Yes. I saw “mother!” Yesterday…

The rest of the sentence, and laughed my ass off. Yes I finally saw it after reading too many reviews and random articles, and hearing all kinds of crazy stuff about metaphors and climate change and people walking out, etc. hysteria.

I was curious, mostly from reading Jennifer Lawrence’s experience making it. At some point I think she went to the hospital during the filming. I could see that she had a big job in the movie; most of it rides on her point of view and being with her throughout the movie.

Anyway spoiler alert…

My biggest concern was that it would bother me that it was very sexist. The usual premise: male writer with big ego and small dick is having writer’s block and his wife who’s way younger is supposed to be his muse and she fixes the whole house and makes his meals, etc. Basically he is a big baby. Do I have to see another one of these films with a woman throwing herself at the feet of such a guy; wouldn’t it be better if it were the other way round and the writer was a 48 year old woman with a young male sycophant? I just saw a pretty  funny version of that in a scene from the tv show, “Friends From College” where a writer and  editor visit a big famous female author who has a young dumb male husband.

Anyway, no, the roles were not reversed. If you try to see the movie as some metaphor or whatever where the writer is kind of “god” and I guess the wife is mother earth and the son gets sacrificed, it might be believable as a Mayan inspiration. I prefer to see it as a comedy horror film about a male writer with such a huge ego and need for constant adoration from as many fans as possible that he is willing to turn his house, wife and baby over to the mob and sacrifice them in the name of having  his ego fed. On that level it is kind of a great critique of all that is wrong with that paradigm. Ironically Ed Harris is in the movie; he played Pollack and got to be the big baby egotistical artist in that film, where Lee Krasner is basically doing Jennifer Lawrence’s job while doing her own paintings on the side.

Anyway, if you don’t take the movie super seriously, you can have a lot of fun watching it. I kind of liked the first house invasion where the old couple come and psychologically invade and freak the Jennifer character out, ending with their sons coming to the house and having a Cain and Abel scene. IF the bible was featured in the movie, that scene is it, a really great brutal murder. I can’t remember if I was laughing at that point or not. I really expected the Cain character to come to the house and rape Jennifer, but he just passed through.

I had mixed feelings about the mob; I was kind of waiting for the couple to return to the house and do more psychological damage but they don’t return after the wake invasion. It gets to the point where people are ripping the house to shreds.

For sheer originality in its insanity, the birth and tearing and eating of the baby was pretty great. I don’t think I was laughing by then as I kind of wanted the movie to stop and was waiting for some kind of bomb ending. It did not disappoint. I was ready for Jennifer to set the house on fire, hungry for it, but not thrilled that she set herself on fire too. The sacrifice of the baby and her were horrific and funny though. What kind of mob eats a baby? Really that part was inspired and brilliant. The self immolation was not so great but I guess total destruction had to happen.

The male “god” writer played by Bardem is not a very nuanced character; he is almost stupid and naive and for sure emotionally immature of course. The nosy character played by Michelle Pfeiffer was a delight; I almost expected her to make a pass at Jennifer; a sex scene between the two of them seemed immanent and would have been great.

Anyway, the movie is only half psychological thriller as it goes fully into the comic horror genre after the couple and their family are gone. Most of the funny parts were in the first half.

I refuse to see the movie as some kind of big deal thing about “Global Warming”. It works much better as a kind of new “The Shining” for 2017. If the characters are just a crazy immature narcissistic writer and his over devoted wife, you can enjoy the movie. For it to be less “sexist”, I would have been happy if Jennifer had first killed Javier with her bare hands and pulled his heart out of his chest and then burned the house down, but alas, it was not to be.

Definitely some enjoyable psycho cinema. The filmmaker and the actors could be more down to earth about what the movie is about and what it accomplishes and let of of the biblical allegory etc.. The description the filmmaker give of the movie being a “home invasion” horror/thriller is exactly right, and as such, it is really great and quite fun! People, stop taking films so seriously; it’s called “entertainment” for a reason!

I can’t resist adding lessons learned:

  1. Like all NYC people know, don’t let strangers into your house. Even if they’re doctors or have a PhD. Especially if they are in academia.
  2. Don’t let your spouse let strangers into your house.
  3. If you decide to redo your house using your bare hands, hire help or get friends to come over, at least so you are not constantly alone and in danger of starting to lose your mind.
  4. If a murder happens at your house and everyone leaves, you should not stay alone in your house. Get out and go somewhere crowded.
  5. If you’re dumb enough to marry a really egotistical emotionally immature writer, get more than a house decorating hobby. Start painting, you have a huge empty house – make some great murals, get some self-esteem, get friends, go out, don’t stare at him while he’s trying to write. Don’t  stay home cooking and cleaning for him. It’s 2017. Enough of that paradigm.
  6. If someone kills his brother in your house, you are not required to clean up all the blood right away all by yourself.
  7. If you’re married to the above mentioned writer and he goes too long without writing, go on a vacation somewhere, with or without him.
  8. Don’t stay in a huge house in the middle of nowhere with just your crazy husband if you are pregnant. And get a plan for options besides a home invasion birth.
  9. Why did you get pregnant? Use birth control and remember Lee Krasner’s wise actions; she bravely refused to have a baby as she told her husband one baby is enough. If you end up in her situation, also do what she did: focus on your career and don’t get in a car with your spouse, even if you know he’s cheating on you. Let him self destruct all by himself. Once he’s gone, you’ll realize the error of your ways and stay away from other narcissists.
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What are you wearing?

Warning: This post contains material about suicide. Please do not read it if you think you don’t want to. If you’re not sure, don’t read it now. Wait. It will still be here. If you need to, don’t read all of it…

I wrote a long post today and erased it. Today marks four years since one of my closest friends died from suicide. I’m not even sure the best wording. Died by suicide? Killed themselves? Committed suicide? I don’t know. I personally don’t like saying, “passed away” or “passed on” when someone dies from anything because for me, she hasn’t gone anywhere. She is dead.

There is so much written about this topic, suicide. I know I’ve written dozens of posts that I have erased or not published because it felt like it’s all been said before.

I wrote 2 long posts about the show, 13 Reasons Why, and then erased them too. I liked the show for many reasons, and I started out not even wanting to hear people talk about the show. There are obvious reasons I “suddenly” decided to watch the show in the past two weeks and have now seen the whole thing. I’m glad the show is out there; I liked the writing and the acting and all the questions raised by it. I’m glad they’re working on a 2nd Season. I was a little disappointed in feeling how flawed all the characters were and wishing to see their best qualities maybe it’s because I’m reminded of my own flaws, or because when someone kills themselves, suddenly everyone who is alive around it seems guilty, including oneself and you only think of the wrong bad things that happened but shouldn’t have happened.

There are interesting moments in the show, where there are these 13 tapes of reasons, and some character who has listened to the whole thing, still says that she made a choice and that nobody really killed her. Aren’t the other survivors in the show in great pain and making a choice to stay? Of course as a therapist, I suppose I maybe supposed to have one opinion or another, but I watched it only as a person affected by suicide more than once but especially four years ago. I can’t see the show from the point of view of a therapist except to know that a teenager or child suicide is very different from an adult suicide.

I obviously don’t have a neutral opinion of the show. It was partly a fantasy for me, and mostly a “Be Careful What You Wish For?” I don’t think you could find anybody who wouldn’t want even one tape of the person(s) in their life who committed suicide, talking about anything. In some ways I was jealous of the people in the show, but also saw how these tapes can really hurt people or make things even more confusing and painful. I would still choose the tapes. In real life, most people don’t get them.

It’s a portrait of a hunt. That’s what I call it. My friend loved wild animals. I felt like I was hunting for explanations after her death; I spent a long time hunting. And longer hurting. Now those feelings have faded. Once in a while I wonder if I’ve given up the hunt or is watching this show still me hunting? Yes, we never stop hunting for reasons why.

I posted this picture on her Facebook Memorial Page. I wanted to find a photo I posted somewhere of the two of us but I couldn’t find it and saw this photo of a wood sign I saw in Barnes and Nobel. For sure she would say, Yes, keep creating yourself, don’t stop for too long. Stay alive both on the outside and the inside. Stop trying to “find” reasons or “find out” anything, especially about yourself.

I could talk about my memories of her but I haven’t figured out how to write about them. I will write about them at some point and figure that out, but my memories are not the ones I want. I’m supposed to remember positive happy memories which I do have but they are random. Just as I feel I was somehow cheated out of having some concrete thing of hers,  I feel cheated out of not having the memories I wish I had. I am not someone who remembers things well. I hear others remember whole conversations and I have a little something here or there but nothing so detailed and concrete. How are you supposed to write about someone if your memories of them aren’t the ones you’re supposed to have and wish you had?

I have her clock, which she left in my old studio when she was using it for a brief time to see patients. I’ve drawn and painted the clock and written about it. It wasn’t a gift. It was something I meant to give back to her or that she would use again. Now I look at it and I’m amused. This tiny old fashioned alarm clock that is like the ones in cartoons and has that ring on it, I forget to put the battery in it. Once in a while I use it and it makes loud ticking sounds. Recently the battery ran out and it’s constantly 4:30; one time a patient got annoyed at how loud it was and I put it in a drawer. Then a while later I had it on my desk ticking away and the same person did not notice it. I can make this clock say all kinds of things, it ticks with or without batteries…

I have some of her secrets, the things you don’t write about because they were shared as something that you keep from anyone else.

She called me “Bitsi” starting when we were at Harvard together and a mutual friend started calling me Bitsi because I wore Betsey Johnson clothing all the time. She used to talk to me on the phone by starting with “Hi Bitsi, what are you wearing?” I would describe my outfit and ask her what she was wearing. It was an innocent exchange at the same time as a joke on what people usually say when asking that question. Today’s outfit was not picked out for any deep reasons. I wear skulls a lot. It’s just an irrelevant outfit but it is what I happen to be wearing…

K. I am wearing a grey t-shirt with a skull on it and lace at the top, olive green cargo pants with zippers and black and white Missoni converse sneakers, and of course, Betsey Johnson: a pink sugar skull watch and black skull earrings…

New Photo Series: Pieces of the Studio

Today I got a new idea perfect for my Artist Instagram, to post photos of different parts and things in my studio. Some are the kind of photos you’re not sure what it is, others random pieces of the floor, the table or a door or some other little aspect of the studio.

On Instagram I used the weird filters to have some fun with it. I just posted seven photos from today, taken quickly in a free moment and then crafted a little with cutting and filters.

Wonder Woman: Not so Wonderful

I did not like the movie. It was a huge disappointment. I went with two 9 year old girls hoping to have the feeling I had leaving the movie “Hidden Figures” with my 9 year old. It was a kind of elation I hadn’t felt after a movie, maybe ever, a really intense feeling of the generations of women dealing with living in our reality and feeling a sense of hope mixed with anger and feeling bedazzled and in some sense of wonderment.

There was no wonder for me in Wonder Woman. I’m not comparing the two movies but I am. Sure, they are completely different but they do focus on women characters and women doing things the people at least on earth in the movie don’t understand and can’t do.

Well, my wonder women super heroes are still the mathematicians in the movie Hidden Figures. I like superheroes; I confess I’m partial to Marvel; my favorite is Ironman, at least the movie.

The movie was endless. Way too long. The writing was trite and unoriginal. The plot was simplistic and boring. Wonder Woman was needlessly overly naive and innocent in an insulting way. Why does the first big female superhero movie have to have a main character who is so ignorant and ernest? Why not make her a complicated and interesting person/superhero/goddess? Greek mythology is full of complicated goddesses. The dialogue is terrible. I don’t care what genders were involved in making the film, I felt insulted. It also was racist in a way that nobody seems to have noticed except for one of my clients who wrote a poem about the movie. She noticed the word “fair” and not meaning proper or level playing field, “fair” the color, used to describe the people/gods during the weird origin montage; I noticed it too and that all the random figures shown were not people of color. On the island there were a few Amazonians; my client who is a person of color, noticed that they cast an African American to play Diana’s caretaker. Lots of light blondes.

Anyway, putting that aside for a moment, the plot was ridiculous and the lines about realizing love not war is important and all the other banal cliches in it, I really don’t understand why this movie was so lauded, but then again, I didn’t like “La La Land”.

I have been wanting fierce independent woman to be the main characters in movies since I was old enough to notice that gender was a thing with these humans I was supposed to grow up with and live with. That’s why Katherine Hepburn was one of my main heroes.

I finally found an article addressing these issues on SlashFilm and then realized the writer hasn’t seen the movie. Anyway, it’s a good article on this topic of people of color in Wonder Woman:

http://www.slashfilm.com/women-of-color-in-wonder-woman/

None of the characters in the movie are very “real”, and lots of superhero movies manage to have some “real” people in it, Spiderman for example.

I felt talked down to. The whole thing was so simplistic it was painful. Seeing all the hype about it is painful too. Even knowing that the two 9 year old girls I went with loved it was a bit painful, but I did not ruin their buzz. One of the same 9 year olds saw “Everything Everything” with me recently, and that merits a whole post, finally a non animated movie where the main character is African American and her ethnicity and race are not part of the story. That movie was simplistic but in a good way. Leaving the theater with her, she asked if I liked it. I did, but it seemed like a fairy tale not a movie about reality, but not in a bad way. She then observed that it was a modern day Rapunzel and that was it! Yes it was, and it was pretty good. It’s very hard to make a movie out of a book involving the characters writing to each other, as opposed to making a movie from comics which are already in story board form.

No wonder was felt. And the whole time, I felt this bothering thought lingering in the back of my head. I bet they used World War 1 for this movie so they could make a sequel using World War 2, but it seems impossible they could do it without it just being the same thing; maybe no sequel. Sorry, to those who loved it: thumbs down and sad that a potential really cool feminist movie did not live up to expectation…

GOALS!

With the onset of this new mindfulness “diet”, I am going to try to set some goals and work towards them. One is to post more regularly on this blog, which is supposed to help with another writing goal, my book of essays. I’m marking my Mondays to remind myself to post.

I will figure out how to fit writing into my schedule.

Then there is the Graphic Novel, now 17 years in progress. Not sure how to tackle it, but the goal is to do something about it.

Other than that, I don’t want to fill up a list of goals I will never do. The food goal is to notice some good food each day that I ate while keeping to the no refined sugar. Yesterday it was frozen raspberries. The day before avocado. Today will hopefully be fresh spinach.

I noticed I started writing about my interest in fashion and set goals with it and never did anything more, so I may pick that up.

Thanks for reading as always. Please make any comments!!!

Grids! Grids! Grids!

I’m obsessed with grids; it started a little over a year ago. It’s partly an obsession with squares even though my grids aren’t exactly squares.

The longstanding goal has been: how do I achieve what I do in a drawing but on a painting?

How do I use oil paints but reinvent how I’m using them? How do I get back to oil painting but not the way I  used it in the past and on my first painting? How can I mix pens with oil paint or other paint.

Here are some works in progress:


This one was very different a while ago and went through several layers of making marks and media. I’m trying to have it stay light with the grids and not get too dark.


This is another that reincarnated several times.

I’m not sure about my own rules I’ve followed created by this project:

Fill the whole surface with colored in grids. 

Don’t put two “squares” next to each other of the same color.

Don’t put a color too often near itself.

Make sure the painting doesn’t get too dark.

Cover over big patches of paint.

When I first took a drawing class back in the dark ages and found out I wanted to be a visual artist I had this feeling of needing to cover the entire surface, more with paint than when using other materials.

In another post I will show and tell some more.

None of these have oil paint in them as I haven’t reached that goal. 

I am discovering a whole new world by using paint pens with permanent markers and gel pens. All the white spots are actually basic Bic White Out, which used to be called “Liquid Paper”.

The Sketchbook Project

The statement for the Sketchbook Project, theme: Distance from Origin:

The theme, “Distance from origin” fits this book perfectly. I must go far away from the origin and then come back and on the way re make everything from the beginning up to now through recycling, repurposing, editing. It originates with me drawing in it and then covering and cutting up those drawings, and continuing drawing/writing, cutting up, covering, using collage- going into old sketchbooks/journals and taking out pages to glue in the sketchbook.  At the end, the back cover is the distance from the origin of the sketchbook – the front cover.I wrote and edited and rewrote my artist statement for my first sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project 2017, called “Many Minds”.

I made up the title way before I did the book so I can’t remember what my many minds were thinking.

This is the first artist statement that I’ve written that actually makes sense to me. I’m sure old ones about old work were interesting and made sense. I saw one for a project I can’t remember the title of and the title was the whole point.

This is the first artist statement I’ve felt sort of is applicable to all my work, which is one thing none of my other well written and badly written artist statements did. Since I am very good at forgetting, actually this artist statement is about how I get knowledge from my creativity to make something I’ve never made before but is sort of familiar and completely new. I combine the forgotten completely, the half remembered, the newly found forgotten stuff and forget what I’m supposed to be doing, do a lot of stuff without thinking about it, get more ideas, start fitting it all together by taking it apart and redoing it.

The Sketchbook Project is the only art project I’ve really focused on how the process of creating is for me. I wondered this year why I was doing it again. It’s very obsessive and takes too much time, then I go through a terrible unpleasant slightly pleasant process and it takes forever to finish, but I have to finish it.

Here is my statement again; given the theme of origin and distance, maybe it reads differently after :

 

 

The theme, “Distance from origin” fits this book perfectly. I must go far away from the origin and then come back and on the way re make everything from the beginning up to now through recycling, repurposing, editing. It originates with me drawing in it and then covering and cutting up those drawings, and continuing drawing/writing, cutting up, covering, using collage- going into old sketchbooks/journals and taking out pages to glue in the sketchbook.  At the end, the back cover is the distance from the origin of the sketchbook – the front cover.

New Idea: I love fashion…

This is an example of a mid-rise reset button. For example, I notice in a bigger way what my constant interest in and excitement about clothing is about. I knew I loved fashion and putting together outfits, that I’m really a visual person and drawn in by the creativity of fashion.

Putting this together, I saw how I can see this in a much more meaning way; coinciding with me realizing I’m not having a mid-life crisis or mid-life review; I am creating my own mid-life reset button.

I already had my “crisis” about thinking I was having a “mid-life crisis. I pondered it more and realized I want my mid-life experience in the here and know to be a meaningful process of tying together things from my past self and seeing how they connect in a meaningful way. If I didn’t live awakened and fully present in my past, I can do it now and see what there is to see. I thought it was extremely narcissistic to be looking at this whole topic. I should be caring about the world now, putting aside irrelevant activities or using them as breaks. Maybe that is true. I guess it’s my life, and I am actually participating in the fight for democracy and civil rights and really to get rid of the current president…

Anyway, I have decided to post images of outfits, maybe daily probably once in a while. Take photos of the different aspects of the outfit, talk about what it means for me if it’s connected to something important. Like the headband I’m wearing. It has story. The other clothes I’m wearing have stories too.

Maybe in posting more often, I will pick a specific part of the outfit, including accessories and just muse about that in order to not get overwhelmed. I’ve given up on worrying about readers of this blog getting overwhelmed or confused. I’m never going to be able to unconfused anyone. It’s blog: you’re allowed to be narcissistic and people often look at pictures, read a bit, and move on.