Day: December 12, 2015

The Unbearable Brightness of “Diamonds”: Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood

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Rather than a necessarily conventional review, I’ve decided to slightly eschew that format for Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood, and instead opt for a specific scene. In this case, it’s arguably the most memorable part of the entire film, and yet encompasses much of the film’s beauty, ideas, and strengths. In a hotel, a band of black girls (as the original French title, Bande de filles, nods to), mess around with pot, eat pizza, hang around. It cuts to the room illuminated in blue, one girl looking straight into the camera, mouthing the words to the song bleeding into the air. Soon, the entire group finds itself dancing, singing, experiencing the song together. Except one. She lays on the bed, watching the proceedings, at first sequestering herself as the newbie, the uninitiated. Marieme (Karidja Touré), or as she is to be known in the gang Vic, looks in awe. And then she joins them. Read the rest of this entry »

Looking: Or, The Unexpected Virtue of Being Queertidian

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To say that Looking takes pride in the quotidian, as it were, is at once a limiting and apt and expansive way to understand the show. Yes, part of Looking’s charm is its “dullness”, as if the queers who liked Queer as Folk are nor just tired as fuck and are ready to settle down for a nice quiet dramedy, but that day to day appreciation of the little moments informs its aesthetic as much as anything. Because what you get in Looking is not merely economical shot/reverse shot compositions and sequences, but the camera hovering and lingering on this group of men. Because, similarly to another comparably cinematic show Mad Men, Looking, its second season now available on Digital HD, is about silences, it’s about touches, and it is, as its title suggests, about gazes. Read the rest of this entry »