Cinematic Horoscopes: Virgo Season

by: Daisy Stackpole

  We will be featuring twelve films every month inspired by the twelve zodiac signs accompanied by lighthearted astrological advice. 

  Virgo:   I Am Love   directed by Luca Guadagnino    Virgo, let us bask in your glory this season! You are a complex being, in a constant flux of self-doubt and self-assuredness, you crave order and control, but are also one of the most sensual signs. Though it’s impossible to know the astrological charts of our favorite screen characters, if I were a betting woman, I’d bet that Emma (played by the exquisite Tilda Swinton) is a Virgo. Poised, hardworking, and always putting her family’s needs before her own, Emma almost disappears into the tapestry of her wealthy family. After meeting an attractive young chef, Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a friend of her son Edoardo (Flavio Parenti), Emma finds herself finally addressing her own desires. She begins an affair with Antonio while attempting to withhold the porcelain facade she has painstakingly created for herself and her family. Virgo, this film is a feast for the eyes, which you will appreciate. But I think you can also use this film as a tool for reflection over your birthday season. Are your needs being met? Is the order you’ve crafted in your life hiding a desire to unleash some chaotic good? Let Emma be your guide into questioning if what’s ostensible and respectable is what truly matters to you.   

Virgo: I Am Love directed by Luca Guadagnino

Virgo, let us bask in your glory this season! You are a complex being, in a constant flux of self-doubt and self-assuredness, you crave order and control, but are also one of the most sensual signs. Though it’s impossible to know the astrological charts of our favorite screen characters, if I were a betting woman, I’d bet that Emma (played by the exquisite Tilda Swinton) is a Virgo. Poised, hardworking, and always putting her family’s needs before her own, Emma almost disappears into the tapestry of her wealthy family. After meeting an attractive young chef, Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a friend of her son Edoardo (Flavio Parenti), Emma finds herself finally addressing her own desires. She begins an affair with Antonio while attempting to withhold the porcelain facade she has painstakingly created for herself and her family. Virgo, this film is a feast for the eyes, which you will appreciate. But I think you can also use this film as a tool for reflection over your birthday season. Are your needs being met? Is the order you’ve crafted in your life hiding a desire to unleash some chaotic good? Let Emma be your guide into questioning if what’s ostensible and respectable is what truly matters to you.

 

  Libra:   Black Orpheus   directed by Marcel Camus    My dear Libras, for your film I want to give you a true cinematic gift that will both soothe and challenge your tender hearts. Traditionally, Libras are known for their attraction to all that is beautiful and luxurious. Lucky for you,  Black Orpheus  has that in spades; the French/Brazilian adaptation of the Greek fable  Orpheus and Eurydice  is set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, complete with stunning technicolor costumes set against incredible landscapes. The film stars Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello  as Eurydice and Orpheus, respectively, the young lovers whose paths become inextricably crossed.  Black Orpheus  will cater to your fierce intellect, appreciation of lush aesthetics, and romantic side. Libras, you can also ignore your feelings and put up a wall, and this story of love and tragedy will tear down that wall, and allow you to have a conversation with yourself about the state of your heart.         

Libra: Black Orpheus directed by Marcel Camus

My dear Libras, for your film I want to give you a true cinematic gift that will both soothe and challenge your tender hearts. Traditionally, Libras are known for their attraction to all that is beautiful and luxurious. Lucky for you, Black Orpheus has that in spades; the French/Brazilian adaptation of the Greek fable Orpheus and Eurydice is set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, complete with stunning technicolor costumes set against incredible landscapes. The film stars Marpessa Dawn and Breno Mello  as Eurydice and Orpheus, respectively, the young lovers whose paths become inextricably crossed. Black Orpheus will cater to your fierce intellect, appreciation of lush aesthetics, and romantic side. Libras, you can also ignore your feelings and put up a wall, and this story of love and tragedy will tear down that wall, and allow you to have a conversation with yourself about the state of your heart.

 

 

 

  Scorpio:   The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover   directed by Peter Greenaway    Hi, fellow Scorpios! May I present to you, my favorite movie OF ALL TIME. Just to give you a taste (no pun intended) of this film, it’s comprised of virtually every theme that makes a Scorpio heart sing: sex, lust, secrets, revenge, loyalty, and delicious food. Every part of you will be nourished as you enter the world of Le Hollandais, a pseudo-bourgeoise, pseudo-French restaurant run by the British mob, led by Albert Spica (memorably played by Michael Gambon) and accompanied by his high-class wife Georgina (played by Helen Mirren in what is for me, her quintessential role). Albert bullies virtually everyone in proximity to him, with the lion’s share of abuse directed at Georgina. After sneaking away to the bathroom for respite from her nightmarish dinner, Georgina encounters bookish Michael (Alan Howard). I won’t give anything else away, other than this film, along with the rest of Greenaway’s ouvre, contains the most remarkable production design and art direction I have ever seen, including custom costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier.      

Scorpio: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover directed by Peter Greenaway

Hi, fellow Scorpios! May I present to you, my favorite movie OF ALL TIME. Just to give you a taste (no pun intended) of this film, it’s comprised of virtually every theme that makes a Scorpio heart sing: sex, lust, secrets, revenge, loyalty, and delicious food. Every part of you will be nourished as you enter the world of Le Hollandais, a pseudo-bourgeoise, pseudo-French restaurant run by the British mob, led by Albert Spica (memorably played by Michael Gambon) and accompanied by his high-class wife Georgina (played by Helen Mirren in what is for me, her quintessential role). Albert bullies virtually everyone in proximity to him, with the lion’s share of abuse directed at Georgina. After sneaking away to the bathroom for respite from her nightmarish dinner, Georgina encounters bookish Michael (Alan Howard). I won’t give anything else away, other than this film, along with the rest of Greenaway’s ouvre, contains the most remarkable production design and art direction I have ever seen, including custom costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier.

 

 

  Sagittarius:   Frida   directed by Julie Taymor    Sagittarius, I don’t need to tell you that you will never pass an opportunity to travel. Your wanderlust and intense curiosity serve you well in life, but it’s not always possible to take off on a dime! For the times when you’re stuck at home, allow your mind to vacation with a film like  Frida . Although Frida Kahlo herself was a Cancer, she displayed many Sagittarius traits that you will vibe with. Allow Salma Hayek’s gorgeous performance as Kahlo to inspire you to be your best Sag self! As you may already know, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who was also disabled, queer, and passionate about representing indigenous Mexican heritage. Kahlo embodied the mantra “seize the day” to the fullest, and this film does an excellent job highlighting the battles and triumphs of her life. After watching  Frida,  tap into your open-mindedness and teach yourself something new, like a new language that could lead to a future trip.   

Sagittarius: Frida directed by Julie Taymor 

Sagittarius, I don’t need to tell you that you will never pass an opportunity to travel. Your wanderlust and intense curiosity serve you well in life, but it’s not always possible to take off on a dime! For the times when you’re stuck at home, allow your mind to vacation with a film like Frida. Although Frida Kahlo herself was a Cancer, she displayed many Sagittarius traits that you will vibe with. Allow Salma Hayek’s gorgeous performance as Kahlo to inspire you to be your best Sag self! As you may already know, Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who was also disabled, queer, and passionate about representing indigenous Mexican heritage. Kahlo embodied the mantra “seize the day” to the fullest, and this film does an excellent job highlighting the battles and triumphs of her life. After watching Frida, tap into your open-mindedness and teach yourself something new, like a new language that could lead to a future trip.

 

  Capricorn:   9 to 5   directed by Colin Higgins    One of the heartier, more practical signs, part of who you are is rooted in what your career, Capricorn. This month, treat yourself to a workplace classic,  9 to 5.  This classic film, starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin (honestly bless the casting director of this movie), will speak to your ambition and grit. These women are all employed at an office led by a tyrannical boss, Franklin Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman), and are all mistreated by him for a variety of sexist reasons. Judy (Fonda), Violet (Tomlin), and Doralee (Parton) join forces and enact a plan to overthrow their evil boss, and at a metaphorical level, capitalism and white patriarchy.  A blast from start to finish, allow this film to be a salve for your oft heavy, oft pessimistic soul, Capricorn. You will both laugh away some stress and negativity, while simultaneously finding inspiration for your next power move at work.   

Capricorn: 9 to 5 directed by Colin Higgins

One of the heartier, more practical signs, part of who you are is rooted in what your career, Capricorn. This month, treat yourself to a workplace classic, 9 to 5. This classic film, starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin (honestly bless the casting director of this movie), will speak to your ambition and grit. These women are all employed at an office led by a tyrannical boss, Franklin Hart Jr. (Dabney Coleman), and are all mistreated by him for a variety of sexist reasons. Judy (Fonda), Violet (Tomlin), and Doralee (Parton) join forces and enact a plan to overthrow their evil boss, and at a metaphorical level, capitalism and white patriarchy.  A blast from start to finish, allow this film to be a salve for your oft heavy, oft pessimistic soul, Capricorn. You will both laugh away some stress and negativity, while simultaneously finding inspiration for your next power move at work.

 

  Aquarius:   Orlando   directed by Sally Potter    Aquarians, you are blessed with the wildest imaginations of the zodiac. You are fiercely curious, and often bored with reality, you crave stories beyond the realm of the known. Orlando, one of Tilda Swinton’s earliest leading roles will certainly pique your interest. Based on the Virginia Woolf novel  Orlando: A Biography,  British auteur Sally Potter interprets the book into a stunning character study of a true enigma. The titular character is an androgynous aristocrat recently appointed as heir to a great deal of wealth, land, and power, under the condition that he never “fade, wither, or grow old”. Following these commands, Orlando recluses himself and spends several hundred years dabbling in art and poetry, becoming complacent in this leisurely and comfortable existence. A singular science-fiction tale, one morning Orlando awakes to learn they have been transformed into a woman. The story certainly does not end here, but I know Aquarians love some mystery, so I won’t divulge anything else. After watching  Orlando,  perhaps you should ask yourself if the allure you wear so well is serving you well, or holding you back from your true potential, Aquarius.   

Aquarius: Orlando directed by Sally Potter

Aquarians, you are blessed with the wildest imaginations of the zodiac. You are fiercely curious, and often bored with reality, you crave stories beyond the realm of the known. Orlando, one of Tilda Swinton’s earliest leading roles will certainly pique your interest. Based on the Virginia Woolf novel Orlando: A Biography, British auteur Sally Potter interprets the book into a stunning character study of a true enigma. The titular character is an androgynous aristocrat recently appointed as heir to a great deal of wealth, land, and power, under the condition that he never “fade, wither, or grow old”. Following these commands, Orlando recluses himself and spends several hundred years dabbling in art and poetry, becoming complacent in this leisurely and comfortable existence. A singular science-fiction tale, one morning Orlando awakes to learn they have been transformed into a woman. The story certainly does not end here, but I know Aquarians love some mystery, so I won’t divulge anything else. After watching Orlando, perhaps you should ask yourself if the allure you wear so well is serving you well, or holding you back from your true potential, Aquarius.

 

  Pisces:   Daughters of the Dust   directed by Julie Dash    Pisces, you are emotional creatures who thrive when surrounded by spirituality, romance, and ancestral wisdom. All of these themes and more can by found in  Daughters of the Dust , the gorgeous period piece by Julie Dash about several generations of Gullah women faced with the tough decision to stay on their remote island home or migrate to the mainland in search of opportunity. Pisceans are deeply connected to bodies of water, particularly the sea, as are the characters in  DOTD , which serves as a dramatic setting for the formerly enslaved Peazant family, brought to the South Carolina coast from West Africa. The younger Peazants see hope and a new world off the remote island, but are reckoning with what this choice will mean for the family unit as a whole. As a notoriously selfless sign, always prioritizing others before self, Pisces will relate to the difficulty that can come from putting yourself before others. As a deeply empathetic bunch, you will easily be able to put yourself in the shoes of the strong, layered characters we see. Watching  Daughters of the Dust  could serve as an opportunity to ask yourself if you’re taking care of yourself and your needs, Pisces. Watching this film will also count as an homage to a famous Virgo on her birthday month, Beyonce, who partially based the look of Lemonade off of  DOTD.      

Pisces: Daughters of the Dust directed by Julie Dash

Pisces, you are emotional creatures who thrive when surrounded by spirituality, romance, and ancestral wisdom. All of these themes and more can by found in Daughters of the Dust, the gorgeous period piece by Julie Dash about several generations of Gullah women faced with the tough decision to stay on their remote island home or migrate to the mainland in search of opportunity. Pisceans are deeply connected to bodies of water, particularly the sea, as are the characters in DOTD, which serves as a dramatic setting for the formerly enslaved Peazant family, brought to the South Carolina coast from West Africa. The younger Peazants see hope and a new world off the remote island, but are reckoning with what this choice will mean for the family unit as a whole. As a notoriously selfless sign, always prioritizing others before self, Pisces will relate to the difficulty that can come from putting yourself before others. As a deeply empathetic bunch, you will easily be able to put yourself in the shoes of the strong, layered characters we see. Watching Daughters of the Dust could serve as an opportunity to ask yourself if you’re taking care of yourself and your needs, Pisces. Watching this film will also count as an homage to a famous Virgo on her birthday month, Beyonce, who partially based the look of Lemonade off of DOTD.  

 

  Aries:   Meek's Cutoff   directed by Kelly Reichardt    Since Aries are born under the first calendar month, you are often seen as the pioneers of all zodiac signs. You feel comfortable in leadership positions and tend to have avant-garde ideas. You will feel kinship to the women of  Meek’s Cutoff , Kelly Reichardt’s impressive women-led Western about pioneers crossing the Oregon trail who find they may have gotten more than they bargained for as their guide reveals himself to be inept. While the men of the caravan discuss what their plan should be as the group’s supplies dwindle, their wives, led by Emily Tethero (Michelle Williams) decide to take charge.  Meek’s Cutoff  is easily categorized as a survival film, in which each character has individual motives and methods to push through hardship and do what it takes to persevere. Aries, you will definitely relate to Emily, a quiet yet powerful woman navigating what it means to lead and make choices on behalf of a group. As a competitive and strong sign, you will more than likely plan your own survival plan alongside the characters of the film, and instantly detest Meek, as an inadequate decision maker. This film could also serve as a lesson for you, to put more energy into planning and nurturing yourself and those around you, rather than making rash decisions.   

Aries: Meek's Cutoff directed by Kelly Reichardt

Since Aries are born under the first calendar month, you are often seen as the pioneers of all zodiac signs. You feel comfortable in leadership positions and tend to have avant-garde ideas. You will feel kinship to the women of Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt’s impressive women-led Western about pioneers crossing the Oregon trail who find they may have gotten more than they bargained for as their guide reveals himself to be inept. While the men of the caravan discuss what their plan should be as the group’s supplies dwindle, their wives, led by Emily Tethero (Michelle Williams) decide to take charge. Meek’s Cutoff is easily categorized as a survival film, in which each character has individual motives and methods to push through hardship and do what it takes to persevere. Aries, you will definitely relate to Emily, a quiet yet powerful woman navigating what it means to lead and make choices on behalf of a group. As a competitive and strong sign, you will more than likely plan your own survival plan alongside the characters of the film, and instantly detest Meek, as an inadequate decision maker. This film could also serve as a lesson for you, to put more energy into planning and nurturing yourself and those around you, rather than making rash decisions.

 

  Taurus:   Double Happiness   directed by Mina Shum    Those born under Taurus are known for being practical, always making the logical choice, and often making the decision that is expected of them, rather than what is desired by them. Jade (Sandra Oh in her first starring role), the charming protagonist of Mina Shum’s under-appreciated  Double Happiness , wants to make her Chinese family proud of her by following the rules and meeting their expectations, but can’t help but fight for her own dreams. While aspiring to be an actress, Jade moonlights as a shop clerk for her parents’ friends; while wanting to pursue her own romantic interests, Jade goes on dates devoid of chemistry with men her parents find suitable. Essentially, Jade attempts to make herself happy while simultaneously achieving the traditional markers of success her immigrant parents hold so dear. Taurus, you will appreciate Jade’s dedication to appeasing her family, but can also use this film as an opportunity to question if what you are chasing your version of success or society’s expectations of you.   

Taurus: Double Happiness directed by Mina Shum

Those born under Taurus are known for being practical, always making the logical choice, and often making the decision that is expected of them, rather than what is desired by them. Jade (Sandra Oh in her first starring role), the charming protagonist of Mina Shum’s under-appreciated Double Happiness, wants to make her Chinese family proud of her by following the rules and meeting their expectations, but can’t help but fight for her own dreams. While aspiring to be an actress, Jade moonlights as a shop clerk for her parents’ friends; while wanting to pursue her own romantic interests, Jade goes on dates devoid of chemistry with men her parents find suitable. Essentially, Jade attempts to make herself happy while simultaneously achieving the traditional markers of success her immigrant parents hold so dear. Taurus, you will appreciate Jade’s dedication to appeasing her family, but can also use this film as an opportunity to question if what you are chasing your version of success or society’s expectations of you.

 

  Gemini:   3 Women   directed by Robert Altman    Geminis, you are blessed with a metamorphic sense, a mind that can accept more than one reality and enjoys to be intellectually challenged. You will love the strange, trance-like Robert Altman film on duality, identity, and the strangeness of female friendship,  3 Women . Not unlike  Persona  before it, or  Mulholland Drive  after it,  3 Women  is a tale of two women, with slightly archetypical, slightly polarized personalities, that begin to shift and twine together until the characters are indecipherable from one another. This time, our two personalities are Millie (Shelley Duvall at her best), a walking  Cosmopolitan  magazine, who has matching Pyrex sets for her tuna salad casserole and specific lines to drop on men she fancies, and naive, timid Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek, in a killer performance), a newcomer at the health spa where Millie also works. When the two become roommates, Pinky, enamoured with Millie’s confidence and purported worldliness, begins slowly adopting Millie mannerisms and speech. The zenith of the infatuation and the women’s bizarre friendship happens at a party the women show, and from there the perception of dream vs. reality is unclear. Gemini, you will appreciate the depths that this film allows your mind to go to, as well as examining what is essentially a study in opposites and/or complementary forces, depending on your interpretation. Also visually stimulating and a truly unforgettable film, you will have the chance to reflect upon your own notorious duality.   

Gemini: 3 Women directed by Robert Altman

Geminis, you are blessed with a metamorphic sense, a mind that can accept more than one reality and enjoys to be intellectually challenged. You will love the strange, trance-like Robert Altman film on duality, identity, and the strangeness of female friendship, 3 Women. Not unlike Persona before it, or Mulholland Drive after it, 3 Women is a tale of two women, with slightly archetypical, slightly polarized personalities, that begin to shift and twine together until the characters are indecipherable from one another. This time, our two personalities are Millie (Shelley Duvall at her best), a walking Cosmopolitan magazine, who has matching Pyrex sets for her tuna salad casserole and specific lines to drop on men she fancies, and naive, timid Pinky Rose (Sissy Spacek, in a killer performance), a newcomer at the health spa where Millie also works. When the two become roommates, Pinky, enamoured with Millie’s confidence and purported worldliness, begins slowly adopting Millie mannerisms and speech. The zenith of the infatuation and the women’s bizarre friendship happens at a party the women show, and from there the perception of dream vs. reality is unclear. Gemini, you will appreciate the depths that this film allows your mind to go to, as well as examining what is essentially a study in opposites and/or complementary forces, depending on your interpretation. Also visually stimulating and a truly unforgettable film, you will have the chance to reflect upon your own notorious duality.

 

  Cancer:   Real Women Have Curves   directed by Patricia Cardoso    Cancer, you are the heart of the zodiac. You feel things more deeply than anyone else, and are naturally empathetic and nurturing. Softness and kindness will always supersede harshness for you, and from time to time, it is imperative that you allow yourself to feel everything. The perfect film for you is Patricia Cardoso’s instant classic,  Real Women Have Curves , which revolves around 18-year-old Ana (played by the most charming America Ferrera). Ana, a teenager in Los Angeles, must navigate her traditional Hispanic family, who want her to stay close to them, and her own dream of going to college in New York City. The central relationship in the film is between Ana and her overbearing mother, Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros), who is critical of every aspect of her daughter from her weight to dating choices. As the film progresses, Ana gains the confidence to stand up to her mother and inform her mother that she feels emotionally abused by her, which allows her to feel free enough to make her own choices about her future. Cancers are sometimes referred to as the mother sign of the zodiac, and most Cancers have strong relationships with the maternal figures in their lives, be they positive or negative relationships. Watching  Real Women Have Curves  will allow you to think about how the women in your life care for you, and how you care for yourself and the women in your life.   

Cancer: Real Women Have Curves directed by Patricia Cardoso

Cancer, you are the heart of the zodiac. You feel things more deeply than anyone else, and are naturally empathetic and nurturing. Softness and kindness will always supersede harshness for you, and from time to time, it is imperative that you allow yourself to feel everything. The perfect film for you is Patricia Cardoso’s instant classic, Real Women Have Curves, which revolves around 18-year-old Ana (played by the most charming America Ferrera). Ana, a teenager in Los Angeles, must navigate her traditional Hispanic family, who want her to stay close to them, and her own dream of going to college in New York City. The central relationship in the film is between Ana and her overbearing mother, Carmen (Lupe Ontiveros), who is critical of every aspect of her daughter from her weight to dating choices. As the film progresses, Ana gains the confidence to stand up to her mother and inform her mother that she feels emotionally abused by her, which allows her to feel free enough to make her own choices about her future. Cancers are sometimes referred to as the mother sign of the zodiac, and most Cancers have strong relationships with the maternal figures in their lives, be they positive or negative relationships. Watching Real Women Have Curves will allow you to think about how the women in your life care for you, and how you care for yourself and the women in your life.

 

  Leo:   Cleo From 5 to 7   directed by Agnes Varda    Leos, as we transition out of your season, I believe it is important that you take a look in the mirror. Leos have many positive traits: loyalty, ambition, confidence, but Leos also have a tendency to veer towards vanity and self-absorption, over self-love. My recommendation for a reflective film is Agnes Varda’s masterpiece  Cleo From 5 to 7 . Starring the gorgeous Corinne Marchand as Cleo, a pop singer obsessed with her looks and notoriety, the film opens with Cleo having a tarot card reading. The fortune ominously pulls the Death card, and refuses to give Cleo a palm reading after getting a glimpse at her short lifeline. From here, we see a day in the life of this young woman, coming to terms with her own mortality. Cleo must accept that she is more than her looks, more than her fame, and grapple with who she is without her beauty and celebrity. Leo, I hope this film will allow you to do the same, to take stock of your strengths and weaknesses, and assess how you are moving through the world. Leos tend to wholeheartedly feel themselves during Leo season, and I hope watching  Cleo  will be a humbling experience.    

Leo: Cleo From 5 to 7 directed by Agnes Varda

Leos, as we transition out of your season, I believe it is important that you take a look in the mirror. Leos have many positive traits: loyalty, ambition, confidence, but Leos also have a tendency to veer towards vanity and self-absorption, over self-love. My recommendation for a reflective film is Agnes Varda’s masterpiece Cleo From 5 to 7. Starring the gorgeous Corinne Marchand as Cleo, a pop singer obsessed with her looks and notoriety, the film opens with Cleo having a tarot card reading. The fortune ominously pulls the Death card, and refuses to give Cleo a palm reading after getting a glimpse at her short lifeline. From here, we see a day in the life of this young woman, coming to terms with her own mortality. Cleo must accept that she is more than her looks, more than her fame, and grapple with who she is without her beauty and celebrity. Leo, I hope this film will allow you to do the same, to take stock of your strengths and weaknesses, and assess how you are moving through the world. Leos tend to wholeheartedly feel themselves during Leo season, and I hope watching Cleo will be a humbling experience.


 

Daisy Stackpole