Month: July, 2014

Notes on Masculinity, Part Two: Five Easy Pieces; Night and Day

THE WOMEN
These lusty, lost boys.
So in love with all the
Girls – their toys. So often
Praising the wonder
Of their bodies and breasts
But often failing to
Understand what lies
Yonder.

five_easy_pieces_drinkingnight_and_day_drinkingfive_easy_pieces_cheating_2night_and_day_cheatingfive_easy_pieces_comfort night_and_day_comfort_2

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Notes on Masculinity, Part One: Five Easy Pieces; Night and Day

What makes a man a man? It’s a question that hangs over both Bobby and Sung-Nam in Five Easy Pieces and Night and Day, respectively.

ALONENESS
Man is a solitary creature.
Or so he likes to say.
He often longs for company.
He often wants to play.
Yet in his heart
He feels the void
And, perhaps,
He cannot stay. So
He does what he’s
Always done.
He runs.
He runs
Away.

five_easy_pieces_alonenight_and_day_alonefive_easy_pieces_long_distance night_and_day_long_distance

 

 

Movie Lessons: Before Sunrise (1995)

before_sunrise_1 before_sunrise_2

Masturbation for Beginners

Hand slips down waistband.
Rub or Tug with childish glee.
Clean up with Kleenex.
And happy you will be.

Movie Lessons: The Threepenny Opera (1931)

movie_lessons_threepenny_opera

Movie Lessons: Every-Night Dreams (1933)

movie_lessons_every_night_dreams_1 movie_lessons_every_night_dreams_2

The Lydia Davis Project: Therapist

(based on Lydia Davis’ short story ‘Therapist’)

Why do I think the way I do?
Because of you I 
Think I do.
Because you make me think
I do. I think I think
Because of you.
I’ve always thought I 
Think I do. Because
Of you I’m sure I do.
The others think I 
Think so too. But I’m sure
I do because 
Of you.

The Lydia Davis Project: The Mother

(based on Lydia Davis’ short story ‘The Mother’)

There she is, pointing at me, poor girl,
Disappointing daughter, a woeful
Sight – these are her words
For me. This is how it is.

I long for times we were close with
One another. When notions of
Happy family panned out
To utter satisfaction.

Now she tells me the songs I
Sing aren’t sweet enough.
The meals I cook are
Not to her liking.

Please, mother, stop
Undermining me!
Barbed words
Tear me up.

Games she plays
To cut me
Down to
Size.

Movie Lessons: Days of Being Wild (1990)

movie_lessons_days_of_being_wild_1 movie_lessons_days_of_being_wild_2

Why I Watch Sailor Moon

sailor moon title

sailor scouts
With the recent reboot of Sailor Moon it seems like an appropriate time to reevaluate why its so popular. For the uninitiated, Sailor Moon is the story of Usagi, a fourteen year old Japanese schoolgirl who is destined to fight forces of evil known as the Dark Kingdom, under the disguise of Sailor Moon. And, along the way, she meets other Sailor Scouts (yes, that’s what they’re called) who she becomes close friends with. Its basic premise is very typical of the ‘Magical Girl’ sub-genre, in Japanese animation, that it belongs to.

sailor moon transformation

There will be a lot of people who love and loathe the changes in the reboot (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal). It will supposedly follow the original manga incarnation of the story a lot closer. I don’t know what that entails exactly, but I’m interested in finding out. For most people, though, this is just the perfect excuse to revisit the good ol’ days. It will remind them of childhood, days of being innocent, ice-cream and lollipops. All that sort of stuff. There is a chasteness and romantic quality to something like Sailor Moon. It’s about good triumphing over evil and the importance of friendship and caring. Its qualities are in direct opposition of the merits of a show like Game of Thrones, where cruelty and calculated decision-making rule the roost. In Sailor Moon, the most important thing is love.

princess dream

I know I’ll be watching it for those exact reasons. To cling or return to something more wholesome and earnest, something that seems long forgotten in our present age of entertainment. Because, despite the cruel and bleak qualities of a lot of the stuff I watch, sometimes you just want to escape from the real world. Sometimes being reminded about mankind’s failures and poorer qualities seems a bit unnecessary.

So, welcome back, Sailor Moon!

You can watch the first episode of the reboot online at crunchyroll.com here.