Monday, April 28, 2008

modern political heroes: jj and kazumi (?)

i have to agree with everyone that these films were, well.. interesting to watch. i didnt know that jj chinois was bruce lee imagery either until i did the reading and terminal usa felt like such a postmodernist parody of ..well, suburbia? asian stereotypes? modern parodies?

jj chinois really required a lot of background information (which is still hard to find) to understand even slightly. it was interesting what the text said about the re-masculination or using bruce lee's body for the other extreme. by this i mean instead of viewing bruce lee's as having a zero sex rating and representing a "puritan" moral cleanliness, using his body to present the other extreme of desire, physical manliness, etc. it is also interesting how this 'manliness' is represented through a transgender individual and what statement jj chinois is making by ultimately 'performing' this piece. is jj chinois saying that all manliness is performance or 'fan labor' as nguyen suggests?

i felt nguyen's final statment was most provocative when she stated:

"this is an important part of the utopian impulse...the desire to transform popular culture into a counterpublic for a radically different imaginary. because popular culture is imagined as a shared cultural resource with access to an audience of millions, we might wonder whether desire for the star's body--especiallyone like jj chiois;s--can deliver a ground on which to do politics" (297). [emphasis mine]

we've been talking about the importance of popular culture all semester long and i feel these lines pretty much summed up the reason, especially when counterculture becomes that pop phenomenon.


as for terminal usa, it was just so many different themes packed into that hour-long film and i really dont know where to start. what resonated most within me after watching the (sorry) creepiness in that film was that most all roles in life was a performance. i especially felt this way when i realized that the only "normal" depiction or close-to-life depiction of anyone was the drag queen who picked up the like when marvin call a phone sex service. it seemed to make that contrast that not only is drag queen-ism a performance, but everything else in life is, so why the hate?
it's also interesting that the movie is called terminal usa, which seems to mean that the 'terminal' to the united states for the alien girlfriend 8-ball was this suburban japanese american family. i just cant really make much more out of that right now ^^;; to be discussed in class......

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