Anna Karina in Pierre le Fou


Whose Cold Blood?

Its a pretty disturbing film when you realize that the character played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman is far from the vampire Truman Capote was in real life. Perry Smith confessed to the murders before he told Capote, unlike the version in the latest theatrical realize. Its doubtful that Truman assisted in stays of execution as the film intimates, but like the film used his money and influence to play with the courts and penal institutions to his whim and fancy. Amazing that a celebrity could have such disregard for human life and buy his way through. He lived a good twenty years after he wrote In Cold Blood and died of alcoholism. From the film its clear that the disease had taken its toll early on.

There is something indeed disturbing about the gay and lesbian characters in Capote. For one thing, thing they never have sex. Its the most sexless movie that has ever been made. The director pumps up the eroticism between Perry and Truman, and is content having Truman's boring lover dismiss Harper Lee as "masculine". She also never has sex. Though Seymour Hoffman does a great job of portraying a caricature of the real life very stereotypical gay Capote, we learn that the title of his book could just as well apply to the way he got his story.

What does In Cold Blood (1967) have to say about Capote? Time to watch Robert Blake, the man who shot his wife have a go at Perry Smith.

Master Executioner of Sharks and Humans

Munich is so incredibly violent that its unbearable to watch. For spice Spielberg throws in a female assassin that is brutally murdered with coolness- simple little bullet holes from a silencer, that are neat and small and then spurt blood, her body left naked. There is seemingly no point at all for this, for the efforts to first conceal her, then not to feel guilt afterwards that her body wasn't covered by the men who executed her. Her crime is punished in a way that in its subtleness is disturbing--she executed for money, not for political motive, which is why her execution is aesthetized in distinctly vivid ways.
The execution of "Jeanette"(Marie-Josée Croze) differs from the laid out naked corpse of "Carl"(Ciarán Hinds), in dim hotel light --actually no comparison.

The walk on representation of Golda Meir is also shallow and a caricature no doubt because of poor scripting.

There is just execution after execution in this film, no analysis of what was going on at the time with the asassination of the 11 athletes. Nothing revealed other than violence. A pointless film in this respect in which nothing is learned. Other than that violence solves nothing. The aesthetics of violence should excite. Which is why so many analyses of the film confine themselves to apartments exploding and glass shattering. There is no inspiration to learn more from the film, only what the film lacks and doesn't discuss.

If studio execs prefer Brokeback Mountain over Munich it is because Lee's film provides a background and conceptualization of the brutality and repression of homosexuality with emotion. Kuscher and Roth try to humanize Eric Bana in between executions, and off assignment but it doesn't diminish Spielberg's 167 minute tirade of cinema time and space destruction.

Theories around Why Crash Beat Brokeback--like I said, it was a local thing, and like I said the theme of two closeted gay men in Brokeback was too much for 'liberal', ahem, conservative Hollywood.

Gee its so hard for a pimp....

More on the hypocrite meter of liberal Hollywood. Gee we feel so sorry for these poor pimps that have it so hard that their woman hatred is the only outlet they have, instead of fighting for real change....
Did it occur to the creators of these lyrics that confronting racism in the USA allows involves confronting sexism? And what about all the lame ass liberals that voted for this while at the same time rewarding CRASH? Sexual discrimination is at the bottom of racism making the message of Brokeback Mountain far more radical....But this is Hollywood...superficial treatment of "the human condition" at all costs.

The songs from CRASH, Transamerica and Hustle and Flow display the intersection of gender and race themes. Next year they will be showing montages of the fact that films about pimps aren't all that rare, now that films about prostitutes have oversaturated the market. But how can you sing against racism and beat on women.

Happy International Women's Day! (March 8th) The UN still does not acknowlege crimes against woman as crimes against humanity.

CinéFemme presents the lyrics of the award winning tune for the folks that don't listen to the lyrics of rap songs because it all sounds the same, or for the ones who do, for all the folks that applauded the song at the Oscars because it was politically correct but didn't know what the lyrics were about, and for those who did.

Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard
[Chorus 2X: Shug - singing] + (Djay)
You know it's hard out here for a pimp (you ain't knowin)
When he tryin to get this money for the rent (you ain't knowin)
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent (you ain't knowin)
[1] Because a whole lot of bitches talkin shit (you ain't knowin)
[2] Will have a whole lot of bitches talkin shit (you ain't knowin)
In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs in the streets
Gotta couple hoes workin on the changes for me
But I gotta keep my game tight like Kobe on game night
Like takin from a ho don't know no better, I know that ain't right
Done seen people killed, done seen people deal
Done seen people live in poverty with no meals
It's fucked up where I live, but that's just how it is
It might be new to you, but it's been like this for years
It's blood sweat and tears when it come down to this shit
I'm tryin to get rich 'fore I leave up out this bitch
I'm tryin to have thangs but it's hard fo' a pimp
But I'm prayin and I'm hopin to God I don't slip, yeah
Man it seems like I'm duckin dodgin bullets everyday
Niggaz hatin on me cause I got, hoes on the tray
But I gotta stay paid, gotta stay above water
Couldn't keep up with my hoes, that's when shit got harder
North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th Street bound
Where niggaz all the time end up lost and never found
Man these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head
They come hopin every night, they don't end up bein dead
Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too
You pay the right price and they'll both do you
That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin change off these women, yeah


Oscar Beeswax

To be sure, CRASH. was the instructive movie. A preachy movie. Ang Lee said he wasn't sure why the Academy didn't like Brokeback Mountain. Probably something home grown from LA was preferable. But certainly homophobia is part of why it wasn't selected. The kind that no one will admit to, just as no one will admit to racism, or sexism. The why do you have to make a big fuss about it kind of homophobia. Why the big deal. See we've dealt with it before. We're all liberal, we work with each other everyday. That kind of 'ism'. The film that had the widest support is bullshit...its who had the most screeners, pushers and preachers. And then in the end, it comes down to your personal belief system.

But the truth is most of the films were kind of preachy this year--and everyone was selling messages: this film is about this and that, and, oh by the way I want to thank my grandmother, mother, father etc. for this. Its like that documentary from England where these school children are followed every seven years from seven to 49--it all seems so predictable. Peggy Lee's tune "is that all there is comes to mind"..... The Constant Gardener and Munich were two films skillfully made that also went home (almost) emptyhanded. What do the publicists have to say about these films. And didn't Spielberg look a bit sour....

Brokeback Mountainmay not have been the best film, but it covered territory that has NOT been treated in mainstream film previously. Tacky speech by the producers of film though....for adapted screenplay. Fitting in timely with all those messages about the film. And maybe the marketers would have done well to proclaim " This is a Gay Love Story about Two Closeted Shepherds Who Married Women to Hide Their Love".

The award for original song "IT'S HARD OUT HERE FOR A PIMP" (Hustle and Flow) was a total bore. But the burning cars from CRASH and Dolly Parton's Transamerica score weren't invigorating enough for the one's voting in this category. No matter how the presenters tried to dress up that other song titles have been "unusual" this was a real low for Oscar history.

Just how original was this rap song with the same predictable format.......hello? But for the Oscars, radical. Prostitutes are made happy in Hollywood (Julia Roberts), now its time for the pimps that beat them up. And a song to glorify it. CRASH!!!!

George Clooney is Mr Oscar 2006. Best acceptance speech: Batman is dead. But is in the year of Brokeback Mountain ....

Tsotsi seemed to be a sure thing from beginning. Now according to Jon Stewart, 3 Pack Mafia knew how to accept an award. Wrong. It was Gavin Hood.

Joaquin Phoenix gave a lot more than Phillip Seymour Hoffman, far more than Reese "I'm just trying to matter" Witherspoon. Sometimes you wonder. But its a publicist bash, not an awards show. Did you see all the props paraded on stage, penguins bow ties etc.

Tribute to Robert Altman, rather swell ( Streep, Tomlin did it well). Altman's films snubbed at previous Oscar 'awards' makes you appreciate what good film can be...even a special Oscar at that....
And of course the industry is worried about downloading films and pushing the widescreen. How many times did they do that?


Moira Sullivan: Underground Films, Skala Eressos, Lesbos

Since 1997 I have made films in Eressos, on the island of Lesbos. These are collaborative non commercial, personal creations with islanders and travelers. Two are mythological journeys contextualized with film clips from Maya Deren's At Land, Alien, Jaws and Bergman's The Seventh Seal . Both made in Eressos, Lesbos in Greece during the summers of 1997 and 1998:
  • At Land Too (1997) inspired by the film At Land (1945) by American avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren. Includes a so called 'lesbian scene' which has inspired a wave of lesbian iconography 25 years after Deren's death in 1961, including the work of Barbara Hammer. At Land Too is a modern saga made with the infamous Gaul beach lesbians - "Salopes de la Mer". Featuring "Rock Time", and "The Dirty Old Man on the Beach".
  • Vagina Dentata (1998) is made with Teutonic and Anglosaxon beach lesbians and concerns the myth of a vagina with teeth. Modern films such as Jaws and Alien have reproduced the saga and given teeth a bad reputation. Featuring the original Vagina Dentata tribe at Eressos, starring H.R.C., and a flock of dancing Grecian urns. Featured on Canal+ , Paris . Moving Dykes Film Festival, Eressos. Selected for Bay Area Burning Man Film Festival, and projected from a VCR on the roof of a car against a garage.

  • Out and About, the Parthenon, demystified. 1995.
  • The Lunchmaker , (1999) Featuring Antipodes lesbians. A sea nymph serves up two mermaids from the sea who each do their dance. Skala Eressos.
  • Shadows (2001) Two shadows, survivors of a shipwreck, saunter along Sappho's beach. Skala Eressos.
  • Sappho Postcards (2002) Viking lesbians recite poems by Sappho in her garden. This is a spoof on a Swedish filmmaker named Roy Andersson noted for his deadpan long takes of meaningless uncomfortable silence. Featuring virtually brain dead lesbians. Skala Eressos.
  • Les Lesbiennes Terribles (2004) Two mischievous lesbians meet up with a mercenary driver. It happens to the best of us.When good things happen to misfits. Skala Eressos.
  • The True Story of Antiope (2005) Featuring Les Parents Terribles. Lykos and Dirce take away Antiope's home and children. and later suffer a horrible fate. When bad things happen to bad people. Featuring coral reefs, goat herds and a brood of hungry birds. Filmed in Sigri and Skala Eressos.
  • Hypernotomachia Nausika (2009). This is a compilation film about Nausika's struggle for love in a dream. There can be no harmony, until there is harmony.
Other films
  • WORLD PREMIERE! On the Highway with My Girlfriend (Stockholm, Sweden. 5 minutes). Selected for Denver Underground Film Festival.


Welcome to CinéFemme

CinéFemme is an international forum for film and media analysis of and by women.

This is a new cinema discussion blog for comments regarding new theatrical releases, women's film festivals , genres and spaces, the work of women in film and all films with a gender perspective. Is there really anything like this out there? Discusss the latest film by Jamie Babbitt, Mira Nair, Chantal Akerman or Margaretha von Trotta Or if you prefer rant about the films of David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, or Steven Spielberg. Feminist film criticism, gender studies, queer perspectives.