Saturday, October 03, 2015

Totally Tatum!

Scream if you're a Tatum fan! (Me, me!) I mean, really: Who doesn't love Rose McGowan's Tatum Riley in the first Scream flick? She's sexy, gaudy, whip-clever, loyal, mischievous, and resourceful. (*I mean, look at the way she used those beer bottles as weapons against Ghostface!) The script was written by queer screenwriter/producer Kevin Williamson and directed by late horror legend Wes Craven, whose dreamy A Nightmare on Elm Street changed the face of '80s horror flicks. 1996's Scream, simultaneously a sendup and homage to scary movies, found unexpected box office glory, launched the careers of various teen starlets such as Neve Campbell, rebooted Drew Barrymore for her second act, and even payed compliment to the Fonz himself. One of this modern(ish) classic's strengths is protagonist Sidney Prescott's sassy, tough-as-nails best friend Tatum Riley, who gets to know a garage door all too well. I can't imagine anyone other than Rose McGowan playing Tatum -- she is Tatum. Ms. Riley feels channeled into slasher celluloid by way of this talented actress.

As Rose McGowan stretches and fights for gender equality in her career almost 20 years after her titular role, Tatum Riley meets her Goth Girl doppelganger by way of McGowan's artistic and feminist new creation, Nowness. Think: magical, empowered, synth-infused freak-pop. Curious enough to watch the debut video? Just click here:

One of the terrific things about aging is being able to look toward the past and track an artist's progress into the present. I vividly remember catching Scream at the Janesville Mall with Hali Garrett and then catching it two more times on the big screen -- one of those with my lovingly, easily scared mother, who first introduced me to my favorite genre. And now here we are 19 years later, and Rose McGowan is pushing her artistic boundaries while also making huge social statements about gender norms, sexuality, and female self-acceptance. Time flies. Art thrives. Voices carry.