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Entries in gender politics (159)

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? 

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...]

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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...]

Click to read more ...