At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003


Khads says she recently passed over an opportunity to see Frida. As it happens, I watched it on DVD over the weekend. I think Khads' life can still have meaning without having seen the movie, but it was nevertheless a well-done biopic of an interesting personage. Yes, Felix, Selma Hayek does sport a unibrow, Kahlo's trademark feature. And yes, Khads, there is smut, although not as much as in, say, Henry and June or other high-brow, soft-porn NC-17 films. Now that I think about it, the plotlines for both Frida and Henry and June are remarkable similar, which is all the more interesting since both are based on true stories. In either film, two jazz age artists have a love affair made sour by the man's infidelity, driving the woman to experiment with lesbianism. The similarity may not be that surprising given the time and place--probably lots of 1920's intellectuals afflicted with a libertine philosophy of sex experienced similar troubles. In any case, the movie helped me understand some of Kahlo's paintings, whose symbolism is based on events in the artist's life. The Tim Burton-esque animated dream sequences were conspicuously out of place, though.

A friend of mine recently emailed me to say he read a good book called A Confederacy of Dunces and was wondering if I had ever heard of it. In fact I've read it about half a dozen times, and just finished listening to the audio cassette version. The email revived my curiosity about the long-rumored film adaptation, so I checked Internet Movie Database. It says that Steven Soderbergh is writing the screenplay and the director is one David Gordon Green. Soderbergh grew up in Baton Rouge and Green is also a Southerner, so between them they should have a feel for the region. The only casting credit mentioned is Drew Barrymore, billed as Darlene the stripper. The absolutely crucial decision, of course, is over who plays Ignatius. Pablo and I have racked our brains trying to think of an appropriate choice, but so far haven't come up with any good ideas. I would love to see Chris Rock as Jones, the malcontent janitor. Jones' incessant griping about racism always reminds me of Rock as "Natty X" on SNL. I also nominate Janeane Garofalo as Myrna Minkoff, the bitchy pseudo-intellectual New Yorker. Perhaps the gay sidekick from Will and Grace could play Dorian Green. Any ideas y'all?


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