Sunday, April 29, 2012

I Could Have Danced All Night

Dear Blog,

I apologize for my absence these past two weeks, but I have some great news: I am moving to the Czech Republic in July!

I am going to teach English and, with luck, eventually teach Film Studies classes as well. I will never work customer service again. I am honestly still in shock. After being unhappy for so long, it's taken a couple of weeks to fully wrap my head around the fact that, in just a few short months, I will get everything I ever wanted. I will work shorter hours, make more money and see the places and things I've only dreamed about until now. I will write the book I've wanted to write for three years. I will get to take my dog to work with me. I will go thrifting in Paris on a holiday. I will have a whirlpool bathtub. I will be happy.

But that's still a few months away and there's a lot of crap to muddle through until then. I've already sold all of my many beloved blu-rays and DVDs to pay for the initial steps. I'm working on selling everything else. It's kind of tough to move two people and a dog to another country on a Cashier's salary, but we're going to make it happen. I was so excited the first week I found out that I barely slept two hours a night. Eliza hit the emotional nail on the head:

I will be happy! For the first time in my adult life, I will be giddy, enthused and obnoxiously gleeful. I can already feel the weight of depression lifting off my shoulders. It's so nice to feel light again. 

I will try to document my journey and relate it all to the glorious world of cinema on this here blog in the coming months. I promise to write as often as I can. Thanks for sticking by me.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Girls in the Band: An Interview with Judy Chaikin

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing director Judy Chaikin for the Chicago International Movies & Music Fest (CIMMfest) about her new film, The Girls in the Band. It's a terrific flick and I hope you can all see it this Sunday at the fest!

Here's my intro:
CIMMfriend and feminist film theorist extraordinaire Sara Freeman, of Celluloid Angel, recently watched Song of Love, a mediocre 1947 movie about the love triangle between Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Katharine Hepburn played Clara Schumann and, while the movie isn’t very good, it is an interesting film to watch after viewing Judy Chaikin’s illuminating, heartwarming documentary, The Girls in the Band. The doc honors female musicians from the ‘30s to the present (like Ina Ray Hutton, The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, and Peggy Gilbert) and exposes the sexism, racism, and historical airbrushing many women endured because of their desire to perform music. Despite its faults, Song of Love shows what admiration male and female audiences of the day had for Clara Schumann and her jaw-dropping musical talent. Music was for everyone.
Somewhere between Clara Schumann’s death in 1896 and the Great Depression, music became a man’s world, and the many gifted ladies featured in The Girls in the Band discuss how they pushed through the cracks and fought for their rights as women and musicians. The film also offers a lot of cute stories (you’ll never listen to Tommy Dorsey in the same way again), fantastic archive footage, and (you guessed it) great music to boot. The Girls in the Band‘s got rhythm, it’s got music, it’s got CIMMfest’s love, and we hope it’ll get yours too. 

Read the interview here. :-) 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Grandest Lady in the Easter Parade

Happy Easter! I don't really like holidays (too many years of customer service), but my family and I always make time to watch the great Easter Parade on this pastel-filled day. There's nothing quite like spending an evening with Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Ann Miller, Irving Berlin, Arthur Freed, Charles Walters and Irene. I hope you can squeeze-in a viewing with your loved ones.

Also, did you know Judy Garland and I have the same-sized hands? True story. 

I'm hoping to add a new essay to the blog sometime next week! Stay tuned for xenomorphs.