Scary women

They’re running a series of “Scary Women” movies at the Pacific Film Archive, so I BARTed under the Bay for tonight’s double feature.

Thelma & Louise is an old favorite of mine, but I don’t think Gina Davis or Susan Sarandon are “scary” — they're playing smart, sensible women. It starts light and breezy, as these two buddies go on a weekend getaway, but the fun and games is interrupted by a rape attempt, and the bad guy ends up dead.

Some right-wing idiots got all in a dither when the movie came out, damning it as man-hating feminism or an endorsement of anarchy or something. Can’t have a rapist getting his just desserts, I guess. Here’s a reliable rule of thumb: When right-wingers are hollering about something, it’s always worth checking it out.

T & L offers a feminist statement, I guess, if only because the story is about the women, not their boyfriends, husbands, brothers, or fathers. That alone makes it stand out from the mainly male-centered crap the studios release every Friday. Beyond that, it’s a solid story about making the best of a crappy situation, starring women who’d frighten any Republican, and that’s a good thing.

Daisies is a Czechoslovakian comedy from the ‘60s about two wild and crazy women. They're looking for a good time, which decidedly does not include looking for men — except to fleece them for fancy dinners and ditch them at the train. The director (whose name, sorry, I can’t remember or spell) was perhaps too infatuated with semi-experimental film techniques, which I found distracting, but once accustomed to the photographic trickery, the slapstick story line won me over.

For its courage and probably for mocking men, Daisies was banned in its native country, and like the right-wing rule (see above), that’s a guarantee that there’s something worthwhile.

The movie is funny all the way through, with at least three hilarious sequences that made me think I’m too fat to safely laugh as hard as I did — the banquet for two, where our heroines obliterate a fancy feast made for 20; the glitzy night club, where they won’t stop laughing at the show and drinking other people’s drinks, and most memorably, and listening to a lusty man’s romantic pleadings over the phone, while our leading ladies scissor sausages, bananas, carrots, and suspiciously long pastries.

Sometimes a sausage is just a sausage, but sometimes it isn’t. I was still snickering on the subway ride home.

From Pathetic Life #3
Friday, August 12, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.



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