Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Occult empathy

Always suspected, finally confirmed: Lili Taylor is the Mirah of film. Feminist, independent, uncompromising, inspiring as hell, realer than reals. Her talk show guest crossed-legs pose quickly melted into a hands-in-lap, legs-folded-at-ankles posture of polite attention, which also alternated with the kind of leaning-forward, both-feet-on-the-ground, "fuck ladylike" stance that betokens serious thinkery. She giggled a lot and was nervous and excited and awkward in the most endearing of ways and used the word 'autonomy.' TWICE. She posited a seachange in the marketability of indie movies around '96 and '97, just post-I Shot Andy Warhol/ Girls Town, but decried the reduction of an entire artistic philosophy of independence to a financial formula wherein you go low-budget only to maximize profit. She also made it pretty clear that from now on she is exclusively interested in taking on small projects that will probably never make money, because she is in this for the art and the honesty, not so much the commerce.

And of course, the heart-stealer moment: she said, "I am a feminist." When she did, my breath caught in my throat, because I swear, it is like J.M. Barrie's fairy-killing in reverse; every time somebody says "I believe in feminism," there's a feminist somewhere out there who comes to life.

Speaking of feminist heroes: my lady Becky Smith sends the arrow into the bullseye, through the target, around the world like Superman and into the bullseye again.