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Firing Blanks: Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”

CW: discussion of murder & war crimes

 

“Why did we watch this?” Dania asked, falling onto the armrest of the couch. Her eyes glazed over, numb to the respectful patriotism in the credits music playing from Gwen’s computer.

“I wanted to know what the fuss was about,” Gwen said, calmly. “Do you remember when it came out? How it was the only thing people could talk about?”

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United Front: The WB Network’s “Baby Blues”

“Shame that nothing ever came of it, I guess.”

“A shame?” Gwen asked. “Did you think it was good?”

“Good…is a strong word,” Eleanor parsed. “I mean, I just binged the thing, I didn’t know it existed five hours ago.”

“It’s okay,” shrugged Dania. “I like the neighbor kids.”

“The comic is better.”

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Split Decision: Ekachai Uekrongtham’s “Beautiful Boxer”

“Why…this one?”

“Curiosity, basically,” Dania said. “I’d heard about it but never actually watched it before.”

She could tell from the reactions during the film –– none negative, but none enraptured –– that her friends had mixed opinions on Beautiful Boxer. As a very early example of a transgender biography on film, it was replete with issues that would sink it for a modern viewer.

“It’s a male actor playing the lead, right?” Gwen asked. On screen, the name Asanee Suwan scrolled by, in line with Nong Toom and her deadname.

“A male boxer, yes,” Dania said. “He had never acted professionally before this, he was chosen so he could nail the fight scenes.”

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Living On Lotus Blossoms: Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt”

With a herculean effort, Eleanor managed to wrench open the jammed window in their apartment, letting the June breeze waft through the room. Thick beams of the sun hit the floor, the couch, and Dania’s open eyes.

“Gahh!” Dania recoiled, shielding her eyes. “The light!”

“I’ll close the blinds in a second,” Eleanor promised. She carefully reached out the window, attaching the ends of a purple, white, grey, and black flag to the windowsill. It billowed in the breeze as she shut the blinds, blocking out the light.

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