26 April 2013

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Kids (1995)


Kids (1995, Larry Clark) is not an easy to watch movie. Due to director's documentary-like style it feels true. And the reality it depicts is the one that parents are scared of. How lots of free time and wish to have fun can turn into a mix of parties, fights, drugs, casual sexual encounters with STI risk, etc. And how toxic ideas about sexuality and gender may make it all even worse...

Obviously, this by no means is intended to demonize the teenagers even further or to be a call for more parental control (no, thanks, we ourselves were adolescents few days ago). But Kids shines the light on how we fail the young and very young adults when it comes to learning trust and exercise of autonomy. And how they try to settle their problems on their own.

An additional read to maybe somehow console you afterwards: Laurie Penny on how "today’s teenagers are smarter, tougher and braver than my generation – and yours, too". 

19 April 2013

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Out of Africa (1985)


The trailer may give an erroneous impression... Karen Blixen's (1885-1962) memoir Out of Africa is not about sitting around waiting and then hugging Robert Redford a lot (although, nothing wrong with it, of course). It's a tale of daring travel, by XIX century standards at least, some convenience driven marriage, some STI, some love and learning how to love-and-let-go of people.

And when you have Meryl Streep reminding you that you cannot tame and cage people you love, what else can you ask from a nice, memoir based drama?

14 April 2013

Sunday is for Horizons: The Guardian's Top 100 Women


 For the afternoons that you would like to spend in the internets, wikipedia and youtube but don't know where to start from... and in case you already did you googling around the things mentioned in Makers: Women Who Make America (2013), here comes a considerable material to carry on investigating.

So the story is that in 2011 The Guardian made a list of 100 world's most inspirational women. The list is not an actual 1-to-100 list but a gathering of women according to the categories below: 
While you probably won't agree to all of them and won't even know many of them, this is a nice place to start to have a grasp on living, inspirational women. Learning and lots of clicking guaranteed.
This being pretty much - with formidable exceptions, thank you - an English-speaking/general culture exercise and the categories might seem somehow wacky (television? really?), feel free to make your own, more local (or more global) list, be it on a sheet of paper, on Pinterest, while having summery something with your friends or on your own.

All of this, of course, can serve also as a major downer when you realize that a 100 women exercise is still a marginal one due to the scarcity of non-males at the top of every wiki-worth field. The only consolation being the fact that this kind of project would be much harder (and whiter) as some 50 years ago...

+ Another cool list (very US-centered, yes) is this one by Hadley Freeman.

12 April 2013

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

#InspirationalMovies #WesAnderson

Finally, a Wes Anderson movie where girls - OK, a girl - take active (and not sobbing and passive aggressive) decisions. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) is a cute story about love and emancipation. Also about the fact that you don't have to wait until certain (legal?) moment of becoming person or adult in order to do things that resonate with your most authentic being. And a great amount of relationship dos and do-nots you'll see are the same at every age...

Most of all keeping in mind that both Suzy and Sam were persons with their interests, conflicts and preferences before escaping (this is not Romeo and Juliet stuff on sudden transformation and emancipation by love) just that they chose to be together, too.

05 April 2013

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Ghost World (2001) vs. The Help (2011)


Compensating for last week, here we are with a double feature and an almost contradictory message. It is Ghost World (2001, Terry Zwigoff) vs. The Help (2011, Tate Taylor).

Both might result triggering and problematic (nerdiness, cruelty, whiteness, self-righteousness are all featured) but this is not why we are bringing them up. We are bringing these two together because there you have the forever dilemma - especially felt by women in certain situations but universal still - between fitting in and daring to be different.

And those two movies are antithesis to each other: while The Help is exploring the impulses that makes one to step out and stand her ground about one's core beliefs, although it may imply social sanctions, Ghost World introduces you to Enid and Rebecca who, having spent years curating their weirdness and marginalization in the realms of formal education, are negotiating a re-entering into the world of normal.

The morals is the following: trying to find strength to be as authentic as you wish and courage to change if you feel that the previous you is somehow outdated and needs an update. Transformation is human. It's really OK. As is questioning, searching, and not really knowing.