[Content note: Suicide and mental illness]
Yesterday, after a long battle with depression, Robin Williams took his own life. He left behind a family that loved him dearly and a legion of fans who loved having someone to make them laugh and cry and think, even as he himself was so frequently in a dark place. He made kids’ movies with jokes that only adults would get, he made movies for adults that made you forget he was the genie from Aladdin, he made a few zany comedies that possibly made you stupider just by watching them but were so entertaining that who cares, and he made people feel better. He gave joy....read more
What do we mean when we define a female character as “strong”? When an actress is the protagonist, her conflict is decidedly different than the average male protagonist’s: In literary terms, we often see the female protagonist engaged in a “man vs. self” struggle, while male protagonists wrestle with outside forces. The point is not at all that any one iteration of female “strength” is more admirable – more worthy of depiction on-screen – than another, but rather than our female characters consistently demonstrate one kind of strength while our male characters demonstrate another. Furthermore, when our female characters demonstrate stereotypically “male” strength, they do not win the awards.
These complications of storytelling are all exacerbated by Hollywood demographics :...read more
I have just one comment: LUPITA! And her speech. Now talk about whatever other Oscars-related stuff you want....read more
So far, the blogosphere has been busy extolling the big box office blockbuster The Heat, a film starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy that netted $40 million its opening weekend. Hailed as both a comic vehicle for its two superstars and a trailblazing movie that “breaks the mold” of the male “buddy-cop-action-comedy” genre, The Heat has garnered great reviews from critics appreciative of its girl power message (e.g., Laura Shamas’ July 1 review in The Huffington Post). No doubt, the film succeeds as a comedy, trading in running gags and clever parody sustained by the talents of Bullock and McCarthy. But is The Heat truly a feminist triumph? If so, what kind and at whose expense? Looking beyond the laughter, how does the film depict women’s ability to succeed in a male dominated profession? And does using this genre really “break the mold?”...read more
Note the first: Expect this review to include SPOILERS. Not that there’s a whole lot to it that isn’t fed to you by the trailer, but still. Stop reading now if you want to remain somewhat surprised.
Note the second: This movie is not high cinema. Don’t let Guillermo del Toro’s name on the onesheet fool you — you’re not going to leave the theatre saying, “I think the way the ferocious glowing aliens came through a rift in the ocean floor represents our own inner ambiguity about our place in a changing world.” You’re going to leave saying, “MONSTER ROBOT GRR KABOOM!” Because that’s what the movie is about....read more
Scalzi pretty much nails it on the [eta] freedom of speech aspects of the question of whether to boycott or not to boycott the upcoming movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic SF story Ender’s Game....read more
Guest Bloggers Paul and Renee: We blog and review at Fangs for the Fantasy. We’re great lovers of the genre and consume it in all its forms – but as marginalised people we also analyse critically through a social justice lens....read more
Have at it.
**UPDATE: Way to drill down way lower than people’s worst expectations of you, Seth McFarlane. Bleagh.**
**UPDATE: WTF? appalling Onion tweet re Quvenzhané Wallis.**...read more
Poor Richard Cohen. He watched Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, and it turns out that even though James Bond is middle-aged, he’s ripped and studly when he takes off his shirt. And that is not fair! Old men of yesteryear didn’t have to be in decent shape to score babes half their age; they just had to be smarmy jerks....read more
I just wanted to quickly mention the trailer for the new Judd Apatow movie, “This is 40.” Of course, we all know that Hollywood is guilty of all sorts of offenses all of the time, but it seems rare even today to find one that is quite so up front with its surface-level exclusion. The […]...read more
In 2004, I read this line: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” It so intrigued me that I decided to learn more about the woman who wrote it. Her name was Simone Weil and she was a French philosopher, activist, and mystic, from the 1930s. I was amazed by what I discovered....read more