For those of you who saw my previous post you'll know that the 1966 classic camp film, Modesty Blaise, was shown in the early morning hours on AMC. The film, based on the eponymous character of a long-running British comic strip, is of the so bad it's bad variety. But even so, this relatively obscure movie that inspires a love-it-or-hate-it reaction, as well as the enigmatic Modesty Blaise herself, has influenced subsequent gems of popular culture including the visual style of Austin Powers, the origin story of X-Men's Ororo Munroe, and the ass-kicking women of Kill Bill. Modesty was a groundbreaking and progressive character that rivaled the other Spy-Fi icons she was so often compared to, but she remains relatively unknown to the American side of the pond and is increasingly distanced from her native audience.
Hello and welcome to the Grrrl on Film Blog! My name is Jennifer K. Stuller, aka The Ink-Stained Amazon. I'm a writer, author, and critic with a particular interest in the history of women in popular culture. My first book, Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology, will be published this January. I'm honored to have had Bitch ask me to be a guest film blogger for the summer . . .
Nigeria's booming film industry, Nollywood, ranks second highest in global film production (nestled between India's Bollywood and America's Hollywood), and its actors are now being sought by the higher paying US studios. This new development brings with it the need for complex conversations about gender, sexuality, culture, and the lure of money.
Several years ago, I read the novel Push written by performance poet, Sapphire. I remember climbing into bed one night to read it and finishing it at about 5 AM. Several times I had to put the book down for a few minutes, just to get myself together, to breathe. Once I put the book down for the final time, I still couldn't sleep: I was emotionally wrung out and deeply disturbed. It's hard to recover from a book that opens with: "I was left back when I was twelve because I had a baby for my fahver..."
Palestinian filmmaker and poet Annemarie Jacir turned to her homeland to make her first feature-length film about a working class Palestinian American woman who struggles with the country's tumultuous past and present, and makes a decision that will change her life.
"Forty-three per cent of American women suffer from female sexual dysfunction. Or do they?" Is "female sexual dysfunction" a real disease? Or is it just a marketing ploy invented by Big Pharma in hopes of profiting from "female Viagra"? These are the questions documentary filmmaker Liz Canner set out to answer in Orgasm, Inc.
According to a recent Entertainment Weekly article:
'''Tyler Perry understands that much of his audience is African-American women — the most ignored group in Hollywood — so he's doing movies that speak to them,' Bogle says. 'You could see these films as parables or fables. There's a black prince figure who shows up for black women who've been frustrated, unhappy, or abused.' That's the real reason critics don't like Perry's movies, says Nelson George: They're made for churchgoing, working-class black women, not urban hipsters (or tenured professors)."
I'm neither an urban hipster nor a tenured professor, but I'm not a fan of Tyler Perry's movies either. Are you?
So Variety has reported that Diablo Cody (Juno, The United States of Tara) is joining forces with Fox Searchlight to develop a film adapation of the upcoming zombie romance novel Breathers: A Zombie's Lament, about a recently undead man who finds love at a zombie support group. Cody won't be writing or directing the film, but she will be producing.
This is the second horror project that Diablo Cody has recently taken on and it makes me wonder: will she make more room for women in the genre?