Thursday, March 18, 2010

what about my behavior?


i think watching secretary for the first time waaaay back in 2002 is when i really started paying attention to maggie gyllenhaal (who is now pretty much a mainstay on my crush list). i mean, how could you not? this little s&m love story is kind of amazing. the fact that it's based on a short story by one of my favorite writers, mary gaitskill, just makes it that much cooler. well, tonight i trucked on over to dumbo to see mary read from her newest collection of short stories and it was, of course, awesome and inspiring. but one of my favorite moments of the evening was during the q&a, when someone asked her how she had come upon the idea for "secretary." the answer she gave is somehow one i had never heard. mary got the idea from an old issue of ms. magazine. apparently they used to have a column in the back featuring letters people would send about their experiences (maybe with sexism? i was unclear on the "why" part. or maybe i've just forgotten it. did i mention the free wine?) and one such letter was written by a woman who had experienced this sort of master/servant dynamic in the workplace, as in, IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. her boss would spank her when she made mistakes and he'd force her to sit in the corner of his office with a dunce cap on when he didn't approve of her behavior. in real life!!! of course, mary turned it into a poignant story about emotional vulnerability and sexual power and hollywood turned it into an s&m fairytale, but i LOVE the fact that it all began with a bizarro nugget of truth. as mary said, "you can't make this shit up." i know what's going to the top of my netflix queue (and the top of my reading list).




8 comments:

caroline duke said...

ha! who knew? i'll definitely have to check out the book now.

Vanessa said...

I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I didn't know Secretary was based on a book. It's going on my reading list!
Can you imagine this happening in real life? The thought of my boss doing this kind of makes me laugh :-)

Linds said...

by far one of my favorite films!

Sarah S. Dobbs said...

The fact that I have somehow overlooked this film is devastating! I must view it this weekend. In my first job the craziest shit happen that when I told my friends I think they thought I was making it up. I never got spanked by my boss but there was some shady operations doing down for sure! LOVE the blog

xx

S.S. DOBBS

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Every Little Counts said...

wow. i didn't know that. i think i need to watch this again...and i'll also fulfill my spader fix :)

Lexie said...

i just watched the documentary 'indie sex' and they mentioned secretary in the episode about sexual extremes as a healthy portrayal of an dominant/submissive relationship, which is interesting to me because MG has said in interview she felt she was exploited during the production ... now i have conflicted thoughts about the whole movie! now that i know it was based on a real experience (that does not sound too pleasant) ... i really dont know what to think!

{Tara} said...

The film is one of my faves...and now I must read her original story!

K said...

Again, Thanks for sharing. Its immediately on queue! And on my book list. How did I miss this one too?