ghosts, mermaids, and disco

Before I get into the real point of this post, a quick update to my t.v. wrap-up of last week. First, a correction: "Gilmore Girls" does not actually risk being cut next year. If I'd actually read Neal's blog more carefully, I'd know, and by extension you'd know, that the show will continue on the new network, but without creators/writers/editors/pure-genius wife-husband team Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino. I'm not sure that's any better, as much as I enjoy the performances of the actors on the show, most notably Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. And see what the Sherman-Palladino's will be up to next.

I'm still at least half-a-dozen episodes behind on the "O.C." so I won't be watching this week's finale, but rumor has it someone's getting killed off. Could it be Marissa?? And, according to Entertainment Weekly, the show's creator, Josh Schwartz, will be returning to the show full-time in the fall, so it can only get better. Unless they kill off anyone other than Marissa...then I'll have to stop watching.

Finally, on the reality television front, summer 2006 will bring us not just another season of Big Brother, but an all-star version. Starts July 6th. Even though BB falls into the reality television category that I usually don't bother to watch - i.e. there's no "real" competition between the mostly deceitful contestants and no related prize other than money - the only way I won't watch is if I miss the first couple of episodes. If I watch them, which I plan to, I know I'll be hooked and I won't be able to fight it. Besides, it's not like there's much else on. But before that (beginning on May 25th), I'll be tuning into "So You Think You Can Dance." This one fits nicely into my preferred reality t.v. category and goes well with my general interest in watching people dance (like ANTM's 5'10" girls who can strike a fierce pose, these kids can really move!).

But the real point of this post is to log the first three installments of my own personal summer film festival. I've taken it upon myself to put together a roster of films - feature-length, live-action and animated - that explore some sort of coming-of-age story or transition from a female perspective. I'm sure I've been heavily influenced by Neal's "scholarly" pursuits over the past year, but I'm not limiting my choices to adolescent narratives. I'm interested in all sorts of rites of passage (women go through lots of them over the course of a lifetime) and particularly interested in the few examples that see a girl or woman travelling. So many movies from a woman's perspective remain interior, literally taking place completely inside the family home.

Anyhow, so far I've watched "Ghost World", "The Little Mermaid", and "The Last Days of Disco." I've seen them all before (the latter two a number of times) but I really enjoyed watching them again. I've wanted to watch "Ghost World" again for some time and for other reasons - the obvious artist/art school stuff and in thinking about the writing/directing duo's follow-up project - but it definitely qualifies for my series. And I suppose Enid does take a voyage of some sort at the end...Plus, the troubled relationship between her and Rebecca seems typical of female transitional stories (some of my own included) and kind of mirrors what happens between Alice and Charlotte in "Last Days of Disco."

"The Little Mermaid," of course, is just one example of the typical princess fairy tale, which is totally relevant here. But Ariel's different. For starters, she's a redhead. It was about time we saw a redheaded princess protagonist. Plus, she's a mermaid. Yeah, so she gets her land legs in the end (I suppose that's her voyage) but oh, how I longed to be a mermaid around the time the movie came out. I was twelve and wanted nothing more from the world than a lagoon where little frogs would perch on rowboat oars and sing to me. Sigh.

Anyway, if you have any other suggestions, please do add them in your comments.


Anonymous said...

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was pretty good and has four coming of age stories for the price of one. I also liked Real Women have Curves, although that takes place primarily indoors.

:) mer

Becky G. said...

Thanks, Mer! I'll add those to my queue - both are movies I wanted to see at the time but that fell off my radar once they were no longer in theaters. Also, I kept calling the former "Sisterhood of the Corduroy Pants"...maybe because of David Sedaris' book "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" which came out around the same time, I think. Roughly a couple of years ago. And interior's definitely okay - some journeys are more psychological than literal...