Posts Tagged Movies

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron, 1941-2012

Essayist and filmmaker Nora Ephron has died.

Nora Ephron was a giant. Ephron wrote the screenplay for “Silkwood”, best known as the writer of the seminal romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” and wrote and directed the wildly successful (and still one of my favorites) “You’ve Got Mail”. If you haven’t seen “Silkwood”, please seek to remedy that fact immediately.

But I leave you with Ephron’s commencement address to the Wellesley Class of 1996:

Don’t let the number of women in the work force trick you — there are still lots of magazines devoted almost exclusively to making perfect casseroles and turning various things into tents.

Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we ...

Essayist and filmmaker Nora Ephron has died.

Nora Ephron was a giant. Ephron wrote the screenplay for “Silkwood”, best known as the writer of the seminal romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” and wrote and directed ...

‘Brave’ has a gender problem

*If you haven’t yet seen Brave and want to avoid any spoilers at all, avoid this post.  If you don’t mind minor spoilers for plot points (but not outcome) continue reading*

I avoided any reviews or spoilers before seeing the new Pixar movie Brave yesterday.  I wanted to go into the movie about a young heroine archer Merida unbiased by group think.

While I enjoyed the film, I was underwhelmed. Perhaps, I was in need of a plot, centered around this medieval Scottish princess with firey red curls, that packed more of an emotional punch.  After I got home I went to read my favorite culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg over at ThinkProgress who highlighted one of the more problematic themes in ...

*If you haven’t yet seen Brave and want to avoid any spoilers at all, avoid this post.  If you don’t mind minor spoilers for plot points (but not outcome) continue reading*

I avoided any reviews or spoilers before ...

Quick hit: TNC on the “Django Unchained” trailer

No one does analysis of race in pop culture like Ta-Nehisi Coates does, and on the newly-released trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” he’s predictably on-point.

Here’s the trailer (no transcript, I’m afraid, but if a reader would like to write one up and post it in comments, I’d be really thankful).

TNC writes,

Perhaps no aspect of my recent foray into the Civil War and slavery has moved me more than my investigations into the colored soldiers. It’s nice to see black men, so often rendered as bystanders, grabbing guns, asserting their humanity, and surely enacting some measure of revenge.

It’s also really dangerous to get caught up in that narrative. The violence is seductive and can find you ...

No one does analysis of race in pop culture like Ta-Nehisi Coates does, and on the newly-released trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” he’s predictably on-point.

Here’s the trailer (no transcript, I’m afraid, but if a reader would ...

Quick hit: What’s with all the naked dudes?

I have a piece at the Australian site Daily Life today, about the increase in the amount of substantial male nudity on offer in romantic comedies lately.

Before 2009, shirtlessness was pretty standard for men in romantic comedies (why do you think chronic shirtophobe Matthew McConaughey makes so many rom coms?) But in the last two years, we’ve seen the barely-clad bodies of Justin Long (Going the Distance), Jake Gyllenhaal (Love and Other Drugs), Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal), Ashton Kutcher (No Strings Attached), and Justin Timberlake (Friends With Benefits). In What’s Your Number?, producers appear to have forgotten to make room in the budget for a wardrobe for Chris Evans, who spends most of the movie stripped down to ...

I have a piece at the Australian site Daily Life today, about the increase in the amount of substantial male nudity on offer in romantic comedies lately.

Before 2009, shirtlessness was pretty standard for men ...

Where are the women? Cannes Film Festival edition

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, 22 films directed by 22 men will compete for the prestigious top award. But to feminist criticism of that dismal lineup, Cannes says, essentially, “Well, you can’t make us pick a girl just because she’s a girl.”

Of course, those numbers are pretty standard for Cannes. Last year there were a record-breaking four women in the running for the Palme D’Or, the festival’s top prize. But apparently that was but a minor blip in the long dude-dominated history of the event. Two years ago, there were no women either, and in the 64 years of the festival only one woman–Jane Campion–has ever actually won the Palme D’Or.

The French feminist group La Barbe took the ...

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, 22 films directed by 22 men will compete for the prestigious top award. But to feminist criticism of that dismal lineup, Cannes says, essentially, “Well, you can’t make us pick a ...

racisttweets

Racist Hunger Games fans illustrate all that is wrong in the world

Despite my immense excitement, I still haven’t yet seen The Hunger Games. While I’m sure there will be some things in the movie that aren’t how I imagined from the books, you know what won’t be surprising? The fact that some of the characters are played by people of color. That’s because it’s abundantly clear in the books that the nation of Panem is a multi-racial society–and at least two major characters are explicitly described as black.

But, as Jos mentioned yesterday, there are some horribly racist people on Twitter who are not only shocked but downright pissed off to learn that Rue and Thresh, who are described in the books as having “dark brown skin,” actually, ...

Despite my immense excitement, I still haven’t yet seen The Hunger Games. While I’m sure there will be some things in the movie that aren’t how I imagined from the books, you know what won’t be ...

The Hunger Games: A story for women and girls that everyone can love

The only thing that could have made me more excited about The Hunger Games is if the trailer was put to Rihanna…Oh look!

In case you didn’t notice (ha!), last night The Hunger Games premiered at midnight across the country. The highly-hyped movie sold more advance tickets on Fandago than any other non-sequel film ever and brought in an estimated $19.7 million last night. Its expected box office numbers for opening weekend–between $115 and $120 million–could break records.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but we wrote about the books last year, and I’m excited about its success for many reasons. It’s a story about class and inequality and power that resonates deeply in these times. And ...

The only thing that could have made me more excited about The Hunger Games is if the trailer was put to Rihanna…Oh look!

In case you didn’t notice (ha!), last night The Hunger Games premiered at midnight across ...

Guest Post: Why I’m rooting against Bridesmaids at the Oscars

By Silpa Kovvali

History will rightly view Bridesmaids as an important milestone in more ways than one. It was a female-driven comedy. It was a box office hit. And despite the ensemble of women at its center, its raunchy humor was characteristic of producer Judd Apatow. But as director Paul Feig suggested, Apatow-esque vulgarity is important for the underlying human sentiment it reveals. In buddy comedies that revolve around friendship between men, for example, characters want their friends to loosen up or to have a good time, however misguided their efforts. When a man acts in a passive-aggressive manner toward his buddy, his behavior stems from very real fears that the relationship will fade away and he’ll get left behind. ...

By Silpa Kovvali

History will rightly view Bridesmaids as an important milestone in more ways than one. It was a female-driven comedy. It was a box office hit. And despite the ensemble of women at its center, its ...

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