January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008

The Dilemma
Tomorrow, I will have my very interesting interview with Callie Khouri, writer of Thelma and Louise and director of Mad Money arriving in theaters Friday. Also arriving on Friday 27 Dresses starring Katherine Heigl directed by Anne Fletcher. I've seen both movies and they are very different and both deserve a chance to play.

But, I'm worried.

We get so few films starring women that two on one weekend might make it hard for both of them to be a success. Women really, really need to see something this weekend (preferably on Friday night) Can we do it? Can we show that we support movies with female leads?

Washington Post Writer Needs to Put His Tongue Back in His Mouth
All the press about 27 Dresses and Katherine Heigl has been about how she has the "it" quality to be our next female movie star. Lots of pressure. WP writer William Booth writes an article that is so blatantly sexist, if I was Heigl I'd be nervous that we would stalk me. Totally condescending piece.

Choice quotes:

She enters the room in a knit that fits, the kind of dress with a place for everything. Lipstick the color of a valentine. The doors to the balcony are thrown open and she exhales, "Great, I can smoke," and pulls one from the pack and you think, carbon monoxide might not be so bad.
Yuck. Where are his editors? He even manages to put down all women actresses in Hollywood
Hollywood is still searching for someone to call America's sweetheart, a fresh peach to replace the beloved but semi-retired Julia Roberts, the cold and calculating Reese Witherspoon, someone like Jennifer Aniston or Cameron Diaz, but shiny and new -- and not ground down to a nub by time and the tabloids.
Heigl still manages to be in some of her now common quotes about how women are treated in Hollywood.
Most of my friends are funny, witty, intelligent and beautiful women, so it's not that unusual, a pretty girl being funny, is it? But for some reason in this town, they really like to compartmentalize, so you're either the character actor who is funny or you're the pretty girl in the movie."
And honesty about 27 Dresses
"But it's a romantic comedy. It's a real chick flick. It's the kind of movie I love and try to go see every chance I can get. But you know," she says, and you've got to like this part, "there's not a ton of profoundness about it."
A Puff of Fresh Air (WP)

Eleanor Ringel on Women and Oscar
Over at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Eleanor Ringel takes a look at the types of roles for women that win Oscars. Have we progressed or regressed since the days of Katherine Hepburn?

Want to win an Oscar? If you’re an actress, you’ve got a better chance on your back than behind a desk. When it comes to the Academy Awards, working girls have it all over working women.

Consider this: in almost 80 years of handing out those coveted little golden men, only a handful have gone to so-called career women: Mercedes McCambridge as a political campaign manager in “All the King’s Men;” Olivia De Havilland’s cosmetics queen in “To Each His Own;” Celeste Holm as a fashion magazine editor in “Gentleman’s Agreement;” Joan Crawford’s restaurateur in “Mildred Pierce;” Glenda Jackson as a fashion designer in “A Touch of Class;” and, of course, the mother of all business women ball-busters, Faye Dunaway’s ruthless TV executive in “Network.”

By contrast, almost twice as many Oscars have gone to hookers (even more, if you count variations such as promiscuous wives and bad-girl socialites). In fact, the very first Oscar went to Janet Gaynor for her street urchin/streetwalker in “Seventh Heaven“ (full disclosure: she actually won for three films, as was the custom initially, the others being “Sunrise” and “Street Angel”).

Moms, wives and girlfriends of every shape, size and temperament naturally dominate the list. After all, movies rarely shape society; they reflect it. As two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster once said in an interview with Time Magazine, “Women’s roles are rarely written as human beings. Instead, they’re written as plot adjuncts: sister of, daughter of.”
Eleanor Ringel on Women and Oscar (Alliance of Women Film Journalists)

Diablo Cody on Looking Good While Being Strong
I really hope that Diablo got a good deal on Juno cause its raking in the bucks and she should definitely get some of it. It's the biggest grosser in Fox Searchlight's history and on its way to $100, which we all know is the holy grail in Hollywood and no movies about women make that much. (Recently you get the Devil Wear Prada and...)

Cody just filed her second EW column and it's really a breathe of fresh air to have a smart biting female voice on the back page that lately seems to has become a column for Stephen King.
...as a writer, I hope to craft female characters who are tough, gutsy, and cocksure. Women with brio and spunk. In other words, women who probably wouldn't care if their column illustration resembled Victorian corpse portraiture. And yet, some of the strongest ladies in the pop-cult canon have endeared themselves to us because of their vulnerability and, yes, even their vanity.

In fact, there are plenty of killer onscreen heroines who weren't too cool to care about their hair, complexion, or wardrobe. I mean, why not reapply the ol' lip gloss before busting that villain or solving that theorem? Since when is a dab of beeswax a concession to the patriarchy?
When was the last time the rod patriarchy was in Entertainment Weekly? Read her list here: Diablo Cody on Heroine Chic (EW)

Film on Aung San Suu Kyi in Development
Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore will make his English language film debut on this $30 million financed by US based Crystal Sky Pictures. Japanese producer Naofumi Okamoto secured the rights from Kyi.

He asked Tornatore to direct because of the Italian helmer's empathy with female characters. Okamoto said, "We want to use the politics as the background to a story about a woman who chose to be the mother to a nation rather than the mother of a family."

What? This is the perfect movie for a woman to direct. How about asking a woman director, maybe even a woman who is a mother? These guys who don't speak English keep getting these opportunities to direct films while women keep getting shut out.
Tornatore Courts a Nobel Lady (Variety)