Thursday, March 04, 2010

DIVA

You know what song really bugs me? "Diva" by Beyoncé. While Beyoncé is unquestionably a diva, I fail to see how a 'Diva is a female version of a hustlah'... that makes no sense to me. Divas are not about making money (though they usually have it. The riches are assumed entitlements, not bragging rights). VH-1 already distorted the concept of divas enough by bestowing the title to any recording artist with a vagina for years and years of televised concerts. I'm more old school about it. Now truly old school would take you back to divas equalling female opera singers. But I'm talking about the larger implied cultural connotation: those with an excess of presence, theatricality, narcissism... and a memorable voice. A good singular name helps, too. At least those are the ways we interpret it when it comes to cinematic divas.

Anyway... blah blah blah. How I do go on. Divas don't like to be kept waiting. My choices for Best Divas of the Film Year.
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18 comments:

James T said...

I repeat that I'm very grateful for the lovely Film Bitch awards and that my disagreement with some choices has nothing to do with it.

I said that because I guess you are kind of tired with all the craziness of the Oscar season and the making of your awards pages and the last thing you need is commenters telling you some of your choices are wrong.

Anyhow, I totally agree with the inclusion of "Jenny". I think few people noticed how much of a diva she was.

I disagree with "Charley". She is way too insecure and needy to be a diva. I think Firth's character was more diva-ish.

Amy said...

No time to read the Film Bitch selections yet--I'm sure they're fabulous, but I like to savor the FB posts and blog-checking procrastination is not the time--but I must give a wholehearted HERE HERE to everything you wrote about both Vh1 and Beyonce's erosion of the true meaning of Diva. B is a diva for sure, but that song is terrible all around. The feminist in me completely resists the idea of defining relationally (i.e. by reference to a male-gendered term) one of the few words that generally means "female." A diva is not a female "version" of anything!

And I still remember in the second or third year of the Diva series, seeing Faith Hill sing something or other, and thinking, "Divas do not pander to their audiences. By including Faith, Vh-1 has pandered to the country segment AND diluted their brand by choosing a singer who panders to the mainstream--double pandering!" Or something like that.

Hilary Swank said...

xP
I really didn't need to be reminded of that horrible lyric that so many people I knew were putting as the title of their myspace bulletins or facebook updates *gags*

Dennis said...

Sofya Tolstoy is my choice for Diva of the year.

However, I'm a little surprised Leigh Anne Tuohy isn't on your radar. That line about getting an overpriced salad closer to home is gold. Diva of the year is the only thing I would ever nominate The Blind Side for though.

Derreck said...

Claudia!!! I'm in love with that picture.

I would've been happy just to see her spin in a circle. She could've walked off right after with a 'Ciao, Guido' and i still would've loved it.

Graham Greenlee said...

Nate - A bit off topic, but...

Under the sexpots of the year on the same page, I noticed "Neytiri" in the runners up. Is that a Veruca Salt reference? Is it because all Neytiri does in the film is scream and Julie Dawn Cole was screaming that line during "I Want It Now?"

Did I connect the random dots or am I WAAAY off?

Ryan T. said...

No James Cameron? I'm shocked. And of course I'm kidding. Sorta.

Another half-joke, half-serious suggestion? Spock in Star Trek. Think about it.

Mikey said...

Charley for the win! She is the diva of divas, and Jules looked glorious as her, btw.

adam k. said...

Interesting choices, although I have to say, I'm a little bit shocked at some of the exclusions.

No Leigh Anne Tuohy I understand... though I personally liked the performance enough to nominate it here. I was also kind of expecting Mo'Nique's Mary Jones to appear here (that loud, welfare-enabled fur coat she started wearing toward the end? GOLD), but she won a gold medal elsewhere, so I can't complain.

But no James Cameron? No Lars Von Trier? Sad. Although I suppose that would be stretching the definition.

The only omission I truly don't get is no JULIETTE LEWIS in Whip It. Whaaa??? Are her roller derby antics, utter bitchiness, and complete need for adoration not divatastic enough? Was it a too-well-rounded characterization to be thought of purely as a diva? I'll go with that.

: (

adam k. said...

(not that I don't love the Film Bitch Awards)

ShoNuff Lives said...

when i saw the title, i was hoping for a reference to the 1981 film by jean-jacques beineix.

as for the past year, i think it was a weak year for true diva archetypes.
that being said, i enjoyed:
a foulmouthed judy molloy (gina mckee) in "in the loop"
a cooly distant summer (zoey d) in "(500) days of summer"
a drunk bridget von hammersmark (diane kruger) in "inglourious basterds"
a determined carol (james gandolfini) in "where the wild things are"
freak show jennifer (megan fox) in "jennifer's body".

NoNo said...

I have to give a shout out to "Florescent Beige" Joann and the Shotta, Rhonda in that Soul Train line in Precious.

Oh Nathaniel, you'll really be annoyed when Beyonce performs that song in Shankman's opening number, and then sings The Weary Kind in French! You know it will happen!

*tangent* My mother, who is in fluent in French, didn't know what language she was singing in until halfway through the song! Yikes!

James T said...

Um, I haven't seen Last Station but isn't Brüno the obvious choice? For me, at least, he is.

I mean, he lives in a world where he is the greatest thing ever! He can't connect to anyone because he believes he is superior to humans.

OtherRobert said...

So, Starmites styled Divas then? It's starts at about 2:15, though it's worth watching the whole video for the wtfery factor at the Tony Awards. Angela Lansbury introducing a pop-scifi-comic book musical? Yes please.

NATHANIEL R said...

er... i guess i shoulda had Leigh Ann somewhere in there. simple mistake. I shall add her to the finalists or something.

Hayden said...

EXACTLY! What true diva would deign to "hustle?"

Anonymous said...

Hayden in Beyonce's terminology Hustling is doing whatever it takes to get to the top. While I do think the song is horrid. Most Divas hustle if they didn't then they wouldn't be Divas would they???

Iggy said...

Then I guess I got the whole idea of what divas are (and those I was rooting for) completely wrong.

And speaking about what I think it makes a diva, is there any more Diva-like answer than this one? "For vanity". This is what Almodóvar replied when asked about the reason why he accepted presenting an award next Sunday. (here's the link in Spanish
http://www.publico.es/culturas/299849/almodovar/cree/penelope/ganara/oscar)

Sorry to the other Spanish readers that get tired of hearing about him, but it's just that he's so quotable, I can't help it.