Weekend Reader – April 4ish (The Spoiler-Free Steve Rogers Edition)

Has anyone else just had the worst week?

Well, it would have been the worst week, except I got to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So it was the best worst week.

Did you know Cap has his own froyo? So many flavours. Including Cheesecake! I wouldn’t think he’d be into that, considering how long he was on ice. Insensitive? Anyway…

My only Cap-related complaint is that’s it’s really hard to find non-3D screenings. That’s the definition of first world problems right there. Like I said, anyway…

If you read the header of this post, you know what I’ve been reading this week. And you don’t need me to tell you how good this movie is. I’m sure there are lots of reviews you can read. But, if you’re looking for your Avengers news fix, you are in the right place:

An interview iffy in quality from The Guardian

THR had SO MANY THINGS

 

A WARNING: this link is a bit misleading… Someone cut together scenes from different movies and used the word naked in the title… But, really, he’s wearing pants. Mostly.

(And go see Snowpiercer as soon as you have a chance)

As for the other Avengers…

And…

 

The Weekend Reader – January 31ish

There was SO MUCH GOING ON this week… And a few things I want to talk about in-depth. So here’s the oh-so brief rundown, with more to come shortly…

The Weekend Reader – January 24ish

A short and late list this week/end… But some really good reads:

1- A really interesting article from The Guardian on live theatre versus recorded broadcast of theatre productions. The article is really thoroughly thought out and well-written, but I’d like to dumb down its conclusions:

Not everyone lives in a place where live theatre is common. And not everyone can afford to travel to see theatre. Conversely, there are people who live in Brooklyn and never visit the Statue of Liberty. The stars aren’t always aligned for a live performance to meet an audience and, since we now live in an age where we can have live performances preserved, why does anyone feel the need to be an elitist prick about it?

2- An article from THR about Ride Along that seems pretty ho-hum, until you read the comments. There is a strange trend to break down movie demographics for films that appeal to women or minorities. Anyone know why that happens? Or if THR is more guilty than other outlets to do so?

3- The DGA, Lexi Alexander Getting Real and an Infographic. Women in Filmmaking at Sundance (via Indiewire) … I hate to say it, but the Sundance study seems to really lend some credibility to the hypothesis from many corners- including Lexi Alexander’s blog post- that women just aren’t given as much of a chance to work in Hollywood.

4- Yet another awesome ep of Scriptnotes. I know you’re probably already all over it but, in case you’re not, it was focused on female directors with guest Carolyn Strauss. Listen to it.

Davis + Davis = Two Women Who Have The Secret to Slow Sexism in Hollywood

Two really interesting thoughts I wanted to share, from an acting point of view…

Geena Davis has Two easy steps to make Hollywood less sexist

Viola Davis says I will never see myself on screen

Both pieces are kind of sad and hopeful, somehow, at the same time. The (very simple) steps Geena Davis proposes seem to make sense… I hope every writer has tried the gender switch- in both directions- with at least a couple of characters at some point in their career. It`s such a worthwhile exercise. We can make change with quantity alongside quality.

As for seeing herself on screen, well, Viola Davis has a point there. She says, basically, that it`s because her range of humanity doesn`t mesh with the portrayal of black characters. I`d step that out even further and say almost nothing she mentions meshes with the general portrayal of women on screen, either. It`s a shame that an actor as brilliant as Viola Davis isn`t getting a flood of great roles that she has to turn down because there are just too many to choose from. It`s a shame that she`s still seeing the things we all see and that make us all scratch our heads.

And I don`t see why we can`t keep these things in mind as we strive to build the new normal. The more we write a quantity of women who are three-dimensional, the more everyone will get used to reading it. The more it gets read, the more it has the chance to get made. So, let`s do more of this. We can always do more of this. Go.

Happy List-Mass Everybody!

(Haha! GET IT? Because it`s holiday time and there are lots of lists… No? Why am I wasting my delectable puns on you then?)

Well, it is that time of year. Again. Both The Black List and The Hit List are out. And lots of other lists, I am sure… But lists make me tired and, after too many of them, I get rage-y. So, let`s just stick with these for the moment, shall we?

(For a detailed breakdown of The Black List stats, THR has a good-un.)

I haven`t really officially counted, and I certainly don`t have an infographic (I`m much more of a Venn Diagram girl, for anyone still looking to get me a gift!) but there are trends. There are always trends. For example: 

-Lots of overlap on both lists (but lots of change in rankings from list to list)

-Lots of women on the lists are already employed on TV and a couple have been Nicholl Fellows (high fives all around)

-Lots of the writers have some kind of representation (I would say all of them do but, again, no hard numbers)

-Lots of the scripts are by established (and well-represented) writers, and a few have appeared on said lists in previous years 

-Lots of horror, sci-fi, thrillers and dying children (not necessarily all together… or separate)

-Lots of bios (two on Mister Rogers alone?!) and based on true stories (so, so many)

-Lots of the loglines for these are terrible (so, so terrible)

But have you noticed that some of these points seem to go against advice that`s perpetuated quite often to young writers? Including:

-If you write a great script, Hollywood will find it (apparently, representation needs to find you first)

-Don`t chase trends (Based-on-true stories seem to always be ranked so high on these lists, so wouldn`t writing a biopic generally give you a better chance at getting industry attention?)

-You need a great logline to pitch your script (Apparently that`s not true. At all.)

And so on.

Also, and I do hate to have to say this, but not a ton of ladies on the list…

Which brings up the age-old question- It is because of fewer scripts written or a lesser-quality of scripts submitted? Either way, it sucks. And it needs to change.

So, let`s all work on it. Let`s all try and Be The Change in 2014. Always quality over quantity but, yeah, let`s work on quantity too.

 

Why I Love Emma Thompson, Explained In One Paragraph

From The Hollywood Reporter`s Actress Roundtable

Are there roles you won’t play?

THOMPSON: Well, apart from the muff shot and things like that — but let’s not go there (laughter) — there was a patch of time when I was in my 30s and just started [being offered] a whole string of roles that basically involved saying to a man, “Please don’t go and do that brave thing. Don’t! No, no, no, no, no!” That’s a trope, the stock woman who says, “Don’t do the brave thing.” I said no to all of them. I’m so proud.

The first step to solving a problem is admitting the problem. There it is. Now let`s all start to fix it.

A Writer’s Roundtable… including George Clooney?

I definitely hate the game and not the playa… (OK, I’m not a huge fan of the beach either- the film or the thing…)  But I wanted to quickly post this from The Hollywood Reporter.

I am very cool (happy, even) with celebrating writers who (maybe/might/perhaps) be up for awards soon enough, but is it weird that I don’t think of George Clooney as a writer? I mean, Julie Delpy is there, and I totally think of her as a writer with writing skills on par with her acting chops. Maybe Mr. Clooney does a lot of adapting, which is why him=writer doesn’t really make sense in my brain…? I dunno. But, Clooney aside, the interview has some interesting perspective on the craft. And it’s a bit diverse, so yay that too…