All posts tagged: Hollywood

This Week’s Essential Reads on Hollywood’s Diversity Issue

I’ve come across quite a few articles this week that I think are essential reads on the current state of diversity in Hollywood, and I decided that they’re important enough to share with y’all. What’s made in Hollywood is disseminated across the globe, and whether we like it or not, these images permeate our conscious and have a lasting effect on our lives. Because of the impact that these images have on our identities and how we identify others, I think it’s imperative that we examine what’s happening in Hollywood. So pour yourself a drink, get comfortable, and start reading! What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*if you’re not a straight white man) What Does the Academy Value in a Black Performance? Hollywood is Suffering from an “Inclusion Crisis,” Diversity Study Says  

AFI FEST ’15: A Week of Films, Filmmakers, and Fun

This year marks my first time attending AFI Fest, and my experience was truly one to remember. Festival passes start at $375, but my class schedule only allowed for me to attend a few screenings, so I took advantage of the fest’s free tickets (yes, free!). This year I attended the premiere of By the Sea, with an introduction by Angelina Jolie-Pitt, Mustang with both an introduction and Q & A with the film’s director, Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and ensemble cast, and Youth, followed by a conversation with Michael Caine and director Paolo Sorrentino. I had plans to see The Lobster, which looks bizarrely entertaining, but unfortunately had to miss it due to schedule conflicts. After as much fun as I had this year, I plan on attending AFI Fest for as long as I’m living in Los Angeles – it’s a festival that all film lovers should experience at least once! What I found so refreshing about AFI Fest can be summed up in their mission statement: AFI Fest is “American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers. ” In her introduction of Mustang, festival director …

Yes, I Want to Share Another LA Video

This may be the fourth or fifth time I’ve shared a similar video – one that features swooping images of Los Angeles’ beautiful skyline and an impressive array of street art – but I must share this one, because it’s just that good. Simply titled Los Angeles, Ian Wood’s newest video comes as a city-wide follow-up to his previous downtown exploration. As someone who fell in love with Los Angeles and decided to make the move here recently, I’m struck by how much of this city I have left to explore. As evidenced by the range of stunning shots that are stitched together perfectly, this sprawling metropolis is wildly diverse in so many ways. From culture, to architecture and nature, Los Angeles seems to have something for everyone. The experience of watching Los Angeles is so much fun that I find myself enthusiastically bouncing around to the music with every new viewing. Each shot is a sight to behold, and the soundtrack exquisitely compliments the varied imagery. So watch the video and let me know what you think! And if you’re interested, check out this map that highlights all of the shooting locations.

A Response to Michael Eisner’s Comment That Beautiful, Funny Women Are Hard to Come By

Earlier this week, during a conversation with Goldie Hawn at the Aspen Ideas Festival, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner shared a bit of his insight into Hollywood, stating: “From my position, the hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman, by far. They usually—boy am I going to get in trouble, I know this goes online—but usually, unbelievably beautiful women, you being an exception, are not funny.” First off, Eisner is absolutely, positively, dead wrong. Not only is Hollywood full of beautiful, funny, smart, and talented women, but it seems that beauty is a fundamental requirement for any woman working in Hollywood today. So in saying that it’s difficult to find a beautiful, funny woman, Eisner is essentially saying that it’s tough to find a funny woman. And once again, he’s wrong, wrong, wrong. Eisner’s statement frustrates me on so many levels, but what I’m most upset about is the fact that men of power (and might I say, often unattractive men) find it within their authority to express their opinions about the faces and bodies of other women. And what’s equally as troubling is the fact …

Suggested Reading: ‘How Hollywood Keeps Women Out’

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?”

10 Facts About Francis Ford Coppola on His Birthday

1. Francis Ford Coppola was born in Detroit, Michigan on April 7th, 1939, but grew up in a New York suburb. 2. When he was young he caught polio, so during his quarantine he practiced puppetry and spent time watching movies. 3. He graduated with a drama degree from Hofstra University and went on to receive an MFA in Film Production from UCLA in 1967. 4. He is considered a part of the New Hollywood wave (or American New Wave) of filmmaking, which includes other masterful directors such as Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Mike Nichols, Hal Ashby, Roman Polanski, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas, among others. 5. His family is full of accomplished filmmakers and actors including, but not limited to, Sofia Coppola, Nicolas Cage, Jason Schwartzman, and Gia Coppola. 6. He owns a successful winery – the Francis Ford Coppola – of which I can personally vouch for. 7. Supposedly George Lucas based the Star Wars trilogy character Hans Solo on Coppola. 8. He is credited for directing 12 different actors in Oscar nominated performances, …

My Thoughts on This Year’s Golden Globe Awards

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 …

Joan Rivers: Words of Wit and Wisdom

“I enjoy life when things are happening. I don’t care if it’s good things or bad things. That means you’re alive. Things are happening.” “I think anyone who’s perfectly happy isn’t particularly funny.” “The first time I see a jogger smile, I’ll consider it.” “Don’t follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise.” “It’s feast or famine in showbiz.” “Thank God we’re living in a country where the sky’s the limit, the stores are open late and you can shop in bed thanks to television.” “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.” “People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money you can have a key made.” “Life is very tough. If you don’t laugh, it’s tough.” (source: BrainyQuote.com)

The Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test (also known as the Bechdel-Wallace test) was created by Allison Bechdel and Liz Wallace as a way to evaluate the presence of women in Hollywood films, and is featured in Bechdel’s 1985 comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. The test has three requirements for a film to pass: (1) It has to have at least two named women in it (2) who talk to each other (3) about something besides a man. At first that sounds pretty simple; the act of two women talking to each other about something other than a man certainly reflects reality. But the truth is, substantially more films fail the Bechdel test than pass it – and that needs to change. Now, I’m not saying you should avoid films that don’t pass the Bechdel test. Very few Oscar nominated films did, including my favorite of the year, 12 Years a Slave (which  is disputed whether or not it passes). But it is important for movie goers (and creators) to be aware that many films that strive to be genuine and real …

Women in Film: Costume Designer Colleen Atwood

Colleen Atwood has had a long and exciting career as a costume designer for some of Hollywood’s most beloved films (including, the actual film Beloved). With three Oscar wins and ten nominations, Atwood has established herself as one of the most acclaimed designers in the history of the craft. “Costumes are the first impression that you have of the character before they open their mouth-it really does establish who they are.” “As a designer, you have to solve a lot of problems. Even though people are wearing clothes that are supposed to look beautiful, they’ll have to do all kinds of things.” Fun Facts: Colleen Atwood was born in Yakima, Washington in 1948. She studied art at Cornish College of Arts and New York University. Her first movie gig was as a production assistant on the film Ragtime. Her career breakthrough occurred when she met  Tim Burton. She has been involved with over 50 films to date. She was the lead costume designer for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey between 2005 & 2006. She has designed …