What Women-Led Movies Can Do for Hollywood

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In 2012, women made up a larger share of moviegoers than men, and yet there’s a general consensus in Hollywood that women-focused films—which attract women to movie theaters—are bad for business. In fact, the myth is so pervasive that former Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov once declared that his company would stop making films with […]

Why Couldn’t “Divergent” Give Peace a Chance?

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Divergent isn’t perfect. And I am not referring to the film’s dystopian world, wherein society has been split into six “factions”—the smart (erudite), the peaceful (amity), the truthful (candor), the selfless (abnegation), the brave (dauntless) and the outcasts (the factionless). I am referring to the fact that it does not, as with most mainstream dystopian […]

Anita: Still Speaking Truth to Power

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Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, a beautiful new documentary by Academy Award-winning director Freida Lee Mock (Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision), is a history lesson for some audiences and a site of memory for others. Millennial girls and women who didn’t witness firsthand the spectacle of sex and race during the 1991 Senate Judiciary […]

The Fantasy of Mammy, the Truth of Patsey

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It was not lost on some that, 75 years after Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, the beautiful, poised and talented Lupita Nyong’o would become the sixth black woman to win that same Oscar—and for playing the same type of role, a slave. If we count Halle […]

While Loving Lupita, Don’t Forget Gabourey

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Like most people who have souls, I teared up listening to Lupita Nyong’o’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress during Sunday night’s Oscar telecast. I admire Lupita not only for her obvious talent, but for her honesty and willingness to defend black beauty. Her inspirational speech on the intersection of race and beauty at Essence‘s […]

Celebrate Women’s History Month With #SheDocs

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To celebrate Women’s History Month, Women and Girls Lead and Eileen Fisher Inc. are launching #SheDocs, an online film festival that gives anyone with a computer the opportunity to watch inspiring, women-focused documentaries. Twelve acclaimed independent docs will be available for free during the month of March, one of the most prominent being director Pratibha […]

Is a Vote for Leo’s “Wolf” a Vote for Sexism?

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The campaign to assure Leonardo DiCaprio of his first Academy Award has filled many a full page in The New York Times and Variety. The ads laud his all-out portrayal of stock hustler Jordan Belfort, framing The Wolf of Wall Street as a modern financial morality tale and DiCaprio as its coked-up bard. But the […]

Is “The Wolf of Wall Street” Punk Rock? Hardly.

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It’s not that Martin Scorsese’s most recent opus, The Wolf of Wall Street needs yet another review or another debate on whether it’s misogynist. It’s the attempt by the film’s star, perennial Scorsese muse Leonardo DiCaprio, to qualify it and Scorsese as “punk rock” that drew our ire and forced our pens. Punk rock (or […]

Women’s Bodies in the Oscar-Nominated Films

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  Jake Flanagin at Pacific Standard and Victoria Dawson Hoff at Elle recently floated an interesting idea: The Oscars should be entirely segregated by gender. Their proposal would create categories such as Best Female Director and Best Female Writer in addition to the already segregated acting awards. Though this would lead to recognition of more […]

Remembering Wilma: The Cherokee Word For Water

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Wilma Mankiller, the first modern woman chief of the Cherokee Nation, died four years ago this spring, but thanks to a determined effort by her family, friends and the communities she spent her life advocating for, her legacy lives on in film. The Cherokee Word For Water, a docudrama directed by Wilma’s husband and longtime […]