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Film, Pop Culture

Notes From a Recovering Lena Dunham Hater

 

Lena Dunham

I used to dislike Lena Dunham simply for the fact that I was utterly and completely jealous of her.

She had everything I wanted: a respected film and television show loosely based off of her life, a book deal, cover stories in major newspapers and magazines, comparisons to Woody Allen, a friendship with Nora Ephron, alarming smarts, self-confidence and relatability. (I think I’ll forgo the comparisons to Woody Allen now.)

I wanted to disapprove of her so badly, so I made myself. I became the person I despised: the woman who enjoys tearing down other women who are more successful than she.

Let me start by saying, I still think Tiny Furniture is a mediocre film, and I have only seen a few episodes of Dunham’s hit show, Girls. I’m neither a big fan of nor a connoisseur of her career, but what has made me change my mind about her is who she is as a human and a woman. 

Unlike the majority of young actresses who have found success in their early years, Dunham takes nothing (more…)

Film, Music, Pop Culture

In Defense of Relatability in Storytelling

Scarlett O'Hara

This week, I noticed a number of film acquaintances and friends sharing a New Yorker article calling the “rise” of the expectation of relatability in creative work a “failure” of society. The article’s author, Rebecca Mead, believes that by us viewers expecting relatability in whatever work we are observing, we are creating a “reductive experience” for ourselves.

The thesis begins with Mead chastising Ira Glass for tweeting “Shakespeare sucks” and bemoaning the classic author for his unrelatable story and characters in King Lear, and goes on to list several instances where critics have relied on the term when championing or lamenting creative work. Though I don’t disagree that that was a poor choice in wording from a man very much respected in the world of storytelling, I find that Mead gives a very narrow definition of the word “relatable” and misses out on the necessity of an empathetic core.

She cites critic Virginia Heffernan’s 2004 comment that relatability is a “weird daytime (more…)

Austin, Film, Pop Culture

Hey, Rick Moranis! Will You Come to Our Party?

Dear Rick Moranis,

We are throwing a party in your honor on April 27th at Wright Bros. Brew & Brew in Austin, Texas, and you are cordially invited.

I can’t afford your airfare or a hotel room, but you’re welcome to crash at our place. We have a spare bedroom with a weight machine! I can make you bowls of cereal that you can eat while you work out on our weight machine. I don’t know how to make pancakes. Sorry.

I should probably tell you what the party is about. We are screening your classic film, Strange Brew, and as the host, I’ll be discussing your filmography with the crowd. You know what would make this screening way better? You! And shrimp, but I don’t think I have the budget for that.

You are very much loved here down in Austin, Texas. And not ironically either; there are many young people who grew up with you and relate to your various nerds such as Louis Tully and Seymour Krelborn. We also relate to Bob McKenzie; Texans are kind of like Canadians. We drink a lot (more…)

Austin, Film, Pop Culture

20 Screenings, Panels & Conversations You Should Check Out at SXSW Film 2014

This is my third year at SXSW Film, and I’m so stoked!

This year’s lineup is great as usual, with a diverse mix of super indie, international and Hollywood talent. There is also a variety of interesting and cutting edge panels that are worth attending.

Here is my list of the top 20 films, panels and conversations to check out at this year’s fest (in no particular order).

Hope to see you there!

Only Lovers Left Alive

via MadMan

1.) Only Lovers Left Alive– JIM JARMUSCH. Do I need to say more? This Jarmuschian vampire drama stars Tilda Swinton and Todd Hiddleston, and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. This is the film’s first American screening, and it will be released theatrically on April 11. Only Lovers Left Alive has received favorable reviews and the poster suggests that Tilda Swinton is channeling her The Hunger-era David Bowie. Stateside Theatre, Saturday @ 6:15PM and AMC Theatre at VCC, Wednesday at 9:45PM.

2.) What We Do in the Shadows– This film, directed by one of my favorite (more…)

Film, Music, Pop Culture

12 Signs That You’re a Female Child of the 80s

Traveling back to my childhood home is always difficult for me because it reminds me of how far away from my hoodI am. This bittersweet nostalgia always propels me to search the cellar for spoiled dessert wine my mother bought on a wine tasting trip ten years ago and get loaded. Or as loaded as one can get on spoiled dessert wine. It’s like instant hangover.

About halfway through my visit home, I typically sludge up any number of childhood relics from the closet and begin playing with them, much like I did as a lonely, lonely only child.

I will pull out my old Mall Madness board game and drunkenly sing the Ghostbusters theme while weeping; my mother will run from the couch to see if I’m OK, only to find me sprawled on my bedroom floor, clutching my Alf doll in the fetal position. She’ll roll her eyes and I’ll scream back, “I MISS MY CHILDHOOD, CAN’T YOU SEE?” and then I’ll stare at the starry night of my glow stickers on the ceiling and pass out.

There is something special about (more…)

Austin, Film, Hipstercrite Life, Pop Culture

What’s Going On With That Movie We Made

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I’ve been trying to avoid writing gobs about our film, Loves Her Gun, on this blog. Though it’s a big part of my life, I don’t want to talk your ear off about it. You all have been super supportive along the way and I really appreciate that. A lot has happened since the film first premiered at SXSW in March of last year, and I want to share some exciting news about the project with you!

1.) We signed with a wonderful Austin-based distributor named Devolver Digital. We couldn’t be happier to have Devolver as Loves Her Gun’s home. A successful business in the world of independent gaming, Devolver has branched into indie film and curated a fantastic slate of genuinely independent cinema. Take a look at their library– they have some great stuff on there! One of their current features that is getting a lot of buzz is Let’s Ruin it With Babies, which just had a feature in the New York Times!

2.) Our film is currently on VOD and Time Warner Cable and will be on iTunes and Netflix soon. (more…)

Austin, Film, Pop Culture, Travel, Writing

The Ten Coolest Things That Happened in Austin in 2013

It’s that time of year again- time where everyone makes butt-loads of year-end lists. Considering I have the pop culture-viewing habits of a 68 year-old prisoner in a low-security prison, I’m completely unqualified to create a “best of” list in the fields of film, music or literature. If left to my own devices, my “Top Ten Films of 2013!!!” list would consist solely of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I’m completely out of touch and I’m OK with that. I’M OK WITH THAT.
The one thing I know a little about is Austin. I write about this vibrant city often, and I try to stay on top of what’s going on. So that got me thinking: what if I created a list of the coolest things that happened in Austin in 2013? After that thought, I had a subsequent thought about brie cheese.
Here is my list of some of the most awesome, inspiring and breathtaking events that happened in our city. If I’ve forgotten anything, please let me know in the comments!
hb2 protesters
(photo cred: me)
1.) Austinites came together to fight (more…)
Film, Pop Culture

Hipster Costume Ideas for Halloween 2013

Every year I write a hipster Halloween costume list where I list various hipster-friendly costume ideas.

This year there was talk of a group of us dressing as the Doctors from Doctor Who OR as various Kurt Russells. Considering the Dr. Who costume is overdone, I like the idea of Kurt Russell, but my boyfriend and a few others already claimed the more interesting Kurts (Snake Plissken, R.J. MacReady) and I got left with his character from Overboard, who mostly wears a mullet and white tee (and I don’t have the boobs to compete).

kurt russell

Halloween is quickly approaching and I’m still not quite sure what I’m going to be. It’s my favorite holiday of the year, but when the time comes, I become PARALYZED WITH THE NOTION THAT I WON’T BE ABLE TO CREATE AN EPIC COSTUME AND I  END UP STAY AT HOME CURLED UP ON THE COUCH WITH A MUSTACHE GLUED TO MY UPPER LIP.

If you’re having trouble with costumes, here are a few last minute ideas:

terry richardson

Terry Richardson
-70s child molester glasses
-buzzed haircut
-clothing (more…)

Film, Pop Culture

Seven Female Film Characters I Want to Have a Drink With

Life is kind of poopy right now.

I’ve been feeling like crap for a few weeks and I think others have too. It doesn’t helped that our leaders completely and utterly failed us yesterday (P.S. if I made a scene or didn’t show up to work, I’d be FIRED, Congress!)

But you know what? Life has ebb and flow in the waste management dept. and that’s just the way it is. It’s all going to be ok, right?

RIGHT?!?

DEAR GOD, PLEASE TELL ME IT WILL ALL WORK OUT!!!!!111111111!!!!!!1111111

Something that helped me get through a particularly challenging few weeks was buffet-watching Jennifer Westfeldt films. Some of you may know her as the writer-actress of Kissing Jessica Stein, Ira & Abby and Friends with Kids, or some of you may simply know her as Jon Hamm’s long-term partner, which is too bad because she’s a brilliant and funny fox in her own right. Though her three features are mostly variations of the same story (neurotic Jewish girl and her creative friends search for love in New (more…)