w KE

I told her about 20th Century Women: when Greta Gerwig’s character asks Dorothea (Annette Benning), ‘Was having Jamie the most important thing in your life?’ Dorothea is silent & thoughtful and then says, ‘Yes, it was.’

I told KE, If Greta doesn’t have a baby, then it’s not like nothing important will happen to her — the most important thing will be something else. There will still be an important thing.

And for some women — even if they have babies — having a baby isn’t the most important thing.


3/12/17, all the time

Moonlight (2016)

I haven’t watched it again but think about it a lot. I’ve moved toward thinking about it vs me. I still don’t want the longing narrative, but it was an astonishing movie.


3/11/17, at home

Kung Fu Master (1988), Agnes Varda, w Jane Birkin, of course

kung fu master 3

kung fu master 1

kung fu master 2

kung fu master 5

kung fu master 2

kung fu master 6

Aaagh. It’s ridiculous that I have to spend time at a job. I have other things to do. I have essays to write.

Beginning with one about this movie. The essay would include:

  • adolescence sexuality and AIDS
  • 40 yr olds & sex
  • mothers & daughters
  • imaginary play
  • guilt, remorse, repulsion, longing
  • friendship
  • feminism
  • secrets


3/8/16, at home

Damsels in Distress (2012), Whit Stilman


Of course I love the linguistic formality and bizarre emotional responses.

But ugh, I can’t stand the way it talked about anal sex. The constant joke about how terrible and disgusting it is.

But….tap dancing! I’m warming up to Greta Gerwig.


3/5/17, at Small Back Room, w PC & SF, etc

secret show

3/2/17, at home

The Anniversary Party (2001), Jennifer Jason Leigh & Alan Cumming

anniversary party 1

Anniversary Party 2

Anniversary Party 3

The ‘featurette’ –or whatever it’s called– was illuminating.

  1. they were inspired by Dogma 95
  2. the toasts were improvised, so the responses were real

It is impossible to believe that he was ever attracted to her.

I feel so sorry for both of them, so worried about their future.

Led to a long exchange w SF abt great party scenes, what would be a good double-feature (The Celebration? Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Woman Under the Influence?), and the pleasure of a plot built on tension followed by explosion/relief.

2/20/17, at Oz Family Farm, w ZK

Swing Time (1936), Fred & Ginger

top hat 1

My favorite. They’re so joyful.

2/18/17, at the Cal

I Am Not Your Negro (2016), Raoul Peck [James Baldwin]

I am not your negro 1

I am not your negro 2

Many thoughts. Will watch it again. One thought–which isn’t the point of the movie: Baldwin’s words were read by Samuel L. Jackson, who has the straightest voice ever, which buries Baldwin’s queerness.


a whole series

Top Hat (1935), Shall We Dance (1937)

shall we dance  shall we dance 2

The character actors/comics are under appreciated, they’re hilarious.

top hat edward

Edward Everette Horton & Helen Broderick

Also, as a source for interior design advice. ZK kept saying, I need that! That’s perfect!

top hat 2

2/6/17, at SF’s, w SF

Toni Erdmann (2016), Maren Ade


I cannot believe this movie exists. This is one of strangest movies I’ve ever seen. I love it so deeply. (Even though I’m not great with parent-movies, let alone father-movies.) I have so many thoughts and questions.

2/6/17, at Small Back Room, w PC, etc

Come and Get It (1936), Frances Farmer, Joel McCrea

come and get it 1

A primer on the logging industry  & capitalism, plus latent feminism. The son is an environmentalist.

2/4/17, at home

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994), Ang Lee


2/3/17, at home

Gilda (1947), Rita Hayward


How little did I like this movie.

1/25/17, at Noir City (Castro Theater), w ZK, etc

Once a Thief (1966), Alain Delon & Ann-Margaret

Once A Thief

He looks exactly like AFG. Which is weird because their book just came out and, although I don’t want it in my actual house, I was glad to see my name in the back.  I keep reading chapters whenever I can–the e-flux and Poetry Foundation, etc etc.

The more important thing is that after the movie we went to Twin Peaks, as we do every year. Traditions.


1/22/17, at Small Back Room, w PC, etc

Gold Diggers of ’33 (1933),



Pre-code! Busby Berkeley. Side-boob.

The only/best way to end the horrendous weekend, begin this terrifying reality.

1/11/17, at Embarcadero, w SF

20th Century Women (2016), Mike Mills





I cried. The actual movie-going-experience was absurd — a smelly man next to SF and a long line in the cold ahead of time — but as the film ended, I was crying and buried my head in SF’s shoulder.

I think I cried because it was such a perfect movie. Beautifully shot and the characters, and the filmmaking. And I loved them all.

And despite the cold and the smelly man, I felt perfect there in the theater. I was fully watching the movie.

Afterwards we were spies in a hotel bar and made plans for the future.

1/6/17, in Bernal Heights, w SF

Secret Ceremony (1968) Joseph Losey




Re-watching. Losey is stranger, more compelling and distressing than I remembered.

For the first time in what seems like months, I was excited about the movie afterwards. I have no hesitations about it. I’m not going to recommend it to anyone besides SF, but I’m excited about films again.

“… there is something about people who have become addicted to other people standing by them beyond some outer limit of rejection and yet abandoning them just one minute too soon—well, in all the elaborate fetishism and dragging prose, there is a touching story of people not helping enough.” Renata Alder, NYTimes review, 1968

12/26/16, at home

My Man Godfrey (1936)


She delivers him–like the sheep–to win a scavenger hunt.

12/26/16, at home

And the Band Played On (1993)



12/24/16, at Cinefamily, w NJW & LW, & their friends

Tangerine (2015)



I had trouble with the power dynamic between the (white, cisgendered, straight) director and the women at the center of the story. Who gets to decide what the ‘story’ is, who these women are? When the filming is done, whose life has been changed?

It seems meaningful that the only professional actors were white, cisgendered men.

I always have trouble with filmmakers entering communities not their own and using non-professional actors to tell stories not their own. That was part of my problem with Spring Night, Summer Night.

12/23/16, at Archlight, w NJW & LW

Rogue One (2016)




It’s not surprising that the male characters are more interesting that the (one) woman character.

But, it is kind of interesting that these men were driven by guilt and remorse. Those are such adult feelings.


12/18/16, at the Small Back Room, w PC, etc

Den enfaldige mördaren [The Simple Minded Murderer] (1982)




He’s abused. We hear his voice and he barely registers the pain of his own life. The only people to exhibit kindness are punished. Angels visit him.

I want to watch it again, immediately, and, also, never see it again.

It was a lovely print, although I can’t remember if it was 16mm or 35mm. P would be surprised by my forgetfulness.

12/9/16, at the Shattuck

Moonlight (2016) Barry Jenkins



As gorgeous as expected, the plot was perfect. I love how slow it was.

And, it looked at men so lovingly, revealed the complexity of manhood in a way that made it more interesting to me. I feel very tender toward them.

But right now I’m tired of ‘longing’ as a narrative, I’m ready for a different story.

12/3/16, at the Regal, w CL

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)


We missed Arrival, this was the next best option. We lasted 20 minutes.

There was a moment when CL thought Katherine Waterston had a girlfriend, but it was just an ingenue sister.

I’ve had a crush on Katherine Waterston since Inherent Vice, but I like this outfit better.

We went out for drinks afterwards.

11/27/16, at the Small Back Room, w PC

Pauline at the Beach (1983), Eric Rohmer




‘Old’ men are creepy.

Arielle Dombasle has weird hair and wears insane shirts.

Pauline was content to be a teenager. Through her eyes, adults are ridiculous.

I was aware of how the subtitles kept my eyes busy, more busy than Rohmer wanted.

We watched it on 16mm. P sold the print the next day.


11/4/16, at the California

The Handmaiden (2016), Park Chan-Wook


I’m glad I didn’t go with any of my usual movie companions. S & T also saw it, S is hoping we can talk about it this afternoon.

Again, as with Fingersmith earlier this year, there were things I did and didn’t want to think about.

10/28/16, home

Bring it On (2000)


I should admit that I like watching certain movies–especially when I’m alone–simply because they were recommended by other people.

10/23/16, at Small Back Room, w PC, etc

FEED (1992)




Composed entirely of outtakes from the 1992 New Hampshire primary.

The 1992 election is the first one I could vote in, I know I voted but I have no idea where. Was it absentee? I remember voting for the ‘full slate’ in Chicago – push one button and vote for the whole Democratic ticket – but that couldn’t have been the 1992 election, why would I have been in Chicago in mid-November.

I love documentaries that don’t have narration. I like knowing that there is an eye but being left to figure it out on my own.

I had forgotten about Paul Tsongos. He was charming.

Again, I was distracted. Social life, emotional life, overriding the movie, making it difficult to concentrate.

Sometime the week of 10/10/16, maybe at my house, maybe at PC’s

Cabaret (1972)



I’m expanding my imagination and filling in the gaps in my education.

Just to be clear that I don’t need anyone else’s influence to miss screenings, including unique ones that I’ve bought tickets to….

9/23/16, at the New Nothing w/K & C

Bruce Baille in person


Got distracted, thought I had the wrong day, was mixed up about the location, went for a long walk.

9/14/16, at the PFA

Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989), Trinh T. Minha in person


Decided writing poetry was more important.

9/19/16, at Small Back Room, w PC, etc

Point of Order (1964)


PC’s description:

This non-narrative “documentary” makes no claim to being “a precise record” of the legendary 188 hours of “Army/McCarthy” Senate hearings. One of the earliest television “events” found Senator Joseph McCarthy attempting to reveal Communist infiltration of the U.S. Army, all broadcast live to a spellbound television audience and recorded on “kinescope” film, in one of the lowest points in the Communist witch hunts of the twentieth century (and also McCarthy’s undoing).

Some of my thoughts:

The Army/McCarthy hearings began because Roy Cohn tried to get better military assignments for G. David Schine. Watching ‘Point of Order’ I was so uncomfortable–the homophobia behind the proceedings, the ‘pixie’ question, Cohn’s smirk. Cohn was a bad man–we’re still living his influence with Trump–but I felt sorry for him.

And I wanted to be watching the movie with someone similarly uncomfortable, I wanted someone to talk with about what it means that homophobia is what undid McCarthy.

I’m not being as smart as I could be about this. I want to think it through with someone else.

9/10/16, at home

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)


Growing up, our other favorite movies were Star Wars, Harold and Maude, and Eating Raoul.

I remember playing a game: start with one line from Star Wars and go back and forth, line by line, until one of us didn’t know the next line.

Watching this, I realized (1) I bet we could play that game with this movie, even now, (2) John Lennon was insufferable, and (3) the filmmaking is much more interesting than I understood.

I also realize that my memories are only mine, the memories of the big sister. I don’t know which movies he loved, if he remembers that game, what he thinks about John Lennon.

9/5/16, at Metreon, w KT

Star Trek: Beyond (2016)

star trek

The point was to see Katie, and it was perfect for that.

Also, I’ve been less able to settle into movies than normal. Restless.

9/4/16, at Alley Cat Books, w SF

Pariah (2011)



pariah 1

SF claims that we don’t fail to go to the movies, we succeed at conversation.

But, we did make it to see Pariah. It still enchanted me, Adepero Oduye’s smile. And the queer coming-of-age story. But the filmmaking (all the off-center framing, all the out-of-focus backgrounds, all the twinkling lights) and plot were clunkier than I remembered. Irwin asked a good question: Which character is suffering the effects of heteronormativity the most?

8/29/16, at home

The Last Days of Disco (1998)

last days of disco 2

last days of disco

Stillman’s formality can be a balm.

8/28/16, w SF

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)


We haven’t actually managed to watch a movie, despite many plans. This was the our most recent, failed, plan. Instead we talked about poetry, astrology and punctuation, and then searched for It’s Its.

8/26/16, at the California, w CL

Captain Fantastic (2016)

captain fantastic 2

I wanted it to be a different movie, or at least I wanted to ask different questions.

8/24/16, at home

Magnolia (1999)

magnolia 2

magnolia 1

SF pointed out that they’re all trying, every one of them is trying to do better. (Except maybe Stanley’s dad.)

Rose’s life is almost more than I can think about.

Returning to my point about watching movies at home: it wasn’t until the film was almost over that I really noticed how PTA framed the shots. And when Stanley peed, I turned off the movie and went to bed. I finished the next night, but I broke PTA’s movie.

8/18/16, at home

Fingersmith (2005)

fingersmith 1

I had specific things I did and didn’t want to think about.

8/16/16, at the UA Berkley, w CL

Jason Bourne (2016)

jason bourne

SWAT truck smashing. But also good spy story. But also, seriously, Julia Stiles gets killed right away?

8/7/16, at Small Dark Room, w PC, etc

40 Guns (1957)

40 guns

It was PC‘s birthday.

High Ridin’ Woman
by Harold Adamson and Harry Sukman

She’s a high ridin’ woman with a whip,
She’s a woman that all men desire,
But there’s no man can tame her
That’s why they name her
The high ridin’ woman with a whip.

She commands and men obey
They’re just putty in her hands, so they say,
When she rides and the wind is in her hair,
She has eyes full of life, full of fire.

But if someone could break her
And take her whip away,
Someone big, someone strong, someone tall,
You may find that the woman with a whip
Is only a woman after all.

But if someone could break her
And take her whip away,
Someone big, someone strong, someone tall,
You may find that the woman with a whip
Is only a woman after all.

Only a woman after all,
Only a woman after all.

I keep trying to like Westerns….but I just don’t. (Except Johnny Guitar, which shouldn’t even count for one tiny second as a Western.)

7/17/16, at Jack London, w CL

Ghostbusters (2016)


A surprise (delightful) outing.

7/15/16, at the PFA, w SF

Chimes at Midnight (1966)

chimes at midnight

Madcap with show-off shots: glad I saw it, glad when it was over.

7/3/16, at the Albany Twin

Love and Friendship (2016)


Jane Austen & Whit Stillman, of course I saw it.

I’ve been sad and this made me laugh.

It’s always easier to get a good seat when you go alone.

6/26/16, at home

The Headless Woman (2008)


‘I think what I do is really “false.” For me, a film is not just storytelling but an attempt for me to share some perceptions with the viewer. A film for me is a mechanism to show thought, but I interpret thought as a mix of perception and emotion.’ Lucrecia Martel, Film Comment, 2009

Camera as present, class and race conflict, anachronisms to reflect that this process hasn’t ended, it matters whether she kills a child or a dog, but mainly, she should have stopped the car to check.

With this new life-style, I’m going to try watching movies at home. That will give me the flexibility to watch the films I really want.

6/25/16, at the PFA, w PC & MR

Spring Night, Summer Night (1967)

spring night summer night

I’m not quite sure why this film is so exciting to PC, there were beautiful shots and the story was so human and sad, but it didn’t consume me.

6/18/16, at the California Theater

The Lobster (2016)


the lobster power

SF recommended it, otherwise I would never have made the effort. It was one of the most intense movie-going experiences of my life. People got up and left, a man had a panic attack and an ambulance was called.

But more: I was anxious. I couldn’t predict the plot. I didn’t understand that eyesight was so important. I didn’t know that people would actually die. I related to his confusion — what are the rules, should I follow them, what does following them mean.

Even at the last moment, I squirmed, covered my eyes, and then laughed.

5/28/16, at PFA

La Noche Avanza (Night Falls) 1952

more Mexican Noir

night falls

“It’s better to have 1/5th of a first rate man than all of a 5th rate man.”

5/27/16, at YBCA, w SPM

Eva Hesse (2016)


SPM & I went out for drinks afterwards. Friendships everywhere. Plus, do we know how to do this? What happens next?

5/23/16, at PFA

Que Dios me perdone (May God Forgive Me) 1948

may god forgive me

At one point it was implied that the villain (the one leering above) was going to rape Maria Felix and an audience member laughed — it was played for laughs — and a woman yelled, ‘Sexual assault isn’t funny!’

A man in my row spent the first half of the movie loudly rustling a candy bag. I was angry. At the end of the film I said, ‘This is a no-eating theater.’ He grabbed my arm so tightly it left a bruise and stood right in front of me, ‘I’m a 20 year survivor of AIDS, you don’t know anything, I have permission from the theater manager, you don’t know anything, suppose someone’s father had died this morning.’ I just kept saying, ‘Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me.’

Why did I say something? I’m embarrassed that I said something.

[All these missing years. I’ve been keeping track in other ways.]

2/3/2012, PFA, w PC & TF

La  Prisonniere (1968)

La Prisonniere

Standing on a cliff with the tide cutting off your connection to land is one thing, but looking in the mirror is perfect. Makes me squirm.

1/25/12, Albany Twin, w SR

A Dangerous Method (2011)

Did I waste all those years with Dori? If, as we say now, there is good infrastructure, what is possible?

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