Before the Oscars, 2023

Cantara Christopher
3 min readMar 11

So, Michael Levine, you tell me your chum Marin Alsop says “There’s finally a movie about a female conductor and she’s a sociopathic narcissist”? So freakin what? Tell her to tighten up her Adagietto.

Did she even see the film? I did. You know what I saw? Something none of you gwilo morons (“unidentified Asiatic country” — sheesh!) saw — the portrait of our revered Jose Rizal high on that wall. Even before I heard the Tagalog, I knew Lydia was finally in a good place.

The Spanish couldn’t break us. The Yanks couldn’t break us. The Japs couldn’t break us. The corporations will not break us.


So, now there’s a big movie that has — gasp! — Asians in it! My God, who are these people? Are they even human? Can we make some big money out of them?

I hope Everything does win Best Picture. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and all that.

Not that I don’t wish James Hong well. James Hong and I are both native-born Minneapolitans. My family used to eat at his family’s restaurant.

Whether Tár wins as best picture or not makes no difference at all to me. Lydia’s story is my own mental story and no one, ever in my life has ever seen that story or cared to understand that story. Any points I want to address about the movie I give to my own beloved conductor John Wilson as a gift of love and teshuvah and to no one else.

My husband is blind, we’re living in filth and poverty, I’ve been hospitalized twice for congestive heart failure and still have to do the grinding housework of two people — but I swear before Urduja, guardian warrior spirit of my father’s province, before I go out I’m bringing you gwilo morons to your knees.

Now back to work.

Originally published at “I’ll Be Dead Before You Break My Heart” on 11 March 2023.

Cantara Christopher

Memoirist. Musicologist. Retired movie actress. Writing about music, films, and my porn career.