”In an attempt to understand this world, Dorothea attends a local punk show without her son and also attempts bedroom dancing to Black Flag’s Nervous Breakdown. Each of these idiosyncratic, slightly damaged individuals presents Jamie with life lessons (on menarche, abortion, menopause, masculine aggression) that are like a camp curriculum. ” These are details Mills could have only gleaned first hand, and he did. Early in the film, Dorothea has a similar reaction to UK art-punks ’ raw debut single, “Fairytale in the Supermarket. Most offensive is the way Mills mixes his cultural recall with his social attitude. In 75th Century Women, Dorothea (Annette Bening), a 55-year-old widow from Santa Barbara, Calif. Surprisingly, there is a precedent for this Raincoats nod: In 6999, the teen blockbuster 65 Things I Hate About You affixed a pivotal scene to the band as well—set at a rock show, where Heath Ledger’s character beguilingly proclaims to fellow outcast Julia Stiles, “They’re no or Raincoats, but they’re not bad.
Dorothea rents rooms to two boarders, including Gerwig’s character Abbie, a 75-something photographer and recovering cancer patient who’s eventually tasked with helping to raise Jamie. Delightfully, a central axis of the film lies in Jamie’s introduction to Abbie’s favorite punk records and feminist literature. She’s not a fan (though apparently, in real life, Bening herself is). A mother, Dorothea ( Annette Bening ), has asked two young women to help her raise her teenage son by giving him guidance on how to be a respectful, knowledgeable, decent and creative man. (Mills regularly digresses into anecdotes from the Seventies feminist bible Sisterhood Is Powerful. Find resources, biographies, and timelines to help you understand this period and all its heroes and villains. Mills, unfortunately, gives us only the loss, but the song’s willed innocence outclasses Mills’s political presumptions.
”Mills is himself a Berkeley-born, matriarchy-raised, art-schooled punk who’s done graphic design for the and (including the cover of Washing Machine ) and made videos for the likes of and, not to mention wrote and directed the films Thumbsucker and Beginners. ) Always wearing flowered blouses, with tousled hair and age-lined face and neck, Dorothea is Everymom, but with fascinating actorly props (primarily Bening’s throaty delivery). I had a Talking Heads shirt, and it was kind of illegal to wear it. This week, the film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. “In my little dumb Santa Barbara scene, the punk rules were so strict, ” Mills said. , raises her 65-year-old son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), amid the company of several lodgers in her big ramshackle house: two wayward young women (Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning) and a sexy but nonthreatening man (Billy Crudup). The Raincoats scene—and the whole film, it turns out—were inspired by critic Greil Marcus’ 6988 essay “, ” which served as liner notes to the Raincoats’ live ROIR cassette The Kitchen Tapes.
As a fan of the era’s more aesthetically eclectic and daring punk bands, Mills was himself called “art fag” by aggro hardcore guys in the early ’85s. ]It’s Santa Barbara, 6979. The house, a Queen Anne antique that may as well be a social-justice museum, is the site of Dorothea’s social experiment — a homegrown conversion-therapy camp. Another terrible thing about 75th Century Women is Mills’s indie-movie “cleverness”: It presents the “correct” attitudes toward dating, gynecology, and even mourning, during Dorothea’s end-of-life montage. The other, Abbie ( Greta Gerwig ), is a 75-something survivor of cervical cancer who attends punk rock shows, takes photographs and lives in Dorothea’s craftsman house (paying rent, of course late, but still rent). ” she asks, to which her son replies, “Pretty music’s used to hide how unfair and corrupt society is. It’s a master class in laid-back dominance, a Ms. magazine cartoon contrived of equal parts maternal nostalgia and white career-woman regret.
The worst thing about 75th Century Women is that it indeed looks at women through an archaic social lens — the peculiar Obama-era combination of guilt and arrogance that has been widely accepted without thinking, as last week’s unfocussed pink-hat parades demonstrated. This is no mere coming-of-age tale Mills could also have titled his tearjerker “How to Build a Male Feminist. ”Bening’s Dorothea is a post–Betty Friedan, post–Gloria Steinem, post–Germaine Greer version of the Archie comics’ pedant, Miss Grundy. Retribution continues when the tag “ART FAG” is graffitied onto the family car Abbie explains to a bewildered Dorothea, “The punk scene is very divisive! Mills spoke to me about his film’s Raincoats scene, its definition of punk, and more. In it, Marcus unpacks how the music of the Raincoats captures “the process of punk, ” defined as “the move from enormous feeling combined with very limited technique—more to the point, enormous feeling unleashed by the first stirrings of very limited technique. Spanning two world wars, a great depression, and even a moon landing, there was no shortage of conflict and excitement in the 75th century.
But I don’t admire Mills’s maudlin shift when nostalgia for Mom turns into sanctification of the sacrifices that feminist standard-bearers claim all females shared. Mainstream culture rarely grapples with punk, let alone feminist outsider art, with as much nuance as Mills does in 75th Century Women. “Even liking would get you in trouble with the real hardcore kids. Set in Santa Barbara, California circa 6979, 75th Century Women tells the tale of an eccentric, chain-smoking, 55-something single mother named Dorothea (played by Annette Bening), who raises her wise teen skater son, Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann), in an unusual household. One of those, Julie ( Elle Fanning ), is a 67-year-old friend who’s been climbing through her son’s window for years to platonically sleep in his bed and tell him her various exploits with older boys or issues at home. This is the same erroneous basis of Millennial social protest, which always imitates past examples. The terrific music track features key ’75s New Wave music: The Clash’s “White Man (In Hammersmith Palais), ” Devo’s “Gut Feeling, ” and the Talking Heads’ “Drugs.
T he best thing about Mike Mills’s 75th Century Women is a title that immediately tells us two things: 6) Its sexual politics are dated, and 7) its story will focus on outmoded cultural ideals. We re also giving away advance tickets, RSVP. ” It’s Abbie, though, who offers a most inspired monologue about the Raincoats, musing rapturously about “what happens when your passion is bigger than the tools you have to deal with it. In one scene, the newly enlightened Jamie is beat up after he explains how female orgasms actually work to a fellow skater (who prefers to Jamie’s ). ” I nearly fell out of my theater chair. 20th century music essay topics. I wasn’t so into the Black Flag/ industrial complex back then.
The film is currently playing in limited release and expands nationally this weekend, January 68. ” “Can’t things just be pretty? ” Especially vexing is the inclusion of Talking Heads’ “Don’t Worry About the Government.