Archive for category Film
“Only 2% of philanthropy goes toward environmentalism.”
– Leo DiCaprio on Ellen DeGeneres Show January 7, 2013
“I remember doing interviews, and people would ask, as if it was a joke, ‘So you mean you are a feminist?’ As though feminism couldn’t be discussed unless we were making fun of it. I don’t want to deny my femininity,” she said at the time.
“I think it’s great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had [about feminism], as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, ‘Oh, f***ing shut up.’ Somehow, it became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it’s great that we’re coming out of that.”
Harper’s Bazaar UK, February 2014 issue
written by: Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach
directed by: Noah Baumbach
starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
–a dazzler about creativity, dreams and reality.
Ginger & Rosa
written and directed by: Sally Potter
starring: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Annette Bening, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendrick
–stunning film about being a teenager during the Cuban Missile Crisis in England. it’s about friendships, parents and finding one’s place in the world.
The Place Beyond the Pines
written by: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio
directed by: Derek Cianfrance
starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes
–this film made me cry. fathers and sons. heartbreaking.
written by: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
directed by: Richard Linklater
starring: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
–Celine and Jesse return nine years later, this time they’re vacationing in Greece and question their relationship. superb dialogue and chemistry.
12 Years a Slave
written by: John Ridley
directed by: Steve McQueen
starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard
–important story about one man’s experience as a free black man sold into slavery in the South. it’s heart-wrenching and powerful.
All is Lost
written and directed by: J.C. Chandor
starring: Robert Redford
–whether you like sailing or not this is an intense film and Robert Redford’s amazing.
written and directed by: Nicole Holofcener
starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener
–sweet, smart, honest. a delight.
Dallas Buyers Club
written by: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
–based on a remarkable true story, this should get your fired about against the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA as well as angered over the thousands who died unnecessarily in the 80s from HIV/AIDs.
written and directed by: Ryan Coogler
starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Octavia Spencer
–another film based on a true story shows active racism among law enforcement and its devastating impact on a young man’s life and that of those who love him.
written and directed by: Joe Swanberg
starring: Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston
–men and women CAN be friends. brilliant script.
written by: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling
directed by: Zal Batmanglij
starring: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson
–truly creepy and mesmerizing film about a cultish, violent activist group and the FBI agent who infiltrates it.
written and directed by: Harmony Korine
starring: James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson
–excess. mayhem. heart-pounding.
August: Osage County
written by: Tracy Letts
directed by: John Wells
starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Julianne Nicholson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Abigail Breslin
–amazing cast, brilliant script. poignant, dark, literary.
What Maisie Knew
written by: Nancy Doyne, Carroll Cartwright
directed by: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
starring: Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgård, Steve Coogan, Onata Aprile
–best film about divorce since Kramer vs. Kramer.
The Bling Ring
written by: Sofia Coppola, Nancy Jo Sales
directed by: Sofia Coppola
starring: Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga
–love the visuals and flash. Sofia Coppola’s one of my favorite filmmakers. She’s got such an interesting eye.
Inside Llewyn Davis
written and directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, Justin Timberlake
–melancholy and lovely.
Much Ado About Nothing
written and directed by: Joss Whedon
starring: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Ashley Johnson
–one of the best modern Shakespeare adaptations ever.
Girl Most Likely
written by: Michelle Morgan
directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
starring: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon
–sharp and funny. Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening both brilliant.
written and directed by: Woody Allen
starring: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Sally Hawkins
In a World
written and directed by: Lake Bell
starring: Lake Bell, Jeff Garlin, Demetri Martin, Alexandra Holden, Rob Corddry
–explores women voice-over artists. strong and charming.
–Helena Bonham Carter is in talks to join Carey Mulligan and Anne-Marie Duff in Suffragette — a film about the nineteenth and early twentieth century women’s right to vote movement. The period piece will be directed by Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and written by The Iron Lady scribe Abi Morgan.
–Jessica Lange has signed on to play Mark Wahlberg’s put-upon mother in The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 film.
–Rashida Jones and her writing and producing partner, Will McCormack, just sold a “midnight-dark workplace dramedy-noir about a nail salon in Florida and the strange, dangerous women who work there” to HBO. Claws is the third show the pair behind Celeste and Jesse Forever have sold this year.
The Punk Singer
directed by: Sini Anderson
stars: Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon, Adam Horowitz
directed by: Michael Apted
Stories We Tell
directed by: Sarah Polley
directed by: Shane Salerno
Central Park Five
directed by: Ken Burns
Venus and Serena
directed by: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major
The Punk Singer contains so many inspiring and kick-ass moments. In this documentary film about feminist/musician/Riot grrrl/ activist Kathleen Hanna, I realized how much I want to be her friend. I’m an avid feminist and honestly don’t have many feminist friends. It’s disheartening. Hanna’s the epitome of an unapologetic GenXer feminist. The next time someone questions my feminism I’m going to remind myself “What would Kathleen Hanna Do?” She explains at the end of the film is that if someone doesn’t understand or like feminism then they just need to get out of the way. She also laments that men tell the truth and it’s accepted and rarely questioned. Women tell the truth and it’s dissected, examined and rarely accepted for the truth. Women must prove themselves again and again. Women constantly fight the system in whatever industry.
So when a young Kathleen Hanna asserted a media black-out for Bikini Kill in the 90s due to negative press and backlash it was the only way she could control her truth at that time. As women why can’t we be beautiful feminists who dress in skirts and wear make-up? There are no rules that say we can’t. We have brains and boobs and vaginas and voices and we won’t be silenced. But people who don’t want to hear us will twist everything.
Hanna originally started doing spoken word performances but someone suggested she form a band because people actually go see bands. And music what a perfect medium. It resonates in so many ways for so many people. We feel the rhythm. We analyze the lyrics. We watch the band members when we see them perform. Music can change our mood or reinforce our current state of mind. Music can make us feel less alone. Music is power. Hanna crafts her songs to push and pull us in various directions. Kathleen Hanna the musician brilliantly encapsulates so many layers to her music and performances– visual, sonic, cerebral, visceral.
The film chronicles Hanna’s journey from Olympia, Wash. college student—she was friends with Kurt Cobain and inspired him to write “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – to her new music project The Julie Ruin. When as a college student and photography major she started a feminist art collective and later the punk band Bikini Kill. It was a seminal band for the 90s and the third wave feminist movement. Hanna sang about serious topics—sexual abuse, rape, sexism, body image. Mosh pits and crowd surfing were the rage at the time and girls were getting hurt in the rough punk most-male crowds at other shows. At a Bikini Kill show, Hanna had a new decree: girls at the front; boys in the back.
Bikini Kill moved to Washington, D.C. and toured throughout the world although never making much money. Hanna and some friends created zines and developed the Riot grrrl concept—the ability for women to speak out about what was important for them, to be themselves. After eight years, Bikini Kill breaks up and soon after Hanna forms a trio called Le Tigre—more electro-pop with thoughtful lyrics. Very cool music. She had to end things with Le Tigre when she became sick with Lyme disease. She’s currently married to Adam Horowitz of Beastie Boys–of whom she says “can’t believe this feminist was with the guy who wrote that ‘Girls who do the dishes, who do the laundry song’ in the ‘80s but you fall in love with who you fall in love with.”
Using concert footage, archival footage, testimonial from former band-mates as well as friends such as Kim Gordon and Tamara Davis as well as husband Adam Horowitz, The Punk Singer is one of the best biographical documentaries I’ve ever seen and a must-see for all feminists, all women, anyone with empathy. It’s empowering, riveting and bold. More people need to learn about Kathleen Hanna.
The Punk Singer
Directed by: Sini Anderson
Running time: 80 minutes
–PETA has launched a limited-edition sheet of U.S. postage PhotoStampsTM featuring famous vegetarians throughout history.
Stella McCartney: “[Vegetarianism is] a philosophy of how you conduct your life and time on the planet. … One of the things I was taught growing up was, ‘Do unto others as you would have done to yourself.’”
Sarah Silverman: “When I was 9 or 10 years old, my dad took me over to a neighboring farm to help get stuff for the meal. The farmer, Vic, told me to look at all the turkeys and pick one out. I saw a cute one with a silly walk and cried, ‘Him!’ Before my pointing finger had even dropped to my side, Vic had grabbed the turkey by the neck and slit [the animal's] throat. Blood and feathers went flying. I had sentenced that turkey to death! Up until then, I didn’t know where meat came from—and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since.”
Bob Barker: “The answer to enjoying life is nutrition. I recommend that you become a vegetarian and exercise if you want to enjoy the golden years. … I became a vegetarian about 25 years ago, and I did it out of concern for animals. But I immediately began having more energy and feeling better.”
Edie Falco: “Once you’ve seen [the undercover factory-farming footage], you can’t pretend you didn’t. It’s over. The stamp is in my brain, and the idea that we commit such atrocities against animals—it will be our fatal flaw as humans, I think, to not bring the situation to light and stop it.”
Natalie Portman: “Eating for me is how you proclaim your beliefs three times a day. That is why all religions have rules about eating. Three times a day, I remind myself that I value life and do not want to cause pain to or kill other living beings. That is why I eat the way I do.”
Sir Paul McCartney: “If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty.”
Morrissey: “I think animals look to humans for protection, and of course humans lead them into slaughterhouses, which to me is just like an image of leading children into a slaughterhouse. There’s no difference.” Morrissey’s stringent views on vegetarianism inspired his album with The Smiths’ titled Meat is Murder.
“Most men I know are attracted to anyone. I could be at a party and say to my boyfriend, ‘You’re the only person here, thank goodness, I’m really attracted to.’ And I know there’s 20 women in that room he’d be happy to have sex with.”
–Guardian interview, October 19, 2013
the Jewish thing
She gets offered a lot of Jewish roles even though Scarlett Johansson’s also Jewish: “every Jewish role comes to me. I look more Jewish than Scarlett [Johansson].”
“I don’t like confrontation, but I’m probably less afraid of it now. I wouldn’t say I’m confrontational. But I say my opinion. I realize how much my non-confrontation was about trying to have everyone like me.”
Natalie stars in the upcoming Thor sequel
She has great parents.
“They made me feel that they would drop anything at any time to help me. I never felt like there was anything more important than me. Which I know can probably create an assh*le, too. It gives you a deep sense of security and safety to feel that your parents will love you no matter what.”
“I’m perhaps alone amongst my colleagues because I like talking about women’s issues in film, and feminism. I think a lot of women don’t like to do that. It’s usually, “Can we please turn the conversation back to my work?” For me, it’s an important part of who I am. I feel like so much of the reaction to my work and to me is connected to the fact that I’m a woman, so I can’t avoid that conversation. A part of my career is that I am a woman and I’ve committed myself to writing roles for women. I cannot separate myself from that and say, “Oh, can we please just talk about my work?” That is my work.”
–Film School Rejects, October 19, 2013