In the last week I caught two films I’ve been really anxious to see, Shortbus & Itty Bitty Titty Committee. Both focus on more radical aspects of society which I love.
Shortbus is about sex-positivity and connecting with people. Non-judgment through orgasms I can dig it. The main character is a sex therapist in a relationship who is pre-orgasmic (she’s never had an orgasm) other storylines include a gay couple that can’t seem to connect plus their stalker, a dominatrix/artist who can’t seem to converse with people. It all connects and meets up at a sexual salon known as Shortbus. Good movie, loved the way the stories came together and fell in love with the main character and the dominatrix. Also there’s this all female room in Shortbus that’s a veritable who’s who of dykons (dyke-icons) JD Samson (of Le Tigre), Bitch (formerly of Bitch & Animal) & Daniela Sea (of the L Word, who’s also in Itty Bitty… playing a hot ex-marine) all talking about their orgasms at the request of the main character. Plus all the sex in the movie is completely non-simulated which is …interesting to say the least. C’mon how can you say no?
Itty Bitty… deals with a young latina lesbian, Anna, right out of high school, rejected from college, dumped by her girlfriend, stuck in a dead end job as a receptionist for a Plastic Surgeon. She finds direction and camaraderie when she joins a radical feminist organization known as C(i)A, Clits in Action. Not only is she attracted to one of the members she also starts to understand why she feels so ambivalent about everything around her and she starts to get angry. I wish they had delved into race even a little bit and Anna hadn’t been the only feminist of color we saw but all in all I really loved it. It didn’t hurt that the soundtrack was all 90’s RiotGrrl music like Bikini Kill & Sleater-Kinney, one of my favorite eras in music ever. Favorite character in the movie was the super hardcore feminist Shulamith (played by Carly Pope, one of my favorite actresses).
These movies highlight the different direction I’m pulled in, in regards to my writing. One one hand I love Sci-Fi/Fantasy, it composes the majority of my library, it’s the first section I hit when I get to the bookstore and I definitely want to write Sci-Fi works but whenever I see these kind of films I can’t help but want to write more present day radical political works, that might inspire people to revolt against the white patriarchial hegemony that tries to control us all. I always have my politics represented in my SF stories but sometimes I want to write and out and out political novel that just talks about fucking up the patriarchy.
Really it’s not an either/or proposition I can write both kinds of works or mesh the two together or a number of things. I just think I’m obsessed with the idea of being completely focused in one direction in my fiction and I need to break out of that box more. Plus, I really think the longing that wells up when I watch these films is the longing to be more a part of a community that shares my political views, that preforms radical acts to oppose the status quo and apathy of modern society. Or maybe it’s just a craving to get off my ass and do something political in the world. I don’t know but I’m looking into political organizations near me that I could join.
On the upside I do have an idea for a non-SF/F book that I want to write called Breaking God’s Will and for a script called Tommi & Eddi: A Punk Rock Love Story. If I ever do either of these projects is anyone’s guess but the ideas are there.