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Talking To Trans People About The Third Wachowski's Unproduced Screenplay About A Haunted Garbageman (Real)
Previously in movie surveys: Talking to Women About Bob Odenkirk's Line, "My little women!" From Little Women.
Recently I had occasion to circulate the following survey among a small circle of my associates. In the interest of transparency, I share the results with you here.
This brief and entirely optional survey is an attempt to develop a(n anecdotal) cross-section of my fellow trans friends’ relationship to the Wachowski sisters. Participation, as always, is optional but very welcome.
How would you describe your relationship with the Wachowski sisters' films? I wanted to like Jupiter Ascending more than I did, for example, and my high school crush showed me that one scene from Bound on her laptop once before we sort of went to winter formal together, which was reasonably formative.
Mattie: i KNOW this is because i made you watch speed racer the other day so of course i will answer. they are perfect and have never done anything wrong, and much like being in the titular matrix, you must free yourself of expectations of "what" a "movie" "should" or "will" be "like" and just sit back and enjoy the goofball corniness. outside of that they are, quite literally, geniuses at pure visual storytelling, getting the information into the actual frame.
Grace: I am bored by them. And additionally they made me realize I no longer like David Mitchell (the novelist).
Calvin: I love you. I love the Wachowski sisters as filmmakers and almost always enjoy the big noisy bong-rip epics they make, whether or not those movies are actually any good. To wit: I also wanted to like Jupiter Ascending more and think it would be better if the lead roles were played by K. Stew and Gwendolyn Christie.
The Wachowskis, somehow, did not make the movie Mortal Engines, even though it feels like they should have. One time I had a real high fever and took a DayQuil demi-nap while watching Cloud Atlas and emerged from the experience with the belief that that is how that movie was meant to be seen. As human beings, I know next to nothing about them and I will move to a monastery rather than learn, like, how they vote.
Willow: My relationship with The Wachowskis was strong until I saw AJ Soprano give his mother Carmella a copy of The Matrix for her birthday. They've been a little uncool ever since. Bound is good, but I probably like it for different reasons than AJ Soprano would.
Crispin: When The Matrix came out in 1999 I decided it was bad because it glorified gun culture (I was a small child). I recently rewatched it on my laptop on an airplane after eating a weed gummy. It was incredible. A few thoughts that ran through my head while watching:
“People were not lying about the trans allegory thing.”
“Perhaps I am ‘in the matrix’ right now.”
“I will never get over the fact that I do not look exactly like Keanu Reeves.” Obviously I love Bound.
Brook: The Matrix was incredible when I first saw it 10 times (3 times in theaters). I think a lot of that was just “ooh cool,” but there was for sure a compelling narrative of being who you want in the Matrix. Later I saw Bound and was enthralled. Jupiter Ascending and Speed Racer are outstanding and so, so fun. I recently listened to Blank Check’s Wachowski arc and it reminded me of all the fun strange stuff I loved about their films. With all trans art, I think of it as being proud of our ability to be totally weird and creative and I’m glad we’ve got two of the most successful filmmakers of all time on our team.
Isaac: “Wanted to like more than I did” is my usual response to their films, given how much I like their public presence. I liked Cloud Atlas when it came out, but I worry that it wouldn't hold up. In high school I had a crush on a bisexual boy who thought The Matrix was super profound, and in college my core program class was taught by someone who also thought it was super profound. Both of these experiences baffled me, but I'm also not sure that any filmmaker should have to labor under the obligation to be super profound. It would be wild if filmmakers were the people introducing new theoretical ideas to the culture, as opposed to exploring ideas through character, imagery, and allegory in ways that theorists can’t.
Did you know there were two other Wachowski sisters, making a total of four Wachowski sisters altogether?
Mattie: yes, because you told me the other day when you were googling the wachowskis instead of watching the movie that you hated
Grace: I didn't!
Calvin: No. Please do not make me have to move to a monastery.
Willow: I did not know there were two other Wachowski sisters, but I think that's cool. There are like four Haim sisters. Makes sense that there would be four Wachowski sisters.
Crispin: I did not, but I say, the more Wachowski sisters the better!
Brook: No, lol, wow.
Isaac: I did not know that! This makes me imagine a kaleidoscope of sisters.
Did you know that one of these sisters, Julie Wachowski, has written an unproduced screenplay?
Mattie: i did not!
Grace: By definition no!
Calvin: ….go on.
Willow: Good for Julia.
Crispin: Do tell.
Brook: I did not.
Isaac: I did not.
From her website: "My noir screenplay, 'Garbageman,' about a genius sanitation engineer with a naked ghost problem, was optioned by Warner Brothers. Dust it off and make it already!" How does this sentence make you feel?
Mattie: i am curious if lilly or lana would be involved, but aside from that: pure neutrality
Grace: Really relatable problem.
Calvin: Listen to the lady! Make her damn movie!! Why haven’t her sisters swooped in to do this???
Willow: I support her and her freaky ghost script. It would somehow be transphobic of me if I didn’t. I think there’s something about trans women and ghosts.
Crispin: Elated! “Garbage noir” sounds like a genre I could really get behind. Particularly intrigued by the naked ghosts. I have always wondered why ghosts are depicted with clothes on. Clothes are not, strictly speaking, part of your body, so why would they accompany you into the afterlife? Maybe Julie Wachowski has some insight on this question.
Brook: Lololol. I want to see this film.
Isaac: I think it's a snappy sentence, and brings up the kind of questions a good query should bring up: what constitutes a sanitation genius, and is it the ghost or their nudity that constitutes the problem?
Does this change your answer to question #1?
Mattie: not particularly!
Grace: Not especially.
Calvin: Yes, because I now need to know every single thing about this screenplay and anything else this woman has written.
Willow: Maybe The Wachowskis are cool after all.
Crispin: I stand by my answer.
Brook: No. Total weirdos.
Wouldn't it be nice if James Gandolfini were alive, mostly because it would be nice for him to be alive, but also because he would be a good candidate for the lead?
Mattie: yes, he should be the lead in almost every movie
Calvin: Oh, yeah.
Willow: I think we've come full circle here with the Sopranos thing.
Crispin: Who could be more qualified than a man who spent years playing a character in the waste management business? I miss him terribly.
Isaac: Yes, it does sound like this would be a fun role for him.
If Warner Brothers does dust off "Garbageman," will you go see it with me?
Mattie: yes of course??? i am shocked, and feel like i'd have to make YOU see it with ME
Grace: Seems likely!
Willow: Sure thing. I like going to the movies.
Crispin: I’ll be there with bells on.
Brook: Hell yeah, dude
Isaac: In a hot minute.
In the course of writing this email, I learned that Lilly Wachowski is dating a trans man named Mickey Ray Mahoney (!) who's an art professor in Chicago (!!) who filmed an incredibly charming lo-fi cooking show called 'Cooking With Mickey' a few years back. "Cooking With Mickey is a cooking show for non-cooks featuring non-cooks cooking. Cooking With Mickey was inspired by all the great cooks who have fed and cared for Mickey throughout the years." You don't have to respond to this part, or come up with any opinions on the idea of T4T as some sort of reparative social project, I just really enjoyed watching the first episode.
Mattie: right on man
Grace: T[arragon] 4 T[omato salad]
Calvin: Mickey is a good name. Good for him on all counts.
Crispin: Mickey!!!!!! I love him so. As an avid consumer of cute YouTube videos made by home cooks, I give this one five spatulas out of five. Hard to pick my favorite quote, but I think it’s this: “I don’t know, do you wash herbs? Probably not, right? I’m going to. Why not? It’s like they just had a little rain shower.”
Brook: Cute! I’ll check it out.
Isaac: This show is very endearing, and so is the one photo I can find of the two of them together.
Thank you for your time!