I've got a story up for free. It has a horrible review, which I am sure some of you will agree with, but hey. That's what I get for publishing that particular piece before the companion series is done. At any rate, somebody out there might like it.
I watched Pariah over the weekend. It is a pretty good movie--the things we expect to happen occur in a nice narrative, and some things we don't expect are thrown in for good measure. The qualities that really made Pariah stand out to this particular weirdo were
a decent story about women often left off the screen (I mean that not even for the main character, actually, but Aisha Davis's lofty, disappointing metal fan and Parnell Walker's modern butch masterpiece)
the acting. The entire cast was absolutely, completely flawless. Best ensemble acting I've seen in a film since... I have no idea. My favorite ensemble cast currently is Archer, which says... Well, everything, but back to this cast:
The last was no surprise going in since Adepero Oduye has received tons of praise for her portrayal of a closeted teen who doesn't know herself. She's a bit of a heavy-hitter in the making, with appearances in lots of things I've seen without realizing who I was watching (always, in my book, a sign that the actress is Good At What She Does). And she is a very good actress, I think, but honestly, the two people I most enjoyed were Kim Wayans and Parnell Walker. (Besides Charles Parnell, I mean, who has that good looking and smoldering thing down pat. Anyway).
Kim Wayans has a couple flashes of community theater in her performance, which frankly, I enjoy. But you know what I mean, right? Her expressions and actions are explosive in a way that's meant more for stage than screen, which can look a lot like Acting. Many of my favorite performers are stage to screen transits, and/or a bit notorious for snacking on scenery. I don't care. The reason volatile people are important and powerful on screen is because everyones' lives are shaped by moments of chaos. Loss of control. Having people brave enough to do it on screen is why we watch movies, a lot of times: catharsis.
Apparently nothing at all like the tortured Laura IRL (which means PW is Good What She Does).
There are a lot of stereotypes driven apart, bisected, and re-imagined in this film. Maybe I live a life of wonder and that is why I'm not particularly surprised or even engaged by them--because my friends have been doing this in real life forever--but I doubt it. I suspect for lots of us this will be the nagging negative of watching Pariah; for many it may feel a bit like a too-triumphant portrait of struggles we know too well to honestly buy the bow-strings at the end. However, Laura is the exception. Admittedly, I have a soft-spot for characters who dive. I'm a downer that way. But this performance is flawless--you understand everything she never says, and weep for what she does. It is incredible story-telling, and at it's heart her story is what makes the main character's believable. Kudos, Ms. Walker. I am really looking forward to watching this career. And yee-haw for an excellent film overall. xo, JT Pariah, lgbtq, dee rees
Veronica Mars is, in my opinion, one of the Best Things To Ever Be Made. Humans (myself included) make a lot of crappy things; this is not one of them. This is one of humanity's greatest hits. I know that's a bold statement, and I stand by it as one of any number of things: Writer, English Major (which translates to Someone Who Has Paid Money to Learn How to be Better at Slamming Other Writers' Writing), and Person From the Internet.
Kickstarter and this project in particular are blurring some important paradigms in the world of film-making, and not without controversy. This reminds me very much of conversations about amazon and indie publishing, back when such things were still novel.
Prior to this event, I was a frequent backer of projects on Kickstarter, because I like giving money to people making new stuff, better stuff, and stuff humanity needs (see: art).
Just sayin. A long time ago, we used to be friends... Come on now sugar...
I just re-read a journal entry from last year, when I was super stressed out. In an attempt to problem solve, this is what I wrote: " i just can’t get over it. i wonder what erykah badu would do? probably light’em up on twitter. what would winona laduke do? she’s too busy changing the world to notice that kind of bullshit. what would aimee mullins do? say fuck em and go running. i should do all of that, minus the liting twitter bit. that would probably backfire.
although its definitely tempting. "
In retrospect, I think it's pretty safe that after giving them the rawest, truth-tellingest telling-off the twitter-verse ever seen, Madame Badu would probably forget about their insignificant asses. If they happened to stick to her memory, they would be subject to incantation, prior to dismissal.
I wish I had that kinda power. But I can damnsure choose some role models.