Precious and Late Night Two Step

This weekend I went to CAT workshops on Friday and Saturday. I was lucky to win two tickets to the screening of Precious as part of the St. Louis Film Festival. I had just completed the book as part of CAT. The movie was strong although not as powerful as the book. The book graphically described the incest, abuse, and cycles of violence as experienced by the main character Precious, an overweight African American 16yr old, mother of two, and her schoolmates. These girls overcame their traumatic life experiences largely as they learned to read and write, going from illiterate to regular writers. I had questioned how they would portray graphic parts in the film like the moments that the main character Precious was molested., there were some strong metaphorical visual stand-ins, like stop motion footage of a ceiling crumbling in. The character mentally escaped to a dreamlike glitzy space where she was dancing, fabulous, and the center of attention in a Hollywood like manner, think Diamonds are a girls bestfriend. The film did an effective job creating a sense of the setting (Harlem) and time period (80's)for this character. However I missed hearing the voices of the other schoolmates. In the book their stories were developed as side voices and companions to Precious, this emphasized the severity and regularity of violent/abusive home lives. All in all, I was happy that this story was made into a film as it told a story that usually does not make it to the big screen, without a happy ending, and without a typical Hollywood star. Also Mariah Carey plays a surprising role as the counselor in a very unflattering black wig.

Ended Saturday night at Dave Johnson's house. A sort of old timey romantic gentleman and free spirit, Dave asked if anyone wanted to two step. B.J. and I had just been talking with a girl who danced at SIUE. Dave swooped her off her feet and twirled he around the room. She shouted out "look at me I'm dancing the two step". I heard joy in their footsteps. Their dance ended as her taxi arrived and she took off into the night. Late night spontaneity.

Cam and I finished Drive By Installation today. Check out the corner of Compton and Cherokee to see this new incarnation of the ant circus.


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