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?
The past two weeks have been chock full of news about upcoming genre-bending film adaptations of the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet slaying zombies! Mr. Darcy doing combat with Predator! Highbrow time travel! Yes!
Big news from the NAACP Image Awards at the end of last week: women took top honors in the film directing and writing categories.Gina Prince-Bythewood won the prize for Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture for The Secret Life of Bees, while Jenny Lumet took home honors for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture for Rachel Getting Married. Best Picture honors also went to The Secret Life Bees. What's more, women were represented almost equally in the writing and directing categories, with Prince-Bythewood earning a nomination for writing, and Darnell Martin earning writing and directing nods for Cadillac Records.
This is great news during the awards season homestretch. While the media is busy contemplating Kate Winslet's potential acceptance speech meltdown, it's a welcome sight to see more recognition of women who are MAKING films.