Girls and Her

When I first heard of the Girls…I was appalled. And that is putting it lightly. My self-loathing was tangible, palpable oozing so bad I had to work over time and two extra shifts to deny it. It felt like I was looking in a mismatched mirror of my own desperate past, that was now for all to see, objectify, ridicule. It was like self-loathing on super speed. I refused to watch it. One time, out at dinner at a semi-chic (read; not so good and overpriced) then-new restaurant in Bed-Stuy (so Girls) my friend told me that I reminded her of Lena Dunham. Not, her alter ego Hannah, but the real LD herself. I almost died. I had not yet seen Tiny Furniture or Girls, but still, it was like a kick to the lady parts that made me want to flip my gourmet macaroni slider ball covered table and storm out to wait 45 minutes for the G.

Anyways, there was a lot of weird self-loathing slash overall annoyance with the show…before I actually sat down to watch it and TF.  Of course, I LOVED. IT. because obviously how else would that story end.

Not only do I love the show-not my favorite in history but-hilarious and uncomfortable nipple showing half shirts and all, but I deeply admire Lena Dunham. She REPRESENTS. She OWNS her shit. She basically has a mini Bey thing goin on, not as fabulous of course, no one could be, but we can all aspire. Perhaps most importantly, she is a boss. She runs the show, writes it, produces it, and doesn’t give a damn what people think. Especially of how she looks, which by the way makes her a fucking hero to like millions of women. Not saying she is perfect, and I kind of wish she would write Hannah to be more like Lena, but whatever. The point is, I was way wrong.

Now, when I saw the trailer for Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix I literally barfed in my mouth a couple of times over and over again, then once for real on the floor. Then I saw this article in the Atlantic; why it is THE BEST film of the year… Oh congratulations you mega douche. You love your phone. Novel concept really…oh wait, have you ever met ANYONE before?! If only your character was a little bit more like your “character” I’m Still Here, then I think things could get for realsies interesting. Remember how much you hated women in that movie? It’s almost like you could make them disappear! Which is exactly what has happened in Her. Ahhh, sweet relief. A womanless world.

Which brings me to my next point. Another character who made a lady disappear, Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones.

Can I get a Hello?!The whole PDA with your PDA (who happens to be Scarlett Johansson, I mean are you kidding me Jonze) joke is like MADE with the movie though, thanks for that at least. But, just like with Girls maybe I should watch it and it won’t make me want to die so much. Except, Girls is all about, well…it’s in the title…girls running their shit. Her, on the other hand, is just that…the objectifying, commodifying, empty, perfect, AI girlfriend any hetero-normative mustachioed tool can ever hope to Google.Congrats to you on that.


you, me, a plane, a car, a train and we’ll figure it out from there

in no particular order, places i have to get to.

-Maya Lin, the sculptural prodige behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC (did you know that when people visit memorials like this, and leave say, oh a half pack of marlboro reds, a pair of boots and a picture next to the wall–its someones job to pick those things up and put them in an archive. How would you like to be the cyrptolibrarian of symbolic gestures to the dead archive?) also has an amazing piece at this naturalist sculpture park which is my new favorite nickname for anything i like “Storm King”. it’s called waveforms, and its just a field of grass which is constructed to look like the ocean.

-James Turrell’s Roden Crater. “Also, there’s a space where you can see your shadow from the light of Venus alone – things like this. And also wanted to gather starlight that was from outside, light that’s not only from outside the planetary system which would be from the sun or reflected off of the moon or a planet, but also to emanate light from the galactic planes where you’ve got this older light that’s away from the light even of our galaxy. So that is light that would be at least three and a half billion years old. So you’re gathering light that’s older than our solar system. And it’s possible to gather that light, it takes a good bit of stars to do that, and a good look into older skies, away from the Milky Way. You can gather that light and physically have that in place so that it’s physically present to feel this old light. Now that’s a blended light, of course, but it’s also red-shifted, so it’s a different tone of light than we’re normally used to. But that’s something that you can do here in a place like this, where you have good, dark skies. So to have this sort of old blended light and to have this sort of new, eight and a half minute old light from the sun – it’s like having the Beaujolais and then having a finer, older mature blend [of wine] as well. And I wanted to look at light that way, because to feel it physically, almost as we taste things, was a quality I wanted. And this is where you can work with light like that.” images

and, my most favorite of favorite dream destinations, Walter De Maria’s Lightning field in New Mexico. cabins available. that’s all im saying on this.lightningfield-top

the number…isn’t my phone number…

Last night I saw David Holzman’s Diary at Anthology Film Archives. The director, Jim Mcbride, was there and spoke afterward with Jonathon Demme in tow.

The film, a pioneer in American cinema verite, is at the same time cinema parode…oui, pardon, je suis amerikawn, parody. The moderator mentioned that the film anticipated youtubiness of such diaries like lonelygirl15–the title which Demme had to remind him of. The talk made my skin crawl. But first the film.

Every time Holzman quotes Godard in the film (maybe 2 or 3x) saying “truth is 24 times a second”, all I heard was Laura Mulvey barking “death 24 times a second!” in my ear.

My mother also lived in the upper west side in 1967, when she was a sophomore in college. I loved that and upon telling her about it she said ‘maybe i was in it!’, I laughed and thought how much she would have liked to seen her old neighborhood on film, and how I’d like to hear what she thought, if it represented the neighborhood accurately, if it was a portal to the past, if she even liked it.
But I know if she saw it she would be reminded of the clamor and arrogance with which she often vaguely describes her memories of that time, of New York, of the men she knew or didn’t. After all, on the columbia campus you learn real quick “never date an engineer!!”, a star point which has remained one of her best pieces of advice.

Although she has never told me the full story of her experiences in NYC, being a student in 1968, and bizarre run-ins with the law, her past remains to me more like a mosaic, a pastiche of moments, fragmented, kaleidoscope like, but inevitably straying far from ever sounding like the lamentations of a nostalgic hippie, something she never identified as. But that’s neither here nor there.

But I still want to hear what it’s like. So bad. From someone who has feelings. That’s why it’s a damn shame that ‘Holzman’ never let a woman get a word in. There was Penny, who was “dirty”, literally, caked in dirt, which we know because Holzman pushes a picture of her towards the camera saying “look closely at the ring of dirt under her chin”. Her character was a model who didn’t like to be filmed. the horror! Then there was the neighbor woman, who we only knew from a far, a lame play on Rear Window. Finally, there was the transgender woman in the car, who Demme later referred to as “half woman”. Sadly, neither of the two idiots on stage knew she was not she by birth until long after the film was made. The story goes that Mcbride’s friend later “fucked her and she had a very muscular back.”

The film was like a blunt punch to the kidney, and the discussion following a foot to the jugular of a baby bird. On the stage were dudes, a dude introduced them, most people asking questions were, shockingly, dudes. One woman asked about the role of women in the film, which was a relief, but Mcbride’s answer was jaw droppingly naive.

Mcbride mcresponded to the question of Penny (Eileen Dietz) that in the film she was a model for work, but didn’t like to be filmed because she can only reveal herself on a surface level, but never reveal her soul. Which explains why, tempestuous as a rabid child, leaves her loser boyfriend. The real Penny eventually tracked him (Mcbride) down, got the film, and never gave it back. I wouldn’t have either.

marcelines flower

But, I ask you, oh lords of verite, oh film school egos, oh kim’s employees, oh anyone so short-sighted to think a woman cannot overcome her vanity and truly reveal her soul to the camera: consider Marceline. Marceline Loridan Ivens that is, from Jean Rouch’s Chronicle of a Summer. The picture above is a her hand holding the flower and cigarette, carefully concealing her tattooed number from the Holocaust. Its a still from a still before one of the most beautiful scenes in history; Marceline walking slowly around Paris, a small suitcase in hand which must have been holding her mic equipment, she reflects on her past and the seemingly tangled promises it had offered her. She was given the chance to speak and so she spoke poetry.

This is the scene before that scene of just Marceline, which I couldn’t find.

you broke my grill?! (first and last time in chelsea.)

on why i hate art.
beware diaristic style below.

after leaving work, and then film forum where i saw skyscraper souls (WHICH RULED) i walked past the horrific gates to hell, the comme des garcon storefront covered in graffiti, went to gallery show opening at “honeyspace” in chelsea (first and last time) it sucked, there were literally models taking pictures next to the pictures that they were in. there was also “a really great party” upstairs which im sure had i gone, which lets face it, if i had more friends i would have, would have probably most definitely sucked.
what sucked more is having gone to the space before the show today (went friday on a whim), meeting the curator and the artist, and literally hanging out, to going back tonight, one clad in a tux, ignoring each other and leaving.
the thing is i hate admitting any sort of new york cliches, the disenchantment, because i think for soooome reason people have imagined me as someone relatively playful for a long time, and a big bad new york could suck the life out of me, which it very well might.


Lili and I finally face off in the ultimate gauntlet: facebook graffiti.

Her vision: Frederique Bazille’s “Summer Scene” 1869 (btw, the year for this was so easy to remember in Art History)


My vision: Theodore Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” 1819



Check out the serious awesomeness of them on WNYC’s ART.CULT blog, and screen shot/post your own!