Sunday, November 25, 2007

Varieties of Religious Experience

1. "Little or big, learn’d or unlearn’d, white or black, legal or illegal, sick or well, from the first inspiration down the windpipe to the last expiration out of it, all that a male or female does that is vigorous and benevolent and clean is so much sure profit to him or her in the unshakable order of the universe, and through the whole scope of it forever."

2. ... Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.

3. "Generally the closest I ever came to wondering about the meaning of it all was to consider that I must be the victim of a joke. ... I had a moment's glory that night, though. I was certain I was here in this world because I couldn't tolerate any other place."

I've been to see the future

... and it's called Southland Tales.

This thing is iconic. It's post-post-modern. It's Repo Man and Brazil and Blade Runner and Blue Velvet and Dr. Strangelove. It's got neo-Marxist revolutionaries and the Wicked Witch of the West running Homeland Security the mother of all SUV ads and a song-and-dance finale on giant airship called, yes, the Jenny von Westphalen. Sure, it doesn't exactly hold together, but who cares?

Whatever's the fuck has happened to American culture, it's doing great things to the movies.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Bechdel Standard

Based, apparently, on a a character in Dykes to Wath Out For's explanation that she never sees movies because so few meet it: There must be (a) at least two female characters, who (b) have a conversation with each other that (c) is not about men. Think about the last few movies you've sen: It's amazing how few satisfy even the first two conditions, let alone the whole thing.

Me: In the Valley of Elah, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Diva, and No Country for Old Men. Two outstanding movies and two not-bad ones, but none of them meet the Bechdel Standard.