The Teresa Jusino Experience

Create Like An Activist

Tag: film (Page 1 of 3)

SHE SAID/SHE SAID 2: Demolition Man

I know, I know! It’s been a bit. So, sue me.  🙂 The Fiancee and I kicked back to watch another movie, and this time, it was one that she selected. One of her favorites from her youth, in fact…


The fiancee’S PICK: DEMOLITION MAN (1993)

Demolition Man t takes place in a future society where there’s no crime. But the story actually starts in L.A. in the “near future” (aka the Late Nineties), when L.A. has become a total crap hole. Sylvester Stallone’s “Demolition Man” aka LAPD Sergeant John Spartan is trying to take down a career criminal named Simon Phoenix, played by Wesley Snipes, who’s taken hostages in an abandoned building.

Spartan, being the kind of cop who “doesn’t follow the rules” in movies, makes an unauthorized call to go after Phoenix that causes the entire building to explode and Spartan to be charged with manslaughter for killing the hostages (PS – they were already dead, because Phoenix is not a nice dude). But rather than going to regular jail, they put him in their new “Cryo-Penitentiary” – the idea being that inmates are frozen, and rehabilitated through chemical conditioning while in deep freeze.

Cut to 2032 (the Future!), when Phoenix, who was captured and also put in deep freeze, manages to escape the cryo-penitentiary and goes on a killing spree! The cops can’t handle it. Why? Because in the future, there’s no crime, because after the Great Earthquake “San Angeles” (the new metroplex made up of L.A, San Diego, and Santa Barbara) has become a sort-of utopia helmed by pacifist Doctor Raymond Cocteau who has somehow made anything “bad” (which incorporates everything from swearing, to fast food, to sex) illegal, causing the city to turn into this overly-sanitized place where the police have become completely incapable of dealing with problems, because there “aren’t any.”


Except of course for the poor people who’ve been forced to live in an underground sewer city that no one takes care of or cares about. Called the Scraps (and led by Dennis Leary basically playing himself), these impoverished people who’ve been pushed underground for their free-thought and their unseemliness have begun pushing back against the society that wishes them gone by coming above ground to steal food and other resources.

Long story less long, Cocteau altered Phoenix’s chemical conditioning to give him even more of his bad traits and to embed a goal in his mind – Kill Dennis Leary, er, Edgar Friendly. Spartan is unfrozen to deal with Phoenix and is partnered up with Sandra Bullock’s cop, Lt. Lenina Huxley (Brave New World reference, whaaaat?), who is obsessed with 20th Century culture. Action, mayhem, and hilarity over seashells ensues.

Why does The Fiancee like this movie so much?

“It’s just a fun action comedy. Sort of like this absurd future society where everyone is very polite, and no one commits any crimes, but it’s all just a facade. I don’t know…I like it. It’s funny. It’s mostly the humor that I like. There’s good action, too, but I mostly like it as a comedy.” 

And why does she think I should or would like this movie?

“I think you would think its funny.” 

Aaaaand there you have it. 🙂 That’s my laconic sweetie pie for you.

demolition man swearing


I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch this. But I have to say, that not only did I enjoy it more than I thought I would, but it was surprisingly more thought-provoking than I thought it would be.

This movie is definitely early-1990s. cheeseball action film. However, Spartan and Huxley are a great team and have awesome chemistry. You enjoy watching them navigate the case, and each other throughout. Wesley Snipes was a pretty stylized villain as Phoenix, but that’s pretty much to be expected for a movie of this type, and he looked like he was having a ball playing this part.

I especially loved Huxley. I loved that she was this extremely competent cop (for her time) who was also completely earnest. I loved that she was a 20th Century geek, and I loved her attempts at 20th Century slang. She was such a sweet character, which is rare for a movie like this.

The Fiancee was right, too, about the humor. Demolition Man was pretty hilarious, and a lot of fun! (and what IS the deal with the three seashells?!)

What really struck me about this film, though, is how much it made me think, both as the movie was going on, and long afterwards. I thought about the socioeconomic issues the film’s script brings up…and then I thought about the current issues that this film unwittingly embodies.

let's go blow this guy - demolition man

As for what’s in the film, you’re definitely forced to think about what a True Utopia would mean. After all, nothing can be completely perfect unless you silence/get rid of those who are less-than-perfect, and what does that say about your civilization? Perfection means marginalizing people: the poor, the weak, the uneducated, etc. The film also explores the idea that pleasure is sometimes “dirty,” and that that’s okay and what makes us human. Touching-each-other sex? Way better than sex via virtual reality helmet.

But then, there are issues that came up for me as I examined the film through a modern lens. Like, I thought it was a shame that the “criminals” in this utopia who were sympathetic (you understand them, because they’re poor and not being treated fairly) are led by the white guy and are mostly white themselves, whereas the “real” criminal – the psychopath – was played by the black guy. Granted, Phoenix is a bigger role, and I’m glad that Snipes has it, but it’s interesting to see the subtle messaging that’s happening here. White people who commit crimes are sympathetic, because they “probably have a good reason,” but black people are just crazy.

It’s the kind of thing that, had this film been made a decade later, a savvy screenwriter might have referenced in the text and used. Alas.

Bottom line, Demolition Man is hugely entertaining, and will reaffirm any progressive values you hold.

Well, that’s it for this week! Now that I’ve taken two weeks off to get over being sick as well as some other stuff that’s happened recently, I definitely hope to get back to regular blogging here at TJXP.

So there should be another She Said/She Said here next week! (Hopefully!)

This post is supported by Patreon.

She Said/She Said 1: In Bruges

When I’m not watching films on my own, I’m usually watching them with The Fiancee. There’s a five year age difference between us, which isn’t a lot in normal years, but can be a lot in pop culture years. We were teenagers at different times, in college at different times. So, films that are seminal and absolutely necessary to me are mere blips on her radar. Films that are absolute musts to her are films that I’ve either never heard of, or have been “meaning to get to” for years without trying very hard.

And thus, a new feature at The Experience was born! For She Said/She Said, The Fiancee and I are going to take turns choosing movies (or TV shows) for each other every week. Then, you’ll get both our takes on it.  It’s like two film reviews in one! However, she’s notoriously way less verbose than I, so it’s more like one and a half film reviews in one. 😉 Still, I’ll be very interested to see what she has in store for me, and I’m excited to share some of my favorites with her.

We started with one of my picks…

in bruges poster

TERESA’S PICK: In Bruges (2008)

Why is This Movie Important to Her?

First of all, I’m a Ralph Fiennes hipster in that I was a huge fan of Ralph Fiennes loooong before Voldemort. I was pretty much a Ralph Fiennes groupie from the first time I saw him in Quiz Show when I was, like, fifteen and liking an actor like Ralph Fiennes was so not cool. I was one of the few teenage girls who gave two shits about The English Patient. As a college freshman, I stole an English Patient cardboard cutout from a Blockbuster and put it in my dorm room:

Dorm Room Freshman year 1 - 1998

Freshman year dorm, 1998. Yup. The English Patient and Winnie the Pooh were my JAMS when I was 18.


Freshman Year Dorm Room - 1998

Dat Ralph Fiennes shrine, tho. 1998. Also, I apparently had a thing for those milk ads.

I was obsessed with everything this man was in. By 2008, my Ralph Fiennes love had waned…a little. But I was pretty much only interested in this movie because he was in it.

I also had severe wanderlust in 2008. In 2007, I’d taken a magical, once-in-a-lifetime (well, for most people – I totally plan on taking many trips like that again), month-long trip to France and Spain to visit friends, and coming home made me so sad. I missed the adventure of traveling somewhere new, and so In Bruges fed that urge as well, as it takes place in a truly magical-looking city.

OK, so it’s about hit men, drug dealers, and racists. Whatever.

Why Should The Fiancee Watch This?

In a weird way, this film gets at the core of who I am. Beautiful European location? Check. Sardonic humor? Check. Stylized violence? Check. It’s like everything I like about different movies in one movie.

That, and it’s the first time I’d ever seen Ralph Fiennes play a role so against type. Even in Strange Days, when he was supposed to be in the LAPD, he was still pretty much being Ralph Fiennes. But watching him play Harry in In Bruges was awesome and hilarious. The entire cast is great. Colin Farrell plays a surprisingly lovable asshole, and Brendan Gleeson is wonderful as a hit man with a heart of gold.

Lastly, I love films not made in the United States. This film was a British-US co-production written by playwright and screenwriter Martin McDonagh, and I love the film’s British humor and sensibility. Watching movies made elsewhere reminds me that there’s so much more that can be done with film than what I’m used to.

In short, I thought it would appeal to her weirdness the way it appeals to my weirdness. 🙂


What Did The Fiancee Think?

Being that she’s not verbose, when I first asked her what she thought, she simply said, “It was good.” 🙂

Then, I got her talking and surreptitiously recorded her with my phone. (I told her afterwards, don’t worry. Her responses are in bold.)

“Just…what did you think?”
“I liked it.”
(long pause)
“I liked it. I want some more wine. Do you want some more wine?”
“I’ve got, still.”
“Then  I’m gonna have some more wine.” 

**she goes to get wine**

(from the kitchen) “There’s not a whole lot left. Do you mind if I finish it off?”
“You’re totally welcome to finish it off.”
“Um…why don’t you interview me about the movie, rather than telling me to think of thoughts?
“Well, I mean, it doesn’t have to be…I just wanna know what you thought. Your reaction to it.”
(loooooong pause)
“I liked it.” (laughs) “Um…I liked that there were no ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’ really. That everybody was just kind of…I mean, everyone was a bad guy, really.”
“There just weren’t any good guys.” 
“It was pretty hilarious, too.”
“Yeah, I kinda like movies where there aren’t any good guys.” (laughs)
“Yeah. I just thought this was like…it wasn’t what I expected when I watched it the first time. Like, I think I rented it from Netflix the first time. When they did DVDs? They still sort of do, but…”
“Yeah…they might have spun that off into another business or something.”
“Yeah. But, um, like, I expected it to be a straight-up gangster movie, and it was so funny and lighthearted in a weird way, and I was like Whoa! This is not the movie I thought I was gonna watch!
“But still dark in another way.”
“Yeah. And also, I love Ralph Fiennes as a thuggy hooligan.”
“Yeah, that was good.”
“I think this is the first movie where he, like, did that. Trying to get out of the whole WASP-y…fuckin’…upper crust parts he always gets. Or, you know, Nazis.”
“Well, he was something different in Red Dragon.” 
“Yeah, that was after this.”
“Oh, it was?”
“I think so…wasn’t it? Well, now I need to see when this was.”

**we both furiously consult the internet**

In Bruges was 2008.”
“OK, so it was late in the decade…”
Red Dragon was 2002.”
“Oh! Well then that was different.”
“Also, I wanna see what movie I was thinking of that had Ben Kingsley in it as like a gangster or something, like in Europe. If I can find it. He’s in a lot of fucking movies. I think it must have come out around the same time…”

**more internet searching**

“Oh! Lucky Number Slevin! That’s what I was thinking of.”
“Slevin? It’s called Slevin?”
Lucky Number Slevin. That’s the movie. It was two years earlier, but whatever.” 
“Oh, interesting. Similar type movie?”
“Uh, I don’t know. I never saw it either, but for some reason I was conflating the two…maybe it’s not even in Europe. It has Josh Hartnett and Morgan Freeman in it. Bruce Willis…”
“Yeah, that’s a lot of, like, Known People.”
“Lucy Liu….yeah I think it was like Ben Freeman and Morgan Kingsley play like two rival…”
“Wait, who?”


“Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman (laughs). They switched last names. Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman….”


“That was like the most perfect…like, I’ve never heard that in real life. That’s something that would be faked in like a movie.”
“Uh, I think – if I recall from the trailer – they played like two rival crime lords or something. Lemme look it up on YouTube.”
(as she looks it up) “So are you glad that you finally saw this?”
“Yes! It was good. I enjoyed it.”
“OK, good.”
“I don’t really know what the Belgian lady saw in Colin Farrell, ’cause he was kind of a dick.”
“He was…but he was like…a dick who was kind of like…a child? It’s almost like…It’s one thing if you’re a dick and you’re, like, super masculine and about to hit somebody?”
“That’s true.”
“And it’s another thing when you’re a dick and you’re like…she was treating him like a sixteen year old. Like You’re a dick, but you’ll learn. Like that kind of thing.”
“I guess.”
“Plus, she wasn’t no great shakes neither. She was gonna rob him, she does drugs, she sells drugs…like, she doesn’t actually work in film.”
“Yeah, no. I know.”

And then, we watched the trailer for Lucky Number Slevin, which is similar to In Bruges, but much more “American:”

So, this is the kind of film discussion you get between a pop culture critic and a production sound mixer. Take that for what it’s worth. 🙂 Next time, I think we will do it more interview-style, and I like recording our conversation. Off-the-cuff and full of references to our drinking habits. Just the way I like it!

“Tune in” next week for more She Said/She Said!

This post is supported by Patreon.

When My Mary Sue Stuff Ends Up Elsewhere

Me quoted in Newsday

It’s always cool when the stuff I write finds a wider audience – especially when I’m quoted as a source! 🙂 A couple of days ago, Newsday ran a story about the response to the trailers and marketing for the upcoming Ronald Emmerich Stonewall movie, and they included a pretty hefty quote from my piece on it at The Mary Sue!

Thanks for including us in the conversation, Newsday!

SUPERGIRL RADIO: Supergirl – The Movie

Just in case you weren’t paying attention, Episode 2 of Supergirl Radio dropped yesterday, and in it, we talk about the awesome, the amazing, the cheesetastic….Supergirl – The Movie! C’mon. You know you love Helen Slater as Supergirl and Faye Dunaway as Selena!


On this week’s Supergirl Radio, your hosts Teresa Jusino and Rebecca Johnson cover news items about CBS’ Supergirl TV series (including Helen Slater’s thoughts on the new show!), and discuss everyone’s favorite superhero guilty pleasure, Supergirl: The Movie, which was the first, live-action incarnation of Kara Zor-El. Join in on the fun as Teresa and Rebecca prepare for CBS’ Supergirl, starring Melissa Benoist!

To listen to the full episode, CLICK HERE. Or you can subscribe to Supergirl Radio on iTunes or Stitcher Radio!



A scene from Selma.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which I nearly forget every year, if only because I’m a freelance writer who works from home, so it’s been a while since national holidays have had any real impact on my life. However, it was on my radar this year more than usual, because of the film Selma. Selma tells the story of how Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists helped organize a massive protest in Selma, Alabama, at a time when Black Americans were actively being kept from voting booths, leading to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which, in part, required that lawmakers in states with a history of discriminating against minority voters get federal permission before changing voting rules. Selma is currently nominated for the 2015 Best Picture Academy Award, which is completely well-deserved.

David Oyelowo and Selma director, Ava DuVernay.

I saw the film when I was on the East Coast celebrating the holidays, and its fearlessness blew me away, setting me off into discussion after discussion about parallels between the time depicted in the film and the current political and racial climate in the United States. Parallels to Ferguson were obvious. So were the implications of the recent gutting of the Voting Rights Act, which removed the stipulation about federal permission for changing voting rules. It’s starting to feel like the 1960s all over again as voting rights are stripped away, women’s rights are chipped away, and police departments nationwide seem to be militarizing and putting themselves on a pedestal to the detriment of the communities they serve. What amazed (and saddened) me most about the film was that I didn’t feel like I was watching history. The story felt timely and real. That’s frightening. 

David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo.

Also sad was the fact that my two favorite aspects of the film – the brilliant direction of Ava DuVernay and the finely-etched performances of David Oyelowo as MLK and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King – weren’t nominated for Oscars. (This, as well as the fact that no other minorities were nominated in the acting categories, and no women were nominated for Best Director or Best Screenplay, led to the #WhiteOscars and #OscarsSoWhite hashtags.) DuVernay should’ve gotten a nod for the opening sequence of Selma (where the little girls were blown up in a church in Birmingham) alone, but what I loved about the entire film was that the direction was elegant and beautiful without shying away from the brutality of the violence or the politics.

And oh my God, the performances. It must be daunting to be an actor playing a historical figure – the desire to do right by the subject constantly struggling against the desire to make the performance your own – but Oyelowo and Ejogo always felt like people to me. I didn’t feel like I was watching Martin Luther King, Jr and Coretta Scott King. I was watching Martin and Coretta, a young married couple in a complicated marriage caught in the throes of history and fighting for their lives and the lives of their children. They were complex and nuanced and funny and brilliant and sad. Watching Oyelowo and Ejogo together on screen was a privilege.

So, as you’re thinking about today being Martin Luther King, Jr. day, I’d highly recommend going to see Selma if you haven’t seen it already. May it inspire you to stand up for yourselves and others in the face of inequality and oppression.

And now, a question – one that this film made me think about endlessly: Is there a cause so important to you that you would be willing to risk/give your life? Not your family or friends – but a cause or idea larger than your individual circles that matter that much to you. Why or why not? What would it take to get you to that place? I’d love to hear your experiences/thoughts in the comments below.

NEW AT BEACON: How “The Heat” Is Less Funny in a Post-Ferguson World

I posted this over at Beacon on Friday, but was too lazy to promote it wanted it to be an exclusive for my Beacon subscribers first! I recently saw the Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy film The Heat for the first time recently, and I thought it less funny than I might have thought it in the theater since I watched it post-Ferguson.


Now, he was smoking a joint (and very stupidly kept waving it around). She was well within her rights to take him in. There’s no question about that. (We can have a discussion about our outdated, ineffectual, ridiculous drug laws another time) Also, it’s clear from their interaction that he’s had priors. They seem to know each other – probably because she’s brought him in before. My problem was in the way she stopped, not for the joint, but for a charge she just assumed he was guilty of, because he was sitting there “in the middle of all the prostitutes,” and greets him by calling him “My favorite asshole.” Then, she finds something to arrest him for, chases him, rams him with her car, and chases him down leaving the white guy free to escape. She never goes back for the white guy – apparently, because smoking a joint is way worse than soliciting a prostitute (I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either, nor do I think either should be illegal, but I digress…) – but she does manage to take the black kid down by throwing a watermelon at him. But we’re commenting on racism by doing this! That’s what makes this funny!, we’re meant to think. 

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! 🙂

NEW AT BEACON: "Why Robin Williams?"

It was pretty inevitable, as it was the biggest pop culture story this week. This week at Pop Goes Teresa, I talk about the passing of Robin Williams.


When the news broke about Robin Williams’ tragic suicide, I wanted to write about it immediately – but I didn’t know what to say. Then everyone started writing about it, and there suddenly didn’t seem like there was anything left to say. From people being more open about their own depression and encouraging those battling with it to seek help, to Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, revealing that Williams was also suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, to O Captain! My Captain! and Genie tributes popping up everywhere, it seemed like all the bases were covered. 

What interested me most, though, was not only the size of the outpouring of love and grief after his death, but that a lot of it seemed to come from people of or around my generation. Had it been any other performer in his or her 60s who passed away, I’m not sure the reaction would’ve been the same. It would’ve been understandable if we had a similar reaction to the deaths of people like Heath Ledger or Brittany Murphy, contemporaries who left us way too soon (and might have gotten us thinking about our own mortalities); or legends like Lauren Bacall, who actually passed away three days after Williams at the age of 89, and whose career spanned from Hollywood’s Golden Age to the present. 

So, why Robin Williams?

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! Starting at only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! 🙂

NEW AT BEACON: "The Angel of Verdun: Nuanced Female Characters"

Posts once a week at Beacon. That’s how I wanna roll. 🙂

Anyway, here’s the latest at my pop culture column over there. It’s about the difference between “Strong Female Characters” and “Nuanced Female Characters” and why I think Rita Vratasky (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow is a great example of the kind of female character we should be clamoring to see in films.


I hate the phrase Strong Female Character

“Strong Female Character” carries with it a judgement that I don’t think its users intend. After all, what does “strong” mean? Does it mean physically strong (and so, are we defining strength according to stereotypically male criteria)? Does it mean emotionally strong (and so, does this mean that if a woman cries, falls in love, or protects her children she’s not strong)? Does it mean assertive and ambitious (and so, can more average women not be “strong characters?” And how do we square that with the fact that, with male protagonists, the Hero’s Journey is often defined by his starting out as an ineffectual schlub who grows into leadership. Was he not a “strong character” until the very end)? 

My preferred phrase – and what I think most people mean when they say “Strong Female Character” – is Nuanced Female Character.

What those who want gender parity in pop culture want in their female characters is complexity. We want them to be more than girlfriends, doormats, or prizes to be won. We want them to have their own inner lives and goals in the stories we watch. Even if they’re not the protagonists, we want them to be fully-realized people, not caricatures. We want them to have strengths and flaws. We want them to have, or at least want and earn, agency. Most of all, we want them to have a reason to be in the story that doesn’t boil down to: Plot Device.

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! For only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! 🙂

NEW AT BEACON: "NOAH PART 3: Where Is the Good In All This?"

It’s taken me forever – mostly because I was out of town for a month, and spent a month playing catch-up on various things in my life – but I’ve finally posted the third and final part in my discussion of the film Noah over at Beacon. I hope it was worth the wait!

In this final part, I discuss the thing I liked most about Noah, particularly now in light of stuff like the shooting committed by Elliot Rodger at USCB: the examination of gender, and gender roles.


We watch as Ham jealously eyes his brother and Ila’s interactions, wanting the same for himself. It’s understandable for a young person to want a partner, and as a woman with plenty of experience in being single while watching everyone around me pair up, I felt this kid’s pain! The trouble with Ham was that he had somehow gotten it into his head that Being a Man = Having a Wife and Fathering Children, which is a narrow definition. 

As he builds The Ark, Noah (Russell Crowe) gives Ham tasks for which he is to be responsible, including the greatest task of all – caring for the animals. The whole point of The Ark is to allow Creation to go on after the flood, so ensuring the safety of everything on The Ark is extremely important, requiring a high level of maturity and responsibility. Some might say that Noah would only bestow this responsibility on a mature adult – aka (if you’re male) A Man. Yet Ham is so preoccupied with Finding a Wife that he dismisses this great responsibility, runs off to try and find a wife, and when he can’t bring the girl he finds onto The Ark with him, he sabotages his father’s endeavor, allowing an interloper onto the boat (Tubal Cain, played by Ray Winstone), causing all sorts of problems, and eventually being so ashamed that he leaves his family once they do get back onto dry land.

Yet, as we’re seeing all this through Noah’s eyes, we know that Ham has it all wrong. That Real Men aren’t defined by the women they bed or the children they conceive. They’re defined by what they protect and cultivate. They’re defined not by destruction, but by growth. This is an amazing, appropriate, and necessary message in this day and age, when gender roles are shifting and feminism has caused many men to question what their “job” is now. It’s the same as its always been. Protect, create, cultivate. 

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! For only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out! Once there, please click the “Worth It” button on the bottom of my article! (That is, if you actually like what I’ve written.)

Thanks! 🙂

NEW AT BEACON: "NOAH, Part 2: Where Are People of Color In All This?"

My Passover trip home with The Boy got really interesting during the second night seder, when The Boy’s mother’s new friends from shul came for dinner, and they started discussing the politics of Israel. One group of friends seemed more sympathetic to the Palestinians than the other, and it was fascinating to watch them try and reconcile their views with the story of the Exodus. What’s more, the Haggadah we were using contained readings of oppression and liberty and peace from different speakers/writers, and when it was my turn to read something, a reading written by an Arab girl in Haifa whose family home had been taken over by a Jewish family by chance fell to me – not Arab, but the only brown person at the table.

Very interesting indeed.

Anyway, it’s appropriate, then, that my most recent piece at Beacon is the second part in my three-part write-up of the film, Noah, wherein I discuss the complicated issue of race.


2) They could midrash everything else, but they couldn’t midrash people of color?

Angels living in rock monsters? Totally fine. Two of Noah’s three sons not having wives with them (which they do in the source material), meaning that either we’re all descended from one couple, or Noah’s sons end up having sex with their twin nieces? Awesome. Hell, a story about A FLOOD THAT KILLS EVERYTHING ON EARTH EXCEPT FOR ONE FAMILY ON AN ARK THAT CAN ALSO FIT TWO OF EVERY SPECIES ON THE PLANET THAT THEY KEEP ASLEEP USING MAGIC INCENSE THAT SOMEHOW DOESN’T AFFECT THE HUMANS TOO? That’s cool.

But having the movie look like “a Benetton ad” is where they drew the line. Hmm…I don’t know… Having the cast not all be one race (that happens to be mine)? That takes me out of the story and makes it less mythical.


If the idea of someone being pulled out of a story, or being unable to appreciate a myth because the world is made to look like the world doesn’t strike you as insane, it should. Because it’s fucking insane.

If you want to read and comment on my full post, you’ll have to subscribe to my work over at Beacon! For only $5/month, you’ll be able to access all my pop culture criticism, as well as the work of 100+ other journalists writing about the topics you care about. Check it out!

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