To understand the current #MeToo/Time’s Up moment, we must reckon with a century of Hollywood’s mistreatment of women. With this first series installment, Kerry McElroy takes us back to the industry’s earliest decade in Los Angeles. This was a time of surprising feminine power. Cinema emerged alongside the New Woman, utopian promises of California, the stunt queen, and global female celebrity. It took time for capitalist forces to reassert a gendered order.
Kerry McElroy announces a timely and compelling series that will run bi-monthly this fall at The Independent. The series titled, “Bette, Marilyn, and #MeToo: What Studio-Era Actresses Can Teach Us About Economics and Resistance Post-Weinstein,” highlights Hollywood legends (including Olivia de Havilland, Louise Brooks, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor) who all carved out spaces of autonomy in a decidedly male-controlled film industry at the height of its exploitative powers. McElroy will reveal, through analysis that spans seven decades, what these actresses have to teach us in this contemporary moment of feminist reckoning.
In this installment of Women in Film Portraits, Lauren Sowa profiles Joanna Pickering, a New York based filmmaker and activist who has worked in television, film, stage, and radio. Joanna has made over 20 independent films and is currently co-starring in Pelleas. Joanna talks with Sowa about this project and about her many collaborations with inspiring creative women.
In this third installment of The Global Screen, Joe Cruz discusses diasporic and nationalistic contestations emerging in Puerto Rico’s guerrilla cinema. In a way, films belonging to this movement articulate a somewhat transgressive view of Puerto Rico’s national identity. Although the century-old colonial rule continues to draw criticism, no longer is the island territory’s rural past romanticized. Instead, new cinematic discourses concerned with exploring Puerto Ricans’ national identity through the lens of current en masse migration to North American metropolis seem to be taking shape.
In this installment of Women in Film Portraits, Lauren Sowa profiles Lauren Atkins, creator of the award-winning web series My Friends Think I am Funny. Atkins founded NYC Web Fest after recognizing there were several festivals showcasing digital series on the west coast but nothing in New York. After a successful launch in 2014, NYC Web Fest continues to gain in size and momentum, with guests flying in from around the world. Here Atkins talks with Sowa about her creative influences and her approach to challenges.
In this installment of Women in Film Portraits, Lauren Sowa profiles Alex Cirillo and Dani Faith Leonard, the producers and founders of Big Vision Empty Wallet. Cirillo and Leonard share their enthusiasm for producing and about interesting projects currently in the works. They also reflect on what it means to be female creative artists and entrepreneurs in the film industry at this time.
In this second installment of The Global Screen, Thomas Britt writes about the work of Jonas Cuarón. In some ways, Cuarón’s Desierto (2015) can be seen as a timely political film, involving border disputes, contested spaces, and dispossession. The film’s heroes and villain feel alienated from their right relationship to the land. In this article, Britt considers the influence of action and horror genres on the film, specifically the ways in which 1970s genre films and Australian “Outback horror” provide a comparable narrative framework that Cuarón deftly updates in his film about violence and lines in the sand.
In this installment of Women in Film Portraits, Lauren Sowa profiles Danielle Eliska Lyle, a writer, filmmaker, and photographer from Detroit. As a “black archivist,” Danielle’s life work is to tell stories (written, filmed, and photographed) of powerful women, the black diaspora, and the state of black culture. Danielle has gained notable screenwriting recognition and many awards. Her infectious spirit and passion for creative storytelling are palpable; read on!
In this installment of Women in Film Portraits, Lauren Sowa profiles Alicia Slimmer, Director of the Award-Winning narrative feature Creedmoria. Slimmer discusses the making of the film, its musical influences, and its festival run. In addition, Slimmer shares lessons learned in Directing Creedmoria and offers advice to women working in the film industry today. Creedmoria will be released May 18th on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.
In this first installment of The Global Screen essay series, Isaac Rooks writes about Shin Jeong-won’s gruesome farce, Chaw, which Rooks suggests offers more than the spectacle of a giant boar slaughtering drunken revelers at a karaoke celebration. In this essay, Rooks explores how Shin’s film utilizes practical and conceptual resources from around the world to address global audiences about common concerns.