Gloom

It’s here again. Something I think I’m going to refer to as “the gloom.” So question for ya. If a woman doesn’t get her period for some reason, say she’s nursing a baby for instance, can she still PMS? Because that is what it feels like. All of a sudden these feelings start sneaking up on me. Frustration with myself being the highest on the list and a sense of anxiety coming in for a close second but fueling that frustration even more. When I get to these points it’s like I am fighting with myself constantly. “God dammit DO something!” “Get off your ass already!” “Seriously can you BE any more disorganized?” And I’ll get a bug and just start doing things. That growing pile of papers on my desk, ironing board (DON’T ask), other desk, printer, and chair gets filed trashed and reduced to a small pile on my printer waiting to be handled. OK fine TWO small piles. Tiny little “things” get either trashed or finally put where they belong. And still I’m surrounded by chaos.

Tomorrow night is my night off again. I’m going to watch Marie Antoinette. At first I was really reluctant. I can’t stand Kirsten Dunst and even though I liked Virgin SuicidesLost in Translation, well lost me. Which is so wrong considering my love for Japan but I was just in a fog. I guess the real change in attitude has come about because I just finished reading Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber. Really. Great. Book. And if you like fashion but also like some meat to your reading I think you’ll love this especially. I actually had been dying to read a biography or two on Marie Antoinette and decided on this one for a different take on a biography. When I bought the book a couple weeks ago, on my first night off ironically enough, I wasn’t sure if the movie had come out and gone straight to video or if it hadn’t come out yet and if so when it would etc. I was plesantly surprised to find it hadn’t opened and actually it gave me enough time to finish the book. I like to read books before watching movies about them and even though the movie is based on Antonia Fraser’s biography (which is on my wishlist and who I adore because she did a great job with Mary Queen of Scots) Caroline Weber does reference her a lot and her book provides enough information as is although it totally and completely reduces her extramarital affairs to mere mentions of her having “favorites.” When the movie came out I pulled up some reviews and now I’m even more intrigued. Especially because of a review by James Berardinelli  who managed to completely frustrate me. Essentially it boils down to what I consider a complete matter of opinion. He states, “As anyone knows who has spent any time studying 18th century France, Marie-Antoinette’s story is an interesting one, provided one concentrates primarily on her post-Revolutionary life. Everything that happens before July 14, 1789 (the day of the storming of the Bastille) is a prologue; the real meat comes after.” He also states, “The more interesting material, including a possible affair and the growing unrest of the common people, is left to the film’s final 40 minutes.” I completely disagree. Well not completely but mostly. I don’t disagree that her post-Revolutionary life is interesting. It is actually arresting and disturbing and, to me, heart-wrenching most times (I’m thinking of the horrific violence against her best friend, the murder of her husband, and her child being physically taken away from her). Maybe it’s because I’m a woman but as I was reading Queen of Fashion it kept hitting me over and over and over again, ‘This is a GIRL of 14!” And later, ‘She’s only 19!’ I was actually completely fascinated by the pressure two nations placed on one young girl. I understand to some level this was the way things were but that doesn’t make it uninteresting. Also these frivolities she indulged in that the reviewer is so quick to dismiss well this was the real fuel of the people’s hatred towards her. And you want to give it 15 – 20 minutes? Maybe Sofia did something wrong handling the good stuff but I just find it ridiculous for this man to dismiss the first half of this woman’s life as merely a prologue and look for more on “supposed affairs.” Bah! Who knows? I haven’t seen the movie yet but this reviewer didn’t seem to be attacking Coppola’s film at all in these sentences he seemed to be attacking how interesting Marie Antoinette’s life and I just don’t understand that. By the way, he ALSO says, “The film was booed at Cannes before apologists got to work saying it wasn’t that bad” and actually it has been mentioned the film was booed because it portrayed some of France’s national heroes in a negative light which I would completely expect seeing as the movie is about the woman they BEHEADED.
I guess we’ll see tomorrow right? Haha I can’t wait to hate the film and come back and say, “Well turns out good old James was right!”

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