Friday, January 13

natural history vs. taxidermy

my lovely friend martina has returned from her yearly luxurious journey to amsterdam and the south of france, where she read, enjoyed hash cigarettes, drank wine, and ate delicious cheeses. that's kind of what it is like to live there! martina and i became friends when i live in amsterdam, and has the enviable status of dutch citizenship. lucky her!
martina loves to do fun stuff, so yesterday we went to the museum of natural history and looked at all the wonderful taxidermied animals. as i have mentioned before, i love taxidermy, so trips like these are morally rejuvinating.

i also went to the premiere of manderlay, the new lars von trier movie with my brother. i have to say that i liked dogville better (this-manderlay- is second in the american trilogy), but manderlay is probably more important for a specifically american audience, because it has to do with slavery: why do americans never make movies about the end of slavery? i basically have no concept of the history of slaves/post-slave existence between the 1880s-1965. so it's cool that this movie talks about how complicated a social action ending slavery actually was (is).
i hate how lars von trier never gives an idea of how to solve problems, he just illustrates them well. in the end, we are basically given the message that america is a product of its irreversable history, and the best way to get out of the problem that is at all immediately attainable, is to leave. it's not very comforting to people who already see these problems and already have dialogues about them. i mean, i already want to leave.
the two main characters were at the premiere and talked: the girl, ron howard's daughter seemed pretty dumb and answered all questions phrased, "what do you think," "well i don't really know what i think yet..." which was totally annoying. the guy i think is french african, and made some good points including that the story of slavery/post slavery is allegorical for any post colonial reality, bringing up the recent paris riots and comparing the situation of the north africans in europe.
you should go see it though, manderlay- if you haven't seen dogville, you should see that even more. i mean, there are lots of lars von trier movies that everyone should see, but that's not really pertinent to this post.

slavery is scary and trying devour us like this big prehistoric fish at the NHM


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