Archive for ‘movies’

January 31, 2011

My (Not So) Secret Crush on Hugh Jackman’s Chest/ Jan 2011

by feyruhan
Hugh Jackman

Image by Barbara.Doduk via Flickr

I like a man who isn’t afraid of his chest hair.

Okay, so this is not the most forward (make that forward-thinking) thing I will ever say, but it’s true.  I like a man with a sprinkling of short, dark, curly, man-smelly hair on his chest.  My gal-pals and I have exchanged thoughts on this briefly, and they strongly prefer the hairless chest.  In fact, my friend C has mocked me for getting silly at the sight of chest hair peaking from an actor’s shirt (because, you know, God forbid I should acknowledge my weakness in public).

Hugh Jackman is an excellent example.  But then, he is an excellent example, period, no matter what, if anything, is the topic of discussion.

Visually, he can pull off rough and rugged (any and all of the X Men flicks, but especially X Men Origins: Wolverine, where he wears flannel–“Lesbian lingerie”, as (The Delicious) Brian Kinney of QAF puts it (oh, don’t start complaining about the merits, or lack-there-of, of those films; that’s for another, less hormone-crazed, man-hungry post, don’tcha think?)) , refined and flustered (Kate and Leopold, as the delicious Duke of Albany), and daily casual.  If you’re unsure as to which is my favorite, scroll up and re-read the first sentence.

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January 6, 2011

Femme Funnies: The Little Adventures of Penis & Vagina

by d

Some really adorable cartoons to enjoy! Click Read More to see another two.

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December 27, 2010

Femme Funnies (?): Burka Woman

by d

This one is loaded with controversy. A Pakistani comedian has put together a music video spoofing the classic “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison.

Personally, I think the concept is awesome. I’m always up for satire, and I think it’s most needed where people don’t want it.

Some people say it’s derogatory toward these women, that it mocks Islam, that it will sour relations with the West, that it will “only create further divisions and friction within Pakistan.” All of that is true, and none of it is true. I get the sense that this video was done with great affection, as well as criticism for, the customs of Pakistan and Islam in general.

What are your thoughts? Hilarious send-up, or blight on social discourse?

December 8, 2010

The State of Anime Today

by V
collage Pictures, Images and Photos

via Photobucket user mathias611

Has anyone else noticed that the state of today’s anime is bland, having little or nothing to do with politics, or relevant issues of the times, compared to the way anime used to be back in the day?

Have you ever thought that some people take their entertainment too seriously? That, for some reason, they cannot enjoy something as lovely as anime without having to thrust politics, current issues, and other such things? I have had that thought, too. But, I see now where I had not been engaging my brain! Let me explain.

A few days ago, perhaps even a week or so ago, I discussed anime with Roxy. She and I have very similar views and political beliefs. The discussion was really just meant to be light-hearted, an exchanging of views. But, I took it too seriously and it began to quickly irritate me. I won’t lie, it was mostly because at the heart of the discussion seemed to lie my favorite anime as of the moment (and last year or so!). I saw it as dissing my favorite anime, and I kept thinking, “Why does this have to be about such things? Why can’t we just watch something to get away from the real world and politics and current events/issues? Why can’t we just have simple fun with an anime? Doesn’t she realize that this is important, too?” This is just an excuse for my irrationality. I was upset over anime. Anime! I was taking things too personally. This was not only silly, it was ridiculous.

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December 5, 2010

Some “Enchanted” Evening

by d
Enchanted (film)

Image via Wikipedia

Disney’s Enchanted made a huge splash in 2007 because it did what we’ve all been wanting to do: ridicule classic Disney princesses.

F and I watched the film together one Saturday night recently, a happy little indulgence over takeout. The last time I watched it I was still in the dewey-eyed “This is SO COOL” phase, but this time I was able to see into it a bit more.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Enchanted is the movie about a cartoon fairy tale princess whose evil step-mother-in-law-to-be throws her through a magic portal into modern New York City, the real one. Giselle (Amy Adams) is sweetness and light, she sings to animals who do her bidding, and she’s totally in love with that prince she’s known for less than 24 hours who will surely rescue her in no time. Patrick Dempsey‘s Robert is her less than enthusiastic handler here in the real world, a man who looks on the dark side of life and discourages fantasy in his six year old daughter. Of course, little Morgan is thrilled to meet a real princess, and wouldn’t you know it? They end up a happy family at the end of the film.

Enchanted is both a loving tribute tipping its hat to the classic films of the past, and a sorely needed parody poking holes in all those standards. Giselle washes the bathroom floor with the exact same motions and bubbles as Cinderella, and when she breaks into song with half of Central Park following along, poor Robert cries, “He knows the song, too? I’ve never heard this song! How does everyone know this? Were there rehearsals?!”

Yes, all those stupid princess tropes get a jolly whack upside the head. Giselle can sing the creatures of her forest home out to help her, but in New York she gets rats, pigeons, and cockroaches. She doesn’t know how to be angry, she’s only heard of it. True love is the best thing in the world and cures all ills.

While Enchanted makes one feel justified in all your complaints about the classics, and nostalgic for a time when you thought those tropes were the be-all and end-all, its own story doesn’t quite measure up–except in one way.

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December 2, 2010

Girl Crush: Tina Fey

by d


I have a huge girl crush on Tina Fey.

In November she was awarded the Mark Twain Award for American Humor.

The Mark Twain Prize recognizes people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th century novelist and essayist best known as Mark Twain. As a social commentator, satirist and creator of characters, Samuel Clemens was a fearless observer of society, who startled many while delighting and informing many more with his uncompromising perspective of social injustice and personal folly. He revealed the great truth of humor when he said “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

That is a whopping commendation if ever I heard one. Tina Fey stands in great company: Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Bob Newhart, George Carlin, Bill Cosby… Oh, and Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg. In the prize’s 13-year history, Fey is only the third woman to receive it.

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September 20, 2010

Gather ‘Round the Radio, er, TV

by d

LBJ Visit Day: Mom & Anthony Parlor TV room 1966 60s * 1301 - 57stPerhaps one reason I’m so interested in talking about TV, movies and books here on Subterfuge is because I was raised in a family that regularly shares and discusses the media we consume. The family that posts on Raising Amazing Daughters has put up an entry about how they shared time and interest in TV shows. It immediately evoked similar memories in me.

I have very clear memories of watching Lamb Chop with my mother. I was enrolled in afternoon kindergarten, so the mornings were ours. We would have a leisurely breakfast while PBS ran. I adored Lamb Chop, and my mother felt it was one of the better programs for kids at the time. We would talk during commercials, often about what was happening on the show.

I think the first shows I watched with both my parents were Brit-coms. Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced bouquet, if you please!) is very family-friendly (even if her sister Rose is not), and I knew all the little habits of the department store staff on Are You Being Served? (“Mrs. Slokum, are you free?”) Of course, no description of my childhood would be complete without a heavy dose of Monty Python. I was also introduced to Black Adder when I was very young, so I’ve always known Hugh Laurie as the buffoonish Prince. It was wonderful to share a sense of humor, to have inside jokes within our little family.

As I got older my mother didn’t feel such a need to screen what I watched. We had established an ongoing dialogue, and this conversation has never stopped.

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September 16, 2010

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

by d
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)

Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time, I was only eight years old. As it is wont to do, Disney re-re-re-re-re-re-re-released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to theaters. Naturally, we went to see it, my mother, my friend Yolanda, and I. I don’t remember why we went, I suppose it was just the thing to do. It wasn’t available on video, so it probably had the feel of something we’d better do now, while we were young enough to enjoy it.

I was only eight, but I was not impressed. I remember leaving the theater absolutely flabbergasted. What, I wanted to know, was that?!

It was a film well past its prime–yet it is still hailed as one of the best movies of all time. I will contend unto my death that ‘best’ and ‘classic’ are not the same as ‘significant.’ It deserves a place in history (it’s been added the National Film Registry), as it was the first full-length animation, ever, and the success and money it generated enabled Walt Disney to expand his studios.

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September 11, 2010

Once a Princess, Always a Princess

by d
Clockwise from left: Jasmine, Pocahontas, Auro...

Image via Wikipedia

It has been a plan of mine, for years, to go through the Disney Princess canon and analyze it. There’s a lot of generalizations made in news articles and nonfiction, but not too much in the way of specifics. So lets get specific. In fact, comedy has turned a focused lens on the Disney heroines, skewering them through parody and satire. Drawn Together‘s Princess Clara is basically a Disney-Princess-On-Speed, and even Disney has been able to laugh at itself through the blockbuster Enchanted.

This weekend, ABC Family is running Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which is a great coincidence. It’s the first of the so-called princess films, made in 1937. It was also Disney’s first animated film, period. It is now 73 years old. It has not aged well. I’m going to watch it and write a full post about it. I plan to do this for the rest of the princess movies, too. (And, yes, we’ll be included the Disney Wannabes Anastasia and The Swan Princess, among others.)

These are my impressions of the film, my memories. But what I really want is to open the floor to everyone else to also send in your experiences with these films. For most of us here at Subterfuge our girlhoods intersected with Disney’s so-called Golden Era (approx. 1989-1998, or, The Little Mermaid to Mulan). They were made for us, marketed to us aggressively, and our peers devoured them. We were bombarded by Disney. So what did we think about it? As kids, what did we like and not like? As adults, what do we now see in them?

Please do comment here and on the forums about these films, any of them. If you have a lot to say, consider writing a full post about it.

Pop culture has shaped our generation in a myriad of ways that we are only now beginning to understand. This is one of the most crucial, as it targeted us as very young girls, and pitched us an ideal of womanhood.

There will be songs. There will be big dresses, and handsome, nameless princes. It may get ugly. We’ll see how it goes.

–Your Feminist Fairy Godmother, D

August 22, 2010

A Girl Crush: Vidya Balan

by f

Vidya Balan

The first time I saw her was in Parineeta; even when I was fifteen she irritated me. Yet I thought that she was soft and pretty and could do much better in another role. I grew to watch her in other capacities — like in Guru, which I was forced to watch because a family friend wanted to see it — but I was never satisfied with her as an actress. She’s a beautiful woman and she’s got one of the most expressive faces I’ve ever seen. I wanted her to can her annoying mannerisms (the ding-a-linging … there’s no other way for me to describe how I feel when I see her, she reminds me of a very proper-mannered bobble head doll) and accept something menacing. She’s got a good facade and I love people who remember never to follow through on their facades. In Ishqiya, she seems to more than fulfill her promise. By the time you managed to get past her alluring smile, solid body and breathtaking curves, she’s planted a gun to your skull and now you’re screaming for your mother, darn it.

She stole the show for me. She was equal parts sweet and fuck- I’m-crazy. In Ishqiya wore very simple, colorful clothes. They cling to her body so well. (And why shouldn’t they? I’d cling to her if I could.)

If you view the movie with her as its center, it suddenly becomes a very compelling story of a woman who waited her turn and then got everything she wanted. I recommend the movie, and I recommend her in it. But don’t watch Vidya Balan movies trying to find this version of her again. It won’t happen. She’s not looking for an “image change”.

It’s too bad. I’ve never seen anything sexier than her “chutiyam sulfates.”

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