Tuesday, October 9, 2012

you're dumber than you think i think you are

Soooo, as I'm realizing about myself and my PROCESS (because OBVIOUSLY I am a very complex artist with involved processes) that my blog posts never actually materialize into what they're supposed to be. This was supposed to be a post about how genius I thought Chinatown was PLUS a little bit of feminist-y rant about it. Instead? I'm just going to wax laconic about how much of a BAD BITCH Faye Dunaway is in this movie because COME ON.
 Faye Dunaway hero worship, take one. 

This is just a creepy reminder that Jack Nicholson used to be a babe. Yeah, I know it's weird. Try not to think about it. 

 Hey okay, COOLEST BITCH IN TOWN can we get some respect for this FACE? Totally wish she actually had done that to Jack's face but you can tell that she definitely COULD HAVE. And really, that's what counts. 

This is just outfit apreesh because the grey on grey number is KILLING IT. 

DO YOU SEE THIS. This is magic going on in this face right here. Like total GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE vibes and I love it. Also, THE NAILS. 

Favorite look of hers for the entire film. There's just something so completely femme fatale about this whole deal. God, Faye. So pretty. 
Sometimes I get so mesmerized by her in this film I totally forget what's going on, until the end, which promptly brings me to crazy sobbing/frozen staring. 

Oh, and it's on Netflix. So, if you haven't watched it, you actually have no excuse now. GO. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

fine, you're a nummy treat

Alright. I was going to start this post apologizing for my absence/not posting deal but I realized I didn't really have a good reason. Unless you count AMAZING TELEVISION SHOWS as a good reason for getting nothing done at all during the month of September. Which of course, I do. We'll start with my complete admission that I'm way behind on this whole Joss Whedon worship wagon thing but BETTER LATE THAN NEVER/THE EARLY BIRD CATCHES THE WORM/OTHER WELL WORN CLICHE.

Because Buffy, you guys. Just... Buffy.

Five awesome things about Buffy that are totally not ranked because that would be way too hard: 
(for the record I blame 90s television quality and/or netflix for the mildly shitty appearance of these screencaps)

(notice my unprecedented use of bold here, which indicates that this word is important -- aren't I so handy with this whole thing????) 
 I SWEAR I SWEAR I'm still for the goodies and  I totally don't approve of eating puppies, but Drusilla is amazing. Like she is SO scary and insane and she wears the best dresses and I just want her to be my best friend if maybe she could borrow Spike's chip. And eat less people. 

Once More With Feeling
If you've heard of Buffy, you've probably heard of this episode. I'd imagine it doesn't make for particularly good one-off viewing, because you really have to know the characters for it to hold any weight, but I. Mean. Joss taught himself how to read music and play an instrument just to make this episode. Which he wrote. IT MUST BE BUNNIES. 

Willow's closet
Yes, the outfits in this show are basically a time capsule-esque tribute to the 90s but Willow's CLOTHES. The rainbow sweaters, overalls, floppy hats and OH YEAH THAT DAISY TRIMMED PINK FUZZY SWEATER FROM DOPPELGANGLAND? OH YEAH. My girl always brings the softer side of Sears.  

The Halloween Episodes

The Bronze 
This hip, high-schooler welcoming club with the BEST bands (Michelle Branch, The Breeders, and DINGOES ATE MY BABY) totally would never exist anywhere BUT I LOVE IT NONETHELESS. If you maybe factor out the high incidence of vampire attacks.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

standing four feet ten in one sock

 Sooooo basically the only thing that happens during the summer in my town is the fair. It's simple, a few animal barns (with the MOST macabre/perfect sign that read "Lamb BBQ Friday" which was hung up right outside of the sheep barn), one room for local art, one for flowers, and the rest devoted to greasy food and rickety rides. 

THIS IS IT IN ALL ITS GLORY. I went twice, obviously because it was so much fun. Fair vibes just speak to me, alright? The sun and the dead grass, and the pastels and the DEEP FRIED OREOS.They were so GOOD oh my god. 

Really though, the blaringly loud hits from the 00s on the loudspeakers got to me because MAN did they ruin the sun-drenched happiness of it all. So I made my own playlist. Maybe some day I'll go the fair, beat up a ride operator, and play this mix over the loudspeakers. Or not. Either way, here's the mix.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rookie Rejections #1

Hey, it's been ages (read: about two weeks) since I've posted anything here because obviously I AM VERY IMPORTANT AND HAVE LOTS OF THINGS TO DO (read: I am very lazy). But I have at least been working on a few pieces for my favorite online magazine, Rookie. I realize that probably sounds more important/fancy than it is. They're not actually publishing what I'm sending them.. yet. Soooo... I thought I'd start a series on this blog to ensure that at least SOMEONE reads the pieces that I worked so hard on (read: that I worked slightly hard on). That series is called Rookie Rejections. And without further ado, here's the first.

Piece and collage by yours truly. 

Why Hating your Town Might Actually be a Good Thing and other Half-Truths:

Strictly speaking, my home town kind of sucks. Or really, it’s about a six on the “How-Much-Does-Your Town-Suck” scale. This obviously, is a very real, very scientific, thing. What I mean is, I can think of worse places to live really easily: North Korea, the underworld, NILBOG IN TROLL 2. But it’s certainly not the best place I can think of either: most metropolitan cities, a chocolate town populated entirely by cats, or a Sofia Coppola movie (Maybe like The Virgin Suicides… But without the death). My town’s got a few things going for it: a couple vintage shops, super tall trees, and really, really good weed. (Not that that’s necessarily a good thing. DON’T SMOKE WEED KIDS IT WILL KILL YOUR BRAIN OR SOMETHING.) On the other hand, our claim to fame is that Guy Fieri grew up here. Seriously. I mean, yeah, every town has their own Li’l Sebastian. But really, Li’l Sebastian doesn’t have frosted tips, wear ridiculously pointless armbands, or SCREAM AT YOU FOR NO REASON.  Living in a small town can be pretty suffocating. Living in an isolated town can be incredibly frustrating. Living in a small, isolated town can be the absolute pits. Basically, you get to hating wherever you grew up, small, isolated, or otherwise, in fairly quick order.

Honestly though, if Ghost World or this conversation between Hazel and Tavi are any indication, anyone who grew up anywhere has felt this town hatred. At some point in pretty much everyone’s lives, you just want to get away from your parents, house, town, even your friends. Truth is, you can get bored with your life. You shouldn’t, because I mean how rad is being alive? But you do. The landscape gets old and YES THE GRASS GETS LESS GREEN. It can get to the point where you’re seething in HATRED at nothing in particular except that you JUST WANT TO LEAVE. Which compounds on the non-geographically related teen angst and pretty soon you’re just a big ball of anger and wanderlust. Sometimes you accidentally gorge on things that are familiar, and pretty soon you’re Violet in Willy Wonka after she tries that complete-meal gum, you find yourself rolling around on the floor, blue and full to bursting.

This is where life differs from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. This whole, angsty blueberry-fication forces the issue and makes you realize that sometimes you just gotta leave. And that definitely doesn’t have to be a, “fuck this noise I’m OUTTA here”, kind of leaving. I’m not asking you to Thelma & Louise it and throw you and your best friend and your car off a cliff (really, please stay away from cliffs). Basically, this necessity for leaving is called MOTIVATION. Motivation to get out and do something awesome. Combat boredom with FUN and ADVENTURE.

See where I’m going with this? You just have to leave enough to be stretched and wrung out. Then you can return home, slightly taller, slightly wiser, and otherwise no worse for the wear. Hating your town can actually make you see more of the world. Even if that “more” is just a couple of blocks from your house. Any place pretty and different with plenty of room and time for dreaming, playing MASH, or eating sour worms is PERFECT. Really. Just a place to decompress. To de-blueberry. 

The world is actually a really, really cool place. With really, really cool people, even the creeps, losers, and the weirdos. If you were perfectly happy where you are right now at this very moment, maybe you wouldn’t be bored. If you weren’t bored, maybe you’d never discover that awesome little tree-shrouded place in the park or meet that super-cool old woman with that amazing consignment shop. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S AROUND YOU. But discontent and ennui might make you look. If you hate where you live, it sucks for a little bit, but it’s just so much MORE motivation to see MORE and MORE, during teenagerdom and outside of it. (I honestly think if I didn’t hate where I lived so much, I’d never have applied to NYU. And now, WHAT UP 212?)
For those strange people (that may or may not exist) that happen to love where they live, a note: You’re not missing out. You get to totally love where you live now. You probably still love exploring. So you’re good.

BUT. If even after your local exploring, you’re STILL not happy, (which honestly, if that’s the case you may just have to look harder) real, honest to goodness traveling can be really great too. It can be cathartic. Or self-revelatory. It can make you feel really small or really connected or really alienated or really lucky. You can SEE PLACES. And LEARN THINGS. Not just about yourself but about other people. IT’S GOOD FOR YOU. Traveling is basically broccoli. Except way better. Traveling also has the added bonus of: excuses to eat horrible gas station quickie mart fare like Bugles and Nesquik, stays at possibly haunted hotels, seeing BEAUTIFUL things, and probably most importantly, getting the hell away from where ever it is you live.

Another great thing about traveling/exploring/leaving your paradigm for a second? It’s not permanent. Which means yeah, you have to go back home. BUT HEY. WHAT IF, WHEN COMING BACK, YOU DECIDE TO LOOK AT YOUR HOME TOWN THE WAY YOU LOOKED AT ALL THE NEW PLACES? Then, those few vintage stores can turn into gem-filled wonderlands and those “pretty tall trees” can become complete and total magical giants. Maybe even Guy Fieri isn’t so bad anymore. The point is, leaving for a bit makes you come back with new, Leslie Knope tinted glasses.
LOOK. Totally enjoy your high school, maladjusted suburban-addled youth. Try try try to embrace your town’s Li’l Sebastians. You will probably hate it anyway, But that’s completely okay. Read this guide, by Sady. Don’t be a blueberry. Decompress by seeing as much as you can of whatever you can. THEN FLY FREE CHILDREN. Happier, smarter, wiser, and all that jazz. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

it'll change your life I swear

If I had to pick one word to describe my feelings about the upcoming film Ruby Sparks, that word would be mixed. Look, this movie kind of seems to be the manifesto for Manic Pixie Dream Girls. In fact, if you go to the top comments underneath the trailer on YouTube, the number one liked comment is "Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The Motion Picture". Yeah. I'm sure everyone has seen this FANTASTIC video on Tropes vs. Women for Manic Pixie Dream Girl (BUT IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCH IT. And be prepared for Garden State to be ruined.) IF you're too lazy or need a refresher, it basically discusses the complete shallowness of these women, how they essentially appear out of thin air, fix these melancholy men's lives, then disappear just as easily, with no mention of their hopes, aspirations, or personal accomplishments. Which, for the record, totally sucks.

Here's the thing, though. I read an interview with Zoe Kazan, who wrote and stars in the film, in BUST magazine and this is what she had to  say about her film: "In romantic comedies, I find that there's a lot of male wish fufillmentthat is subliminal, subtextual, and not blatantly on the surface, so they kind of get away with it. I just wanted to put a spotlight on that. [Ruby Sparks] is about what happens when you reduce someone to the idea of something, instead of looking at the person themselves. " 

[NOTE: The following revelation may have been obvious to everyone else, but nonetheless felt groundbreaking to me. Forgive me if I sound foolish.]

HERE IS WHAT I HAVE CONCLUDED. Using my brain. Like smart grrrls do. These men who write these MPDGs (doncha love that snappy anagram I just made up on the spot)? The shallow, wish-fulfilling, unrealistic, slips of characters? Those men are Paul Dano. Or rather, Paul Dano is playing the personification of those men. MIND BLOWN RIGHT. WHOA.
And after I realized that, I started to think of the potential for busting those tropes discussed in that video for Bitch Magazine (The one I linked to above. This one. Right here.). Which means there may be hope -- this film may not only be cute it might help change the landscape of the female love interest. So I'm allowing myself to gush. 



Phew. Alright. Here's hoping it's good.

So I saw it. It was cute, slightly more twee than I hoped it'd be, definitely with a happier ending than I wished for. Can I just say what a horrible person Calvin is with seriously NO consequences? And while I totally understand why Zoe wrote the ending she did, it didn't seem to fit the tone before it. BUT Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan may be the cutest couple ever.

I GIVE RUBY SPARKS 3 OUT OF 5 HAIR BOWS. Hair bows being the most QUIRKY AND ADORKABLE rating system ever devised DUH.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

i don't want to over-wriggle

So, let's forget every icky thing you've heard about Woody Allen.  Which is probably a lot. I know, I know. BUT PLEASE can we talk about how GOOD some of his films are? I was asked once what my favorite Woody Allen was once in a drama class and I almost passed out from the indecision. While it may not be my absolute favorite,  Broadway Danny Rose is definitely in my top 5. But please don't ask me what that is either, I heard somewhere that passing out is bad for your brain. Or something. 

It stars Woody Allen (seriously this man always KILLS IT in his own films) as a struggling talent agent and Mia Farrow (almost unrecognizable) as the mistress of an up-and-coming lounge singer and seriously it's SO GREAT. I mean, the helium scene. The helium scene, I tell you.

Broadway Danny Rose

Also notable is the style in this film. Woody looks unsettlingly sleazy in his cheesy talent agent atire, but Mia Farrow is all overdone glamour. THOSE SUNGLASSES. So, a set commemorating her pegged camel pants, floral blouse and SUNGLASSES (because those deserve to be mentioned twice) seemed appropriate.

Pants by Wood Wood, Top by Equipment, Shoes by Mango, and Bag by Mulberry.

Set and screenshots by yours truly.