Apr 3, 2016

Sunday Links: The best movie list ever (and other things that caught my eye)

Screenshot from The Second Mother
Hello, friends. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that my absence from this blog doesn’t mean I ever stopped reading the Internet. This means that by now I have a very long list of overdue links I’d love to share with you. Here are some of the highlights:

  • At the start of this year I made a vague plan to watch though Indiewire’s list of The 10 Best Women-Directed Films of 2015, and to my surprise I’ve been able to stick to it much more easily than I normally stick to projects of this sort. It probably helps that the majority of the movies on this list have proved excellent so far — I especially recommend The Second Mother, which offers an intelligent and sensitive look at class and gender dynamics in Brazil, and shows how alliances between women can help break cycles of inequality. It’s definitely one of the best movies I’ve watched in the past few years. I also loved Mustang, Girlhood, 52 Tuesdays, and Breathe (other than the ending). Please watch them all and come talk about them with me.

  • Bitch Media’s list of Five Documentaries About Women sounds like a great follow-up project. I particularly like the sound of American Revolutionary.

  • Speaking of movies, did I ever tell you how much I loved Carol? Here’s Malinda Lo on why she loved it too, plus a great interview with screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, and lastly one of my favourite essays on the film: There’s Always Abby: The Radical Queer Friendship at the Center of Carol.

  • BBC: Libraries lose a quarter of staff as hundreds close. As anyone who has anything to do with libraries in the UK will know, none of this is recent in the least. Still, seeing the media narrative around library closures begin to change makes me a little bit hopeful.

  • Speaking of which, best wishes to the protesters currently trying to prevent a much loved Carnegie Library in London from closing.

  • At Book Riot, Rebecca Hussey lists 100 Must-Read Essay Collections. (In case you were wondering, yes, my obsession with personal essays is alive and well.)

  • Books I Wish I’d Read as an LGBTQ Teenager: Queer Writers On What They'd Recommend to Their Past Selves.

  • Shannon Keating on The Year We Imagined The End Of The Closet:
    That isn’t to say, though, that queer people should have to keep explaining themselves ad nauseum — especially because it isn’t always safe. Perhaps there is a happy medium to be reached someday, where casually alluding to one’s own gender identity or sexuality is no big deal, while we simultaneously stop assuming that everyone is straight and cisgender unless they explicitly tell us otherwise. Mentioning a partner of the same gender should be as normal as asking someone for their preferred pronouns. And why not encourage straight and cisgender people to both announce and interrogate their own labels for a change?
    This reminds me that I really need to get around to reading The Argonauts.

  • ...which is finally out in the UK! My copy should be arriving any day now. Here’s Maggie Nelson on how her writing attempts to capture “the flickering, bewildered places that people actually inhabit”, and on many other things.

  • Lastly, Rebecca Haithcoat writes about sexual harassment in the indie music world.

    1. First of all, thanks for the link to the list of books lgbt writers wish they'd read as teenagers. I am always looking for queer things that aren't tragic.

      Also, just because it's nice with reminders that sometimes good things happen: about a year or two ago the library closest to me (and several other libraries in eastern Oslo - Oslo is very divided east-west - west is rich and white and east is poor and brown) were to be closed. There was an uproar. Now the one by me is getting upgraded and expanded with more room for events and a brand new YA section. It's opening in two weeks time.

      Libraries, they are the best. Thanks for working in one <3

    2. I never read essays so I should totally take note of some of those listed on the list. Thanks for all the great links!

    3. Thank you for the list on LBGTQ recommendations. I had some on my TBR already, but I've discovered a lot of (hopefully not tragic) queer reads.

      I need to see Carol! It was aired when I was in France and I don't do movies in French very well. :(

      1. I hope you get to watch it soon! It's every bit as great as everyone said.

    4. There is so much awesomeness here! Most awesome of all--having you posting again! :D

    5. Definitely have to check out the Keating book, it sounds awesome. And I still haven't seen Carol, but I hope it'll come to the uni cinema soon.
      Fingers crossed the media's new framing of the library closures achieves something!

      1. Quite a few other things need to change before it can make a difference, but it's a start!

    6. I still haven't SEEN Carol (woe). I am waiting for it to show up on HBO or one of those services, along with allllll the other movies from 2015 that I didn't get a chance to see because I am horribly lazy about going to the movies.

      1. So am I - I think the only movies I went to see last year were Carol and Inside Out. There was lots of other stuff I wanted to see, but yeah.

    7. I too am trying to get to the 10 Best Women Directed Films for 2015. Thanks for mentioning your favs.
      Last week I read The Price of Salt in preparation for watching Carol which is in my Netflix queue. It was a bit different from other Patricia Highsmith books I've read, but still very good. Looking forward to the movie.
      And I recommend Dana Spiotta's new book Innocents and Others. It is about the things we think about, it is about women film makers, and it hit me like a Mack truck.
      Finally, I have realized that my huge collection of books read and unread is a preparation for the day that might come when the libraries are gone. Not that I ever ever want that to happen. Speaking of which, there is a new Zadie Smith book coming in November, called Swing Time. She is a huge supporter of libraries and I have been waiting too long for a new novel by her. Do you like her?

      1. Yes, I love her! I enjoyed all of her books and I'm so excited for the new one. Also, I got to meet her at an event a few years ago and she was so incredibly nice!

        Thanks for recommending Dana Spiotta's book - I shall look for it.


    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.