I would pay real money to watch any of these movies. The larger point though, is that I bet, if we actually tried, we could come up with amazing projects for lots of women in Hollywood that aren’t based on assuming that the only thing we want to watch them do is act sexy (or crazy). There’s no shortage of talent in the film industry, so, maybe rather than waiting for screenwriters to craft great starring roles for women at large, Hollywood could also take a closer look at the stars who are already there and custom build some awesome ‘Spy’-like films for them.
Women aren’t really treated poorly by ‘Silicon Valley,’ but it’s weird that they’re treated as being so different from the male characters on the show. Where the men have recognizable – if exaggerated – human failings, motivations and personality tics, the women are much more inscrutable, like adults who’ve walked into the middle of a children’s game. It’s a pattern that exists outside of just this show, but it’s something that stops women from being full participants in the story even if they now, at least, exist there.
‘Breaking Bad’ is one of those well-written, well-acted shows that somehow inspires people to scream at each other in CAPSLOCK. The debate about Walter White and his wife and their drug-trade boils down to your answers to three deceptively simple questions that act as a rorschach test on masculinity in American culture.
Let me start by saying that the title of this post is a little disingenuous – I’d never tell you how upset to be about the rape plot lines on HBO. You feel how you feel, and you get to make your own decisions about what you do and don’t watch. I do, however, find it interesting that rape’s showing up so often on TV, and I wonder whether that’s a good thing (because we’re finally talking about it) or a bad thing (because we’re slowly getting desensitized to it). I think it’s a little of both.
‘Blue’ is either an amazing bait-and-switch or (more likely) a series that changed its mind about what it was part way through. Either way, what began as an inferior, online version of ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl,’ has grown into a powerful, subtle, and well-acted drama about the long-term effects of sexual abuse, and the shadow that misogyny and the threat of violence casts over women’s sexuality in general. It’s also a big achievement for the WIGS channel, whose mission is to create more female-led programming.
The Love Quadrangle with 10 Million Views: Julie Kalceff Answers our Question about Her Lesbian Web Series, ‘Starting From… Now!’
In recent years, web series have emerged as a platform for LGBT stories – so much so that that Bitch magazine named 2014 the summer of lesbian web series. Just as technology has helped to democratize other forms of story-telling, the falling price of video and audio production, and free delivery platforms like YouTube, have created a world where content that would be a tough sell for network television can find a niche audience online. The crowd-funded Australian web-series ‘Starting From… Now!’ provides a good example of how creators can connect with fans through content, despite their budget limitations.
Now playing in North America, ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ is the Kristen Stewart – Juliette Binoche are-they-or-aren’t-they-lesbians movie that critics have been raving about since Cannes 2014. I wasn’t able to see it at TIFF last year because the tickets sold out fast, but this movie, from writer-director Olivier Assayas, was well worth the wait. It’s thoughtful, well-acted, and everything else you’ve been promised.
Helen represents a new kind of fantasy woman, popular in the late ’80s and ’90s – one who’s ballsy and opinionated, but can absolutely, 100 percent, still be controlled. In fact, the only reason Helen’s “safe” for mainstream audiences in 1995 is that Kevin Costner’s total dominance over her is constantly reinforced.
‘Coherence’ is a triumph of low-budget filmmaking, a reality show about an extreme acting challenge, a disturbing science fiction take on human nature and identity, a fascinating puzzle box, and a movie with a well-written, well-acted female lead. Bet you wish you’d seen it, now.
Bisexual protagonists, scenes that pass the Bechdel Test, women making choices that drive the action of the story – I’m still the only person who watches ‘The 100,’ but, boy, do I enjoy it when I do.
So, you just saw a terrible movie and you want to tell the world about it – not so fast. How we frame our discussions about sucky movies depends on who’s listening, and whether we’ve got common ground.
Your dad is an ogre or giant, your mom is a witch, and both of them want to kill you. Welcome to your fairy tale life.