Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars: Arabs Did Not Win, But Lesbians Did

I watched the 2011 Oscars to see if Incendies or Outside the Law would win. Neither won. While watching I couldn't help but notice the fashion. Being a giving person, I thought I'd share a few observations. 

Best dressed of the evening goes to Mila Kunis. Lavender, lace, and swagger did the trick. It was almost lewd when she licked her lips for the 10th time and bent over while giving away the Oscar for the best supporting actress, but she managed to wurk it.

When Kunis was giving out the award, she snuck in that she hoped Natalie Portman would win best actress. Nice, right?

Natalie Portman did get the award for best actress, in her acceptance speech she thanked everyone in the world: "those who are invisible to the world but mean so much to the making of a movie." She thanked the people who did her hair and makeup, camera operator, 1st assistant, etc BUT she did not thank Mila Kunis, her costar. What happened?

Portman is now married to the choreographer from the film. So I wonder if maybe Kunis told the choreographer that Natalie enjoyed the lesbian scenes a little too much? Kunis would know. Check her out in this clip:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Egypt and Tunisia: The New Arab Man

We watch cinema and televised real events in similar ways. They exist on a continuum of meaning. They impact our lives on both symbolic and material levels. News footage changed the image of the Arab male in the popular imagination after 9/11. Reflected and reinforced by numerous fictional cinematic stunts thereafter. Perhaps now, ten years later, the images of Tunisia and Egypt's uprisings will shift the dominant construction of the Arab male again? Now he is steadfast, organized, and committed to civic duty: directing traffic and cleaning graffiti without pay. We now share in his celebratory public tears while a baby sits on shoulders. Can we look forward to this principled and giving Arab male in upcoming cinematic representations?
The image of the Arab man has shifted from the post 9/11 terrorist, and now, through the images of Egypt's uprising, is replaced by the activist committed to civic duty and to celebrating with a baby on his shoulders.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gemini Reveals Shinya Tsukamoto’s Fantasy of the Known Self

Gemini / Soseiji (1999), by Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto, is one of my favorite films of all time. On the one hand it is an intelligent and visually stunning period piece set during World War One. And on the other hand, it sparingly uses the conventions of the horror genre as a device to explore class and identity. 
Rin's amnesia sets in after washing