 20, especially since Uranus also enters it now. New moons invite us to take stock, and Taurus is all about tangible resources–what we can taste, touch, spend, feel. So it’s a good time to evaluate your daily routines. What small habit can you modify? How can you work more nature and pleasure  into your daily life? What shadow Taurus energies (materialism, laziness, stubbornness) can you release? And, since steadfast Taurus is ruled by Venus, the goddess of love, how can you stabilize your relationships with more faith, grace, sensuality, patience, and ritual? Be like Taurus goddess Cher in Moonstruck: Take your sweet, sweet time.

A Place So Hard To Find

Last night at Westchester’s Emelin Theater, I lectured on RBG, a new documentary about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It was beyond reassuring to discuss this well-mannered, succinct, intellectually rigorous, even-handed, courageous, tenacious, and scrupulous woman. Even more reassuring to watch scenes of her working out vigorously with a trainer at age 85.

We need the Justice to live to a biblical age—200, even 250. Maybe clone herself too. But right now, she’s still a key cog in the U.S. government, the ultimate antidote to  this political climate of hot air, hot heads, (not) hot messes. As I zoomed back into the city, the traffic a mere trickle at that hour, I looked at the spiny diamonds of the city skyline and just grinned.

It’s still ours.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. The world–especially the United–is still going to hell in a handbasket. But I am starting to think my prediction that Trump and his cronies will exit the White House in cuffs will be realized. Better yet, every day I continue to work on a book I’ve wanted to write for decades. Today I already have penned 1,600 words, and now am swilling an extraordinary spicy turkey sandwich and a post-work glass of vino. On my speakers Marc Dorsy is crooning: “Somewhere in life there’s a joy to be/Between the hope and reality.”  I feel the extraordinary solidarity of my girlfriends far and near, foremothers alive and dead, and Miss Grace, sitting pretty on my legs. O, if money didn’t exist, I’d be the happiest 47-year-old in all the land.

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