Movies – breaking the monotony

I got feedback and help here too, though not as abundantly as for laundry.

My favourite suggestion for breaking the monotony was Irréversible, a movie I actually saw when it came out last year. It’s notorious for its brutal, nine-minute rape/murder scene. Mark had warned me in advance so I kept my eyes closed for that bit, but the soundtrack was pretty gruesome all by itself. Overall what I noticed about the movie was its sophomoric frat-boy obsession with anal sex, and its mysterious (to me) equation of anal sex with sadism. The person who embodied evil was nicknamed La Tenia (tapeworm); he was a gay man who hung out in a gay bath house called Le Rectum; he was a top (sexually dominant in anal sex); which meant, quite naturally in the world of the film, that he was essentially a sadistic rapist; and his essential identity as a sadistic rapist meant that he was a danger to all women everywhere.

Yes, this is a different view of sexual relations than the one shown in Lost in Translation. But, um, not the kind of different I was really looking for.

Other suggestions, more on track:

-The general one to carefully research movies before going to see them. Not really my style. I’m not looking to be protected from bad movie-going experiences, and I like surprises.

Underworld
-Features a woman in the lead, but from what I can tell there aren’t any others.

Bend It Like Beckham
- Features women and girls in all sorts of interesting relationships. Lots of gorgeous shots of girls practicing on the field. Highly recommended: yes, there is an unfortunate love triangle featuring a man, but it doesn’t dominate the film.

Bound
- Two women, unambiguously lovers. Fun to watch, lots of people really like it, but I found it just a teensy bit dull.

Prey for Rock and Roll
- A bisexual rock musician in the lead trying to figure out what life in rock means for her at age forty. A tryst with another woman. Don’t know anyone who’s seen it, but will definitely be giving it a whirl. Thanks for the tip!

White Oleander
- Six women, five of whom stand in parental or quasi-parental relationships to the sixth, so it scores high on the Alison Bechdel rating scale. But the closer the relationship the mothers have with the daughter, the more they fail her. Motherly love is inherently flawed and poisonous and covetous and may not even exist. The three most motherly women are insanely jealous – either sexual jealousy, seeing competition with the man in their lives, or jealousy of other mothers. Our little heroine finally finds herself when her mother lets her go to pursue her future coupled to a safe and bland young man. Gag.

Please keep the tips coming!

[originally transmitted by e-mail October 3, 2003]

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