Category Archives: Theory

Straight people Parties

Eeeenh! I ended up at a straight person party last night, I mean UBER straight, as in a flood of spritzheads came tumbling out of a clown car and then chattered very loudly for a very long time about nothingness. I’m not sure how straight people do it, but they can have like, a two hour conversation about NOTHING! What the hell? It’s kind of amazing to watch, if dreadfully boring.

I have a new favorite film magazine. It used to be Filmmaker, which is a really good magazine, but with a specific way of looking at film, more of a how was it made, why did you write it this way kind of approach. I used to get a magazine from Kodak that was quite excellent in it’s own funny way. It was like “Oooh, House of Flying Daggers was shot with a 55mm lens and on 800T film,” kind of thing. Which is good in it’s own way, if you’re shopping around for the perfect speed of film to get a certain look. Actually I should get Kodak to send me that again. And then I was into Res, because it was more about digital film and video culture and a bit hipper, and the layout was spectacular, but it only comes out four times a year. Creative Screenwriting is okay. But CineAction, that is my new favorite. It’s not all “this is a 400 speed film” or “he wrote the entire script sitting on the toilet” or anything, it’s actually a critical look at films. This issue analyzes V for Vendetta, examines the work of Michael Moore, and links pedophile hysteria with a Post 9/11 world as seen in Palindromes.

We got my dog a shock collar for his barking, but it’s not working, I think it’s not on properly.

I also recently got a double issue of Social Text composed of queer theory essays including the amazing Judith Halberstam writing about White Masculine Gay Male Shame. I love Judith Halberstam. I used to have Female Masculinity and it was my favorite book about being butch, but my mom’s cat peed on it and no one can save it now. So in the garbage it went while I cried and cried.

Sometimes when I’m around very young people I feel like a pervert with a corrupting influence. I don’t know why. Maybe because they are young straight vanilla people and I am very much not.

I bought out the lesbian vampire erotica at McNally Robinson. I’m surprised there’s actually a decent queer section in Saskatoon. When I was a teenager I had to get the bookstores to order in all my lesbian erotica. And a book with me in there is on the shelves. Even a picture!

I got a nice artist fee from being part of a DVD collection of video art by women which is being marketed to universities. Which is why I could afford the freakin’ EXPENSIVE E bra.

Oh man, I’m trying to watch Party Monster, but jesus christ it annoys me. I haven’t been this annoyed with a film since the last time my deadbeat cousin crashed our livingroom and spent 72 hours watching every boy film on the movie channels. I nearly hit him in the head with a remote control and whacked him around with a broom. Male entitlement pisses me off. Anyway, I’m going to start watching Art School Confidential instead, Party Monster may remain forever unwatched.


I always giggle a bit when someone says they never get starstruck no matter who’s around at a particular time. I firmly believe everyone has at least ONE person that makes them amazed and act funny around. I’ve even had people be starstruck around me, which makes me totally shy and embarrassed. The funniest was the morning I was having my usual coffee at the cafe across from my apartment, I liked going there because they had a plethora of magazines to read and enough counterspace to read the Georgia Straight while also eating a panini sandwich. I was minding my own business when a woman suddenly looked at me and said “You’re famous!” I said “No I’m not.” “Yes, you are! I’ve seen you somewhere, where was it?” She might have been referring to the one Georgia Straight article talking about me and several other Vancouver aboriginal filmmakers. Other times I’ve been introduced to people and they’re all “ooh, the famous Thirza Cuthand.” I’m only mildly famous and only with people who go to film festivals. Sometimes I try to pick someone up and then suddenly they hear my name (there aren’t many Thirza’s) and start talking queer film, sigh!
My friend Cease told me a great starstruck story about our friend Paul. It seems they were staying with Fairuza Balk while on their great American road trip. They were taking this whole crashing with a movie star thing in stride until Paul saw a photo on Fairuza’s fridge of her standing next to someone who looked familiar. “Who is that?” he asked Cease. “That’s Shelley Winters.” “Oh my God!”

I was going to put a picture of Shelley Winters here but I have a hard on for Fairuza so to hell with her.

I have been star struck myself on many occasions. The first time was when I skipped Art History Class to go with some friends to Kate Bornstein’s talk at the SFU bookstore. Kate was talking about the destruction of gender and people’s ability to recreate themselves as whatever they wanted and then used my hair and ambiguous gender as an example of what she was talking about. My hair was blue and yellow at the time in my favorite dye pattern that looks like a sunrise. Anyway, I immediatelyturned pink because even though I often had weird hair I preferred being a wallflower. Then she seemed to want to save me by saying it didn’t mean she wanted to sleep with me, which made me go even more pink.

Kate Bornstein: Inspirer of Pinkness

My next starstruck moment has a really boring ending. I saw Annie Sprinkle at the San Francisco queer festival, Frameline, while we were both speaking at a conference. She smiled at me and I was terrified and ran like the wind. I wish I hadn’t done that.

“Brave Sir Thirza ran away.” “I didn’t!” “Bravely ran away, away.”

Just after I got dumped out of the hospital I went to a retrospective of my work down at the University of California at Riverside. A guy was there who looked totally familiar, and he also seemed totally sweet and approachable. I struck up a conversation and discovered I was talking to James Duvall, who played Dark in Nowhere, which happens to be my favorite film. He also got his dick cut off by skinheads in The Doom Generation, was killed in May, and played the role of Frank the Rabbit in Donnie Darko. He was probably the most fun “star” I’ve hung out with, we had beers and joked about different things and talked about the profession of acting and then he offered to be in my movies. He’s a nice guy, I like him. I’d definitely work with him.

James Duvall/Dark being dominated in Nowhere

All of this culminated in my most star struck moment to date. It was my BFA grad and I had to sit through a long boring ceremony EXCEPT Sally Potter was there getting an honorary degree. Sally Potter directed the one film I watched OVER and OVER during high school, Orlando, with Tilda Swinton. In my media studies class I wrote a paper on “The Gaze” in Orlando, which was probably my best paper ever because after that I got lazy. Sally Potter did a great thank you for her degree where she proudly proclaimed that she never went to school and she didn’t think people should feel they had to get an advanced degree.
After the ceremony I was hanging out with my Mom and friends and Mom pushed me towards Sally Potter and told me to tell her how much I liked her film. So I did, I felt very shy, she was most gracious and congratulated me on my film degree.

Sally Potter’s Orlando

Shyness and being starstruck, it goes both ways. One night in Montreal me and two Finnish girls met the beloved Julie Doucet at a group show she was in. She is most well known for her comic Dirty Plotte, which we all loved. I think we just looked like the most unusual tiny fan club and it turns out Julie Doucet is terribly terribly shy.

Which leaves me with my last statement. Celebrities, no matter how they are famous or what they do, have a persona which is completely different from who they really are. I can be all radical and running around with no clothes and talking about sex, but in real life I’m too shy to ask for a kiss, have unwillingly ended up with a career of celibacy, and only run around naked with the blinds drawn unless I’m terribly drunk. So don’t assume anything about a famous person’s character until you meet them, and if they suck, well, you can always watch them on television or read their work.