Monday, December 26, 2011

Burning Questions: The End of 2011 Edition (Starring Kirsten Dunst, Bangkok and Shooting Sprees)

Where the hell is Garbage? It's been nearly seven years since Bleed Like Me, and music could certainly use an injection of Shirley Manson's bad-ass glamor and hard-core attitude right about now.

Now that the Black Eyed Peas are on hiatus, can we finally expect Fergie's follow-up to The Dutchess, her 2006 solo debut? Katy Perry could certainly use the Hot 100 competition right about now.

Why Michelle Williams and not Kirsten Dunst? Both costarred in well-received films with Ryan Gosling last year. Williams scored an Oscar nod (for her efforts in Blue Valentine), Dunst did not (for hers in All Good Things). This year, Williams is pretty much guaranteed a second consecutive Best Actress nod (and third overall) for My Week with Marilyn, while the never-nominated Dunst is considered a mere long shot for Melancholia, despite winning Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival. Though I still don't understand why Dunst's Justine is the only one in her screen family who speaks with an American accent, Dunst delivers one of the most vivid depictions of intense depression that I've seen. This should be her moment.

Was it something they said -- or didn't say?
What was it with 2011 and movies about parents raising mass murderers? In We Need to Talk about Kevin, Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly's kid used bows and arrows. In Beautiful Boy, the title character did it the old-fashioned way, with gunfire. At least the murderous offspring of Maria Bello and Michael Sheen's characters had the guts to off himself, too.

Should parents be wary of a quiet, withdrawn child with very few friends? That's one theory that Maria Bello's character threw out there in Beautiful Boy, that maybe she and her husband should have seen that as a clue that he might turn out to be homicidal/suicidal. But aren't great artists sort of born that way, too? Yes, the boy's strange behavior on the phone the night before his shooting spree was odd, but that's how people act when they are depressed (see Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia), which doesn't always lead to acts of extreme violence. The bottom line: Some things in life are random, as impossible to explain as why non-smokers get lung cancer. "Was it something that I did?" my mother asked when I came out to her. If it had been, all of her children would be gay, not just two of them. Sometimes all the vigilance and good parenting in the world won't stop what's going to happen from happening.

Speaking of Michael Sheen, why do British (and in Sheen's case, specifically, Welsh) actors always have to lose their accents to star in American films? Are there not people with British accents in the U.S.? Or do directors fear that U.S. audiences won't be able to understand British accents. I'll admit it: Sometimes I struggle with them. I've had to turn on the subtitles while watching my Absolutely Fabulous DVDs and occasionally had to read the Spanish subtitles to understand what the actors were saying when I saw The Queen and Notes on a Scandal in the cinema in Buenos Aires!

Why does parting always bring such sweet sorrow even when we're excited about where we are going? I'm thrilled to be returning to Melbourne a few days into 2012, and I probably overstayed my welcome in Bangkok by about a month, but I'm still getting teary-eyed over my impending departure. What will DJ Station do without me?

And now for your listening and viewing pleasure (one of the best things about the 1990s)...

Post a Comment