Friday, September 24, 2010

come to dvd, my pretties!

two of my favorite movies that I keep hoping will be released on dvd are Housekeeping (1987) and Really Rosie and the Nutshell Kids (made for TV, 1975). These are two movies that, as a quirky, assertive girl, are endlessly enjoyable for me, but they also possess amazing charm, both of these films.
Housekeeping, which I own on VHS at least, is based on a beautiful (though admittedly [and beautifully] slow) novel by Marilynne Robinson. I have heard that this book is a cult classic in colleges, with feminist literature major types. I didn't know that when I first read the novel, and honestly, I like to think that me and my friend Jocelyn are the only 2 people in the world who've read this book -- I think the book inspires that sort of feeling, there's a quietness to it that makes it like reading your own secret. Watching the movie first, letting yourself believe the characters are real, and then reading the novel afterwards is a neat experience, because there are extra adventures in the novel, so it's like you're finding out extra clues about the characters. Sylvie, the aunt in the movie, played by an actress who hasn't gotten as many roles as she should have, is Christine Lahti (admittedly, I extra like her because of her tallness). I think my favorite fictional film character (besides Margot Tenenbaum) is Ruthie -- she's just the best. I try to base my fashion sense on Sylvie and my sense of ethics on Ruthie. Until it eventually comes out on dvd, if it ever does, please try to get your hands on it if you still have a VCR.

Really Rosie is a different kind of amazing. It's based on Maurice Sendak stories and characters, features amazing, simple animation, and Rosie is voiced by Carole King, who sings all the songs. I have an illustrated song book for this movie, and had the VHS years ago, but I don't have it anymore, and I want everyone to see it. The best thing about this movie is its lonely end. Rosie is a bossy little girl who lives on a street somewhere like in brooklyn, and she talks her friends into putting on a big show with her -- this is me all over -- I used to ALWAYS try to talk my friends into putting together sometime of show. there are all these amazing songs, and when she's about to get down to the brass tacks of actually executing the show, her friends either get bored or get called inside to dinner, and she's just like "hey, where's everyone going?" and she's left all alone sitting on a stoop, talking to a cat or something. This scene epitomizes loneliness so amazingly. But the other great thing is that Rosie is full of confidence -- there's a song about it that goes "no star shines as bright as me, I'm rooooooosie," but it's obvious that it's the kind of confidence she has to work hard at to make herself believe in. in other words, she's the perfect blend of vulnerable and amazing. There's a DVD called "Where the Wild Things Are and other Maurice Sendak Stories" (2002) that has some of the songs from Really Rosie in it, but it's not the same as watching Really Rosie, because you don't get to enjoy the whole plot when you're just watching bits and pieces.
I highly recommend trying to get your hands on both of these movies, they're two of the best I've ever seen.

xox robin

Thursday, September 23, 2010


back soon... writer's block. in the meantime, check out my new craft website:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a story i wrote shortly after my heart surgery

In A Lonely Place
By Robin Crane

When she regained consciousness, Elizabeth’s mind was working, but her body, her mouth, still couldn’t move. She heard her parents, who were standing at the foot of her bed in her room at the ICU, speaking to her. They weren’t speaking of her in the third person, the way two people might be expected to when they think that someone is unconscious, but they also weren’t talking like they thought she could hear them. It was more like they were speaking to her superstitiously, as though this one-sided conversation ensured the definite future of conversations she would soon be able to participate in.

When she finally regained control of her body, the first thing she did was try to speak, even though her parents had left hours ago. It was an effort embarked on solely to hear her own voice, but it wasn’t possible because there was a plastic tube obstructing her throat. Still, she wouldn’t stop trying to say something, and finally the attending nurse snapped at her, “You’re the only patient I’ve had who has been this bad. Stop fidgeting and go to sleep.” So, one of the first thoughts towards another person Elizabeth had after her surgery was “Fuck you. I just got my heart cut open.” This didn’t seem to bode well for life from this point on.

Her parents brought her eyeglasses after day three in the hospital, allowing her to see the images on the TV screen and to henceforth watch TV practically constantly. TV, as always, was like a person who was unconditionally kind to her. The morning she’d gone in for surgery, while in the waiting room, she’d been watching the morning news and had seen a story about a monkey in a zoo that, just out of nowhere, had begun to walk upright. She would remember this serendipitous nudge from me forever.

At night, with only a little bit of the light from the nurse’s station outside her door creeping in, the bluish glow emanating from the screen made her room look like a movie set, and the idea of her being observed by an unseen audience made her feel less catastrophic. There was a Humphrey Bogart movie on one night called “In a Lonely Place,” about a man who is powerless to stop his own violent urges, purposely staying on the fringes of society as a way to protect people from himself, as though he could become possessed by his uglier self at any moment. With an IV full of Valium warming her, the character’s plan of self-exile struck her as the safest, most noble option for survival she’d yet come across in her twenty five years. It suddenly seemed almost worth it having that singular, new scar of hers running down her chest (it would never heal correctly), if it meant she had an excuse to set herself apart from the nice but luckier people who surrounded and loved her.

She left the hospital on a Tuesday afternoon, still wearing the terry cloth hospital slippers and shuffling along the bright, white hallway. The nurse from her first day in the room in the ICU happened to be exiting the elevator as Elizabeth and her father were boarding it, and in passing, Elizabeth looked the woman in the eye, and said, definitely loud enough to be heard, “Bitch.” It was an enormous relief.

I know all this because I am the Goddess and the entity that sees everything all at once and reads your thoughts. I am wonderfully kind and have an empathetic, bottomless sense of humor. I love you all. There is no such thing as hell.