Posts tagged Movies
Posts tagged Movies
Each day until Christmas there will be a review of a film from around the world and a global inspired popcorn recipe on Celluloid And Leftovers.
by Anna Smith
While many of these films are immensely entertaining, it’s a curious trend that shortchanges female characters and, by extension, female viewers. At first glance, you could simply put this down to the historical dominance of male heroes in cinema. It’s a patriarchal world and mainstream movies aren’t always quick to reflect advancements in equality. But while other areas of sci-fi were making progress – take Sigourney Weaver beating her many-jawed foes in the Alien films – the time-travel genre, ironically, stood still. Yes, as far back as 1984 The Terminator gave us a groundbreaking action heroine in Linda Hamilton, but the bouffe-haired damsel in distress was still confined to the here and now, chased by one time-traveller and bedded by the other (in order to give birth to a future saviour). And the men didn’t just get to time-travel: they got to go naked, too.
This weekend in London, there’s a whole festival dedicated to feminist sci-fi films. Called Women on the Edge of Time, it promises futuristic “worlds free of sexism”. Tellingly, time-travel movies are absent from the programme. Some might argue that the theme is just more appealing to men. But I’m sure I’m not the only woman who fell in love with time-travel movies as a kid – and I wanted to be Marty McFly, not his unfortunate girlfriend. A time-travelling heroine would have been very welcome. Nor is it just action films. In the 1980 romance Somewhere in Time, Christopher Reeve rewound to woo a bygone Jane Seymour; in 2001’s Kate & Leopold, a 19th-century Hugh Jackman raced forward into the arms of a present-day Meg Ryan.
Of course, it is still incredibly hard to get funding for a mainstream film with a female lead. This might explain why two recent movies that gave women at least a look-in at time travel were independents. Safety Not Guaranteed saw a female newspaper intern responding to a mysterious man’s ad for a time-travel buddy; the whole movie turns on whether she will make the leap. Meanwhile, The Sound of My Voice featured two documentary-makers investigating a cult leader called Maggie, who claims to have come from the future to warn us about environmental issues.Whatever the merits of these semi-exceptions, it’s worth pointing out that women just don’t get to have fun with time travel like men do; it doesn’t seem to get them anywhere.
Jeff Brouws. Selections from Abandoned Drive-In Theaters Portfolio, 1990-2002. archival pigment prints, 7 x 7” (24 prints).
…It feels like we’ve gone backwards, as if the cycle is starting again. After all, in the aftermath of the original American Pie's success, we got the likes of Say It Isn’t So, a movie that gleefully pokes fun at someone who’s had a stroke. Again, that in itself still isn’t the main problem. The problem is that it never has a joke to tell about it. Films don’t have to be consistently likeable to be funny, but this was the equivalent of bullies on the school bus just pointing and laughing. And that was it, it had nothing more to offer than that. I could have cited several American Pie imitators that fell into similar traps, but they soon tailed off.
However, then The Hangover happened, hit very big, and alll of a sudden, this vein of comedy is back in force. Since The Hangover (and the first film has merit to it, and at least had some solid laughs), it feels as though the mean and nasty tap has been turned on again. And it also feels as if Hollywood, rather than trying to gross us out at the moment, is looking to be as offensively unpleasant as possible in some of its comedies, but without the comedic and writing skill and/or effort needed to turn that into a good film…
Lindsay Doran - Saving The World vs Kissing The Girl
$1MM+ in less than a day. My love/hate with crowdfunding continues.
"Wish I Was Here" is the story of Aidan Bloom (played by me), a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity; a purpose for his life. He and his wife are barely getting by financially and Aidan passes his time by fantasizing about being the great futuristic Space-Knight he’d always dreamed he’d be as a little kid.
When his ailing father can no longer afford to pay for private school for his two kids (ages 5 and 12) and the only available public school is on its last legs, Aidan reluctantly agrees to attempt to home-school them.
The result is some funny chaos, until Aidan decides to scrap the traditional academic curriculum and come up with his own. Through teaching them about life his way, Aidan gradually discovers some of the parts of himself he couldn’t find.
It was written by my brother, Adam, and me last summer.
Drop everything, Akira Kurosawa’s Criterion films are free on Hulu for the weekend
To celebrate what would have been Akira Kurosawa’s 103rd birthday if he hadn’t died in 1998, Hulu is streaming 24 of his films from the Criterion collection, plus various supplementary featurettes and interviews, for free this weekend. They’re available now through Sunday at the site’s Happy Birthday, Akira Kurosawa page, and they amount to more than 44 hours of viewing, so you’ve got just about enough time to make some lame excuse to your boss, professor, or the friends you made plans with this weekend, then head straight home, grab some popcorn, and move in for the duration. Need help prioritizing? Our Kurosawa Primer from 2010 covers the director’s career, which films are essentials, and why he’s a crucial part of the cinematic landscape. It does not cover the essentials of peeing into a cup and going without sleep for three days so you don’t miss anything, but we figure you’ll work that out for yourself.
I have never been nostalgic for Hollywood or the products (including celebrities) they manufacture. They are old. They are entrenched. They are increasingly self-referencing and scared. I see a different path forward, one outlined recently on Y Combinator:
Hollywood appears to have peaked. If it were an ordinary industry (film cameras, say, or typewriters), it could look forward to a couple decades of peaceful decline. But this is not an ordinary industry. The people who run it are so mean and so politically connected that they could do a lot of damage to civil liberties and the world economy on the way down. It would therefore be a good thing if competitors hastened their demise.
That’s one reason we want to fund startups that will compete with movies and TV, but not the main reason. The main reason we want to fund such startups is not to protect the world from more SOPAs, but because SOPA brought it to our attention that Hollywood is dying. They must be dying if they’re resorting to such tactics. If movies and TV were growing rapidly, that growth would take up all their attention. When a striker is fouled in the penalty area, he doesn’t stop as long as he still has control of the ball; it’s only when he’s beaten that he turns to appeal to the ref. SOPA shows Hollywood is beaten. And yet the audiences to be captured from movies and TV are still huge. There is a lot of potential energy to be liberated there.
How do you kill the movie and TV industries? Or more precisely (since at this level, technological progress is probably predetermined) what is going to kill them? Mostly not what they like to believe is killing them, filesharing. What’s going to kill movies and TV is what’s already killing them: better ways to entertain people. So the best way to approach this problem is to ask yourself: what are people going to do for fun in 20 years instead of what they do now?