mangofandango: (art/Kurt Halseygoldfish painting)
Via Jezebel, a quote from David Edelstein's New York Magazine review of "Precious" (based on the book "Push" by Sapphire, which was one of the most upsetting, chilling things I have ever read.)

"I’m not judging girls who look like Sidibe (the actress who plays the lead in the movie) in life, but her image onscreen is jarring to the point of being transgressive, its only equivalent to be seen in John Waters’s pointedly outrageous carnivals. Her head is a balloon on the body of a zeppelin, her cheeks so inflated they squash her eyes into slits. Her expression is either surly or unreadable. Even with her voice-over narration, you’re meant to stare at her ebony face and see nothing. The movie is saying that she’s not an object, but the way that Sidibe is directed she becomes one."

Okay, first - "girls who look like Sidibe in life" include Sidibe herself. She actually is a 300-something pound woman. Doesn't it seem a bit excessive (not to mention out of context) to describe her quite so cruelly? A balloon on the body of a ZEPPELIN? Really? The author of the review defends himself in part by saying that in real life photographs, her eyes are bright and clear and lovely! So basically, she's a zeppelin with nice eyes then? How generous, Mr. Edelstein!

I haven't seen the movie, though I plan to. However, without having seen it, I still question his assumption that the direction made Precious an object, as if that was some kind of error. Based on the book, it would have to be very deliberate. It's likely very true that the movie communicates that Precious is not, in fact, just an object - but Precious herself would be living a life that defines her as such, and that makes her feel reduced to that level. Sibibe would be directed to act as someone who lived her life as an object, then, and rightly so.

This is such a complicated book, and a complicated movie. I'm interested in it because it is so complex. The book was both horrifying and fascinating, repulsive and hopeful. Some have said it was poverty/abuse porn, and I can see where they're coming from. Some people commented on what is lost in the translation from book to movie, and I imagine there has to be a loss - there often is, especially with something like this, where the narrative in the book is stream-of-conscious thought, written as if by someone who is illiterate and deeply, deeply suffering. That adds so much to the book that I wonder what the movie will be like without it. There's a lot of commentary on the race and class issues it raises, and how those differ from the novel...and that's more than I can thoroughly digest or comment on at this point. But I've been enjoying reading about it, and seeing the discussions that go deeper than OMG MARIAH CAREY WAS IN IT WITH NO MAKEUP.
mangofandango: (art/eternalphoenix/art by audrey)
We saw The Dark Knight last night, at 9:30 with the politest frat boys in the country and so many other people I didn't think we'd make it in the door. I will spare you the whole hymn to this movie, since everyone else is already singing it, but it was very, very good. And also... HEATH LEDGER. He was amazing. I don't know how on earth they will ever make another Batman movie featuring the Joker without him.

Off to measure for curtains!
mangofandango: (floatingicons - tracy jordan!)
Edited to add books 11 and 12:

"The Beast" by Walter Dean Myers
I feel I should have something to say about this book, but I really don't know what it is. It was good, but I'm without commentary.

"Perfume: The Story of a Muderer" by Patrick Suskind
This was a royally messed-up story, in the awesomest of ways. It's a book about a psychopath with an amazing sense of smell, but no scent of his own - and the power of scent, even when we never notice it.

Book #13
"Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things" by Ted Naifeh

A graphic novel I was pre-screening for the kidlets. It's pretty awesome, actually. It's a few short stories about Courtney discovering the "night things" in the old mansion she and her family have moved into, and getting into your classic magical scrapes that she's just barely saved from by either mysterious Uncle Aloysius or her own smarts. Courtney has a bad attitude, and she's adorable - kinda Buffy, but brattier.

I think I may be missing something that I read...must check.

We saw "Junebug" the other night, also. I really, really liked it. And my budding crush on one Mr. Ben McKenzie kinda blossomed as I watched. I should have disliked his character, but I loved him. And the pregnant girl? Also horrible and wonderful and completely loveable. This movie just left me completely tickled. TICKLED I tell you. From the OH SO INDIE lengthy silent shots of trees and rooms to the cut scene with the gallon of tea, just...tickled. :)

There may be a big snowstorm on Wednesday, the first one we've really had this year. Could it be...a SNOW DAY? Only time will tell. I will keep you posted, friends.
mangofandango: (zebra_patronus - tori pandora)
A Halloween movie. It shouldn't just be horror, it should be *Halloween*. Scary is fine and good, but I want something with mooooood. Something like Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow, but...not, since we have that one and I will already be watching it frequently. :)


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