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August 07, 2007


Asad Raza

Parker!? Is *nothing* sacred? Do you even *like* women? Heh.

Actually, do you dislike the quirky girls more for being unable to completely hate them? If so, I may have a similar relationship to Wes Anderson.


wes anderson has such a strange relationship to women (think back to his two "leading" "ladies" in royal tenenbaums -- angelica huston and lady gwyneth) and it's not at all misogynistic as it is ... secondary...? ... to a plotline that seems to require that hetero dynamic at the forefront. anderson seems to ask that we think more about, say, family or sibling relationships, but if you watch his films, there's a tension that exists outside of that familial dynamic, but which he places weirdly inside of the family.

argh. can't explain. but i don't like his relationship to the ladies. it feels static. or something.

as for ms. posey: god, enough already.

Asad Raza

I notice I (cutely?) anticipated your next post. Or, MD and I both Gawk.

Your take on Wes intrigues. For my part, I admire his talent for visual world-building, even though I think it's soaked in an icky nostalgia. And I think your point is related to this - he shunts women into a place beside the point, which is the coming together of brothers (yeah, yeah). Somehow that seems nostalgic too. As I've said to another friend, he's basically a great art director playing out some prep-school homosocial (father-son, buddy-buddy) issues in the films. It doesn't make him Bad. Just behind.


Wes makes pretty pictures, and I mean that both in the sense that the pictures are themselves pretty, and that the prettiness takes the form of pictures -- paintings, tableaus, sort of a latter-day Norman Rockwell. Very, very still lifes/lives.

And these various hetero relationships - or really, just the women in them - work simply to enrich the hues of those pictures, but without really participating in them. you're right that these films are more about male bonding than anything else -- which is why they feel weirdly and selfishly (i'm so sorry about i'm about to write this) hegelian in their structure. the synthesis produces enlightened boys, but the enlightenment is about their relationships to each other, and not to anyone else.

asad: please don't point and laugh at me at your dinner party on friday!

I was never a fan of her as a young theorist, but I keep seeing shades of Eve Sedgwick's Between Men and her theories of the (ab)use of women in the triangulation of desire between men. From The Fountainhead to Disturbia to Wes's entire oeuvre, women are still being used as a safety-valve/middle-term allowing the love that dare not speak its name to express itself as a one-sided sexual equation.

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  • If Ayn Rand and Walter Benjamin got in a cage fight and then made up over foie gras, single malt scotch and indie pop, you'd have the delightful adventures of "That Was Probably Awkward." Plus or minus the single malt and foie gras, depending on the week's finances. But always the indie pop. Sad, stirring indie pop. And a decent happy hour.

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