Sunday, August 14, 2016

Run Away With Realiti: Texture in the Music Video

Realiti and Run Away With Me open with introductions that clearly define the shape of the song and the music video to come. Realiti is like a city-made watercolour painting dripping with cerulean, tangerine, mauve, lemon, periwinkle and navy. The establishing shot of Grimes amidst the eastern architecture has an effervescent quality from the musician's starburst bangs and amethyst sunglasses down to the swirls and tails on the kimono pictured behind. This attention to colour creates texture of vibrancy which directly contrasts the chilly atmosphere of the song, but effectively embodies the soul of the music. Run Away With Me's video begins with something a little more sweeping and epic. The image of Carly Rae Jepsen twirling in a summer dress on a park bench has a forever quality that resembles attic memories and eternal love. It pairs perfectly with the epic horns and promises of tomorrow. Jepsen dares viewers to come with her as an outstretched male hand clasps her own and they're off.

After these rather different establishing moments that reveal the tone of their music videos Realiti and Run Away With Me intertwine and follow a similar path conveying an idea of freedom through movement. Both videos introduce a city, and a landmark where Jepsen and Grimes perform respectively.

The major difference between the two is that Jepsen is among people and Grimes is solitary, which speaks to the different moods created in the songs. Realiti is a song of internal recollection while Run Away With Me is an underneath the bleachers-star soaked sky-track of deeper love and possibility. Run Away With Me is a song of the present and Realiti is a song of the past. Jepsen grasps a hand. Grimes cradles herself.

Run Away With Me is strong at cultivating a mood of ample freedom and careless anarchy that's only possible when you're head over heels in love. Realiti is a little trickier, with an ever-present wistfulness and lyrics that more closely resemble Bjork's Hyperballad. Realiti is a composite of tour footage and quickly thrown together performance, but like Run Away With Me it's a sensory experience tied to the action of a memory. For Grimes it is an actual tour and for Rae Jepsen it's narrative.

Both women use their bodies through dance to further the texture of their music videos. Grimes' dancing is more solitary and keeps in tune with her song. She rocks her shoulders from side to side on an electronic beat, she glides her hips when the synths slither into position for the chorus and jumps when the chorus reaches its climax. The editing of the video is pristine in combining these shots into a cohesive full picture of various settings (Fountain, Forest, Cave, City, Boardwalk) that are united through the dancing created by this song.

The forward momentum created by the jostling camera, Grimes dancing and the window-shots of cities through cars in movement make the video feel like its a living, breathing organism, and the colours are amoeba-like and comforting, always resting in a present glow as if the lights never go off. It's Michael Mann-esque in its execution of the digital nightlife of the city as a place of pure beauty. In Realiti the city doesn't sleep, because the city is alive. It's as much of a statement for the architecture of cultures as it is a snapshot of tourism during Grimes tour of Asia.

Similar patterns arise in Run Away With Me, but because dance is a subjective outlet for expression Jepsen favours something more direct, running & spinning. In Frances Ha during one key moment of expression Frances runs to her then apartment accompanied by David Bowie's "Modern Love". It's an exhilarating moment cloaked in a loose bit of irony, but when Frances runs she spins, because her expression of happiness is to twirl. Jepsen does the same thing here, but without the irony.

Like in Realiti architecture is used to show the depth and beauty of the world, but in Run Away With Me the world is made small by falling in love. The structure of the song oozes longing and need over verses that come together in the falling stars and fireworks of a chorus that delivers a promise that the world can hold us and we can make that world ours. That the barriers could slip away and everything would be attainable in an act of self-declaration. "I'll Be Your Sinner in Secret. Run Away With Me".

The music video can be a cinematic mirror to the song. Realiti and Run Away With Me find the soul of the music in the images they present, and project a clear visual interpretation of what the song means and what the song conveys. These videos elaborate on texture, movement and emotion to amplify certain elements of music to connect with the viewer. When music and cinema intertwine there is an inherent magic in the symbiosis of the two artforms coming together to maximize into one whole. Too frequently music videos try to be cinema by way of narrative storytelling, but the strongest music videos find reality in the abstraction of images coming together to evoke a feeling instead of a story. Realiti and Run Away With Me are striking in their visual similarities, but tonal differences. They follow similar structures and image progressions, but because the songs have different focal points the music videos feel differently despite their sameness. They are sister films, and two examples of the possibility of the music video as an art form of image based reflection.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Top 10s

*IMDB World Premiere Dates*
Some of these lists are thin or incomplete.

  1. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
  2. Carol (Todd Haynes)
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
  4. Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs)
  5. Blackhat (Michael Mann)
  6. Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke)
  7. 88:88 (Isiah Medina)
  8. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig)
  9. Creed (Ryan Coogler
  10. The Assassin (Hsiao-Hsien Hou)

  1. The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata)
  2. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
  3. Pompeii (Paul W.S. Anderson)
  4. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  5. Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 (Johnnie To)
  6. Goodbye to Language 3D (Jean-Luc Godard)
  7. Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry) 
  8. Heaven Knows What (Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie)
  9. As the Gods Will (Takashi Miike)
  10. Lucy (Luc Besson)
  1. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
  2. Top of the Lake (Jane Campion)
  3. The Immigrant (James Gray)
  4. Bastards (Claire Denis)
  5. Blind Detective (Johnnie To)
  6. Drug War (Johnnie To)
  7. White Reindeer (Zach Clark)
  8. Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen Bros.)
  9. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
  10. The World's End (Edgar Wright)
  1. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig)
  2. Romancing in Thin Air (Johnnie To)
  3. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine)
  4. Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosada)
  5. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg)
  6. Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul W.S. Anderson)
  7. The Unspeakable Act (Dan Sallitt)
  8. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
  9. Ace Attorney (Takashi Miike)
  10. The Lords of Salem (Rob Zombie)
  1.  Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)
  3. Girl Walk//All Day (Jacob Krupnick)
  4. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar)
  5. Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Johnnie To)
  6. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
  7. Weekend (Andrew Haigh)
  8. The Deep Blue Sea (Terrence Davies)
  9. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay)
  10. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
  1. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese)
  2. Attenberg (Athina Rachel Tsangari)
  3. Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)
  4. Somewhere (Sofia Coppola)
  5. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik)
  6. Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos)
  7.  Resident Evil: Afterlife (Paul W.S. Anderson)
  8. Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City (Takashi Miike)
  9. The Social Network (David Fincher)
  10. Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Joe)

  1. Bright Star (Jane Campion)
  2. Halloween II: Director's Cut (Rob Zombie)
  3. Alle Anderen (Maren Ade)
  4. The House of the Devil (Ti West)
  5. Whip It! (Drew Barrymoore)
  6. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)
  7. Two Lovers (James Gray)
  8. Adventureland (Greg Mottola) 
  9. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)
  10. Drag Me to Hell (Sam Raimi)

  1. Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)
  2. Sparrow (Johnnie To)
  3.  35 Rhums (Claire Denis)
  4. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier)
  5. Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme)
  6. Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)
  7. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel)
  8. Speed Racer (Lily and Lana Wachowski)
  9. My Blueberry Nights (Wong Kar-Wai)
  10. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)
  1. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu)
  2. Waitress (Adrienne Shelly)
  3. Zodiac (David Fincher)
  4. Inside (Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo)
  5. Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino)
  6. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen)
  7. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes)
  8. Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright)
  9. Southland Tales (Richard Kelly)
  10. Water Lilies (Celine Sciamma)
  1.  Syndromes and a Century (Joe)
  2. Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
  3. Triad Election (Johnnie To)
  4. Deja Vu (Tony Scott)
  5. Inland Empire (David Lynch)
  6. A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman)
  7. Miami Vice (Michael Mann)
  8. Friends with Money (Nicole Holofcener)
  9. Exiled (Johnnie To)
  10. Silent Hill (Christophe Gans)
  1.  Linda Linda Linda (Nobuhiro Yamashita)
  2. Domino (Tony Scott)
  3. Election (Johnnie To)
  4. Three Times (Hsiao-Hsien Hou)
  5. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
  6. Match Point (Woody Allen)
  7. Cigarette Burns (John Carpenter)
  8. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (Michel Gondry)
  9. Fever Pitch (The Farrely's)
  10. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
  1. Innocence (Lucille Hadzihalilovic)
  2.  Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
  3. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki)
  4. Notre Musique (Jean-Luc Godard)
  5. Collateral (Michael Mann)
  6. Tomorrow We Move (Chantal Akerman)
  7. Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino)
  8. Man on Fire (Tony Scott)
  9. Birth (Jonathan Glazer)
  10. Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar)
  1. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
  2. The Story of Marie and Julien (Jacques Rivette)
  3. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
  4. Running on Karma (Johnnie To)
  5. Dogville (Lars von Trier)
  6. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-Ho)
  7. Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
  8. In the Cut (Jane Campion)
  9. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Anderson)
  10. PTU (Johnnie To)
  1. Vendredi Soir (Claire Denis)
  2. Funny Haha (Andrew Bujalski)
  3. Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay)
  4. Deadly Outlaw: Rekka (Takashi Miike)
  5. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg)
  6. Lilya 4-Ever (Lukas Moodysoon)
  7. Punch Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  8. May (Lucky McKee)
  9. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)
  10. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes)
  1. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)
  2. Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat)
  3. The Happiness of the Katakuris (Takashi Miike)
  4. Take Care of My Cat (Jeong Jae-eun)
  5. Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon)
  6. Millennium Mambo (Hsiao-hsien Hou)
  7. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff)
  8. Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis)
  9. Kandahar (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
  10. Ghosts of Mars (John Carpenter)
  1. In the Mood For Love (Kar-Wai Wong)
  2. Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett)
  3. The Day I Became a Woman (Marzieh Meshkini)
  4. DOA 2: Birds (Takashi Miike)
  5. Yi Yi (Edward Yang)
  6. Love and Basketball (Gina Price-Bythewood)
  7. Needing You (Johnnie To)
  8. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
  9. American Psycho (Mary Harron)
  10. Suzhou River (Le You)
  1. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Beau Travail (Claire Denis)
  3. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar)
  4. Rosetta (The Dardennes)
  5. Audition (Takashi Miike)
  6. The Matrix (Lily and Lana Wachowski) 
  7. The Mission (Johnnie To)
  8. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch)
  9.  Princess Mononoke (Hayao Miyazaki)
  10. I'll Take You There (Adrienne Shelly)
  1. Histoire(s) du Cinema (Jean-Luc Godard) (the entire series upon completion in 1998)
  2. Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon)
  3. Fucking Amal (Lukas Moodysson)
  4. Buffalo '66 (Vincent Gallo)
  5. The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen)
  6. The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman)
  7. The Flowers of Shanghai (Hsiao-Hsien Hou)
  8. Sombre (Phillipe Grandieux)
  9. Rushmore (Wes Anderson)
  10. Small Soldiers (Joe Dante)
  1. The End of Evangelion (Hideaki Anno)
  2. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino)
  3. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  4. Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (David Mirkin)
  5. The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan)
  6. All Over Me (Alex Sichel)
  7. Gummo (Harmony Korine)
  8. Titanic (James Cameron)
  9. Eve's Bayou (Kasi Lemmons)
  10. Face/Off (John Woo)
  1. Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier)
  2. Bound (Lana and Lily Wachowski)
  3. Crash (David Cronenberg)
  4. Fargo (Joel and Ethan Coen)
  5. Fudoh: The New Generation (Takashi Miike)
  6. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky)
  7. Nenette et Boni (Claire Denis)
  8. Sudden Manhattan (Adrienne Shelly)
  9. Escape from L.A. (John Carpenter)
  10. I Shot Andy Warhol (Mary Harron)
  1. Clueless (Amy Heckerling)
  2. Fallen Angels (Kar-Wai Wong)
  3. The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood)
  4. [SAFE] (Todd Haynes)
  5. Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven)
  6. Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Ishii)
  7. Whisper of the Heart (Yoshifumi Kondo)
  8.  The Blade (Hark Tsui)
  9. Ballet (Frederick Wiseman)
  10. The Addiction (Abel Ferrara)
  1. Jeanne la Pucelle (Jacques Rivette)
  2. Hoop Dreams (Steve James)
  3. Chungking Express (Kar-Wai Wong)
  4. In the Mouth of Madness (John Carpenter)
  5. Legend of Drunken Master (Kar-Lau Leung)
  6. I Can't Sleep (Claire Denis)
  7. Portrait of a Young Girl in Brussels at the End of the 60s (Chantal Akerman)
  8. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)
  9. Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen)
  10. Nadja (Michael Almeryeda)
  1. The Piano (Jane Campion)
  2. Green Snake (Hark Tsui)
  3. Blue (Derek Jarman)
  4. D'est (Chantal Akerman)
  5. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood)
  6. Matinee (Joe Dante)
  7. Je Vous Salue Sarajevo (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis)
  9. The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese)
  10. I Was a Teenage Serial Killer (Sarah Jacobson) 
  1. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch)
  2. Orlando (Sally Potter)
  3. The Long Day Closes (Terrence Davies)
  4. Nitrate Kisses (Barbara Hammer)
  5. Hard Boiled (John Woo)
  6. Once Upon a Time in China II (Hark Tsui)
  7. Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen)
  8. Malcolm X (Spike Lee)
  9. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
  10. Batman Returns (Tim Burton)
  1. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang)- NEW
  2. The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)
  3. The Rapture (Michael Tolkin)
  4. Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow)
  5. Barton Fink (Joel and Ethan Coen)
  6. Flirting (John Duigan)
  7. The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieślowski)
  8. Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata)
  9. Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou)
  10. Once Upon a Time in China (Hark Tsui)
  1. Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston)
  2. Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Joe Dante)
  3. An Angel at my Table (Jane Campion)
  4. Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven)
  5. No Fear, No Die (Claire Denis)
  6. Days of Being Wild (Wong Kar-Wai)
  7. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)
  8. The Nightwatchmen (Claire Denis)
  9. Darkman (Sam Raimi)
  10. Days of Thunder (Tony Scott)
  1. Kiki's Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki)
  2. Gang of Four (Jacques Rivette)
  3. Sweetie (Jane Campion)
  4. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
  5. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen)
  6. The Killer (John Woo)
  7. A Better Tomorrow III: Love and Death in Saigon (Hark Tsui)
  8. The Little Mermaid (Ron Clements, John Musker)
  9. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (Shinya Tsukamoto) 
  10. Heathers (Michael Lehmann)
  1. My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki)
  2. Die Hard (John McTiernan)
  3. Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata)
  4. Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg)
  5. Hairspray (John Waters)
  6. Chocolat (Claire Denis)
  7. The Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese)
  8. Akira (Katsuhio Otomo)
  9. The Accused (Jonathan Kaplan)
  10. The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris)
  1. Broadcast News (James L. Brooks)
  2. Sign O' The Times (Prince)
  3. Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter)
  4. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes)
  5. RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven)
  6. Two Friends (Jane Campion)
  7. King Lear (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. Radio Days (Woody Allen)
  9. Predator (Jon McTiernan)
  10. Stagefright: Aquarius (Michele Soavi) 
  1. Big Trouble in Little China (John Carpenter)
  2. The Terrorizers (Edward Yang)- NEW
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  4. The Green Ray (Eric Rohmer)
  5. Working Girls (Lizzie Borden)
  6. The Fly (David Cronenberg)
  7. Peking Opera Blues (Hark Tsui)
  8. Aliens (James Cameron)
  9. Something Wild (Jonathan Demme)
  10. Manhunter (Michael Mann)
  1. Police Story (Jackie Chan)
  2. Angel's Egg (Mamoru Oshii)
  3. Ran (Akira Kurosawa)
  4. Day of the Dead (George A. Romero)
  5. Vagabond (Agnes Varda)
  6. After Hours (Martin Scorsese)
  7. Hail Mary (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. Wuthering Heights (Jacques Rivette)
  9. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis)
  10. Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Siedelman) 
  1.  Wheels on Meals (Sammo Hung)
  2. Purple Rain (Albert Magnoli)
  3. Starman (John Carpenter) 
  4. The Terminator (James Cameron)
  5. Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders)
  6. 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (Kar-Lau Leung)
  7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven)
  8. Mutable Fire (Bradley Eros)
  9. A Girl's Own Story (Jane Campion)
  10. Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone)
  1.  Silkwood (Mike Nichols)
  2. One Day Pina Asked (Chantal Akerman)
  3. Videodrome (David Cronenberg)
  4. Christine (John Carpenter)
  5. Terms of Endearment (James L. Brooks)
  6. Sheer Madness (Margarethe Von Trotta)
  7. First Name: Carmen (Jean-Luc Godard)
  8. Three Crowns of the Sailor (Raoul Ruiz)
  9. Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden)
  10. Possibly in Michigan (Cecelia Condit)
  1. The Thing (John Carpenter)
  2. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman)
  3. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
  4. Toute Une Nuit (Chantal Akerman)
  5. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling)
  6. White Dog (Samuel Fuller)
  7. Tenebrae (Dario Argento)
  8. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman)
  9. Conan the Barbarian (John Milius)
  10. The Wrath of Khan (Nicholas Meyer)
  1. Ms. 45 (Abel Ferrara)
  2. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski)
  3. They All Laughed (Peter Bogdanovich)
  4. Escape From New York (John Carpenter)
  5. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi)
  6. Le Pont Du Nord (Jacques Rivette)
  7. The Great Muppet Caper (Jim Henson)
  8. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg)
  9. Merry-Go-Round (Jacques Rivette)
  10. The Road Warrior (George Miller)
  1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Stardust Memories (Woody Allen)
  3. The Elephant Man (David Lynch)
  4. Inferno (Dario Argento)
  5. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato)
  6. The Fog (John Carpenter)
  7. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese)
  8. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kirshner)
  9. Carny (Robert Kaylor)
  10. Coal Miner's Daughter (Michael Apted)
  1. Alien (Ridley Scott)
  2. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky)
  3. My Brilliant Career (Gillian Armstrong)
  4. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola)
  5. The Castle of Cagliostro (Hayao Miyazaki)
  6. Life of Brian (Terry Jones)
  7. Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht (Werner Herzog)
  8. The Brood (David Cronenberg)
  9. The Muppet Movie (Jim Henson)
  10. Manhattan (Woody Allen)
  1. The Meetings of Anna (Chantal Akerman)
  2. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (Lau-Kar Leung)
  3. Girlfriends (Claudia Weill)
  4. Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero)
  5. Halloween (John Carpenter)
  6. Alucarda (Juan Lopez Moctezuma)
  7. Empire of Passion (Nagisa Oshima)
  8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman)
  9. Drunken Master (Yuen Woo-Ping)
  10. An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky)
  1. News From Home (Chantal Akerman)
  2. Suspiria (Dario Argento)
  3. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett)
  4. Opening Night (John Cassavetes)
  5. 3 Women (Robert Altman)
  6. Hausu (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
  7. Martin (George A. Romero)
  8. Stroszek (Werner Herzog)
  9. La Soufrie (Werner Herzog)
  10. Cruel Passion (Chris Boger)
  1. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)
  2. Noroit (Jacques Rivette) 
  3. Carrie (Brian De Palma)
  4. A Real Young Girl (Catherine Breillat)
  5. Harlan County, U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple)
  6. Duelle (Jacques Rivette)
  7. Assault on Precinct 13 (John Carpenter
  8. Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May)
  9. The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood)
  10. Challenge of the Masters (Kar-Lau Leung)
  1. Jeanne Dielman: 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman)
  2. Nashville (Robert Altman)
  3. Love and Death (Woody Allen)
  4. Black Moon (Louis Malle)
  5. Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir)
  6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman)
  7. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick)
  8. The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes)
  9. Katie Tippel (Paul Verhoeven)
  10. Death Race 2,000 (Paul Bartel)
  1. Celine and Julie Go Boating (Jacques Rivette)
  2.  Je, Tu, Il, Elle (Chantal Akerman)
  3. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper)
  4. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes)
  5. Dyketactics (Barbara Hammer)
  6. Female Trouble (John Waters)
  7. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbender)
  8. Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins)
  9. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
  10. Black Christmas (Bob Clark)
  1. Lady Snowblood (Toshiya Fujita)
  2. F For Fake (Orson Welles)
  3. The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice)
  4. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (D.A. Pennebaker)
  5. The Exorcist (William Friedkin)
  6. Don't Look Now (Nicholas Roeg)
  7. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese)
  8. Coffy (Jack Hill)
  9. High Plains Drifter (Clint Eastwood)
  10. Badlands (Terrence Malick)
  1. Hotel Monterey (Chantal Akerman)
  2. The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Rainer Werner Fassbender)
  3. Pink Flamingos (John Waters)
  4. Across 110th Street (Barry Shear)
  5. Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman)
  6. La Chambre (Chantal Akerman)
  7. The Heartbreak Kid (Elaine May)
  8. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Shunya Ito)- NEW
  9. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog)
  10. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)
  1. A Touch of Zen (King Hu)
  2. Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff)
  3. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman)
  4. Out 1 (Jacques Rivette)
  5. A New Leaf (Elaine May)
  6. The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich)
  7. Two Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman)
  8. A Bay of Blood (Mario Bava)
  9. The Devils (Ken Russell)
  10. The French Connection (William Friedkin)
  1. Wanda (Barbara Loden)
  2. Gimme Shelter (Charlotte Zwerin, Albert and David Maysles)
  3. Claire's Knee (Eric Rohmer)
  4. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Jaromil Jires)
  5. Witches Hammer (Otakar Vavra)
  6. Girly (Freddie Francis)
  7. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento)
  8. And God Said to Cain (Antonio Margheriti)
  9. The Grandmother (David Lynch)
  10. Two Mules for Sister Sarah (Don Siegel)
  1. Mad Love (Jacques Rivette)
  2. The Fruit of the Paradise (Vera Chytilova)
  3. Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (Nagisa Oshima)
  4. Take and the Money and Run (Woody Allen)
  5. Une Femme Douce (Robert Bresson)
  6. Porcile (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  7. Topaz (Alfred Hitchcock)
  8. Bambi Meets Godzilla (Marv Newland)
  9. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah)
  10. Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger)
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
  2. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski)
  3. Death by Hanging (Nagisa Oshima)
  4. High School (Frederick Wiseman)
  5. The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci)
  6. The Immortal Story (Orson Welles)
  7. Saute ma Ville (Chantal Akerman)
  8. The Golden Swallow (Chang Cheh)
  9. Night of the Living Dead (George A. Romero)
  10. Targets  (Peter Bogdanovich)
  1. The Young Girls of Rochefort (Jacques Demy)
  2. Samurai Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi)
  3. Japanese Summer: Double Suicide (Nagisa Oshima)
  4. Playtime (Jacques Tati)
  5. Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn)
  6. Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman)
  7. A Countess from Hong Kong (Charlie Chaplin)
  8. Death Rides a Horse (Giulio Petroni)
  9. Don't Look Back (D.A. Pennebaker)
  10. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean Luc Godard)
  1. Daisies (Vera Chytilova)
  2. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Sergio Leone)
  3. Persona (Ingmar Bergman)
  4. Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene)
  5. Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki)
  6. The Face of Another (Hiroshi Teshigahara)
  7. The Nun (Jacques Rivette)
  8. Come Drink With Me (King Hu)
  9. Django (Sergio Corbucci)
  10. The Trouble with Angels (Ida Lupino)
  1.  Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda)
  2. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer)
  3. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles)
  4. For a Few Dollars More (Sergio Leone)
  5. Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard)
  6. Repulsion (Roman Polanski)
  7. Loves of a Blonde (Milos Forman)
  8. Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard)
  9. Pleasures of the Flesh (Nagisa Oshima)
  10. N/A
  1. Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. Charulata (Satyajit Ray)
  3. Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi)
  4. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  5. Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava) 
  6. The Masque of the Red Death (Roger Corman)
  7. Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo)
  8. Nadja in Paris (Eric Rohmer)
  9. A Fistful of Dollars (Sergio Leone)
  10. Mothra vs. Godzilla (Ishiro Honda)
  1. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. The Haunting (Robert Wise)
  3. The House is Black (Forugh Farrokhzad)
  4. Charade (Stanley Donen)
  5. Mothlight (Stan Brakhage)
  6. 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini) 
  7. Black Sabbath (Mario Bava)
  8. Suzanne's Career (Eric Rohmer)
  9. I Fidanzati (Ermanno Olmi)
  10. The Silence (Ingmar Bergman)
  1. Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi)
  2. Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda)
  3. The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford)
  4. Vivre sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard)
  5. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich)
  6. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)
  7. The Exterminating Angel (Louis Bunuel)
  8. The Trial (Orson Welles)
  9. La Jatee (Chris Marker)
  10. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey)
  1. Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman)
  2. Something Wild (Jack Garfein)
  3. Paris Belongs to Us (Jacques Rivette)
  4. The Children's Hour (William Wyler)
  5. The Pit and the Pendulum (Roger Corman)
  6. Yojimbo (Akira Kurosawa)
  7. Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais) 
  8. A Woman is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard)
  9. The Innocents (Jack Clayton)
  10.  Les Fiances du pont Mac Donald ou (Agnes Varda)
  1. Eyes without a Face (Georges Franju)
  2. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. L'aaventura (Michelangelo Antonioni)
  4.  The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman)
  5. The Testament of Orpheus (Jean Cocteau)
  6. The Apartment (Billy Wilder)
  7. Peeping Tom (Michael Powell)
  8. Black Sunday (Mario Bava)
  9. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard)
  10. The Fall of the House of Usher (Roger Corman)
  1.  Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks)
  2. Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger)
  3. Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan (Nobuo Nakagawa)
  4. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. Good Morning (Yasujiro Ozu)
  6. Sleeping Beauty (Clyde Geronimi)
  7. The Hound of the Baskervilles (Terrence Fisher)
  8. House on Haunted Hill (William Castle)
  9. The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut)
  10. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais) 
  1. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
  2. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. Bell, Book and Candle (Richard Quine)
  4.  The Magician (Ingmar Bergman)
  5. Horror of Dracula (Terrence Fisher)
  6. Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati)
  7. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (Nathan Juran & Ray Harryhausen)
  8. The Diary of a Pregnant Woman (Agnes Varda)
  9. It! The Terror From Beyond Space (Edward L. Cahn)
  10. The Fly (Kurt Neumann)
  1. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa)
  2. Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander MacKendrick)
  3. Forty Guns (Samuel Fuller)
  4. A King in New York (Charlie Chaplin)
  5. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet)
  6. The Curse of Frankenstein (Terrence Fisher)
  7. Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick)
  8. Funny Face (Stanley Donen)
  9. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)
  10. Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur)
  1. Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk)
  2. The Searchers (John Ford)
  3. The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse)
  5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegal)
  6. The Killing (Stanley Kubrick)
  7. Baby Doll (Elia Kazan)
  8. Deduce, you Say (Chuck Jones)
  9. Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox)
  10. The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock)
  1.  The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton)
  2. All that Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk)- NEW
  3. Rififi (Jules Dassin)
  4. Diabolique (Henri-Georges Clozout)
  5. To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock)
  6. Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles)
  7. Le-Pointe Courte (Agnes Varda)
  8. Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman)
  9. The Trouble with Harry (Alfred Hitchcock)
  10. Killer's Kiss (Stanley Kubrick)
  1.  Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. Voyage to Italy (Roberto Rossellini) 
  3. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
  4. Sansho the Baliff (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  5. Godzilla (Ishiro Honda)
  6. Dial M For Murder (Alfred Hitchcock)
  7. On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan)
  8. Sabrina (Billy Wilder)
  9. Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold)
  10. N/A
  1. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks)
  2. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu)
  3. Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  4. White Mane (Albert Lamorisse)
  5. The Bigamist (Ida Lupino)
  6. Summer with Monika (Ingmar Bergman)
  7. The Hitch-Hiker (Ida Lupino)
  8. The Earrings of Madame De...(Max Ophuls)
  9. Mr. Hulot's Holiday (Jacques Tati)
  10. Roman Holiday (William Wyler)
  1. Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly)
  2. Othello (Orson Welles
  3. Limelight (Charlie Chaplin)
  4. Trick or Treat (Jack Hannah)
  5. Feed the Kitty (Chuck Jones)
  6. Bend of the River (Anthony Mann)
  7. Rabbit Seasoning (Chuck Jones)
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Hard, Fast & Beautiful (Ida Lupino)
  2. The Tales of Hoffmann (Powell and Pressburger)
  3. The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise)
  4. Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. The Thing From Another World (Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks)
  6. Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder)
  7. Alice in Wonderland (Various)
  8. Mr. Hulot's Holiday (Jacques Tati)
  9. Summer Interlude (Ingmar Bergman)
  10. A Streetcat Named Desire (Elia Kazan)
  1. Orpheus (Jean Cocteau)
  2. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
  3. Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder)
  4. Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis)
  5. Winchester '73 (Anthony Mann)
  6. The Furies (Anthony Mann)- NEW
  7. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa)
  8. Outrage (Ida Lupino)
  9. Rio Grande (John Ford)
  10. Girl with Hyacynths (Hasse Ekman)
  1. The Third Man (Carol Reed)
  2. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu) 
  3. Caught (Max Ophuls)- NEW
  4. Not Wanted (Ida Lupino)
  5. I Was a Male War Bride (Howard Hawks)
  6. Jour de Fete (Jacques Tati)
  7. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford)
  8. Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock)
  9. The Young Lovers (Ida Lupino)
  10. N/A
  11. N/A
  1. The Red Shoes (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)
  2. Red River (Howard Hawks)
  3. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls)
  4. Women of the Night (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  5. Macbeth (Orson Welles)
  6. Key Largo (John Huston)
  7. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica)
  8. Meditation on Violence (Maya Deren)
  9. The Storm Within (Jean Cocteau)
  10. Rope (Alfred Hitchcock)
  1. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)
  2. Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur)
  3. Monsieur Verdoux (Charlie Chaplin)
  4. The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles)
  5. Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding)
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau)
  3. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)
  4. The Cat Concerto (William Hannah and Joseph Barbera)
  5. It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra)
  6. The Stranger (Orson Welles)
  7.  N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Brief Encounter (David Lean)
  2. Leave her to Heaven (John M. Stahl)
  3. My Name is Julia Ross (Joseph H. Lewis)
  4. Spellbound (Alfred Hitchcock)
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  11. N/A
  1. Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincent Minnelli)
  2. To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks)
  3. At Land (Maya Deren)
  4. Laura (Otto Preminger)
  5. Lifeboat (Alfred Hitchcock
  6. The Curse of the Cat People (Robert Wise)
  7. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder)
  8. Witch's Cradle (Maya Deren)
  9. Bluebeard (Edgar G. Ulmer)
  10. N/A
  1.  Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren)
  2. I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur)
  3. Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson)
  5. Day of Wrath (Carl Th. Dreyer)
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles)
  2. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur)
  3. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)
  4. I Married a Witch (Rene Clair)
  5. This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle)
  6. Bambi (Various)
  7. The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturgess)
  8. Saboteur (Alfred Hitchcock)
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles)
  2. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston)
  3. Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. The Wolf-Man (George Waggner)
  5. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturgess)
  6. How Green Was My Valley (John Ford)
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch)- NEW
  3. Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner)
  4. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks)
  5. The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin)
  6. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor)
  7. The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford)
  8. Fantasia (Various)
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks)
  2. The Wizard of Oz (Various)
  3. Young Mr. Lincoln (John Ford)
  4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra)
  5. Stagecoach (John Ford)
  6. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir)
  7. The Women (George Cukor)
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1.  Vivacious Lady (George Stevens)
  2. The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks)
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (David Hand)
  2. N/A
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin)
  2. The Only Son (Yasujiro Ozu)
  3. Dracula's Daughter (Lambert Hillyer)
  4. Osaka Elegy (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  5. Sisters of the Gion (Kenji Mizoguchi)
  6. Swing Time (George Stevens)
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale)
  2. The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock)
  3. Top Hat (Mark Sandrich)
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Black Cat (Edgar G. Ulmer)
  2. It Happened One Night (Frank Capra)
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn Leroy)
  2. 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon)
  3. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey)
  4. King Kong (Merian C. Cooper)
  5. The Invisible Man (James Whale)
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch)
  2. Vampyr (Carl Th. Dreyer)
  3. That Old Dark House (James Whale)
  4. Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding)
  5. The Mummy (Karl Freund)
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin)
  2. Madchen in Uniform (Leontine Sagan and Carl Froelich)
  3. M. (Fritz Lang)
  4. Frankenstein (James Whale)
  5. Dracula (Tod Browning)
  6. Tokyo Chorus (Yasujiro Ozu)
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Blood of a Poet (Jean Cocteau)
  2. Monte Carlo (Ernst Lubitsch)
  3. L'age Dor (Luis Bunuel)
  4. The Divorcee (Robert Z. Leonard)
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1.  Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov)
  2. Un Chien Andalou (Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dahli)
  3. Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. Rain (Joris Ivens and Mannus Franken)
  5. Days of Youth (Yasujiro Ozu)
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Th. Dreyer)
  2. Steamboat Bill Jr. (Buster Keaton)
  3. The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein)
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau)
  2. L'invitation au Voyage (Germaine Dulac)
  3. The Lodger (Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. The Cat and the Canary (Paul Leni)
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Faust (F.W. Murnau)
  2. The General (Buster Keaton)
  3. A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugaza)
  4. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lottie Reineger, Karl Coch)
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Battleship Potempkin (Sergei Eisenstein)
  2. Strike! (Sergei Eisenstein)
  3. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin)
  4. Seven Chances (Buster Keaton)
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton)
  2. Ballet Mecanique (Fernand Ledger, Dudley Murphey)
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmayer, Sam Taylor)
  2. A Woman of Paris (Charlie Chaplin)
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)
  2. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (Benjamin Christensen)
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjolstrom)
  2. The Kid (Charlie Chaplin)
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A
  1. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene)
  2. Leaves out of the Book of Satan (Carl Th. Dreyer)
  3. N/A
  4. N/A
  5. N/A
  6. N/A
  7. N/A
  8. N/A
  9. N/A
  10. N/A 

*There are other films I have seen before 1920, but compiling a list of those seems unreasonable at the moment. They may be added later. Feel free to recommend movies (especially for weaker lists!)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Defining My Girlhood

 My childhood was destroyed and turned into something that damaged me by a patriarchal societal upbringing that intersected with transphobic views that smothered my reality and my possibility to find myself in a haze of physical, psychological and emotional abuse from parents and others. I never had a childhood for these reasons, much less a girlhood, but I'm relearning that it's not too late to reconfigure and claim my own girlhood and define my childhood on my own terms.

My own sense of self had been muted for so long that my only outlet for expressing how I felt was through the vicarious nature of art, and specifically television, movies and music. Little tremors of power coursed through me in the images of Sailor Scouts because they stood up for themselves, which wasn't something I had the voice or know how to do against a father who routinely made sure I evaded all things feminine or face his wrath in the form of a beating. My father thought he was beating femininity out of me and masculinity into me, but what he was doing was completely eliminating my sense of self and setting me up for later bouts of depression, submissiveness and PTSD.

I recently viewed childhood favourite Labyrinth in a cinema, and while I was always struck by how much I saw myself in the lead character Sarah one scene had slipped out of my mind, but came flooding back in torrents during this viewing. I was already crying a good deal throughout, because fellow gender weirdo David Bowie had passed away recently (he'd mean something to me much later in life), but one line of dialogue made a memory come back to me that I had forgotten. The memory was that of a young version of myself re-enacting Labyrinth in my backyard saying "You have no power over me" over and over again. Those words are a deliberate statement of reclamation. I wish I had the strength to say those words to my father when I was that young, but I never began to put those words into sentences until almost twenty years later. "You have no power over me".

Fast-forward about ten years from that childhood memory and I'm listening to Bikini Kill, and finding a saviour in the words of Kathleen Hanna. I'm scribbling the words "Feels Blind" in bathroom stalls in the high-school I dreaded going to every day and on my bedroom wall as a kind of motto of my own sense of self. The bridge of the song features Kathleen singing her fucking lungs out, screaming the words "Women are well acquainted with thirst, How does it feel? It feels blind". The muted nature of my life in my teenage years was an endpoint that I thought at the time would end in suicide, but getting into Bikini Kill was like a curtain being pulled down, and I finally had a voice of my own to speak and scream that I wasn't satisfied. Kathleen's voice was like a flurry, a kick, a shot of confidence. Bikini Kill pulled me down a rabbit-hole that got me into feminism and queercore bands like Team Dresch along with other all girl rock bands like Sleater-Kinney.. The all-girl part was really important to me, because I didn't need a masculine voice to comfort me.. I needed reconciliation and support in knowing that I wouldn't be alone in feeling the way I did from another woman, and Kathleen was that person for the longest time. Today, I have "Feels Blind" tattooed on my wrist, because I wouldn't be alive without Bikini Kill.

When I finally moved away from my parents in the Summer of 2014 I told them I was going to Philadelphia to make movies. They knew I had contacts in Philadelphia who were making films of their own so I told them a lie to free myself. I went to Target after a 14 hour drive up the country (soundtracked by various Riot Grrrl acts) and bought some tops and jeans I could be comfortable in. I shed the oversized, masculine clothing on my body, and stepped into my own skin for the first time in my life. That was truly the first step in redefining my own girlhood, but I still lacked the language or the know how to get by on my own as a woman. I wasn't socialized to know these things. I was an on-looker with all my best girlfriends while growing up, but now it was my time to learn what I wanted to, and what kind of person I would be. I'd be carving out my own journey and figuring out my own sense of self.

I've been struggling for a very long time trying to reconcile why my childhood turned out the way that it did, but the short answer to the question is that it's the default considering how violent our society is towards transgender people. Today, I'm making a statement to free myself again from the burden of a broken childhood and the absence of my own girlhood while growing up. I am a girl, and I'm finding things out about myself every day. I'm turning into myself. I had a neglected girlhood, but I know it was present, because I could feel it, and I had a reckoning when I lived vicariously through other girls I looked up to in art. That my own girlhood was attempted to be stamped out by my own father's ideas of patriarchal upbringing doesn't matter anymore. I'm going to take the moments I can remember and cherish them, even if they were just in movies, and I'm going to hold onto them. They were the moments that eventually sculpted me into the woman I am today. My girlhood was observation. Looking into a window of a house I always wanted to enter. I'm finally here, and everything I ever wanted is now in practice. Everything I do makes me the woman that I am. That is my girlhood. That is my truth.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Do You Have Any Regrets?: 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)

My Dad was not a good man. He ruled our house with a dedication to control that veered into threats that were both verbal and physical. I still have the emotional bruises that came with growing up with a man who came from a line of men who were taught to be respected was to be loved, and to be respected one had to be taught to obey through violence. Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) talks about regrets. She saw a little girl being drug along a store by the arm much too hard by a father, and how she couldn't do anything to stop it. The girl fell. Michelle said she knew girls like that because she was one. I was one too.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Female Filmmaker Project: Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)

In the book of Genesis Adam and Eve live in the garden of Eden among many temptations that God has laid before them to test their faith. One such temptation is the "Tree of Knowledge" or the tree of life. The tree of knowledge is a metaphor for free will, and if anyone eats from the tree of knowledge they become "like god". Eve eats an apple from the tree after great temptation from Satan in the form of a snake and she is made into a scepter of fallen grace, because she dared question her rulers who "knew better" and convinced Adam to do the same. Eve is every woman who ever sought liberation, and like Eve the women who suffer and languish under strict patriarchal rule in Mustang also take of that apple.

Mustang begins as a breezy summer picture. The girls have ruffled sleeves on their blouses and smiles on their face as they cheer out "Let's walk, the weather's nice". The end of school begats horseplay in an inviting ocean as summer arrives and nothing could appear to be dangerous about this situation, but they made the mistake of having fun with boys. When word got out to their grandmother and uncle that they had been engaging in this activity it meant handcuffs, cages and control, because a woman who plays with boys eventually has sex, and in this small patriarchal community nothing could be more abominable.

Director Deniz Gamze Erguven does a good job of introducing visual confinement over her motion picture. The grandparents are from an older way of thinking where a girls chastity was tied into her value as a wife, and in their panic to preserve their granddaughters they slowly begin to build walls around them as they sell their five adopted children off to eligible bachelors. In the beginning of Mustang the camera has an elegance in frame that mirrored the young girls personalities, and when the walls go up the camera remains intuitive to their perspective but instead of the curiosity of the world inviting exploration the eye is dominated by mundane household activities and an introduction of rhythm and repetition in the girls lives, as every woman in their community has taught them this is their definitive role. There is no safe space in the home of this sisterhood either, and all five girls eventually start striving for their own spots in the house-jail to relax. The older siblings sunbathed through a crack in the exterior. The youngest girl literally plans an escape just to go to a soccer game, which coincidentally was attended by only women after rioting caused by male attendees ruined the national team's previous game. This notion of a safe space is in the visual language and finding a fracture inside of their of their home built upon an architectural chastity belt becomes paramount. As the walls become more densely layered with steel and spikes the house begins to resemble something between a castle and a prison- a blunt metaphor if there ever was one, but appropriate in its usage here- and the only truly safe space becomes the arms of the sisterhood. In many frames the camera lingers on their symbiotic relationship. The girls are a tangle of limbs, a web of skin providing support where there otherwise was none and it becomes a recurring visual motif as the web is untangled and their sisterhood altered as each girl one after the other, getting younger and younger is married off to a suitor.

"You'll learn to love your husband" but what if they never wanted one in the first place? The compulsory decision making of their uncle, and to a lesser extent their grandmother a representative of a larger cultural problem all around the world where views on women are archaic is driving force of the conflict. In a previous film I watched for the Female Filmmaker Project, The Day I Became a Woman, there is a long section of the film devoted to one woman who escapes her husband by disobeying him and competing in a bicycle race. In that movie the feminist text of the film is refashioned into an action picture through long tracking shots, overhead camera work and an attention to detail that makes the escape invigorating, terrifying and personal. Mustang goes for something similar in the latter half of the movie when the feminist text becomes genre by adapting the prison break trope. It's a relatively standard idea considering the already in place prison metaphor, but it works because of a smart decision to align the escape with the wedding of the second youngest child. There are legitimate stakes in what the two girls are trying to elude at this point as we've already seen the previous sisters suffer under sexual violence in their marriage or plan their own much more dire escape through attempted suicide. This is their last chance to make it to Istanbul. To find their own liberation. Erguven's choices as a director in these final moments are solid. The foliage and cages become peepholes and escaping the maze of steel is like a lesser version of the climax in The Shining. There is never a clear view of the Uncle as he trudges through the steel walls behind them, and the camera stays almost exclusively in the girls point of view which only makes the final moments more tense and worthy of its genre rhythm.

Mustang is a film whose text is woven into feminist theory as well as personal women's narratives, but it also functions as a folk tale. "The girl(s) who have been locked away in the tower" has been around literature and cinema for a very long time. In the older Disney animated pictures there would need to be a prince to whisk the innocent maiden off to safety, but those narratives were always reliant on good men earning a prize. It was a male hero's journey instead of a self actualized story about women. The metaphorical dragon in Mustang is an ingrained culture of men making decisions for women and having abject control over their respective bodies. But in Mustang there is no prince. The sisters have to be their own saviours, and while that seems to blur into the strong female character archetype that oftentimes reduces women in action pictures here it is an inborn strength through desperation, and not one achieved through violence. Mustang comes from a Turkish mindset first and foremost, but there are other similar narratives throughout cinema that prove dominance over women is bound to Earth in various forms of severity. Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides and Isao Takahata's The Tale of Princess Kaguya are two others on the same family tree as Mustang, and the list goes on and on all the way back through the history of cinema whether the director was Kenji Mizoguchi or Ida Lupino. Cinema is a mirror into reality, and one doesn't need to look far to see that often in movies women are struggling under the control of some force whether it be societal or personal just because we ate of an apple.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Analysis of a Scene: Jeanne La Pucelle (Jacques Rivette, 1994)

*Analysis of a scene is a feature on Curtsies and Hand Grenades where I take a look at specific scenes in movies and discuss them*

Jacques Rivette smartly evades the weight of Carl Th. Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc by never trying to emulate or tap into the same filmmaking techniques that bluntly created one of the most devastating portraits of personhood in all of Cinema. Dreyer focused on the weary, crumbling presence of Maria Falconetti's face in close-up, but Rivette's picture avoids those comparisons by never actually focusing on the trial or lingering on the tragedy. Instead, Rivette opts for a portrait of Joan as a person who was persecuted not only because she was considered an idolatress, but because she dared call into question the place of women in society by subverting her gender role and dabbling in masculine presentation.

Joan giddily darts a pair of scissors across her unkempt straw-like hair in order to please god and herself. She chooses a mirror of armour, a masculinizing of vanity. Her reflection reveals an evolving self. In order for Joan to go into battle she must adopt the roles of men. If she is going to be with the men she must be a man. Her first task is to remove the long hair that paints her as feminine. She mutters to another woman who works nearby that she must look like a boy, and in an attempt to make her haircut more appropriate the woman offers to even up her look. This early scene paints a portrait that continues throughout the rest of the film, and it is one of women helping Joan achieve her goals. Whether those women know that Joan is only merely doing these things because she sees messengers of god or they envision a woman breaking barriers of gendered norms is irrelevant. They help her regardless. The same woman who cuts her hair finds her a suit of armour made from hand-me-downs of smaller boys.

Jacques Rivette shoots his adaptation of Joan of Arc with documentary style realism. There are insertions of talking head shots to deliver the exposition of the narrative. These scenes are coupled with recreations of the events certain characters discussed moments previously, and the majority of the first act is Joan's acceptance of her task and the battles she wins for her country and for God. Along the way many men question the legitimacy of Joan's combat and military skill, often chalking any setbacks to her gender, and whenever she succeeds men say "I've never seen a woman do that before" or "You're pretty good for a woman", to paraphrase. These exchanges of soldiers finding their notions of gender challenged further establish a theme on Joan's breaking of binary ideas on what a woman can or cannot accomplish. Even a woman can die for her country, and her beliefs.

This particular version of Joan's story is split into two parts and while the first film is relatively triumphant the second part brings about the inevitable tragedy that is nestled inside of this story. The tranquil pace of the first picture begins to evolve in the final hours, as that same pacing mutates from peaceful to brutally anxious. Every viewer goes into the film knowing that Joan is a martyr, but Rivette alters this narrative slightly, and presents a wrinkle on Joan's doom that is far more powerful in day to day life than the religious persecution that colours Dreyer's masterpiece. In Rivette's film her martyrdom would be one of the illusion of choice for a woman who lives in an uncaring patriarchal environment.

Once Joan is captured by the English they begin a trial based around her idolatry, which Rivette only briefly engages, but the reasoning behind the trial is clearly the deep-seated misogyny behind the men who would be furious that a woman defeat them in a battle. If battle is not man's sport anymore then what does he have left to conquer? But it's more than that as well. There is a hatred in how easily Joan was able to try on a masculine identity, and worse how natural a fit it became on her body. The bible states in Deuteronomy that any man or woman who would wear the clothing that wasn't associated with their gender would be considered an abomination, a disgusting thing, a wicked creature. Joan came through God, but was challenging the very notions of his perceived word. There would be no evolving of ideas on a gender binary. There would only be fire to put out an idea.

That idea would spread in subtle ways. In one digression a mother is frustrated her daughter's hair is tangled. The girl doesn't want to straighten or comb her hair, and after spending a short amount of time with Joan she seems to have grasped towards that freedom Joan was exhibiting in her presentation, even if that just meant letting her hair become slightly messy. This one scene is the fissure in society caused by Joan's gendered rebellion, and in a cinematic context it is all the evidence one would need to know Joan was causing change in the ideas of the women around her. Maybe I didn't have to spend so much time on my appearance?

Joan took the dress under the condition that she would be sent back to a prison in her home country and if she would be given female prison guards to attend to her needs. That final detail is important, because Joan knew that women, in this telling of the story, would have her back. Throughout this film women have been helping her along the way, whether that be the woman who helped her find the armour or the girl she befriended before trial. They were Joan's true angels. When the prison guards rip her of her masculinity and force her back into the more traditional femininity that she was seen wearing in the first scenes of the film it spells her doom. As a prisoner she was left to the will of the men around her, because there would be no female prison guards. Only men who saw a vulnerable woman who they could have their way with on repeated occasions. They wrap her in chains. Her dress exposed. A metaphor for the place women held in society during Joan's period of life. The only way to push back the rapist prison guards was to dress like a man again after they loosened her shackles. It was the only protection she had against rape. And as soon as they saw she was dressing this way again the priests decided she had rebuked god, but they weren't acting in the law of god. They were acting in the law of man. The law of man that would say a woman should stay in her place and lest she get out of line she be put back where she belonged. For Joan that meant ash.