Sarah Wu

Ropa Usada

By FERNANDO A. FLORES

 

Cassie knew she could make extra money selling vintage clothing on the internet, so in her first semester out of grad school, she drove to Chulas Fronteras Ropa Usada, down by the border in the maquiladora district. The bouncer at the door weighed Cassie on a scale as a shoplifting precaution, and handed her a ticket, along with a map of the enormous warehouse. She was originally from the border, and so she said “No, thanks” to the map, since she knew her way around well, and walked inside. There were hills of denim, with polyester, wool, and old jeans compacted, forming different roads. Fans as tall as Cassie were blowing everywhere like electric windmills, creating metallic cyclones that howled over the exclamations of people—mostly brown women like her, but many with young children—picking through the used clothing.

Ropa Usada
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Breaking the Rules of Time Travel: A Film Review of Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman

Film by CÉLINE SCIAMMA

Review by HANNAH GERSEN

cover of petite maman. shows two girls hugging each other

Petite Maman, Céline Sciamma’s fifth feature-length film, following 2019’s critically acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire, is a time travel story that reminded me of one of my favorite movies from childhood: Back to the Future. Aesthetically, the two have very little in common—one is an art house movie with unknown child actors, the other a somewhat goofy studio feature starring Michael J. Fox—but at the narrative core of both films is a deep psychological wish that many children harbor: to know their parents when they were younger. In Back to the Future, a teenage Marty McFly accidentally travels back in time to meet his parents at the beginning of their high school romance. In Petite Maman, eight-year-old Nelly stumbles into a kind of woodland passageway through which she can visit her mother’s childhood and play with her mother as an eight-year-old girl. In this alternate reality, Nelly also interacts with her maternal grandmother who, in Nelly’s present-day timeline, has recently passed away. 

Breaking the Rules of Time Travel: A Film Review of Celine Sciamma’s Petite Maman
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Exotic Pets

By CAL SHOOK

 

The first time Ellis saw the girl, she was sitting on the front stoop of his building. She had a mop in one hand and a broom in the other, like she was using them to guard the place. The packages of Charmin stacked beside her looked like they were at attention too. She can’t be more than five or six, thought Ellis. And instead of climbing the stairs and passing her to let himself inside, he stopped, took off his Yankees cap, and with a smile said, Hiya. Hey kid. Hello there.

The girl did as he expected and gaped at the wine-spill of a birthmark on the left half of his face. She sniffed her runny nose up and blinked through her too-long bangs. Her mouth made a little frown and she said, Hi. My mom forgot the Windex.

Exotic Pets
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A Memorandum of My Several Senses: Chloe Honum’s The Lantern Room

Reviewed by REBECCA GAYLE HOWELL

Lantern Room cover

On a Sabbath day in 1855, Emily Dickinson wrote a letter to her dear one, Mrs. Holland. Mrs. Holland was the poet’s chosen sister, a mentor and friend in gardening and recipes, householding and womanhood. They were correspondents for more than 30 years, sharing their litanies of living a life. This particular letter concerned the disorienting process of moving house. The Dickinson family was returning to their homeplace. It was the house where Emily was born and it would be the house where she died. But in that moment, having lived fifteen years elsewhere, she felt pillaged and lost, a kind of expat from her country of knowns.

A Memorandum of My Several Senses: Chloe Honum’s The Lantern Room
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We Insist on a Godliness, a Mystery, a Laughter: An Interview with Patrick Rosal

PATRICK ROSAL interviewed by WILLIE PERDOMO

Photographic portrait of Patrick Rosal, a middle-aged Filipno American man. Rosal wears a black crewneck sweater and black pants. He is sitting on a stool, looking to his left, and is captured mid-laugh.

Patrick Rosal is an interdisciplinary artist and author of five full-length collections of poetry. Former Interviews Editor Willie Perdomo connected with Patrick over email this winter, and in this lively exchange, they discuss the spirit realm and its ability to breathe life into writing. Rosal shares his perspective on music and performance in his work, as well as the importance of honoring rituals, ancestors, and legacy.

We Insist on a Godliness, a Mystery, a Laughter: An Interview with Patrick Rosal
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Through a Pink Cloud, Darkly: A Review of Iuli Gerbase’s The Pink Cloud

Film by IULI GERBASE

Review by HANNAH GERSEN

Cover of The Pink Cloud

A title card at the beginning of Iuli Gerbase’s debut feature, The Pink Cloud, informs viewers that its screenplay was written in 2017, and that it was filmed in 2019. What follows is a movie so in tune with the events and moods of 2020 that you would be forgiven for finding this level of prescience impossible to believe. The premise is simple: a toxic pink cloud formation suddenly appears in the sky. Its vapors are deadly, killing people after ten seconds. With only a few minutes of warning, an unnamed Brazilian city is locked down. People are ordered to go indoors immediately; if they are not at home, they are to go into the nearest building, whether it’s a bakery, a grocery store, or the apartment complex they happened to be passing by. Giovana and Yago, the couple at the center of the movie, are on the balcony of Giovana’s apartment when they hear the news, recovering after a late night of partying. We quickly learn that they don’t know each other well; they are waking up from a one-night stand that has been extended indefinitely.

Through a Pink Cloud, Darkly: A Review of Iuli Gerbase’s The Pink Cloud
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How Memory Works

By TIM TIM CHENG

 

A shattered porcelain shard of a city drawing laid on a white background.

“Newspaper Transferral on Plaster” by Hasami Ho (2020)

 

Location: Hong Kong

 
         on the sudden closure of Apple Daily, the biggest pro-democracy press in Hong Kong

1.
We see the newspaper for tomorrow, not tomorrow
It’s already midnight. Today that is. News that stays
warm and inky on our fingertips at 2:30 am.

How Memory Works
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Sometimes the Sun Becomes a Dragon You Can’t Escape

By RACHEL KOZLOSKI


                          After the Celtic folktale of King Eochaid and his sons

Sometimes the sun becomes a dragon you can’t escape. It was that kind of Sunday when Nicole and her sisters sat bored and panting on their stoop, too tired and sun-stoned to fight with each other, or to find something to do. Occasionally one of them exhaled loudly, with noise, “Huuhhnnnnn” because that was the only way to feel release.

Sometimes the Sun Becomes a Dragon You Can’t Escape
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