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Goonies and Police Academy Reunions Are Happening at NostalgiaCon 2019

Goonies and Police Academy Reunions Are Happening at NostalgiaCon 2019
If you miss the 1980's, then you're going to love NostalgiaCon 2019, an exciting showcasing of the stars, music, fashion, fun and excitement that made the '80's the decade to remember. Kicking off with an opening celebration on July 4, the full event will be open on July 5 and 6 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

NostalgiaCon 2019 is an All-'80s-all-the-time destination for hit TV show cast reunions, box office mega stars, unforgettable live concerts, exclusive panel sessions, cosplay competitions, memorabilia and collectibles and so much more.

Among the NostagiaCon 2019 highlights include Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd makes a special stop in our timeline for meet and greets. Even more exciting are the cast reunions galore.

Corey Feldman, Ke Huy Quan and Sean Astin join for a very special The Goonies get-together. Loni Anderson and Howard Hesseman team-up for a look back at Wkrp in Cincinnati. Steve Guttenberg and Michael Winslow
See full article at MovieWeb »

Comic Book Preview – Planet of the Nerds #1

Ahoy Comics launches its new series Planet of the Nerds next week, paying homage to classic teen movies of the 1980s like Revenge of the Nerds, Real Genius, Weird Science and Back to the Future albeit with a modern twist; check out a preview of the first issue here…

Three high school jocks in the 1980s are accidentally frozen by an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived in the computer-driven, superhero movie-loving world of 2019–an era ruled by nerds! Plus! A backup series explores the characters’ origins. Extra! Prose and pictures by the finest talents in and out of comics.

Planet of the Nerds #1 is set for release on April 17th.

The post Comic Book Preview – Planet of the Nerds #1 appeared first on Flickering Myth.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Three Great Academy Award Alternatives— Plus, Fearless Oscar Predictons, 2019 Edition!

The Oscars are looming, in case you hadn’t heard. I spent last evening with a last-minute Oscar lightning round screening of Willem Dafoe’s Best Actor-nominated performance as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate, and in my best Gene Shalit voice I will tell you to go-go-Gogh grab it at a Redbox near you. Dafoe’s work towers over the other four nominees, and even gives Ethan Hawke’s tortured pastor in First Reformed, my choice for male performance of the year, a run for its money.

But truth be told, I’ve been spending the waning minutes before the Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland takes its place as the center of the universe tomorrow night, immersed in decidedly anti-Oscar bait, and if you don’t have any desire to submit yourself to watching Oscars this year you could do much worse than spending time with
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

‘Planet Of The Nerds’: Ahoy Comics Series Offers Revenge Of The 1980s Movies – Exclusive Preview

  • Deadline
‘Planet Of The Nerds’: Ahoy Comics Series Offers Revenge Of The 1980s Movies – Exclusive Preview
Upstart publisher Ahoy Comics launched in 2018 with a comics magazine format that harkened back to the days of the early 1980s when the medium still had a presence on national newsstands and some publishers dabbled in magazine-sized publications with edgier content, painted covers and/or pages of prose content.

This April, Ahoy will stir up even more memories of the Reagan Era when it publishes Planet of the Nerds, a new series that evokes vintage Hollywood hits such as Revenge of the Nerds, Weird Science, Real Genius, Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club. The story: Three high school jocks in the 1980s are accidentally frozen by an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived in the tech-driven, superhero-loving, empathy-counseling world of 2019 — in other words, an era shaped by the nerds they once tormented.

Today Deadline has an exclusive preview excerpt from the inaugural issue of Planet of the Nerds,
See full article at Deadline »

The Five Best Val Kilmer Movies of His Career

You might be missing films like Real Genius, Heat, and even The Island of Dr. Moreau on this list, but one thing you can be guaranteed of is that they would make a top ten list of Val Kilmer’s best, but those in the top five are films where he really got to shine and show what he could do in the prime of his career. At one point Kilmer was The go-to guy for someone that could transform themselves into the role they were playing. As the years have gone on he’s done more movies that go straight to

The Five Best Val Kilmer Movies of His Career
See full article at TVovermind.com »

'Real Genius' Star Gabriel Jarret Gets Restraining Order Against Houseguest

  • TMZ
'Real Genius' Star Gabriel Jarret Gets Restraining Order Against Houseguest
Gabriel Jarret, who co-starred with Val Kilmer in "Real Genius," claims his ex-gf went nuts on him ... refusing to leave his home, and accusing him of child molestation, rape and more ... TMZ has learned.   Gabriel filed for and got a restraining order Monday against Jennifer Marie Alfano ... and in the docs he says she called him a few weeks ago, crying about being thrown out of a hotel and losing all of her possessions, so
See full article at TMZ »

Q&A: Val Kilmer Talks ‘The Super’ and ‘Top Gun’ Sequel

  • Variety
Q&A: Val Kilmer Talks ‘The Super’ and ‘Top Gun’ Sequel
In his lengthy and varied career, Val Kilmer has played everyone from Jim Morrison to Doc Holliday to Mark Twain – in multiple projects. He’s played Moses in the lavish musical “The Ten Commandments” and voiced Kitt the car in the “Knight Rider” reboot. Along the way, he’s worked with filmmakers from Oliver Stone to Ron Howard and actors from Tom Cruise to Marlon Brando. In short, there’s no pigeonholing the actor who launched his career with broad comedies like “Top Secret!” and “Real Genius” before becoming a household name thanks to “Top Gun” – a role he’ll reprise in the upcoming sequel.

So it’s surprising to hear there’s something Kilmer hasn’t done, but that’s the case with “The Super,” which he says is his first straight-up genre thriller. Based on an idea from and produced by “Law & Order” mastermind Dick Wolf, “The Super
See full article at Variety »

Ready Player One: Complete Easter Egg and Reference Guide

David Crow Mike Cecchini Dec 11, 2018

We have seen the pop culture glory that is Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One. Repeatedly. So we're ready to dissect every geeky gem in it!

This article contains more Ready Player One spoilers than a Nintendo Player’s Guide walkthrough.

Ready Player One is now out on Blu-ray and HBO, and fans are basking in all of its easter egg glory. While Steven Spielberg was able to infuse a creative spark into the film that allowed it to stand on more than only pure nostalgia, there is no denying that the immediate hook of Ernest Cline’s novel and the subsequent Spielberg blockbuster is its cornucopia of movie references, video game easter eggs, and pop culture homages to all things ‘80s. The film might be set in 2045, but it’s good to know that the future is just as obsessed with Gen-x and Millennial culture as we are today!
See full article at Den of Geek »

Horror Highlights: Comet TV’s October Viewing Guide, Splathouse Podcast Season 2, Holy Blood: Mexican Horror Cinema, The Elf

"Thank you for not smoking." Comet TV's October viewing guide is here and it will feature the Robocop trilogy! Also: details on Splathouse Podcast Season 2, and Holy Blood: Mexican Horror Cinema, with a trailer for The Elf capping off today's second Horror Highlights!

Comet TV's October Programming Guide Revealed: Press Release: “Airing On Comet in October

You Don’T Need A Subscription To Watch These Great Movies

They’Re Airing For Free On Comet!

Robocop Trilogy

Robocop (1987)

Robocop 2 (1990)

Robocop 3 (1993)

Friday, October 6

Starting at 8P/7C

Sunday, October 8

Starting at 2P/1C

Saturday, October 21

Starting at 10P/9C

Thursday, October 26

Starting at 4P/3C

New On Comet In October

Andromeda

Classic Space Opera is coming to Comet! Based on materials from sci-fi legend Gene Roddenberry, Andromeda stars all action hero Kevin Sorbo as the Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, a highly advanced ship whose crew is charged with restoring power and stability to the Systems Commonwealth.
See full article at DailyDead »

The Best Performances in Bad Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey

  • Indiewire
The Best Performances in Bad Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: What is the best performance in an otherwise bad movie?

Joshua Rothkopf (@joshrothkopf), Time Out New York

There’s a Cult of Val (Kilmer, obviously) that I proudly belong to. Mainly it revolves around movies like “Real Genius,” “Top Secret!” and “Heat,” all excellent movies that don’t fit the parameters of this question. But you really don’t know Val until you’ve made your peace with Oliver Stone’s beyond-awful “The Doors.” The apocryphal anecdotes around Kilmer’s deep dive into Jim Morrison are insane: insisting that no one look him in the eye on set, wearing the same leather pants for months,
See full article at Indiewire »

10 Things You didn’t Know about the Movie “Real Genius”

Real Genius was released in 1985 when scientific comedies were really on the rise and were highly prized by the public. Like a few others it had a lot to do with the younger generation vs. the older and really highlighted the differences between the two. The wise-cracking, prank-pulling lead was the obvious star of the film no matter who else was there. Kilmer kind of stole the show as he’s done before but in this manner it was actually quite enjoyable as he made the movie something that could stand out from all the other films. But how much

10 Things You didn’t Know about the Movie “Real Genius
See full article at TVovermind.com »

10 Tombstone Facts You Never Knew Until Now

10 Tombstone Facts You Never Knew Until Now
Who doesn't love Tombstone? It's one of the most beloved Westerns of the modern era. And if you're a fan, you can undoubtedly quote most, if not all, of the lines delivered with scene-stealing flair by Val Kilmer in what's become the definitive portrayal of gambling gunslinger Doc Holliday. You may know every scene in this movie like the back of your hand, but today we've collected 10 Things You Never Knew About Tombstone. And you may walk away pleasantly surprised and shocked.

Tombstone boasts one of the most formidable macho ensembles imaginable: Kurt Russell, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, as well as smaller roles for Michael Rooker, Thomas Haden Church, Stephen Lang, Billy Zane, Jason Priestly, Billy Bob Thornton, and Terry O'Quinn. So let's get into it, shall we?

Tombstone is missing a few Earps.

The heroic ensemble at the center of Tombstone includes Wyatt Earp, played by Kurt Russell,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Val Kilmer Shares Rare Doors Movie Rehearsal Video

Val Kilmer Shares Rare Doors Movie Rehearsal Video
Val Kilmer took to his Reddit account to share a video himself and his Doors co-stars rehearsing at L.A.'s legendary Whiskey a Go Go circa 1990. The short one-minute clip shows the actors performing The Doors' classic song "L.A. Woman" in the darkly lit Whiskey. Oliver Stone's The Doors received mixed reviews from critics and fans of the band upon its release in 1991, even the surviving band members were unhappy with the finished product. Doors members Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek were brought on as technical advisors on the movie, but claim that Oliver Stone often ignored their input in favor of his own retelling of history. One bright spot that critics and fans could agree upon was Val Kilmer's portrayal of Doors frontman Jim Morrison.

Val Kilmer originally uploaded the rehearsal footage to his YouTube account almost three years ago and shared the
See full article at MovieWeb »

Horror Highlights: Kate Beckinsale at Wizard World Sacramento, Peelers Blu-ray / DVD, Attack Of The 50 Foot Film Fest

If you live on the West Coast and you're a fan of Death Dealer Selene from the Underworld movies, then you'll want to mark the weekend of June 17th–18th on your calendar, because Kate Beckinsale will be a featured guest at Wizard World Sacramento. In today's Horror Highlights, we also have details on the Blu-ray / DVD release of Peelers and the lineup for Attack of the 50 Foot Film Fest in Atlanta.

Kate Beckinsale to Attend Wizard World Sacramento: Press Release: "Sacramento, Calif., June 5, 2017 – Kate Beckinsale, star of such films as Underworld and Pearl Harbor, and Val Kilmer, standout in Batman Forever and Top Gun, have been added to the top-flight celebrity roster at Wizard World Comic Con Sacramento at the Sacramento Convention Center. Both will appear on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18, when they will greet fans, sign autographs, pose for photo ops and conduct interactive Q&A sessions with fans.
See full article at DailyDead »

Is Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” the Most Replayable Song Ever?

I’m literally listening to the song as I write this. Tears for Fears recorded what I consider to be one of the best songs in the entire world back in 1985. It’s been used in numerous movies (best used in the movie Real Genius ending credits). That song, as you know, is “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” It was actually used in a video I posted to this site earlier today. Someone decided to make the Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer into an 80s themed trailer and what song did they use? You guessed it. So not only

Is Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” the Most Replayable Song Ever?
See full article at TVovermind.com »

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017

Mira Nair and Ava DuVernay: Wikimedia Commons/IndiaFM/Bollywoodhungama/usbotschaftberlin

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

Female filmmakers greeted the 21st century with optimism. By most measures, movies by women were garnering increased respect in the industry and at the multiplex. Their makers cracked glass ceilings, created new genres, and established new box-office records.

With “Nowhere in Africa” (2001), Caroline Link became the second woman to direct the Oscar-winner for the year’s best foreign film. With “Lost in Translation” (2003), Sofia Coppola was the third woman to receive a best director nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And with “The Hurt Locker” (2009), Kathryn Bigelow was the fourth woman nominated in the directing category — and the first to win. The following year, Danish filmmaker Susanna Bier directed the winner in the best foreign film category, “In a Better World.”

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “Love & Basketball” (2000), Karyn Kusama’s “Girlfight” (2000) and Gurinder Chadha’s “Bend It Like Beckham” (2003) created what might be called the “Title IX” movie, celebrating female athletes on the court, in the ring, and on the field. These are sports movies that celebrate the female body — not for its sex appeal, but for its power. These films inspired younger women (and their mothers were thrilled to take them to movies that didn’t objectify women).

Comedies by women continued to make serious box office, proving the Hollywood wisdom that “funny is money.” Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want” (2000), starring Mel Gibson as a player briefly given the power to hear what women think about him, made $374 million. Sharon Maguire’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary” (2001), in which the title character says what she thinks about womanizers and prigs, brought in $282 million. Movies like these permitted men and women to laugh at men’s foibles.

From Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” (2002), which introduced America Ferrera as a college-bound Latina, to Julie Taymor’s biopic “Frida” (2003), with Salma Hayek as Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, to Patty Jenkins’ “Monster” (2003), with Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, audiences saw realistic women — as opposed to human swizzle sticks with breasts — in movies by women.

Many critics hailed Niki Caro’s “Whale Rider” (2003), about a Maori preteen who challenges her tribal patriarchy and becomes the new chief, as a harbinger of the triumph of female filmmakers over the status quo. Others pointed to the fact that for the first time since records had been kept, in 2000 women made 11 percent of the top 250 box office films. For women who make movies, the new century felt like a new day.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Sadly, that encouraging percentage turned out to be a fluke. After 2000, the number dwindled. It remains stuck in the 6 to 9 percent range, says Martha Lauzen, professor of communications and head of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. Since 1998 Lauzen has tracked women working in the industry in her annual “Celluloid Ceiling” report.

“When I started this, I thought it was merely an issue of people not knowing how low the numbers were,” Lauzen said ruefully. “I didn’t know how slow social change is.”

Lauzen’s reporting represents one of three vital resources for understanding the triumphs female filmmakers have made and how far they need to go to achieve parity with men. The others are Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity and Social Change Institute at USC’s Annenberg School and The Bunche Center at UCLA.

Collectively and individually, these creators of annual good news/bad news reports have kept the issue of representation in the public eye.

The Good: For Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”), the late Nora Ephron (“Julie & Julia”), and Nancy Meyers (“It’s Complicated,” “The Intern”), the 21st century has been a fruitful time. So, too, for younger female moviemakers. Consider Lisa Cholodenko (“Laurel Canyon,” “The Kids Are All Right”), Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”), and Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”).

Consider also that Catherine Hardwicke established a franchise with “Twilight” (which made $393 million), Sam Taylor-Johnson created another with “50 Shades of Grey” ($571 million), and that Anne Fletcher’s “The Proposal” made $317 million and Phyllida Lloyd’s “Mamma Mia!” earned $609 million.

Additionally, filmmakers like Dee Rees (“Pariah”), Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”), and Lone Scherfig (“An Education”) broke into the market with unique visions and eyes for new talent, including Adepero Oduye, Jennifer Lawrence, and Carey Mulligan. Significantly, Vicky Jenson (“Shrek”), Jennifer Lee (“Frozen”), Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2”), and Brenda Chapman (“Brave”) staked a place for women in animation.

The Bad: For every woman appearing onscreen in movies in 2015 there were 2.3 men, according to Stacy Smith’s Media Diversity & Social Change Initiative.

The Ugly: When Walt Hickey, culture reporter for the website fivethirtyeight.com, goes to the movies and sees the screen population is 69 percent male, it just looks wrong to him. “It’s like something apocalyptic has happened, like a parallel universe — a man’s world,” he says.

Both Lauzen’s and Smith’s data show that when a woman is behind the camera and/or screenplay, 39 percent of protagonists are female. In movies by male directors, only four percent of the lead characters are female.

A century ago, male dominance behind the camera and on the screen was not the norm. For women behind the camera, it’s been the norm since 1920. And for women onscreen, it’s been the norm since 1950. Because of this, moviegoers have a distorted picture of America as predominantly male and predominantly Caucasian, when it is neither. (For finer-grain data on minority representation, see this annual report from UCLA’s Bunche Center.)

The Force Reawakens

The Hollywood Dream Factory tailors the majority of its product to the measurements of the men in the audience. This troubles those who want their daughters to partake of the same professional opportunities, cultural representation, and dream lives as their sons. While “Nine to Five,” “Norma Rae,” and “Erin Brockovich” show that studios love stories of women who triumph over the odds, there is less obvious love for female filmmakers trying to beat the odds stacked against them in their professional lives.

Since the Original Six filed suit against two studios in 1983 (see Part 3), female filmmakers have met, strategized, and troubleshot. So much so that in one of her final essays before her death in 2012, Nora Ephron made a list of “Things I Won’t Miss.” Near the top: “Panels on Women in Film.” Many women in film felt as though they were running in place.

“Instead of holding a million panels about it,” Christine Vachon, producer of “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Carol,” exclaimed at the 2016 Sundance Festival, “let’s do something about it!”

Someone had. She is Maria Giese, director of the feature films “When Saturday Comes” and “Hunger.” In February 2013 she brought a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Eeoc) in Los Angeles. Her contention was that the cohort of working filmmakers in the Directors Guild of America (DGA), of which she is a member, was overwhelmingly male.

(While the number of women in the guild directing episodic television amounts to 17 percent, the DGA 2015 census of female filmmakers registered 6.4 percent. That’s lower than the nine percent of female coal miners, and fractional next to the 32 percent of practicing physicians and 36 percent of practicing lawyers who are women).

The Eeoc, which collects data on employer/employee relations for each calendar year, was reluctant to take on a class-action suit.

In April 2013, Giese contacted the Aclu of Southern California and showed the evidence to Melissa Goodman, director of its Lgbtq, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project. For the next two years Goodman and her colleague Ariela Migdal took testimony from more than 50 female directors. In May 2015 they sent the Eeoc an extraordinary letter that counted the ways in which “female filmmakers are effectively excluded from directing big-budget films and seriously underrepresented in television.” A compelling argument in their letter: “The entertainment industry employs many people and makes products that profoundly shape our culture and the perception of women and girls.” Later in 2015, the Eeoc commenced its own investigation.

In January 2017, based on a high-level internal DGA leak received by Giese, Deadline Hollywood reported that after a federal investigation spanning a year that included testimony from over 100 women directors, the Eeoc recently served charges of sex discrimination and unfair hiring practice against all six major studios. While the federal agency does not comment on active cases, Gillian Thomas and Melissa Goodman of the Aclu wrote in an editorial that they had no reason to doubt the veracity of the leak.

A key factor contributing to Giese’s success in getting this issue to the Aclu and Eeoc was her ability to expose the structural obstacles female filmmakers face, from a guild that puts female and minority filmmakers in the same category, to the studios that question the fitness of women to direct.

Myths and Continued Underrepresentation

Over the 25 years I’ve reported on female filmmakers, I’ve interviewed two generations of movie executives. Most, but not all, were male. Most took seriously my questions about the apparent exclusion of women behind the camera, both on the screen and their forthcoming line-up.

Without exception, all of them retold one or more of the “Three Hollywood Myths.”

Myth #1) “Women don’t want to direct action movies and those are the films which are making money.”

Untrue. See: Martha Coolidge’s “Real Genius” (1985), Kathryn Bigelow’s “Point Break” (1991), Mimi Leder’s “The Peacemaker” (1997) and “Deep Impact” (1998), Lexi Alexander’s “Punisher: War Zone” (2008), and Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012).

What is true is that Patty Jenkins was hired to direct “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) and left due to creative differences. She is now working on the forthcoming “Wonder Woman.”

What is true is that Mira Nair was offered a “Harry Potter” film and chose instead to make the family drama “The Namesake” because the material was more important to her, and that Ava DuVernay was offered “Black Panther,” the film version of the Marvel Comics series, and declined for similar reasons.

Myth #2) “Movies by women don’t make money.”

Untrue again. Some movies by women don’t make back their investment, just as some movies by men do not. What is true is that many movies by women make major bank. Catherine Hardwicke’s little $37 million film “Twilight” grossed $393 million and launched a billion-dollar franchise.

Hardwicke told me by phone that she hears all the time from studios that films by women are poor investments. “And every time you say, ‘Well, this one made money, that one made money,’ they say, ‘This one made money because it was based on a best-selling book,’ or ‘That one made money because of its hot actress.’”

Here are six more films by women and their box-office grosses. They made money because they powerfully connected with audiences.

Bend it Like Beckham” (Gurinder Chadha). Cost: $6 million/Gross: $77 million“Frida” (Julie Taymor). Cost: $12 million/Gross: $56 million“Frozen” (Jennifer Lee). Cost: $150 million/Gross: $1.2 billion“The Proposal” (Anne Fletcher). Cost: $40 million/Gross: $317 million“Selma” (Ava DuVernay). Cost: $20 million/Gross $67 million“Lost in Translation” (Sofia Coppola). Cost: $4 million/Gross $120 million

Myth #3) “A woman behind the camera means women on the screen and no men in the audience.”

Untrue, if taken literally. Sometimes movies by women have a lower percentage of men in the audience, just as sometimes movies by men have a lower percentage of women in the audience. Take, for example, the 2015 films, “Bridge of Spies” by Steven Spielberg and “The Intern” by Nancy Meyers.

According to Paul Dergarabedian of comScore, the research company’s “PostTrak” data shows the audience gender breakdown at “Bridge of Spies,” a ’60s-era political thriller starring Tom Hanks, was 54 percent male and 46 percent female. For “The Intern,” a contemporary workplace comedy co-starring Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro, it was 41 percent male and 59 percent female. Spielberg’s film grossed $165 million; Meyers’ $194 million. His budget was $40 million; hers was $35 million.

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” the story of the 1965 march for voting rights led by Martin Luther King and starring David Oyelowo, had an audience gender breakdown of 47 percent male and 53 percent female. The assumption that movies come gendered with a blue or pink ribbon is a canard that still lingers in Hollywood, perhaps a vestige of the target marketing that began in the 1980s.

Speaking from the set of “Queen Sugar” in 2016, DuVernay observed, “We’re in a place right now where every other film is about a comic book superhero. We’re top-heavy with testosterone.”

How did Hollywood, a century ago a place where female directors thrived and prospered, come to this?

Stacy Title, director of “The Last Supper” and “The Bye Bye Man,” points the finger at “unconscious bias.”

Mira Nair, who was born in India, suspects chauvinism. “I’ve always remarked at the irony that the percentage of female directors is higher in India than in the United States,” she explained in a phone conversation. “India is supposed to be the traditional chauvinist culture,” she observes. Nair wonders if the historic examples of female prime ministers in South Asia — Indira Gandhi in India, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan — may have broken the glass ceiling for all professional women there. “Their examples don’t exist in the U.S.”

DuVernay looks forward to the outcome — and hoped-for positive resolution — of the Eeoc investigation. “It’s a systematic problem and it requires radical change,” she said. “If it’s not happening organically, systems should be put in place.” Like many female filmmakers, DuVernay hopes the Eeoc can reconfigure what Giese calls the “vertical playing field for women” into a level one.

“One thing I’m heartened by,” said Nair, who’s been making features for nearly 30 years, “is that the variety and confidence of female filmmakers today is inspiring.”

Do others think it’s changed for the better for women since the 1980s?

“For me, there’s no comparison between the ’80s and now,” reflected Nancy Meyers, whose six films as a director or writer/director have grossed more than a billion dollars. By email she wrote:

Men were still getting used to us being on set in the ’80s. (Men used to have photos of pinups on the set in the ’80s! I’m not kidding.)The only women around back then worked in costumes and hair and makeup. Today women are in every department and often department heads. There are still very few women in the camera department and that’s a shame. That seems to still be a real boy’s club. Today, most crew members are far more comfortable working for and with women.

Yet one thing has not changed: “Now, getting the job to be the director — that’s still an uphill battle,” Meyers said.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 5: 2000–2017 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999

Mississippi Masala

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

While female filmmakers waited for Judge Pamela Rymer to hand down a decision in the 1983 Directors Guild class-action suit against Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, alleging discrimination for not hiring women and ethnic minorities represented by the guild, there were positive signs of change in Hollywood.

In 1984, for the first time that almost anyone could remember, one needed two hands to count the number of feature films by women released in the U.S. market. One was Diane Kurys’ “Entre Nous” (1983), nominated for best foreign film at the Academy Awards in April 1984, making Kurys the second female director whose film was so honored.

Between 1950 and 1980, the number of movies directed by women in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) totaled 14. From 1984 to 1985 there were 12.

In 1984 many women were making their second features. Among them were Gillian Armstrong’s period drama “Mrs. Soffel,” Amy Heckerling’s gangster comedy “Johnny Dangerously,” Penelope Spheeris’ teenage-runaway saga “Suburbia,” and Amy Holden Jones’ romantic drama “Love Letters.” Martha Coolidge, beloved for “Valley Girl,” her 1983 debut, was on her third feature, “National Lampoon’s Joy of Sex.” With more women behind the movie camera in the United States than any time since the ’teens, it seemed that Hollywood was reopening the studio gates to women. Their movies featured women in lead roles.

The wave of optimism crested in 1985. Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg’s historical romance “Camila” (1984) was in contention for best foreign film. Susan Seidelman, an Nyu film-school grad who made a splash in 1983 with the indie “Smithereens,” released “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring “It Girl” Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, cast when the latter was a relative unknown. It was a runaway hit. Heckerling and Spheeris each released third features, respectively “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “The Boys Next Door.” Coolidge released her fourth: “Real Genius,” a genuinely funny nerd comedy with a fully developed female character — and special effects.

Then came the crash.

In August 1985 Judge Rymer handed down her decision. While the class-action case was important and viable, Rymer ruled, she had to disqualify the DGA from leading the class due to a conflict of interest. White male members also competing for directing jobs dominated the guild, she said. Thus the DGA was in no position to represent the interests of its women and ethnic minority members. Out of exhaustion and lack of money, the Original Six, the group of female filmmakers that had first spurred the DGA to initiate the suit, did not pursue it any further.

As the DGA suit played out during the early 1980s, Hollywood’s business model was in flux. Studios abandoned the one-size-fits-all strategy of advertising a movie in general-interest publications and embraced segmented marketing — that is, making and marketing movies to a specific demographic. Fewer dollars were spent advertising movies in mainstream newspapers and more were spent on ads that ran during TV shows young males were said to watch. More and more, movies starred predominantly men and boys. Because actors had higher-profile roles, they could command higher salaries than actresses.

By dividing the market into sectors, studios divided the audience and the culture. Boys see movies about boys. Older people see movies about older people. Women see movies about women. Those in different demographics no longer watch the same stories.

In 1980, four of the 10 top box office stars were women: Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Sissy Spacek, and Barbra Streisand. In 1990 there was only one: Julia Roberts. According to 1990 statistics from the Screen Actors Guild, not only were actresses underpaid, but they were also “undercast”: 14 percent of the leading roles, and only 29 percent of all roles, went to women.

The “Indiana Jones” trilogy made in the 1980s reflected the progressively diminishing role of females in film during a decade when male action/adventures dominated the multiplex. In “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), the character Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) plays Indy’s helpmate. In “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), the Willie Scott character (Kate Capshaw) is helpless. And in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” archeologist Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) is the enemy.

Despite such trends, the late 1980s and 1990s proved to be boom years for female directors in Hollywood and Indiewood, as independent film is known. In 1987, Kathryn Bigelow, a onetime sculptor and graduate of Columbia University’s film program, made her second feature, the “vampire Western” “Near Dark.” And though Elaine May’s studio film “Ishtar” was almost universally panned upon release, it earned belated respect. Richard Brody of The New Yorker correctly described it as “an unjustly derided masterwork.” In 1987, six percent of films were directed by women, higher than at any time since 1916.

The percentage dropped in 1988, but that was a watershed year for female filmmakers. “Big,” a comedy from Penny Marshall (co-written by Anne Spielberg), was universally acclaimed. It was the first movie directed by a woman that surpassed $100 million at the box office. With the romantic comedy “Crossing Delancey,” Joan Micklin Silver returned to making big-screen fare, and her modest hit was well received. Also in 1988, Silver’s daughter, Marisa, made her second feature, “Permanent Record,” about teen suicide. “Salaam, Bombay!”, the first feature from Mira Nair, the India-born, Harvard-educated documentarian, was a best foreign film Oscar nominee.

The following year, “Look Who’s Talking” from Amy Heckerling likewise surpassed the $100 million mark for box office sales in the U.S. and made nearly $300 million worldwide. For the most part, though, heads of studios regarded Marshall’s and Heckerling’s box-office smashes as flukes. Two heads of production told me in 1991 that “movies by women don’t make money.” Nevertheless, it turned out to be a exceptional year for the quality and range of releases from women. And it shaped up to be a year when movies by female filmmakers did make serious money.

Some of the highlights of 1991: Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust,” an evocative portrait of generations of Gullah women off the South Carolina coast circa 1901; Jodie Foster’s “Little Man Tate,” about a child prodigy emotionally torn between his mother and a psychologist for gifted children; and Mira Nair’s “Mississippi Masala,” a sexy romance about a South Asian woman born in Uganda (played by then-newcomer Sarita Choudhry) in love with an African-American man (Denzel Washington). Both Kathryn Bigelow’s action film “Point Break” and Barbra Streisand’s psychological study “Prince of Tides” examined the emotional costs to men who struggle to prove their masculinity. Bigelow’s movie grossed $83 million and Streisand’s $110 million. (Adjusted for inflation, that’s $148 million and $196 million in today’s dollars.)

Not only can female filmmakers make movies that show a different side of men, but they also make movies that show different aspects of women. Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” (1992), about the All-American Girls Baseball Leagues during World War II, celebrates the athleticism (rather than the sexuality) of the female body. Nora Ephron’s “This is My Life,” her 1992 directorial debut about a single mom whose choice of comedy career affects her daughters, shows that career and motherhood need not be in conflict. Like Ephron’s film, Allison Anders’ “Gas Food Lodging” (also 1992) explores what happens when the children of single moms reconnect with biological fathers. Male directors were, and are not, making movies like these.

During the 1990s, almost every year brought a new evergreen made by a female filmmaker. In 1993 there were two. One was Jane Campion’s “The Piano,” a haunting allegory about a mute woman that struck a chord internationally. It earned $62 million at the box office and multiple Oscar nominations, including one for best director, making Campion the third woman to be cited in this category. The other was Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” the comedic romance between two people who don’t meet in person until the last scene, which scored a $227 million box office.

“Sleepless” additionally introduced the questionable concept of the “chick flick” to a broader audience. This is a non-genre that has come to be defined as any movie that, according to the term’s proponents, women want to see and that men think they don’t want to watch — or any movie directed by a woman. The division between “chick flick” and its corollary, the “dick flick,” is a perhaps unintended consequence of target marketing, implying that movies represent a gender-linked proposition.

Almost overnight, the perception was created that movies predominantly featuring women, or “women’s interests,” or directed by women would shrivel the manhood of the male moviegoer. In 1994 the head of a major studio told me, without irony or shame, that “Women on the screen means no men in the audience.” When I asked him for data to back up his claim, he said he had it, but it was proprietary.

Despite such signs of cultural and corporate sexism, the 1990s were a good time to be a female filmmaker. In 1994, Gillian Armstrong’s “Little Women” was immediately embraced as a classic. Newcomer Darnell Martin’s “I Like it Like That,” an urban comedy about a working mother juggling job, marriage, and parenthood, earned positive reviews. And Rose Troche’s “Go Fish,” the first indie comedy about girl-on-girl courtship, marked a milestone for the burgeoning genre.

The following year, 16 films by women were in U.S. release, setting another record for that era. Many of them were comedies. There was Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless,” a droll version of Jane Austen’s “Emma” set at a Beverly Hills high school. There is Betty Thomas’ “The Brady Bunch Movie,” in which the former actress sets the characters of the 1970s TV hit in the 1990s to great comic effect. Distinctly not a comedy was Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” a science-fiction thriller about sex crimes, which lost money but became a cult favorite. At the 1996 Oscar ceremony, with “Antonia’s Line,” Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris became the first female filmmaker to direct the award-winning foreign film.

But apart from Bigelow and Mimi Leder, a director of episodic television who in 1997 directed “The Peacemaker” and in 1998 “Deep Impact,” female filmmakers were not making action films. For the most part women made comedies and human stories, movies with no explosions in the opening scene. Veteran filmmaker Martha Coolidge spoke for many women when she noted that the scripts the studios sent her were for comedies or family dramas. “About 90 percent of what comes my way are ten different kinds of breast cancer stories, ten kinds of divorce stories, and ten kinds of women-taking-care-of-their-fathers stories,” she said. “I do those. I care about those deeply. But one does want to do more.”

Female filmmakers were typecast in the way many actors and actresses have been, for the most part pigeonholed in family drama and comedy genres. For example, in 1997 actress Kasi Lemmons made her directorial debut with “Eve’s Bayou,” a haunting family drama, and Betty Thomas returned with the Howard Stern biopic “Private Parts.” In 1998, Ephron returned with the romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.” Nancy Meyers, a long-time screenwriter, made her directorial debut with the family-friendly comedy “The Parent Trap,” and Brenda Chapman, a Disney animator, was one of three directors on “Prince of Egypt,” the animated story of Moses.

In 1999, three female filmmakers made rookie features unlike anything in American movies. Two were romantic dramas about teenage sexuality, the other an imaginative Shakespeare adaptation. Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides,” based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, looked at how boys look at girls, subversively turning the female gaze on the male gaze. Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry” dramatized the life story of Teena Brandon, who changed her name and gender to become Brandon Teena and fell victim to a hate crime.

Julie Taymor, the theater director who created “The Lion King” on stage, made her movie debut with “Titus,” an anachronistic version of the Shakespeare history play “Titus Andronicus,” underscoring its parallels to Italy under Mussolini.

At the end of the decade — and century — of the 11,000 filmmakers working both in television and film included in the Directors Guild of America, about 2,300 were women. While women made up 21 percent of the membership, they comprised only 9 percent of the filmmakers working in movies.

Most, including Martha Lauzen, a professor at San Diego State University and the head of the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television, naturally assumed that in the new century the needle would move toward 50/50.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Val Kilmer Says ‘Misinformed’ Michael Douglas Is Wrong: ‘I Have No Cancer Whatsoever’

Val Kilmer is speaking out after Michael Douglas claimed in an interview that the “Real Genius” star was suffering from oral cancer. In a lengthy Facebook post, Kilmer says that he hasn’t seen Douglas in nearly two years, claiming Douglas was “misinformed” when he made the cancer claim. Admitting that at the time he asked Douglas […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Val Kilmer: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies

Kirsten Howard Sep 13, 2016

We examine the recent Val Kilmer movies, that happened to have bypasses cinemas...

Once upon a time, Val Kilmer’s individual look - defined by a little Swedish blood from his mother’s side - had hearts pumping. Those looks, along with his arrogant, edgy attitude and acting style, helped him clinch plenty of complimentary roles during the 80s and early-90s. Films like Top Secret, Top Gun, Willow and my personal favourite Real Genius were pushing him toward a stellar career back then, and his star was steadily rising.

See also: a closer look at what may be Val Kilmer's weirdest film

But Kilmer came down from a serious high of Heat and Tombstone in the mid-90s when he signed on to the notorious clusterfuck that was The Island Of Dr. Moreau, and only recently has the part he played in its disastrous production come to light.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Review: How does 'Mr. Robot' get through an entire episode without Elliot?

  • Hitfix
Review: How does 'Mr. Robot' get through an entire episode without Elliot?
A review of tonight's Mr. Robot coming up just as soon as I create an Angelfire fan page... "I didn't know I could do that." -Darlene A year ago, an episode like "Successor" — in which Elliot is entirely absent, along with his eponymous alter ego, while the focus is almost entirely on Darlene and her remaining comrades — would have been unthinkable. In season 1, Elliot was the show, and vice versa, and most of fsociety barely registered as more than vague shapes lingering on the edge of the frame (which, given the framing of Mr. Robot, rendered them particularly obscure). At this stage of season 2, though, it mostly works. It's not even that Mobley or Trenton or Cisco have transformed into vivid and exciting characters (though we're at least at the point where I remember their names), but that after spending so much time this summer inside Elliot's head — up to
See full article at Hitfix »
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