Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The Brooklyn Academy of Music's celebration of Susan Sarandon culminated on Sunday with four simultaneous screenings followed by a talk between Sarandon and her friend Bob Balaban.
We saw Thelma & Louise for the first time since our college women's studies classes. The earnest politics remain: patriarchy continues to be a problem, options for women continue to be limited. Nevertheless, the humor in its dissections of the absurdities of misogyny is much clearer now that the movie is canonical rather than threatening.
A week after moving to New York after college, Sarandon landed her first role. More than forty years later, she's best known for two things: her sex appeal and her activism. Balaban began by talking about the former, specifically her breasts. He then segued into a conversation that ranged over her Catholic childhood ("I was told I had an overabundance of original sin"), her choices, her blacklisting, Hollywood, aging on camera ("it's horrifying"), and her love of ping pong ("it's an Olympic sport, but it's so silly"). A great New York evening with a great New Yorker.