9.25.2011

SCUM: SOCIETY FOR CUTTING UP MEN

Valerie Solanas is infamous for shooting Andy Warhol. She was pissed that he wouldn't read her screenplay 'Up Your Ass'. Viva was on the phone with Andy at the time and thought the boys at the Factory were teasing her.  But it was no joke, Valerie decided enough was enough, "I just wanted him to pay attention to me. Talking to him was like talking to a chair." One amazing artifact to come from her hands, besides the scars on Andy's body, is the SCUM Manifesto.







Valerie is crazy. A lot of what she has to say is spot on. Some of her ideas are silly, BUT someone needed to write those words down -- FOR PROGRESS' SAKE.

Plus, women are obviously the coolest. Valerie Solanas gets that. If I was unlucky enough to be born in that time I may have had a lot more anger issues like her. Now we can be more focused on changing society to be more like the FEMALE (strong, empathetic, amazing). We need more female directors, more lady politicians, more women controlling the media through which we interact with the world.

Reading aloud parts of the SCUM manifesto on a first date is a sure way to make sure your date  A. is not a gender normative jerk B. has a sense of humor and C. loves you.


9.22.2011

COOL CATS (WITH FANCY HATS)











I love cats, especially Japanese cats. My favorite Japanese cat is Maru (if you've never heard of Maru, you are in for a pleasant surprise) and now these kitties have stolen my heart. For photos of them check out this and for videos this.

THEY ARE SO COOL AND WHAT PRETTY FLOWERS

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9.15.2011

KANGA ROOS







A beautiful photo by Sam Hood, a hilarious gif and two amazing photos of Amelia by her mother Robin Schwartz (my favorite)! 

Kangaroos are so silly. I've only seen one at a petting zoo at the Sacramento County fair, it was small and sedated. I've heard stories of their brashness and intimidating tail.


9.14.2011

VIVA SUPERSTAR



I have been living in a parallell universe of Viva for the past few weeks as I read both of her novels (a review of BABY forthcoming). SUPERSTAR is a coming of age story.  The saga of Janet Susan Mary Hoffman. The story takes us through her strict, perverse, and at times abusive catholic childhood, through her trials and tribulations in education from Catholic school to art school in Paris, trying her hand at modeling, the awakening of Viva in the Factory scene, her burgeoning film career and falling in love. She changes everyone's names in her very autobiographical novel, but they are pretty easy to figure out. Most of the Factory scene is a cinch but some of the French film makers are beyond me. I've created a key for your amusement. Please tell me if you know who these coded names could possibly be! There is so much SEX in this book that we could start A LOT of rumors. Scandals fifty years in the making.

Gloria = Viva : Augustine = Janet
A = Andy Warhol
Olga = Nico
Infra Red = Ultra Violet
Evie = Edie Sedgewick
The Plant = The Factory
Angelo = Michel Auder (Viva's french husband)
Dolores = ?? (female artist who cuts out pictures of penises and puts them all around NYC)
Tekla = Julia (Andy's mother)
Adele Vargas = Agnes Varda
Jean La Fonce = Jane Fonda
Robert = Roger Vadim (Jane's husband)
Sylvia = ?? (beautiful red-haired hippie who funded struggling film makers)
Lucien Centi = ?? (French movie star)
Ivan = ?? (French film maker)
Anton = ?? (another French film maker)
Regina La Paz = Valerie Solanas
Slim O'Reilly = Timothy Leary
Sergio Bourgigion = ?? (expatriate French director)
Betty & Marcus St. Andrews = ?? (Marcus was a Broadway actor)
Hippie & Groovy (co-authors of Mustache) =  James Rado & Gerome Ragni (co-authors of HAIR)
Tigers Tremble = LIONS LOVE
Creepy Cowboys = Lonesome Cowboys

















Superstar is Viva's first novel. 

Says GORE VIDAL of Viva's novel, Superstar: "Not since Mary McCarthy's Memories has any book so beautifully and poignantly describes the hazards and results of a Catholic girlhood in America."

BOOK JACKET: "Superstar Viva, adored, acclaimed, imitated, underground movie star and heroine of the New People, writes a startling novel--perhaps the most revelatory and honest work of fiction ever produced by a woman. Andy Warhol's shining Superstar lays bare the freak, hip world, the world of outrageous, easy sex and abundant drugs, of the beautiful and the avant-garde. 

Here is a comic, poignant, anti-intellectual, American existential tale of Gloria, the Superstar: early childhood in a convent school, forbidden intimations of sexuality, disturbing realisations of American hypocrisy, Paris, New York, Hollywood, underground stardom, pyscho-sexual obsessions, drugs, orgies, sensational experiences with the great and the near great. 

Viva's straightforward, sometimes brutally perceptive personality penetrates to the essence of these worlds and brings them vividly to life through a mixed bag of techniques: frank narration, taped conversations, outrageous 'pillow talk,' dreams, journal entries, letters. Shocking, outspoken, incredibly honest, there has never been a novel like SUPERSTAR."

The New York Times said of her: "Viva manages to suggest a hippie Dietrich and an outgoing Garbo."

I enjoy Viva's style and all her various types of narration. The novel provides a perfect snapshot of her world and all its personalities. 

She is so beautiful and coooooooool. Read her book and you too can be so hip!



9.07.2011

FAERIE TALE THEATRE

One home-recorded VHS tape in my family's small collection was marked "Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood." It housed the most delightfully sweet live-action fairy tales my eyes had witnessed. I knew that Shelley Duvall was beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. She introduced me and so many children of the eighties to new worlds of magical beings and princesses galore.


It all began in 1980 while Shelley was on the island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean filming Popeye. She brought along many fairy tales to read. Shelley showed Robin Williams, her Popeye co-star, The Tale of the Frog Prince, and imagined him playing the lead role. When she got back to LA she created Platypus Productions and pitched to all the studios a live-action fairy tale series. Shelley was turned down by most until she met with newly-formed cable network Showtime who agreed to produce her show. With the help of many many friends in the industry, she was able to make her dreams come true and Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre aired on TV from 1982-1987. The Tale of the Frog Prince starring Robin became the pilot episode!



She hosted each tale herself, "Hello, I'm Shelley Duvall and Welcome to Faerie Tale Theatre!" became a mainstay.



Shelley Duvall on a white horse!


Mary Steenburgen as Mary and Malcolm McDowell as the Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood (I always felt a little sorry for the wolf walking around with stones in his belly).


Shelley Duvall as Rapunzel and Jeff Bridges as the Prince in Rapunzel (and Gena Rowlands as the poor Witch who just wanted a baby).


Jennifer Beals as Cinderella and Matthew Broderick as Prince Henry in Cinderella (he's so handsome!).

Teri Garr as the Princess and Robin Williams as the Frog Prince in The Tale of the Frog Prince.


Liza Minnelli as Princess Alecia in the Princess and the Pea.



One of my favorite scenes in Snow White is Vanessa Redgrave as the Evil Queen spinning around in ribbons after she poisons Snow White. I love her VANITY.

You can watch all 26 episodes of Faerie Tale Theatre on Hulu, or buy the set if you'd rather not have commercial interruptions. These wonderfully-told stories do not cease to amuse and inspire 30 years later. A perfect watch if you are craving kind-hearted yet culturally significant TV.

How fun it must of been to work on one of these episodes! It's no wonder that she was able to find so many talented actors and directors to work with. Shelley really created something magical.