10 items from 2017
Why isn’t Evan Rachel Wood a major movie star? I mean a star on the level of Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, Angelina Jolie? In “A Worthy Companion,” she’s got a bloom on her — clear eyes, ravishing grin, two-tone hair swept back and parted in the middle, a look that’s pristine in its punk elegance. (She suggests a more open, less halting Kristen Stewart.) Yet she gives a performance of such accomplished anguish that it seems dragged out of the lower depths.
Wood plays Laura, who works for her father’s company doing house-cleaning in an unnamed city that’s cozy, tree-lined, and overcast; it looks like it could be Portland or the Toronto suburbs. When Laura has to, she presents a face to the world that’s calm and sweet and happy, but inside she’s a wreck, a broken howl of rage from her childhood. What makes Wood a star is the way »
- Owen Gleiberman
Palme Thursday is A.A. Dowd’s monthly examination of a winner of the Palme D’Or, determining how well the film has held up and whether it deserved the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Son’s Room (2001)
I like to imagine that someone fought passionately for Shrek. It’s an idea that amuses me to no end, thinking about the discussions that went into selecting the best film of Cannes 2001, to deciding upon the eventual recipient of the coveted Palme D’Or. I picture the jury holed up in a windowless room: sleeves rolled to the elbows, ashtrays full of butts, crumbs from baguettes scattered across the table. Julia Ormond yawns—it’s been a long night. Terry Gilliam paces nervously. Liv Ullmann, the famous Norwegian muse of Ingmar Bergman and head of the jury, attempts to keep the peace. There are partisans »
- A.A. Dowd
(See previous post: Fourth of July Movies: Escapism During a Weird Year.) On the evening of the Fourth of July, besides fireworks, fire hazards, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, if you're watching TCM in the U.S. and Canada, there's the following: Peter H. Hunt's 1776 (1972), a largely forgotten film musical based on the Broadway hit with music by Sherman Edwards. William Daniels, who was recently on TCM talking about 1776 and a couple of other movies (A Thousand Clowns, Dodsworth), has one of the key roles as John Adams. Howard Da Silva, blacklisted for over a decade after being named a communist during the House Un-American Committee hearings of the early 1950s (Robert Taylor was one who mentioned him in his testimony), plays Benjamin Franklin. Ken Howard is Thomas Jefferson, a role he would reprise in John Huston's 1976 short Independence. (In the short, Pat Hingle was cast as John Adams; Eli Wallach was Benjamin Franklin.) Warner »
- Andre Soares
Fourth of July movies: A few recommended titles that should help you temporarily escape current global madness Two thousand and seventeen has been a weirder-than-usual year on the already pretty weird Planet Earth. Unsurprisingly, this Fourth of July, the day the United States celebrates its Declaration of Independence from the British Empire, has been an unusual one as well. Instead of fireworks, (at least some) people's attention has been turned to missiles – more specifically, a carefully timed North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile test indicating that Kim Jong-un could theoretically gain (or could already have?) the capacity to strike North America with nuclear weapons. Then there were right-wing trolls & history-deficient Twitter users berating National Public Radio for tweeting the Declaration of Independence, 140 characters at a time. Besides, a few days ago the current U.S. president retweeted a video of himself body-slamming and choking a representation of CNN – courtesy of a gif originally created by a far-right Internet »
- Andre Soares
The following has been reposted from The Interval with the author’s permission.
When I set out to write a piece on “The Little Foxes,” I headed right to the Drama Book Shop in New York City, to browse and research all things Lillian Hellman. Shockingly, there were no biographies of her in stock or on order. She was not even included in the Drama Book Shop’s most basic book series outlining the lives of accomplished American playwrights. I perused Barnes and Noble and independent bookstores with large theatre sections, but all to no avail. The most recent Hellman biography (less than five years old and provocatively titled “A Difficult Woman”) was even hard to obtain on Amazon; I had to purchase it through a third party seller. Not only are Hellman biographies in short supply, so too are Hellman revivals. Her plays have only been brought back to Broadway six times total, as opposed to the 25 Broadway revivals for Arthur Miller, or the 31 Broadway revivals for Tennessee Williams. To this day, she has never won a Best Play or Best Revival of a Play Tony Award. The sixth and current Hellman revival is of her most acclaimed play, “The Little Foxes,” which is about the unconventional Southern matriarch Regina Giddens, who manipulates her brothers’ moneymaking scheme with grit, ambition, and business acumen.
Of course, Hellman was a fairly unconventional woman herself. Born into a Southern Jewish family, Hellman was, as a woman and a Jew, automatically placed in the periphery of society, twice over. Nevertheless, she grew up to become a popular playwright, spinning successful stories depicting strong women. Independent and outspoken, at the time of her first Broadway hit she was a divorcée engaged in a fairly public love affair with a married man. Hellman was even blacklisted in the McCarthy Era for refusing to cooperate with the Huac [House Un-American Activities Committee], instead famously claiming, “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” But these things were part of her notoriety and celebrity appeal, not the cause of her downfall. Despite her apparently unladylike lifestyle, Hellman was adored throughout the middle of the 20th Century. Her reputation only became irreversibly tarnished in the 1970s, when a fellow female writer accused her of plagiarism. By the time of her death in 1984, this once celebrated woman had fallen into a state of semi-obscurity in comparison to her contemporaries.
A recent New York Times article by Jason Zinoman (in response to an article by Washington Post critic Peter Marks) questioned whether Hellman actually belonged in “the same elite club of 20th-century masters” as Miller and Williams. Zinoman concluded that Manhattan Theatre Club’s current revival of “Foxes” would be an opportunity for the piece to prove itself. (He neglected to mention that this Mtc production is the only revival of a play on Broadway this season that was written by a woman. Furthermore, it is the first time a woman has produced this play on Broadway; a woman has still never directed it.) It is absurd to think that nearly 80 years after “Foxes” debuted, the play is still fighting to prove its worth. For the record, reviews of the Mtc revival from The Washington Post, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter described “Foxes” as “worthy of exalted rank in the American canon,” “astonishingly well-constructed,” and “too seldom revived on Broadway,” respectively. Even The New York Times review — albeit not by Zinoman — conceded that “Foxes” certainly “comes pretty close” to deserving “a place in the first rank of American theater.”
Curious to know how earlier productions of “Foxes” had been received by theatrical critics, I downloaded some reviews from The New York Times archives. Three Broadway revivals ago, a 1981 article by Frank Rich described Regina, the tour-de-force protagonist of “Foxes,” as a “malignant southern bitch-goddess.” The same paper that refused to print the full title of the play “The Motherfucker with the Hat” in 2011 had no problem printing the word “bitch” 30 years earlier. These days, the word “bitch” is used fairly casually (and it is certainly not likely to be considered as potentially offensive as “motherfucker”), but it is still a derogative, gendered word for which there is no male equivalent. “Motherfucker” might well be the next closest thing.
A 2014 article by Justin Peters on the Times’ “profanity policy” quoted Standards Editor Philip B. Corbett, who explained that Times writers “are prepared to make exceptions if the use of a vulgarity is newsworthy or essential to the story, or if avoiding it would deprive readers of crucial information.” The position of standards editor had not yet been created at the Times when Frank Rich published his 1981 review, but the profanity policy was based on rules from the paper’s style guide at the time. Was it “essential” to refer to Regina as a “bitch”? Would readers have been “deprived crucial information” if another word had been used instead? Not likely, considering that Brooks Atkinson managed to review the original production for the Times back in 1939 without resorting to profanity (although the character of Regina was described there as “heartless,” “ambitious,” “avaricious,” “malevolent,” “calculating,” “hateful,” “rapacious,” “cunning,” and “odious.” Synonyms for bitch, perhaps?).
Just as there is no male equivalent for “bitch,” there seems to have historically been no real equivalent critical response to similarly strong, complex female characters in plays by the men who made up Zinoman’s “elite club of 20th-century masters.” In the Times’ 1945 review of the original “Glass Menagerie,” critic Lewis Nichols is almost an apologist for Amanda, to whom he frequently refers not by name but as “The Mother.” He sympathetically describes her as “a blowsy, impoverished woman living on memories,” and “trying to do the best she can for her children.” Brooks Atkinson’s Times review of the original 1947 “A Streetcar Named Desire” is similarly apologetic. He glosses over the darker sides of Blanche’s personality, tactfully considering her to be “one of the dispossessed whose experience has unfitted her for reality.” Both Amanda and Blanche, creations of the male imagination, are given far more credit and understanding than Regina. Granted, these women do not appear to be quite as greedy as Regina; Amanda wants security for herself, through her children, while Blanche wants to return to her glorified past. But it’s worth keeping in mind that Regina wants to make money in order to go to Chicago, where she envisions leading a freer, more cosmopolitan life.
Perhaps a more fitting comparison would be to “The Crucible,” which features the selfish, destructive Abigail (though even she can be viewed empathetically if one believes that she acted out of desperate love for John Proctor). However, there is barely any mention of the character Abigail — and none at all by name — in the original 1953 New York Times review of “The Crucible,” written, once again, by Brooks Atkinson. The actress who played her is only briefly referenced, as “the malicious town hussy,” one in a long list of supporting performers. In contrast, Ben Brantley observed how the “frustrated lust in [Abigail’s] condemnation of her fellow townspeople [turned] self-serving duplicity into self-deluding mania,” and devoted multiple paragraphs to that character in his review of the 2002 Broadway revival.
“Malicious” and “hussy” are certainly words that fit right in with the sexist criticism of Regina Giddens, but they are a far cry from the litany of negative barbs ascribed by Brooks Atkinson to Regina. It’s as though it were easier in this case for Atkinson to take the strong, rebellious woman out of the equation, erasing the love triangle at the play’s core. Isn’t that “depriving readers of crucial information,” more so than profanity? Ought we give Atkinson credit for not altogether excluding Regina from his “Foxes” review, or should we criticize his seemingly limited ability to recognize when unladylike women are central to the plot of a play (and only when the playwright is female too)? Either way, the bar seems pretty low.
It was only when I left off scouring mid-20th century theatrical reviews of plays by men and went further back in time, to Scandinavia in the late 19th century, that I discovered a true equivalent to the critical response to Regina. The playwright was Henrik Ibsen and the central character in question was Nora Helmer (ironically, there is a new sequel to “A Doll’s House” on Broadway this season; it was far better received by critics than was the original source material). When “A Doll’s House” first premiered in Denmark in December of 1879, critics attacked Nora’s moral character. As archived and translated by the National Library of Norway, the Danish newspaper Illustreret Tidende wrote that “her faults were many; she was used to making herself guilty of many small untruths, she taught the children falsehood, she was imprudent and wasteful; her ideal nature she kept hidden, almost willfully.” Such intense scrutiny of a woman’s behavior feels more suited to the muckraking journalists of the early 20th Century, or of 21st century Republican political ads targeting opponents, than theatrical criticism.
In contrast, a century later, “A Dolls House” had become an established classic and Liv Ullmann was described as giving “a rich, many-layered performance that has about it the quality of a moral force,” in Clive Barnes’ review of the 1975 Broadway production. Critics in 20th century America didn’t judge Nora as harshly as they had when the play originally debuted, and yet they seemed to apply those 19th century standards to Regina Giddens in “The Little Foxes.” It would seem that the harsh response to Regina’s character was more in line with the critical response to Nora in 1879 than it was to reviews of Nora, or Blanche DuBois, or Amanda Wingfield, or any other strong female character in a mid- to late-20th century production of a play written by a male playwright.
But it is not my intention to throw shade at 19th century Danish critics, nor at The New York Times. They aren’t the only ones fond of derogative words when it comes to Regina. Elizabeth Hardwick of The New York Review of Books called her a “greedy bitch” in reference to the 1967 “Foxes” revival. While she acknowledged that Regina and her brothers (her fellow co-conspirators in the financial scheme) were “the very spirit of ruthless Capitalism,” Hardwick used the far weaker word “coarse” to describe the brothers, in parallel sentence structure to Regina’s “bitch” adjectives. It is as though she is implying that ruthlessly capitalistic men are coarse while ruthlessly capitalistic women are greedy bitches. It seems Regina’s unladylike behavior has historically perturbed some female theatre critics as well as male. And lest any readers think that the current “Foxes” revival has escaped the clutches of such language, Deadline’s Jeremy Gerard used the phrase “queen bitch” to describe Regina (while simply referring to her brothers as “greedy”) in his review from April 2017.
To be fair, 21st century critics have spent more time pondering Regina’s psychology and motivations than in the past, when most of the character’s (limited) praise had to do solely with how great actresses played her. In 1939, Atkinson grudgingly admitted Regina “has to be respected for the keenness of her mind and the force of her character,” but attributed all the credit to Tallulah Bankhead’s superior acting skills. In 1981, Rich praised Hellman for “throw[ing] her actors the prime red meat of bristling language,” and appreciated Elizabeth Taylor’s ability to find the humor in Regina. In the 1990s, Ben Brantley proclaimed that despite her horrific behavior, “[f]ew heroines of American theater are half as much fun as Regina Giddens.”
By 2010, critics seemed slightly more aware of the depths yet to be discussed in Regina’s character. Brantley briefly noted “a bottomless hunger that goes beyond her articulated desires,” in Elizabeth Marvel’s 2010 interpretation of Regina, and compared her to a Wall Street executive, though the majority of his review focused on an interpretation that infantilized Marvel’s Regina, depicting her as a “presexual, premoral 2-year-old, a squalling, grabby little girl.” New Yorker critic and 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Hilton Als wrote an analysis of Regina that had sarcasm practically dripping off the page like wet ink: “Life can be hard on a privileged white woman. Just look at Regina Giddens and all the drama that Lillian Hellman forces her to cope with,” he wrote. Perhaps despite himself, however, Als revealed he occasionally sympathized with Regina, stating that “one feels a pang, every once in a while, for Regina’s dark hopes. How far could she — or any woman — really go in a small Southern town in 1900?” He even suggested that a successful revival, unlike the one he was reviewing, might “marr[y] contemporary feminist politics to Hellman’s insight into the ways in which class and race and need can eat away at an ambitious woman.”
It wasn’t until 2016, when Peter Marks detected “a humanizing rationale” in that “gorgeous enigma,” proclaiming Regina to be “less than a hero but more than a villain,” that the character really found nuanced understanding. For the most part, the reviewers this spring seemed to agree. There were, of course, a fair amount of articles trying to heighten the competition between Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon, who alternate nightly in the lead role of Regina and the supporting role of her sister-in-law Birdie. For reference, I refer you to headlines such as the oddly worded “Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon Are Doing What ‘Men Do All the Time’ in ‘The Little Foxes’” or the erroneous “Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon were both up for the lead role Broadway’s ‘The Little Foxes.’ They both got it.” In truth, Linney was offered the role and she suggested that her friend Nixon come on board to share it with her. It would’ve been nice to see more headlines focusing on and commending their friendship, as opposed to the supposed drama, between these two respected actresses.
Regina, at least, seems to be getting her due in this revival, despite Deadline’s “queen bitch” name calling. Variety’s Marilyn Stasio described Regina as “one of the strongest female characters in all of American drama,” and, “a spirited modern woman cruelly restrained by the social conventions of her time.” Entertainment Weekly’s Isabella Biedenharn praised Laura Linney as Regina for “allow[ing] the audience to feel the pain of knowing what she could have accomplished, the deals she could have closed, if she were born a man.” These depths and dichotomies were explored even further in Alexis Soloski’s insightful New York Times review of the current revival. She wittily opened her piece with the observation that “Regina Giddens is a flower of Southern womanhood. That flower is a Venus flytrap.” Soloski went on to call Regina “one of the stage’s great antiheroines,” noting how her behavior stems from the fact that she is a woman with “greater ambition and less opportunity to satisfy it than any of her kin.” Soloski did not gloss over Regina’s questionable behavior, but she urged readers to “admire her flair and her grit,” even while “loath[ing] her politics and her methods.”
When I saw “Foxes” back in April, I was struck by an exchange between Regina and her brother Ben, in which Ben tells her she’d “get farther with a smile.” How could that line not stand out, given all of the memes, tweets, late night comedy sketches, and articles all over the world devoted to discussions of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s smile through the 2016 presidential campaign? The New York Times must have been intrigued by this exchange as well. They created a video feature titled “How Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon Smile at Their Enemies.” In the video, Nixon says she considers the ensuing smile that Regina gives her brother Ben to be “almost a perversion of a smile. It’s a smile of hate.”
Times critic Soloski called Regina’s smile “weaponized” and considered her ultimately victorious. Unlike similarly formidable theatrical antiheroines Clytemnestra and Lady Macbeth, who were also willing “to sacrifice some essential femininity, rejecting wifely and maternal instincts” in order to pursue their desires, Regina’s “comeuppance never comes.” She actually gets what she wants. As Soloski wryly stated, the play “leaves her finally in command of her body and her fortune and her future. That’ll get her farther than a smile.”
But how far have we come since 1879, 1939, 1967, or 1981, if we are still calling ambitious female characters “bitches”? If our most revered papers still crudely and unnecessarily objectify women’s bodies in theater reviews and judge respected female directors for being “too serious”? If men are still primarily the ones writing, directing, and reviewing a majority of plays about women that make it to Broadway?
To take things outside the arguably narrow sphere of theater, how far have we come since Hellman’s Huac blacklisting America if it is still acceptable for male politicians to interrupt (#manterrupt) one of the few female senators during multiple Senate Intelligence Committee hearings, and to silence their female peers in congress because “she was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless she persisted”? How far have we come if we as a society call female presidential candidates “nasty women” who need to smile more and who deserve to be locked up for minor email scandals while we permit men to commit treason many times over while remaining heads of state?
Not very far indeed.
Cross-Post: Lillian Hellman’s Regina Giddens: The Theatre’s Original “Nasty Woman” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Women and Hollywood
Mubi is showing the retrospective The Inner Demons of Ingmar Bergman from June 8 - August 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom.I've told this brief story of how I fell under the spell of cinema so many times I've become brazen to it. At eighteen years, in February 1993, I found Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers (dubbed) at the video store. As Woody Allen spoke of the Swede in hushed tones, I decided I should try a film. Ninety minutes later I sat stunned and spellbound, not sure what to do or think, but surely sure I must be onto something. Cinematic rapture still has a psychical aspect for me, the torque the sedentary body goes through while coping with the images before it. I can always tell how good a film is if my armpits smell after. The body doesn't lie. Ingmar Bergman is an easy crush—one writer I know »
Germany’s C-Films and France’s Mondex & Cie are partnering to produce ’Ingmar Bergman – Legacy of a Defining Genius,’ a documentary feature portrait of the themes, world and lasting impact of the Swedish director, hailed as of the greatest ever of filmmakers, directed by Margarethe von Trotta, a leading light of the New German Cinema (“The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum”).
Exploring Bergman’s work with his closest collaborators, in front of and behind the camera, as well as a new generation of filmmakers influenced by him, Von Trotta’s film is scheduled to shoot from Summer 2017, in time for its release to coincide with the centenary of Bergman’s birth next year.
The film is inevitably personal. Living in Paris in 1960s, Bergman’s »
- John Hopewell
Cmg to handle sales in Cannes on Ingmar Bergman – Legacy Of A Defining Genius from C-Films, Mondex & Cie co-production
Margarethe von Trotta will direct the documentary and production is scheduled to commence this summer.
The film – which is scheduled for delivery in 2018 to mark the centenary of the Swedish auteur’s birth – will explore Bergman’s legacy through interviews with close collaborators and younger filmmakers.
In 1982 Bergman »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
The upcoming mother-daughter comedy “Snatched” marks Goldie Hawn’s first film since 2002’s “The Banger Sisters.” To celebrate the end of Hawn’s 15-year sabbatical, the Quad will hold a retrospective of the Oscar winner’s films, a press release announced.
“No Hollywood actress in recent memory has come closer than Goldie Hawn to capturing the ebullience and whip-smart comic timing of the great screen comediennes of the ’30s and ’40s, a modern Joan Blondell or Carole Lombard,” the release states. “Though she won an Academy Award for one of her first roles (in 1969’s ‘Cactus Flower’), critics have tended to underestimate the depths of [Hawn’s] talent. The forthcoming film ‘Snatched’ marks her long-awaited return to the screen after a 15-year absence, and we’re celebrating the occasion with a greatest-hits retrospective, a veritable masterclass in the delicate art of cinematic comedy.”
It’s great that Hawn’s contributions to cinema are being recognized. However, while researching the Golden Goldies films as well as Hawn’s entire filmography, we noticed the actress has never worked with a female film director. From what we can tell, she has only collaborated with a woman director once, on a 2013 episode of the kids show “Phineas and Ferb.” Sue Perrotto co-directed the ep.
This is disappointing, but not a complete surprise. Last year Cosmopolitan published a story detailing how many big-name actors have never worked with a woman film director. Among them are Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, and Tobey Maguire. And to be fair to them and Hawn, there are plenty of actresses who have never appeared in a woman-helmed film. Shailene Woodley, for example, has not appeared in a feature film directed by a woman
Still. We wish both male and female power players would follow Jessica Chastain’s lead. “I’m looking to work with a female filmmaker every year,” she told Variety. “That’s my goal. They’re not given the same opportunities so if I have any influence in choosing a film or a script or finding a director I’m absolutely going to make a difference. That doesn’t mean I’m excluding men — it means I need some balance in my life.”
And she’s achieving it; Chastain has worked with female directors like Kathryn Bigelow, Liv Ullmann, and Susanna White. Her most recent collaboration with a woman director is Niki Caro’s “The Zookeeper’s Wife.”
The Golden Goldies retrospective will be May 6–11 at the Quad in New York City. The featured films and their synopses are below, courtesy of Quad Cinema.
“Death Becomes Her”
Robert Zemeckis, 1992, 104m, U.S., 35mm
Sun May 7 & Mon May 8
When glamorous narcissist Meryl Streep steals her fiancé Bruce Willis, Hawn finds revenge in an elixir of youth (and immortality) supplied by a seductively devilish Isabella Rossellini. Rivalry escalates to murder as Hawn and Streep battle it out in the land of the undead in this cult black comedy about all-consuming vanity.
Hugh Wilson, 1996, U.S., 103m, 35mm
Mon May 8
Spite never sleeps in this gleefully vindictive comedy about getting even and the bonds of sisterhood. Hawn stars opposite Bette Midler and Diane Keaton as a once-acclaimed actress plagued by ageism and out for revenge against her ex-husband and his perky new muse. But acrimony eventually gives way to a new sense of liberation, culminating in an ever-endearing rendition of Lesley Gore’s anthem of female independence.
Garry Marshall, 1987, U.S., 106m, 35mm
Wed May 10
Wertmüller’s “Swept Away” reimagined as big studio farce, with Hawn’s shrill heiress mistreating blue-collar carpenter Kurt Russell, who then proceeds to enact romantic revenge after she’s afflicted with amnesia. Despite the retrograde sexual politics, the chemistry is palpable and the comic timing immaculate.
Howard Zieff, 1980, U.S., 109m, 35mm
Wed May 6 & Thur May 11
After husband Albert Brooks dies on their wedding night, spoiled rich girl Hawn is convinced by military recruiter Harry Dean Stanton to join the U.S. Army, where she comes up against a tough-as-nails C.O. Eileen Brennan. Both Hawn and Brennan were nominated for Academy Awards in this beloved box-office hit.
Jay Sandrich, 1980, USA, 100m, 35mm
Tue May 10 & Thu May 11
Hawn hits her comedic stride in this irresistible Neil Simon farce as a characteristically zany public defender torn between district attorney husband Charles Grodin and her ex, Chevy Chase, a writer charged with bank robbery. Things escalate towards a fever pitch when she decides to represent him in court.
Hal Ashby, 1975, U.S., 110m, Dcp
Mon May 8 & Wed May 11
The dream team of Ashby, screenwriter Robert Towne, and actor-producer Warren Beatty set their biting farce and undisputed ’70s classic on the eve of Nixon’s 1968 electoral landslide, with over-sexed, in-demand, and increasingly vexed hairdresser Beatty juggling frustrated girlfriend Hawn, taxing client Lee Grant, ex-girlfriend Julie Christie, and potential business partner Jack Warden as America lurches to the right.
Steven Spielberg, 1974, U.S., 110m, 35mm
Sat May 6 & Mon May 8
After losing their baby son to the state, small-time crooks Hawn and William Atherton snatch him right back and go on the run, with seemingly every law enforcement officer in Texas in hot pursuit. Spielberg’s first feature refines the technical mastery of Duel, but Hawn’s performance as an exasperated, manically determined mother gives this picture a more resonant pathos.
Jonathan Demme, 1984, U.S., 100m, 35mm
Sun May 7 & Thur May 10
When hubby Ed Harris ships off to fight WWII, housewife Hawn finds herself via a factory job — and a fling with hunky trumpet player Kurt Russell. Despite her contentious relationship with her director, Hawn displays her greatest emotional range here, and Demme’s deft touch for humanist comedy shines through. Featuring Christine Lahti, Fred Ward, and Holly Hunter.
Goldie Hawn Retrospective to Screen at the Quad Cinema in NYC was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
[Editor’s Note: This post is presented in partnership with Spectrum. Catch up on this year’s Awards Season contenders and the latest films On Demand. Today’s pick is “Miss Sloane.”]
It’s hard to believe that Jessica Chastain’s career as an actress took off just five years ago in 2011. That year, she starred in “The Help,” which was both a critical and a commercial success, along with Terence Malick’s unconventional narrative, “The Tree of Life.” Thanks to “The Help,” Chastain not only became a household name, but also, at the same time, her participation in “The Tree of Life” garnered her repute as a serious actress amongst her peers.
Read More: Jessica Chastain on Hollywood’s Woman Problem
2014 was perhaps Chastain’s biggest year yet. Her projects this year — “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “Miss Julie” — demonstrate her flexibility as a performer, which is a skill that has made it possible for her to successfully work with many different types of directors, whose stylistic preferences in certain cases, may stand in direct opposition to one another.
- Shipra Gupta
10 items from 2017
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