I enjoyed most of X-Men: First Class. The acting, special effects, and writing were excellent, except possibly the two times Xavier tries to hit on women in bars by saying they have "groovy mutation[s]".
But then again, the whole movie had a cheesy retro vibe to it, with its Cold War setting and costumes (turtlenecks for the men, not much clothing at all for the women) giving it the feel of a cross between X-Men and a Connery-era Bond movie.
Tropes vs. Women is a six-part video series by Feminist Frequency that explores the reoccurring stories, themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows.
The Evil Demon Seductress is a supernatural creature usually a demon, alien, robot, vampire etc. who is most often disguised as a sexy human female. She uses her sexuality and sexual wiles to manipulate, seduce, kill and often eat poor, hapless men by luring them into her evil web.
Bridesmaids—in theaters today—is the new potential blockbuster comedy from Judd Apatow, directed by Paul Feig and written by Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo. We left this movie with distinctly different opinions. Time for a point/counterpoint!
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a perfect display of what Spurlock's brand personality analyst calls his mix of "playful and mindful" qualities. He sells himself with a shit-eating grin, riding the wave of his own charm, which is a force unto itself—fueling the camera equipment, feeding the crew, somehow exempting him from an icky breakdown of integrity even while dressed in a suit jacket cluttered with corporate sponsor decals. He convinces you that the film's corporate doublespeak tagline ("he's not selling out, he's buying in") is actually true, that there is a difference.
The Smurfette Principle was named two decades ago by Katha Pollitt, when she noticed that there were a disproportionate amount of male characters in programming aimed at young people. Even in adult programming, when women do appear in the primary cast of a television show or movie, they are usually alone in a group of men. Sadly, this trope has made its way into the 21st century.
Fly Away, opens on Jeanne, a single mother, as she is awoken by her teenage daughter's cries. "Bad girl! I hate myself!" It might not be a surprising sentiment for a teenager in the throes of an angst-ridden moment, but Mandy is severe on the spectrum of autism, and the middle of the night is one of the times she communicates the clearest. Written and directed by Janet Grillo, Fly Away is a slice of life portrait of a small family at a crossroads and it focuses very much on the everyday details.
This past March, Women, Action, & the Media held several "WAM!-It-Yourself" satellite conferences in various cities exploring feminism and media. One component of this decentralized conferencing was spreading the conference ideas via the internet. Nist.tv (which I cleverly called "Feminism's YouTube") did a series called "Feminism in Focus: Interviews with Feminist Video Creators," which features interviews with seven awesome feminist filmmakers, including Bitch contributor and Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian! You can watch all the segments online, and there's more content coming! Here's one with filmmaker Tiona McClodden, who talks about her film black/womyn, using social media for social change by posting her movie on National Coming Out Day, how short-form film is great for collaborating with like-minded organizations, exploring representation through filmmaking, and more:
While in Austin for SXSW, Kjerstin and I saw the highly anticipated (and highly publicized—there were posters all over town) Bridesmaids, a new potential blockbuster comedy from Judd Apatow, directed by Paul Feig and written by Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo. As the title suggests, it's about a woman (Wiig) whose best friend (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be the Maid of Honor at her upcoming wedding—Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Rose Byrne round out the cast as the titular bridesmaids. Bridal party formalities, bachelorette party wackiness, and bouts of barfing ensue. (We should note: We attended a "work in progress" screening, but Feig, who was in attendance along with Wiig, assured the audience that what we saw was basically a finished product.)
Maybe it was the hour-plus wait in line, the midnight showtime, or the beers we snuck in to the theater, but Kjerstin and I left this movie with distinctly different opinions.