Entries in Ellen Page (13)
[Editor's Navel-Gazing Note: I remind all readers upfront and as apology for this extraordinarily longwinded review that the X-Men are part of Nathaniel's actual soul, having clung to them like actual friends and role models for his entire childhood and adolescence. Other comics were mere 'entertainment'. The X-Men were the loves of his young life. - Nathaniel]
The most visually intoxicating character in the latest "When Mutants Collide!" movie is Blink (Fan Bingbing). She has very little dialogue, if any, but linguistic skill is not a mutation ("Hey now...," protests Cypher, who the movies will surely continue to shun). Blink's highly effective signature move involves tossed off pink teleportation portals which she, her teammates, and their enemies jump, run, stumble, fly or are thrown through. Think of it as Nightcrawler's disorientingly rapid teleportation, if it involved all characters in a scene and could be used malevolently against some of them.
In the very exciting opening battle sequence of X-Men Days of Future Past we see this power used frequently and awesomely as she helps her teammates (Warpath, Collosus, Storm, Iceman, Sunspot and more) to surprise, fight back, and evade (for a short time at least) their attackers, an army of mutant-killing robots known as The Sentinels. But these Sentinels learn quickly, and are very good at their job: killing mutants. The tides turn and a mutant massacre begins... or does it?
With various X-Men smearing their mutant DNA all of your movie screens this weekend, it's become painfully obvious that movie studios are still terrifed of superheroes with vaginas. Storm continues to be the single most-wasted ineptly-transferred great character from the comics but Kitty Pryde has an even sadder story. "X-Men Days of Future Past," one of the most famous and influential comic arcs of all time, originally granted the phasing young mutant (played by Ellen Page in the movies) the starring role. We all knew they would find a way to sideline her.
I lurve Hugh Jackman but one of my biggest disappointments about the X-Men movies continues to be the way the team aspects are muted in order to make it all about the charismatic clawed one. The Avengers figured out a way to balance multiple headliners but the X-Men movies haven't been that inspired. So here are two excellent reads from Slate if you care about the ladies and gender inequities within this genre.
"Why is Wolverine Doing All The Things I Did?"
Kitty Pryde herself (via Stephen Burt) writes a letter to the filmmakers about her suddenly sidelined heroics. Why is that exactly?
"David Goyer’s Comments About She-Hulk Make People Very, Very Angry"
The title is too utilitarian to get excited about but there a lot of great points raised in this article about origin stories and comic book sexism. This article was in response to screenwriter David S. Goyer's (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) comments about the character of She-Hulk on a podcast we linked to yesterday. One of the two podcast hosts Craig Mazin, who used the word "slut" in the discussion, has since published an apology/clarification of what he meant. But the conversation basically treated her as a Bride of Frankenstein sex fantasy creation for Hulk -- missing the point that she was created as a female empowerment fantasy and is Bruce Banner's cousin. (Not the kissin' kind.) I suppose it's no accident that Goyer is involved with Batman v Superhero: Dawn of Justice which already controversially cast a 110 lbs underwear model as the most famous amazon superheroine of all time (that'd be Wonder Woman).
The takeaway is that we're never going to get female superheroes done right until...
a) more actressexual directors get involved. Joss Whedon is a great start and our best hope at the moment - look how he rescued the Black Widow from her Iron Man 2 decorative-nothingness. Can we hope that he'll also exceed expectations with The Scarlet Witch?
b) the people in charge of shepherding this genre to the screen are more evolved than Frank T.J. Mackey and don't immediately think "great tits!" first when confronted with the idea of a superheroine. There's nothing wrong with great boobs -- We fully support them and thank Scarlet Johansson for hers at least weekly -- but boobs do not a heroine make.
You wouldn't think those two things would be such tall hurdles to clear...
Hello Cinema our friend Amir started a podcast on Iranian cinema. It's an interesting listen even if you know nothing about the topic, particular the first section on how Amir and Tina came to love cinema
Coming Soon Ellen Page will star in Queen and Country based on a comic book about a British intelligence operative
Comic Alliance on the petititon to cast an Asian American as Iron Fist in the upcoming Netflix series. This is SUCH a good idea, because that character was obviously envisioned as white for very problematic reasons given that he's totally tied to Asian culture.
Shadow and Act there's a Spike Lee box set coming this June which will include the first ever Blu-Ray of Summer of Sam so that's great news.
/Film an infographic on Hollywood disasters. They love destroying New York City but it's not the only city they ruin
Vanity Fair rejected movie poster designs for Gravity
House Next Door a look back at Madonna's most beloved song "Like a Prayer" which just turned 25 years old!
Kevin Maguire the X-Men do the Oscar selfie
Playbill a history of Les Misérables which is reopening on Broadway. It just keeps coming back.
Release Date News
Everest, that mountain climbing adventure with Jake Gyllenhaal and Zero Dark Thirty's Jason Clarke (among others in a fairly stellar cast) will hit IMAX and 3D screens on September 18th. In case you didn't hear James Gray's long delayed The Immigrant will open (finally) on May 2nd, nearly a year after its Cannes debut - nothing like striking when the iron is hot! And because they're just never going to stop and neither is Hugh Jackman despite his vague protestations, the X-Men have dates scheduled through 2018
And Today's Watch(es)
Kevin Bacon goes a little Footloose on The Tonight Show (looking pretty good for 55) and it turns out Jennifer Lawrence recorded not one but two lipsynch numbers for American Hustle. The deleted one is to Santana's "Evil Woman" - I'm not embedding it here because it starts playing without asking it to. That is NOT okay in embeddable videos.
Have you heard? Ellen Page came out as gay last night. Her reasoning...
Maybe I can make a difference... I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly because I'm tired of hiding and I'm tired of lying by omission."
Her moving speech and commentary after the jump...
You're forgiven if you've long since forgotten that Ellen Page was trying to get a feature version of the Oscar winning documentary short Freeheld (2007) off the ground. She first tried in 2008, shortly after her rise to fame with Juno (2007). The film, based on a true story, is about a lesbian couple, the young Stacie (Page) and her older police detective partner Laurel Hester (Moore) who receive devastating news: Laurel is terminally ill and the government won't let her assign her pension benefits to Stacie. At the time this was first announced it looked like a great Oscar project for Page but nothing ever came of. The good news: It's back on!
But the news gets even better...
Julianne Moore is on board to play Laurel so maybe she's finally got her Oscar role. Not that Oscar is the most important thing here. The important thing is tell good stories about women with great actresses playing them. Curiously several of Julianne's roles have been gay or gay-adjacent (Far From Heaven, The Hours, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The Kids Are All Right, Chloe, A Single Man, Savage Grace, Psycho). If Freeheld is anywhere near as good as The Kids Are All Right, The Hours, or Far From Heaven, her gayest and most Oscar celebrated films, we're in for such a treat.
The news gets even better.
Peter Sollett, who directed the little-seen but totally amazing gem Raising Victor Vargas (2002) and later the slightly more seen but still underappreciated Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008) and nothing since (seriously is he waiting tables?) will direct.
The news gets even better.
Since the project now has three stars (Zach Galifianakis will play an activist) it looks like it is really going to happen and aims to start production this summer.
UPDATE 02/15: THE NEWS JUST GOT BEST
Ellen Page came out as a gay woman on Valentine's Day
JA from MNPP here. We all know what happened the last time a girl named Nell wandered into the woods - no good can come from it! I kid, I kid - I know there are vehement Nell defenders out there, and I've no doubt you're all up in this actressexual's haven, so I'll step off.
I only use that Jodie Foster film as a sideways stepping stone to address today's news that Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood have signed up to star in Into the Forest, an adaptation of Jean Hegland's book about a pair of sisters (named Nell, a-ha, and Eva), one a ballet dancer and the other a student (I don't think I'll ever figure out which actress is playing which role!), who are forced into survival mode together when society comes crashing down around them in the not distant future. Have any of you read the book? I have not but it sounds right up my alley and I think I will go pick myself up a copy right this second. What do you think about Page and Wood playing sisters? Patricia Rozem, who previously made the womanly entertainments Grey Gardens and Mansfield Park, is directing.