Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Foucault, Derrida, Kristeva--whateva."

Just in time for the balls-to-the-wall commercialization of [insert yr preferred religious winter holiday here], Criterion has released a fancy-pants repackaging of G.W. Pabst's 1929 silent stunner Pandora's Box. Don't be fooled by the "silent" tag; this movie practically wails a 2000s sensibility, as the creator of the video below seems to realize. I do not in any way condone the Killers or exonerate them from past crimes of wankery; still, the fact that their song syncs up so effortlessly with the spirit of the film gives an indication of just how ahead of her time Louise Brooks truly was. There are multiple opportunities for feminist reclamation--though perhaps not quite as many as in Diary of a Lost Girl. Watch! Marvel!

In fact, the only thing on YouTube that can compete in terms of inspired visual-musical synchronicity is this little wonder. It's my entire Jem concept condensed into 3-minute video form. Thanks to Tali for the original tip, and to Mairead for reminding me again later:

Also magically, gloriously and newly available on YouTube: the entireties of Aimee & Jaguar, Fucking Amal/Show Me Love (without English subtitles) and High Art, the film that does for gutsy New York photography magazine editors what Newsies did for paperboys (best line: Greta, Fassbinder's DEAD, okay?). Seriously though, it's a pre-L Word-writing Lisa Cholodenko at her sharpest and best, and the mood of this movie is so heady and meditative and palpable and thick it makes To Kill A Mockingbird look like a Warner Bros. cartoon. The strung-out-as-all-hell Shudder to Think soundtrack helps, too.

And finally, before I forget, I've just been reading Edmund White on Genet:

Whereas the narrator in Proust's novel is heterosexual and Gide published anonymously and Cocteau never fully acknowledged his authorship of Le Livre Blanc and Montherlant and Mauriac were closeted, Genet wrote novels in the 1940's in which the homosexual narrator is called "Jean Genet" - what's more startling, he's a passive homosexual (for if anyone were to admit to being gay it was naturally to strut about as a top man, whereas it's well known almost all writers are bottoms).*

Hmmm. And hmmm. And HMMM again. I like the idea that writers are people who are, erm, receptive to the world's inspirational stimuli, and that a writerly temperament harnesses that receptive spirit and uses it to create art. But what about people who like to get all Foucauldian and switch things up according to how they're feeling on a given day? Does that mean that if you're a bottom Monday through Wednesday, and a top Thursday through Saturday (Sunday being yr day off, natch), you're only a writer for half the week? What if you like to switch in medias res? And can't we apply this to the ladies as well, please? I know it's a throwaway line and purposefully glib, but there are eerie resonances at work here.

*Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review (3:1), Winter 1996


n*q said...

My all time favourite dream has come true: I have made contact with a real live feminist librarian... or rather she has with me. ;) Lizzie, could I love your blog any more? Thanks for the new vocab word "natch". I've already totally adopted it. I've returned the link favour on my site, so I'll be sure to stop by often!! :) n*q

Lizzie said...

Hey, thanks, it's much appreciated. I'm only too glad to be yr point of contact with the glamorous world of feminist librarianship. Feel free to look to me for all of yr Patriot Act-fighting needs. And nouveau*queer is such a great resource...I really enjoyed that Chained Girls clip, particularly the bits with the curly-haired pipe smoker, she of the turtleneck and steely gaze. Yikes!