Kitty Green’s “Ukraine is Not a Brothel” is a documentary that goes beyond both politics and T&A hype to bring us a complex portrait of a movement seemingly riddled with contradiction.
In (coastal) America the line between performance art and pornography has long been walked by a plethora of female provocateurs, from Annie Sprinkle right up to Sasha Grey. So in this sense Femen – a loose knit group of mostly model-figure feminists who stage topless, flash mob-style protests – aren’t doing anything that would create uproar in New York or San Francisco. But in their native Ukraine, a country with an especially misogynistic mentality that doesn’t take too kindly to any citizen intent on upending the system, they cause a stir and then some.
This year’s Miles Franklin selection is a pretty balanced, if ever so slightly vanilla, selection of literary output.
The longlist for Australian’s biggest literary award, the Miles Franklin, was announced on 3 April, and it’s quite an interesting list as lists go.
This has been your regular lesson in human decency.
A couple of days ago, English writer, television presenter, and model Peaches Geldof was found dead in her home at the age of twenty-five. The cause of death is as yet unknown, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of incredibly inappropriate media speculation and hinting. It’s symptomatic of a weirdly possessive public claim on the lives of famous people. Add in a good chunk of that most popular of narratives, the downfall of a pretty young woman, to borrow from Karen Joy Fowler. And don’t forget, while you’re at it, the hunger for other people’s tragedies.
This persistent attitude that media about women is for women and has no universal appeal is yet another reminder of the social position of women. The ‘everyman’ is, literally, a man.
Call the Midwife is BACK! Viewers of PBS in the United States are just starting the third series of this show, which is growing on viewers in a major way. And while the programme revolves around the lives of women in London’s East End, it would be a mistake to think of it as ‘women’s programming,’ though many people do, and tend to dismiss the show’s largely female fan base. This betrays a popular perception in media and pop culture that media about women is for women, while media about men is, of course, for everyone—contrast the response to this show with the near-universal excitement over Mad Med, which returns in the US very shortly.
Set on the paradise island of Floreana in the Galapagos in the 1930s, The Galapagos Affair is a tale of small town feuding and Tinseltown aspirations turned deadly.
I’ve seen Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine’s “The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden” twice now, the first time at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and most recently at the Bermuda International Film Festival (where I’m on the international advisory board and served on this year’s jury). Set on the paradise island of Floreana in the Galapagos in the 1930s, it’s a tale of small town feuding and Tinseltown aspirations turned deadly. It features famous names like Cate Blanchett and Diane Kruger, and a colorful cast of characters, from a Nietzsche-reading hermit doctor to a limelight-loving, faux baroness. Most surprisingly, it’s not a Hollywood flick. On the contrary, it’s a documentary – proving once again that truth can be stranger than fiction. And that a nonfiction flick can be entertaining enough to sit through twice. I spoke with the talented co-directors prior to the film’s NYC theatrical premiere on April 4th.
Pop culture juggernaut Game of Thrones is returning to the US on 7 April, and the hit HBO series will be simulcast in the UK, showing just how big its fandom has grown—and highlighting the tensions that can arise when [...]
Pop culture juggernaut Game of Thrones is returning to the US on 7 April, and the hit HBO series will be simulcast in the UK, showing just how big its fandom has grown—and highlighting the tensions that can arise when programmes have international viewers who don’t like being spoiled by those in earlier time zones (a perennial problem domestically as well for those living on the West Coast and in Hawaii). Season four, actors (and the books) promise, will be one where spoilers would definitely ruin the experience, because there will be ample moments where the element of surprise will make the scene. So one can see why fans are worried about what might leak out before they get a chance to watch, though of course anyone who’s read the books already knows what to expect. (Is it still a spoiler when it’s been out in another format for years?)
The nominee list for the annual Nebula Awards is out, and, as usual, it’s a strong one.
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have announced the nominee list for the annual Nebula Awards, and, as usual, it’s got some strong points of interest.
Movie stars make the best aliens and Scarlett has that extra-terrestrial glide, bizarre sass that makes her fully equipped to prey on the ugly, unsuspecting Glaswegian public. “Under the Skin” does just that. “Under the Skin” does just that.
Has Scarlett Johansson ever felt at ease in her own skin? That fashionable, gawky frame, part siren, part nerd, those lips propelling her clipped New York accent so considered and efficient. Like all movie stars she isn’t quite real, a flesh construct draped in chic and showered by our personal meanings, heaped at her feet like offerings to a Roman Goddess. Movie stars make the best aliens and Scarlett has that extra-terrestrial glide, bizarre sass that makes her fully equipped to prey on the ugly, unsuspecting Glaswegian public.
Given that the film itself was a reunion of sorts for the actors, it’s a pity they didn’t have a stronger and more complex script to work with.
After seven long years, we finally got another chapter in the life of Veronica Mars, snarky detective with a hidden heart of gold. The Veronica Mars movie hit screens and computer screens simultaneously on Friday, 14 March (also, notably, Pi Day), to what turned out to be rather mixed response from long-time fans (who call themselves ‘Marshmallows’) and a disappointing box office performance. Two things need to be evaluated when it comes to Veronica Mars: was it a successful movie? And was it a successful experiment in crowdfunding a film production?
Veronica Mars aired for only three seasons, but they were glorious, compelling, fascinating seasons, the kind of television that people still talk about long after it’s gone.
A long time ago, we used to be friends…and I can’t wait to see you again.
This Friday, the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated Veronica Mars movie comes out, and fans everywhere are already gearing up. The fact that the movie exists it all is a powerful testament to the potential of crowdfunding, though it’s also a potentially dangerous commentary on media funding and promotion in the US. Even as media consumers are excited for the film, some are worried about the precedent set by making consumers bear the cost of funding film production, as well as other implications of crowdsourcing film funding.
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