Over on our Instagram page, we're posting a weekly installation from Clare Johnson's Post-It Note Project, a long-running daily project. Here's her wrap-up and statement from May's posts.
Every May I’m swept up in the Seattle International Film Festival. Life gets crammed with movies, calendar a strange logic puzzle of screenings around other screenings around work, friends, deadlines. All my days are overfull, and at the same time it slows me down, I walk extra stretches of city between cinemas and studio and home, wait meditatively in long lines, meet with friends or chat gently with strangers, or mostly on my own, pausing, just me and someone else’s giant art, filling my whole field of vision. The films in these post-its aren’t all from SIFF, but they’re things I got caught up in, found myself thinking about later as I went to bed, couldn’t quite shake. Maleficent finally celebrated the one kind of princess-movie character I loved — the female villain. Maleficent was why I ever watched Sleeping Beauty, a favorite character, totally captivating, I practiced drawing the curves of her fancy horns. I was always easily scared, never wanted meanness to win — but little kid me knew these evil ladies were undeniably the main attraction, even if Disney didn’t understand, wouldn’t give them real stories or let powerful women take care of each other. But then suddenly for a moment it did. Driving home late from the theater, I sang along happily to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the radio. I saw The Queen of Ireland, a documentary about drag queen and accidental activist Panti Bliss, at SIFF a couple years ago; the post-it is a paltry reminder of her famous speech in all its plainspoken nuanced brilliance. Seeing Hidden Figures on the big screen was similarly glorious (also the book! read the book!!), except OH MY GOD, that laughter. How grotesquely, misguidedly comfortable are we — to laugh at such a moment, to think scenes of a woman of color struggling to make it to the segregated bathroom are meant as entertainment. The last one is Blue Is the Warmest Color. I don’t have anything else to add about that.