Dating essay girlhood loss matching motherhood underwear wacky womanhood world

13-Mar-2016 12:17 by 2 Comments

Dating essay girlhood loss matching motherhood underwear wacky womanhood world

But filmmaking, as it springs from and calls so readily upon the artist's subconscious, reveals true intent, outs hidden fears. She appears to us as if connected primordially to that bed, to whatever mystical, life-giving powers are contained inside that well-ridden old war horse of a mattress.Far from any kind of cinematic sistas-are-doin'-it-for-themselves block party, what we get, from Lee's characterizations, from his specific directing choices, from telltale elisions and juxtapositions within the narrative, is Nola Darling the defiant slattern with "no devotion, allegiance or loyalty whatsoever" (as one of her beaus will put it), a future carrier of black children whose ability to maintain bonds past the initial rush of next week's infatuation is as fuck-numbed as her gluttonous and perenially palpitating fudge cooter. Lee encases her total essence within about a minute's worth of montage in her first sex scene with beta nice guy Jamie: Jamie reduced to shadow entity in cinematographer Ernest Dickerson's velvet chiaroscuro, tending to his queen's body like a grateful serf; Nola, eyes closed on her horizontal throne of reception, as she fortifies her pretense to surrender with a naughty-little-girl grin; Nola and her near-triangular Jack-Nance-in-Eraserhead/Larry-Blackmon-from-Cameo 'fro profiled in isolation as she tilts her head back and succumbs to self-worship, her utter possession by Eros.

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While Nola appears one-dimensional in perspective and focus, seemingly more concerned about her sexual relationships than about any other aspect of her life, the male characters are multidimensional. Mars' face lowers itself into frame — a monastically concentrating god from above or perhaps an overpowering alien force — as he claims her left nipple in the PG-13 decade's most dedicated homage to giant silver-dollar-pancake areolae seen in a non-European, non-XXX-rated production.When she opens her mouth to hit us with the aforementioned I-can't-be-defined-by-society babble, we'd rather she didn't: it sounds like every steaming pile of a defensive whore's rehearsed self-justifications you've ever rolled your eyes to.She has no original thoughts, no real identity beyond walking female id — Players Magazine centerfold given life by the devious Dr.Frankenstein (emphasis on the -stein) of cult-Marx sexual politics.Spike Lee begins this, his feature debut, with a quote from Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, about men's unsentimental attachment to a reality that's bound to mock and disappoint while women lose themselves in daydream, in patently mush-brained expectations regarding life and love.And that's exactly the dichotomy he provides for us with his ostensible celebration of dusky womanhood au naturel that sees his breezily polyamorous, stability-shunning, black-Brooklyn bohemian hump-junkie Nola Darling — emblem of a wholly Great Society-enabled, post-Wimmin's Lib, ladies-of-the-Eighties, I-don't-see-no-ring-on-this-finger, future-single-black-mother sexual initiative — crowing to us that she can't be owned or tamed or made to conform to anyone's square-ass notions of what's normal, while the three suitors she's used and then discarded the moment they dared get too serious are left smarting from the new orthodoxy's high-heeled kicks to their optimism regarding women and their hopes for black-love togetherness.

What no one at the time gleaned from this charmingly clunky bellwether of the Eighties indie-film renaissance was how accurately it recorded the Left's dissolution of black relationships (and, thus, the black community) via the acid of "sexual freedom"; in its pop-cultural status as generally unheeded alarm bell, She's Gotta Have It is comparable to Eddie Murphy's riffs on modern women in Raw, to any number of the day's materialist-single-girl Soul Train anthems ("What Have You Done for Me Lately," "Ain't Nothing Going on But the Rent"), to countless concurrent rap verses indicting gold-digging, alpha thug-chasing "skeezers" and "hoes." It's an understandable oversight, given the film's disarmingly modest aims, its shot-in-16mm-black-and-white-for-peanuts ambience, its talky, Manhattan-esque pivoting on the romantic tribulations of middle-class black New Yorkers just as cozy and charming in their own way as those gosh-darn Huxtables on The Cosby Show.Indeed, promoted as "A Seriously Sexy Comedy," while its writer-producer-director-star was pushed onto the culture-section-of-The-New-Yorker crowd as a sort of sepia Woody Allen, She's Gotta Have It comes off rather like a film student's senior thesis project, with its goofball character names (though they're not as ridiculous here as they'd get in later Lee "joints"), with its clumsy appropriation of Nouvelle Vague tics like jump cuts, title cards, musical sequences out of nowhere, and characters explaining themselves to the camera, with the varying levels of cue card-reading competence and community-drama-class amateurishness of its cast.(Go figure: Lee himself, as the hyperkinetic B-boy nerd Mars Blackmon, is among the least awkward.) Even its creator seemed to misread what he was putting onscreen.In Spike Lee's Gotta Have It: Inside Guerrilla Filmmaking, the making-of book released as a companion to the film, Lee considered She's Gotta Have It a riposte to men's supposed hypocrisy regarding promiscuity."[Men] are encouraged to have and enjoy sex, while it's not so for women," the auteur mused."If they do what men do they're labeled whore, prostitute, nympho, etc. " Lee may have set out — or, so he claimed — to explore black female sexuality as force of nature, to salute his heroine's love canal as the Underground Railroad bringing her Kneegrow Spirit to its aesthetic liberation: beholden to no one's rigid parameters, unchained and unchainable. Before we even see Nola's face, we register her as a lump stirring under a mass of sheets on what Lee's script refers to as her "loving bed" (a "whoring bed" to match that of her kindred spirit, Joe, in Lars von Trier's two-part Nymphomaniac epic).