Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006): Great BM Tribute

Watching the SAGgies last evening, StinkyLu resolved to do a better job of the BM Tributes. (BM Tributes are where StinkyLulu offers a brief appreciation of a favorite "bad movie" featuring a recently departed creative type, usually an actor or the like.)

O'course, StinkyLu's resolution received a nearly immediate test with the deeply sad news of the untimely passing of playwright Wendy Wassertstein. (How to do a really quick Bad MOVIE Tribute for a playwright? And a playwright whose work StinkyLu often finds -- well, shouldn't speak ill of the departed, eh. But how?!?)
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Well, LaWendy did pen the screenplay of a really horrible/delish movie: The Object of My Affection. A masterwork of cinematic fauxmosexuality, the flick makes a bittersweet romantic comedy out of the loving, devoted friendship between its two principal characters, an unlucky but lovely girl and her sweet silly and sexy gay best friend. Produced in the immediately pre-Will&Grace era (Wasserstein herself is often theorized as a prototype for Grace in same), Wasserstein's adapted screenplay for The Object of My Affection -- Criticlasm will tell you most emphatically that LaWendy got the book all wrong -- is full of not-quite-genuine characters who pepper the most mundane conversation with astonishing wit. Can be really funny, really. And somehow, as with all her work, Wasserstein's characters in The Object of My Affection become -- in the hands of the right actors -- exceptionally, indelibly, infuriatingly ingratiating. StinkyLulu never really likes -- and rarely if ever believes -- Wasserstein characters... But, somehow, dagnabbit, Wasserstein's characters somehow insinuate themselves indelibly into StinkyLulu's imagination and -- sometimes -- heart.

The Object of My Affection ain't a great movie. And that multiculty children of the rainbow conclusion is beyond silly. But, sheesh, StinkyLulu's got a soft spot for the flick.
And for LaWendy.


Edited to add: See The Feminist Spectator for a really interesting riff on how the passage of time informs an appreciation of LaWendy's work...


Losin' It @ The Disco

Consider this Lost Anthem from the Daze of Disco. An all too common memory, really -- innocence lost in the disco heat, the tender treasures of youth crushed & crumbled amidst The Hustle... (As you listen, lovely reader, be certain to take note of the "supporting cast" -- of course, they are there -- StinkyLu'd betcha the unibrow one's got a tambourine!)

(Unceremoniously stolen from the most fabulicious Ultranow)



Much still to report from this weekend's fun-fun-fun in Las Vega$. (Not El Otro Vegas, but the one with all the glama.) Currently writing from the wifi fabulosity of the KOA at CircusCircus. That's StinkyLulu just inside that mini-BigTop at PoolSide...

More soon...


Four X FourFour

Four Reasons to Love FourFour

• his shocking, brilliant & precisely accurate review of the bizarrely acclaimed Hustle & Flow.
• his delicious screencaps+commentary for Project Runway
• his now legendary screencaps+commentary for America's Next Top Model
• his all-round snarky silly sweet cuteness


One Monday at a Time

A newish series over at Fresh'n'Tasty has done the seemingly impossible:
At once hot, hilarious & horrifying, Mug Shot Monday very nearly makes Monday a day to look forward to...

The "back-issues" are worth enjoying as well:
Whatta Way to Start '06!,
Is It A Crime To Be Fabulous? ,
Concealed Formal Weaponry ,
X or Y Chromosome: You Decide,
The Lost Boys,
The Post That Started It All...


EDITED TO ADD: Brokebacklash

Hmm. Reflecting upon how StinkyLu's Brokeback post leaves unaddressed the earlier gayblog hoo-ha about Ledger/Gyllenhall's comments about not playing Ennis/Twist as "gay"... how StinkyLu's appreciation of the film didn't address the whole oddly impassioned kerfluffle about whether Brokeback's a "gay film"...

So lo beho: StinkyLu bumps into this indy screed against Brokeback (courtesy of AfroFuturist).

Ignoring the obvious (read: lame) titular pun & the absurdly comic casting proposal, this piece -- which endeavors the ostensibly radical proposition that "Brokeback isn't gay at all" -- does raise at least one interesting & important point about the nature of this story's appeal, both in its prose & cinematic variants: the slash/fic angle. Approaching Brokeback through a slash/fic lens is precisely on-point (and doesn't require even a passing acquaintance with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick but probably does oblige an awareness of the basic conventions of slash/fic). Indeed, a cursory comparison between the Proulx story & the McMurtry/Ossana screenplay adaptation emphatically underscores this.

But back to the question: "Is Brokeback gay?"
StinkyLu too says: "Nah. Naht really. Naht really a problem either."

Consider David Leavitt's useful & thoughtful consideration of this very question. StinkyLu thinks Leavitt's right to emphasize how the both the screenplay & the short story draw upon a vocabulary of masculine convention, drawn as much from genre fiction as from Hollywood. Indeed, this ain't the sort of "authentic" gay story that Brad Altfest wants (nor does it address the crucial "gay for pay" violation that ultimately seems to matter most to him.) Rather, the film's accomplishment stems as much from the realignment of those conventions of masculinity within the confines of Hollywood (swimming pools & movie stars, you know). And, yes, there was a whole lotta gay history going on in the 1960s/70s, especially in towns like Oklahoma City, Dallas, Denver & Albuquerque -- towns that Jack Twist would've/could've driven through on his way to 'go fishing' (as opposed to NYC or SanFran). Indeed, Sarah Schulman (scroll way down) gets it right in her appreciation of Brokeback: ain't about gay culture or identity at all, but it sure does get to the poisonous emotional realities of homophobia. And, hey, there are worse movies to have folks sitting still for at the megaplex these days...


Brokeback: The 1st Stinky Screening of 2006

Well. The flick's been in the ABQ for a little more than a week but -- finally -- the Stinkys meandered their way to Brokeback Mountain just this Friday. A perhaps auspicious coincidence, too, because that makes Brokeback the first movie of StinkyLu's new year.

Turned out to be a real good one too.
No real surprise -- it's Brokebackpalooza out there -- with only a handful of disreputable and/or categorically idiotic commentators dissenting from the sensibly impressed masses.

Heath Ledger's performance is of the "tear-your-heart-out-and-stomp- that-sucker-flat" variety -- the brightest among a constellation of giddily effective performances. And though Anne Hathaway's hair does more than its own share of scene-stealing, the film's real accomplishment is how it unapologetically captures the big-movie-ness of the romance between Ledger's Ennis Delmar & Jake Gyllenhall's Jack Twist -- a fated bond that moves palpably from sweet to bittersweet to bitter to... Well, Ledger's concluding scenes in the film are at once wrenching and inspiring, registering this story as one of Hollywood's great epic movie romances (think Gone With The Wind or The Way We Were or The Defiant Ones).

A friend commented that she found it slow. And Lu would agree. Insidiously, brilliantly slow. Ang Lee forces a kind of high desert desolation, a rocky mountain stillness, that -- honestly -- made StinkyLu feel physically cold (in the just the same way that only dry winter winds can). StinkyLulu even woke up this morning with haunting image dreams from this movie. (And they t'weren't the sweet or sexy ones, so y'all jest stop yer snickerin' -- right now.) Can't remember the last time that happened. Anyway, StinkyLu's loopy dreamlets were swirling around the mysteries in the story: how much does who know when? was that creepy scene from Ennis' imagination or what actually happened? what about that similar scene with Jack? who was Jack foolin' with anyway? Criticlasm said that he left the movie thinking the movie was just fine & then found, over the next coupla days, that the movie really hit -- hit sad, hit hard. It's like somehow Lee's slow narrative sweep gets the ache of the story to settle deep inside.

That's how it worked on StinkyLu, at least.
Wow. Emphasis on the "ow"...


New To StinkyLu: Overheard in NY

Bumped into a New-To-StinkyLu site not long ago: Overheard in NY: The Voice of the City. Shockingly hilarious quips from that rare breed of human -- the unabashed New Yorker. Along with old standbys StuffOnMyCat.com and Go Fug Yourself, Overheard in NY reliably provides a refreshing pick-me-up on those long internet afternoons...

The Santa Fe Reporter has a similar feature that is just soooooooo FantaSe but you have to find it -- gasp -- exclusively in the print edition.


A Very StinkyLu New Year to YOU

It's been two weeks, that's just wrong, blahblahblah...
Barely a week before academentia really sets in & StinkyLulu's still in the midst of a post-holidaze emotional hangover.

Criticlasm passed through the Enchanted Land for a relatively low-key Gnu Year's romp. During his visit, the Stinky gang rollicked: screened a few movies (Pride & Prejudice turned out to be surprisingly good; The Producers emerged as a gilded turd); Criticlasm got a kicky-yet-spiritual augmentation of his tattoo at the hand of the legendary Jason Ward at Star Tattoo; plus the incomprehensibly time-consuming gift exchange among StinkyLu, Inez & Criticlasm. New Year's Day had MrStinky & Criticlasm yoga-cizing for hours upon hours with the Bhava divas before converging with MamaStinky & StinkyLu for hours upon hours of mahjongg. Some major furniture moving at GrandmamaStinky's the next day & much gnoshing, nibbling, gobbling & snarfing at ABQ's many fine eateries throughout the weekend.
All told, a delightful visit.

But now, it's time to get back to toting that barge & lifting that bale.
(Which barge? Which bale? Where?)

Thankfully (and due to the generosity of Berry -- one of StinkyLulu's long-term buddies), the Lu's got some incomparable sonic delights to keep the energy shaking, rattling & rolling: One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found. Wowie kazowie. Un-frickin-believable.
One of Lu's greatest XMas gifts ever. Soo soo soo good.
Shoop Dee Doop La La La.

SO, StinkyLulu's got a great soundtrack for the week.
Now, let's see if any work gets done.


StinkyLulu's LivePerf Log

Theatre, Dance & Other Live Performance Attended since January 1, 2006...
(Venue/Producing Organization in parentheses. An asterisk denotes the Lu's especial enthusiasm for the show.)

  • Burden of Poof (North 4th Art Center/ABQ)
  • Black River Falling (Tricklock/Theatre X/ABQ)
  • Instigate (South Arena-Carlisle Gym Performance Space/ABQ)
  • La Tabernera Del Puerto (Teatro Nuevo Mexico/National Hispanic Cultural Center/ABQ)
  • Twelfth Night (Rodey Theatre/ABQ)
  • Distracted (Mark Taper Forum/LA)
  • Yjastros: Cuando Salgo de Luna (American Flamenco Repertory Company/National Hispanic Cultural Center/ABQ)
  • The War Boys (Theatre X/ABQ)
  • Spring Awakening (Eugene O'Neill Theatre/NYC)
  • Kiki & Herb (Joe's Pub/NYC)
  • A Kiss For Death (Words Afire-VSA North Fourth Art Center/ABQ)
  • How To Conquer A Southern Woman (Words Afire-Theatre X/ABQ)
  • Candide (Tricklock Company-UNM/ABQ)
  • Fat Men in Skirts (Theatre X/ABQ)
  • And Baby Makes Seven (Theatre X/ABQ)
  • The Mercy Seat (Tricklock Company-Orpheum Performance Space/ABQ)
  • Marisol (Theatre X/ABQ)
  • "The Dreams of Laura Bush/The Passion of Terri Schiavo" - Karen Finley (ATHE @ Palmer House Hilton/Chicago)
  • Dana Goldberg with Cathryn McGill (DG Productions @ UNM Continuing Education Auditorium/ABQ)
  • Living Out (SolArts/ABQ)
  • Cocktail Hour Cabaret (Santa Fe Opera & El Museo Cultural/Santa Fe)
  • Urinetown (University of New Mexico/ABQ)
  • Medea (Theatre X/ABQ)
  • Hamlet - The Vampire Slayer (Gorilla Tango/ABQ)
  • Juanito (University of New Mexico/ABQ)
  • The Madwoman of Chaillot (University of New Mexico/ABQ)
  • I Am My Own Wife (Vortex Theatre/ABQ)
  • Anna in the Tropics (Teatro Nuevo Mexico/ABQ)
  • A Vortex Valentine Cabaret (Vortex Theatre/ABQ)
  • Billy The Mime (REVOLUTIONS Festival/ABQ)
  • The Glorious & Bloodthirsty Billy The Kid (Tricklock Company-REVOLUTIONS Festival/ABQ)
  • Nigerian Spam Scam Scam (Dean Cameron-REVOLUTIONS Festival/ABQ)
  • GAYTINO! (Dan Guerrero-REVOLUTIONS Festival/ABQ)
  • An Evening at La Cage (The Riviera Hotel/Las Vegas)


StinkyLulu's 2006 FilmLog

Movies Screened since January 1, 2006...
(The "+" or "-" indicates general yay/nay sentiment about a given flick.)

  1. The Last King of Scotland (+)
  2. Notes on a Scandal (-)
  3. Dreamgirls (-)
  4. Notes on a Scandal (-)
  5. Pan's Labyrinth (+/-)
  6. Volver (+)
  7. The Painted Veil (+)
  8. Little Children (+)
  9. Children of Men (+)
  10. Babel (-)
  11. The History Boys (+)
  12. Happy Feet (-) [first film of 2007]
  13. Dreamgirls (+)
  14. Night at the Museum (-)
  15. Charlotte's Web (+)
  16. The Holiday (+/-)
  17. Bobby (+)
  18. Shortbus (+)
  19. For Your Consideration (-)
  20. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (?)
  21. The Departed (-)
  22. The Queen (+)
  23. Marie Antoinette (-)
  24. Running with Scissors (+)
  25. House of Wax (+)
  26. "Sissy French Fry" (-)
  27. "Thermopylae" (-)
  28. "Straight Boys" (-)
  29. "Str8 For A Minute" (-)
  30. "Night Swimming" (+)
  31. "Hitchcocked" (-)
  32. "Guess Who I Saw Today" (+)
  33. "Available Men" (+)
  34. "Allison"/2004 (+)
  35. "Waiting for the Ball To Drop"/2004 (-)
  36. "Walk"/2004 (+)
  37. "Bertha Alyce"/2001 (+)
  38. "What It Means To Lose" (-)
  39. "La La Land"/2003 (+)
  40. "Bet Your Life" (-)
  41. "Red Meat" (+)
  42. "You Are an Ocean"/2003 (-)
  43. 20 centímetros (+!)
  44. Camp Out (-)
  45. "The Tribe: An Unorthodox, Unauthorized History of the Jewish People and the Barbie Doll" (-)
  46. Meth (+)
  47. Half-Nelson (+)
  48. The Black Dahlia (-)
  49. Monster House (+)
  50. Idlewild (+)
  51. Material Girls (-!)
  52. I Like Killing Flies/2004 (+)
  53. Strangers With Candy (-)
  54. Little Miss Sunshine (+)
  55. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (-)
  56. Lady In The Water (-)
  57. A Scanner Darkly (-)
  58. Superman Returns (-)
  59. The Devil Wears Prada (+)
  60. The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift (-)
  61. Nacho Libre (-)
  62. A Prairie Home Companion (-)
  63. Cars (-)
  64. United 93 (-)
  65. Brick (+)
  66. Briar-Rose, or Ibarahime Mata Manemurihime/1990 (+)
  67. To Shoot Without Shooting, or Fusha No Sha/1988 (-)
  68. Anthoropo-Cynical Farce/1970 (-)
  69. Breaking of Branches is Forbidden, or Hanaori/1968 (+)
  70. Water (+)
  71. X-Men 3: The Last Stand (-)
  72. Kinky Boots (-)
  73. Poseidon (-)
  74. The Notorious Bettie Page (-)
  75. Stick It (+)
  76. Akeelah & The Bee (+)
  77. American Dreamz (-)
  78. Crossing (-)
  79. Hector Pimentel, New Mexico's Mr. Guitar (-)
  80. El Doctor (+)
  81. El Fresco (-)
  82. Day Shift (+)
  83. El Principio (-)
  84. Vincente Valdez: The Art of Boxing (+)
  85. My Backyard Was A Mountain (+)
  86. Friends With Money (+)
  87. The Beauty School of Kabul (-)
  88. Manderlay (+)
  89. Thank You For Smoking (+)
  90. Inside Man (+)
  91. V for Vendetta (+)
  92. Date Movie (-)
  93. Mrs. Henderson Presents (-)
  94. TransAmerica (+)
  95. Last Holiday (+)
  96. The Aristocrats-dvd (+)
  97. Rize-dvd (+)
  98. Match Point (+)
  99. Brokeback Mountain (+)
  100. Last Summer in the Hamptons-vhs (+)