Viewing posts by Shana Wolstein

Rainbows and Secretary

A couple months ago I was sitting at a bar waiting for my LDR-partner to get into town. We’ve been using the opportunity of long-distance relationshipping to explore the areas between us via AirBnBs. Waiting for their arrival I asked some friends what I should write about while I waited (without getting out my computer, like seriously I pen to paper writing, nothing looked up… and this is my memory we’re talking about).One of my friends said that I should tell all the vanilla folk the real deal with the movie Secretary. It was a challenge to the kink of the movie, less than purposeful challenge to my memory, and little could they have known the levels of emotional resonance this movie continues to have for me. I surprised myself in how I my thoughts presented themselves on the page.

 

I remember the first time I watched “Secretary,” I didn’t quite believe anything like it could exist in real life. To be fair, I still don’t and I’ll get into that more later but I immediately related to the protagonist. The young awkward girl stuck in a seemingly neverending “transition period,” the desire to let someone else ...

Shana's Halloween Watch-A-Thon: When Not Watching Twin Peaks

So, I disappeared into that k-hole (does that make me sound old yet) that is Twin Peaks for awhile and apparently that stopped my writing full stop. Things I have watched since we last talked, you can just imagine Twin Peaks is gettting watched in the background the majority of the time:

 
Oct 13: Robocop w/Kit
 
I know this doesn't really count as a Halloween movie but it's got all the makings of a great costume... or like dozens of great costumes. Go check out the show to hear what I have to say about Robocop. (Whenever Kit gets around to posting it, hint, hint.) Like literally, from beginning to end. Kit is far too kind and laughs at all the silly things I say but I understand how dear this satirical action hero is to Kit; with good reason.
 
Oct 14-15: Stranger Things TBD w/Kit
 
I rewatched Stranger Things, with new criticism in mind, and I quickly felll in love with it all over again. Kit and I plan to podcast this in the nearish future so I won't go into much detail so instead I'm writing a short ...

Shana's Halloween-Horror-a-thon Catch-Up Post: Because Reasons

Thanks to my handy dandy fibromyalgia I've been a bit slow to post and also, forgotten to mention a few things I've watched specifically so that I can mention them! All is not lost, I cleverly took notes on my phone that I forgot about and then remembered. My gift to you today? Lots of random notes. I know you love me.
 

October 3: 

Daniel sat down to watch Cemetery Man for one of his podcasts and I was happy to watch it with him. Just as I forgot to write about Cemetery Man, it's one of those movies I've loved for a long time but rarely watch anymore. I have vague memories of watching this in undergrad with a group of friends and I'm sure that has a lot to do with why I've loved it.
 
The comic book/cartoon violence and oversexualized women, the drama of the European graveyard, a young Ken-doll Rupert Everett and the similarly statuesque Anna Falchi; from the first scene there is little to make me feel like I should take this movie seriously. Instead, it's as one of the posters describes: "Zombies, guns ...

October Watch-A-Thon: Classics Old and New

Oct. 2nd

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Watch this movie this Halloween. Watch this instead of watching Tim Burton, who was clearly inspired by the aesthetics of this horror meets Bauhaus meets all the reasons I adore 1920s fashions. Watch this instead of watching American Horror Story, it will scratch the itch for both the freakshow and asylum seasons without making you feel guilty. If a movie is about to have a completely white cast and an ableist view of mental health having the excuse of being made in pre-WW2 Germany is about as good of an excuse that you can get. Lacking the exploitative and “they should know better,” aspects of 2016 does a lot to excuse the negative but so the does the iconic visuals that you might not even know were iconic.

I don’t say iconic lightly, either. I would start posting screen shots from the film but I’m not sure I would stop until I had a book (or several books) worth of discussion of the direction, the acting, and the influence of this movie in visual rhetoric. Part of the reason I love watching silent movies is that film making had different ...

October Watch-athon: The Bob's Burgers Halloween Episodes

It’s October!

Every October for the past decade I have told myself that I would watch a Halloween or Horror movie a day for the month of October. This isn’t a particularly novel idea but as a lifelong Halloween lover I do feel a wee bit embarrassed about how many of the contemporary classics I haven’t seen, let alone the fact I haven’t ever completed this aforementioned goal. So, in classic writerly tradition, I’ll set forth a goal that (while about as likely as ever to succeed) I can hold myself vaguely accountable for by having put it down in text online.

I’ll admit it now, I rarely ever read comments on what I write because of current levels of interpersonal anxiety.  I’d love recommendations, bonus points if it’s easily available, triple points if it’s already on my list, and brownie points for all the leading ladies of horror.

Have I Mentioned How Much I Love Bob’s Burgers?

I’ve been re-watching seasons 1-5 of Bob’s Burgers on Netflix as my steady background music lately and so its Halloween episodes were already at the top of my list. Nothing is criticism free but since I started watching it, its commitment ...

Whedonites Anonymous

Hi, my name is Shana, and I'm a former Whedonite. 

 
Don't get me wrong, I still love Buffy and Angel, his runs on The Runaways and Astonishing X-men comics, and I do still love Firefly. It's just not quite like it uused to be. Fandoms have changed. I have changed. I went to Dragon*Con once almost ten years ago and my true "fandom community" moment was waiting outside the Firefly themed dance party. When we had to wait, the entire line of 100+ Browncoats sat and sang the theme song. Of course, it was a few too many times and woefully off-key but that was the joy of it. That's still the joy of being a Whedonite. The Whedonverse is vast and has various sundry geek-uttantes that have reached various levels of notoriety. Even not so famous actors can still be featured in videos, like Whedon's newly produced political ad against Orange-Zombie-Hitler, and draw squeals from those loyal Whedonites who know all appearances of all Whedonverse actors anywhere. 
 
What made me stop loving Whedon?
 
I started to expect more. Now that he's moved onto working on Marvel movies ...

The Control of the Form

I won't repeat myself by going into detail about living with chronic pain and it's effects; so let's just move on to what I've decided to post today. I'm not just any writer, I'm a writer of poetry and I've been missing that form of communication lately. If I learned anything from my graduate school experience in a masters of fine arts program aka creative writing MFA, it's that while I may love poetry I don't expect others to appreciate it. My audience, when I'm writing, was never as distinct as to feel helpful. Instead, I left academia in part because I realized poetry had always been its own answer.

When we go to school to study we often find ourselves asking why. Why do things work the way we do? A key part of learning to be a better reader of poetry was learned studying under Mark Jarman in Prague. Every day, we would start with the form of the poem. Why was it written just this way? The way the stanzas fit together, the length of the lines, and the visual appearance of the words on the page ...

My Long Term Relationship With Pain

I remember the first time I hated my body. I was maybe nine years old in the second grade, and it was the height of Jenny Craig and the “before and after” picture method of advertising. I can still remember thinking: “someday I want to be an after picture.” I was a chubby kid but, seriously, why was that bad? From the vantage point of a couple decades later, I’m angry. I remember, around the same time period, first trying to talk to a doctor about my pain. We moved, I talked to other doctors, and they always told me to take a shower and stand under the hot water for awhile and I’d feel better. I wish I had kept track of how many times I was taught to ignore what my body was telling me. When I went to the doctor, they told me to lose weight and I’d talk about how difficult it was. I felt embarrassed, stupid, and frustrated that I couldn’t “stick with it” the way the doctors encouraged. Clearly I was depressed, and instead of treating me, they assigned blame to the fact that my mother was dying. It’s not that they were ...

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