Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Suma quoted me in her blog. So honored! In return, here are my thoughts on Frida, her topic du jour...

Julie Taymor is quite a good director. She does amazing things with light and color and sound, and she gets her actors to give some really focused and interesting performances. So why oh why does she feel the need to insert all that artsy-puppety crap into every single one of her movies? It was alright in spots. It was okay at their wedding when they were posed like they are in one of Frida's portraits, and I liked it when they went to New York and found themselves in a kind of Russian constructivist collage. I was even okay with the reflection of King-Kong-Diego in the bathtub. But the rest of it just seemed so unnecessary. Actually, I think it really distracted from the characters. When I first started watching Frida, I thought I really understood what life must have been like for Frida and Diego. And that is quite amazing, because there is all this mythology around them that has turned them into these fantastical, almost supernatural figures. But by the end of the movie, I felt like Hayek and Taymor had gotten right back to mythologizing Frida in that way that is so easy to do with someone who is an artist and a cripple and who died young. And the puppety interludes were just more of the same, and the characters had turned back into the same old melodramatic cliches.

So all in all I was disappointed. But props to Selma for getting her damn movie made, and hooray for facial hair, and the parts of the movie that were good were so good that I can almost forgive the rest.


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