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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Victory for Constance McMillen

A Mississippi court ruled that the Itawamba County School District violated the First Amendment rights of Constance McMillen when it canceled the school’s prom rather than allow the openly gay student to attend the prom with her girlfriend, wearing a gender-bending tuxedo. What?! Girls in tuxedos? What is the world coming to?
Good for the court for making the right ruling here. And wow, do I ever admire Constance, who has been open about being a lesbian since eighth grade. Ponder that a moment, if you would. I grew up in Oklahoma, not exactly what I would call the most welcoming, safe place to come of age and realize you are gay or lesbian or bisexual. Constance, growing up in Mississippi, had the courage to come out as who she is in eighth grade.
That, my friends, takes courage, and a remarkable sense of knowing who you are and believing in yourself at a very young age. Good for her, and I hope she and her girlfriend have a swell time at the alternative, open prom being planned by parents. Shine on in that tux, girl, and make some great memories.

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Politics

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“Film criticism as a business operates like the film industry itself: The people in charge like to hire people who remind them of themselves, and those people at the top are by and large straight white dudes (baseball caps are an option). That’s not to say they can’t have wildly diverging opinions on a variety of topics, but privilege comes with blinders that are often hard to acknowledge and even tougher to remove. The past few months have seen some of the most prominent film publications taking on new writers who are for the most part white men: Rolling Stone, Film Comment, Indiewire, and of course, Owen Gleiberman at Variety. Many of them have championed underdog filmmakers, but you can’t get over the sense of gatekeeping going on. Film criticism often feels like the treehouse girls are banned from entering, and it’s not hard to assume the conversations we’re missing out on aren’t exactly centered on women in the business… Our world and our art suffers when we limit the number of perspectives allowed to not only tell the story but to discuss it. Women are no better or worse in their opinions than men, but the key differences we bring allow further dimensions in the narrative. Whether they’re conscious of it or not, the ingrained biases of white maleness will continue unchallenged without contrasting voices under the banner, and the commodification of women’s faces and bodies will exacerbate to increasingly damaging levels.”
~ Ceilidhann

DENNIS COOPER

The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.

INTERVIEWER

What was the final ingredient?

DENNIS COOPER

Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, ­ profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable ­probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson

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