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Julie Andrews plays an actress married to a director in husband Blake Edward’s ‘S.O.B.’ (1981)

Film history is rife with dream teams, all too frequently auteur-muse in nature: von Sternberg and Dietrich, Godard and Karina, Tarantino and Pitt. But few have surpassed Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards in talent, daring, or capacity for mischief. After falling in love on the set of Edwards’ ill-received and costly spy musical Darling Lili, the reluctant show business couple married in 1969. Both boasted celebrated careers ahead of that: She was synonymous with Maria von Trapp; he’d conjured up Pink Panther and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But it’s the six films they worked on together — heady espionage dramas and screwball visions of a long-gone entertainment industry — that speak to their strengths: his biting wit and madness; her vocal range and ability to hold scene after scene no matter the genre. Together, gifts fused over, and often commented on, their art and love. …


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Nightmare (dir. Romano Scavolini, 1981)

Romano Scavolini’s 1981 slasher flick Nightmare is certain about three things: One, little George Tatum, well-mannered and pure, walked in on a dominatrix straddling his father and the experience irreparably destroyed his sanity. Two, despite his persisting fear of feminine wiles, George managed to have a son, C.J., who has inherited his own father’s patricidal tendencies. Three, when a horror film has to choose between guts and glory, guts are universally preferred. Nightmare’s three truths work together. …


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While I have been repeatedly ensnared by “Chloe in the Afternoon” (the tenderest of hotel rendezvous anthems) and “Your Lips Are Red” (“Your lips are red / My face is red from reading your red lips”), it was not until the fitful static of April that I really began to find Annie Clark sexy.

As everyone’s world became plasticine — I recall those final days working in DUMBO, watching girl fridays haul bulky HP monitors aboard the F Train like bastard children — so too did my desire. Abruptly, I was working from home, masked to the gills in neoprene, and baffled by the inability to convey a smile to passersby. Lest any woman think I not appreciate her Chloé bag or find her night owl make-up pretty, I resolved to become a catcaller once the pandemic ended. Holed up in my phone and increasingly living without a body, I became unable to recognize myself as much of anything. …


Life, or at least the way we dwell online, has vastly sped up. It’s not something I’d mourned, though I figured the days of thoughtful, clandestine responses to my own writing were largely over. I am fortunate, one, to have been mistaken and, two, to be able to make private exchanges public access.

In January of this year, shortly after reviewing Tracy Heather Strain’s underappreciated documentary on the American writer Lorraine Hansberry, I received an email from a woman I’ve never met. …


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One of the most circulated pieces of women’s self-defense advice is misinformation. When walking alone at night, you should never tuck your keys between your fingers as protection. Under attack, the keybearer is more likely to shatter multiple fingers than they are to slice up an assailant; they also risk losing or mangling a door key, further impeding access to safety. In lieu of deploying “key knuckles,” self-defense teachers recommend gripping keys hammer- or knife-style.

This truth, like so many, runs counterpoint to our cultural and muscle memory. Regardless of reality, there’s comfort in sliding each cold, nickel silver key between the soft flesh and bone slots of a hand. It feels as good as a glove. For women and effeminate-types, this is a way of arming up for one’s role in a conflict far longer than the Cold War; one in defense of our genders’ right to exist, wherever, whenever, whatever. When we key knuckle, we are taking part in tradition. We fall into place in the long line of folks who’ve done this through the decades. …


Eating Chick-fil-A While Queer: A Taboo Within A Taboo

I’ve never read Albert Camus, but if I had I would’ve known that one of his most-quoted passages comes from his 1942 essay The Myth of Sisyphus, in which he wrote, “Man stands face to face with the irrational. He feels within him his longing for happiness and for reason. The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.” Fortunately, I got a good grasp on what ol’ Camus was getting at by way of a film released half a century after The Myth of Sisyphus was published: Steel Magnolias. In the quippy, southern-fried chick flick, hairdresser at-large Truvey Jones echoes the French-Algerian writer’s sentiments succinctly, and in far fewer words: Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. …

About

Sarah Fonseca

Sarah Fonseca is a publicly-educated nonfiction writer from the Georgia foothills who lives in New York City.

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