A Whole Lotta Woman

After watching Foxy Brown, I have so many questions, all about the hair. Forgive me for being an ignorant Negro, but were the Afros really that naturally glorious in 1974? I mean, I know there were a few wig moments, but my word, those ‘fros are so meticulously groomed, I watched in wonder.

Also Pam Grier.

My word.

Her body like whoa. Everyone that has watched this film knows this, because from the opening credits, pervy director Jack Hill had his camera all over her. Blaxploitation sure lives up to its name in this bad boy. So much gratutitous nudity. Am I hating because Jack Hill is essentially the proto-Tarantino? Not at all. Foxy Brown is a campy classic for a reason, so I can’t hate. Pam Grier plays the titular role, all hips and boobs in the opening credits, doing her little jiggy disco dance. Read the rest of this entry »


Hmm: Take This Waltz review

Take This Waltz is disorienting from the start, in no small part due to the fact that it is set in present-day Canada and my narrow, jingoistic American brain  could not figure out why Michelle Williams kept saying ‘soory’ until forty minutes into the movie. But even after I finally figured that out, the first two thirds of the film are still eyeroll inducing. Unfortunately, Take this Waltz suffers from Serious Writer syndrome,  an ailment comprised of faux subtlety and other advanced creative writing tropes that tends to afflict earnest, indie films like this one, about ordinary people with ordinary problems.

Margo, the film’s protagonist, meets cute with a guy in Montreal at some sort of 18th century colonial reenactment town. With the sort of happenstance that only occurs in the movies, they meet again on the plane back to wherever it is they live in Canada and immediately have one of those metaphorical conversations, too rich and too hokey to be true. “I’m afraid of missing connections.” Margo says to her muscular confidante Daniel played by Luke Kirby, one of those actors who you’ll feel like you’ve seen in a thousand recurring guest roles on TV, but whose name always escape you. Daniel, like characters in movies with Serious Writer Syndrome tend to do, can parse Margo’s intentions with the keen acumen of someone that only the creator of all the characters can posess. He is also a rickshaw driver.  Read the rest of this entry »

Shout out to Aisha Muharrar

Television is one vicious industry. You pour your heart and soul into the development of a new series and it can still be dead on arrival. Seniority doesn’t matter, neither does quality. It’s a strange, fickle game, alright.

So major props to Aisha Muharrar.

Who, you say? And how do you pronounce that last name?

I’ll answer the second question first. Moo-har-raaa? I really don’t know.

On to the next one.

Aisha Muharrar, a Harvard grad (television comedy writers are an impressively Ivied bunch; it’s weird) and author of fun articles like this one, writes for Parks and Recreation.  It’s an impressive feat for a number of reasons: Read the rest of this entry »

Battle of the sexes; film review style

So I had to watch a horrible movie for class today called Friday Night (2002) directed by Claire Denis. Our first assignment? Write a review. I banged one out and then, as is customary for me,Wikapediaed and Googled the hell out of that movie.

Here’s the interesting thing: female critics seemed to love it. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon raved: “Claire Denis’ Friday Night is a work of atmospheric intimacy. .. It’s erotic only in the quietest, gentlest way. Clothes aren’t torn off in Friday Night; they’re brushed aside with a whispery rustle to expose a smooth expanse of skin, a clavicle, an anklebone…This is a story about two lovers meeting improbably and fleetingly, but it’s layered with strata of tenderness and deep bliss, as if a lifetime of connection could be packed into just one night.” Read the rest of this entry »

Why I don’t dislike Oprah

Oprah with the flippy hair.

I can’t sit through an entire episode of Oprah. Not if I have a choice. There’s something grating about the audience; the fact that they punctuate every sentence she utters with vigorous applause annoys me like no other. I’m naturally wary of that sort of adulation.

But as her show wrapped up filming this week (and she was the cover story in the  USA TODAY newspaper I read this morning, while eating some surprisingly delicious French toast), the magnitude of Oprah’s impact really hit me. In lieu of all the negative black women crap I’ve been imbibing (a combination of taking the class “Morrison, Walker, and Lorde” and reading that ridiculous Pscychology Today article about the apparent scientifically proven unattractiveness of black women), Oprah stands alone as the big blazing exception. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I won’t watch ‘Bridesmaids’


If you haven’t heard of Judd Apatow-produced movie Bridesmaids, you must be living in a sad, sad place, devoid of all pop culture news–a place  better known as the Regenstein Library. Virtually every single pop culture magazine and, a few publications that are supposed to be above all that, have run a story about Bridesmaids and its victory for women everywhere. It’s the best of both worlds, a comedy about women with women that isn’t a romcom. It’s written by women. That pretty girl from SNL is in it.

As a matter of principle, it’s exactly the kind of movie I will never watch in theatres. When people like Mary Elizabeth Williams are calling a movie “your first black president of female-driven comedies” , I have  a duty to God not to ever, ever, watch it. All the accolades about how progressive the film is because women poop and vomit is absurd. The desperation underlying all the praise, the claims that watching Bridesmaids is some sort of social responsibility to women everywhere is embarrassing. No, it’s not some sort of social responsibility. Simply put. Read the rest of this entry »