January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008

Is There Any Such Thing as the Thinking Woman's Chick Flick?
An article in today's Times of London talks about a new romantic comedy Definitely, Maybe, which is being released next week, that according to writer Wendy Ide "pushes all the right romantic buttons but is smart, well-observed and immensely satisfying. It's that rarest of things - a film about affairs of the heart that doesn't require you to check your brain in at the door. It's a film that we can take our husbands and boyfriends to without embarrassment or having to resort to bribery."

We all know that women like romantic comedies and men don't. That is one of the premises that fuels Hollywood. A script with words in it = women's film; a film with action or sci-fi and limited words = men's films. So as I'm reading this piece I can't help but think that we are now moving back into a climate like the late 80s (remember the films of John Cusack and Kevin Costner at that time) where the romantic comedies (before the term chick flicks was coined) will again be starring men. Definitely, Maybe might be romantic comedy but it looks to me that its Ryan Reynolds story that he is the star and the women (Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher and Rachel Weisz) are the supporting characters.

Does that bother anyone else aside from me?

Here's one good quote from the piece that is spot on: "What's particularly galling is that it's only when the film is targeted at the female audience that it loses its wits so dramatically."
Definitely, Maybe (Times of London)

Thelma Adams Asks "What's Wrong With This Picture?"
Us magazine film critic circulated an email about an all male critics panel that was held at this year's Sundance film festival.

Sorry, but the above picture says it all. Every year when I host a panel about amazing women in film at the Woodstock Film Festival, we discuss male critics being the final gatekeepers for women's features entering the marketplace. As someone who has attended Sundance since 1986, and a working critic since 1989, who knows and enjoys the company of Mark, Owen and Eugene, and proudly saw the female-led Frozen River win the Grand Jury Award for Dramatic Feature, I've got to ask you with both respect and passion: how does this all-male image of a Sundance critics' panel strike you?

NY Times Magazine's Problem With Women Authors
Galley Cat is reporting that the Times magazine has not run a profile of a female author since 2005. Pathetic.
Resolving That Women Authors in the Times Magazine Question

What Women Want
Theatre critic Alexis Greene has written a new piece for American Theatre Magazine
Here are some excerpts. Contact Alexis at: xalexisg@nyc.rr.com for a copy.
Google “women theater companies” these days, or go to the website of the Fund for Women Artists, and you find the names of numerous non-for-profit groups across the country dedicated to women making theater, or to stories dramatized from women’s perspectives. Some, like Venus Theatre in Washington, D.C., or Voice & Vision, New Georges, and Hourglass Group in New York, began life during the 1990s. But many others have emerged since 2000: 3Graces Theater Company, viBe Theater Experience, and Flying Fig Theater Company in New York; The 20% Theatre Company in the Twin Cities (so-called for alarming statistics about the underrepresentation of women in the professional American theatre); Rosalind Productions in Los Angeles; and The Women’s Theatre Project in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.—to cite only a handful….
Indeed, Martha Richards, founder and executive director of the Fund for Women Artists (which is coordinating an international event called SWAN Day—Support Women Artists Now Day—on March 29) reports that the Fund “is getting responses from all over the world,” suggesting that “there are more women making art than we realize.” But, as she has discovered running the Fund, the thousands of women making art in the United States usually cannot raise the money to do the projects they envision or, in most cases, simply exist on what they do raise….
But the presence of these groups also testifies to a situation that has changed only modestly since the 1970s: In the professional American theater, the numbers of produced plays written by women do not equal the numbers of produced plays written by men--and the numbers of directors, producers and designers who are women do not match the numbers of men who perform those same artistic activities. The last account of any standing--Report on the Status of Women: A Limited Engagement? (edited by Suzanne Bennett and Susan Jonas and released by the New York State Council on the Arts in 2002) stated that, of the plays slated to be produced by more than 400 TCG theatres during the 2001-2002 season, 17 percent were written by women and 16 percent were scheduled to be staged by women.
Translation: If the status quo is not providing women with the artistic opportunities they need, or telling the stories that women want to tell, then women might as well start their own theatres…..
Read my earlier piece on the lack of women's voices in theatre:
Women's Voices Missing from the Theatre—Does Anyone Care?