On April 20 ,1999 , Columbine High School shooting made the two perpetrators, otherwise outcasts in their community, the center of US media attention. Less than two months later,now a cult film Drop Dead Gorgeous was released. In the final act,the main protagonist Amber Atkins is unexpectedly aided in her goal to become a news reporter/tv anchor during a shooting being committed from a rooftop by her deranged adversary, when the reporter on the scene gets shot and Amber boldly jumps,taking the microphone,continuing the live report for the local network.The prophetic way this story is molded doesn’t stop there,by the way.Drop Dead Gorgeous is shot in a mockumentary style,which eerily mirrors the 2002 Michael Moore documentary Bowling for Columbine,which obviously deals with the real life tragedy.
The story is quite straightforward.We follow Amber Atkins,played by Kirsten Dunst as she competes in a beauty pageant which she hopes would help her rise above the trailer trash life she was born into. Standing in her way is a deranged mother-daughter duo,Kirstie Alley and Denise Richards,helping the story come close to a Cinderella,and to some extent a Snow White scenario.This becomes obvious when the events get framed in such a way that our protagonist finds herself in a situation where not just her beauty,but talents and virtue are not enough,in fact she is wanted dead beacuse of them,and her triumph is only possible through great luck,woven into the storyline as comic relief.This is wish fulfillment, and it is quite overlooked how much the movie flirts with the supernatural.’Jesus loves winners’, Richards’ character Rebecca Ann Leeman says at one point,holding a shotgun and smiling at the camera. From the point of her character,this is an obvious comenatry on aspects of American culture,but if we look at it from the wider perspective of the movie,the storyline bluntly points out that whatever deities may be upon us,Amber Atkins is their favorite,and Rebecca is punished by fiery death,almost burned at the stake.Beauty and death go hand in hand the whole time, as Amber works at the morgue after school,and Rebecca doesn’t mince from murder if she feels that someone might stand in her way from winning a beauty pageant,and so,the pageant itself turns into a bloodsport.In 2016 we will see this theme drawn to its final conclusion in another underrated queer favorite, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon,which not only makes it even more clear that it is a modern fairytale,but interestingly enough,also has a character who works at a morgue.
Life imitated art not only when it came to gun violence.A blonde and a brunette go head to head,with he blonde eventually winning. Denise Richards might be more known now for a California blonde,beachy look,but in her roles from the 90s she would usually be seen with a chestnut hair,which seems to be her natural color,and we surely see her in that rendition in Drop Dead Gorgeous. The public primarily views her now as a 90s sex symbol,even though from te context of the movie,she gives Kirsten Dunst quite a run for her money.But we only know Dunst these days as a respeted,character actress.A blonde and a brunette go head to head,the blonde wins,pure and virtuous.Amber,played by Dunst is manifesting the Nietzschean concept of Will to Power,and this is not a stretch at all because at one point in the film we have Richard Strauss’ Sunrise playing,which was inspired by Nietszche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra.In the next decade,almost exactly 10 years after,we will see the same thing reoccur when Jennifer’s Body is released. A blonde and a brunette will be forced to combat,beauty and death once again crossing paths,with supernatural elements being directly included in the story. And blonde Amanda Seyfried will be taken more seriously as an actress,and Megan Fox will share a similar fate as Richards,being essentially branded as a sex symbol of her decade,and not much else.Cinematic dreams carry archetypes but sometimes not even that ,but prejudice,and they spill into reality,so a brunette is here a symbol of sensuality and beauty for it’s own sake,and as such must face an eventual punishment.The Neon Demon both subverts and affirms this through Jesse,the main character.Knowing Nicolas Winding Refn,it was no coincidence that he chose Dakota Fanning to play the main role right after she stared as Aurora, the sleeping beauty,in Maleficent. Just like Aurora,and Fanning herself, Jesse is blonde and virginal.However,she is not virtuous.Her purity stems from narcissism,and as such she faces wrath.
Life continues to imitate art,and just like Amber Atkins in the film, Drop Dead Gorgeous is finally being vindicated ,getting it’s happy ending by not only being available on streaming platforms but receiving praise,in articles such as ‘’Drop Dead Gorgeous,which is finally streaming,is possibly my favorite movie of all time’’.
any other film buffs avoid watching really popular, highly regarded movies? like save them for the right time? when you’ll really need them
Released: September 15, 1995.
Director: Iain Softley.
Writer: Rafael Moreu.
Cinematography: Andrzej Sekula.
Film Editing: Chris Blunden, Martin Walsh.
Music: Simon Boswell, Guy Pratt.
Staring: Jonny Lee Miller, Angelina Jolie, Jesse Bradford, Matthew Lillard, Wendell Pierce, Marc Anthony.
1984. Once Upon a Time in America (Italian: C'era una volta in America) is legendary Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone’s epic 4-hour-long ode to New York City’s organized crime. With music by Ennio Morricone.
Starring Robert De Niro and James Woods with guest appearances by Joe Pesci and Burt Young. The movie is based on Harry Grey’s novel “The Hoods.” It chronicles the lives of best friends David ‘Noodles’ Aaronson and Maximilian 'Max’ Bercovicz as they lead a group of Jewish ghetto boys and their rise to prominence as gangsters in New York City. The film explores themes of childhood friendships, love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, and broken relationships.
All the horror flicks I watched in October. Huge challenge getting through at least one a day, but I did it. Managed to get through 51 movies total.
Vincent Price, maestro of the macabre.
This is actually a poster for Gun Crazy (1950), an American crime film noir with screenplay written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Peggy Sue.
Sue was one of the pioneering gun-toting femme fatales on the silverscreen long before beloved tough women characters in Kill Bill, Resident Evil, The Brave One, Death Proof, Sucker Punch, The Terminator, and Alien have come into celluloid existence.
Films I am looking forward to, it’s always good to have something to look forward to 🥰
kramer vs kramer
MY FAVORITE MOVIE POSTERS ( p. 01 )
↠ Marriage Story ( 2019 )
↠ Bohemian Rhapsody ( 2018 )
↠ The Spectacular Now ( 2013 )
↠ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ( 2018 )
↠ Paterson ( 2016 )
↠ The Peanut Butter Falcon ( 2019 )
↠ Charlie Bartlett ( 2007 )
↠ The Grand Budapest Hotel
↠ The Princess Bride
1974. Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance is the sequel to Lady Snowblood and still based on the manga Shurayukihime. This is the exciting conclusion to the bloody saga of Lady Snowblood who agrees to a dangerous mission in exchange for her life.
Meiko Kaji returns in the title role and Toshiya Fujita directs.
American Beauty” (1999) Dir. Sam Mendes
The title of the film ‘American Beauty’ refers to a breed of roses that while pretty and appealing in appearance, is often prone to rot underneath at the roots and branches of the plant. Thus, the tagline “… look closer” tells the viewer that when they look beyond the “perfect suburban life” they will find something rancid at the root.
hey!! drop your letterboxd account in my ask box or in the replies and i’ll give you a follow! I need more film friends and I’d love to see your favorite movies!