Girls can do anything, right? Except that they’re still encouraged to see themselves as helpers, raised, represented, and expected to be wives and mothers rather than independent achievers. This is the primary argument made by Miss Representation. Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s documentary isn’t making a new or a very subtle argument, but it’s one—made emphatically—that makes the film a perfect fit for Oprah’s OWN Documentary Club. Media representations of girls and women as objects are actually increasing. The reasons are various, and include predictable fears and anxieties concerning potential shifts in power and money, and, the film submits, these representations influence how girls and boys think about the world and themselves. As Margaret Cho says plainly, “The media treats women like shit and it’s horrible and I don’t know how we survive it. I don’t know how we rise above it.”
Latest Blog Posts
Well, that hole in my dreams has finally been filled. The Stone Roses are preparing to tour the world. All of the details are available on their website, including some cheeky press conference footage. Feel free to express your adoration for me, a humble PopMatters blogger, for bringing this earth-shattering news directly to you.
Singer-songwriter Katie Herzig recently released The Waking Sleep and has described how she was “trying new things, getting outside of what I would normally do as an artist. It was really fun and invigorating to use samples and build tracks digitally. I loved creating like that, and it really allowed me more freedom, because I was doing something less personal, and creating for something else.” It’s a unique approach for a singer-songwriter, especially one based out of twang-loving Nashville. But then Herzig’s career has always been pretty rich and varied as she followed up 2008’s Apple Tree with a healthy spate of film and TV music work.
In recent years, Herzig has rediscovered her love of the band format. “I just love bands, and I found myself making a record that felt like that. I was listening to lots of Coldplay, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend…” Meanwhile The Waking Sleep was developed over the course of a full year while Herzig toured. “I recorded whenever I was home, and each time it felt like it was a different season of the record.” Today we present the premiere of RAC’s remix of one of those new tunes, “Free My Mind”, which could well describe her fresh approach to her music.
“Midnight City” has been kicking around the binary lanes for a while now, but with the parent album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming out this week the track has got an official video, and seems poised to cross M83 over into mainstream success—and rightly so. Previous album, Saturdays = Youth, was a revelation of sorts; spearheaded by tracks like “Kim & Jessie”, the long-players sound was a manifest fantasy of imaginary John Hughes soundtrack albums, revealing there to be genuine life in the slow-coming, oft-predicted, now full-blown ‘80s revival.
“This is a story of hope and reclamation,” says the narrator at the start of Charismatic. Named for the colt who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 1999, the documentary—which premieres on ESPN on 18 October—is also a story of demons and drugs and dreams. The jockey who rode Charismatic to his audacious victories, Chris Antley, was gifted and troubled. As the film begins, he’s just getting out of rehab, and the chance to ride Charismatic is a last one. He was brought on by the horse’s trainer, the famous Wayne Lukas, and he made the best of it, at least at first (Lukas is not interviewed here, maybe because, as one colleague suggests, he still blames Antley’s bad ride in the Belmont that year for not winning the Triple Crown). Steve Michaels’ film offers a series of race footage clips, walks through barns, and talking heads. These include Antley’s friend and fellow jockey Gary Stevens and assistant trainers Mike Marlow and Randy Bradshaw: they describe basic events, noting that the horse was in a claiming race just three months before the Kentucky Derby, then won that race as a 31-1 shot with Antley on board.
This late “blossoming” was not unheard of, but it was thrilling: the horse and Antley became instantly famous as redemption stories, before they were not. The film goes at these stories in odd ways, framing TV interviews or races footage on actual TVs, located in stable aisles or in locker rooms. On one level, the device suggests the causal links between mass media and myths, the ways that stories are concocted for consumption and profits, and also how tragedies are similarly exploited. But the film doesn’t make this analysis, as much as it acts out a similar exploitation. Antley’s redemption is short-lived, and the film doesn’t look at how this happens or how the culture of jockeys and the industry of horse racing are contexts for it, so much as it laments the loss of an opportunity to make history.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article