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Film Independent Spirit Awards Moves Ceremony

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The Film Independent Spirit Awards just announced that their awards show would be breaking the current award show trend of pushing back the ceremony date by pushing the date of the Spirit Awards up two days to April 22, 2021. The ceremony will be broadcast live on IFC at 10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT. Nominees… Read more »

Photo for Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps

One Giant Leap for Mankind

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For the last 13 years, Scott Turner Schofield has been touring his live one-man show entitled Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps. The performance is structured around 127 stories Schofield has as part of his routine, but the order to which the stories are told is entirely up to the audience. As they shout… Read more »

Producer Ed Polgary standing in silhouette on the set of The Wretched

Leave Your Hat On: An Interview with Producer Ed Polgardy

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“What exactly does a producer do?” People outside the movie industry always want to know. So The Independent’s Rebecca Reynolds finds out from one the most prolific producers she knows: Ed Polgardy, the quintessential indie producer who has independently financed large and small films outside the studio system in a plethora of genres, all while wearing his signature black hat.

“There Were No Laws Against It Then”

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As the world opened up to women’s liberation, civil rights, and new social movements, Hollywood of the 1960s doubled down on the exploitative practices that had made the industry so harmful to women. In this sixth series installment, Kerry McElroy argues that the sexual revolution stirring the larger culture, epitomized in the rise of Hugh Hefner, fanned the flames of an already misogynist, violent industry culture.  As seen through the lives of Tippi Hedren and Marilyn Monroe, this article shows that the commodification of women only increased, even as the old studio system was dying. Few stars experienced the exception; read on about a compelling example: Elizabeth Taylor.

“Scores of ‘Starlets’ Like Me… Fifty Bucks a Week’’

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In the 1940s, two female intellectuals, coming from very different positions, began to theorize gender and economy in studio Hollywood. In this fourth series installment, Kerry McElroy delves into the changing and ironic state of affairs for actresses in the 1940s— unexpected autonomy and worsening exploitation. Food restriction, forced cosmetic surgery, suspensions, and poverty were largely the order of the tyrannical day. McElroy also looks at the last living Golden-Age star, Olivia de Havilland, and her landmark 1943 court case on contracts and suspensions.

 “This Is the Action of a Very Naughty Young Lady”

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The 1930’s saw the studio system in peak Fordist condition, especially in terms of its financial and bodily control over women. “Glamour” was the disciplinary strategy of the day, and the most famous women stars of the twentieth century learned to negotiate it in new ways. In this third series installment, Kerry McElroy looks at race, queerness, and economic disadvantage in Depression-era Hollywood. Women like Mae West created new channels of power, attaining international stardom and unfathomable wealth in the process. Bette Davis, on the other hand, brought forth a watershed court case for actors’ rights, and demonstrated just how much the industry feared political agitation and class consciousness.

“The Profession is Crowded Now”

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After a halcyon decade of growth and promise for women in Hollywood, patriarchal, hyper-capitalism closed like a vise around the industry. With this second series installment, Kerry McElroy explores Los Angeles in the 1920s. Women migrating west in large numbers represented an exciting cultural phenomenon but also a social problem that needed to be regulated. Just as the “casting couch” was becoming an entrenched industrial practice, a notorious rape trial shocked the industry and re-victimized women. In the midst of these grim developments, a few actresses did manage to become global, superstars, amassing real wealth.