Morgan Dews' Must Read After My Death is a startling, deeply intimate look into the domestic life of the filmmaker's grandmother, Allis. Made up entirely of home movies and recordings that Allis documented (privately, in therapy sessions, or trans-Atlantic with her husband Charley), the film is at times heartwarming, but more so horrifying, as Allis struggles against the stifling systemic and familial abuse as a 1960s housewife. The personal documentation and voiceovers make the experience of watching a family unravel all the more affecting.
The film is already receiving film festival prizes and rave reviews (the Village Voice said it "makes Revolutionary Road look like a tea party") from around the world. Morgan took the time to answer some of my questions about the movie and filmmaking process. Read on for the interview as well as your chance to watch the movie online for free!
According to some internet buzzing, Twilight stars (that's right, Twilight is everywhere) Kristin Stewart and Nikki Reed are set to star in a new film called K-11. For those of you who are not down with prison lingo (and I will include myself here), K-11 is the official classification code for gay inmates, and Stewart and Reed will both be playing gay men in the film. That's right, gay men.
While there's a lot a feminist critique of Quantum of Solace, the new James Bond flick, could cover, such as the other-ing of the voiceless "ethnic" communities/Bond's sense of entitlement to their culture and resources, Judy Dench's role as M, or the current, very real political turbulence in Bolivia (FYI? George Bush is still our president), this post mainly focuses on the use of the rape-revenge themes and surprise, surprise, the objectification of women found in the movie.
And yes, there are spoilers.
This past weekend, we at Bitch were honored to be a community partner in Portland's Queer Documentary Film Festival's screening of FtF: From Female to Femme. QDOC is the only festival in the United States (and apparently one of two worldwide) devoted to queer documentaries, and FtF: From Female to Femme is – to my knowledge – the first feature length documentary that explores the experiences and identities of femme as a queer identity. This lack of femme analysis is a little alarming, considering the breadth and depth of analyses focused on butch, FtM, and other masculine(/queer) identities. But then again, as books like Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity illustrate, femme identities and femininity in general continue to be misunderstood and maligned (and in some senses, masculinity so fetishized), so it also makes sense.
I feel sheepish asking for reader participation when my own contributions to this neglected blog have been so pathetic. I do hereby swear to post every day for the next week if you all help me out here, okay?
I'm looking for references to abortion or unplanned pregnancy on tv shows or in films over the past year or so. Knocked Up, Waitress, and Juno are, of course, already on the list. What else should be there?
Much as I had mixed feelings about the film Juno, I just don't understand the massive public hate-on for its screenwriter, Diablo Cody. Okay, she gave herself a stupid pen name. Juno had a couple of overly precious, cringeworthy lines of dialogue. Does that really warrant parodies like these?
An Interview with Filmmaker Marina Zurkow, Creator of the Web's Freaky, Fiesty Cerebelle du Jour, Braingirl
I met Marina Zurkow in 1986 on the set of a horror film called Matt Riker: Mutant Hunt. I was the art director. She was hired to be my assistant. It was an entirely inappropriate crewing decision, typical of the low-low budget B-movie genre. I'd never studied art, never been on a film set, and never cared much for horror; Marina had graduated from the School of Visual Arts, she'd propped several films, and she had a true affinity for the horror genre. Needless to say, she saved my ass.
gina gold is a writer and filmmaker who spent five years in San Francisco’s sex industry, starting out as a phone sex operator, then becoming an exotic dancer at the Lusty Lady, the Market Street Cinema, and the Mitchell Brothers’ O’Farrell Theater. Her first film, Do You Want Me to Stay?, grew out of an autobiographical one-woman show that she wrote, directed, and performed at the Luna Sea theater last spring. She is currently working on The Island of Misfit Toys, a memoir.