In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

“Mistress America” Coming Soon

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Looking forward to doing things that increase my happy this year, one of which is to see more movies–that is, carefully selected films.

I used to pride myself on keeping abreast of the latest in cinema and music, always knowledgeable of the reviews and stars of the new and up and coming movies and albums. My husband and I would often compare our notes for the week’s reviews over dinner, each of us agreeing with or refuting Robert Hillburn’s reviews in the LA Times on music or Siskel & Ebert on the movies. It was the nineties and for us a time of celebrating creativity by taking in art fairs around town, even purchasing pieces, and subscriptions to plays in Los Angeles. We went to concerts of our favorite artists at the time, Sting or the Police before him, enjoyed small jazz clubs in Newport or classical performances at the Hollywood Bowl. Then we had kids.

After children, we barely had time to remember our names let alone keep up on the arts. Something about that lost time always has me remotely anxious about the possibility of alien scientific observational abductions or parallel lives. Where exactly were we and what were we doing all that time that seemed impossibly franticly activity and emergency-laden? And yet I cannot remember more than a blur of movement punctuated by tears of joy, terror and pride

But now that the kids are mostly grown, I have the yearning to re-immerse myself in the creative world, enjoy the spirit of human expression. Toward those efforts, I spent some time last year checking out a few friend-recommended and friend-curated gallery openings around town and in the city, OMC Gallery of Contemporary Art in Old World, Huntington Beach, and Coagula Curatorial in Los Angeles, to name a couple, for discovering up and coming and/or lesser known artists. I also went to the locally notorious Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach for the first time, though I have lived in Southern California for over 35 years, in addition to a few visits to to the biggies of museums like Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the Stanley Kubrick installation and later the World Cup soccer exhibition, as well as the Huntington Library, the latter for the first time.

These discrete instances have stirred the hunger for more to colorize my thoughts and the sensibilities the way only the arts can. This year will continue the gradual immersion back into the b/c (before children) life with even more live music performances both classical and rock I enjoyed the latter part of last year, more art appreciation opportunities and more movies.

I read this a few weeks ago, but thought a blog post about the Sundance Festival projected favorites of the year would both offer readers who missed it a heads up and manifest my intention to sit in theaters more (so I get to see an entire movie rather than portions that I happen to walk in on when the rest of the family is vegging before the tube). There are several movies on the list I’m excited for, but of course Mistress America attracted my attention by the title alone. Not much has been released about this Noah Baumbach collaboration with Greta Gerwig (Francis Ha), other than the one or two lines of plot–college freshman gets yanked from solitude into wacky escapades by her future relative–and that it is scored by Indie pop duo Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (who I listened to and enjoyed in researching this short review).

Curious title for the plot snippet published, which entices me to watch for enlightenment. In what context is “Mistress” used, as owner, object of desire, or illicit interloper? And is the future step sister the mistress with that title or is America called a mistress, titled by mistress as form of address? I get distracted by this sort of thing. Like everyone else, however, I’ll have to wait and see.

Hope for all those not working (I am, but contentedly so) it is a down day, down on the couch or in the armchair that is, watching movies or football or the garden grow, whatever relaxes. Peace.

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