Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sue's Corner- Finale

A week-long celebration of the fierce Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Whether you're a Gleek or not, you gotta love the woman.

Move over Chuck Norris, Sue's in town!

I have to call the Ohio Secretary of State notifying them I will no longer be carrying photo ID, wanna know why? People should know who I am.

And That's how Sue C's it!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Sue's Corner- The Hair

A week-long celebration of the fierce Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Whether you're a Gleek or not, you gotta love the woman.

Move over Chuck Norris, Sue's in town!

I don't trust a man with curly hair. I can't help picturing small birds laying sulphorous eggs in there. And I find it disgusting! 

You're too busy chasing tail and loading your hair with enourmous amounts of product. I mean today it just looks like you put lard in it.

I want to bring some Asian cookery to rub your head with. Because right now you've got enough product in your hair to season a wok.

To be honest Will, I'm having a really difficult time hearing anything you have to say today. Because your hair looks like a briar patch. I keep expecting racist animated Disney characters to pop up and start singing songs about living on the bayou.

Oh hey, William. I thought I smelt cookies wafting from the ovens of little elves who live in your hair.


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Green Porno and Seduce Me

Best biology lessons ever!

'Green Porno' and 'Seduce Me' are a series of short educational movies on animal's sex life. The projects are produced, directed and written by Isabella Rossellini.


 'How did Noah do it? Hermaphrodite, transvestite, transgender, transsexuals, poligamy, monogamy, homosexual, bisexual... How can it all be, a heterosexual?' 

These short films are a great exercise in human humility and tolerance. They show, in an incredibly effortless and quirky way, that we are very much part of the animal kingdom. Nature is full of all types of sexual activities. Nothing that humans do haven't been done before by a sneaky cattle fish or creative spiders. Nothing that humans define themselves as haven't existed among animals for quite some time.

'Seduce me' and 'Green Porno' also explore the creative possibilities of new technologies. They were initially developed for small screen use (mobiles, IPods). The production costs are low. But, they suffice for couple of minutes of informative and funny videos. In other words, they are a perfect type of smart entertainment for a ride on the bus or a tube.

I am crossing my fingers for another season!

All episodes can be found at The Sundance Channel under this link

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Sue's Corner- Sneaky Gays

A week-long celebration of the fierce Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Whether you're a Gleek or not, you gotta love the woman.

Move over Chuck Norris, Sue's in town!

On gays:

Sue (to Kurt): So you like show tunes, it doesn't mean you're gay. It just makes you awful.

Sue (in the headteacher's office): Gay parents encourage rebellion. There are studies on this.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The weekly buzz

I'm catching up with the wonderful ladies from Women in Enterteinment at their annual breakfast. I am also sharing some love for the Women in Film and TV Award.

Sharry Lansing Leadership Award and Women in The Entertainment Power List.

'In 1992, The Hollywood Reporter published its first Women in Entertainment List. The Power 100 list is a chance to celebrate how far women in the industry have come. But, more importantly, it also forces everyone to consider how to move forward' wrote Janice Minn in her Letter From The Editor. 

Helen Mirren was given a Sharry Lansing Leadership Award. She was introduced by the amazing Halle Berry (for some odd reason, I can't embed the video to Halle's speech. I hope to rectify it soon).

In the interview Helen gave to The Hollywood Reporter, we read:

THR: You’ve won fans as a role model for having sex appeal in your 60s. How does that make you feel?

Mirren: A bit cross, actually. We have to let go of this crap. It creates even more pressure on women, and I certainly don’t want to be a part of that. I’m not beautiful; I clean up nice. Why don’t we talk about the fact, for example, that I just did Arthur, and the cinematographer was a woman, the film operator was a woman, the whole camera team were women? That’s where we should be putting our attention. The fact that I look good at the age I am is bloody irrelevant.

Helen Mirren's acceptance speech:

Women in Film and TV Awards

WFTV is a British organisation which provides a great networking chance for thousands of women in the media industries. It also conducts a mentorship programme. This year, Sheila Hancock received a special award. "When I started in the business, there were no women in executive positions, no women producers or directors and certainly no camera women," said Hancock, who got her first big television break in the early 1960s. Carey Mulligan won the award for best performance at Friday's ceremony. Andrea Arnold won for best director. Jane Goldman won the writing prize.

Sue's Corner- Motivating cheerleaders

A week-long celebration of the fierce Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). Whether you're a Gleek or not, you gotta love the woman.

Move over Chuck Norris, Sue's in town!

Sloppy, freak-show babies! 

You think this is hard? I'm passing a goldstone as we speak! That's hard!

This is what we call a total disaster ladies. I'm going to ask you to smell your armpits. That's the smell of failure and it's stinking up my office.

Sue (to Brittany and Santana): I misjudged you. You may be two of the stupidest teens I've ever encountered. And that's saying something. I once taught a cheerleading seminar to a young Sarah Palin.


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Ginger Snaps vs The Company of Wolves

Ginger: [suicide note] No comment. 

Ginger Snaps- Synopsis
Ginger and Brigitte are sisters. They enjoy your average teenager's games. Like, taking photos of each other while pretending to be dead. They have the usual girly chats, mostly about offing yourself ('Suicide is like.. the ultimate fuck you'). One day they run into a warewolf. Just another day in a teenagers life.

The Company of Wolves- Synopsis
Based on Angela Carter's book 'The Bloody Chamber' a feminist deconstruction of folk tales. Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) falls asleep and through her dreams we are told the story of a certain wolf and a girl in the red hood.

Review (spoilers)
The reception of 'Ginger Snaps' was enthusiastic. The movie almost immediately was hailed a feminist warewolf film. In fact, its writer (Karen Walton) was convinced to take part in the project only after being reassured it is not going to repeat cliches of women that are so abundant in horror. The movie is a low-budget production that exceeds in its professionalism many of the blockbusters. It's a hilarious dark comedy, amazingly acted and with a superb directing. I can't imagine anyone not having heaps of fun watchig it. The only question is, is it really a feminist movie? And how does it compare to the one based on Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber: The Company of Wolves?

Brigitte: Just say you won't go average on me.
Ginger: Just 'cause some gonad gets his zipper going? I'd rather be dead. 

Ginger Snaps' plays on the 'gowing through puberty' motif in an extremely smart way. The story focuses on two sisters who try to live through the high-school. They walk the walk and talk the talk of the outsiders in this world. What they have is each other, that's all they care about. If they rebel, it's internal and more to do with their life philosphy, than with getting waisted and laid. On one full moon night things change. Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) gets her period and has an encounter of the third kind with a warewolf. The inevitable force of nature takes her over. Her body changes, she starts fooling round with boys, the works.

A warewolf as a metaphor for puberty and sexuality is an old theme. Unfortunately, I don't think 'Ginger Snaps' introduces anything new. Ginger changes are dangerous. She is the one who needs to be cured from her insanity. Brigette (Emily Perkins) represents the conservatist view. She's the pure virgin who tries to save her sister from the evil temptations of the flesh. In that, she is resourceful and independant. She inevitably becomes the embodimenet of The Final Girl. Her phallic weapon of choice is a needle, which she acquires from Sam (the emasculation phase). The struggle is magnified by the fact that these two are sisters. In the greater scheme of things, you might see the fight between them as an internalised conflict of the same person.

Ginger: [to Brigitte] A girl can only be a slut, a bitch, a tease, or the virgin next door.

There is also an issue of other people reacting to the stuation. In the first scene, we see a boy who discovers a brutally killed dog in his backyard. His mother screams at the sight and tries to hide her son away. She runs onto the street with him, shouting. A group of young boys play outside. They ignore her and keep on playing. These are interesting choices that the writer made to establish the story. We have a protective mother-figure. She turns for help (outside of her property/comfort zone), that never arrives. The boys are entirely indifferent to her struggle. All they care about is their game. The only connection between the male and female element in this scene, is in the function of motherhood. The biological bond that will be superseded by the much stronger (as seen by the unmoved boys reaction to the mother) relationship with other men, as soon as the boy will be old enough to play outside (the outside/inside symbol having a powerful meaning). The depiction of the male/female dynamic in families in Ginger Snaps' is very traditional. The mother takes care of the household (we see her doing the shopping, making the dinner). The father comes home from work and doesn't really seem to be interested in the lives of his daughters. When a whole family finds out about Ginger's first period, the father is embarrased and doesn't want to talk about it.

I understand why so many have been swooned over by the movie and thought it's a feminist project. On the surface, 'Ginger Snaps' creates a world with two independant female leads. Sisters who love each other. Two girls who are together in their fight. Unfortunately, the film doesn't challenge the established agenda, it repeats it. In the end, we get a story of a girl whose sexuality is seen as a threat (the monstrous feminine motif), she needs to be destroyed. Nothing new about that. A female is denied the power of her womenhood. She isn't allowed to enjoy it. She needs to die. The movie also doesn't work as a parody. It's sharp and witty alright. But, it duplicates the cliches too close to the skin to exist as a satirical commentary.


 'The Company of Wolves' is, just as 'Ginger Snaps', a fantastic piece of cinema. It's attention to detail and an amazing mise-en-scene are incredible. And, despite not being particurarly gory, it has my personal favourite/scariest warewolf transformations. The movie introduces us to an Angela Carter's feminist retelling of a Red Hood story. Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) falls asleep and in the realm of her dreams we discover, Red Hood can bite back, if needed.

The symbol of a wolf in both the folk story and any of the warewolf movies stands for the same. Although, comparing 'The company of Wolves' and 'Ginger Snaps', the latter plays on the symbolism far less and in a less sophisticated way. In 'The company of Wolves' we have wonderful dream visions, populated by childhood's referances (creepy human-size teddy-bear getting a little too handsy with Rosaleen), menstruation referances (the white lotus flower changing colour into red) or religious commentary (the vicar whose too death to hear grandamother's tale). That is not to say that either of the approaches ('Ginger Snaps' boldness versus 'The Company of Wolves' finesse) is better than the other. It is what they try to convey that is really setting them apart.

Thanks to Angela Carter's brilliant book that has been skilfully adapted by the director, Neil Jordan, the story is given social and cultural depth. In the characters of The Grandmother, Mother and daughter we find three generations of women with entirely different attitudes towards the wolf. In the end, the animal is basically tamed by Rosaleen. She looks straight into the eyes of a wolf and makes a decision not to shoot. She almost feels sorry for him, when she realises all the other wolves abandoned him. There is nothing to be afraid of left anymore. She accepts the inevitability of the meeting with the beast. She also realises that the strange half-man, half-wolf is part of the nature, just as he is part of the village. He belongs in both worlds. And, as soon as she accepts that, she is no longer frightened. In the words of Rosaleen: And that's all I'll tell you, cause that's all I know. 

Ginger Snaps IMDB Page 

The Company of Wolves IMDB Page