All My Friends Are Abroad

Ah, the sob story of the junior who decided not go abroad for the semester. I’m stuck in cruddy New England while my friends travel the globe in Egypt, Spain, Prague, Ireland, France etc.

Fortunately for me they all have created blogs, a trend I like to think I had something to do with. Okay, maybe not.

These blogs are full of stories and pictures of their adventures and because I like their blogs so much, I’m posting links to them.

So here ya go:

Julia – Julia in Egypt
Claire – Claire’s Adventures in Egypt
Emmalie – Oh, the Place You’ll Go: A Year in Spain

There will be more to come I’m sure.

The Time of Your Life

dirty dancingNot only is Dirty Dancing one my all-time favorite movies, but it is also the quintessential Mount Holyoke film. Now that I’ve been a student at MHC for almost two years, Dirty Dancing takes on a whole different meaning.

Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman, class of 1967, is one of our most celebrated (fictional) alumnae. Dirty Dancing is ranked in the top 10 favorite movies for Mount Holyoke students on Facebook (the go to guide for all statistical evidence about a college). There is even an on-campus push to have t-shirts made that say, “Nobody puts a Mount Holyoke woman in a corner”.

When watching Dirty Dancing with a group of MoHos you are bound to encounter several eerily familiar moments. They include but are not limited to:

1) The fear that you will end up with that chauvinist who goes to Cornell or Yale because he is the only guy who ever heard about Mount Holyoke and therefore will be able to appreciate your intelligence.

2) The coming into your sexuality. For Baby it involved learning how to dance and changing her clothes. For a Mount Holyoke student, it requires chopping off your hair, wearing flannel and joining the Rugby/Crew/Ice Hockey teams.

3) That awkward, AWKWARD first encounter with your crush. For Baby, it was “I carried a watermelon” and for the current Mount Holyoke student… I’m not revealing that.

Dirty Dancing Watermelon

4) Having life goals like studying the Economics of Underdeveloped Countries and joining Peace Corps that just scream overachiever.

5) Falling for the wrong person although you’re expected to marry the bro who expects to get into Yale on his last name.

I do have more of point to this post than just sharing stereotypes about my school and classmates that probably aren’t really comparable to Mount Holyoke. (This is all more of a coming-of-age teen comedy thing after all.)

When my friends and I were watching Dirty Dancing for the umpteenth time, we started discussing whether or not Johnny Castle actually deflowered Baby. I’m not kidding. In true Moho fashion, we analyzed the scene where Baby goes to Johnny’s tent/cabin and they dance, leading to their first time together. We paused and rewound the DVD like true investigators.

Some argued, “Of course he was her first! They were first loves”; other argued, “Look at how she is acting. Girl, clearly knew what she was doing.” We never decided anything.

Cinefille on the Radio

Hola!

Next Friday (February 22), I will be making a special appearance on WMHC (Mount Holyoke’s radio station) as an Oscar commentator!

The show runs from 12 to 2 pm so if you have the time you should listen to it. Who knows?I might have a future in talk radio.

To listen you go to, http://www.wmhcradio.org/webcast/. Click on the link, then click on tune in, and the radio station should play in your iTunes.

Hopefully you can check it out!

OH…EM…GEE

Here’s a story for you.

My dorm is on the main the green and I can here everything that goes on outside.

Right now there is a Halloween celebration outside. There’s mostly professors kids running around and a horse. why the horse is there, I have no idea. But it smells like shit.

Anyways I’m sitting in my room, wasting time on Facebook when I hear this:

Believe me when I say this.

Hearing the score from Psycho, while I was reading about Britney Spears REALLY, REALLY scared me.

Something tells me that Alfred Hitchcock would be so proud.

Review: Black Widow (1987)

Mount Holyoke has always had a presence in American pop culture, most notably in Dirty Dancing and National Lampoon’s Animal House. But Baby better watch out. One alumna may just put her in a corner.

Allow Catherine to introduce herself:

“I’ll tell you two things about me: I’m very rich. And I’m very wealthy.”

The question is: how did Catherine come to be, in her words, very rich and very wealthy?

It’s quite simple actually; she murdered her husbands.

That’s right, all three of them.

Black Widow, released in 1987, is the story of two women trapped in a web of sex, power, and seduction. Catherine (Theresa Russell), the beautiful serial killer, alters her appearance and personality in order to give lonely, wealthy men what they desire most. Once her husband changes his will and leaves his money to her, she murders him.

Her crimes, however, do not go unnoticed.

Federal investigator Alex Barnes (Debra Winger) notices a trend of wealthy men dying from Ondine’s curse, a fatal respiratory illness. Convinced that they have been murdered by the same woman, Alex becomes obsessed with finding their killer. In one cinematically stunning scene, Alex, while watching footage of Catherine, begins to mimic Catherine’s hand gestures and poses.

Alex’s obsession leads her to Hawaii. The two women meet and exchange witty and highly sexualized banter. Alex even uses Catherine’s influence to gain self-confidence and become some sort of seductress herself. As Alex falls deeper into Catherine’s provocative trap, she must find some way to escape, leading to the film’s dramatic conclusion.

Black Widow is an example of neo-noir, a film style that emerged in the 1960’s, post the Classical Hollywood period. Neo-noir, which literally means “new black”, takes the style elements of the film noir films from the 1940s and 1950s, and gives them a modern twist.

Black Widow reverses the gender roles expected of classic film noir. Typically, the beautiful, Rita Hayworth-esque woman is chased by a male detective (picture Humphrey Bogart) who cannot escape her tantalizing presence. In Black Widow, however, Catherine is pursued by Alex, a tough female federal investigator and their encounters break multiple film noir norms.

Unfortunately, while Black Widow is a fascinating, character-driven story with sharp dialogue and unexpected twists, it lacks a continuous style to make it a truly noteworthy film. At times, it is a rather humorous depiction of modern gender roles.

Yet despite this, there is one element that might make Black Widow a worthwhile watch. Catherine is an undeniably complex female character. Little is known about her past or her reasons for murdering wealthy men.

Or as her third husband says to her: “You seem almost too good to be true. I thought of checking up on you …. I found that you went to Mount Holyoke, you studied Anthropology, and we’re a lot alike.”

So the next time someone only recognizes Mount Holyoke from Dirty Dancing, recommend that they see Black Widow, a film about one woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Published: Mount Holyoke News
Reprinted with permission
October 11, 2007