In this short video produced by TIFF, Ava DuVernay discusses the importance of featuring diverse voices in front of and behind the camera. Not only is film forever, but film also informs so much of what we understand about the world. By restricting who gets to make movies, and who and what those films are about, we drastically limit the possibilities of the medium. When we see films about women, people of color, young people, old people, gay people, transgender people, disabled people, Muslims, Jews, indigenous people, immigrants – it’s essentially a reminder that those stories matter. You matter. Demand that Hollywood represent our richly diverse nation. Watch movies made by women and people of color. Seek out films from other countries. Share your love of these films. Do your part.
This week’s Suggested Reading comes from L.A. Weekly’s Jessica P. Ogilvie. In her article, How Hollywood Keeps Women Out, Ogilvie discusses Hollywood’s palpable gender bias and how it fits into an industry that is dominated by charitable liberals and Democrats. It’s an eye-opener for both men and women alike, and as a young woman hoping to find a career in the film industry, what I read put a lot of things into perspective. “The repercussions for women and girls across the world, who are seeing primarily the stories of men on-screen, are profound.” “If you don’t see yourself or people like you represented, what kind of an impression are you going to get?”
From Indiewire’s Shipra Harbola Gupta → Tribeca: Ava DuVernay’s 8 Tips to Filmmakers On How to Stay in Control. Ava DuVernay is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to listen to give advice on just about anything – but in particular, filmmaking and living a creative and fulfilling life. Her SXSW Keynote Speech was beautiful and truly informative, and her talk with Q-Tip at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was no different. It’s so refreshing to read about a woman who is a filmmaker, is making things she believes in, and is doing things her way. Shapira Harbola Gupta breaks down DuVernay’s talk with Q-Tip into 8 tips for filmmakers on staying in control of your work. Check it out here.
From SXSW: Check out Ava DuVernay’s incredibly insightful and inspirational speech in which she discusses the intention of your attention and giving yourself fully and wholly to any creative project you take on.
When I graduated in 2013 and started this blog, I began to watch films more critically and evaluate them with a strict sense of what a film is meant to do. Some films are meant to make us laugh – others make us think – most make us feel. But what I believe all films should do is reflect our world accurately. A futuristic sci-fi should not feature a cast of one race. Romantic comedies should not only be about women fighting for the love of a man. Period pieces should not soften facts to appease the masses. No matter how fantastical the story is, I believe the filmmaker – as a cultural influencer – has the duty of doing their best to accurately reflect our culture in some way or another. Most directly, this means making diverse casting choices and writing scripts to support these roles. According to the New York Film Academy, women make up only 30.8% of speaking roles in films to this day, which is absolutely not reflective of the world’s female population. This past year, …
I used to love award shows when I was admittedly somewhat more naive. As I’ve grown older, I’ve began to realize that they don’t always mean all that much, other than to those who win them. Spectacular films, television shows, writers, cinematographers, actors, directors, producers, and artists from all aspects of the creative process are ignored year after year. And sometimes (or rather, often) sub-par films make the cut. An Oscar-winning film or performance does not always stand the test of time. My first observation from last night’s Golden Globes was that the winners weren’t all entirely predictable, which was quite refreshing. There were also so many tremendous speeches (some of my favorites included Gina Rodriguez, Common, Jeffrey Tambor, and Maggie Gyllenhaal) and as usual, Amy and Tina were great (though, why didn’t we see more of them?!). But what stood out to me most was that the women of the ceremony were totally and completely riled up and ready to talk about women’s roles in Hollywood. Nearly every female winner of the night had something to say about …
I don’t want to review a film when I know I won’t do it justice. I particularly don’t want to review a film when I know I won’t do it justice and it’s about the most well known film critic in American history. So just heed my advice and go see Life Itself. Somehow, being the emotional individual that I am, I found myself teary eyed within the first 30 seconds. It’s truly a wonderful viewing experience. Go. If Life Itself isn’t playing at a theater near you, it’s now available on iTunes.