Thursday, October 25, 2012

Out in the clouds

I loved “The Matrix.” Who didn’t? It’s two sequels, well. But “The Matrix” was one of those universal cinematic moments where we all let out a collective Keanu “whoa.” And then I was impressed by “V for Vendetta.” And, come on, if you don’t get a little hot just thinking about “Bound” I’m not sure you have a pulse. So the Wachowskis have always been filmmakers on my radar who make me sit up and pay attention. In the past decade, the sibling duo has made headlines themselves, but not just for what they’ve put on screen. Lana Wachowski came out as transgender and transitioned in the past decade, and during promotion for her new movie “Cloud Atlas” discussed her experiences for the first time publically. Over the weekend she was honored with the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award at its annual gala. Her acceptance speech is funny and thoughtful and well worth a listen. I haven’t written much about transgender issues here, not necessarily out of disinterest but because of the lack of mainstream discussion, period, of transgender issues. It is, admittedly, a lame excuse. Sadly we still live in a world that is wary of the other. We love our boxes and our binaries and those who stray outside get branded with the freak flag (and worse) with frightening speed and frequency. So to have such a well-respected and high-profile advocate, albeit a reluctant one, is wonderful. It’s also wonderful to listen for 30 minutes to someone’s experiences that may be outside your own and realize we humans aren’t so different despite out so-called differences. We all want to be loved, accepted, respected and able to feel comfortable in our own skin. I honestly can’t tell you what “Cloud Atlas” is about from watching the trailers. Something about identity and interconnectedness and space and time and love, always love. But, man, it sure looks fascinating. And knowing it comes from the minds of those wondrous Wachowskis makes me ready to take that ride.


Anonymous said...

Cloud Atlas (the movie) is based on an excellent book with the same name. It's pretty good, has several interconnected stories that stretch over several decades. There's even a couple gay/bi characters!

Kate said...

Seconding the recommendation for Cloud Atlas. It's by David Mitchell and it's written as 6 books embedded inside each other, in 6 completely different genres, but with a subtle overarching message. Not necessarily a fast read, but a very enjoyable book. I can't wait to see the movie - but I told my gf she should probably read the book first, so she knows what's going on. :)

Carmen SanDiego said...

The trailer gives me a feeling that this is a movie that is best enjoyed while not-sober

Anonymous said...

beyMarASeriously Dorothy?
Hated the Matrix thing..bad bad movie..
if you search for a good HRC's speech look @jenniferbeals @HRCchicago
Classy woman

Anonymous said...

"I loved “The Matrix.” Who didn’t?"

Quite. But did you take the blue pill or a red pill darling???


Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts on the accusations of "yellow-washing"?

Anonymous said...

The characters change gender and ethnicity through the ages. You have male actors playing female, female actors, playing male, a white actors playing back, a black actress playing white and playing Jewish, straight actors playing gay, etc. Given the deliberate fluidity involved, if accusations of "yellowface" are to be taken seriously you also have to include "blackface". "whiteface", etc, etc. Take issue with all, or take issue with none.

egghead said...

Well, the yellow-face charges seem moot, imo. Isn't it part of the story or what seems to be reincarnation?


Yeow, I just viewed Lana's acceptance speech at HRC for "being myself". I have a very special place in my heart for transgendered. Always have, since I was little (perhaps my Barbie and Ken dolls were ripe territory for me. :)) Lana is just a hoot and a holler and a very fine artist. I love everything about her and enjoyed her muchly.

She brought up the phobias/murder aspect and asked why do they want to obliterate what they can't handle or tolerate. In my thinking, one would think these phobic people feel their brains will personally explode if they don't cast out this perceived anamoly? I've personally observed this behavior and still can't grasp this kind of emotion.