Weekend Vibes

Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 81: The One on The Rider Movie.

By: Jen Shoop

My Latest Snag: Le Black Tee.

I saw the snap above in an Instagram ad for Nation LTD and stopped in my tracks.  My mom will roll her eyes (“you look so much better in color!”), but I had to recreate the black-on-black look, and STAT.  (Also almost rushed to get French girl bangs again.  How chiiiiic!)  The chic pea above is wearing this sateen style from Nation LTD, but I’ll be testing the waters with this inexpensive J. Crew style.  (I also considered this Club Monaco style.)  I own this tee in the white already and wear it constantly.  It has a great fit and weight.  I like that the sleeves are cut a little short — no one needs a sleeve that hits awkwardly below the bicep; it’s unflattering!

You’re Sooooo Popular: The Epic Cocktail Dress.

The most popular items on Le Blog this week:

+EPIC cocktail dress for $100.

+Shiny and plaid and all the good things.  New Year’s Eve look, sorted.  (By the hottest label around.)

+The perfect blush, blouson-sleeved sweatshirt for fall.

+On-trend, well-priced fall 2018 wardrobe basic.  I’ll wear mine under joveralls or with my plaid blazer.

+Coated, ink black skinnies for the badasses out there.  Would look amazing with a chunky knit!

+Cashmere crew for $100!  I love that donegal color — and of course the blush pink.

+Elegant florals that will work this fall.

+Moroccan tile rug.  Super chic for an entryway!

+This toddler book is trending in a major way.  (Mini loveeees it.)

+Perfect fall mule.  Love the color.

#Turbothot: The Rider, Masculinity, and the Amorphous Forces that Shape Us.

Please take a chance and watch The Rider, the story of a young man with a promising career in the rodeo who suffers a career-threatening injury and is forced to take a long, hard look at himself and the various forces — friends, family, rodeo culture, gender norms in America — that are shaping his identity.  The film is masterful in its nuanced treatment of these “forces.”  In fact, Mr. Magpie and I paused the movie a few minutes in and I said:

“I see where this is going.  It’s an indictment of the hypermasculine — the “just rub some dirt in it” messaging we feed young men, telling them to suppress their emotions.”

Mr. Magpie looked at me, bewildered:

“Oh.  I was just going to say how tough these guys are.”

If that doesn’t sum it all up, I don’t know what does: the film obscures whether the forces that surround the main character are nefarious or benevolent.  Yes, the threats to his wellbeing are real (and impossible to ignore, as the enormous scar on his skull is visible throughout the majority of the movie), but are they well-intentioned?  Hardened and cruel?  Or vapidly repeating what they’ve been told before?  It’s difficult to discern, and it demonstrates how complicated and messy life can be owing to the mixed messaging we consume on a regular basis, especially when it comes to gender roles and expectations.  For example — and this is very narrow and specific and clearly tethered to logistics I am currently thinking through — but as I have been talking about sending mini to preschool, I have intercepted confusing and contradictory messaging related to women’s decisions about career and childcare.  Examples: “Oh, twos programs are for stay at home moms who want their kids out of the house.”  And then: “Twos programs are designed to accommodate the working woman who needs child care!”  And then: “Open houses are typically held during the day, so working women need to take time off work to attend–such a clear message those schools are sending!”  And then: “The entire school day model is outdated and reflective of a time when we assumed moms stayed at home during the day; it’s never convenient to have kids in school from 8-3!  Why not 8-5?”  What the hell?!  How can something as innocuous and well-intentioned as school for a child be shot through with such wildly inconsistent subtexts about women and their decisions when it comes to childcare?   But that’s a topic for another day.

Back to The Rider.  My other justification for impelling you to view it relates to the story’s fascinating provenance: the filmmaker, Chloe Zhao (how interesting that it’s a woman!), was interested in the rodeo circuit and set out to find real-life stories, and so she met Brady Jandreau, who plays himself in the movie, along with his father and sister, who also play themselves in the movie.  (And the acting is actually quite good, especially from Jandreau.)  There is a lot of metafictional meat to mull over there, and I lingered for some time wondering about the gaps and symmetries between the film and the real life story.  Why, for example, would the characters change their last names but keep their firsts?  The injury was clearly real — what else?  And why wouldn’t it have been shot as a documentary, I wonder?  In short, the film’s “setup” draws attention to the lines between fact and fiction, their blurring, in a way that mirrors the complicated overlapping of aspiration/expectation and reality, of the ideal vs. the real life.

Have you seen it?  What did you think?

P.S.  This movie also felt a propos of the controversy surrounding concussions in football — a lot of transmutable observations there — and reminded me of some of my musings on masculinity from a few months back.

#Shopaholic: The Harvey Faircloth Field Coat.

+Harvey Faircloth’s fabulous faux-fur-trimmed field coats are BACK this season.  I bought one last fall and lived in it.  So so chic with some jeans and black flats!

+I’m seeing a lot of mohair sweaters this season — this is a chic way to get the look for less than Ganni will fetch.

+For minis: these bibs remind me of Goyard (#love), a great fall basic for boys, and this corduroy jumper ($20) is precious!  I’d pair the latter with this.

+A chic (affordable!) way to get just a pop of the glen plaid trend.

+I will live in these all fall.

+How stylish would it be to sub out all your mismatched shampoo and body wash bottles for these?  #Hotelathome

+A friend of mine wore this the other day and looked SO chic.

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 81: The One on The Rider Movie.

  1. Ooh! I listened to Jandreau (btw: how Wyoming is that name!!) and Zhao on Fresh Air a few weeks back — that plus your endorsement put it at the top of my watch list. The existential crisis that follows having your livelihood rug pulled out from under you is such a fascinating, agonizing premise . Add in the gladiatorial — but maybe also lifeblood-giving — aspect of rodeo, and I’m soooold! And I hear you on the lose/lose messaging that surrounds childcare. Blood-boiling, and yet I can’t fully tune it out.

    1. Yes! You’ll have to report back with your thoughts. My parents weren’t as enamored of it as we were — they said it was too slow. So, am anxiously awaiting other perspectives! Jandreau is such a perfect name for him! xo

  2. You’ve had so many thoughtful posts this week, and I’ve had no chance to comment until now! I haven’t seen this movie but will definitely put it on my watch list. My brother and I sometimes talk about gender roles for boys, especially in the context of football. He played for years, since he was probably about five years old. He has two young sons now and said he won’t let them play because of the effects former players are experiencing now. My mom likes to tell the story of when my brother got hurt during one particular game when he was very little, and my dad yelled at him for crying. My brother seems to have rejected this approach with his own sons. It will definitely be interesting to see how future generations adapt to some of these expectation shifts.

    1. Yes, completely — I think that there’s been an evolution in how Americans think about raising boys, but there are still a lot of vestiges from the past. So interesting to see that play out across multiple generations in your family! xo

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