Tuesday, March 9, 2010


She looked like a greyhound with a litter of Labradors up there. All the handsome men from her film leapt and waved and hooted, and she stood off to the side, accepting some hugs, in it but not of it.

I loved Near Dark and I don't know that I've seen a better vampire movie since. Insomnia had me up and watching Point Break at 3 a.m. the other night. It's an anti-distaff version of Showgirls, really, that bad, but in the middle of it all there's a ridiculous, overlong bravura chase scene on foot that still leaves me shaking my head. And her usual male ensemble--all charming whenever they're in motion. They parkour, they surf, they even fly, because they can. Even Keanu is less like a robot for a change.

I don't get out to too many current movies anymore, but I'd say Hurt Locker was the best I saw last year, that and Anvil. She had the writing (which killed Point Break, which was supposed to be that holy grail of productions, Tapping the Source) on her side for once. The rhythm was astonishing. Whenever someone started losing their cool, it would build, and then you're watching the El Greco St. Jerome military shrink go kapow or something. The image from the film that was used in the promotion, of the circle of IEDs and wires, is more than documentary; it's iconographically chilling somehow, it reminds you of something ancient and horrifying, the dust and the wires and the shapes in a circle emerging from the earth.

Anyhow, the Oscar award to Kathryn Bigelow was accompanied by scattered commentary that she only won because it was a "male" genre, and that a true feminist triumph would only be realized if a woman won for doing a "womanly" genre (romantic comedy. That's ours. Tell it to Wilder and Cukor. We don't get horror, action, war, western, disaster, or even Biblical epics! It's so not fair!).

So Bigelow is not a "real" woman; Johnny Weir is not a "real" man; President Obama is not "really" black, on and on. After a bit of this, I have to wonder why it seems to be so much easier to question the person than it is to question the rules of admission to the club.

Back to my cave to try to finish this thing. No, not that thing, that other thing. And that thing too. Plus I have to go let clients insult me and tell me what an awful, awful writer I am. I have been insufficiently demoralized, and I've got some catching up to do.

Photo: Near Dark. Headline: PJ Harvey, Kleenex.


Allison said...

If you ever need references on what a wonderful, funny, amazing writer you are, you've got a whole choir's worth of people.

Maria Padhila said...

Thanks. If only national professional associations wanted me to write classic rock songs about oral sex! I bet their membership would go up, too. But as you know, this musical is writing itself. It is full-out choir baby.