Just interviewed Jennifer Arnold, the director of “American Mullet.” I was wrong about her. She does not have a mullet. She did cut her very long hair into one while she was making the documentary, but now her hair is all short. Despite my initial disappointment at not being able to have coffee with a mullet, our conversation was very interesting. She touched on one of my pet issues, which is why you get to hear about the interview. She would like to see more ways to support queer filmmakers who are making films without explicit queer content.
This issue goes way beyond just the queer community. In general, it seems to me that artists of various communities (people of color, women, transgendered, disabled, queer, etc) are expected to produce work that explicitely includes content related to their demographic. I think this helps to contribute to the ghetto-izing of this work, and feeds into the habits of audiences which choose to see only things which they find familiar in some way. Also, I’ve seen (and, I admit, made) plenty of bad art which has high emotion or just is “of the community” and so is forgiven its technical/artistic/structural flaws. I’m not saying that this work is not important, but it’s frequently young or unsophisticated or just plain redundant. I also believe it’s also important not to put restrictions on definitions of who we are, and to work to define ourselves as whole people outside of a survey check-box.
There’s my rant for the day.
Oh, and not feeling so great about having the Marines in the Philippines get fired upon yesterday. Not that I care for the Marines, but I worry that our war-loving prez is going to get all gung-ho in the region and try to re-establish a solid American military presence in the Philippines. They’ve been through that before and don’t need it any more, thank you very much.
I did speak briefly with a friend in Davao today. He said there was nothing to worry about in the city itself and was looking forward to my arrival. He also felt that 4 1/2 weeks was too short a visit…