Ruia/pyotra/dhrupad and I are starting a film site akin in some ways to desistfilm and basically we are looking for regular contributors. Basically we want to focus on films that are rarely talked about especially through different angles as well as talk about film influences on other films. This can be accomplished in various ways via interviewing filmmakers or opinion pieces on the nature of film and representation right now in a certain country or etc.
The site is sort of an antidote to the narrow-minded views of the white male-domination of film critique and reviews that one regularly finds. Overall it would be a non-western/western POC focus to it and it’d be great to have a variety of people from different socioeconomic/national/etc backgrounds contribute.
Right now we are looking are aiming to get a custom domain via wordpress which would be split up in cost. If anyone is looking an outlet to regularly write but also be part of a community of writers and get feedback and other’s opinions when it comes to writing on film, please feel free to message either of us! If you are also interested in contributing from time-to-time you are also welcome to do so.
Anonymous asked: you know what sucks about GoT is that the books are less rape-y (for instance involving daenerys and drogo) and they feature more poc
I’ve heard that! for sure
The thing about the Cars movies is that they are geared to a specific audience and that audience does not include 12-year-old girls. — perfect angel twelve year-old media critic
The Code Behind the Kitty: Unpacking the Racist Myth of the Siamese Cat -
The Internet loves nothing more than cats, but it’s rare that we look beyond the cute photos and memes to more seriously consider their place in our world. Flavorwire’s Highbrow Cat Week is an attempt to remedy that, with a series of pieces devoted to analyzing their impact on the cultural realm.
The Siamese cat, as canonical as it is controversial, has developed a legacy in American cinema for embodying undeniably racist stereotypes about Asians and Asian Americans — most notably through the Siamese duo Si and Am of Lady and the Tramp, often cited as one of the most racist cartoon characters ever depicted on film.
But despite achieving 20th-century celebrity through its depiction as a gratuitously racist caricature of Asians, the Siamese cat’s rise to prominence is a trajectory rife with sociopolitical and historical significance.
(Source: thenegrotude, via duhdoydorothy)
Just so y’all know, yes, I will be doing Mad Men Monday this season after kind of abandoning it last season; I just don’t have internet or cable at home right now, so the timetable will be kind of weird and probably not actually on Mondays always! But I do have the premiere on my flash drive and will be updating soon!
This week I marathoned both Girls and Game of Thrones, start to finish, for feminist science reasons. (And other reasons.) I started Girls and I was struck by how much rape was in it. Like, probably I should have paid more attention to very blogger who tried to warn me about this, but it is a really rapey show. Definitely there is more rape in Girls than any show I’d ever seen, SVU notwithstanding. There is something rapey in almost every single episode of Girls.
I had heard that Game of Thrones was also very rapey, so I decided to, um, for really real, one-for-one compare how much rape was in Girls vs. Game of Thrones. I seriously started keeping tallies for y’all! That didn’t last, lol. There are quite a few rape scenes in GoT and you should be careful watching it! But I can say with confidence that Girls is MUCH MORE RAPEY than Game of Thrones. Like, no question, there are significantly higher rapey scenarios per minute of Girls than in Game of Thrones.
I feel pretty betrayed by Pop Feminism, tbh, for trying to convince me that Martin was the real enemy here. I also feel pretty betrayed by myself, for being so stubborn to get involved with a show so beloved by creepy white twerps, because GoT is FUCKING GOOD in spite of nerd boys everywhere. Finally, I feel mega betrayed by Peter Jackson (still) because this show is way slicker and more expensive-looking than The Hobbit.
I’d argue that Game of Thrones is more racist though, absolutely.
(Source: beowulfstits-archive, via theuntitledmag)
TV doesn’t make the family, but it makes the family mean in a certain way. That is, it makes an exceptionally sharp distinction between the family as a biological unit and as a cultural identity, and it does this by teaching us the attributes and attitudes by which people who thought they were already in a family actually only begin to qualify as belonging to a family. The great power of the media, and especially of television, is, as Simon Watney writes, “its capacity to manufacture subjectivity itself,” and in so doing to dictate the shape of an identity. The “general public” is at once an ideological construct and a moral prescription. Furthermore, the definition of the family as an identity is, inherently, an exclusionary process, and the cultural product has no obligation whatsoever to coincide exactly with its natural referent. Thus the family identity produced on American television is much more likely to include your dog than your homosexual brother or sister. — Leo Bersani, from “Is the Rectum a Grave?” 1987
Whether you’re a fan or not you have to admit Beyonce’s Knowles performance at the Super Bowl was full of explosive energy. Her 13-minute performance included a 120 dancers, a 10-piece all female band and several back up singers.
Then there’s the Super Dome staff, stage, lighting and costume designers, the choreographer, the hair and make up folks, the list goes on.
It’s no surprise Beyoncé is getting all the attention but since no one else is talking about the musicians that made that performance happen it’s a great opportunity to highlight the band.
Beyoncé says she started the 10-piece all female band called “The Sugar Mamas” so young girls could have more role models.
“When I was younger I wish I had more females who played instruments to look up to. I played piano for like a second but then I stopped,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “I just wanted to do something which would inspire other young females to get involved in music so I put together an all-woman band.”
Meet some of the band members that make up Beyonce’s band “The Sugars Mamas.”
I would also recommend I Am… Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas!
(Content warning for menstruation)
Today, Feminist Film welcomes a guest post, the first in what I hope will be a long series talking about some of those notorious “Feminist” moments on Degrassi. I’ve been watching this show—Degrassi: The Next Generation, the youngest series in a family of teen drama shows that started in the eighties—since it first aired. I’ve been watching it for more than a decade, for a dozen seasons, for most of my growing up. To apply an old teensploitation trope, I have been watching this show practically as long as I’ve been getting my period. Much like the tampon commercials so integral to a Degrassi broadcast, this show has offered some of the most powerful (if corny, and sometimes terrible) media messages about sex and gender to generations of kids. Especially girls. Not even just the Canadian ones!
To kick it all off, I’m happy to offer you a piece from Degrassi recap legend and noted teen-girl-issues blogger, Get Down Liberty.
Can we start out by talking about the Degrassi episode with Emma’s period? No, no, let me try that again, without masking the full glory of the moment - can we start out with the episode with Emma’s period blood? The big dirty red stain on her khaki skirt? Any conversation that deals with Degrassi, ladies, and greatness has to start with this moment, when Emma blatantly bleeds all over the place in the middle of the school day.
For the uninitiated, Degrassi is a Canadian show that regularly mixes tropes from after-school specials and soap operas to showcase the full glorious horror of adolescence. Emma is a key character, originally appearing as an accidental baby in the original run of Degrassi High before returning as a gawky, awkward preteen for the sequel series, Degrassi: The Next Generation. She’s got a cool mom, too, called Spike (because she was a child of the 80s in a way that only fictional characters can be), who has spent the last twelve years trying to raise Emma into an empowered female.
I mean, Spike doesn’t do a perfect job but she does a good job. In this episode, we get to see it up close - she’s all of five feet and she still steps up to the creepiest guy in the mall, shutting him down after he tries to turn an afternoon of retail shopping and ice cream with her daughter into something sexual by growling, “I’d like a lick of your cone.” Though embarrassed by her mom’s awesomeness, Emma gets the message, loud and clear, “Don’t ever let anyone make you feel ashamed just because you’re a woman.” Unfortunately, Emma will take also this strength, this deep self-assurance and use it to be an awful person, but that’s a post for another time.
So, anyway, let’s talk about the day that Emma gets her period, keeping Spike’s words at hand (Degrassi writers like to give you the key to their plots on silver platters like that). Arguably, it’s a very ‘woman’ thing to have your everyday business grind to a halt because you’ve started your period. For my part, I can remember a particularly awkward stroll across campus when I had the bad luck to start my period in Princeton’s engineering building, where every bathroom across all three floors had broken or empty tampon/pad dispensers (natch). For Emma, this means getting pulled back into her chair after her crush, Sean “The Man” Cameron, offers her a golden opportunity to hang out during lunch. It means walking slowly, bowleggedly, to the nearest bathroom while her BFF, Manny, follows dutifully with a folder pressed up against her butt. It means standing in stained clothing, sighing over the loss of a perfectly good skirt and undies, her first sacrifices to ‘Womanhood.’
In all my life, which is made up of TV and movies and stuff I do while thinking about TV and movies, I can’t think of another time when a period was on full display like that, so mundanely, so blatantly, without some punchline or some comically exaggerated horrified recoil or some deep artistic meaning. There’s no writhing around with cramps, no guys around to offer their disgust, no older women cooing about ‘Becoming a Woman.’ Just a girl standing in a bathroom, waiting on a pair of shorts and a pad so she can get back to class.
I think that’s Degrassi at its best. There’s something really familiar in Paige’s hand, chubby with babyfat, reaching into her cool see-through box purse to fish out a pad and handing it to Emma in the next stall. There’s something deeply profound in Emma looking down at her chest, worrying about her future breasts like they were an invading force. And there’s just something really cute in Manny bursting into the scene again, carrying tissues and a huge pair of gym shorts.
"Perfectly natural. Nothing to be ashamed about. Right, Ms. Kwan?"
‘The Unwritten Rules’ needs $22000 for their web series to get season 2 started.
This is written by, directed by, produced by and is starring Black women.
I’ve donated my $20 to help a Black woman get her voice heard.
Let’s give Black women a voice and silence Dunham’s.
Donate to ‘The Unwritten Rules’ here
lena dunham, you can’t respond to one criticism with “well it’s self-deprecating/it’s satirical/it’s tongue-in-cheek/these are supposed to be awful people/i’m not that talented or special or pretty i’m just a lame frumpy girl” and respond to another with “well i just want to be earnest and sincere/i want people to relate to my show/all i’ve ever wanted is to be recognized for my talent,” you may very well hold these manic viewpoints but please stop dodging legitimate responses to your work with the “it’s a joke/it’s the most sincere thing i’ve ever done and you can’t fault me for being real & honest” feint.
quentin tarantino, you can’t say “it’s just supposed to be a fun blaxploitation movie, pure entertainment, you’re not supposed to think about it,” then, once people start talking about its actual social ramifications, you start talking about how honest and real and true and historical your movie is supposed to be with terry gross.
works of art can be complex and contradictory, and the most satisfying art often is. but insincerity is another thing. and keeping the conversations spinning around your art is the worst if you’re going to keep doing that gag where you say something out of the corner of your mouth in a crowd then yell “yeah, what that guy said!!” then you put on a hat and dip into another part of the crowd and start yelling different things
Jumbled Ruminations on "Argo" -
One of the most infuriating things in the world is when people expect you to “catch them up” on extremely complex histories and cultures and ethnicities and peoples and geopolitical struggles which they could very easily research on their own. What’s even more infuriating? Argo. I have had far too many folks ask me to “explain” why they shouldn’t see Argo, and almost every single time I get upset because it’s so fucking obvious — you’re watching Hollywood once again attempt to narrativize the Middle East through its Western filter. But it’s difficult to even try to explain the many layers of jingoism and self-aggrandizing propaganda in this film and its contemporaries to those who are incessantly trained to prioritize the lives of a handful of wealthy white people who are, thanks to Affleck, valorized as the “civilized,” “educated,” “elitist” Anglos vying for “safety” and “freedom” when confronted with the Angry, Bearded, Brown Revolutionaries™ — and their Supportive, Shrouded Sisters and Spouses® — who “reign over” an “exotic” and “evil” land. Someone who graced me with their presence just this past week said something to the effect of, “Well, where are all the Iranian American filmmakers? I’m sure Affleck would’ve let them take over the film production, but they apparently don’t exist.” What exactly is going through the mind of someone who thinks this way — someone who assumes that Hollywood’s power players would readily afford anyone outside of their entity of privileged, white, Euro-American, Judeo-Christian men the opportunity to make their version of this particular film at this moment in modern history? And, moreover, what exactly is going through the mind of someone who thinks that one Iranian American filmmaker is going to speak for us all? My friends and I have had far too many unnecessary run-ins with a lot of thoughtless, condescending, xenophobic, and bigoted white folks — white-passing privilege makes these experiences all the more interesting because people assume you’re “one of them” and say literally anything they want in front of you — and many of these people have fostered such a cripplingly myopic conceptualization of “terrorism” that they actually talk about “terrorism” as if it’s the polar opposite of anything that Europe and its great North American allies have ever engaged in. No one seems to think about resistance vis-à-vis “terrorism.” No one seems to think about our collective engagement in the Orientalist gaze — how we at once fetishize and denounce the victims of our leaders’ myriad neoimperialist projects. No one seems to think about the acute stigmatization and racialization of Islam. No one seems to think about just how fucking heartbreaking and rage-inducing and gut-wrenching and soul-crushing it is to see peoples and places and religions you are connected to further demonized and othered to no avail by dangerous and irresponsible profiteers — by people like Affleck and Clooney and their cohorts who masquerade as “politically-conscious artists” yet who, in all actuality, poison the masses with fuel for fire, with more reasons to hate “those savages over there.”Argo is the beating of a war drum whose reverberations are unceasing. If you’re going to spend only the first minute or so of the entire film giving audiences an historical foundation that reads like a subpar Wikipedia session, you shouldn’t be producing a mainstream blockbuster movie about Iran. If you’re going to compare CIA operations to abortions, you shouldn’t be producing a mainstream blockbuster movie about Iran. If you’re going to close your sefid circle jerk of a narrative with a soundbite from a former U.S. president instead of a cautionary message about sanctions/drone strikes/apartheid/Islamophobia/warmongering, you shouldn’t be producing a mainstream blockbuster movie about Iran.
What I do argue also is that there is a difference between knowledge of other peoples and other times that is the result of understanding, compassion, careful study and analysis for their own sakes, and on the other hand knowledge—if that is what it is—that is part of an overall campaign of self-affirmation, belligerency, and outright war. There is, after all, a profound difference between the will to understand for purposes of coexistence and humanistic enlargement of horizons, and the will to dominate for purposes of control and external enlargement of horizons, and the will to dominate for the purposes of control and external domination. […] Today, bookstores in the United States are filled with shabby screeds bearing screaming headlines about Islam and terror, Islam exposed, the Arab threat, and the Muslim menace, all of them written by political polemicists pretending to knowledge imparted to them and others by experts who have supposedly penetrated to the heart of these strange Oriental peoples over there who have been such a terrible thorn in “our” flesh. Accompanying such warmongering expertise have been the omnipresent CNNs and Fox News Channels of this world, plus myriad numbers of evangelical and right-wing radio hosts, plus innumerable tabloids and even middlebrow journals, all of them recycling the same unverifiable fictions and vast generalizations so as to stir up “America” against the foreign devil.
—Edward Said, May 2003
(Source: aloofshahbanou, via aloofshahbanou)
Requisite joke about a category whose nominees were Lena Dunham, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey
WHOSE FEMINISM IS GONNA WIN