All posts tagged: Representation

I’m Still Mad That “Good Girls Revolt” Was Cancelled

It’s been a little over a year since the premiere of Good Girl’s Revolt on Amazon, and a little over a year since its cancellation. The stellar series was created by Dana Calvo and is based on journalist Lynn Povich’s memoir of the same title. In her memoir, Povich details the discrimination lawsuit women at Newsweek launched against the publication in 1970. When I started Good Girls Revolt in November of 2016 (it premiered 10/28/16), Hillary Clinton had just lost the election. I was in absolute shock, punched in the gut by the reality that this country elected a racist idiot who jokes about sexual assault instead of a well qualified woman. I still have a difficult time facing the meaning behind her loss – and his win – and all that it says about this country and the people who inhabit it. At that time Good Girls Revolt offered a reprieve. It was a show created by women, for women, and I felt that energy in every ounce of its being. In early December of 2016, just a little over …

Gender & Representation

A couple of years ago I stumbled across Miss Representation on Netflix, and after reading the film’s description, I decided to give it a watch. The documentary, which examines how women are represented in the media, is a must see for all. I credit the film for solidifying my interest in studying how representation (or rather misrepresentation or lack there of) in media both reflects and shapes our society. I’d argue that media has the ability to inform and influence change more than anything in our culture. And because of the impact of images in film and television, media makers have a special responsibility to be conscious of their influence and power. Now on Netflix is a new documentary from The Representation Project, The Mask You Live In, which analyzes American masculinity and the mounting pressures of manhood. I had the chance to watch this documentary with my boyfriend, and afterwards, as we often do when we watch a film together, we debriefed. It was especially insightful to hear his stories of bullying, the pressure to “be a man”, and the complexity of male …

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  

DIVERSITY in the Words of Ava DuVernay

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.

Exploring Gender & Race On-Screen

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, …

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 …