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Entries in gender politics (155)

Monday
May162016

It has recently come to my attention... that I enjoy link roundups

The Toast has a hilarious rant about Sebastian Stan's hair in Captain America Civil War
Variety details beginning to emerge on Lars von Trier's serial killer drama The House that Jack Built. (Sounds typically overly complicated as befits von Trier's masochistic working methods)
/Film visits ILM to see "groundbreaking" effects work on the forthcoming Warcraft
Variety Warner Bros already planning a Harley Quinn movie for Margot Robbie. Exactly how many superhero films will we get before Marvel ever dares one?
Tracking Board Jenny Slate reuniting with her Obvious Child director for a comedy called Landline co-starring Edie Falco and John Turturro
People Sad news: James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff divorcing after nine years of marriage
Women and Hollywood Laura Dern and Ellen Burstyn starring together in The Tale about a middle aged woman coming to grips with sexual relations she had at 13 with adults - sounds compelling!
Guardian Juliette Binoche on gender in film and disappointment that Scorsese & Spielberg don't feature female leads - disheartening but not totally surprising that Spielberg cites The Color Purple, a film he made 31 years ago, as proof he doesn't have a problem with lack of interest in female characters
The Playlist Another strike against Marvel - they forced a sex change on the villain in Iron Man 3 because they wanted to sell more toys
Variety Madeleine LeBeau, last surviving cast member of Casablanca, has passed away 

Other Showbiz...
THR Broadcast television's upcoming slates - cancellations, surprises, moves, etcetera
Boy Culture we were just celebrating Truth or Dare's 25th anniversary and now we hear that Donna & Niki, Madonna's once longtime backup singers have released a new version of "Rain" 
MNPP Milo Ventimiglia's Ass gets top billing in new TV series "This is Us" 

Today's Must Read
This new profile on Chloë Sevigny by Xan Brooks at the Guardian has been getting a lot of attention for its provocative pullquote on her "disdain for auteurs" but the whole article is interesting.

Photo by Jody Rogac for The Guardian.

Of special interest is her candid conversation about her 90s 'it girl' years in indies.

When Sevigny was Oscar-nominated for her turn in the 1999 indie drama Boys Don’t Cry, as the girl with whom Hilary Swank falls in love, it looked as though mainstream stardom might be hers for the taking. Sevigny scoffs when I say this; she doesn’t think anything is “there for the taking”. But the fact remains that she turned down the sidekick role taken by Selma Blair in Legally Blonde (“which might have made me some money”) and a raft of similar offers. “A few little things like that, more comedic, and it probably wouldn’t have hurt to have done them.” She wrinkles her nose. “But I was very purist back then.”

She also reveals that she really wanted Uma's part in Nymphomaniac and prefers working in television to film now.

Tuesday
Apr192016

Best Shot: The Beguiled (1971)

This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot subject is Don Siegel's fascinating whatsit called The Beguiled (1971). It's little like Siegel's other collaborations with his muse Clint Eastwood and assigning it to a genre is also difficult both of which might explain its fairly quiet reputation. With the news coming that Sofia Coppola will soon be remaking it, our eyes drank every frame up. And wow is this story of a wounded Yankee grifter in A Confederate girl's school ripe for a revisit. You might say that imagining how Coppola's halflidded female gaze might view this is nearly as exciting as the movie itself but in some ways it already feels like a Sofia Coppola film. Profound interest in sensual and anthropological gazing at the desires of women who can't articulate their desires? Check!

Some of the English language posters are hilariously false, suggesting it's a shoot-em-up manly western. One poster actually has four men on it when Eastwood is the only man of significance in the movie and practically the entire film involves a group of women buzzing around and hypnotized by the sick man in their midst. So I've illustrated with a French poster that feels right.

Best Shot choices are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr122016

Happy 100th: Why Doesn't Movita Have a Biopic? 

Today is the Centennial of the Mexican American actress Movita, who was born as Maria Luisa Castaneda but renamed Movita by MGM because the name sounded Polynesian to them. Well maybe it's her centennial. She claims the studio fudged with her age to make her older for legal reasons. She's surely best remembered today as "Tehani" one of two young island beauties (the other being "Maimiti" played by Mamo Clark) that got entangled in all that Mutinous Best Picture business on the Bounty back in 1935 (if you know what I mean).

Movita went on to international fame and married two famous masculine hunks, first the boxer Jack Doyle and then superstar Marlon Brando (quite atypically she was an "older woman" marrying a young superstar) so we're guessing she had a type...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar162016

Q&A: Australian Greats, Leading Men, and Camera Muses

It's time for reader questions. Here are 10 recently asked I'm opting to answer tonight. Join the conversation in the comments. 

INQUIRER: Who do you believe is more worthy of an acting Oscar between Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Johnny Depp, and who do you think is more likely to win one?

This would surprise anyone unfamiliar with the site but Brad Pitt towers over the other two. He's among my all time favorite movie stars. But you've crafted a tricky question because all three men have loyal camps that they've earned. Cruise is the most consistent, always laser focused on Doing His Job in whichever movie. Depp is the most inspired when he's inspired but he's also the laziest. It seems impossible to imagine now but people did not want him to play Pirates like he played it. The studio was concerned. What is he doing? Now people hire him to for Depp shtick and that's what he gives to the point of self parody! Pitt is the most uneven actor among the three but he's also the most endearing, has the best taste, has aged superbly with his talent, and has evolved the most. Years ago I felt certain that all three would eventually be crowned but it's hard to picture now. If any one of them does a moving hit drama when he's an old codger though perhaps he'll get a career achievement prize. If none of them ever win competitively I'd wager that Brad Pitt is the most likely to get an Honorary Oscar. 

This might be as good a time as any to tell you (warn you?) that April will be ACTOR MONTH here at the blog. We talk about actresses so much that it's time for a wee curveball. Any requests?

TABITHA: Why do female movie stars now largely seem to be in their 20's or 60's? There seems to be a resistance to embrace middle-aged stars (apart from Sandra Bullock or Charlize Theron).

I blame this phenomenon entirely on sexism and the patriarchy. It's intrinsically tied to the "Last F***able Day" phenomenon that Amy Schumer named so brilliantly. I think once an actress has passed that threshold of straight men being "ewww she's AGING -- how dare she?" and is now just an older person, who for better or for worse are often desexualized in art, it's easier for people to just enjoy their acting again. That's my 100% correct theory. It's also harder for female stars to age because a huge percentage of them are famous in part because of exceptional beauty which is not necessarily true (certainly not percentage wise!) with their male counterparts.

KEVIN: if you put Meryl on a strict diet of auteurs, who would you pair her with for her next 3 films?

[more Q&A after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar102016

Yaaas, Link!

Guardian Daisy Ridley won't apologize for how thin she is! (Great. First she stole Keira Knightley's voice and face and now she's stealing her "too skinny!" controversies) 
/Film interviews Anthony Mackie about playing the Falcon and finding out he was going to be an Avenger
Pajiba gets excited about the new true story movie Hidden Figures (due January 2017) starring Janelle Monae, Taraji P Henson, and Octavia Spencer.
i09 swears that Elektra (2005) is worse than you remember. That would be difficult to be! 
Film School Rejects on the fascism that Rotten Tomatoes breeds 
Facebook Russell Tovey wants to know which pic of him you like best 
A Fistful of Films has a great piece on seeing your own private moments in Carol
Interview talks to Mary Elizabeth Winstead about Mercy Street, Scott Pilgrim, and 10 Cloverfield Lane 

Our Friend Teo
Teo Bugbee is one of our favorite friends and people and she contributed to The Film Experience a few times in the past. But alas, MTV snatched her up for their rebooted blogging and such and they don't share! But check out two of her latest beauties.

"Thirty, Flirty and Thriving" - on Daniel Day-Lewis's 30 years of movie fame: the man, the myth, the legend.
"15 Movies to Freak Ya Boy Out" So funny and true from The Exorcist (1973) through Fatal Attraction (1987) and on to The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Carol (2015)

Off Cinema
Towleroad a heartwarming story about a penguin and the man who saved his life. Awwww 
Facebook Russell Tovey wants to know which pic of him you like best 
Tracking Board Anna Paquin starring in a new series called Broken. Another legal drama show ARGHHHHH the genre that just won't die or even take a wee break.

I was going to end with a few words on RuPaul's Drag Race but it deserves its own post, henny.

Tuesday
Mar082016

Doc Corner: 'Trapped' a Timely Reminder in the Supreme Court's Shadow

Glenn here and welcome to Doc Corner where we're going to bring you reviews of documentaries, hopefully on a weekly basis, from theatres, festivals, and on demand, as well as special features that shine a light on the medium's history and future.

Every few years a documentary about abortion comes along to soberly remind us just how backwards attitudes continue to be towards women’s reproduction rights and just how unbalanced the debate is regarding women’s bodily autonomy in America. Trapped is a new film by Dawn Porter – probably best known for her debut feature Gideon’s Army – and is just the latest on this volatile topic, but while it may lack the epic scope and cinematic power of Tony Kaye’s Lake of Fire, it does work similarly to Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s After Tiller in the way it examines the more intimate details of the doctors, nurses, and patients and how they each navigate the hostile terrain that so frequently and strongly comes under fire (sometimes literally) from extreme religious zealots and government officials who seek to bring a round-about end to abortion through the only avenues they can.

Trapped– so named after the “TRAP” (aka Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws that figure most prominently throughout and which seek to place virtually insurmountable locational and financial burdens on doctor clinics that would see the number of clinics in Texas reduced from 42 to 10 – finds itself in an interesting position, being released this month. Abortion, sadly, remains a hot button topic and as of right now the case of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is currently being heard by the Supreme Court. In fact, in the final title cards of the movie, this date with destiny is referenced. More...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar072016

Bewitched, Bothered, and Be Link-ed

Thrillist Best Movies of 2016. haha. I don't know exactly how this column is going to work but I'm curious to find out
THR an interview with producer Irwin Winkler on Martin Scorsese's Silence and the Creed sequel
Frontier an oral history of "The Golden Girls"
Twitter Why Leo waited until just now to win an Oscar 

Nick Flicks Picks are you following his supporting actress project? The gold numbers reflect full performance reviews
Guardian Fans keep trying to restore Star Wars (1977) because George Lucas doesn't want
Film Mix Tape praises Michelle Visage as RuPaul's Drag Race returns (TONITE. WHEEEE)
Comics Alliance if you want to have yet another superhero's cameo in Batman v Superman spoiled for you, here is the info
Deadline How Mark Rylance won the Oscar without any campaigning
AV Club Disney's next animated feature will be an adaptation of The Nutcracker 
i09 a fan film about Darth Maul, the only good thing to emerge from that second Star Wars trilogy 
Variety an interview with Julian Fellowes on the series finale of Downton Abbey. Good stuff. Between the exits of Mad Men and now Downton, I have so few shows that feel like they're a part of my life (from staying power) left.

Read Only if You've Seen The Witch
If you've already seen The Witch I'd recommend reading these two takes on its most riveting scenes and primarily its divisive ending and the subversive extent of the femininism within the film. Salon's look at Thomasin as a "Final Girl laced into a puritan bodice" is great and a piece at Vague Visages takes a more mixed tack. Angelica Jade Bastién grapples with what she feels is unearned about the film's jawdropping finale:

I love the film, but how feminist can The Witch be if Thomasin remains primarily a cipher?