Every week, I’m compiling a list of links that entertain and delight me, challenge and baffle me. I’m doing this as a sort of curating project, but also as a way to keep the blog afloat as I keep working on my dissertation.
The Eisner Award nominations were announced and while I’ve been losing touch with comics and graphic novels (BKV’s Saga keeps staring at me longingly whenever I stop at Forbidden Planet), I was happy that it led me to read The Oatmeal’s wonderful little short story “When your house is burning, you should brush your teeth.” I’ve enjoyed The Oatmeal for a long time, but there is something so heartwarming, and funny, and weird about this comic that I recommend you all take a look at it asap.
The Film Experience continues its great “Hit Me With Your Best Shot Series” this time turning its eye onto the Bette Davis/William Wyler collaboration, The Letter (1940) a movie so sumptuously shot, it’s no surprise to see such diversity in the Visual Index for this week’s installments. (My own entry here).
Girls Are Taught To ‘Think Pink,’ But That Wasn’t Always So by Susan Stamberg at NPR is a fascinating read on how “pink” — once the shade of masculinity (it’s close to red, you know?) — has become a feminine-coded color. Might Gatsby’s beautiful pink suit be ready for a comeback?
The Dollar-And-Cents Case Against Hollywood’s Exclusion of Women Alison Bechdel could never have imagined the life her “Bechdel Test” for movies would have back when she introduced it in one of her “Dykes to Watch Out For” comics in 1985. (In case you need a refresher course, for a film to pass the Bechdel test it must feature at least two female characters. With names. Who speak to one another. About something other than a man. It’s surprisingly simple and yet you’d be amazed how few films pass with flying colors). After Cate Blanchett’s wonderful Oscar acceptance speech, in which she suggested the success of Blue Jasmine was proof that audiences would flock to films about women, there’s been lots of talk of her assertion and the folks at FiveThirtyEight have crunched some numbers to show that, yes, indeed, films that pass the test make more money.
Mad Style: Time Zones. Tom & Lorenzo are so smart, bitchy and amazing, I can’t help but quote them verbatim when they open this season’s nit-picking and analysis of costume design of the 1960s set show: “Welcome back to Mad Style, the TV show recap unlike pretty much any other TV show recap. We say some variation on this every year when we start, so let’s get to it: Don’t take this so seriously. Mad Men is a show that inspires an intense level of examination in its audience. We, of course, would be the last people to criticize anyone for that, but inevitably two different complaints about these essays arise every year. The first is that we’re thinking too hard and reading too much into it. We have no rebuttal to that except the standard one; the one that everyone hates to hear: There’s no reason for you to read something you don’t want to read. If you’re not into the kind of intense picking apart we do here, that’s perfectly fine. Run along. We’re pretty sure Buzzfeed has a listicle about the “Top Ten Trudy Campbell Lines” or “The Dogs of Mad Men” or something like that.”
Op-ed: Burning Books, One Word at a Time: Calpernia Addams offers what is probably the most eloquent and insightful take on the She-Male/Tranny RuPaul’s Drag Race kerfuffle by opening up the conversation (to history, to culture, to art) rather than closing it down (with prim censorship). A must read.
Shakespeare in Three Panels is as delightful and amazing as it sounds. Exhibit A: