Friday, December 19, 2008

Scene Stealer

I’m not gonna lie. I once coveted fame. To my credit, I figured everyone did. It certainly speaks to that horrible absence within oneself…daddy issues, maybe? Blaaah. Probably, but plenty of silly fools have wanted the same and for so many reasons beyond my pedestrian tragedies.

Even if I’ve given up my childhood dreams, I still will always covet those best and most delicious roles. And if not the roles, certainly the most staggering and permanent scenes. Everyone has their favorites, but here are the roles I wished I had (and, if I’m truth telling, still do):

The Warrior

Sigourney Weaver’s turn as Ellen Ripley in Aliens was the first time I’d ever seen a woman as a true and triumphant warrior. What a wondrous, shocking experience. Being about fourteen, I’d never seen Alien, so this was my first exposure to the Aliens franchise. If you will recall, it wasn’t just Ripley. Let’s never forget Vasquez: her muscles, her swagger, and her unblinking dedication to kicking your ass. Ripley’s bravery began with the desire to get her job back…a career woman, if you will…to attempt to regain her professional status, despite the crushing knowledge that her personal life as she knew it (her friends, family, and life) had already passed. Upon discovering the lone survivor of the alien-savaged colony, Ripley’s deepest passion is tapped: She does whatever she has to do to protect and, ultimately, save the child. She is the Protector Mother, the Ideal Nurturer…unflappable, unrelenting, no regrets. Remind you of anyone?

What a wonderful world would it have been had those raging, shitball assholes decided NOT to make Aliens 3? We will never know. Or if they’d made something different…why not that, shitballs??

There are two scenes I’d love to have as my own: With Newt, surrounded by eggs, making a deal with only my eyes, then breaking that deal with a blowtorch…or, of course, the final battle, growling that ultimate line: “Get away from her, you BITCH.” Yaayyyeee!


Gone with the Wind is irritating. All that gushing, wistful talk of the “great Old South” is nothing short of offensive. It is hard not to wince at the stereotypical slave mannerisms, from the mammy, the Uncle Tom, and the deeply horrific Topsy-figure of Prissy. Push it aside, if you can, to consider my second choice: Scarlett O’Hara…the Whore!

She’s a simpering, snively, manipulative, cruel, hateful, gorgeous shrew and I will probably never be bored of watching her antics. The scene I’d love to reenact is easy to guess: After caught in a somewhat inappropriate embrace with her forever beloved (and NOT her husband) Ashley-the-Fey-Pale-Weirdly-British-Guy-Who-Married-His-Own-Cousin, Rhett Butler makes her dress up in her sluttiest dress and shoves her into her beloved’s wife’s party, leaving her to sink or swim on her own. Now, I believe that this whole episode exists solely to further accentuate the angelic qualities of Ashley’s wife (and cousin, lord o lord) Melanie. Her immediate embrace and support of Scarlett, despite all those wagging tongues and damning gazes, only serves to make her more saintly. Scarlett, however, is just a very lucky ho.

Don’t you love her, though? God, how can you not? Her vixen’s eyes narrowing, ready for the blow, the rejection by all, including the otherworldly Melanie. For a sweet and searingly tense moment, Scarlett stands alone, girded only by her boundless ego and hard, cold, callused resolve. And isn’t it funny…of all the costumes, they’ve got this one on a Barbie Doll. The Barbie doll: every American girl’s foundation of inspiration. Consider me schooled.

The Warrior Goddess as Helpless, Heaving-Breasted Muse

Ellen Aim, you ruined my life. (Yes! Another Ellen. Is Greek, means “torch, bright light.”) Streets of Fire is actually a pretty silly movie. Wouldn’t it have to be if someone like Diane Lane ends up with the freaking Key Master over someone as simmering hot as Michael Paré? Ug. However, to an eleven-year-old, the basic story is too much to resist: Too Cool for School Rock Star is kidnapped, Old Boyfriend is hired to rescue her. They end up kissing in the rain. And, as perfect bookmarks to all that cumbersome action, Ellen Aim performs her over-the-top music, clutching the microphone stand like a…well, like a Greek Goddess Warrior. Athena, anyone?

Sure, she’s helpless, but her power is her bald and iconic sex. She clutches onto her man, waiting for salvation, but he’s a bit disposable, isn’t he? She’s in need of saving, all kinds of saving, but she’s got the goods to make the men do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Scene I’d like to steal? The performances, of course…rain kissing ain’t nothing but a thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know who I want to be for Halloween next year!

3:30 AM  

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