25 3 / 2014

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Mom: Gloria Steinem is 80

Me: I know

Mom: How did that happen?

Me: How old does she have to be before you’ll call yourself a feminist?

Mom: 95

Me: 95?

Mom: 95

Me: Well, she seems pretty stubborn

28 10 / 2013

Self-Portrait in Taxi for Mom

Self-Portrait in Taxi for Mom

30 8 / 2013

In case you were wondering.

In case you were wondering.

26 6 / 2013

Love my friend Adelle on Richardson “vs” Fielding. I was always a Tom Jones girl, myself.

24 6 / 2013

Watching James Gandolfini, I have often thought of my grandfather, another person known to me only through images, but essential in my memory all the same. Gandolfini’s quicksilver shifts from stony to feather soft, animal to ingenue, repellent to beseeching, and endless territories between, kept us searching that face for the best and worst of ourselves. His reminder, for me, has an indelible theme: Italians really do have the best eyes.

Watching James Gandolfini, I have often thought of my grandfather, another person known to me only through images, but essential in my memory all the same. Gandolfini’s quicksilver shifts from stony to feather soft, animal to ingenue, repellent to beseeching, and endless territories between, kept us searching that face for the best and worst of ourselves. His reminder, for me, has an indelible theme: Italians really do have the best eyes.

11 6 / 2013

Lovely Rita.

Lovely Rita.

11 6 / 2013

27 2 / 2013

believermag:

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Michelle Orange and I grew up a few neighborhoods apart in the woodsy, conservative university town of London, Ontario and, after high school, we both studied English Lit and Film in Toronto. Yet wasn’t until 2009, in New York, that we got to know each other. Canadians have a knack for…

(Source: believermag)

22 10 / 2012

                           

I didn’t realize that John Huston’s devastating Let There Be Light is available online. Even in 2003, when I first saw it, it felt like a coup: the U.S. military had suppressed the documentary for some forty years, and it was still considered a rarity.

Of the several documentaries Huston made during World War II, this is perhaps the most moving and the most relevant today, when suicide rates for our war veterans are reaching record highs and thousands are struggling to reintegrate after a deployment overseas. Seeing the defenselessness of many of the subjects, who were being treated at a Long Island psychiatric hospital for what we now call post-traumatic stress syndrome, I can’t really blame the military for wanting to quash the film, if only to protect their privacy. It’s a devastating record; the more we glory in images of war and combat, the more essential it becomes.

Paul Thomas Anderson has described lifting scenes from Let There Be Light for The Master, specifically those in which Navy veteran Freddie Quell is interviewed by a doctor upon returning to the States. Freddie is all but unintelligible in one interview, as several of Huston’s men are reduced to whispers and incoherence; there’s also the fact that the soundtrack was in terrible shape before a digital restoration.

John Huston’s experience with Let There Be Light, which was in part designed to promote the advances in psychiatric treatment, got him very interested in psychiatry, an interest that led him to make a movie about Sigmund Freud (Freud, 1962), starring Montgomery Clift in one of his last performances. Huston is thought of as a quintessentially American director; it’s interesting to note that after the Kennedy assassination he renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to Ireland, where he lived for the rest of his life.

04 8 / 2012

“It was assumed that I would have a fedora hat of my own by the time I was twelve years old. My father had had his first fedora hat at the age of nine, but he said he recognized that the circumstances of his bringing up had been different from the circumstances of mine (it was his opinion that his mother, my grandmother, had been excessively strict in the matter of dress), and he would not insist on anything inappropriate or embarrassing. He said that probably it would not be necessary for me to wear kid gloves during the day, ever. But certainly, he said, at the end of boyhood, when as a young man I would go on the New Haven Railroad to New York City, it would be necessary for me to wear a fedora hat. I have, in fact, worn a fedora hat, but ironically. Irony has seeped into the felt of any fedora hat I have ever owned—not out of any wish of mine but out of necessity. A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me. I was born into the upper middle class in 1943, and one of the strange turns my life has taken is this: I was taught by my parents to believe that the traditional manners of the high bourgeoisie, properly acquired, would give me a certain dignity, which would protect me from embarrassment. It has turned out that I am able to do almost anything but act according to those modes—this because I deeply believe that those modes are suffused with an embarrassment so powerful that it can kill. It turns out that while I am at home in many strange places, I am not free even to visit the territory I expected to inhabit effortlessly. To wear a fedora, I must first torture it out of shape so that it can be cleaned of the embarrassment in it.”
—George S. Trow in 1980, Within the Context of No Context

“It was assumed that I would have a fedora hat of my own by the time I was twelve years old. My father had had his first fedora hat at the age of nine, but he said he recognized that the circumstances of his bringing up had been different from the circumstances of mine (it was his opinion that his mother, my grandmother, had been excessively strict in the matter of dress), and he would not insist on anything inappropriate or embarrassing. He said that probably it would not be necessary for me to wear kid gloves during the day, ever. But certainly, he said, at the end of boyhood, when as a young man I would go on the New Haven Railroad to New York City, it would be necessary for me to wear a fedora hat. I have, in fact, worn a fedora hat, but ironically. Irony has seeped into the felt of any fedora hat I have ever owned—not out of any wish of mine but out of necessity. A fedora hat worn by me without the necessary protective irony would eat through my head and kill me. I was born into the upper middle class in 1943, and one of the strange turns my life has taken is this: I was taught by my parents to believe that the traditional manners of the high bourgeoisie, properly acquired, would give me a certain dignity, which would protect me from embarrassment. It has turned out that I am able to do almost anything but act according to those modes—this because I deeply believe that those modes are suffused with an embarrassment so powerful that it can kill. It turns out that while I am at home in many strange places, I am not free even to visit the territory I expected to inhabit effortlessly. To wear a fedora, I must first torture it out of shape so that it can be cleaned of the embarrassment in it.”

—George S. Trow in 1980, Within the Context of No Context