JAN RANTS: Can anyone tell me who Clara Royer is & why her name might be important this year? Can anyone tell me who Rebecca Lenkiewicz is & why her name might have been important last year? Just a few months back, in February, the Polish film Ida received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language… Continue reading Who is Clara Royer?
Founder of The Bechdel Test Fest, Corrina Antrobus, was dismayed at the poor representation of women in film. In 2013, only 15% of the top 100 films released had a female protagonist. By June 2014, less than half of cinematic releases passed the Bechdel Test (a scene with two female characters talking about something other… Continue reading THE BECHDEL TEST FEST: 2015
A Message from Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner This morning, Amy Schumer received a coveted Emmy nomination in the highly competitive “Best Comedy Actress” category alongside some of the most beloved female stars–Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Edie Falco, Lisa Kudrow, Amy Poehler, and Lily Tomlin–on the current television scene. Her show–Inside Amy Schumer—also picked up six nominations for… Continue reading ‘Trainwreck’: Amy Schumer’s Summer
Peek Inside the June ’15 Issue of Glamour Magazine Page 36: Interview with actress Judy Greer “Why should a man make more than me?” Page 38: Sidebar “Pop Quiz = Who Earned More?” Page 130: Chat with filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom Page 160: Cover Story on Anna Kendrick Glamour: The discussion about gender bias in… Continue reading Hooray for GLAMOUR (6/15)
I saw four films in this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival…
To Alison Bechdel: “Your swagger and your bearing and the just right clothes you’re wearing… We know you!“ Today’s Aphorism is “Never make the perfect the enemy of the good.” Or in words attributed to Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” When I wrote my rant about the Fun Home… Continue reading Hooray for FUN HOME
SUNDAY 6/7/15 UPDATE: I was hoping for a miracle tonight. I was hoping that when the moment came to name 2015’s Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role in a Musical, the Tony Award would go to “Alison” and three names will be announced rather than one: Sydney Lucas as “Pennsylvania Alison” (~… Continue reading MEANT TO BE BROKEN
By Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky As Fifty Shades of Grey passes the $500,000 mark at the box office, audiences continue to flood the theaters despite the 25% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Why? For many, curiosity is key and the wonder of how such a steamy, erotic book could possibly be displayed on the… Continue reading ‘Fifty Shades’ Passes $500 Million Mark
Since moving to Brooklyn in late 2012, I have made a personal commitment to see EVERY film opening in NYC that was either written &/or directed by a woman filmmaker. In fact, the number is enormous either written &/or directed by a woman filmmaker is enormous (typically four or so every week, and one week… Continue reading Oscar 2015: Moving On…
“Today’s leading independent visionaries are tomorrow’s acknowledged auteurs; rather than merely waving at independent filmmakers en route to the shining studio cities, it would be worth calling attention to [women] artists of today who have made superb films and ought to be bumping up to the next level of financing and recognition… Genuine independence—of mind—is… Continue reading Bravo Richard Brody!
JLH Intro: Way back in August, I received an invitation from the North Shore (Long Island) Branch of AAUW. Would I be their January speaker? I said sure. They said the date was January 15th. I said fine. I put the date on my calendar and promptly forgot about it. Then, sometime in December, I… Continue reading 1/15: North Shore (LI) AAUW
“Women Hold Up Half the Sky,” but as Female Impact on Oscar Nominations falls ever lower, AMPAS–the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences–continues to mock us. Only one year in the 21st Century has had less Female Impact (2.5% in 2005), but even that all-time low was offset by the fact that Julie Delpy was… Continue reading 2015: Oscar So Blue
Best Feature Film of 2014: Selma Runner Up: Birdman Best Director of 2014: Ava DuVernay (Selma) Runner Up: Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman) Best Documentary of 2014: Gringo Trails Runner Up: Life Itself Best Foreign Language Film of 2014: Aftermath Runner Up: Winter Sleep Best Actress of 2014: Amy Adams (Big Eyes) Runner up: Angelina Jolie (Maleficent) Best… Continue reading 2014: Penny’s Top Picks
It started in the NYWIFT Q&A I attended on December 14th… One of the members of the audience stood up and told screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski that they had been unfair to Walter: “You did hours of interviews with Margaret, but you didn’t have an opportunity to interview Walter. Don’t you think you have… Continue reading BIG EYES: The Pushback
Superlative film captures the essence of the three marches lead by Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama which lead to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. (JLH: 4.5/5) Directed by Ava DuVernay based on an original screenplay by Paul Webb. Click HERE for our FF2 Haiku. Highly Recommended by both me &… Continue reading SELMA
Wonderful film. Terrible title. Dakota Fanning does a brilliant job of bringing the main character – a teenage girl named Lilly – to vivid life on screen. (JLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner (with two cents from both Associate Editor Brigid Presecky & Contributing Editor Jessica Perry added at the very… Continue reading VERY GOOD GIRLS
In her new doc Half the Road: The Passion, Pitfalls & Power of Women’s Professional Cycling, athlete, journalist & filmmaker Kathryn Bertine creates a great chart (“Pentagram of Blame”) which helps explain the complex set of interactions that continue to hold women back in almost every field of endeavor. Since Bertine’s focus is on Professional Cycling, sponsorship is… Continue reading Purse Power: Colavita
So now it’s official: Yet again, I am singing the Oscar Blues 🙁 Folks, the impact of women filmmakers on the 2014 Oscars is at its lowest level in five years. Let’s start with the numbers: This year, 2014, no women directors were nominated for Best Director, no films directed by a woman filmmaker were… Continue reading Oscar Blues (2014)
As we await this year’s Oscar nominations, I want to remind you all how high the stakes are. In a few minutes, we may well see THE LOWEST percentage of women affecting the top categories in this century to date. Here is my award-winning chart of “Oscar Impacts” thru 2013. As far as I can… Continue reading Anticipated Blues
Kudos to Jane Campion–newly announced President of the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival Jury!!! Jane Campion is the only female director who has ever won the prestigious Palme d’Or (which she received for The Piano). She now becomes the first female filmmaker to head the Cannes Jury. Prior female Jury presidents–Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise… Continue reading Counting Matters: Cannes 2014
This time last year I was on a high. I had just posted a review of Zero Dark Thirty in which I predicted two record-book accomplishments. First I said that Katherine Bigelow would receive her second “Best Director” nomination from AMPAS (“given how many critics groups have already anointed her”). Second, I said that Zero… Continue reading 2013: The Year of “A” Ratings
Congratulations to the ten women filmmakers nominated today for Independent Spirit Awards for the work they did in 2013: Julie Delpy: Best Screenplay Before Midnight Nicole Holofcener: Best Screenplay Enough Said Stacie Passon: Best First Feature Concussion Lucy Mulloy: Best First Feature Una Noche Haifaa Al Mansour: Best First Feature Wadjda Lake Bell: Best First… Continue reading Spirit Noms 2014
About The Hunger Games: Catching Fire… Technically, given the rules of this site, I don’t have to say anything about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire… Why? Because it was directed by Francis Lawrence (a man) & the screenplay was written by two men. But since Katniss Everdine has become a role model for so many young women,… Continue reading Oh, Jennifer 🙁
Sweden set off a firestorm today by announcing the introduction of a new rating system to combat gender bias: “To get an A rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel Test, which means it must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.” This… Continue reading Swedish Brouhaha
Monday AM I was on my way to a screening when I saw something that made me freeze in my tracks: a huge billboard announcing that Obamacare was “Hazardous to Your Health.” Not your pocketbook (as some might claim) or your politics (as many do claim) but YOUR HEALTH (which no one that I know… Continue reading 42nd Street Today
5/15/13 UPDATE: Yesterday Angelina Jolie published an amazing OpEd in the New York Times describing her decision to have a double mastectomy. In my mind this was a brave & inspiring act (comparable to Betty Ford’s actions on behalf of breast cancer and addiction awareness in the past). So I have frankly been shocked by the negative… Continue reading Angelina Jolie? Hooray!
The saddest thing about last week’s Quvenzhané Wallis Brouhaha (beyond The Onion’s stupid stupid use of C-Word) was how few people seem to realize–even a full week later— that Nazie (that’s her nickname) was referencing her own scene when the camera turned to her in the build-up to the announcement of the Best Actress Oscar. In fact,… Continue reading She the Man!
Boycott Oscar? Take These Three Positive Steps Instead! Friday, Soraya Chemaly posted a passionate cri de coeur urging us to boycott tonight’s Oscar broadcast. Soraya, I feel your pain! Furthermore the situation is even worse than you have described it. Not only was the only female contender with buzz swiftboated (making this the 81st year… Continue reading Boycott Oscar?