william steig drawing

Breaking The Waves

“Hell no. Absolutely not. Never Again.” This was my friend’s response when I recently suggested we watch Breaking The Waves. (It traumatized her) Yesterday it was cold and rainy and glum. I searched for background movies to put on while I wrote, but my usual George Cukor go tos weren’t doing the trick. I branched out. Shane, Forbidden Games, Love & Anarchy,  Mogambo, and various classic TV shows were turned on and shut off. Nothing worked. I decided to take a twenty minute nap to shake the damp. Twenty minutes turned into two hours and when I awoke, Bess McNeill was on my mind. As though she had been there all along. Sitting in the corner quietly, waiting for me […]

Who’s That Knocking at My Door

**In the video I refer to “Il Bidone” when I meant to say “I Vitelloni.” Please excuse me.** There exist in this sometimes sad world, moments that remind you that you are alive. You know these moments well. Blood rushes from your toes to your cheeks. Or from your cheeks to your toes. Either way you are made aware of its movement. A great energy is felt in your jaw and in the ends of each strand of hair. Your fingers curl. Your hands turn into fists or claws. Everything is hot. You shudder violently (the energy must be flung off or you will be eaten alive). This all happens in two seconds. It is stunning. There is a scene […]

Race in Film: Freaky Friday

As you know, I have always remembered Rosalind Chao in The Joy Luck Club sitting proudly in the rain with the memory of her ancestors (see previous post). As depressing as the movie was to me as a child, this scene remains inspirational. I ask the world: Is it so hard to create more strong Asian characters like Rose? Then I saw Freaky Friday and the world answered “…Yes, it’s totes very hard. Obvi” I’m referring to the 2003 Lindsay Lohan/Jamie Lee Curtis Freaky Friday (If you’re thinking of the Jodie Foster version, bless your heart). I’m a fan of the movie actually. Lohan is great. But Do you recall the Chinese restaurant? It’s where the whole switcharoo is set […]

Race in Film: The Joy Luck Club

I know The Joy Luck Club like the back of my hand…Unfortunately. While I recite lines from The Thin Man Goes Home at the drop of a hat, I carry the script of The Joy Luck Club in my mind’s eye like the scene of a horrible crime. I cannot shake it. It will not be shook. It is not the film’s fault. It is a fine film. A moving film. A film about mothers and daughters. Chinese mothers and daughters. Asian mothers and Asian American daughters. About generational and cultural rifts in communication, and the importance of knowing one’s history. Honoring the lives that have given you life. Remembering who you are. This is a story I should have […]

Tempers: Sweet Bird of Youth

You: If you had to have a dinner party with 10 famous people of your choosing who would you pick? Me: Well I’m glad you asked me that. When planning a fantasy celeb dinner party you must remember that it’s still a party. Gandhi, for example, is a great man, but at a party he might be a downer. With that in mind, my choices are: Jean Cocteau, Tina Fey, James Franco, Miles Davis, Groucho Marx, Nicki Minaj (Groucho needs a sassy young thing to chase) and two Geraldine Pages. One to perform, and one to interrogate. I first met Geraldine as Alexandra De Lago in Sweet Bird of Youth. It was love at first sight and we have enjoyed […]

Series II: Tempers

It’s time for another Mirror special series. Get ready for: Tempers. Don’t worry, Race in Film isn’t going anywhere, I’m just tacking another one on. tem·per /ˈtÉ›mpÉ™r/ –noun 1. a particular state of mind or feelings. 2. habit of mind, esp. with respect to irritability or patience, outbursts of anger, or the like; disposition: an even temper. 3. heat of mind or passion, shown in outbursts of anger, resentment, etc. Marcus Aurelius said “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” Abert Einstein said “Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.” Mark Twain said “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to […]