Sexism

labordayfilm

This article contains spoilers for ‘Labor Day.’  Proceed with caution unless you have already taken in all of the nonsense it has to offer, or if you are for some other reason free of spoiler-fear. Seeing as I watched director Jason Reitman’s new film, Labor Day, after it was already a few days into its release, I figured that since I hadn’t heard much about it, chances were that it was just an ordinary movie. I mean, I’d heard some rumbling about how it was surprisingly bad, but given how much people have liked Reitman’s movies (Thank You For Smoking, Juno, Up In the Air, Young Adult) up until this point, it made sense that he was probably due to make something that would disappoint. And yeah, the trailer looked pretty hokey, but who can’t go in for a sappy love story every once in a while? It was pretty damned surprising to me then, just how contemptible Labor Day ended up being—and not in your usual bad movie way either. Sure, it was contrived. Sure, its characters often didn’t behave in any believably human way. And sure, it had some serious pacing problems. The real issues with this thing went so much further than problems with crafting though. At a very fundamental level, Labor Day tells a story that presupposes a woman can’t thrive in her life unless she’s permanently attached to a man, which is laughable. As soon as I got home I Googled the movie, expecting to […]

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cmh sexism

The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism released a study recently on the representation of women in film, both onscreen and behind the camera over the course of five years, and many of the conclusions paint a fairly distressing picture. But contrary to what several editorial responses would have us believe, these results are far from surprising in a post-Bridesmaids world. Hell, they’re not even all that sexist. Instead, it’s almost all about the money. Almost. Does sexism occur on a daily basis in Hollywood? Has Hollywood been one big boys’ club since the very beginning? Are there still too few women making big (and small) movies? Yes, yes and yes. Is sexism the singular reason? Not even close. Profit is and always will be the main deciding factor with talent disinterest, industry laziness and the slow nature of societal change following up well behind. Producing a film is betting on its success, and it makes sense that a business would try to ensure the best results by attaching known quantities to their biggest projects. Second, the lack of female directors in the big leagues can be attributed to several factors, but it seems unreasonable to exclude the possibility that a lower percentage of women are even interested in making movies featuring giant robots urinating on award-winning actors. Third, when studio decisions are working, as they did in 2012 to the tune of the highest domestic box-office tally in history, the industry is given no convincing reason to change their […]

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Obama Wan Kenobi

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly mashing together of things about film and television because that’s what the kids on the Internet are into these days — mashing things together. Obama Wan Kenobi – We begin this evening with an oddly drawn but somewhat sensible conclusion about what Barack Obama had to do with saving Star Wars. And by “saving,” we’re of course referring to the part where George Lucas sold Star Wars and LucasFilm to Disney, placing it in capable, active hands that will no doubt save it with many wonderful films that have nothing to do with the prequels. Or something like that. Either way, /Film found this link and I say it’s worth a read. 

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Boiling Point

First things first – calling criticism sexist or racist does not make you worse than Hitler unless in doing so you also start a World War, attempt a genocide, and paint competent but uninspired landscapes. But more on that later! In the modern age of Internet writing (which I think might just cover all of it, since ya know, the internet isn’t really that old) the only thing that sells better than pornography (and cats [and porno cats]) is hatred. There is a lot of it. Hell, this column was born in hatred, though I like to think sometimes it’s about love. Bad, bad, angry love. At the current center of the hatred circle is Lena Dunham and her cable television debut Girls, which airs Sundays on HBO and follows a bunch of girls who do stuff and things and say words. And boy do some people hate it. In fact, the only thing people hate worse than Girls right now is people who hate Girls. We’ve got a Girls backlash backlash. Well this is my backlash to that. And prepare for a new backlash. A Girls backlash backlash backlash backlash. Can’t we just skip to the slash-fiction? Google it.

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Gosling: Only God Forgives

What is Movie News After Dark? Usually it’s a recap of what’s happening in the world of film. But on a slow news day such as today with FSR news teamers like Nathan Adams having already done that, News After Dark becomes something far more interesting: a gathering of links that will take you down the rabbit hole of the intelligent thought, analysis and otherwise fun reading that the movie blogosphere has to offer. Also, there was plenty of Mondo news today, so that’s good. We begin tonight with a first look at Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives, Nicolas Winding Refn’s next film that is currently shooting in Thailand. Radius-TWC, an off-shoot of The Weinstein Co., has closed a deal to distribute the film in the United States. Which means you’ll get to see it. And that’s really all that matters, right?

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This piece contains spoilers for Sucker Punch. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, go watch it before diving in. Once the first images hit, or when the first synopsis hit, or maybe even when Zack Snyder dreamed up the concept for Sucker Punch ten years ago – a time bomb was set to explode twice, and it finally did this weekend. The first explosion was the basis for the existence of the movie, and it continued exploding many, many times during the runtime. The second was the question of feminism. Now that the movie is out, it has also exploded. The reactions from before the film was released varied, and they still do. Some see it as feminism merged with geek culture (which assumes geek culture isn’t sexless to begin with). Some see it as an affront to the advancement of women parading in thigh high boots. One who gives a strong argument for the latter is Angie Han of /film, who writes the hell out of an editorial called “On Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch: Why Ass-Kicking and Empowerment Aren’t Always the Same Thing.” You should absolutely go read it before reading this, although I’ll do my best to condense her arguments (in a fair way) in order to respectfully counter them.

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The first images of Rooney Mara in the David Fincher-directed The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation were released to the world on Wednesday. In the form of a cover for W magazine and one other still inside the actual article, the images sparked a brush fire of opinions, cynicism, and what some are calling misogynistic backlash all across the Interwebs. In his article on the images for Badass Digest, Devin Faraci referred to the actress as “Ruined Mara” and said she looks “sickly and awful and her haircut is just… yikes.” He also made a particularly pointed crack at the character’s eyebrows. But let’s sit back for a moment and look at that word. “Character.” What exactly are Mara and Fincher going for with Lisbeth Salander? Is she supposed to be iconic, something of a role model for young girls who watch the Americanized version of Stieg Larsson’s original novel? If so, then maybe Faraci’s claims and the claims by some writers and bloggers on Twitter that the girl is “disgusting”, “gross” or “needs a sandwich” might have some weight behind them. As they are presented, though, they’re just quick jabs that make sexist labels easy to apply.

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I’ll make no bones about the film being clearly targeted to women (and a specific market of women at that).

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A gang of men. Animated men.

For ten our of ten films, Pixar leading characters have all been male. They’ll be male for the next two. And then, their first female protag will be a princess. NPR cries foul, so we’re opening up the debate floor.

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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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