Spider-who? Bat-who? Bourne-who? Forget the summer action blockbusters. This season we’re much more interested in the softer, sassier, saucier flicks. Instead of aliens, action and adventure, sex, love, family and friendship are the big themes with these movies. Women make up a majority of the lead roles (for a change). Most are indie. And for some reason they all come out this month. Guess it makes sense to get your summer love on early.
photo of a page from Rich’s “An Atlas of a Difficult World” via Flickr
Last Wednesday, the great American poet Adrienne Rich died (1929-2012). If you ever took a “Contemporary American Poetry” class in college, then she surely holds a special place in your artistic heart. In her influential poetry and essays, she explored her identity as a political activist, a feminist and a lesbian (which was bold for the time — and still is, sadly, in some circles). Here are some of our favorite lines of Rich’s poetry about love, sex, sexuality and gender:
One of my closest friends proposed to his girlfriend over the weekend. He did it neatly and simply. There was a time when a guy was ready to propose to his future wife, it was relatively simple for most: a walk somewhere or maybe at the restaurant of their first date, drop to your knee like Tim Tebow and bust out the ring. But nowadays, thanks to the Internet, some of the more creative fellas out there with their elaborate videos are starting to set people’s expectations of the proposal, to paraphrase Jimmy McMillan, too damn high!
Article: Vintage missed connections
I’ve previously mentioned the enjoyment I get from Craigslist’s Missed Connections, the forever alone (meme definition here) corner of the Internet. It seems that New Yorkers’ desire to seek out the stranger who caught their eye is timeless, as evidenced by these missed connections submitted and published back in an 1872 when our existence was a mere glimmer in the eyes of our great, great grandparents (yup, I just put that image in your heads)…
Article: Museum of Broken Relationships
Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić developed “Museum of Broken Relationships,” a touring exhibition of artifacts from past relationships. It emerged out of their own relationship of four years, after which the break-up inspired this museum, as Vištica explains in an interview with NPR. “When we were deciding to split up, every time people do that it’s connected with something ugly, something awkward, so we didn’t like that way of dealing with our own past, which was once really beautiful. We got this idea, maybe it would be a great idea to have a museum where you could store your emotional heritage.”
We noticed something called THE ORGASM DIARIES is playing on The Sundance Channel this Saturday at midnight. Sounds like a documentary, right? Turns out it’s a British indie film from last year about a couple who’s private naughty photographs become pornographic art-world hits, which turns their relationship upside down. Knowing that, the title becomes a bit more dubious. But Indiewire said it “captures the essence of young love.” It gets a 50-50 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which sounds a lot less damning when you realize that’s only out of 8 reviews. Could be a fine late-night alternative to Skinemax…?
Our photographer friend David Jacobs (he took our deceptively flattering bio pic) was hired by Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, to document New York’s first day of legal gay marriage this past Monday at Manhattan’s City Hall. HRC will soon have more on their site, but for now here’s a round-up of the day’s events by their National Field Director, Marty Rouse. And below is our friend Dave’s take on events (he’s not gay, but he’s married and does rock the occasional pink shirt with flare), followed by more of his cool photos of the happy couples.
Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo. SPLITSCREEN: A LOVE STORY, a short film directed by JW Griffiths, which has gone rapidly viral in the past week, was the winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011. As the film’s title suggests, it has a cute romantic story, however I was even more blown…
Article: Love letters to VS Naipaul
A few weeks ago we apprised you of the ridiculous and offensive comments made by Nobel laureate and jackass VS Naipaul — basically that all women writers are ‘sentimental’ and ‘unequal to me’. There have been some great reactions to that old-fashioned fart’s blatant sexism. The latest is writer Joanne Elizabeth Valin’s new blog, Love Letters to VS Naipaul: “On the occasion of his declaration that no woman writer is, has been, or ever could be his equal.” She’s currently collecting and curating “intelligent letters with intelligent content. Be they spiked with vitriol, awash with sentiment, amused to the point of disbelief, or simply bored with the same old argument, your love letters should both inform and entertain.” The first just went up by author Edie Meidav (whose new novel Lola, California we’ll be excerpting here in the next few weeks) and more will be added soon. We asked Valin to elaborate on the criteria for submissions that will make the cut:
Article: The Lover's Dictionary
The nameless narrator of David Levithan’s novel The Lover’s Dictionary narrates his relationship in the form of dictionary definitions of words, from aberrant to zenith. Some definitions are a page long, others just a sentence. Which makes it sound gimmicky and cute and Twitterific, but this book is anything but. It’s moving, hilarious, heartbreaking and smart. It’s also something of a guessing game, because the definitions leap back and forth across the span of the relationship. This book is a poignant reminder that words can say everything and nothing — and the same goes for the spaces and the pauses between them. Levithan’s is a spare tale and yet it feels universal, especially because the narrator addresses his partner as a nameless, gender-less “you.” But enough with all this wordiness, let’s just show you what we mean with a few of our favorite entries:
As we’re sure you know, the Rapture is this Saturday, May 21st, 2011. You know, the day when good Christians like you (we’re assuming) who’ve accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be physically lifted up to Heaven. All your atheist, Muslim, Jewish and pagan friends will be left behind to fend for…
In a world of Facebook “likes” and online dating questionnaires that seem to narrow down the soul-mate search to a simple (and yet oh so witty!) checklist of wants and needs, it’s easy to focus on the superficial ways in which we do or don’t connect with each other. And granted, that stuff can make or break a first date, and can be indicative of a long-term connection. We both love darts! He’s got a flat butt too! Another unabashed Miley Cyrus fan?! Still, superficial connections have a tendency to mask bedsheet-sized red flags. Like, oh, say, the fact that your date is a raging narcissist. So we turned to Gordon Livingston, M.D., author of the book How to Love: Choosing Well at Every Stage of Life, and asked him to weigh on the, well, weightier issues. Specifically, seven personality types that you should avoid in your search for Mr./Ms. Right. Even if said Mr./Ms. performs the best damn air guitar solo you’ve ever seen.
1. The Self-Absorbed Hysteric
These so-called “histrionic” people often describe themselves as “passionate and emotional.” Their primary drive is to be the center of attention. Their self-absorption and superficiality make it hard for them to engage in the give and take of healthy relationships. Danger signals that one is in the presence of a self-absorbed “hysteric” include shallowness and a more or less constant need to be the focus of attention. It is just very hard for them to get beyond their own needs to consider their obligations to others, even their own children.
Article: 12 months of neon love
12 Months of Neon Love is an ongoing art installation that started on Valentine’s Day this year by Victoria Lucas and Richard William Wheater. The artists explain: A sequence of twelve quotes will be presented over twelve months in large red neon text. Visible from the railway, the work will be erected on the roof…
Article: I Love You But…
Girlfriend & boyfriend Alex Holder and Ross Neil are both artists and creatives in advertising. Last year, they launched their online picture book about relationships, LoveYouBut.com. It focuses on “the moment in a relationship when you realise you don’t love someone completely, because there is one little thing that keeps bothering you. When it bothers you so much it actually makes you cringe, you know it’s time to say ‘I love you but…’” There are 59 portraits (drawn by Neil) of people who are the targets of various “I love you but” lines, like “I love you but you can’t say I love you back” or “I love you but you put ketchup on everything.” On her calling card site, Holder says LoveYouBut.com has been read all over the world and is inexplicably big in Brazil. We wanted to know more, so we asked:
Article: Supermoon this Saturday
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore! So brace yourself for love this Saturday night (March 19th) when, according to Space.com, “the moon will swing around Earth more closely than it has in the past 18 years, lighting up the night sky from just 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away.”…
If you’re a faithful reader of SUNfiltered, then you know we love us a good Ted Talk. So we were thrilled to discover that the two of us were in one! Well, just a fleeting picture of us, but we’ll take what we can get. Our old boss, Nerve.com-founder Rufus Griscom, went on to found…
The 21st century’s answer to the skywriting marriage proposal is turning out to be the movie theater trailer proposal, with production values and costs ever increasing. In 2008, there was the simple surprise by the nerdy boyfriend, followed by the more complicated yet similarly unwatchable airplane disaster trailer that same year, and the open love letter with the ear-shattering Kenny-G soundtrack in 2009 (here’s the in-theater reaction).
Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. We published the good and the bad earlier, here’s the complicated:
Article: Love & sex in YA lit: THE GOOD
Our friends, Em & Nora (who we like to call “Em & No”), recently launched a site for grown-ups about young adult literature called LoveYALit.com*, since (according to the New York Times) more and more people 18-and-over are enjoying books originally intended for the 18-and-under set. Of course, books about teens, the most hormonal among us, often deal with issues of first romantic relationships and sexual awakenings — and reading them as adults can emotionally transport us back to our own teenage years, when those things were really new and exciting, dramatic and traumatic. So we asked Em & Nora to give us a sampling of the good, the bad and the complicated of YA love and sex. First, the good (then tune in over the next two Thursdays for the bad and the complicated):
Proponents of abstinence-only education may not approve, but there are several literary examples of young adults having empowering, exciting, safe sex as well as healthy, loving relationships with their bodies and their partners.
Forever… by Judy Blume (1975) — The Blume classic of a girl who discovers her sexuality and — get this — finds it pleasurable! Afterwards, there are no disturbing or negative consequences; she’s not punished in any way. She simply comes to the mature realization that high school relationships aren’t forever. Amazingly (and unfortunately), there is nothing else like this in YA lit.
Article: New Banksy
A slightly saccharine piece by Banksy. View two other brand spankin’ new works by him over at Wooster Collective. Relatedly, last week I came across an interview he gave the Sun and was struck by this quote: “But maybe all art is about just trying to live on for a bit. I mean, they say…
Article: The power of teenage love
We both went to high school in New Jersey (just a few towns away from each other, it turns out). During those late 80s days, Lo fell in love and had sex within a loving, committed, romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Em remained a virgin and sometimes ate her lunch in the bathroom. We both ended up excelling in high school, engaging in many extra-curricular activities, and going to well-respected universities.
Article: Baltimore Love Project
Baltimore artist Michael Owen created the above design of four silhouette hands spelling out “love.” It has since been painted on 20 different walls all through Baltimore as the “Baltimore Love Project.” The artist explains: This project is not intended to change the world. However, we know that these murals have the power to inspire…
Article: Top 10 summer love movies
1. Body Heat
Eight more after the jump!
Article: Geekiest marriage proposal ever
Warning: only hardcore nerds — or those with a soft spot for hardcore nerds — will find this YouTube footage touching. It goes on for a while, you can’t quite see what’s going on, and there’s no climactic applause and shouts of congratulations at the end. But with a little background info, it becomes more…
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day coming up tomorrow, April 22nd, we had a chat with Stefanie Iris Weiss about her new book Eco Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable.
How does going green improve your sex life?
If your sex life has gone stale, greening it up instantly relights the spark. Green is healthy, and being healthy automatically grants you a superior sex life. You’ll have more stamina, a heightened libido, a slim, sexy body. What could be better?
How can you make dating more green?
When prepping for a date, use paraben-free products made from USDA-certified organic ingredients, or even better, go DIY and make your own. When it comes to the traditional dinner date, choose restaurants that serve locally grown, organic, sustainable and fair-trade food. Try a vegan or vegetarian restaurant or a homemade feast of raw or vegan food to seduce your lover. And when you’re on your way to meet your date, opt for public transportation, bike, or walk to your rendezvous point. Leave the car at home — you can find a new version of the back seat if you get that far.