Black White & Read All Over // 03

Been a while, but a productive while hammering away at stories and scripts. Between those projects and the day job, these roundups are the one thing I can toss together. That’s not to say they’re thrown together last minute – these are all articles that have stayed with me over the week. The same way a cat keeps a dead bird behind the shed for a few days before laying it on your pillow.

I don’t have cats, but if all my metaphors came from personal experience 75% of them would involve elaborate coffee orders…okay, take two: the same way your assistant keeps your skinny coconut milk cappuccino* with two pumps of kale inside her fraying faux-leather purse for a few days before handing it to you.

Moving on. It’s pouring all weekend in LA – perfect weather for reading in bed. And if it’s sunny where you are – why go outside anyway? Condition your body for the end times.

Illustration by Katie Fricas

The Trash Heap Has Spoken by Carmen Maria Machado

Unapologetic fat women embrace the philosophy of displacement. They manifest the audacity of space-taking. They cleave the very air. This is not just fatness of the body, it is fatness of the mind. If you have a fat body, you take up room by default. If you have a fat mind, you choose to take up room.

A Chronicle of My Attempts to Live an Integrated Life as a Mother, Wife and Filmmaker by So Yong Kim

I wish there was a “How to … ” booklet on how to be a woman, a mother, a wife, a filmmaker – and do it all with ease and a smile. What I’ve learned is that all those things come with the messiness of life’s emotions, grit and kid stains.

Death is the Curator by Lauren Wilford

Every artistic act is an act of consumption, in the same way that you cannot enjoy your fruit without destroying it. You don’t contemplate an apple and say ‘Oh, Apple, how beautiful are thee,’ you know? You eat the apple, you crush the apple, you consume it and there—for a moment—you have the apple in you. And it’s the same with art. It’s an act of consumption, an act of arrangement, and you are posing an object that is a pinned butterfly. But it is the only moment where you can absorb the butterfly, you know? Otherwise it is life. And I think life and art meet in that little moment, in that moment of consumption.

Dyers at Work. Bartholomaeus Anglicus and Jean Corbechon, Le Livres des propriétés des choses, manuscript copied & painted in Brussels, 1482 

The Red of Painters by Michel Pastoureau

It was believed to come not from a plant resin but from the blood of a dragon, gored by its mortal enemy, the elephant. According to medieval bestiaries, which followed Pliny and the ancient authors here, the inside of the dragon’s body was filled with blood and fire; after a fierce struggle, when the elephant had punctured the dragon’s belly with its tusks, out flowed a thick, foul, red liquid, from which was made a pigment used to paint all the shades of red considered evil.

Miyazaki Meets Kurosawa

He’s nothing but a blur on each of those frames. . .and you can’t really see his face either. Only when you play back the film do you actually see Mifune in combat. That’s how fast he’s moving.

Barry Jenkins: “Where I come from, people just don’t have the means to make a film’ by Adam Woodward

I love how movies make the world seem like a very small place. I was talking to a reporter the other day about the use of ‘Caetano Veloso’ in Moonlight. That’s an homage to Wong Kar-wai and Happy Together – a very overt homage I must say, but I wanted to be upfront and honest about how there’s this filmmaker working in Asia whose cinema I love and here I have my characters in inner city Miami and the emotions they feel are the same. Totally the same. These people will never ever meet and yet through this art, through cinema we can show how much alike they are. They’re a world apart but they’re so so close. That’s what I love about movies.

The Mothers by Doreen St. Felix

Regardless of which side of the Atlantic a daughter ended up on, she knows about yams; she’s likely heard whispers about Oshun, the coy idol of fertility, and other goddesses.

*Coconut milk does not foam enough to make a proper cappuccino, a fact that the baristas at Starbucks never fail to tell me each time I order one. Sorry guys, but the boss orders what she orders.

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