In race, Weekly Round-Up on January 27, 2012 at 2:12 pm
In girl culture, Pretty Little Liars, teen soaps on January 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm
This week the PLLs wear some great clothes (especially Aria!); make new alliances; lose a boyfriend; gain some lost and creepy footage; and discover new and scary truths about A. Read on for more PLL news and opinions! Read the rest of this entry »
In Uncategorized on January 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm
Sarah Todd and Rock
Like many humans, I live under a rock. But it’s a small rock with spotty but nonetheless existent wi-fi. I saw 2 of the 9 movies nominated for best picture this year. By hardcore rock-living standards, that is 2 too many. For an authentically stone-faced appraisal of this year’s Oscar nominations, I turned to an actual rock to help explain what these movies are all about, based strictly on their titles and geological intuition. Ladies and gentleman, Rose Byrne.
(No, I’m kidding! I love Rose Byrne forever because of Bridesmaids, I’m just still thinking about Damages and how she doesn’t have any facial expressions on that show. But you know what, that’s her acting choice to make and her hair is so shiny.)
Here is just a regular rock to tell you what’s what. Rock is a million years old and it likes sitting and it’s scared of chisels. Read the rest of this entry »
In gender, race on January 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm
Rachel Bilson plays a doctor on Hart of Dixie. Some critics have a hard time buying it. Last week, Bilson shot back with a Funny or Die video that features her throwing down by… rapping.
Chelsea B. was on the case, writing to some fellow Girls Like Giant-ers:
I feel so conflicted. I mean, it’s a fame thing and I get that Hollywood is weird, but also, watching this and not acknowledging or critiquing the inherent privilege and appropriation is a problem.
Since the rest of us were equally puzzled, we decided to try and sort things out with a good old-fashioned roundtable. Let us know what your take on Dr. Dolce Labcoats is in the comments.
Read the rest of this entry »
In race, Weekly Round-Up on January 22, 2012 at 9:10 am
Just a few links from around the interwebs …
Sady Doyle on the gifts insomnia bears:
TV and its eerie raceless world, from Salon: http://www.salon.com/2012/01/18/tvs_eerie_new_race_less_world/singleton/
Feminist Philosophers on “Push Girls,” a new reality TV show about four young women who use wheelchairs:
And this is the show Feminist Philosophers are talking about:
In gender, Uncategorized on January 21, 2012 at 7:15 am
Onscreen, female mentors are few and far between. As this article from Jezebel observed a few months ago, there are plenty of film and television examples of male mentors helping develop the talents of both men and women–Giles, Haymitch, Gandalf, Robin Williams as the over-involved psychologist in Good Will Hunting, Jack Donaghy, Ron Swanson, Coach Taylor, Mr. Schue, Obi-Wan Kanobi I guess (I’ve only seen Star Wars once and I fell asleep).
By contrast, I can’t think of any examples of a female character in charge of showing a younger male character the ropes. And while I can think of a few female characters who mentor other women, it’s probably no coincidence that the first two who spring to mind are at least a little evil. Read the rest of this entry »
In Uncategorized on January 20, 2012 at 10:31 am
I put off watching Downton Abbey because I knew I would get hooked as soon as I began. But I did put season one on my “instant” queue and knew the day would soon come. It has. Downton features a rather basic “upstairs, downstairs” premise and, aside from great acting and some unique characterizations, the plots of the first season break no new territory. Things get more interesting in the second season because they get more (soap) operatic with the advent of the Great War and its erosion of the stable worldview of the decades before.
Downton is a typical soap opera and a sweeping costume drama, and it’s decent in both modes. But the actors and the characters really keep the thing afloat. Amongst the standouts: Jim Carter as Mr. Carson, the butler, whose commitment to the reputation of Downton Abbey is silly and dignified in equal measure; Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, the eldest daughter, who hides her tempestuous spirit in a cloak of cold disdain; Sophie McShera, the morally conflicted, much abused kitchen maid; and the ever-formidable Dame Maggie Smith essentially reviving her scene-stealing character from Gosford Park. As I recall hearing from one of the creators when the show first came out, these characters don’t know they’re living in history, just as we don’t. And the actors and writers do a marvelous job walking that tightrope. Read the rest of this entry »
In girl culture, Pretty Little Liars, Uncategorized on January 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm
This week the PLLs (and Lucas) survive last week’s almost drowning; use fake IDs; venture into the big city; go on fake dates; and then Rosewood has a creepy storm (like the one currently afoot in Eugene). Read on for more on our favorite little liars. Read the rest of this entry »
In gender on January 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm
Been shopping lately? Feeling cranky about what’s available out there? Are you (like me) still trying to vault the awkward distance between the junior section and the “missus” or whatever the “young semi-professional adult who isn’t petite, doesn’t want to be frumpy or provocative, and can’t afford designer labels” section is called?
This article from cracked.com is a good read, I think, and addresses many of my cranky complaints. I’m especially in agreement about #4: Arbitrary Clothing Sizes. In pants alone, I wear a 10 in missus sizes from JC Penney’s, an 11 in juniors, a 6 at Ann Taylor, and at Old Navy, jeans advertised as the same size differ depending on the color. What’s a girl to do?
Thoughts? Similar issues? Grievances to add?
In Uncategorized on January 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm
This post could also be titled, “How To Be Awesome Like Helen Mirren,” who’s inspiringly brilliant in almost every role. And it could be titled, “How To Be Awesome Like Julie Taymor,” who can claim no unabashed successes, and at least one spectacular failure (Spiderman: The Musical anyone?); Yet her vision always dazzles. In the realm of contemporary, Shakespearean film adaptation, Taymor acts as the unchained Id to Kenneth Branagh’s Superego. Her decision to alter the Great Bard’s The Tempest by changing his unhinged wizard Prospero into a woman, Prospera, is genius. And who else to cast in such a role than Mirren?
A quick perusal of Rotten Tomatoes reveals mostly disdain for the film (a mere 29% fresh!) with some strong endorsements. Much dislike, I imagine, stems from those who don’t like Taymor, who seems committed to the notion of the auteur to such a degree that one must appreciate her vision to enjoy anything she makes. However, The Tempest proves perfectly suited to her spectacular style. Unlike in Titus, where the arresting visuals undercut the believability of its ancient setting, Shakespeare’s rocky island exists outside the bounds of history, physics, and proper society (and always has, I might add). This makes it a perfect forum for Taymor’s schizophrenic costuming, flashy computer effects, unorthodox cast, and frenetic synth-jazz score. In the end, her version balances fairly traditional interpretations and performances with a modern, exciting screen rendition. Read the rest of this entry »