The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for the ‘Mildred Pierce’ Category

I Thought You Were a Lady

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Dear Natalie,

Well the emotional and psychological peril of a strong commitment to work continues to play itself out in Mildred Pierce’s gumption. After the death of her youngest daughter, Mildred performs one of the most complete acts of repression I’ve ever seen, walking from the graveside of her child to the new restaurant she opens less than two weeks after the funeral. Abandoning herself to her own labor also completes the transfer that you talked about after Part II of all her maternal affections to her remaining child. And if any child were being ruined by misplaced love it is the insipid, arrogant brat, Veda Pierce. I know we are all supposed to be waiting with bated breath for Rachel Evan Wood to arrive as the grown up Veda, but I have to give it to Morgan Turner. That little girl has mastered a disdainful sneer. And as Monty says to Mildred, Veda isn’t much of a little girl. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

April 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Mildred Pierce

You mean you just loaf?

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Dear Natalie,

It was hard to decide which image to go with to frame Part II – the dashing loafer, Monty Beragan (as I clearly did), the vapid conniver Veda (of whom I had a hard time finding a good image), or sweet, loveable Ray, who is with us no more. I can’t wait to hear what you thought coming to the story with fresh eyes, but Part II definitely picked up for me. It accomplished an enormous amount in an hour. Mildred is no longer an ashamed working girl but the ecstatic owner of an about to open business, with her name in shining neon. She is no longer the kept woman of awkward, slobbish Wally, but the lover of stylish, swaggering Monty Beragan. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 31, 2011 at 7:41 am

Not Just Bread, All the Cake in the World

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Moth Chase friends – we’ll be blogging part 1 of MP today, and following up with Part 2 on Wednesday…

Dear Kathryn,

Well, after watching part 1, I’m not entirely hooked on this miniseries – although anything that promises that Guy Pearce is on his way will keep me tuned in. I chose this picture and this title for this post because I think their juxtaposition reveals a sad prescience for our particular moment in time. Mildred, a women who up to that horrible moment of her husband leaving was of decent means – seemingly not at all touched by the 2 year old Depression destroying other parts of the country – still only has this one dress and pair of shoes to go out and do her pavement pounding in! It’s unimaginable to today’s middle class, let alone upper middle class (which apparently Vida thinks they are). So even someone who lives comfortably within such normal restrictions insists she wants cake, not bread, for her children – all the cake in the world. There’s something about her new scarcity that makes her seek abundance now…and it left me wondering how that is writ large on our national psyche now, 80some years after The Great Depression…how much does our culture of excessive excess grow out of a period of need? In a sense, I’m watching for a clue to that desire. Well, for that and the crazy sexual politics…my goodness! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 28, 2011 at 10:10 am