I met Rebekah Suellau – writer, director, and now producer, of Kept Woman – in film school. She directed my very first piece of theatre. We wrote screenplays, met for tea, and learned (then forgot) how to run electric on a film set together.
When I learned that Rebekah would be bringing Kept Woman, a play I first read more than four years ago, to an Off-Broadway stage this fall, I was floored. That’s no small feat. I called to talk more about it (as one does when your friend announces her anywhere-near-Broadway debut).
What follows is our conversation about Kept Woman.
Edited for length, and also clarity (but definitely not language – #sorrynotsorry).
My hope is that, although I normally cover film on this blog, you’ll see the parallels between crafting a work for the stage and for the screen. And also, that you’ll see this group of women creating a work of art together, and be inspired by it.
The true story of three (sort-of) strangers, who’ve sat through all eight episodes of Netflix’s Stranger Things, talked about it, wrote about it, and found out what happens when bitches stop being polite, and start getting…
Yelchin passed away Sunday morning in Los Angeles.
Taking a look today, I’m struck even more that at only 27 he has left us with such a large reel of film.
If you recognize only his face, it’s probably from the latest Star Trek franchise. Yelchin was funny and bright in that part. A scene stealer to be sure. You can see him play Chekov one last time in Star Trek Beyond, in theaters next month.
If you’ve been following Yelchin’s career (and it has been a career’s worth of work), you know he’s been around a very long time.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for creativity and me.
I’m tired. I’m anxious. I’m having a hard time sitting down and focusing long enough to write the blog posts I’d like to. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to give you advice on “how to take shit,” something I’m usually pretty good at, when I feel like shit myself, a majority of the time.
But creativity doesn’t rest, even when you do.
Last night, I was reminded of this article I wrote the last time I felt like this. It was something I wrote for my artist’s blog – something I’ve been working to relaunch for the last few months – and while I was up into the wee hours last night (this morning, ugh…) I thought, instead of lamenting over my lack of posting, or giving you advice on taking criticism that I’m not yet ready to give, I should give my own advice a re-read.
And then I thought, maybe you’d like to read it to. Because everybody has their off days – but your creativity doesn’t have to.
When I posted the music video for Blackstar upon its release, I didn’t know what to make of it. Like his previous work, Blackstar was strange, often inexplicable, and surreal. It wasn’t colorful Bowie, or garish Ziggy. It was darker and drearier and, frankly, scarier. I watched it, I enjoyed it, and then I moved on, excited for the next reincarnation from the Rockstar’s Rockstar.
I revisited Blackstar Monday afternoon. The oddity had turned to a stark simplicity. These were the images of a Starman fighting a battle, preparing to leave this Earth.
The power of an artist is to create lasting visions. It is the job of the critic to make meaning from them.
By offering a close-reading of Blackstar, I will attempt to make some meaning of its images. And the meaning I find may bring me (and maybe you) some comfort, knowing that it was placed there intentionally. And therefore, giving David Bowie’s death a meaning and an artistic purpose.
This was my first question when The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Director Roundtable appeared on my Devour feed this week. Women directors in Hollywood exist, do they not? Many worked brilliantly last year, didn’t they? Their absence, probably because I am a woman, was glaring from just the screenshot – six men. Six men this industry periodical deems “the directors behind the year’s most acclaimed films.” The directors at this roundtable are as follows:
Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful 8)
David O’Russell (Joy)
Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs)
Tom Hooper (The Danish Girl)
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu (The Revenant)
Ridley Scott (The Martian)
Then there’s my second question. Besides Iñarritu (hailing from Mexico),
I’m not going to lie – I feel an eensy-weensy bit bad about doing this to you on a Feature Friday.
But, it’s Christmas time, and this is the perfect Christmas short film. It’s funny (in a way). Eccentric. Seasonal. Dare I say, topical (treat people – and plants – nicely, kids). And it makes me feel better about not having a Christmas tree this year.
Just so we’re clear, this one is NSFW. Blood, guts, gore, language, mild (and gross) sexual situations, anthropomorphic trees, and, well, a thing with a cat. GOOD LUCK TO YOU, would-be viewers – this one requires a sense of humor and a strongish stomach (although, let’s be real, there’s nothing realistic going on here, so even the squeamish should be able to power through).
But seriously, this is enjoyable holiday-horror schlock, and I need to know what you think (tell me I’m not alone in my love!)