Archive | Film Matters

The Church of ‘The Biggest Little Farm’

I know I’ve been quiet here. My rule for April has been to say yes to everything–to “Shonda Rhimes it,” as one friend phrased my approach. This has kept me busy and helped out my bank account. It’s also made my life fuller and more joyous.

But such a jam-packed scheduled hasn’t left time for blog updates.

Still, I wanted to post the lecture I gave this morning to the Westchester Cinema Club, which was having its last meeting at the Greenburgh Cinemas and possibly its last meeting altogether. I have given thirty lectures to this club over the years, mostly about films I have loved dearly. But even when I haven’t been enthused about the film, I’ve been enthusiastic about the club members. Mostly seventy- and eighty-something, they offer a perspective that I pray to someday achieve.

For this final lecture, I discussed The Biggest Little Farm, a documentary about a married couple who start a farm an hour north of Los Angeles. Continue Reading →

Bibi’s Touch (RIP Lady Andersson)

I’ve had this picture of Bibi Andersson taped to my icebox for as long I’ve lived in my apartment, which, coincidentally, is as long as I’ve been a sexually self-possessed woman. Really, it’s no coincidence at all, because Andersson was a wonderful role model in this department. Traditionally cinema has been a place where women mirror men’s desire rather than channel their own, and even now realistic female orgasms are the unicorns of the silver screen. Through all this Stepford sexuality strode Andersson, she of the cupid mouth and shark eyes—-a supreme subject rather than object. Once I invited a suitor up for a proverbial nightcap, and he took a long look at her flinty mug and said, “Why do you have this pissy blonde on your fridge?” “Cuz like seeks like,” I answered and swiftly showed him the door.

Caturday Night: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Grace and I are rewatching the brilliant Can You Ever Forgive Me? on this Caturday night and once again are appalled it didn’t score a best picture or best director Oscar nom. Its nostalgia for 90s NYC–which was all about nostalgia for midcentury Manhattan and paying the cultural piper– is pitch-perfect, as is Melissa McCarthy as Israel, reminding us what a terrific actress she can be when her husband doesn’t have his meat hooks in her projects. Continue Reading →

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