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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

 "Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category." -Mike

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Entries in gender politics (157)

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? 

Monday
Feb292016

Pt 1: Winners. Trivia. Stats. (How'd you do on your predictions?)

It's time to sift through the debris! Let's clear away the rubble of Oscar night and seek out interesting trivia of note, check back in with our prediction triumphs and foibles, and more. We'll frame this with a complete list of winners if, by some extraordinary circumstance, you've missed knowing about them. If so can you account for your actions last night? What on earth is more important than the Oscars? (Except that event to help out citizens of Flint, MI poisoned by their own GOP led government so, well done, Ava DuVernay and others)

But first the sordid topic of punditry! In many ways this was a difficult year to predict the prizes with three(!) genuine upsets on the big nights (Mark Rylance, Sam Smith, Ex Machina) a Best Picture race that was truly difficult to read given precursor disagreements and the Best Film of the Year sidelined altogether (When it comes to the Academy's treatment of Carol... quoth Abby "I can't help you with that."). If you check in with the Oscar Chart Index, you'll see an overview of how well I did but it breaks down like so... I completed aced the Best Short categories (go me) but otherwise flailed about hopelessly because I had predicted 6 Oscars for The Revenant and 3 for Mad Max which is the opposite of what occurred. Not even my wishful thinking helped me get over my fear that Oscar just wouldn't know what to do with a genre achievement that gonzo. [more after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb192016

Breaking News: The Academy Makes Yet Another Diversity Blunder / Plays Favorites in "Original Song"

News just broke that performances of Original Song nominees Youth's "Simple Song No. 3" (read our interview) and Facing Extinction's "Manta Ray" have been nixed from the Oscar broadcast, the producers citing "time constraints" for the always lengthy show. Performances of the other three nominated songs by Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, and Sam Smith are still in play.

TFE must express rage at yet another stupid Academy blunder. This sends an incredibly bad faith message to nominees -- if you're not famous pop stars, your nominations are "lesser than". And in a year where the Academy has been the subject of immense criticism for their lack of diversity they've essentially excluded the sole trans nominee (Antony Hegarty of Antony & the Johnsons fame who co-wrote and sings "Manta Ray") from valuable air time.

As a longtime fan of Antony and as a member of the LGBT community this enrages me. Diversity is about more than just skin color.  Here's J Ralph & Antony's nominated song. And do yourself a favor and get acquainted with Antony Hegarty's music because it's brilliant.

Antony Hegarty

Thursday
Feb112016

In Appreciation of "American Crime"

It's a common beliefe that there’s a ceiling to how poignant and brutally honest network television can be.  The often accurate stereotype is that the hour-long dramas that inspire debate and passion are found on pay or premium cable; network TV is for rote procedurals and other series unwilling or unable to truly push the envelope.

Yet In the month since it has premiered, the second season of Academy-Award winning writer John Ridley’s (12 Years a Slave) “American Crime” has been flying in the face of pre-conceived notions about the limitations of network television. [More...]

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Tuesday
Feb092016

Silence of the Lambs Pt 2: Head in Jar, Moth in Throat, Girl in Pit

Team Experience is revisiting 1991's Best Picture, Silence of the Lambs for its 25th anniversary.  In Pt 1 we met our protagonist FBI student Clarice Starling, given an errand by her boss to question serial killer Hannibal the Cannibal in hopes of gaining insight into a new case, a killer named "Buffalo Bill". We begin where Kieran left us with our intrepid heroine, Clarice Starling, sliding herself narrowly into an ominous storage facility thanks to a lead (of sorts) from Hannibal Lecter.

Let’s see what she finds inside, shall we?

Pt 2 by Angelica Jade Bastién

00:24:43 A bloody cut from some rotten wood will be the least of Clarice’s problems

00:25:35 Creepiest storage facility ever, right? Thus far we’ve seen disparate parts from pale mannequins, a taxidermy owl suspended mid flight, and other odd oddities covered in dust. 

00:26:05 The fear and curiosity on Clarice’s face is palpable. I think what makes her such a compelling lead are those qualities coupled with her bravery. I’ve been bothered recently by seeing many female characters who are either so strong they seem infallible or faux girl-power creations. Clarice is compelling because of her humanity and complications.

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan232016

Links: Dolls, Dancers, Disney, and Agent Scully

Some links as we hole watching movies and writing future articles during the blizzard...

John August on torrenting the Oscars
MNPP remembers 5 great experiences at New York City's historic Ziegfeld Theater (about to close). Oh the memories
Boy Culture a documentary about the dancers from Madonna's classic Truth or Dare film / Blonde Ambition tour to premiere at Berlinale
Deadline new projects for JC Chandor (A Most Violent Year) including a remake of that extremely tense Austrian film The Robber - good luck topping the adrenaline of the original

Awards Daily Lady Gaga will perform "Til It Happens to You" at the Producers Guild gala
Pajiba Charlie Cox has not yet been invited to Marvel's Infinity Wars. He is waiting impatiently
Fandor breaks down the Best Actor race
Salon talks up Tori Amos's "Boys for Pele" (my favorite of her records) on its 20th anniversary
Interview Magazine talks to the "unusually busy" Gillian Anderson about her recent roles
Vanity Fair on Gillian Anderson fighting for wage equality on X-Files reunion
• Deadline a list of hot actors everyone wants for pilot season. Whenever I read about pilot season I realize how little I understand about the strange flickering alien world of television. Where people can even have whole careers without anyone seeing their work (with the amount of pilots that don't make it to series) How can the same actors be wanted for every drama? No actor is right for every role.

Disney & Girls
• Bloomberg Business how Hasbro snatched Disney's all powerful Princess line of dolls away from Mattel. They also got facial adjustments. Terrifyingly Hasbro promises to make the Disney Princesses even more ubiquitous than they already are. This article even has the story reenacted by dolls (with Avengers cameos naturally) in a video
• Sweatpants and Coffee Ooh i knew Disney was throwing up smokescreensto distract us. Turns out toymakers were 'specifically directed' to exclude Rey from toylines due to her gender! It wasn't from "secrecy" as they tried to peddle earlier. #WheresRey
Comics Alliance ...but Black Widow will be part of the toyline from Captain America: Civil War (with a new costume)
i09 has an interesting piece on the story work behind Zootopia and how the secondary female character, a bunny named Judy Hopps, took over the leading role from the male fox who was originally its protagonist.