haute cinema

The tide is high....
“The tide is high…” by Hoquiamite Mickey Thurman

Responding to a tweet last night for movies I would recommend, I now present a very hastily-thrown together list of films – imperfectly categorized – that I watched in 2010 and enjoyed very much:

Documentary
Protangonist, A Family Undertaking: POV, Not Quite Hollywood, “Addiction” (HBO), “When We Left Earth” (TV), The Celluloid Closet, Harlan County U.S.A., Stranded: I Come From a Plane That Crashed on The Mountains, The Business of Being Born, The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema, Man on Wire, The Thin Blue Line

Indie
La Mission, Revanche, Happy Accidents (LOVE IT… maybe one of the few romantic films I totally fell for), Chopper, Red (with Brian Cox), Dandelion

Thriller/Horror
Moon, Blue Velvet, Let the Right One In, Teeth, Slither, An American Werewolf in London

New & Old Classics
The Man from Snowy River, Night of the Creeps, Dial M For Murder (with Blue Velvet one of my fave movies ever), On The Waterfront, The Verdict, “Have Gun – Will Travel” (TV)

Action/Western
Appaloosa, Sexy Beast, Unforgiven, Lonesome Dove, Cutthroat Island (LADY AWESOMENESS!), Cop LandThe Edge

Introspective/Drama
After the Wedding, Gone Baby Gone, Hounddog (for Dakota, 100%), Letters from Iwo Jima, The Answer Man (best grownup/teacher conference EVAR), Sense & Sensibility, Bleak House, “John from Cincinnati” (TV), “Deadwood” (TV), “Prime Suspect” series (BBC TV), I’ve Loved You So Long (the film is well-done, but more to the point Kristin Scott Thomas is excellent and made me cry so hard I almost threw up)

Comedy
Fatal Instinct, The Other Guys, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Hot Fuzz, “Strangers With Candy” (TV), “Reno 911!” (TV), Fido, Hot Rod, Anchorman, Idiocracy

***

Cool Water
(Small Stone #15*)

I love washing and soaking beans!
Small sedate jewels
Nourishing my family’s bellies, for pennies,
Work by my hands

Hamilton
(Small Stone #16*)

The cat pads into the kitchen
With a pencil in her mouth.

Small stone project

stuck in the moment

Ralph might have started the game of Blanket Monster, but Phoenix Fire ended it. By clocking her father in the face with the rather rugged and heavy phony-Christmas-tree cardboard box. The way Ralph tells it Phoenix rather reluctantly gave up her hopes and dreams of a normal life, but with a practicality and thoroughness that is so trademark to her sensible nature. “Well, I used to have a daddy, but now he’s a relentless Blanket Monster, so I’d better kill the sonovabitch.” Ralph describes “blinding white light” and staggering to the bathroom where he staunched the flow of bloody nose while our daughter apologized with sincere but pragmatic gravitas. Fucker was pulling them under the blankets by their legs, afterall. “Tickle torture isn’t funny,” she tells me later standing with a towel wrapped around her reedlike body, her freckles standing at attention under a seal-wet post-bath noggin.

Later as we left for a date our daughter calls, “Take care of your nose, daddy!” She means it in a cheerful and loving way but it kinda sounds like a veiled threat.

We got home and later discovered a bunch of items on my Mac. Some intentional video – (I think Flickr cut out some of the artistic differences our children discuss at the end of the film)…

and some unintentional (Ding Dong!):

friday what goes along comes around

Short and sweet today as I’m including a must-listen interview (first link). Today’s links are on the serious/thinky side (a recent trend I guess) as opposed to gratuitous mustache pictures and a citation of my favorite “Mighty Boosh” sketches. I know, I know – it’s hardly fair on a Friday, right?

Super-Special Double-Awesomeness!
“on hold with atchka! and ellyn satter”
This? Should be required listening. For American human beings at least (and probably lots of others). In the same week we hear our First Lady claim childhood obesity is a matter of national security as we’re all so fat we roll around entirely helpless and can’t hold weapons in our sausage-fingers, it’s so wonderful to here the voice of reason, compassion, food enojoyment, rigorous science and analysis, social criticism, trust in and support of children, and health (yeah, remember that concern?)! Do listen to the interview – it’s about thirty six minutes long and it’s phenomenal!

Parenting/Living Together
“5 Ways To Work With Anger” by Tiff at freeplaylife
Tiff’s suggestions aren’t particularly ones that I’ve used or that appeal to me, but I like her concepts around a life lived with children (as opposed to one where most of their waking hours are out-of-home/in school) and I’ve often thought depictions of such lives are too few and far between. I have my own thoughts about anger and its use (maybe I’ll share them soon!) but I agree that the by-rote attempt to avoid or suppress anger is not a workable solution and provides a poor if not toxic environment for children.

Teaching Your Child To Share? at Authentic Parenting
The way grownups deal with “sharing” in young children is often fear-based, illogical, and counterproductive. This article is a great 101. I made a lot of mistakes re: sharing (and of course slip up still) but figured it out early enough. I love, love watching small children negotiate when adults don’t over-interfere.

Current Events
“What the Assange case says about rape in America”, Valenti at The Washington Post
“[T]this means we can’t stop at changing legislation. For true justice, there needs to be a cultural shift in the way Americans think about sex, consent and rape, so that when women come forward – whether they’re accusing a celebrity, a sports star or a neighbor – our immediate reaction isn’t to misconstrue or speculate about their motives, but to listen.”

Here’s some of what Sady Doyle has experienced since she’s been calling out rape apologism and speaking in anti-rape terms; particularly in this case on the response to Assange’s accusers and “progressive” reactions to the scourge of rape and sexual assault (as anyone who gives a damn and has self-educated on violence against women and children, when I say “here’s what so-and-so’s experienced”, you know it’s going to be awful – so, trigger warning for graphic violence threats, rape threats, and rape apologism).

Culture
“Doctors not immune from fat-bashing” from The Sydney Morning Herald
This is a very touching piece and a sober glimpse at how physicians treat one of their own, with, I believe, serious repercussions to the care given at large to patients. Unsubstantiated bias -> poor practices & poor public health. I learned a new word today, unrelated to this story: iatrogenic. Seems apt.

Two great posts from Renee at womanist-musings:

“No going into labour in public”
I don’t know Renee but I’ve read enough of her articles that I’ve established a “tone” of voice in my mind when I read. And that tone seems to often be one of aggravation, like in this article. As I’ve posted before, never has my body been “public property” as much as when I was pregnant. At the time I didn’t know enough of my own heart to protest this treatment. Too bad I don’t get a do-over. I love [snark] the idea that when a woman goes INTO LABOR, her whole consideration should be other people’s feelings – or that some dude standing nearby who doesn’t behave like a dick (and yay for that!), it’s all about him.

No Rules Rules For Jada and Will’s Kids
A discussion on respecting children vis-a-vis a celebrity couple’s public and private life; and what do you know, the commentstream isn’t even a mess of Fail!

Craft/Make
How-To: Stitched Gift Wrap & Tags at CRAFT
This is something even a sew-novice could do with very lovely results.

“A Green Christmas” at Natural Life Magazine
Links listing Christmas activities, if you’d like to buy less or at least attempt to bring the Trampling & Eating Everything You See rollercoaster to a slower clip

Eggnog recipe at Instructables
I made this last night. Yeah it has raw eggs, because I’m a bad-ass motherfucker!

Tweet of the Week
As pertains to cats, from Frank Conniff

Random
The movie was great; the score I downloaded, the soundtrack I need!

Most Extreme Animal Shirts from the archives at scienceblogs.com. They saved the best for last in my opinion.

LADYBUG PLAYS WITH SPRINKLES
I thought maybe I was stoned while watching this, but I watched it again and turns out, IT REALLY HAPPENED!

***

If you feel moved to comment below, please first read the epilogue in this post (and the comments, if you’re confused still). Thanks!

friday links

In the good news, we’re all doing very well thank you and enjoying health and harmony together. In the bad news, Ralph is working through our spending plan as I type and we might not get to have a Christmas (not really, but you probably know what I mean). In the good news, my husband is growing a beard. In the bad news, he’s so anxious about this money thing that ANY LITTLE COMMENT may cause him to shave. Please, if you see him, or Facebook him, say REALLY flattering things about his beard. We shall all reap the benefits as its full-throated red glory is bestowed upon us during our most dreary winter months…

Here’s more good news – for those who are unfortunate enough to be stuck in an office job today, hungover and dyspeptic from yesterday’s feast, or cowering in fear or disdain of Black Friday, or who’ve shopped until they’re wrecked – I bring you the Friday links you so desperately need to sink your teeth into.

Culture
“‘Privilege Denying Dude’ and the Fight for the Right to Snark” at ColorLines
“The Internet has carried over the ‘neutral’ we’ve always seen, meaning that if it’s online, it better appeal to straight white men before and above anyone else. A lot of us hate it. We find humor in other memes, but sometimes we see a misogynist or homophobic joke in the bunch… and we just scroll on past it. It’s disappointing how used to that we are.” [ emphasis mine, because: Oh Yes. ]

Anton Vowl wrote “Breeding hell” in response to Howard Flight’s remarks. Look familiar, USians? The UK terminology referring to the “underclass” may be different from ours but you and I recognize what the author is referencing: “a narrative in which the young and the poor can be dismissed as a mass of animals, as an underclass of scum. They are always set up against the ‘middle-classes’, aka the hardworking taxpaying middle classes, the people who do all the work and pay for all the doleites popping out kids and getting free houses on estates up and down the land […] It’s the dehumanising thing that seems so depressing – dehumanising a whole class of people. It’s the language of hatred. It’s the language of class war.”

“Today in Journalism: The Disabled” at FWD/Feminists with Disabilities
“This contributes to the de-humanization of disabled people. ‘The disabled’ aren’t people, they’re a big collective noun who can’t be reasoned with, can’t be talked to, can’t be considered – they’re just to be placated, and dealt with, and put out of our minds as quickly as possible in case they sue us.”

Family
“The Effects of Video Games: A guide for the science-based parent” at parentingscience.com
The concept that video games are “bad”, or at least anything more than a very occasional play with them is “bad”, is so culturally-supported many journalists will take one study and blow it up to epic conclusions. I often think those loudest about how “bad” video games inherently are, are those who either don’t particularly enjoy nor excel at them; or those who’ve lived a childhood of externally-imposed values/activities which reify this message.

“Jong Got It Wrong” from Wendy Priesnitz
Much of modern-day feminism has failed so many – those with disabilities, those non-white, poor, trans women, those marginalized, those without “careers”, babies and children, and anyone involved in what’s often named as “traditional women’s work” (hi!) but what would be more accurately described as necessary human work (much of it often still performed by women and underpaid, under-respected, etc). Today many modern feminists (along with the maintream) continue to throw children under the proverbial bus as well as those who are responsible for children’s care (usually, other women) and especially those who give a shit about how these things all go down. As usual, Wendy Priesnitz delivers a succinct and apt response to the recent Jong dust-up.

Feminism
“Pre-Photoshopped Playboy Models (Definitely NSFW)”
“…the message is clear: even after a genetic bounty, all-but-certain plastic surgery and dieting, good lighting, a pro-photographer, and dozens of shots, even the fantasy woman is not fantastic enough.” (You can follow links to the original Jezebel post if you want example after example of women’s bodies critiqued, objectified, and dissected).

Subway Flasher Gets More Than He Bargained For
This video deeply upset me. First I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – the courage of this woman. Then I felt sick for the times I’ve been in a similar position and felt too scared to do anything. On second watch I so admired this woman and wish I could find her to say, “Well done!”

Craft
“Rural Roads” by sillyboodilly. Beautiful work; check the rest of her postings as well!

Make
Mushroom tutorial by my friend Kit. Mushrooms are out like you wouldn’t believe! I have a wee parcel of wool felt heading my way to make up these cuties with the kiddos.

Live
“How To Read Articles About Health” by Dr. Alicia White

“18 Practical Habits for Living the Golden Rule” at Zen Habits

Quotable
“The master of the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which; he simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.” – Buddha

Random
How did Alan Thicke land this sweet job, is what I want to know!

And finally:

My favorite tweet of the week.

Birds are like little people

if it’s friday, you should mess around on the inter-netz instead of working

Culture
“The Facebook Double (D) Standard on Obscenity”
This is just sort of amazing to ponder. What is really happening when we ban images of breastfeeding but promote any degree of (usually young, usually sexualized) cleavage? Breastfeeding is a recognized and protected “right” in many states – but not all! Breastfeeding it is under fire continually and, most importantly, people demonstrate an ignorance and vitriol toward women and their bodies that is staggering and sobering to behold. Women are still wrongfully arrested for breastfeeding, told they can’t breastfeed here or there or must cover up – even when the law does not support this (this in Washington State today, recognized as one of the more breastfeeding-friendly of our fifty – and by the way this conduct demonstrated by the Long Beach Head Start facility clearly violates Washington Law Against Discrimination), and maybe most tellingly everywhere the subject comes up we see viscous, untenable and shameful rhetoric heaped on the personhood of breastfeeding families – targeting the breastfeeding woman, of course (and on this, I refuse to link to the hate). My breastfeeding days are over but I feel deeply, deeply sad at how poorly our country and cultural framing is on what is a very pro-family, pro-baby, and pro-woman practice that should be regarded not as an enforced standard for every individual bio mom but as a protected and supported reproductive right.

“Grrl Vlog #4: Celebrity Weight Loss” by Reel Girls. Very good watching – take four minutes and DO IT. “OK I’m skinny now, but I’m also, like, nice, and sweet, and pretty, and refined.”

“When ‘Both Sides’ Aren’t Enough: Reporting on Weaver’s Blackface Pic” at Soc Images
I’ve often thought this before; the “obsession with [false] parity” (which often leads to “innocently neutral” articles that ignore historical context lived by those marginalized, thereby keeping privilege and oppression invisible). If anyone is in any doubt as to why blackface (and along the same vein and with some similarities, redface and yellowface…) is offensive, one can start the education at the excellent Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorablilia – particularly the “Caricature” treatments, Dr. Pilgrim’s many writings, and Question of the Month essays.

“When Teachers Highlight Gender, Kids Pick up Stereotypes” from Pennsylvania State University, and reported (of all places) at FoxNews.com. Main point: in a classroom setting, teachers don’t need to be actively spouting gender stereotypes to effectually promote them. I like the idea of using “child” and “friend” language over “boys and girls” language – very much.

If you run over a fat person and kill them, you won’t go to jail. I mean c’mon, they were going to keel over any minute now anyway since their veins pump gravy and stuff.

Twisty goes on sabbatical (boo hoo!), also links to Privilege-Denying Dude (yay!)

Domestic Industry
The grilled moussaka I made yesterday was delicious according to Ralph and (sort of) the kids, but I thought it was a total miss. So anyone who’s got a fail-proof moussaka recipe, lay it on me. By the way, who is this reviewer complaining moussaka is too “heavy” of a dish? Guess what, “heavy” food gives us the energy to survive, not to mention the zest for life and a will to live!

Shallots in Red Wine at Craft. I’m making Italian fare for Thanksgiving; I’m going to make this dish with whole garlic.

Thanksgiving books; these are with a vegetarian bent (if you won’t be doing the turkey thing) and also several by Native / First Nations authors. I put some on hold at our library to read while we’re at the Lake.

Help
They’re dying of cholera in Haiti; other places in the world lack soap to prevent diseases. 5 million die a day, mostly small children. Go to http://www.cleantheworld.org/ to help (more on “How to help Haiti” at the Chicago Tribune).

“Eight Great Ways to Help Others on Thanksgiving”; yesterday I donated several pounds of veggies and some pantry business to a local family. It felt good to help; it also felt very good not to waste food, something that sends me into a tiny panic. Our cats and chickens help us not waste food either; scraps go to both sets of animals (our chickens are vegetarians but our cats are not).

Consumerism
It’s Christmas time, or rather, it’s time for Ralph and I to stop spending money on utilities and buy and create those extravagances that are so lovely to experience. Ralph and I make most our Christmas presents, but we buy a few as well. I’m currently plaguing Ralph to buy some Samsonite for the kids (their current luggage is falling apart); last night I got the perfect safety pins for a Phoenix project.

Random
I HAVE NO WORDS

One thing’s for sure: Nobody ever sees the pool shark coming.

Birds are like little people.

comic from toothpaste for dinner

“science ponders about it, and all men are curious – but no one knows”

This Island Earth. “They’re pulling us up!” NO RLY?

Have I told you how much I want to make a big montage of Mansplainy moments in B-film? OH GOOD LORD would it be sweet. Ralph and I laugh and laugh when we see it (and our daughter does too). Like Dr. Frank C. Baxter!

P.S. they still do it in movies today. Also, same effect accomplished by: barely having any women in heroic and action film unless they’re a love (or lust) interest. BORRRRR-ring.

just to sear you in the eyeball

I seriously, seriously dare you to watch the entirety of this video:

Look, I enjoy both Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta as performers, but sometimes people we like very much do some very wrong things in tiny and upsetting shorts. I am completely distressed I watched the first few frames* and that I then I dared myself to watch until the end, which came seemingly ages later, and by then I was a changed person, my eyes flat and despairing and my soul sucked from my body, I mean just how long did whoever that director was think we wanted to watch sweaty man-batch bouncing around in the most graphic fashion while attached to an eerily smiling perpetrator, let alone the delight this seemed to afford his yelling aerobics instructor – and yes no matter how lovely Ms. Curtis is I would rather not watch anyone in a leotard thong “presenting” to the beat of tepid Jackson has-been pop while leading a large cult of 80s fitness-Hell minions who are seemingly oblivious to all the creepy eye contact… good Lord, even typing this is sucking me back to the Darkness again…

Tonight while handsewing – painfully, my arm hurts, and the end result of 1.5 hours of my time looks too shitty to use anyway – I watched the 2008 film Defiance. Daniel Craig is total eye candy whether classed-up as Bond or super-smudgy and thyphoid-infested as in this film but he is also (as far as I can tell) a rather impressive actor as well; the film itself was devastatingly rough – not quite what I was looking for while stitching, but good nonetheless. Besides all that, Ralph’s afternoon nap was incidentally tortured by phantasms including shooting, explosions, screaming, and violently-shouted Russian (as well as an Actual Real Kitten who batted at his hair and face while he slumbered).

* How/why did I run across such a clip? Why from the rather charming video here: “Dancing at the movies” and just because you’ll probably never trust me again let me offer full disclosure: the “Dancing” video is a mixed bag: super-annoying Loggins music-action but very fun movie clips.