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Entries in Thelma & Louise (15)

Thursday
May262016

Thelma & Louise Pt. 5: Crossing Over

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Pt 1 (Anne Marie & Margaret) 
Pt 2 (Nick Davis) 
Pt 3 (Daniel Crooke)
Pt 4 (Nathaniel R) 

Pt 5 (Finale) by Laurence Barber

It feels awfully daunting to write about the ending of this film, and not just because, as Nathaniel pointed out, ditching the cop who pulled them over isn’t Thelma or Louise’s finest hour. As an Australian who has experienced outback heat, that scene always makes me feel a bit nauseous even if the way their doing away with this discipline daddy is pretty amusing. More logically, they could have made use of his handcuffs to disable him instead, but you have to appreciate that Callie Khouri hasn’t constructed these crimes around what feels like pattern behaviour. Aside from Thelma’s charm assault/armed robbery, their transgressions feel genuinely like two women thinking on their feet.

Also, you catch a glimpse of a shotgun behind him as he trades shades with Louise so I’ve always believed he figured his way out somewhere down the line (shoot the lock, dummy!).

Thelma: Officer, I’m real sorry ‘bout this.”

Louise: I apologise also.”

1:40:00 This aspect of the scene has always spackled over my misgivings about it too. Much has been said and written in recent years about the way women over-apologise, exercising a kind of ingrained cultural deference to male authority. In this scene, however, their apologies become a subversion; the way Sarandon half-heartedly apologises tells us that she’s given up caring about the needs of men in any meaningful way.

Replete with her new Aviators – a hot new look Scott drinks in with a zoom that feels as awed by Sarandon as we do by this point – Louise and Thelma jump back in the Thunderbird and put rubber to the road, the final stage of their road trip stretching out before them. In a brief cut back to the police part of the plot, Harvey Keitel gravely intones, “Dreams will only get you so far, and luck always runs out.” Lighten up, toots...

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Wednesday
May252016

Thelma & Louise Pt 4: The Call of the Wild

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Pt 1 (Anne Marie & Margaret) 
Pt 2 (Nick Davis) 
Pt 3 (Daniel Crooke)

Pt 4 by Nathaniel R

When Daniel wrapped up part three, he astutely described the roomful of men watching Thelma's armed robbery on TV as "blockheaded." As loathe as I am to admit it, the other adjective he used, "slack-jawed," is the one that would also apply to me in that scene. It's when I most fully relate to the men in the movie. How can you watch what these women (and actresses) are doing and not be a little dumbstruck?! Although in my case, it's more awestruck than horrifed trepidation about what they're capable of.

1:15:00 In one of the funniest exchanges in the movie, Thelma worries about how fast Louise is driving, their unruly mops whipping around in the wind, both of them reenergized by Thelma's sudden resourcefulness...

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Tuesday
May242016

Thelma & Louise, Pt. 3: Pitt Stops 

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

In Pt 1 of our lookback at Thelma & Louise, a fateful night at the Silver Bullet threw Thelma & Louise off their course. In Pt 2 the best friends weren't so friendly  as they struggled to find a new one. When we left them, they'd picked up a charming hitchhiker (Hellooo, Baby Brad) and but Louise needed a cup of coffee and to collect herself. Anne Marie & Margaret, our own superheroine duo in Los Angeles were grappling with the surprise killing of a would be rapist. Was it rage and pride that motivated Louise to shoot after she had already saved Thelma? It certainly provoked audiences but was there any other way to play the film's themes?

Louise is trying to plot their next move when we return to them, just before they jump back in their '66 Thunderbird - Editor

Pt 2 by Daniel Crooke

50:58 – Surprised to see her leather-faced boyfriend, Louise looks like she’s seen a ghost. Based on their last phone call, it didn’t sound like she was planning on casually bumping into Jimmy north of the border anytime soon. These men just can’t get out of our heroines’ way; is it that maddeningly impossible to trust an independent woman to chart her own course in this world? (more...)

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Monday
May232016

Thelma & Louise, Pt 2: The Venetian Blindside

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

When we left our heroines in Pt 1 of our 25th anniversary lookback at Thelma & Louise, they were fleeing the scene of their (first) crime but Louise needed a cup of coffee and to collect herself. Anne Marie & Margaret, our own superheroine duo in Los Angeles were grappling with the surprise killing of a would be rapist. Was it rage and pride that motivated Louise to shoot after she had already saved Thelma? It certainly provoked audiences but was there any other way to play the film's themes?

Louise is trying to plot their next move when we return to them, just before they jump back in their '66 Thunderbird - Editor

Pt 2 by Nick Davis

Now's not the time to panic. If we panic now, we're done for."

24:50 You could say this is the moment where Thelma and Louise shifts from a movie about two women fleeing some problems, at least temporarily, to two women solving a problem, probably permanently. Sure, I'll run to any movie where two women let their hair down, but I will fucking jet-propel myself to any movie where two or more women join forces to think their way out of a fix.  Well, not Mad Money.  And not The Boss.  Okay, there are exceptions.  But Thelma & Louise is the glorious rule, and this is where the drama of deduction, cognition, mutual examination, and deep self-reflection really kicks into fifth gear.

I should mention that I saw this film in the theater at 14.  Sheltered and naive about sex and violence, I didn't completely understand what rape was--which is to say, I think I learned it here.  I had never had a drink, much less been drunk, or even seen a margarita.  Ironically, the post-shooting moment when Thelma and Louise start spiraling into unknown territory was  when I started to connect with their world and feel common ground with the heroines.  I didn't know from waitressing jobs, fishing trips, honky tonks, convertibles, freeways, mesas, relationship troubles, shitty husbands, hitchhikers, horny moods, pistols, or structural misogyny, but I absolutely related to relying on wits to think your way out of a problem, and disclosing aspects of yourself in how you did so, and concealing parts of yourself at the same time.

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Sunday
May222016

Thelma & Louise Part 1: Girls' Trip, Interrupted

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Thelma & Louise
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Callie Khouri
Released by MGM on May 24th, 1991
Nominated for Six Oscars

To celebrate the anniversary of this bonafide girls gone wild classic from 1991, Team Experience is revisiting the picture, tag-team style all week long (like we did with Rebecca & Silence of the Lambs, y'all!).

While the film begins in Arkansas, we're taking an alternate route. Grabbing the keys to begin this road trip is our own dazzling female duo over in Los Angeles, Anne Marie and Margaret. - Editor

Pt 1 by Anne Marie and Margaret

Anne Marie: 00:01. Fade in on an opening credit sequence that pulls every single late 80s/early 90s cliche. Heat-baked street? Check. Twanging guitar? Check. Harmonica solo? Check.

Margaret: Based on this alone, I would definitely expect to be watching a serious action-drama about a lovable renegade cop

Anne Marie: I mean, it's in that vein. As Susan Sarandon has pointed out (love this woman, and love how much she talks about this movie), Thelma & Louise basically is an outlaw buddy movie in the vein of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.

01:10 But more on that later. Right now let's talk about HANS ZIMMER WROTE THIS SCORE?!?

Margaret: Hans Zimmer contains multitudes.

Anne Marie: As long as those multitudes contain at least one louder-than-necessary instrument solo. In all seriousness, there is a lot of talent behind Thelma & Louise, which you get to see just in the opening credits roll: Besides our two incredible leading ladies, the incomparable Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, we've got baby Brad Pitt without an ounce of baby fat on him, Harvey Keitel (happy belated birthday!), Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, and it's written by Callie Khouri, who would one day give us Nashville. Not the Altman.

Margaret: And never let us forget character actor workhorse Stephen Tobolowsky, who also appears here in compliance with state law. I also often forget that this is a Ridley Scott film. It doesn't have a "Ridley Scott film" kind of place in our cultural discourse, though it's got at least as much pop permanence as Blade Runner. (When was the last time Blade Runner got referenced in a Country radio hit?)

Anne Marie: Definitely.

02:15. Moving on, we introduce Our Fair Heroes. It's actually a great bit of screenwriting, because we learn exactly who each lady is just by this introduction

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Friday
Dec042015

Pt 1. Oscar Editorials to Make the Blood Boil: on Category Fraud

'I'm not SUPPORTING you. I don't even like you!'I'm not in the habit, as some online pundits are, of dissing articles written by other people but two articles just published enraged me. ...I exaggerate. They made my skin crawl from their indifference and hypocrisy. Let's get the indifference out of our system first.

Variety's "Long and Honorable History of Category Fraud" - Tim Gray
Gray immediately pisses the reasonable Oscar-lover off with the way he begins this defense of Category Fraud, a topic birthed and coined right here at The Film Experience years ago since nobody else was willing to get riled up about it and make it a cause. He introduces the topic in the the context of real world problems with life & death consequences as a way to insure that any complaints about the topic are, in the grand scheme of things, entirely irrelevant. Yes, it's true, Tim. Category Fraud does not lead to car accidents (unless Nathaniel is enraged and driving) and it doesn't threaten the world's natural resources. But this is a cheap argument. Imagine the rage you'd conjure in the reader if you used this same tactic when speaking about the lack of diversity in casting and directing jobs in Hollywood. The same is, in fact, true. Nobody will die and it won't cause starvation or droughts if people of color don't get acting jobs and women aren't considered for directing big budget Hollywood movies. But that is absolutely no reason to not care about these problems!

Every topic will seem small when placed against death and disaster. By this logic the Oscars aren't worth talking about either! But that does not mean that the topics are unimportant within their own "ecosystems." That's Gray's choice of word so let's use it. [More...]

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Sunday
Apr122015

Pay Homage At Your Own Risk!

Best wishes to Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergaras as they prep for opening weekend of Hot Pursuit (which I hope is fun) but good luck living up to this reference. You'll need it times ∞