“This Town Is Dead at Night”: I watch that Iranian-Californian vampire flick

for AmCon: When I heard there was an Iranian-Californian vampire movie where a lady vampire skateboards through a deserted town under the streetlights and the palm trees, her chador blowing out behind her like Dracula’s cape, I thought, That’s awesome!But by the time we actually reached the skateboard scene in “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” all I could think was, That’s terrifying!“A Girl” is a totally effective piece of atmosphere: dreamlike, black and white, with a phenomenal sound … [Read more...]

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An Amazing Exchange from the Deleted Scenes of “Damsels in Distress”

ROSE: One thought reassures me: Our stupidity must be part of God’s divine plan. He must have made us stupid for a reason.VIOLET: Because he wants us to have kids? Be fruitful and multiply…ROSE: Yes. Probably. via … [Read more...]

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Working at the Disco: I Watch “The Last Days of Disco”

For the first half of this movie I was not totally sold on it--despite its setting in "The Very Early '80s" and its discussions of group socializing vs. "ferocious pairing off" and the Robert Sean Leonard of it all. "It's fun enough, but it's no Damsels in Distress," I thought.By the end I was so fascinated and pleased that I wanted to rewatch it immediately. I listened to the commentary track, which I rarely do with Netflix dvds because I am greedy and want my next one as fast as possible. … [Read more...]

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It’s Called AltFem, Not CtrlFem: An Eccentric Report

Yesterday I went to the launch of AltFem, a new magazine from the people who brought you AltMuslimah and AltCatholicah, which explores the intersection of feminism and what I suppose we must call "traditional" faith. It was a religiously diverse event--lots of headscarves; several babies! I spoke on the first panel, about forging a more inclusive feminism. I'm going to do at least one more post inspired by the event, which will be on an underexplored aspect of Mary's role as model of motherhood, … [Read more...]

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AltFem Magazine Launch Party: I’m There! Tomorrow!

I'm on the first panel at this conference/party to launch "an online magazine that seeks an inclusive definition of feminism that resonates with women of faith." Uh, I'm not actually a feminist, but I hope to talk about the problems with the concept of "empowerment" as a goal--basically riffing on the issues I raised in this book review. Hope to see many of you there! … [Read more...]

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“Hard Questions We’re Not Asking Pope Francis”: John L. Allen, Jr

item #2: Sex abuse is another front. An exception came with an Aug. 24 piece in The New York Times about former Polish Archbishop Joseph Wesolowski, a onetime papal envoy in the Dominican Republic accused of molesting minors. He was recalled in late 2013 and laicized, meaning kicked out of the priesthood, in June.The Times asked whether bringing the former prelate to Rome was a way of evading civil prosecution, forcing the Vatican to clarify that because he’s been stripped of diplomatic s … [Read more...]

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Painting the Town Red: “The Exiles,” A Masterpiece of Lost L.A.

Kent MacKenzie's The Exiles played exactly once, at the 1961 Venice Film Festival, and then vanished for more than forty years. It was rediscovered in 2003, and you can find it now on Netflix--which you should do, for real, here's why.The Exiles follows a group of American Indian men and women over the course of one night at the very end of noir-era Los Angeles. The neighborhood where the film was shot was demolished--excuse me, I mean renewed--shortly afterward. The Native actors were … [Read more...]

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