One message reinforced in panels throughout the day — including the “Gender Identity: Understanding Through Art” panel earlier that morning — was best articulated by filmmaker Kellee Terrell: the need for diversity in film. The revelation of ‘Get Out’ sparked a conversation on representation, universal experiences, and relating to what’s on-screen.
As a woman in physics I have found that this experience encapsulates many of the issues of being a woman in a field dominated by men. I was very happy to see strong women on the screen and wanted to be a part of the effort… Ten years from now I hope to have an introductory physics course where I can’t count the women on one hand. I want the students to look at my framed thank you note from set dressing, ooh and ahh, and I will get to tell them that yes, those equations are right.
Nostalgia is not the problem, at least not the main one. … The central issue is that the feeling of nostalgia is often a privilege, and a form of exclusion.
Check out all of the posts from our Women Scientists Theme Week here.
We are truly in a moment of struggle over whose stories are being told. Do filmmakers believe that women are active protagonists worthy of their own tales, or passive objects to be used to further male narratives? It’s as big and infuriating and important as that — what is the story we want to tell about a woman’s place in the world?
They’re moved to realize that, after everyone talked shit about them for weeks or months on end, someone actually appreciated what they did. It’s a moment of art imitating life that mirrored my experience with ‘Ghostbusters’… I also vastly underestimated how powerful it would be, and how great it would feel, to watch an action-comedy with only women in the leading roles.
And the matter of representation here is so important. Little Black girls deserve to see themselves on screen, to try to be like Annie the way I tried to be like Punky Brewster when I was a kid. They deserve to see this kind of Cinderella story, where the benefactor is a successful Black businessman (Jamie Foxx as cell phone-mogul and mayoral candidate Will Stacks, the less-creepily named equivalent to Daddy Warbucks). Black parents deserve to take their kids to movies that will show families like theirs. And people of all ages and all races need to see Black actors star in movies like this so the gross privileged reaction of “but the star isn’t white OH NOES!” goes away.
However, in honor of some possible greatness, let us consider some more films that could also be equally amazing, or as roundly terrible. Enjoy.
Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!