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Entries in gender politics (172)

Wednesday
Jul272016

Meryl Streep's "Fight Song" and Female Biopics

Meryl Streep for President in 2024! We're with her. 

In case you missed Meryl Streep's "Grit & Grace" speech at the DNC last night, please enjoy the reappearance of her tacky but adorable American Flag dress and catch up. I thought I'd share it with a little movie angle since it's all about Trailblazing Women...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul152016

"Jane Neighbor"

This Week's Must Read
"Behold Your Newest Silver-Screen Sex Goddess, Jane Neighbor"
Absolutely genius send-up of that controversial Vanity Fair profile of Margot Robbie we discussed. Or as the author herself described it on twitter, 'I wrote this profile of a female celebrity who is definitely real & not a projection of desires.' The Male Gaze just got punched in the eyeballs. 

Neighbor is twenty-eight and twenty-two, at once. She is a kind of gorgeous that can only be found in or very near rivers. She is blonde but also blond, depending on the spelling. She is tall when she is on a ladder, and medium-­tall when she is halfway up the ladder. Her eyelashes spell “glory.” Her naked hands can open wet jars, with just the strength of her slender fingers. She can be sexy and pointy and things that aren’t even adjectives, like glossary, or aren’t even words, like hilabrion. Her voice sounds like a truck full of rain.

This is probably my favorite parody since Nora Ephron skewered the writing in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Tuesday
Jul122016

Boyz n the Hood Turns 25

Lynn Lee revisits the John Singleton classic on its 25th anniversary.

Four young boys walk along a railroad track, idly chatting but in search of something specific.  They find what they’re looking for: a dead body.  A group of older boys arrives and harasses them.  The most pugnacious of the younger group fights back in a way that foreshadows his destiny as an adult.

Stand by Me?  No, Boyz n the Hood, which opened in theaters 25 years ago today.  And the parallels are no mere coincidence. Writer and drector John Singleton was intentionally referencing the earlier Rob Reiner film – perhaps as much for the differences as the similarities between the two narratives of boyhood and the cultural spaces they occupy...

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Wednesday
Jul062016

Interview: That Neon-Loving Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn. Photographed by Tom Hoops for Lab MagazineNicolas Winding Refn, the Danish auteur whose made a career of candy colored violent films after grimier movies at home, is both exactly what you'd expect and unexpected. The expected: he's a little bit eccentric pacing the room rather than sitting, a little intimidating, and a little impish -- it's difficult to know if he truly means what he says in some instances, or if he has just mastered the art of provocation. The unexpected: he's relatively friendly, surprisingly generous about his collaborators despite the auteur's ego, very tall, thin and surprisingly attractive, something you wouldn't necessarily think since he's so often been photographed with inhuman gods like Ryan Gosling who make everyone but other movie stars look crumpled and basic.

As we talk we find mutual ground in Christina Hendricks adoration ("the perfect woman," he says) but elsewhere it's like he's speaking a foreign language and I don't mean Danish. His films, though quite serious on the surface, betray a dark sense of humor, and yet it still surprises me to hear him drop "I think it would be fun to make a spy movie" as we're saying our goodbyes. Why is this surprising? I couldn't quite tell you but such is the fascination of meeting this singular director, whatever you make of his increasingly divisive movies.

Our interview follows....

NATHANIEL: Let's talk about your opening scene. It's such a bold tableau. Did you ever worry you were coming on too strong. Like 'how will I top that first image?'

NICOLAS WINDING REFN: I'm setting the stage knowing that, if you look through the film, you'll see the same dynamic in all the other scenes of death and beauty.

NATHANIEL: So you're laying the theme.

NWR: I'm laying the theme right on. Most films -- storytelling in mass media -- start slowly, introducing. Eventually it gets to some kind of dramatic point in the first act. That means the second act is how do we solve it and the third act is resolution. But i don't necessarily believe that's the right order...

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Tuesday
Jul052016

Links in the Shell

Apartment Therapy Nancy Meyers movie kitchens ranked (somehow The Intern only makes it to 5th. I just saw that and it was surprisingly warm and adorable... and yes still filled with real estate porn)
The New Yorker looks back at the Cassavates classic Faces (1968)
/Film Ghost in the Shell producers are finally responding to whitewashing casting controversies. They promise they've been 'very very careful' with the beloved material even though they cast a white actress (Scarlett Johansson) in the iconic Japanese role. We love Scarlett so so much but this type of thing continues to be a huge problem.

 

/Film There's going to be an actual Captain America statue in Brooklyn's Prospect Park
Cinematic Corner celebrates Margot Robbie (there will be a lot of that going around soon)
Variety Animation Awards for Europe soon -- their version of the Annies
Screen Crush Thor: Ragnarok officially began production in Australia yesterday
Awards Daily Why not give Roger Deakins the Oscar he has long deserved this year for Hail Caesar! 

Off Cinema
Theater Mania Lin-Manuel Miranda and JLo are collaborating on a song to benefit the victims of the recent Orlando shooting
EW American Horror Story Season 6 has a new logo (which looks like a devilish 6) a premiere date (9/14) and most of the cast from Hotel will be back though Lady Gaga is rumored to have a supporting role this time around which begs the question of who the lead will be? Let's hope it's Sarah Paulson. Why keep searching for new leads when your MVP is right there all the time.
AV Club CW seasons will now be available  just 8 days after their season finale on Netflix
Towleroad new behind the scenes photos from season 2 of Sense8
MNPP on the broken promise of Rick Yune's nude scene in Marco Polo Season 2
Comics Alliance the Harvey Award nominees for comics in 2016.  Valiant Entertainment thoroughly dominated the nominations. Here's one category you can investigate if you're interested

Two Controversial Pieces on Actresses
Variety's Owen Gleiberman is looking forward to Bridget Jones's baby, sort of, in the piece "Renée Zellweger: If She No Longer Looks Like Herself, Has She Become a Different Actress?." It's prompted lots of calls of sexism but it's an interesting article that wonders what we're supposed to do when actors who play characters we love who no longer look like the characters they created (not from aging... though people who are offended by the article keep saying that. Sorry people but Colin Firth still totally looks like D'Arcy. Just an older D'Arcy). I myself always wish actresses wouldn't mess with their faces (if they must, temporary measures are best since the effects wear off if they don't look right!). Their faces are their brand and actors are famous partially because they're so beautiful just as they are. Why mess with perfection? I don't think it's true -- and I keep reading it -- that if actresses don't mess with their faces they don't get work. From what I've seen actresses who mess with their faces in any noticeable permanent way actually STOP getting much work. It distracts audiences too much. Note how Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, and so on keep aging and keep working. 

Wesley Morris' piece for the New York Times "How I Learned to Tolerate Blake Lively" is ostensibly about her performance in The Shallows and Hollywood's ever rotating it girls. People are offended by this one too - partially due to the interchangeability notion of blonde actresses. But it's also interesting because it gets at something that I think anyone can relate to: the experience of loving an actor that Hollywood has moved on from. 'Wait, I wasn't done with _____! " that Wesley says this about Kate Hudson is bizarre but to each their own.

Wednesday
Jun292016

Welcome to the Academy, 683 of You!

With AMPAS under so much scrutiny this past season for their lack of diversity, they made several rule changes about membership and ruling bodies within the various branches. Here's the big power move. They've invited twice as many people as they are usually prone to invite. Invitations have gone out to 683 film professionals this year.

That is a lot of new members, percentage-wise, for a group known for their exclusivity that for a long time was hovering around 6,000 members. According to Academy graphics 46% of the new invitees are women which is a smart move given that Hollywood has struggled in the gender balance department forever despite the fact that civilization has always been half women. (It might have been smarter to make it 75% for a few years to make up for lost time at eliminating the silly gender disparity but we applaud any efforts to work towards a better 50/50 balance.) 

41% of the new invitees are people of color...

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