Morgan Parker on Why The Faculty is the Perfect Allegory for Life in America
In Conversation with Mychal Denzel Smith on the Open Form Podcast
Welcome to Open Form, a new weekly film podcast hosted by award-winning writer Mychal Denzel Smith. Each week, a different author chooses a movie: a movie they love, a movie they hate, a movie they hate to love. Something nostalgic from their childhood. A brand-new obsession. Something they’ve been dying to talk about for ages and their friends are constantly annoyed by them bringing it up.
In this episode, Mychal talks to Morgan Parker about the 1998 film The Faculty, directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Clea DuVall, Josh Hartnett, Jon Stewart, Usher, Elijah Wood, and more.
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From the episode:
Morgan Parker: Being distracted by this allure of the white woman, you’re not even noticing she’s absolutely ruining everything. Absolutely. You can’t put a better package around the narrative of life in America. That really feels on point to me.
Mychal Denzel Smith: She’s the bringer. She’s the harbinger of all of it, and no one is guessing, except for one moment where someone’s like, oh, you just got here. Maybe it’s you. But no one takes that seriously.
Morgan Parker: And it’s confusing to me—they’re spending all this time thinking about who else it might be and they just really accept everything she says. It’s absurd to me, but it’s absurd to me every day.
Mychal Denzel Smith: That’s exactly what you’re saying. White women are accepted at their word, and especially if they turn on the waterworks or they play up the naiveté angle. “Please, of course. There’s no reason to me for me to suspect that you have any type of agenda that would be harmful for anyone.”
Morgan Parker: It’s so stupid, but I love it.
Morgan Parker is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She is the author of the young adult novel Who Put This Song On?; and the poetry collections Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and Magical Negro, which won the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award. Parker’s debut book of nonfiction is forthcoming from One World. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has been hailed by The New York Times as “a dynamic craftsperson” of “considerable consequence to American poetry.”