Thursday, May 28, 2009


Last night, the Balabusta settled down with Frida, the famous Salma-Hayek-as-Frida-Kahlo biopic-as-soft-porn extravaganza that was treated as a revelation from heaven by all the Balabusta's Frida-worshipping homegirls when it came out, and which she had nevertheless managed to avoid seeing until last night. When Netflix delivered it into her hands, and she settled down and enjoyed.
Some things about Frida:

1. Salma Hayek is a very, very, very pretty woman, much prettier than Frida Kahlo actually was.

2. The movie is also very pretty. Lavish color, hot people, and of course, Frida's over-the-top Mexican folk-costume clothes.

3. The politics are very meh. Soft-pedalled. And if I was Mrs. Trotsky, I would ice-picked Frida.
4. When Frida first demands Diego Rivera's opinion of her work, she tells him that she has to make money to help her family, and that she can't afford to waste time being a vanity painter. Years and years later she's living as Diego's wife/muse, and has sold four paintings. It doesn't quite add up, unless she meant 'help my family until I get married to a Communist painter'.
5. The scene where Rockefeller confronts Rivera about his portrait of Lenin on the Rockefeller Center fresco was much cooler in Cradle Will Rock. ("Leh-neen STAYS!")

Now, the thing about the Balabusta and Frida, besides the fact that her work was DROOLED over by all the girls I went to college with, and I actually like Rivera's much better, is this--I had always been told her father was Jewish, and I always counted her as a yiddishe kuzine, although I wished she'd give it a bit more of a nod in her paintings. Actually, it sort of annoyed me. Yet another Jewish woman running around the twentieth century, without a nod to the Jewish world...
I remember, for some reason, being irrationally offended by some woman ranting on in an essay in Colonize This! about white girls being obsessed with Frida, with her woman-of-color unibrow, because she is so exotic to us, so wild and untamed...riiiiiiiight. And please note, as evidenced above, that the unibrow actually comes from the Hungarian side of the family. I don't have five pairs of tweezers for no reason, zeiskeit.
Anyway, after all, it turns out that Mr. Kahlo probably wasn't Jewish. (The unibrow, however, seems to be authentic.) So, hmmph. There it is.


A Living Nadneyda said...

I would add that the soundtrack is great... enjoyable on its own (or, alternatively, as an accompaniment to roosters running through a colorful courtyard garden, should you happen to have such a thing).

BBJ said...

I loved the music! I'm working on having a colorful deck garden, but suspect my landlady would frown on roosters...those will have to wait until I get a place with a real backyard.