Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.



Vicky Cristina Bacelona: A second review by Linda Z

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem, Chris Messina
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Maybe Woody Allen's film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
is not for everyone. Maybe the world is divided into those who relish sex and striving for love and adventure from those whose intelligence can not embrace animalistic strivings with ease and relative comfort.

I thought Vicky Cristina Barcelona was funny and compelling and posed a real question. Is the exciting life worth living or should we all settle down into the groove for which we might be rewarded with money, stability, friends who interest us not at all with their chatter about money, and house decorations while our minds are on love, passion, sex in all its variation.

The chemistry created and sustained by the strong actors was electrifying I felt as if they could do almost anything on screen and they certainly did go beyond the conventional. But so does the subject matter. For me no one was a "slut" not the men nor the women. They were mature adults trying to find and live with a passion that is not always encountered in life but when it is, it is an experience not easily forgotten

In contrast to Elegy, the recent adaption for the screen of Phillip Roth's novel, I thought Vicky Cristina Barcelona was written more with today's women in mind, There certainly were enough women actors of note used to convey the experience. Where as Elegy had only one woman of importance and several strong male actors.

Elegy is about the "dirty old man" who finally understands he has to go beyond the young and the beautiful woman to find the love that he so desperately needs.
In Elegy the woman gets lost. We know nothing of Penelepy Cruz's life beyond her relationship to the dirty old male professor.

Whereas in Vicky Cristina Barcelona we find that woman. We have a conversation with her and she emerges, not with a clarity of purpose as much as a victim of our puritanical society that so many are forced to adhere to, forced to live their personal lives within the narrow dictates of what is right rather than what is deemed "slutty"

In the world of money, of the highly educated, can there be room for passion, for deviation from the norm? I hope so.

For sanity sake, let us be free; sexually, socially, politically, financially.

Both films were extremely well done. I had trouble appreciating Elegy but each film is compelling in their own way. If you take the adventure into sex and sexual relationship and the worship and exploration of love I recommend both films be part of your experience.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT Vine:Witches Brew

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