Russell Crowe pretty much just inserted his own foot into his privileged male mouth. It’s hardly news that actresses face sexism, ageism, and other sorts of unpleasant -isms in Hollywood, but the actor thinks their complaints about ageism specifically are “bulls---”—which is both a willfully ignorant and completely sexist opinion. Hey, Mr. Crowe, ageism in Hollywood, much like dry land in ‘Waterworld,’ is not a myth.
Yesterday, Warner Bros. released its official upcoming release schedule, including -- surprise! -- a 'Wonder Woman' movie scheduled for 2017, putting them ahead of Marvel, who still haven't announced their own solo female superhero film. And while we know the origin of Wonder Woman in 'Batman v Superman' will be the less compelling New 52 version from the comics, there's still hope that WB can make a really interesting and fantastic 'Wonder Woman' film by doing the right thing: hiring women to make this movie.
This week, Jennifer Lawrence finally broke her silence regarding the massive hack that resulted in her nude photos (as well as those of several other female celebrities) being released onto the internet, aptly describing the incident as a "sex crime." Meanwhile, Reddit users are actually suggesting that Lawrence and other victims of the hacking attack unite to contribute to a fund to develop powerful encryption software. Why is it that, when women are put under attack, the onus is on us to clean up the mess?
Gillian Flynn's 'Gone Girl' was a divisive novel upon release in 2012, analyzed and picked apart, often scrutinized and questioned for its depiction of central character Amy Dunne -- was she a "strong female character" or a strong enough female character, and just what the hell does that phrase even mean anymore? It's almost derogatory now. There was perhaps no one better to adapt Flynn's pulpy work than David Fincher, whose film version hits theaters this week and faithfully adapts Flynn's story, serving as an indictment of media vultures and the toxicity of marriage. But it goes one (and even more) further than that, hitting on something imperative to Flynn's novel: how we want to perceive Amy, and how we feel about her as a character when that perception is challenged.
The Fantastic Fest film festival in Austin provides us with tons of genre films every year, and as such, we’re often treated to some grim and violent narratives -- narratives which can typically include violence perpetrated against women and can sometimes skew a bit on the masculine side of things. But this year’s festival was wonderfully diverse and filled with some incredibly fierce female-oriented features, ranging from smart and terrifying horror to darkly comedic and biting family dramas, and a seriously brilliant satire on gender politics.
One of the biggest issues in the news this week has been the ongoing rampant misogyny and outright terrorism in gamer culture, specifically the attacks on Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn and feminist media commentator Anita Sarkeesian -- both of whom have suffered exceedingly personal attacks and threats on their lives (including the horrible one in the graphic above, which was sent to Sarkeesian via Twitter). The former for merely talking sexual agency as an independent, adult woman, and the latter for criticizing the industry's treatment of women in its games. What do these issues have to do with the rest of geek culture? Well .... everything. Misogyny in gamer culture is a symptom of a larger, systemic issue. And something needs to be done about it. Now.
It was recently announced that Jenna-Louise Coleman is leaving 'Doctor Who' later this year, following the annual Christmas Special. At that point, she'll have played the role of Clara Oswald (in some iteration) for 25 episodes, making her one of the longest-running companions of the eponymous Doctor. This position has traditionally been filled by a younger white woman, though the Doctor has occasionally taken on a male companion, but while the modern version of the series has seen some diversity, Clara's exit provides an opportunity for showrunner Steven Moffatt to once again pair the Doctor with a companion who subverts expectations.
With a female-led 'Ghostbusters' reboot in the works and the recent announcement that Marvel has turned Thor into a woman, it seems that taking male characters and gender-swapping them could become the latest trend. While it's great to show audiences that it shouldn't matter if their heroes are male or female, it would also be great to see more women taking the lead in their own franchises or original properties. But maybe gender-swapping is the gateway drug; maybe this is the way to train audiences to accept women in leading cinematic roles.
When you head to the theater to see 'Guardians of the Galaxy' this weekend, you'll undoubtedly walk out with a favorite character: the surprisingly lovable Groot, the foul-mouthed Rocket Raccoon, the charismatic Star-Lord, the tough but hilarious Drax -- or maybe you'll fall in love with Zoe Saldana's green-skinned, badass Gamora. With all that screen time shared between so many heroes (and villains, and peripheral characters), it'll leave you wanting to see more of Gamora and her talents. Not that that's a bad thing.
In the last year, Scarlett Johansson has voiced a sentient operating system in Spike Jonze's 'Her' and played an alien striving to understand humanity in Jonathan Glazer's jarring 'Under the Skin.' This week, she tackles a different kind of sci-fi with 'Lucy,' a film that carries some of the same thematic DNA as her previous roles, though it isn't quite as intellectual -- nor is it as brainy as its titular character. But thanks to Johansson, the film prevails, giving us a wild and delightfully weird entry in the Scarlett Johansson Sci-Fi Collection.