January 25th, 2003

i fight fire with words

from an article on Salma Hayek in The Advocate

"The Velocity of Salma" by Anne Stockwell (December 10, 2002)
83 year-old singer Chavela Vargas, who was a lover of Kahlo's in real life. Vargas plays Death, singing in a man's suit in a barroom with a bottle of mescal. Gloriously androgynous, her voice pure gravel, Vargas jolts the film from reenactment into the dimension where Kahlo truly lived.
That's a great scene, and that's such a cool convergence.

From the interview:
On-screen you always wore Frida’s unibrow, but not really her mustache. Did you feel the mustache was going too far?
She didn’t have that big of a mustache when she was younger. You can’t see it, and in the paintings she exaggerated it. Toward the end, when she got older [leans over conspiratorially], her mustache grew. And she kept exaggerating in the paintings, but the mustache grew.

She exaggerated the mustache?
I think the eyebrow and the mustache—this is a personal interpretation—are symbolic to Frida of her freedom. The eyebrow, in a couple of paintings, she made a bird out of it, a symbol of freedom. She didn’t try to pluck them to be like everyone else. It is the freedom of one’s acceptance for who one is. And I think the mustache was her acceptance for her male part. And how she celebrates it! She celebrates that part of herself.
Notice how she didn't really answer the question? Blergh.