Got a Girl Crush On: "Life’s Swell" the original article about female surfers by Susan Orlean that inspired 90s cult surfer movie Blue Crush
Near 90-degree temps here in NYC has got me with vacation on the brain. Cue re-watching Spice Girls-era girl-power flick, Blue Crush.
Although the 2002 film depicts Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez ripping through big surf and eventually a women’s heat in the Pipeline Competition—a place for women to compete did not exist at the time of the film’s release. This changed in March 2005 when the Banzai Pipeline finally opened competition to women.
Susan Orlean’s Outside Magazine feature on a group of young surfer girls in Maui is an insight what it’s like to live in Hawaii and live surfing 24/7.
“It must be hard to imagine an ordinary future and something other than a lunar calendar to consider if you’ve grown up in a small town in Hawaii, surfing all day and night, spending half your time on sand, thinking in terms of point breaks and barrels and roundhouse cutbacks. Or maybe they don’t think about it at all. Maybe these girls are still young enough and in love enough with their lives that they have no special foreboding about their futures, no uneasy presentiment that the kind of life they are leading now might eventually have to end.”
Orlean is no one-trick pony in the prose turned movie world, though. She also wrote "The Orchid Thief," which ultimately inspired Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation.
Born in 1973 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sadie Benning is a lesbian videomaker who began making videos when she was 15-years old, using a Fisher Price Pixelvision toy camera. Benning’s early works were made in the privacy of her childhood bedroom, using scrawled and handwritten text from diary entries to record thoughts and images that reveal the longings and complexities of a developing identity. Evoking in turn playful seduction and painful honesty, Benning’s floating, close-up camera functions as a witness to her intimate revelations, and as an accomplice in defining her evocative experimental form. Her work emerges from a place half-innocent and half-adult—with all the honesty, humor, and desperation of a personality just coming into self-awareness, trapped and uneasy. Her more recent work moves beyond the Pixelvision camera and into animation, film and installation. [video databank]
In addition to her personal work, she has made work for Le Tigre and Julie Ruin.
Got a Girl Crush On: “Dirty Girls” a short doc about 13-year-old riot grrrls in LA in the 90s
Shot in 1996 and edited in 2000, this is a short documentary about a group of 13-year-old riot grrrls who were socially ostracized at school by their peers and upperclassmen. Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called “dirty girls,” and meanwhile the “dirty girls” themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus.
Directed by Michael Lucid. Music: “Batmobile” by Liz Phair
How did I miss that Kerri Kenny-Silver was the lead singer of Cake Like???
Holy cow, how did this slip by?! I already loved this brilliantly quirky comedienne, but now have a newfound love for this woman!
This video is a veritable gold-mine of 90s riot grrrl awesomeness peppered with fellow members of The State (who have all since graduated onto Reno 911, Party Down, Children’s Hospital, Stella, Wainy Days, aaaaaand pretty much anything funny and amazing). Doesn’t hurt that the song is pretty effing awesome, too.