The New Zealand landscape hosts a parallel fantasy world: The Lord of the Rings' Middle Earth. (photo by Hannah Strom)
The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, arrives in theaters this week. If you’ve watched any Lord of the Rings (LOTR) installments you know the deal: a bunch of white heroes will travel on a noble quest, they will do battle with scary dark-skinned creatures, and maybe a white female character will grace the screen for a moment or two.
If you’re like me and you give the feminist-of-color side-eye to mainstream fantasy while also having a deeply geeky desire to escape and live forever in Middle Earth, you know that the race and gender politics of Lord of the Rings have been a pretty hot topic of conversation.
In the mid 1980’s Seattle was bursting with pride when several independent rock bands that created a musical hybrid that incorporated rock, heavy metal, hardcore and punk gained national and international attention. Grunge music and its accompanying culture coincided with the emergence of third-wave feminism and Seattle bands featured the work of a number of strong women musicians and artists.
In new film Philomena, Dame Judi Dench stars as the titular Philomena Lee, an Irish woman searching for her long-lost son. The performances of Dench and co-star Steve Coogan carry the film, which is an enjoyable personal tale as well as a moving commentary on the destructive impacts of British class structure and the Catholic Church.
That's actually a comparatively women-centric line-up for Thanksgiving weekend. This week, the folks at the New York Film Academy put together this interesting infographic about women in film that has me thinking about the how the way women are represented in film certainly stems in part from who is behind the scenes in the industry.
In Catching Fire, the normally unflappable Effie Trinket seems increasingly dismayed at her role as media handler.
The Hunger Games series is about a lot of things—growing up, violence, a boy with the same name as a delicious bread—but the new film, Catching Fire, has the feel of a political thriller.
While the first film the now-four-part (ugh) series focused a lot of its story on the action of the Hunger Games themselves and the life-and-death choices of each character, Catching Fire frames its story from beginning to end as a bigger, meatier critique of how governments use media to keep control.
Guinevere Turner first made a name for herself with her debut film, Go Fish, cowritten with director and then-girlfriend (although they broke up mid-shooting) Rose Troche. Turner went on to direct many short films, wrote for The L Word (and played the elusive heartbreaker Gabby Deveaux), not to mention cowriting the scripts of American Psychoand The Notorious Bettie Page.
Turner is now working on her feature length directorial debut with Creeps, a film about a chosen family of somewhat aimless twenty and thirty-something friends living in L.A. in the nineties. I had the privilege of interviewing Turner about Creeps, and the ongoing Indiegogo campaign to crowd-fund the project—it's over in four days!
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second film from the Hunger Games adaptation, hits theaters nationwide this month. Given the film’s aggressive and elaborate marketing campaign, it’s pretty hard to miss.
So, when I saw the giant banner featuring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen plastered in a Hot Topic’s storefront, it didn’t surprise me one bit.
By the time it won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, the French film Blue is the Warmest Color was well on its way to being one of the most highly praised—and most controversial—films of the year.
“I rarely meet people who tell me what they’re doing.”
When I was 13 years old, I received an award from my eighth grade teacher, in which she predicted my future career as a “comedy screenwriter.” At that time, I had no idea what a screenwriter was. I, of course knew it had to do with filmmaking, but that’s it. Growing up, I had no conception of writing or directing films. It was not a career that people around me talked about or pursued. Soon, that would all change.