Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch


After seeing Skylar's end-of-the-week show at art camp, I took her out for ice cream. Then we stopped briefly at Bookman's, where I scanned the shelves of two dollar VHS tapes and found a two-cassette Charlie Chaplin set, John Woo's The Killers and Grease, which she has been asking to see again since she was exposed to it last summer at art camp. I'd never seen it. Indeed, I knew shockingly little about it, other than that it has been praised by many people and features John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

I was cooking dinner while she watched it tonight, but watched enough to reinforce the lesson of the last few weeks' discussions of what is and isn't "age-appropriate" for her, inspired by her reaction to certain pieces in the Arizona Biennial: she's far less troubled by sexual content than the depiction of violence. While she may not have understood most of the innuendoes in the film, she definitely grasps the fact that Sandy transforms herself in order to be more enticing for Danny. And she picked up on a lot of other plot details concerning romance. But none of it bothered her greatly because, despite the surprising grit of the film's secondary characters -- frequently, Travolta and Newton-John seem to be starring in a different, less realistic picture -- the narrative lacks a meaningful antagonist.

Still, I don't think I would have let her watch it if I'd known everything the film contains. Because she'd already seen it multiple times last summer, I felt less guilty than I otherwise might have. That doesn't mean I didn't have pangs of conscience, though. After spending so much time talking about her right to not see things she's too young for, in light of the trauma caused by the "bunny painting," I feel like a bit of a hypocrite. The funny thing is that Skylar told me loves Grease because, "it's about high school and that interests me." I wonder where that came from. When I was her age, I told my mother I never wanted to be a teenager. And her mother managed to skip almost all of high school. Hmmm. Maybe I just answered my own question!
Tags: daughter, everyday, film

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