SATC2: I see your true colors?

On Wednesday night, I, along with a handful of other women (and one or two men) watched the midnight showing of Sex and the City 2 at┬ámy local multiplex. I had not planned to see the film on opening night, but when I found myself drinking martinis with four other women at 10 pm at a bar across from the movie theater, I simply couldn’t resist. It should come as no surprise that I, true to my demographic– single women in their twenties– am a big fan of the SATC franchise. I have my critiques of the show (SATC is classist, racist, ridiculous), but I also think it makes for really good television. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda may be hopeless caricatures of real women, but at this point, they feel like a part of my extended family.

The story is obviously better suited for the half hour format than the feature-length film, but still, the first movie was OK. Yes it was long, but it had a couple of wonderfully poignant moments. I’m thinking of Carrie, destroyed by heartbreak, staring into that mirror in the bathroom in Mexico, revealing an aging face. Or Carrie and Miranda, significant-otherless, watching the ball drop in their PJ’s on Miranda’s couch. These moments of friendship are why the show was so popular. Yes, it’s fun to watch women talk about sex, but it’s also fun to watch women talk to each other about all the other things real women talk about. It’s fun to watch a show where the plot revolves around the strong bonds of friendship that bind women to each other, as boyfriends and husbands come and go. The first movie maintained the integrity of the show; it had a plot, and the characters experienced growth through their 145 minutes of screen time. You will find no such plot, let alone growth in the sequel. Continue reading

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reporting from full frame documentary film festival

I spent my weekend at the full frame documentary film festival (held annually in Durham, NC). I go to full frame every year, and for four days, immerse myself in documentaries. There are always some duds, but generally, the quality of films shown at F.F. is extra-ordinary. I saw twelve films this year, at least three of which are worth saying some more about. You can’t rent these films yet, because they are all brand new, but watch for them, because I suspect that they might get some distribution in major cities, and certainly, on netflix. Continue reading

Re: 82nd Annual Academy Awards

To: Esteemed members of the academy.

First, I have to say I’ve been quite impressed with the recent surge of creativity. I know that ratings are down, and I think it’s awesome that your response has been to infuse the dull distribution of awards with a little pomp and circumstance. There were quite a few lovely moments in last night’s ceremony. While I felt Hugh Jackman’s opening performance last year was impossible to top, NPH made a respectable replacement. Who doesn’t love a good song and dance number. I love a nod to the tension between writers and actors– most wonderfully captured in the (actually funny) presentation of the original screenplay award by Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr., and I thoroughly enjoyed the inclusion of a horror movie montage. Generally, I appreciate that you are ‘trying new things’ (re: interpretive dance; celebrity love fest; explaining what the technical awards are about), however, sometimes the old standby is an old standby for a reason. Below, I want to elaborate upon this point, in the form of a few axioms that I think it might be wise to consider before planning next year’s ceremony. Continue reading