Required Reading: Manipulating Movies and Why Women Can’t Be Funny

Girls Season 3


The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.

There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

How Movies Manipulate Your Brain to Keep You Entertained” — Greg Miller at Wired looks at vision science and the randomness of car crashes that you can’t fake.

Interview: Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse on What Hollywood’s Love of Blockbusters Means for the Rest of Us” — Erika Olsen at presents great news for people who love semi-bad news.

“I think it’s hard to deny that it creates significant challenges for independent studios and others who seek to produce and market films that are truly original. In an industry in which studios seek to make big bets on the most likely winners, and those titles are picked for having some resemblance to past winners (be it that they are based on a book that was once successful, or star an actor who is seen as bankable, or feature a character that comic-book readers are familiar with), original projects run the risk of being crowded out.

The hard truth is that the average consumer goes to the movies at most once every two months—six times per year—and so studios try to give audiences true spectacles to lure them to the theater and make sure they pick their film over the competition.”

Why DC’s Serious Superman v. Batman May Give Marvel the Big-Screen Edge” — Speaking of which, Drew McWeeny at HitFix looks at a serious reason why Warners may harm themselves before the gate truly opens for their omnibus projects.

Lena Dunham Demonstrates Once Again Why Women Can’t Be Funny” — Jacob Clifton at Gawker gives you a headline that will make you come running for the trolling and stay for the obliteration of White Guy Mountain.

“But if you look at any internet discussion thread about hot-button matters, race or sex or gender, you will see one thing happen every time: Somebody provides a hot take on the subject, and is greeted with absolute rage. A woman, or a person of color, or a gay person, is presumed to be the default, the straight white male, until proven otherwise. Until they declare their bona fides—actually I am gay/black/female, so please don’t lecture me or try to be an ally right now—they’re just asking for trouble, because it’s what we hear when we read words. (Assuming we don’t call them out for lying, “No True Scotsman” style, erasing them altogether.)

Is this unavoidable? Are we stuck with the Default Voice in our heads for the rest of our lives? I don’t think so. I think that’s the moment we are in, at the dawn of the internet where we very much are, that all words and stories and thoughts and opinions come to us as received wisdom from atop White Guy Mountain. And I think a tricky symptom of that is, we look at women telling stories and still see them as characters in someone else’s. We look for hidden authorial intent and, stymied, we invent it whole: Whatever it takes to avoid what we’re looking at directly, because we’ve never seen it before.”

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

Read More from Scott Beggs
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!