Sunday Links 10/29

22852047_1647357885303805_7589722529788579401_n

Lily and I are in the north of France!

Advertisements

Disney Animated Movies Ranked

Way back in late September Collider Videos (one of the sites/youtube channels from which I get the vast majority of my movie news) posted this controversial list: a ranking of all 56 animated Disney films.

Obviously I do not completely agree so I’m here to add my own two cents.

Qualifiers:
I have not seen all 56 films, so this definitive ranking is restricted to the films I have indeed seen.
You may disagree. Write your own list, tell me your thoughts. Please do not comment that I have shit on your childhood (or that you want me to masturbate using my own tears as lubricant, which was a comment I saw on a youtube video ranking Disney songs. Eight years ago. It is a comment that has stuck with me).
At the end of each item I’m including Collider’s ranking.

Continue reading “Disney Animated Movies Ranked”

Old-Style Scares: Halloween Films in B&W

normanbates

I’ve already mentioned that Halloween isn’t a big thing here in France, but it continues to be a big thing in my America mind- which explains why I’ve let go of the crutch that is mindlessly watching television shows for the first time (Game of Thrones and Sherlock) and turned to some more spooky stuff.
Not that GoT and Sherlock don’t get kind of… odd.

So creepy black and white films, what have I got? Quite a bit actually.
I’m trying to capitalize on the creepy and supernatural over suspense, because then (knowing me) we would wind up with just a list entirely of Hitchcock films.

But there’s still some Hitchcock:

  • Psycho, 1960: Psycho is fair game because it’s one of the most famous, most impactful horror films of all time. Also, you knew it was on the list because of the header image, so no surprises here.
  • The Birds, 1963: Another granddaddy horror film, but this time with some definite shades of the supernatural. Truly I don’t find this very scary, but it is a magnificent film.

What did I watch yesterday?

  • Death Takes a Holiday, 1934: Spoiler alert, he falls in love. I actually had a very good time with this film- and Henry Travers is in it. ❤

Hey, that was a good book:

  • The Innocents, 1961: The Innocents is based on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw and it definitely captures the novella’s encroaching claustrophobia and uncertainty. Is there evil afoot or is the governess batshit crazy?
  • The Haunting, 1963: Based on Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hillhouse, the film isn’t quite true to the book, but it’s fantastic in it’s own unique way. Very atmospheric and spine-tingling. I recommend both.
  • Nosferatu, 1922: The original vampire movie, based on Dracula, the original vampire book.  Even more chilling than the titular villain? A wife calling her husband by his last name.
  • The Uninvited, 1944: Based on a little known book by the same title, this is a beautiful and suspenseful family mystery/ghost story/romance.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1947: So this is neither creepy nor scary so much as good wholesome odd couple romance. With Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. So yeah, pretty good.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1939: Not supernatural but almost so, and the desolate moors and howling lend a fair bit of creepiness. It stays.

I love Bette Davis:

  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962: Not supernatural but definitely one of the more disturbing and creepy films on this list (possibly ever). Child stars, faded glory, and a permeating air of decay.

Dream within a dream:

  • Dead of Night, 1945: Supernatural tale-telling between guests at a country house starts takes an odd turn as one begins to experience some pretty spectacular deja vu.

The artsy French are so weird:

  • Eyes Without a Face, 1960: I find this to be a completely amazing movie, both in terms of its haunting beauty and the simple but strange plot. Face stealing.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Friday Links 10/20

It may not be Friday where you are- hell, it’s hardly Friday here- but I’m starting a new (and long) day and will try to get this out of the gate before it becomes impossible. And if this is posted on Saturday, then you will know it was, actually, impossible.

Reading, Listening, Watching

What’s happening with me right now?

  • Reading (book): I’m two days and two chapters into Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. I’ve missed reading over the last month. We’ll see how long it lasts.
  • Reading (poetry): Weirdly obsessed with Wordsworth’s Intimations of Immortality right now.
  • Watching: I have to admit that I’ve been watching Game of Thrones to tranquilize my brain. I just finished season one.
  • Listening: I’ve been playing Aicha by Cheb Khaled pretty much every day on the way to school.
  • Eating: For breakfast, the pudding-like French soy yogurt in either pistachio or hazelnut-almond flavors, bread with doing jam, and fruit. For lunch, pesto, vegetables, and couscous. For dinner, vegetables and some protein type thing. Or my squash tofu curry.

“Me Too”: Confused Thoughts

If you’re on Facebook you’ve probably seen the ‘me too’ posts flooding your newsfeed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault/harassment scandals (as well and a handful of similar scandals that have taken place recently).

I’m of course proud of the people around me for speaking out and identifying themselves as victims or sexual harassment/other bad behavior.

And of course, me too.  Obviously. Most of us. All of us. And some men as well, though I guess less frequently, because so much of this is predicated on a system of male dominance.

I’m afraid of talking about this in such a cis-het way. As though we’re only talking about women experiencing harassment and abuse at the hands of men.  But let’s say that that’s what I’m talking about, and that I’m well aware that there are many other experiences that fall outside of that pattern. And that those experiences are no less genuine, no less valid, and no less terrible.

“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem. “

This is what we’re talking about.
And by “give people a sense”, by people we mean men. Because me too. Because all of us.
How do men not realize this yet? Why does it fall on women again and again to beg men to treat us like people? To take these problems seriously?
I’m really tired of it. I’m tired of posting about being sexually harassed. Sexually assaulted.  I got tired when I messaged my guy friend every time I was sexually harassed a few years ago, multiple times a day, to help him understand ‘the magnitude of the problem’.
I’m tired of women having to expose their traumas just so a ‘critical mass’ of collective harm can be observed and evaluated for its legitimacy and merits by men and the system that is so damaging to us.

Why is this necessary? Why is it falling on women to identify themselves as survivors and victims to start a conversation? So men can care about their sister, their mother, the girl in their class- because they don’t respect women as a whole, in the abstract? Because they didn’t believe that this was such a pervasive problem? How hard are they trying not to listen? How is it so easy for men to escape from the reality that is my daily life, the daily life of my friends, the daily life of all women.

If everyone (men, those in power, larger institutions like churches, the government, and schools) held aggressors accountable for their actions, this type of status wouldn’t be “necessary.”
Instead I see people I who have harassed me at parties or on the street, liking my friends’ statuses when they post “me too”. I listen to guys that I’m just getting to know speak about other women as though they were meet and then try to understand how they can think of me as a friend when I’m no different than she.

It’s not what I wear. It’s not that I’m flirtatious. It’s not that I’m asking for it. It’s not that I’m leading him on.

I was gardening in my yard in sweatpants and a large sweater. It was because I was outside. It’s because I was visible.

I was in middle school and sitting in my car with the window up.

I was walking to class.

I was in fourth grade, swinging at the playground.

I was just trying to get off the bus.

I was just trying to get on the bus.

I was just trying to be alive.

You say that you would love all of the ‘me too’ statuses to be your female friends acknowledging that they feel safe and secure in this world.
Wouldn’t we all? What are you doing about it?

I’m tired of the silence.

I want to see men calling their friends out on all of the problematic shit they say. Because when I do it, it doesn’t matter. I want to see people supporting transwomen. Because it’s not enough to love yourself when a system is trying to do you violence. I want women of color to feel safe. I want rapists of all races to be more fearful of the law than innocent POCs. I want cat callers and train pervs to be glared at the way some people glare at gay couples.

I want to see men, people in power, anyone and everyone who is complicit in this system to experience one ounce of the frustration and pain that women have to deal with every day. To call it out because when we do it doesn’t make a difference. And it won’t until someone decides that we actually matter. That our voices have a sound worth being heard.

Otherwise all of these ‘me too’s are nothing.

I’m frustrated to see people I love begging a deaf system to protect them from a problem it is trying to ignore. I’m tired of nothing changing.

So if you see that someone isn’t posting a ‘me too’, don’t assume they haven’t experiences sexual assault. Survivors don’t owe you their story.
And the responsibility to make a change should not be on survivors and victims. It should be shifted to the people whose actions or whose silence perpetuate this violence and allow it to occur.

But one last time, please. Me too. Please help and please listen. Please recognize that even if you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

  • Practice telling your friends that what they’re saying isn’t right, isn’t cool, isn’t okay.
  • Not only friends. Family too. And randos.
  • Consider that women might be telling the truth when they claim to be victims of sexual aggression. And be compassionate.
  • Don’t judge people for their appearance/gender presentation/sexuality.
  • Don’t treat women as targets to be gotten.
  • Don’t try to get a woman to listen up with alcohol or drugs.
  • Don’t continue making physical advances when a woman isn’t into it.
  • Rape jokes aren’t funny.
  • Capitalizing on the comparative powerlessness of women isn’t okay. Whether you are in a position of authority or are stronger than she is. Stop.
  • If you’re walking behind a woman who is walking alone, particularly when it’s late- slow down. Or even cross the street.
  • Also just don’t follow someone because you think she’s pretty? I was listening to a guy say that he was doing this without realizing the other day because he loved her perfume (#ISIPCA). He thought it was funny and I thought of all the times I’ve had men following me and had to think about whether I was in a populated area, whether I should grab my keys, whether his footsteps sounded like the footsteps of someone I could outrun.
  • Respect us. Listen to us. Recognize your power to help. Recognize your responsibility.

Homesickness in Five Senses

Much as I’m loving living in France, there are some things that just aren’t the same and that give me a little ache when I think about them. This variety of homesickness is a lot less all-encompassing than the kind I had to deal with when I turned up at Yale four years ago (couldn’t tell you why), but for whatever reason this transition has felt much easier.

I do of course have thoughts about why, but that’s a topic for another day.
In the meantime, I’ve been finding it interesting to consider what it is I miss most about home (not necessarily America, but my own life there) and how there are some senses that are missing America more than others. Oddly, I feel like what I’m missing most are specific sounds, more than sights or smells or even tastes (though taste is a close second).

Sights:

  • Autumn color. Take it from an entitled North East girl who has spent all of her autumns surrounded by yellows and golds and oranges and reds. You definitely miss it. Leaves turn yellow and brown here- which is quite pretty- and you get the snow-like leaf shedding in the wind that I love so much, but the wonderland created by the other colors is just missing. Sighing for maples.
  • Giant supermarkets. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll choose France’s small stores and open air markets over a Costco or Stop&Shop any day, but there is something oddly compelling (and reassuring) about that almost inappropriate abundance.

Sounds:

  • Canada geese
  • Sirens. The sirens here sound different and much more musical. I miss our sinister alarms.
  • Blasting reggaeton. There are not enough people blasting reggaeton from car windows here. Though mercifully there are more than none.
  • English. Hearing people speaking your own language as you walk around. You don’t realize how subconsciously comforting it is until everyone around you is speaking French.

Textures:

  • There isn’t anything tactile at home that I can’t as easily palpate in Versailles, except maybe my bed. It’s very easy to miss your bed.

Smells:

  • Not anything really. The thing about perfume school is that your nose gets plenty of exercise and novelty.

Tastes:

  • Good lord home-cooked food. I miss it so much. I am cooking for myself here, but not any of the larger and more time-consuming recipes I would undertake at home. Partly because I’m sharing a kitchen with a host family. Partly because vegan ingredients are harder to find in these parts. Like the French don’t do vegan cheese. Why would they? Their cheese is a national treasure.  But Dad’s pizza? My banana bread? Chickpea cutlets? Cornbread? So many foods.

And of course I didn’t list anything relating to the people and animals I miss. Beings are amalgamations of so many senses. The feeling of a hug or of soft cat fur. Every person and animal’s individual smell and the sound of their voice…