Monthly Archives: April 2011

Link Dump: #31

Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to pet a kitty for me. But until that day, consider this set of awesome Internet links a gift on this Friday. This is a Link Dump you can’t refuse, because we finally used the kitty from the opening scene of The Godfather.

  • Personal plug: as previously mentioned, Ashley’s final project in her Graphic Memoir class was writing and illustrating a 10-page graphic memoir. All the students’ stories were put together and printed to create Pulling Teeth: Abington Stories (which you can totally buy right here)!
  • If you like The Film Experience’s “First and Last” series, you’ll love David Bordwell’s latest piece, all about beginnings and endings in films like Snow White, The Wild One, and Broken Blossoms.
  • Really, honestly, what’s better than the intersection of film and comics? Adrian Tomine is helping to raise money for Japan by selling gorgeous prints of his DVD cover art for two Ozu films. Both Ozu and Tomine are all about perfectly composed frames, so it’s a match made in visual art heaven.
  • 12 minutes of Wilhelm screams!
  • News stories don’t come much more bizarre than this one about urine and cough drops from Orlando.
  • FreakyTrigger has an image-packed review of Russ Meyer’s Mudhoney. (They give a trigger warning, so I will too.)
  • Call for creativity! If you’re part of a marginalized group, contribute to this zine; it’s for a final project and a cool opportunity to have your voice heard.
  • Cinema Enthusiast has an awesome list of “10 Creepy Villains from Children’s Films,” with some obscure and Dahl-tastic choices.
  • We here at Pussy Goes Grrr are grammar fanatics so this article about 11 Grammatically Incorrect Movie Titles tickles us just the right way. (Seriously, lol!)
  • I (Ashley) used to be an avid fanfic writer (and sometimes I’ll get a wild hair and start a completely random fanfic now at 22 years of age), so the inevitable “Fuck Yeah, Fanfic Flamingo” is so delightful to me I can’t even explain it. Many a fanfic reader/writer will enjoy it as well.

As usual, this week saw about a zillion different pornographic search terms with “pussy” in them. Three of the weirdest were “kids 10 and up getting pussy” (yuck/yikes), “the most profound and wide pussy” (Zen pussy?), and of course, “why don’t wives give up the pussy,” which makes “pussy” sound like the remote control a couple is fighting over.

I enjoyed the very dull search for “bland, empty, generically,” as well as the open-ended “we could have saved the” (what?! what?!). But the cake was taken by the poorly punctuated, redundant, and hilarious “wow ,it’s very sexy ,sex shopping ,i like it very much.” I like it very much too.

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Updates from Another World

By Andreas

First, I want to share Patton Oswalt’s reaction to the Obama birth certificate bullshit:

With that out of the way, I’ve got two fun pieces of vaguely me-related blogging news! First off, The Mike of From Midnight, With Love recently wrapped up his very fun, drawn-out “MARCH MIDNIGHT MADNESS” competition; you can go there to read all about how 64 movies went in and only 1 came out. I participated in the voting for most rounds, and can happily say that the ultimate winner, The Thing, was my pick to win pretty much ever since Carnival of Souls was eliminated.

Second, you (yes, that’s right, YOU) can buy the 366 Weird Movies 2010 Yearbook for only $7 or so on Amazon! It’s bursting with a wide range of short, cool reviews by the 366 Weird Movies crew (myself included, talking about Splice and Peacock), covering 2010 theatrical, DVD, and Blu-ray releases. Plus it has an index of Certified Weird movies! Really, what’s not to love? So if you want to read about recent weird movies in solid book form—you know, in case the Internet dies or something—this is definitely your best bet!

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Harpo’s Tattoos

By Andreas

The Marx Brothers’ masterpiece Duck Soup has many moments of utter, off-the-wall, WTF-inspiring surrealism, but this one tops them all. How could any other visual gag, no matter how inspired, ever compete with the sublime madness of a real-live dog poking its head out of Harpo’s chest? Yes, the scene where Harpo hides fully dressed in a bathtub underneath an unsuspecting, naked Edgar Kennedy is pretty weird, and so is Harpo callously hacking up Kennedy’s clothes with a pair of scissors. (Noticing a trend here?)

But come on: it’s a dog emerging from a tattoo in the middle of Harpo’s chest and barking in Groucho’s face. That’s an absolutely baffling non sequitur on the order of the “Large Marge” scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, the kind that leaves you reeling for a couple minutes afterward. The kind that lets you know that the rules are no longer in effect—that you are not watching a “normal” movie. In both these examples, it’s because inventive camera techniques have been used to subvert “reality,” letting us know that we’re entering a realm where literally anything is possible. If they can dream it, they can film it.

This scene has another very strange, unexpected dimension: it’s slightly homoerotic (and therefore incestuous). After all, we get a few solid minutes of Harpo showing off his body to an inquisitive Groucho, starting with his tattooed arms and his hip (see above), which bears a phone number. Harpo eagerly bares his chest while maintaining that maniacal grin, then Groucho puts his mouth right next to the tattoo and meows. “Weird” doesn’t really begin to cover it. The barking dog is really just the icing on the cake—and while most movies would showcase the dog’s appearance as audaciously avant-garde, in Duck Soup it’s just one more punchline, delivered with little fanfare.

In fact, we get one more bizarre, quasi-sexual joke as Groucho declares, “I’ll betcha haven’t got a picture of my grandfather,” and Harpo leaps to take off his pants and expose his ass before Groucho stops him. This scene’s ambiguous sexual tension is very understated, but unmistakable: Harpo is communicating through a surreal, bit-by-bit striptease while his brother marvels at his strange body, getting closer and closer. So both the formal and sexual aspects of this scene are further proof that in the world of Duck Soup, all bets are off. Nothing is off the table. If you didn’t learn that during the film’s first half-hour, you have now!

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Perfectly Cromulent Analysis: Lisa’s Pony

By Andreas

As we continue with the new, condensed version of “Perfectly Cromulent Analysis,” we arrive at an episode that’s pure genius in how it explores Homer and Lisa’s fraught father/daughter relationship. Blending powerful drama with physical and verbal comedy, “Lisa’s Pony” has the best of both worlds, and a sophisticated analysis of the Simpson family’s internal dynamics. It gets so much comic mileage out of its inherently absurd premise—Homer buys Lisa a pony in a bid to redeem himself as a father—but keeps itself grounded in stark emotional reality. It’s about the disastrous personal and financial consequences of rash decisions, all rooted in the basic irony of trying to realistically represent a preposterous situation.

It’s also crammed with great character moments for a panoply of Springfield residents. Early on, for example, we witness the Springfield Elementary talent show, which sets the episode’s events in motion; as usual, Principal Skinner is being something less than a model of patience and academic authority. While watching Milhouse’s underwhelming attempt to play the spoons, he groans, “You know, they seem to get worse every year.” Then as the act ends, he walks onstage, and proclaims to the gathered parents: “You know, I think this is the best batch we’ve ever had! I really do!” This is in line with the usual jokes about the school administration being jaded and hateful (like Skinner’s fantastic “We both know these children have no future!” from “The PTA Disbands”), but takes it a step further by having him turn around and, without missing a beat, lie to the parents’ faces.

Read more about Skinner, Apu, and Homer’s parenting after the jump.

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Ewan Keeps Me Hanging On

By Andreas

Do you like Lou Reed music? What about Danny Boyle movies? Do you think Ewan McGregor’s incredibly attractive even when he’s playing an emaciated heroin addict? If any of those answers was “yes,” then you should go read my new piece on the song “Perfect Day” and its use in Trainspotting over at The Film Experience. Although I haven’t watched all of Trainspotting in a while, this scene is the one that really, really sticks with me, and “Perfect Day” is a complex song that does a great job of setting the mood and subtly commenting on the action.

Why can’t Boyle pull genius moves like that anymore? 127 Hours had a few scattered scenes that were viscerally powerful or vaguely incisive, but the film as a whole got lost in its own optimism. In a short Oscars piece I wrote in February, I talked about how Boyle “turned a gruesome, real-life ordeal into a giddy, feel-good horror movie”; meanwhile, in Trainspotting, he had no problem revealing the fundamental hopelessness of Renton’s situation. Same goes for 28 Days Later, happy ending or no. At least we can still revel in the morbid irony of the “Perfect Day” sequence, not to mention John Murphy’s awesome 28 Days Later score!

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Are you disoriented?

In honor of Pussy Goes Grrr’s second birthday, we’re changing our WordPress theme! (We did the same thing last year.) We’re trying out Pilcrow in place of our normal Redoable Lite, hoping to move away from the old “light text on dark background” problem to a sleeker, more reader-friendly color scheme. (With optional, changeable background images!) So, since you’re the ones we’re doing this for, what do you think?

If you have other thoughts, please let us know below!

(And we promise, this birthday meta-reflection will end soon, to be replaced by more content!)

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Pussy Goes Two Years Old!

Andreas

Yes, you read that correctly: Pussy Goes Grrr has been up and around for 2 whole years, as of today! (The Earth Day thing is a total coincidence.) In the past year, so much has happened, both in our personal lives (Ashley moved and started college!) and on the blog (we both posted a lot!). But through it all, I’d like to think that we’ve maintained some semblance of integrity, as well as our commitment to mixing pop culture and sexual politics like a lime and a coconut. We’ve expanded, networked, pontificated, and had some fun. I hope we keep up these trends in the next year… but we’re all about our friends and readers, so if you have any ideas about where Pussy Goes Grrr should head in the future, comment below (or send us an email) and let us know!

In a reversal of last year’s birthday celebration, Ashley and I decided that we should write about each other’s work over the past year. So get ready for an orgy of self-linking and excessive praise (with no apologies)! Ashley’s posting frequency has declined somewhat as a result of major life events, like the afore-mentioned new apartment and full collegiate course load, and it’s a fact that consistently frustrates her. But she’s still managed to consistently write some intimidatingly incisive commentary on topics like fatphobia, reproductive rights, stereotypes, victim-blaming, and more. Her powerful, impassioned arguments blow me (and our readers) away every single time.

Thankfully, since last July, she’s also been hammering away at her Tumblr, Lead on, oh Kinky Turtle. She usually posts there on a daily basis, passing on the latest in progressive news, movie screenshots, and short essays of her own. If you have a Tumblr account, she’s absolutely must-follow. (Same goes for her Twitter feed, @Kinky_Turtle.) I’ll wrap up with a few of her other fantastic posts of the past year:

Ashley

It’s hard for me to believe that another year has passed for Pussy Goes Grrr. Of course, it’s hard for me to believe that nearly a year has gone by since I moved and that I’m about to finish my first year of college and that Andreas is fucking graduating from college, holy fuck, man. Time is a strange thing. I haven’t been the most stellar blogger this past year but luckily where I failed, Andreas more than fucking made up for it. He put out an incredible amount of posts this past year; it’s staggering really, how much he wrote. How did he do it while still maintaining a full college course load and all of his interpersonal relationships? By not sleeping and putting a lot of shit off to the very last minute!

But ultimately it’s all worth it since it gives our readers a plethora of things to read! Andreas started off our second year well with a post about the world of infomercials and it all just got better from there. Andreas is one of the best fucking film critics/writers I know (and I’m not just saying that ’cause he’s my boyfriend; this guy is legit) and as a result he writes about movies, all kinds: from eviscerating E.T. to dissecting Divine, Andreas is in his element when it comes to film. So much so that he’s written for other film blogs: his work on 366 Weird Movies and The Film Experience are absolutely excellent and any regular readers of PGG would love it. If you’re a big fan of Andreas and still crave more of his witticisms and snark, definitely follow him on Twitter (@adonisinfurs). I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorite of Andreas’s posts:

  • Where I severely (and tragically) failed during October, Andreas was on fucking fire the entire month. Here’s a collection of the twenty-fucking-eight  fantastic Halloween posts he wrote, which includes pieces on Jacob’s Ladder, The Sentinel, James Mason narrating The Tell-Tale Heart and a complete run-down of the best and worst “Treehouse of Horror” episodes.
  • Speaking of The Simpsons, one of the best aspects of PGG is Andreas’s “Perfectly Cromulent Analysis” series. This boy knows his goddamn Simpsons. One of my personal favorites is, of course, “Bart Sells His Soul.”
  • As evidenced above, Andreas has a thing for creating series on PGG; some are currently dormant but one of the most successful is “One Hour Mark.”
  • Andreas also has a thing for lists. Especially movie lists: “2010: The Year We Make Lists.”
  • And finally, this caters to my own personal love of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies: “Welcome to my nightmare.”

To really cap it all off, Andreas and I want to collectively re-share one of our favorite entries of the past year: this very negative joint review of Adam Green’s Frozen for the Final Girl Film Club. Snark galore! And really, isn’t that what this blog is all about?

So there you have it, two whole fucking years of Pussy Goes Grrr. I recently described this blog as my and Andreas’s child, a child that is way cooler and more fun to take care of than a real kid. (A child that doesn’t starve to death when one of its parents neglects it for a long time.) It may sound sappy, but this is a blog that was truly built by love; we started it with our joint interests in mind and have watched it grow from there. I can only hope that the following year is more productive on my end and continually prolific for Andreas.

And now that I’ve gotten the sentimental stuff outta the way I shall leave you with one last thing. Last summer we decided to do a (usually) weekly Link Dump featuring links to things that we enjoy. There have been thirty link dumps since then and each one had its own kitty. And so I leave you with the Grid O’ Kitties:

Thank you all for a great year! Here’s to hoping for another!

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