Sunday, October 29, 2006

Supporting Actress Sundays: 1982

Yes, it's that time of the month again, if you know what I mean. Yet another roundelay of Supporting Actress Sundays has been convened chez StinkyLulu, this time with Nathaniel, Ken, and myself as Stinky's proudly actressexual coffee-klatschers. This month we review the ballot from 1982, when Hollywood collective frrrrrreaked out about gender and its discontents. Not in that rigorous and politicized 1991 way, as in Poison or Paris Is Burning or High Heels or My Own Private Idaho or Naked Lunch; dontcha know by now, these aren't the Independent Spirit Awards. Instead, Oscar flirted with gender parody in a spirit that Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, critic laureate of queer theory, famously dubbed "kinda subversive, kinda hegemonic." Jessica Lange and Teri Garr orbited and elevated the zippy, zingy man-as-woman drag in Tootsie; Lesley Ann Warren outcamped all comers in the draggy woman-as-man-as-woman drag of Victor/Victoria; Glenn Close bravely dignified and thereby ballasted the coy, cutesy-poo misogyny of The World According to Garp; and Kim Stanley paid her once-per-decade visit from the weird planet of Being Kim Stanley in Frances, a corrosive true-Hollywood story about a woman who could have stood a little more camp and a little less misogyny in her life. (Also a lot less gin, more reliable parents, a slightly less shit-heel boyfriend than Clifford Odets, and fewer tenures in a medieval asylum.)

As in all the best months, Nathaniel has bestowed upon us his own bit of frankincense and myrrh, in the form of one of his trademark Oscar clipreels. These movies all scored with the public, they haunt the hallways of Netflix, and they pop up on cable all the time, so here's hoping you've seen at least a few of them and feel like throwing a Comment our way. There's plenty of flying fur to go around when the SAS debates begin!

(Image © 1982 Columbia Pictures, reproduced from the Movie Screenshots blog)

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Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

it really is strange how genderbending 1982 was. I was too young to suss out just what was going on but it was a watershed year for Hollywood as far as sexual politics go.

since Hollywood is usually a few years behind, what do you suspect precipitated the sexual soul-searching?

i heart the Sedgwick quote. Hee.

6:31 PM, October 29, 2006  

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