Search Results for: belle

Sisterhood with a Capital “S”: ‘The Triplets of Belleville’

Sisterhood is powerful, magical, and resilient: that’s the sororal message in the celebrated 2003 animated film… Character distinction between the sisters as individuals is not a major focus for writer/director Sylvain Chomet, although each Triplet has different functions/feelings at specific times. The bond of the sisters as a more monolithic force is depicted instead: Chomet presents the unity of sisterhood. … The agency of older women, including the eponymous trio, is vital to ‘The Triplets of Belleville.’

‘Crossing Delancey’: Isabelle Needs a New Perspective on Life and Love

This romantic comedy has always been more of a cult classic. But it was unusual in its female writer and director, along with its distinctly Jewish cultural setting, its generational custom-clash regarding matchmaking, and its conflicted independent protagonist, Isabelle, who could be read as a late 1980s precursor to ‘Sex and the City’s protagonist Carrie Bradshaw.

Colorism and Interracial Relationships in Film: ‘Belle,’ ‘The Wedding,’ & More

The colorism Dido experiences is seen throughout different Western societies that had Black African enslavement as part of its world. Many stories of colorism also exist in American history and folklore and we see how it impacts romantic relationships and in American film and TV.

The Gaze of Objectification: Race, Gender, and Privilege in ‘Belle’

What does it mean in a young woman’s life to be constantly stared at and treated as “the Other”? ‘Belle,’ directed by Amma Asante and written by Misan Sagay, has a lush, gorgeous look from the costumes to the landscape, and throughout this new film we, too, are invited to “look,” and to understand that “the dominant white male gaze” is related to power in 18th-century England. An actual 1779 portrait currently hanging in Scone Palace, Scotland, credited to artist Johann Zoffany, is at the heart of the complex ‘Belle,’ as is the issue of race.

Writer Misan Sagay Talks About Her Jane Austen-Like Heroine in ‘Belle’

Sagay discovered the subject of her Jane Austen-like drama a decade ago when she viewed the 18th century portrait by an unknown artist of a beautiful, biracial woman standing next to a blond, a woman in a pink brocade gown, in the galleries of Scone Palace in Scotland. The blond woman reaches out to the other woman who is slightly above here in the picture, and who wears a silk gown and an exotic headdress. She has a twinkle in her eye and exudes life and even has a sense of mischief. You cannot take your eyes off her.

‘Belle’: A Costume Drama Like and Unlike the Others

People of color are often omitted from historical dramas (except to play slaves or servants), with the rationale that it’s not “realistic” to have them in the cast. We can see through this excuse in historical dramas in which casting people of color would match the story being told, but white people still have the biggest roles in–and sometimes even make up the entire cast of–the film, as in the recently released ‘Noah.’ Historical “realism” is not always what we think it is: literature and visual art through the ages confirm that people of color who weren’t slaves, like Alexandre Dumas the author of ‘The Three Musketeers,’ have been in Europe for as long as people have lived there. We need to see more of their stories onscreen.

2013 Oscar Week: A Thorn Like a Rose: War Witch (Rebelle)

Guest post written by Emily Campbell. If you reel off its vital stats, War Witch sounds like a shoo-in for an Oscar. It tackles the delicate topic of African child soldiers and was filmed entirely in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its main character is a girl who bravely forges forward even though her […]

Suturing Selfhood: ‘American Mary’ and the Unconventional Feminine Repossession of Self

This violence through language establishes a paradigm that persists throughout the film in which female expression, female control over their anatomy/body and others’ is aggressively and oppressively impugned upon and violated by male domination. Mary’s passion and talent — and thus selfhood — exists imperiled and impeached by the overtures of men.

‘Queerama’: A Tapestry of Queer British History

An unexpected gem directed by Daisy Asquith, the documentary outlines the milestones, setbacks, stigma, and celebrations of the LGBTQ movement in the UK from 1919 to the present. It incorporates electro beats, limited dialogue, and some steamy scenes, cut with cards detailing important milestones for the LGBTQ community. … Though much as the majority of queer history is persecution, oppression, and erasure, ‘Queerama’ is a strangely joyful monument to it all.

‘Fanny Pack’: An Indian American Woman Pursues Her Dreams in Woman-Directed Short Film

Directed by Uttera Singh, “traditional values and modern dreams collide in this comedy about a young Indian-American woman who attempts to elude her fanny pack-clad father and board a plane in pursuit of a less conventional future. The film was inspired by the filmmaker’s own experiences of traveling in the U.S. as a recent citizen.”

Amma Asante Shows that Period Films Can (and Should) Center Black People

Actress Thandie Newton argues that “historical dramas ‘limit UK Black actors’.” Churning out endless projects about the royal family and the so-called “good old days” isn’t doing Black actors any favors. …”Historical/period drama” is one of the worst genres for inclusion of Black characters, with a whopping 80% of such films having no named roles for Black actors whatsoever. …Period dramas and Black stories aren’t mutually exclusive, as Amma Asante shows us in ‘Belle’ and her latest film, ‘A United Kingdom.’

Versions of Yourself: Nora Ephron as Women’s Storyteller

In addition to her work in film, Nora Ephron was a journalist, playwright, and novelist; unsurprisingly, her stock in trade is words. Crucially, what she does with these words is to give women room. For these women at the center of her films, there is, above all, space. Space not simply to be the best version of themselves, but all the versions of themselves: confident, neurotic, right, wrong, flawed.