Tag Archives: Film

“Where Are The Women” in movies? A feminist Kickstarter project needs your help

If you’re one of the few folks still checking in on this blog:

1. Thank you. I know I haven’t been updating regularly (I always mean to write more, and have to figure out how to stop getting in my own way) but I appreciate the interest and support. Or even just the curiosity.

2. I’d like to bring this very worthy Kickstarter project, “Where Are the Women,” to your attention. MaryAnn Johanson of Flickfilosopher.com has been writing about movies for over 17 years and needs your support on an ambitious project to thoroughly examine how women are represented on film — movie by movie, on a granular level that’s much more in-depth than the Bechdel Test. (You can see her proposed evaluation method here, and an interview with her about the nitty-gritty of the project here.)

I’ve been reading MaryAnn for many years and am a big fan of her wit and snark and wisdom, and I think her perspective on how Hollywood depicts women — in both good ways and bad — will be absolutely worthwhile. But she needs time and effort and resources to make it happen. Here’s how you can help.

Thanks again.

(Image via Forge Today)

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“Let It Go” conquers the world

There’s the “official baby version” that slays with cuteness. There’s the hilariously (yet beautifully) sung homage from members of Pentatonix. There’s the toddler who was delightfully warbling the chorus on infinite repeat during my recent visit to the Museum of Natural History. This song is absolutely everywhere, and now here it is yet again — the mighty “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, sung in 25 languages from the film’s various international versions:

4/13 Update — And here are the women behind the voices:

If I despised this song I’d be completely miserable by now. Good thing, then, that I love it: it’s a perfectly-written anthem of self-acceptance and liberation that isn’t tied to any specific emotional relationship (unlike, say, Taylor Swift’s declarations of independence from boyfriends du jour). No surprise, then, that it’s been embraced by folks of all ages as a talisman in their own struggles against fear and shame, their own myriad journeys towards confidence and fulfillment. Just a pop song? Well, yes. But music and culture snobs scoff at the power of pop songs at their peril. This one sticks to the ears, lifts the heart, and dares us to be brave, and I think it’s here to stay.

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“People wake up”: Watch the trailer for “99%,” the Occupy Wall Street film

As of this writing, the documentary is being shown in exactly two theaters in the United States — in New York and LA. This seems like preaching to the choir, and a real shame. Is this the last gasp of a fleeting movement, or a valiant attempt to keep the conversation going? The message of the Occupy movement resonates (or should resonate) with more people than just the liberal moviegoers of Manhattan and Hollywood, and deserves to be spread more widely.

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“A new definition of manhood”

Colin Stokes of Citizen Schools gets it absolutely right:

(via TED)

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“Let us all unite!”

John Boswell, of Symphony of Science fame, offers an autotuned remix of Charlie Chaplin’s rousing speech from The Great Dictator:

A previous remix (and my thoughts on it) here.

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For all humanity

A remix of Charlie Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator that brought tears to my eyes:

One quibble: In juxtaposing images of both Republican and Democratic leaders as Chaplin is railing against dictators and oppressors of mankind, the video seems to suggest that all politicians are alike. Not even remotely true. And it’s that kind of blanket statement that makes people give up on the electoral process — which inevitably means that those they disagree with who are politically engaged are the ones who carry the day.

If you want to make the world better, make your voice heard — not just in the streets, but at the ballot box. The street is for the (necessary and powerful) primal cry. It’s for the tearing down of systems. But to build up and reform systems, you need politics, with all its messiness and compromise. Don’t wash your hands of it. Plunge in, and work your hands into the dirt, and make something good grow.

(via Brain Pickings)

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A history of Israel/Palestine in three minutes

Nina Paley, creator of the sublime Sita Sings the Blues, offers a primer on the history of conflict in the Middle East:

A guide to the various quarreling entities here.

“This Land is Mine” is the first completed segment of Paley’s “potential-possible-maybe” feature-length film Seder-Masochism (whose first phase has been successfully funded via Kickstarter). I can’t wait for the rest.

(via The Dish)

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