Browsing: The Persistence of Malice

May – June, 2010

Blog Posts

Eyes Wide Open Directed by Haim Tabakman Original screenplay by Merav Doster
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EYES WIDE OPEN is a compressed drama of forbidden same-sex love within an insular community, namely the highly regulated society of Orthodox Jewry in a tight-knit neighborhood in Jerusalem. Presented in New York at this year’s Jewish Film Festival, the film is a stark reminder that the irregular contours of gay experience are perhaps best depicted by those outside the commercial cinema who are not bound by its cosmetic imperatives.

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In Gertrude Stein, the latest story of her life, author Lucy Daniel considers the ways in which Stein consciously constructed her public self, and in turn how the public came to construct an Idea of Gertrude Stein.

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Andy Warhol: The Last Decade thom th Joseph D. Ketner II
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ANDY WARHOL is best known for the Pop phase of his work, for fusing high art with low, starting in the 1950’s. “By the end of the 1970’s he felt trapped by the public’s expectations of him to present images of popular culture and to embody fame and social celebrity through mass media,” writes Joseph D. Ketner II, in Andy Warhol: The Last Decade, a collaborative venture between the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. “He had grown weary of the continuous parade of society portrait commissions and physically exhausted by the nightly clubbing on the New York social circuit.”

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CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN POLITICS features a phenomenon that would have baffled Anita Bryant in 1977: the stealthy homophobe. Bryant looked voters in the eye and said that gay people were a threat to society. Right-wing political figures in the 21st century often act on the same belief but lack Bryant’s candor.

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Quirky news of the day

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Historical and sociological work on GLBT people has also focused on cities, not just because of the demographic concentration but also because queer scholars prefer to live in urban centers with their intellectual, political, and archival wealth. Even anthropologist Mary Gray chose to live in Louisville, Kentucky, while doing research for Out in the Country and to have an academic home in the Women’s Studies Department.

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WHEN A BRIDE and groom exchange vows in a cathedral, chapel, or temple, they receive a marriage license blessed simultaneously by their clergy and their state. But why? Other religious ceremonies aren’t wedded to civil ones. The county clerk doesn’t issue a baptism license. A priest doesn’t deliver a funeral eulogy and then sign the death certificate. Could separating religious and civil marriages solve the gay-marriage standoff?

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The Professor and Other Writings, a collection of previously published essays and a new, jaw-dropping autobiographical piece about a lesbian affair in academia, is as inconsistent as such collections usually are. But the author’s ability to blend her scholarly interests (in the First World War, for instance) with moving details from her personal life and even her ancestry (a British great uncle killed in 1918) offer insights into both her ideas and her life from various angles.

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