From pop idols to cam girls, the line between reality and perception is dangerously blurred. In this episode, Andrea and Alex delve into the world of personas, obsession and perfection with two films, released decades apart, that grapple with modern anxieties.
Perfect Blue. Dir. Satoshi Kon, 1997.
Cam. Dir. Daniel Goldhaber, 2018.
Ways of Seeing. John Berger’s BBC series on gaze and perception.
Why We’re Obsessed with Celebrities. Psychology Today‘s take our desire for fame equating goodness.
Camgirl. Isa Mazzei’s memoir of camming.
#Horror – Is It Worth the Fight? A discussion of censorship and the hashtag #horror.
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I watched Perfect Blue because I’d watched Black Swan and lots of people were saying they were similar (also, the Double Feature podcast covered it alongside “Enemy”). I was really disappointed. It has very passive protagonist which I found harder to get invested in, and while I similarly found it rather trashy/exploitative I found the ending kind of stupid rather than in any way redeeming any of the preceding film.
I liked how Alice’s mom was disappointed that her daughter puts so little effort forth when they’re together, when Alice is clearly capable of putting her best foot forward in her shows. Her problems dealing with IT support were also really effective, and just the sort of thing missing from the IT-native Perfect Blue.
You refer to Selena as a “Mexican singer”. She was actually born in Texas, and had to learn sing Spanish phonetically,
The term “censorship” has long been applied to private actors. That’s why there’s even the phrase “self-censorship”. Whether having to click through a warning counts as “censorship” is one question, whether you had to agree to a TOS to post is another.
I liked John Dolan’s article after Dworkin’s death on how she was out of step with later feminists (and I also like a book by the first critic by her he cites).
This episode opened many horizons for me. I was just introduced to “cam culture” by a person I was in a theater production with who ran a site. I appreciated that she was expressing an art form AND profiting some with it. Art and profit rarely go together. Your discussion added great detail to what I learned from my fellow thespian. I got a lot out of “#Horror: Is it worth the fight?” so thanks for that.
I recently had a dialogue with a person who was critical of how Pretty Reckless vocalist Taylor Momson presented herself. My “take” on it is she owns her image and the way she uses it is quite brilliant and emphasizes lyrics in her songs. My dialogue partner thought she was being exploited. We did agree we’d need to know more to really come to a conclusion but the dialogue resonated with me in light of your episode.