An essay about "Personal Shopper" and "Raw" from the June 2017 edition of online magazine Bright Wall/Dark Room.
Marie writes: There's a glorified duck pond at the center of the complex where I live. And since moving in, my apartment has been an object of enduring fascination for Canadian geese - who arrive each Spring like a squadron of jet fighters returning from a mission in France, to run a sweeping aerial recon my little garden aka: playhouse for birds... (click to enlarge)
From the moment that Hal Holmes and I slipped quietly into his basement and he showed me his father's hidden collection of Playboy magazines, the map of my emotional geography shifted toward Chicago. In that magical city lived a man named Hugh Hefner who had Playmates possessing wondrous bits and pieces I had never seen before. I wanted to be invited to his house.
I was trembling on the brim of puberty, and aroused not so much by the rather sedate color "centerfold" of an undressed woman, as by the black and white photos that accompanied them. These showed an ordinary woman (I believe it was Janet Pilgrim) entering an office building in Chicago, and being made up for her "pictorial." Made up! Two makeup artists were shown applying powders and creams to her flesh. This electrified me. It made Pilgrim a real person. In an interview she spoke of her life and ambitions.
The French word frisson describes something English has no better word for: a brief intense reaction, usually a feeling of excitement, recognition, or terror. It's often accompanied by a physical shudder, but not so much when you're web surfing.
You know how it happens. You're clicking here or clicking there, and suddenly you have the OMG moment. In recent days, for example, I felt frissons when learning that Gary Coleman had died, that most of the spilled oil was underwater, that Joe McGinness had moved in next to the Palins, that a group of priests' mistresses had started their own Facebook group, and that Bill Nye the Science Guy says "to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome, every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking 20 feet away."
When the editors of Publishers Weekly came out with their lists of the best books of 2009, they divided them into several categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Mystery, Lifestyle (?), Comics, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, and so on. Out of 50,000 eligible titles, they chose 100 best and topped it off with a "Top 10." The problem: Although women writers were represented in the other lists, none were among the authors of the Top 10.
"We wanted the list to reflect what we thought were the top 10 books of the year with no other consideration...." explained PW's Louisa Ermelino. "We ignored gender and genre and who had the buzz."
Headline in the UK Guardian: "Fury after women writers excluded from 'books of the year'."
From a "Sexism Watch" item on the blog "Women and Hollywood":