16 items from 2017
10th Anniversary of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Comes with Latino & Hispanic Cinema Film Festival, September 16Ficg in L.A. is not the only Latino Film Festival in Los Angeles, a city populated almost 50% by Latinos. NewFilmmakers Los Angeles and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences spotlight emerging global filmmakers at the Annual Latino & Hispanic Cinema Film Festival honoring Hispanic Heritage Month this September.
Celebrating 10 Years, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles continues to champion and promote the works of global emerging filmmakers. With the goal of showcasing, supporting and connecting emerging filmmakers, Nfmla has rapidly expanded to become much more than a monthly film festival for shorts.
As a monthly event, founder Larry Laboe and Susie Kim consistently support emerging filmmakers in much the same way as NewFilmmakers New York does on a weekly basis. In New York, NewFilmmakers New York is a part of the Anthology Film Archives founded in 1998 by Jonas Mekas. »
- Sydney Levine
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The retrospective Early Hitchcock is showing August 11 - September 12, 2017 in the United States.ChampagneAround the time of his dazzling expressionistic breakthrough The Lodger (1927), and Blackmail (1929), his innovative foray into sound—and England’s first talkie—Alfred Hitchcock was testing the narrative waters of his potential filmic output. It was a terrifically productive period for the promising London-born auteur, with nearly 20 features in ten years, and looking back at these early works, the tendency is often to pinpoint instances of his trademark aesthetic to come (easy to do with something like The Lodger; less so with something like The Ring, also 1927). However, when sampling these titles, and keeping in mind the most popular Hitchcockian characteristics had yet to be regularly implemented, new and uncommon propensities emerge. Such is the case with a trilogy of films to be shown as part »
Two vibrant cities that love making movies, Berlin and Los Angeles will celebrate their 50th anniversary as sister cities by screening the highly anticipated Tom Tykwer series Babylon Berlin (Isa: Beta) in Downtown Los Angeles on October 6th at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. The two cities have a number of other exciting events planned for the anniversary as well.
The City of Berlin and the City of Los Angeles, two of the most exciting places in the world, connected through their inspiring and trend setting art scene, their social freedom, openness and their integration of different cultures and religions will join each other to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their Sister Partnership with events throughout September and October in Los Angeles, culminating with the International Premiere of Babylon Berlin.
- Sydney Levine
Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride film series comes to a close this evening and tomorrow morning, Thursday–Friday, June 29–30, with the presentation of seven movies, hosted by TV interviewer Dave Karger and author William J. Mann, whose books include Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines and Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969. Among tonight's movies' Lgbt connections: Edward Albee, Tony Richardson, Evelyn Waugh, Tab Hunter, John Gielgud, Roddy McDowall, Linda Hunt, Harvey Fierstein, Rudolf Nureyev, Christopher Isherwood, Joel Grey, and Tommy Kirk. Update: Coincidentally, TCM's final 2017 Gay Pride celebration turned out to be held the evening before a couple of international events – and one non-event – demonstrated that despite noticeable progress in the last three decades, gay rights, even in the so-called “West,” still have a long way to go. In Texas, the state's – all-Republican – Supreme Court decided that married gays should be treated as separate and unequal. In »
- Andre Soares
Top Canadian actors to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday!Top Canadian actors to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday!Zachary Dent6/29/2017 2:29:00 Pm
This Canada Day our fine country turns 150 years old! A lot has happened in 150 years, including the rise to stardom of scores of talented Canadian actors and actresses.
In fact, some might say that movie-making is in our DNA. Mary Pickford, an ambitious young woman from Toronto, is largely considered to be the first-ever global movie star. She may have earned a name for herself while in Hollywood, but she got her start right here at home. Countless Canadian actors have followed in her footsteps, representing Canadian talent on the world’s biggest stage. Comedy, drama, romance, you name it – Canadian actors have done it all.
Check out our list of our favourite Canadian actors below!
- Zachary Dent
'The Doll' with Ossi Oswalda and Hermann Thimig: Early Ernst Lubitsch satirical fantasy starring 'the German Mary Pickford' has similar premise to that of the 1925 Buster Keaton comedy 'Seven Chances.' 'The Doll': San Francisco Silent Film Festival presented fast-paced Ernst Lubitsch comedy starring the German Mary Pickford – Ossi Oswalda Directed by Ernst Lubitsch (So This Is Paris, The Wedding March), the 2017 San Francisco Silent Film Festival presentation The Doll / Die Puppe (1919) has one of the most amusing mise-en-scènes ever recorded. The set is created by cut-out figures that gradually come to life; then even more cleverly, they commence the fast-paced action. It all begins when a shy, confirmed bachelor, Lancelot (Hermann Thimig), is ordered by his rich uncle (Max Kronert), the Baron von Chanterelle, to marry for a large sum of money. As to be expected, mayhem ensues. Lancelot is forced to flee from the hordes of eligible maidens, eventually »
- Danny Fortune
Comedy actress Alice Howell on the cover of film historian Anthony Slide's latest book: Pioneering funky-haired performer 'could have been Chaplin' – or at the very least another Louise Fazenda. Rediscovering comedy actress Alice Howell: Female performer in movie field dominated by men Early comedy actress Alice Howell is an obscure entity even for silent film aficionados. With luck, only a handful of them will be able to name one of her more than 100 movies, mostly shorts – among them Sin on the Sabbath, A Busted Honeymoon, How Stars Are Made – released between 1914 and 1920. Yet Alice Howell holds (what should be) an important – or at the very least an interesting – place in film history. After all, she was one of the American cinema's relatively few pioneering “funny actresses,” along with the likes of the better-known Flora Finch, Louise Fazenda, and, a top star in her day, Mabel Normand. Also of note, »
- Andre Soares
Editor’s Note: This article is presented in partnership with FilmStruck. Developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion Collection. FilmStruck features the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films as well as extensive bonus content, filmmaker interviews and rare footage. Learn more here. Agnes Varda
At age 88, the indomitable and highly influential Varda shows zero sign of slowing down when it comes to churning out art told through continually experimental means (she’s also remained committed to supporting her work in person, recently popping up at both the French Institute Alliance Française for a career-spanning chat and this year’s Rendezvous With French Cinema series with a brand new exhibit; we should all be so lucky to be as vital and involved when we’re half Varda’s age). Varda’s contributions to cinema and feminism have been »
- Kate Erbland
During its opening weekend, the anticipated yet controversial film “Ghost in the Shell” took home a measly $19 million at the domestic box office. Both domestically and abroad, it’s expected to lose over $60 million total, and that’s got to hurt.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the whitewashing controversy that has followed the film since its casting choices were first announced. Perhaps, by now, you’ve even heard of its bizarre narrative ending that, as The New York Times puts it, “isn’t just appropriation, but obliteration.” That said, we imagine you, too, may have the same question that family and friends have constantly asked us: Why does Hollywood continue to miscast race — and what makes studios think they can successfully get away with it?
The “easy” answer is that, historically, they always have — we don’t need to tell you about Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” or Katharine Hepburn in the Oscar-nominated “Dragon Seed.” What’s more difficult is understanding when (and why) yellow face and whitewashing became synonymous with, as Paramount domestic distribution chief Kyle Davies less-than-tactfully just put it, finding a balance between “honoring source material and [making] a movie for a mass audience.” And, just like all matters in Hollywood, this becomes even more complicated when one considers where female stars, female autonomy, and racial tropes specifically fit into this conversation.
Yellow Face: Romance, Desire, and Fear
Though the western image of the Asian woman on the screen may have shifted across spectrums of time, its historical construction has assured its perpetual relationship with the notion of yellow peril. In her book “Romance and the ‘Yellow Peril,’” Gina Marchetti historically traces yellow peril as a 19th-century European concept that, according to Marchetti, “combines racist terror of alien cultures, sexual anxieties, and the belief that the West will be overpowered and enveloped by the irresistible, dark, occult forces of the East.”
In early Hollywood, this was best represented by cinematic romances between the “moral white man” and the “eroticized native woman.” The only way to “properly” reconstruct taboo interracial romances on the screen was through — you’ve guessed it — yellow face. With a little makeup and prosthetics, Caucasian actresses could transform into Asian characters who, more often then not, embodied the supposed seductiveness of the East.
Ironically, Paramount Pictures adopted this tactic as early as 1915 by casting Mary Pickford in “Madame Butterfly.” Pickford’s Japanese character falls in love with a westernized man, and their “racially forbidden” love ends in tragedy. The application of yellow face acts as a reassurance to western ideals: Though, narratively, The Butterfly may obtain the affections of the westernized man, the audience needs not distance itself from this taboo. In reality, it is a love between a Caucasian man and a Caucasian woman, rather than a “true” mixing of the West with the “alien cultures” of the East.
Yellow face is also arguably responsible for the now-infamous Hollywood image of the erotic Asian woman. Amidst an Asian persona, actresses were able to embrace and reveal a sexual identity that would otherwise be deemed immoral. In a way, some saw this as a rare career opportunity to show something different — and doesn’t that remind you of Johansson’s contemporary comments regarding her own casting?
Before she was the beloved Mrs. Charles of “The Thin Man” series, Myrna Loy embraced this “opportunity” throughout many of her silent films, including “The Crimson City” (in which she was chosen over Anna May Wong), “Thirteen Women,” and “The Mask of Fu Manchu.” Opposite a yellow faced Boris Karloff in “The Mask of Fu Manchu,” Loy plays a “half-naked nymphomaniacal sadist who reaches orgasmic heights when torturing white males.” Thus, in Loy’s case, an “Asian mask” is used to explore both racial stereotypes and female sexual desire — but at a distance guaranteed and controlled by whiteness itself.
The 1940s was also full of “rare opportunity” — not for artistry, but rather for country. William Wyler’s “The Letter” stands as one of the first filmic examples of “reaffirmed” yellow peril that persisted throughout World War II. This is seen through deliberate ramifications related to both the script and whitewashed casting — interestingly enough, in the 1929 original, the lead Asian protagonist is actually played by an Asian actress.
Gale Sondergaard’s role as a sinister wife (to Bette Davis’ “other woman”) is far from Pickford’s Butterfly or the overly sexualized Loy — she is truly a figure to be feared and despised, as opposed to conquered or desired. Sondergaard’s character is described as an “oriental villainous snake” deliberately juxtaposed against Davis’ “westernized and pure” feminine woman. Not only is the trope of the “bad Asian” employed and intensified, but the choice to hire a Caucasian actress is directly tied to the the anti-Asian sentiment of the Second World War. Sadly, this 1940s need for audience “familiarity and comfort” speaks volumes to where we still are today.
It’s 2017… We’re Still Talking About This?
For better or worse, this early industrial history offers a brief glimpse of understanding into this, frankly, screwed up Hollywood mentality.
Just last year, the Media, Diversity, and Social Change (Mdsc) Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that “at least half or more of all cinematic, television, or streaming stories fail to portray one speaking or named Asian or Asian American on screen.” Over 17 million people in the United States identify as Asian or Asian American. That’s over five percent of the country’s population!
The idea that actually casting Asian characters in Asian roles would repel a mass audience is a dated, Euro-centric cop-out. Newsflash: we don’t always need a Swinton or Stone.
As for Johansson, The Mary Sue said it best: “she’s one of those few female stars who can open a film, make a huge paycheck, and has a certain level of decision-making power.” Now, let us start by saying that, obviously, we at Women and Hollywood love nothing more than watching other women succeed.
That said, like her predecessors before her, the color of Johansson’s skin grants her a level of star power and opportunity that few others could access or afford. The mere fact that she even can consider her “Ghost in the Shell” character “identity-less” speaks to her racial privilege. Her comments related to this film have consistently (and frustratingly) proven that this history—that whitewashing enables actresses to safely explore personas or opportunities they wouldn’t seek otherwise — is very much ingrained into the media’s industrial mindset.
If producers and studio executives refuse to evolve their ways, then it is up to those of us who have power (like Johansson) to fight for greater intersectionality. Women must lift other women up, and white actresses, in particular, must learn to see past personal opportunity and instead acknowledge that some “unique experiences” simply do not belong to them.
“Ghost in the Shell” and a Brief Herstory of Whitewashing was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Kelsey Moore
Debbie Reynolds spent decades saving, preserving and — after repeated attempts to memorialize them in a museum failed — auctioning her incredible collection of old Hollywood memorabilia. Now, her son Todd Fisher is picking up the mantle after her death.
On Wednesday, Fisher teamed up with TCM for a private preview of select costumes from Reynolds’ iconic films. The exhibit goes on display to festival pass-holders during the TCM Classic Film Festival, running April 6-9. The preview includes some of what remains of the actress’s unparalleled private collection.
The Singin’ in the Rain star’s passion for preserving Hollywood memorabilia goes back to the ’60s, »
- Mike Miller and Scott Huver
“Carrie Pilby”: Tiff
Susan Johnson is an Independent Spirit Award winning filmmaker. “Carrie Pilby” marks her feature directorial debut. After a successful career as a music video director, Johnson has produced 10 independent features including Sundance and Cannes’ favorite “Mean Creek.” She earned an Mfa in Directing at the American Film Institute on a full scholarship. Johnson is a member of the DGA, PGA, and Film Independent.
“Carrie Pilby” opens in NY, La, D.C. and Chicago March 31. You can catch it on VOD April 4.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words:
W&H: What drew you to this story?
Sj: I love that Carrie is a strong, intelligent, and funny young woman, but completely flawed like the rest of us. Just when she thinks she has it all sorted, reality slaps her in the face.
I can definitely relate to many of Carrie’s views about society and the world, having struggled with some of the same issues she’s dealing with throughout my life, including her quest to be happy.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
Sj: If we can send people home feeling ever so slightly less judgmental about the people they encounter daily, in person or online, we will have made a successful film. The phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” applies to everything and everyone. Nothing is black and white, and everybody is struggling with something. Be kind and take the time to get to know the world around you — and the world far away, for that matter.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
Sj: Funding. It’s always the hardest part of filmmaking. We wanted to make an independent film look big and polished for a fraction of the budget with which my producers were used to working.
Plus, our story is centered on a female protagonist, written by a woman, produced by extremely successful female producers, and helmed by a first-time female feature director making the transition from producing. Getting people to pay attention to us was much harder than it should have been — but don’t get me started about gender equality.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
Sj: Initially we did a Kickstarter campaign to raise development money and general awareness for the film. After the campaign, we had a handful of angel investors who enabled us to complete the additional elements needed to help us pitch the project, like casting, a b-roll shoot in NYC, a look-book, a website, etc.
With a great script and a strong cast in place, we found ourselves in the rare position of being able to choose from multiple financing sources.
W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?
Sj: The best advice I ever received came from an ex-boyfriend, who is a successful musician but significantly older than me. In a conversation about being an artist, he said, “If you can possibly do anything else, anything at all, do it — because the creative road is going to be long and bumpy and winding, with sharp cliffs and steep mountains. And if you can’t do anything else because your soul won’t let you, you know you are in the right place.”
The worst advice I ever got was from a fellow director, who had been a mentor, actually. When we found ourselves in competition for the same script to direct, he took me aside to advise me that I wasn’t really cut out to be a director, and that I should definitely keep producing. Yep.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
Sj: Wear blinders. Don’t be myopic. Have a thick skin but don’t lose your sensitivity along the way. And remember, always, that film is a business: be smart and worth the investment.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
Sj: I’ve been inspired by so many female filmmakers, but “An Angel at My Table” by Jane Campion has stayed with me for years. I find her work to be confident, poetic, accessible, inspiring, and unique.
W&H: Have you seen opportunities for women filmmakers increase over the last year due to the increased attention paid to the issue? If someone asked you what you thought needed to be done to get women more opportunities to direct, what would be your answer?
Sj: I’m thrilled that the chatter has certainly increased in the past year, but this isn’t a new subject, or a new fight. Mary Pickford was a principal partner in creating one of the first motion picture studios and yet, here we are.
I liken this discussion to the current U.S. presidential election — women haven’t even had the vote for 100 years in this country, and the hope is that once we break the gender barrier in the oval office, women around the world will start to be seen in a different light. That said, clearly the answer in the entertainment industry isn’t “more women in positions of power” because women are running some of the largest entertainment companies in the world.
Look, it’s hard to complain about equality in film when women around the world are truly suffering just to stay alive. We live in a crazy world. Inequality sucks. But lets make it about the craft of storytelling. I have zero interest in solely making female empowerment movies. I want to tell stories — about men, about women, about politics, about science, comedies, dramas, and yes, they will all be told from a female perspective, my perspective, and that’s what we need more of — female perspective.
If female storytellers were given equal opportunities, including the opportunity to solely entertain — for example, make blockbusters and franchise films and superhero movies if we should so choose — the world would be a significantly better place. Right now we’re not really even in the game.
Success begets opportunity. Women aren’t going to be allowed to make as many mistakes as men, ever, but each successful female-helmed project opens the door just a little wider for the rest of us.
Susan Johnson Talks “Carrie Pilby” and Finding Funding for the Female-Led Film was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Ron Meyer, vice chairman at NBCUniversal and the former president and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency, is slated to deliver the keynote address at the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ 2017 commencement ceremony.
In delivering the commencement address, Meyer will join the ranks of an impressive register of distinguished industry forces — including Paul Feig, Sumner Redstone, and Jeffrey Katzenberg — who have delivered speeches at the internationally renowned media arts school in years past.
Additionally, producers Jennifer Todd (“Live by Night”) and Suzanne Todd (“Bad Moms”), both alums of the School of Cinematic Arts, will each receive the Mary Pickford Alumni Award during this year’s ceremony. Past recipients of the awards include Kevin Feige, William Fraker, Brian Grazer, Shonda Rhimes, Stacey Sher, and most recently, Susan Downey.
- Emily Mae Czachor
23 March 2017 12:09 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Ron Meyer, NBCUniversal vice chairman, will deliver the USC School of Cinematic Arts 2017 commencement address at the graduation ceremony to be held May 12 at the Shrine Auditorium, it was announced today by Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
In making the announcement, Daley said, “We couldn’t be more pleased that Ron Meyer, one of the most visionary and respected studio executives in Hollywood history, will address our graduating class this year. That he is »
- Gregg Kilday
16 February 2017 7:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
By 1914, D.W. Griffith's studio for two years had been buying scripts from a mysterious writer known as "A. Loos." Griffith already had turned one, The New York Hat, into a hit starring Lionel Barrymore and Mary Pickford. Now he was poised to meet this person he would come to see as one of his closest collaborators and dub "the most brilliant young woman in the world." He could not have been more stunned when Anita Loos — elfin at 4-foot-11 and 90 pounds, with a penchant for pigtails and sailor suits — materialized before him.
Yet this curious pixie, »
- Lesley M.M. Blume
Swampland race relations in 'Chloe, Love Is Calling You': Desired by two handsome white men, is Olive Borden black or white? Swampland race relations: Bizarre 'Chloe Love Is Calling You' mixes reactionary ideas & voodoo Whenever I watch a film such as the swampland-set 1934 thriller Chloe, Love Is Calling You (a.k.a. Chloe), I like to think about the reactions of the theater audience when it was first shown. Since Marshall Neilan's movie covers subjects such as race, miscegenation, voodoo, murder, and mayhem, I can imagine some volatile reactions. But then again, this little-known thriller of the occult genre has been rarely seen, even in the post-home video days. The first thing about it that got my attention was the listing of Neilan as Director and Olive Borden as Star. During the silent era, Neilan's name had been long associated with Mary Pickford's most famous vehicles, among them »
- Danny Fortune
This month, Cinelinx is taking you on a trip back through time. Join us as we examine how movies have changed over the last 100 years. To begin, we are going all the way back to 1917.
1917 was a year of tension and conflict. Europe was war-torn, having been engaged in World War I for 3 years with no hope for peace on the horizon. Several acts by Germany including resuming submarine warfare and the Zimmerman Telegram would cause the United States to reluctantly enter the war and bolster the Allied forces. On the homefront, numerous scientific advances around the turn of the century were proliferating their way through society to modernize cities and improve industrial efficiencies. However, the transition to having more machines and electricity in the workplace was not a smooth one. Industrial accidents were common, working conditions were terrifying, and child labor was the norm. Thus, free time was not »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
16 items from 2017
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