Entertainment - BUST http://bust.com/entertainment/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 06:35:09 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb no-reply@bust.com (BUST ) The Comic "Lady Killer" Shows A Woman Murdering Sexual Harassers — And It Comes At The Perfect Time http://bust.com/books/193941-lady-killer.html http://bust.com/books/193941-lady-killer.html  

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Have you ever wondered if a monster has a soul? Can a gorgeous woman be a monster? What entrepreneurial tips can women learn from a psychopath? These questions and more may arise in the bone-chilling second volume of Joëlle Jones' murderous comic, Lady Killer.

Set in 1950s Florida, Lady Killer follows Josie Schuller, a successful entrepreneur ahead of her time. She manages her own business while raising two daughters with her equally successful husband, all while looking fabulous. Did I mention Josie’s business is highly skilled and specialized? She is a killer for hire, and she is really good at her job. Inspired by the glamourous images of 1950s advertising, Jones creates a drop dead gorgeous killer in Josie Schuler.

“I became obsessed with these illustrators from the time, and I started going to all these antique stores. I kept finding all these really sexist ads, and I loved them, and I started to collect them,” Jones tells BUST. “It was funny because in almost all of them it’s all a big joke, and the woman has to put on this big smile and get back to the laundry anyway. These scenes of family were always so kitsch and unrealistic and so forced that I felt like screaming, and I wondered, what were these people really up to behind the smile?”

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Jones’ character Josie is the embodiment of that 1000-watt smile. She is both sweet and sinister, showing a softer side next to her husband and becoming a terrifyingly disturbed woman when alone with her prey. Josie can be classified as a psychopath; however, she has a job to do, and she does it damn well. The fact that the story is set in the 1950s makes it all the more fascinating. It was a time when sexual harassment was not only rampant, but was openly encouraged as a form of flattery.

Lady Killer does not shy away from portraying this type of open sexual harassment, which is depicted in the relationship between Josie and her husband’s red-nosed boss George, as well as most of the men Josie encounters — many of whom she's been hired to kill. Watching Josie murder insanely gross, Weinstien-esque men is a type a catharsis for the reader, though we would never actually want to murder any of these guys, or would ever want to meet Josie in real life. In Josie, Jones has created a devastatingly interesting, at times unlikable character — which is incredibly important as women continue to write, develop, and have a say in comics.

Lady Killer couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. Women are finally getting the opportunity to show their voice in every form of media, and it is important to write and create female characters who may be monsters but still have humanity. It is not that women who are psychopaths do not exist, but Jones brings forth Josie's humanity, which makes you want to continue reading.

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In Lady Killer Volume 2, Josie’s hard work has been noticed by a larger group of hitmen, and they seek to recruit her. This promotion remains in the back of Josie’s mind as one of the key players of the story, Uncle Irving, a clean-up man, asks to work hand in hand with Josie. The difference in how the two execute their jobs is fascinating. Josie kills with finesse: She understands what is at stake with her job, and although she is a great killer, she is not the best cleaner. Irving convinces Josie to partner with her with one caveat: if she doesn't like his work, she can always kill him.

This work relationship sets up the tension for Lady Killer and raises the stakes. Irving is clearly someone not to be trusted. This becomes evident when Josie’s mother-in-law recognizes him from her own mysterious past. It is because of the tension between Josie and Irving that Josie starts to build a relationship with mother-in-law.

“I think they are both just terrible people; at the beginning they definitely just don’t like each other,” Jones says about Josie and her mother-in-law. “They both have really dark paths, and they both have done terrible things. I want there to it be an ongoing relationship between them.”

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Lady Killer is a labor of love for Jones. She created the art and story for the comic. After working in comics over 10 years, Jones is a seasoned vet who has seen the changes in the writing room. At the beginning of her career, she was many times the only woman in the room, but today, it is very rare to see only one woman in the room.

As writing rooms continue to diversify, we are going to keep seeing more comics created and led by female artists from all backgrounds. The more women who are working in comics and creating content, the less women will be pigeonholed into working on just one genre. Jones expresses her need to create black comedy, saying, “I felt I had to write this story in order to make something that really makes me excited, a genre I am really excited about.”

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Jones has created a woman with a killer wardrobe, hair, and personality. I would love to own all of Josie’s clothes, minus all the blood stains. But since I can’t own her clothes, owning her comic and reading about her killer life will have to do for now.

“She is glamorous in her day to day, she’s got the greatest clothes, her hair always looks good. I wanted to mess that up a lot," Jones says. "I like the idea of, yeah, she’s a terrible person. I like showing the bad qualities pretty people have.”

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idieppa0830@gmail.com (Isabel S. Dieppa) Entertainment Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:12:52 -0500
Week Of Women: December 15-21, 2017 http://bust.com/entertainment/193943-week-of-women-december-15-21.html http://bust.com/entertainment/193943-week-of-women-december-15-21.html  

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It’s our second-to-last Week of Women of 2017! This year’s week in women-centered pop culture brings a new Star Wars movie, a documentary about quinceañeras, and a new song from Cardi B. As a reminder, we haven’t seen, watched, or listened to all of these ourselves (in fact, this week we haven’t reviewed any), so don’t blame us if you hate them.

MOVIES

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Along with the return of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) — plus the last performance from Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia — the new Star Wars movie brings us Kelly Marie Tran, who is the first Asian American woman in a Star Wars movie (about time!), and the always-fantastic Laura Dern. Out Friday, December 15.

Permanent

Colette Burson writes and directs this coming-of-age comedy starring 12-year-old newcomer Kira McLean, Patricia Arquette, and Rainn Wilson, and set in the ‘80s. Out Friday, December 15.

Killing For Love

Karin Steinberger and Marcus Vetter direct this documentary film about the 1985 murder of Derek and Nancy Naysom by their daughter, Elizabeth Haysom, and her boyfriend, Jens Söring. Out Friday, December 15.

TV

The Daily Show's The Yearly Show 2017

 The Daily Show’s year-end special features a look back at the trash fire that was 2017.

15: A Quinceañera Story

These four documentary short films follow five Latina girls of different backgrounds as they prepare to celebrate their quinceañeras. Premieres Tuesday, December 19 on HBO.

MUSIC

“Um Yeah” by Cardi B. and Offset

Cardi B. teamed up with her fiance Offset to release this new track.

“Leanne” by Michelle Rose

We’re into this new song that premiered on the season finale of Broad City

BOOKS

 First Year Out: A Transition Story by Sabrina Symington

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This graphic novel follows a character called Lily as she navigates the first year after she comes out as trans, from laser hair removal to dating to dealing with her parents. Out Tuesday, December 19.

 Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

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This adorably illustrated book celebrates 40 black women who changed history, including abolitionists Sojourner Truth, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

PODCASTS

BUST's Poptarts: I, Tonya

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In BUST’s latest episode of Poptarts, editors Emily and Callie talk about I ,Tonya with the curators of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Museum, Viviana Rosales Olen and Matt Harkins.

Top photo: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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erikawsmith@bust.com (Erika W. Smith) Entertainment Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:14:25 -0500
This Chilling Short Film Reenacts The Accusations Against Harvey Weinstein http://bust.com/movies/193940-honeypot-shows-us-how-awful-harvey-weinstein-is.html http://bust.com/movies/193940-honeypot-shows-us-how-awful-harvey-weinstein-is.html  

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Honeypot, written and directed by Jill Greenberg, shows just how awful Harvey Weinstein truly is. Only 7 minutes long, the short film provides a reenactment of what it may have felt like to be a young woman auditioning for a Weinstein film.

It stars only three characters, “Harvey,” his female assistant, and an unnamed, unknown actress auditioning for a role. Through the majority of the film, the audience watches in horror as a back and forth takes place between Harvey and the young actress, who pleads with him, asking to leave his hotel room as he tries to pressure her into a massage and tandem shower. Shot only 15 days after the Weinstein story broke, the encounter between the Harvey character in the film and the unknown actress mimic the actual audiotape of Harvey Weinstein that was obtained by the NYPD in a sting operation with Ambra Gutierrez in 2015.

Although revelations and allegations continued to pour out during and after production, Honeypot doesn't lack for anything. Inspired by the audiofiles, Greenberg unnervingly executes the danger, discomfort, and anxiety young women must have felt when trapped in a room with the real Harvey Weinstein. Moreover, Greenberg multiplies Weinstein's villainy through the titular character, Harvey’s assistant ( the “honeypot"), who sets up auditions for Harvey and offers consolation prizes to the victims, fully aware of his predatory behavior. Through this added character, Greenberg draws attention to those who have been complicit in perpetuating and covering up Weinsteins actions throughout the decades.

Honeypot reminds us that while Weinstein is a singular predator, there are many more to blame. As more and more men are being called out for sexual misconduct, Honeypot asks us to go deeper, to recognize the wrongdoing of the institution as well as of the individual. Definitely a must-see, you can watch it below. 

Top photo courtesy Jill Greenberg Studio 

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epstein.cs@gmail.com (Cricket Epstein) Entertainment Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:40:41 -0500
“Call Me By Your Name” Is A Coming-Of-Age Story Full Of Sexual Tension And Heartbreak http://bust.com/movies/193942-call-me-by-your-name-review.html http://bust.com/movies/193942-call-me-by-your-name-review.html  

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Call Me By Your Name, director Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of the novel by André Aciman, has drawn quite a bit of controversy: there’s the age difference between the two main characters (one 17, one 24); the fact that the two main actors are straight, yet telling a gay coming-of-age story (though the director is gay); and, of course, that peach fucking scene. These are all important conversations to have (well, minus the one about the peach scene), and I went into the film with a few trepidations, but after I saw it, I loved it — it’s a beautiful coming-of-age story that hasn’t been told before.

We open in 1983, in the lush Italian countryside. We see seventeen-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) watch the arrival of his archaeology professor father’s (Michael Stuhlberg) summer postdoc assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). Soon, it becomes clear that Elio is extremely into Oliver — but Guadagnino makes us wait to find out if Oliver returns his feelings, heightening the sexual tension in a slow burn. It's a portrayal of adolescent desire that anyone who's ever been a sexually frustrated teen with a crush will relate to. (Raises hand.)

When Elio finally makes a move, Oliver expresses hesitation at becoming involved with Elio due to their age difference, warning Elio (correctly) that he’ll get hurt — but it's not too long before Oliver gives in. The two begin a whirlwind romance under the noses of Elio’s seemingly-oblivious family. Along with some intense sex scenes — including one in which Oliver tells Elio, “Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine” — Guadagnino includes many shots of ripening fruit, culminating in that peach scene: Elio masturbates into a de-pitted peach, which Oliver then discovers and tastes. The scene goes from strangely erotic to heartbreaking in just a few seconds, because although Elio is in love with Oliver, they both know that the summer can’t last forever, and Oliver will have to leave.

 The Italian countryside, architecture, and images of ancient statues, along with a soundtrack containing some tearjerking Sufjan Stevens originals, creates a gorgeous setting that makes Elio and Oliver’s story feel contained in its own world.  The cast all puts in incredible performances, but Timothée Chalamet’s portrayal of a teenager falling in love, discovering his sexuality, and getting his heart broken for the first time deserves all the awards.  

It's important to note that although Guadagnino portrays a relationship with an age gap — and, by the way, it looks like it, because the pair spends much of the film in swimsuits and Hammer looks very much like a full grown man and Chalamet looks very much like a teen — he isn't necessarily endorsing it. We see Oliver's warning to Elio come true, and it's clear the relationship affects Elio far more intensely than it does Oliver — a point underscored by a particularly touching scene between Elio and his father. We get much less of Oliver's interiority than we do of Elio's, and to me, the film seems more of a coming-of-age story than an idealized love story. In short, it's complicated, but it feels real and relatable — and as a film, it looks and sounds beautiful.

top photo: Call Me By Your Name

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erikawsmith@bust.com (Erika W. Smith) Entertainment Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:35:06 -0500
Nina Simone Will Finally Be Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame http://bust.com/music/193937-nina-simone-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame.html http://bust.com/music/193937-nina-simone-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame.html  

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2018 inductees, and the one we are most excited about is, hands down, Nina Simone. An accomplished singer, songwriter, and pianist known as "the High Priestess of Soul,” Simone was also an important activist in the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, calling out injustice through her songs like “Mississippi Goddam,” “To Be Young, Gifted, And Black,” “Four Women,” and her version of “Strange Fruit” (originally written by Billie Holiday).

Simone has been eligible since 1986, but she’s never even been nominated before. Um, about time, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Don’t know much about Simone but want to fix that, as you should? The 2015 documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?, directed by Liz Garbus and executive produced by Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly, is a great film and is available to watch on Netflix.

 

Gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whose music in the ‘30s and ‘40s was hugely influential in the development of rock’n’roll, will also be inducted. She’s been called “the original soul sister” and “The Godmother of Rock and Roll.” Rolling Stone describes her as “A queer black woman from Arkansas who shredded on electric guitar, belted praises both to God and secular pleasures, and broke the color line touring with white singers, she was gospel's first superstar, and she most assuredly rocked.”

The other inductees are a bunch white dude rock bands: the Cars, Bon Jovi, the Moody Blues, and Dire Straits.

Top photo: Nina Simone, from "What Happened, Miss Simone?"

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erikawsmith@bust.com (Erika W. Smith) Entertainment Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:01:29 -0500
Heather Benjamin's Humanoid Art Has Us Swooning http://bust.com/arts/193934-heather-benjamin-solo-exhibition-opening.html http://bust.com/arts/193934-heather-benjamin-solo-exhibition-opening.html  heather5 8c137

 

 

Whatever you are doing this Friday, cancel it. Heather Benjamin, the author and illustrator of the comic Sad People Sex, is having her first solo exhibition, “Death of a Tail,” at the Dress Shop Gallery, located at 322 Troutman Street in Brooklyn, New York. The Friday opening will boast a reception from 6-10pm.

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Aligning with BUST’s feminist vibes and values, and particularly important in our current political climate, Benjamin’s work features avatars — part women, part animal — that, in her own words, she uses to “sort through her own trauma and self-analysis, and seeks to give faces, bodies, and narratives to the different facets of her own womanhood.” Exemplifying the multiple facets and frustrations of womanhood, her work reveals a mastery of psychological-self portraiture,while tapping into universal truths about relationships of people to bodies,their own and others. If you can't wait until the show, you can find her work, books, and zines at http://baby-fat.net and http://heather-benjamin.tumblr.com. Check out some of her pieces below.

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Images by Heather Bejamin

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epstein.cs@gmail.com (Cricket Epstein) Entertainment Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:59:44 -0500
On Relating To The Girl In "Cat Person" http://bust.com/books/193932-cat-person.html http://bust.com/books/193932-cat-person.html CATS 8e4aa


When I first sat down to read “Cat Person,” the Twitter-trending New Yorker short story written by Kristen Roupenian, I spent the thirty minutes it took to finish it in a constant state of fear, revulsion, and anticipation. I had been prepped by the internet to expect a highly relatable and chilling tale about the woes of texting relationships and, on a bigger scale, generally dating in your 20s. As expected, I finished the story feeling a strange mixture of validation and self-hatred, which is to say, the internet was right: I related. Hardcore.

If you haven’t yet read this piece, you should right this very second (and then read this interview with the writer, which helps to shine a light on the inspiration and intent of the story), but here is the gist: a 20-year-old college student, Margot, begins a flirtatious relationship with an older man named Robert via text messaging. She alternates between thinking he is a nervous yet witty man who she has power over, and a creepy guy who might be her murderer. Eventually, this culminates in a sexual encounter that is highly uncomfortable for her, and evidently deeply satisfying for him. When she ends things, he somewhat predictably shows himself to be pathetic and petty. The end.

I do not, for the record, relate to every element of “Cat Person,” as I’m sure no single person does. I found Robert’s patronizing nature to be callous from the first line and would never have given him my number in the first place, and I at times was frustrated with Margot’s naiveté. However, the part of the story that truly hit home for me (and, it seems, did the same for several other women) did so in such an honest way that it made me feel a connection with Margot I could not have foreseen, despite our differences.

It is after their first official date, consisting of an awkward movie and a couple beers. Margot, tipsy, has decided she wants to sleep with Robert, and lets him know as much. He takes her to his place, and as the two start undressing and preparing, Margot is suddenly, viscerally, repulsed, disgusted with the idea of letting him fuck her. But she feels that, having been the one to take the initiative, she has already made her bed:

“The thought of what it would take to stop what she had set in motion was overwhelming… It wasn’t that she was scared he would try to force her to do something against her will but that insisting that they stop now, after everything she’d done to push this forward, would make her seem spoiled and capricious.”

As has been proven in the news recently, sexual assault and harassment is an issue that impacts all communities, but it should be noted that consent is something that (in my experience) most college students have a knowledge of. Campaigns like It’s On Us and Take Back the Night rallies have helped to make sexual assault at the forefront of young people’s minds for some time. We’ve all heard that No Means No.

But identifying the concept of consent and navigating it in practice are two different things, especially in situations where it has already been given. It’s not that Margot necessarily thinks Robert will become violent (although the possibility is likely lurking at the back of her mind), but that he will become angry with her because she has gone back on her promise. Because deep in the corners of her brain, she feels that it would be wrong to change her mind, even regarding something as intimate as sleeping with another person.

I’ve had nearly identical trains of thought: I believed I wanted to fuck this person, but now that I am in the moment, the idea of doing so is repulsive. However, it’s not their fault. I’ve gotten their hopes up. If I give up now, I’ll just be another tease. I’ll be the asshole.

The complexity of sex is not something people really like to talk about, especially when they are in their 20s. For many of us, having sex is something that is frequently at the forefront of our minds; we think about it often, fantasying about it at inappropriate times and creating elaborate scenarios in our heads of ways it could take place. Yet the reality just as often doesn’t match. Sexual intimacy can be wonderful and moving, but it can also be awkward as all hell, a mix-matched mashing up of bodies, trying to find something that works. Sometimes it’s painful, and other times it’s just plain weird.

We live in a society that is primarily focused on the sexual satisfaction of men, yes, but on a broader level seems to be fixated on this concept of impossibly good, mind-blowing fucking. Robert seems to feel this way, as he whispers crude things to Margot and treats their encounter like one of his pornos, blissfully unaware that she forcing herself through it. He is so “overtaken” that he doesn’t seem to notice how he repulses his sexual partner.

I hate that I relate to Margot, and even more, I hate that relatability has been the hallmark of this story’s success. I hate that this specific kind of sexual situation is something so common among young women that, upon reading this piece, our collective response is, “I relate.” I hate that we live in a society that prioritizes men's sexual satisfaction over women’s, and I hate that despite all my fancy feminist reading, I do this just as much as the next person.

While describing her fear of rejecting Robert, Margot compares her situation to that being dissatisfied with food while eating out: “As if she’d ordered something at a restaurant and then, once the food arrived, had changed her mind and sent it back.” I hate that we live in a world where women feel like changing their mind about sex is the same as changing their mind about whether to have a salad or cheeseburger.

Top photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Jennifer C.

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eab15@hood.edu (Eleanor Blaser) Entertainment Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:41:58 -0500
Jay Pharaoh On How Comedy Helped Him Survive Depression http://bust.com/tv/193925-jay-pharaoh-interview.html http://bust.com/tv/193925-jay-pharaoh-interview.html  

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Comedian Jay Pharoah moves on from SNL with his own show, White Famous


Despite having achieved things by the age of 30 that most comics will only ever dream about—a six-season stint on Saturday Night Live and his own Showtime series, White Famous—Jay Pharoah is one humble dude. That is, until he talks about his famous impressions. “There’s not one I haven’t perfected,” he says proudly of his status as the reigning king of imitation. In fact, long before the Virginia native made a name for himself online by impersonating everyone from Jay-Z to Stewie from Family Guy, Pharoah was using his skills to impress the ladies. “When I was six, I liked this girl named Sara, and I won her over with my impression of Iago from Aladdin,” he says. “She was giggling like crazy. Giggling is always a good sign. But I worked with her at PetSmart when I was 18 and she didn’t remember me. I was like, ‘Was the relationship that bad?’”

Pharoah started acting in local theater at eight, but says he lacked confidence due to significant weight gain and struggles with depression. “I looked in the mirror and I hated myself. It felt like shit. I didn’t have a reprieve—everyone said harsh things to me,” Pharoah recalls. “My sister was my one light.”

Fortunately, standup comedy became his escape. “I started doing standup at 15 and I got my confidence back,” he says. “I still didn’t go to prom—but I was cool. Depression is very dark and in order to survive it, you have to make light of life. I was lucky to have comedy to exorcise those demons.”

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Now, like Floyd Mooney, the character he plays on White Famous, which premiered in October, Pharoah is a comedian on the verge of another level of stardom. “I definitely see myself in this part,” he says. “Floyd is hot on the underground and wants to cross over. He’s trying not to lose himself. I’m the same way.”

So did he start to lose himself at SNL? Pharoah doesn’t like talking about his former employer, and in the past has said in reference to his departure, “You go where you’re appreciated.” But he now calls SNL “comedy boot camp” and says it was a great place to prepare for just about anything.

Despite his rising profile, Pharoah insists, “I’m still the same guy I was when I left Virgina.” But at least one thing has changed. During our interview, he fields direct messages on Instagram from a stunning model. “I was told for years, ‘You’re ugly, you’re fat.’ That’s how it was for me. I’m not used to DMs and butt pics,” he confides. “For someone who wasn’t popular in school, it feels like what Chris Rock said about fame. ‘Now you become the hot chick.’”

By Sabrina Ford

Photographed by Ramona Rosales

Grooming: Christina Guerra; stylist: Charlie Staunton; clothes: Virgil Normal; location courtesy of Virgil Normal + Cereal & Such

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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socialmedia@bust.com (BUST Magazine) Entertainment Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:01:00 -0500
13 Women Directors Who Should Have Been Nominated For The Golden Globes http://bust.com/movies/193921-women-director-snubs-golden-globes.html http://bust.com/movies/193921-women-director-snubs-golden-globes.html  

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The Golden Globes released their nominations this morning, and surprise surprise, not a single woman director was nominated for the second year in a row (the last woman director to be nominated was Ava DuVernay for Selma in 2015). This is especially galling because several women-directed films are up for other awards — Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gerwig, got four nominations in other categories, and Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, and Battle of the Sexes, directed by Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, got two nominations each. The Golden Globes also failed to nominate Jordan Peele as Best Director, meaning that the Best Director nominees list is all white men with the exception of Guillermo del Toro.

In response, we’ve rounded up a list of women directors who could have been nominated. And to get in before the “but their movies just weren’t as goooood” argument, we’ll make sure that each film has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 86% or higher, which is what Steven Spielberg's the Post currently has, and which is the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score for a Best Director nominee’s movie (Ridley Scott’s All The Money In The World doesn’t have one yet). (I know there are valid arguments against using Rotten Tomatoes ratings to judge a film, but it’s a good way to gauge overall critical consensus and I haven’t seen all of these movies.) (#nodisrespecttoStevenSpielberg, btw, the Postlooks interesting and I would like to see it).

1. Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
99% on Rotten Tomatoes

Greta Gerwig's (our current cover star, btw) directorial debut coming-of-age story about a high school senior (Saoirse Ronan) and her tumultuous relationship with her mother (Laurie Metcalf).

 

2. Dee Rees for Mudbound
97% on Rotten Tomatoes

Dee Rees directed this historic drama that premiered on Netflix. It’s about a white family and a black family in Mississippi after WWII and has a cast including Mary J. Blige, Carey Mulligan, and Jason Mitchell.

 

3. Valerie Faris (and Jonathan Dayton) for Battle of the Sexes 
86% on Rotten Tomatoes

This comedy tells the story of Billie Jean King’s (Emma Stone) historic tennis match against Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell).

 

4. Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman 
92% on Rotten Tomatoes



Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie, starring Gal Gadot, might be the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen and proved that yes, people will come to the box office to see (gasp!!!!) lady superheroes.

 

 5. Angela Robinson for Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
87% on Rotten Tomatoes

In a very different kind of Wonder Woman movie, Angela Robinson tells the story behind the creator of Wonder Woman and his inspiration — the two women he was in a polyamorous relationship with.

 

6. Maggie Betts for Novitiate
87% on Rotten Tomatoes



Maggie Betts directed this historical drama about a group of nuns in the 1960s, during Vatican II.

 

7. Ceyda Torun for Kedi 
98% on Rotten Tomatoes



Kedi is a critically-acclaimed documentary about street cats in Istanbul. Sign us the fuck up.

 

8. Amber Tamblyn for Paint It Black
90% on Rotten Tomatoes

Amber Tamblyn's directorial debut stars Alia Shawkat as a young woman navigating an unsettling relationship with her boyfriend's mother after his sudden death.

9. Lone Scherfig for Their Finest
89% on Rotten Tomatoes



A different kind of WWII movie, Lone Scherfig’s Their Finest focuses on British propaganda.

 

10. Angelina Jolie for First They Killed My Father
88% on Rotten Tomatoes



Angelina Jolie directed this biopic about human rights activist Loung Ung.

 

11. Amanda Lipitz for Step
97% on Rotten Tomatoes



This documentary follows a Baltimore girls’ high school dance team.

 

12. Noël Wells for Mr. Roosevelt
100% on Rotten Tomatoes

This quirky comedy tells the story of a young woman who has to spend some quality time with her ex and his new girlfriend after their cat dies.

 

13. Agnés Varda (and J.R.) for Faces Places
100% on Rotten Tomatoes

French filmmaking legend Agnés Varda teamed up with street artist JR for this moving documentary about France's "faces and places" and Varda's own history.

Top photo: Greta Gerwig, photo by Nadya Wasylko for BUST

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erikawsmith@bust.com (Erika W. Smith) Entertainment Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:03:06 -0500
4 Old Hollywood Holiday Movies That You Need To Watch http://bust.com/movies/193920-old-hollywood-holiday.html http://bust.com/movies/193920-old-hollywood-holiday.html  

shoparoundthecorner 00e39

It’s officially the run-up to Christmas, and you know what that means:

TIME TO BUST OUT ALL OF THE OLD SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FILMS!!!

One problem though… you kind of have to save the It’s A Wonderful Life-style old movies until minimum Christmas Eve Eve.

So that means you’re stuck watching whatever new film Hallmark has crapped out this year, because the only old films available are the 1938 version of Christmas Carol, which is a total classic and all…but it’s also slow as f and it’s not this?

 

 

muppetsTruly the only adaptation of Victorian literature that matters

But suffer no longer! I’ve gathered 4 of the best old (we’re talking released before 1950!) films that you probably haven’t seen. All are fun and most importantly batshit enough to keep you entertained, no matter what level of turkey-based food coma you’re in.

 

Oh, and I’ve included where you can watch the films — you’re welcome. So crack open the wine and prepare to mock and love these films in equal measure!

1. THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, 1940

shop f3e78Please don’t judge this film by the nightmare painting of Jimmy Stewart


Watch it because… truly nothing says Christmas like Jimmy Stewart in a suicidal Christmas film!

What’s it about? Set in Budapest, Hungary (as nifty a way for the film studio to seem Euro positive during WWII), the film follows a group of shopworkers. Specifically Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, who can’t stand each other…But *gasp* they are actually secretly falling in love with each other as anonymous pen pals!

What makes it so good? If you haven’t guessed yet, 1990s AOL classic You’ve Got Mail is based on this. BUT the original has 2 major bonuses over the remake:

1. The romance is waaaay off: Seriously, the romance here is less "I bet they have really good angry sex" and more "I bet they have a lot of angry sex followed by crying." Seriously, the hatred between these two is real! They should in no way be together and if it doesn’t end in divorce within a year, I’ll eat my Santa hat….and for some reason it’s that aspect which makes this version way more entertaining.

bookLike I dunno, I probably wouldn’t have shouted at you so much…probably

2. It’s festive AS F!! Set in snow-capped Hungary with a Christmas Eve kissing session thrown in for good measure, this film is all kinds of cosy! Plus it also stars Frank Morgan, AKA the Wizard of Oz!

ozLook at this guy, his face just screams cosy Christmas!

What’s the downside? Well *spoiler alert* er…The Wizard tries to kill himself…yeah bit of a festive bummer. You see, Frank Morgan plays the shop’s owner, who through the course of the film starts off fine, then suspects his wife of having an affair, has a breakdown, and attempts suicide. Merry Christmas!

ozYeeeeah…maybe not one for the kids

Don’t worry though, two days after his suicide attempt, the Wizard is back at the shop and everyone just kind of glosses over what happened…making this the ultimate Christmas film for everyone with a massively dysfunctional family.

Where can I watch it? It’s available to rent for not very much at all on Amazon (included in some Prime packages), YouTube and Google Play.

 

2. CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT, 1945

connecticut 7ba92The MOST acting ever captured on one film poster


Watch this because… this screwball comedy with a female lead somehow manages to both be WAY ahead of its time feminism-wise, and yet somehow really outdated…it’s quite an impressive feat!

What’s it about? Barbara Stynwyck plays a career girl writer whose homemaking column has transformed her into the '40s Martha Stewart. 

The only problem? She can’t even make toast! 

But when her boss forces her to host a (cute) military hero at her (imaginary) farm for Christmas, Barbara has no choice to make her homemaking fantasy life a reality. Cue much screwball comedy, fake babies, kitchen mishaps and a love triangle.

rumpThe film also contains some of the best/worst double entendres ever committed to film.

So what makes it so good? Well not to be this person…but Barbara’s wardrobe is pretty great. Plus *spoiler ahead* Barbara doesn’t magically become great at homemaking or ditch writing to become a wife. By the end,,,,,,,,,, she gets a promotion and gets off with the guy, who is totally fine with the fact she can’t cook, clean or change a baby (but he can!).

So what’s the downsides? Well the film is a bit all over the place…which it gets away with as it is a screwball comedy.

Still, I’d recommend tucking into some mulled wine and creating a Christmas in Connecticut drinking game to get you through the more nonsensical bits (try drinking every time they say "baby’" and "hunky dory" — you’ll be sloshed within 20 minutes!)

Where can I watch it? Available on Youtube, Amazon Prime and Google Play.

 

3. IT HAPPENED ON FIFTH AVENUE, 1947

it happened on 5th ave poster 198c6

Watch it because... It’s the forgotten sibling of old holiday films. It Happened on 5th lost its director to It’s A Wonderful Life and was beaten to Oscar glory by Miracle on 34th Street. Basically, it had 0 luck! Now finally re-released after decades in 2008, this sweet (but barmy) movie looks set to make an iconic Christmas comeback! 

What’s it about? A rich businessman leaves his plush pad vacant while he is out of town over Christmas. Except it’s not empty…because a homeless man has broken in and set up a fancy temporary home there! He soon invites round his mates, including a a newly homeless war vet and a young female drifter…who turns out to be the home owner's daughter, who is just pretending to be homeless (Yeah…bit of a twat move). Soon the rich homeowner comes back (now also pretending to be a homeless man…) and learns that actually he shouldn’t be a massive prick to those worse off.

ithappened on 5th ave image 98092I can’t point out who here is actually homeless and who is a prick pretending to be.

What’s good? It’s basically a very socialist Christmas! Honestly: One of the storylines involves a group of homeless veterans trying to fund their plan to build mass affordable housing. The film couldn’t be more humanist and socialist if it tried! Which in such a consumer driven time… is actually really bloody lovely.

The downside? Good luck watching this if you live outside the USA. For real, there is literally no way to watch it legally and that’s super bloody frustrating!

Where can I watch it? Well if you're in the US, you can rent it for a pittance on YouTube, Amazon or Google Play. Not in the US…happy streaming!

 

4. MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, 1944

STLOUIS 7d1bdPresenting the most camp and loud poster to ever grace the world.

Watch it because… nothing says Christmas quite like Judy motherfucking Garland. (And, though apparently this is on in America over Christmas all the bloody time…the same cannot be said for the UK, where it remains a hidden Christmas gem.)

What’s it about? The film spends a year following the Smith family, a middle class family at the turn of the century. From spring to winter, we watch as the family are torn apart, pull back together again, and generally learn all about family values and love, etc. etc.

Whats good? It’s generally a cracking musical. You have fun numbers, earworms a plenty and of course — Miss Judy Garland, AKA THE FUCKING BEST. On a festive note, the film contains the classic song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," arguably one of the most underappreciated festive numbers around.

Now, for those who don’t know…"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is the perfect mix of both melancholic and hopeful. During Meet Me In St. Louis, it’s sung right after this happens:

snowman

Why yes, that is an emotional little girl murdering a snowman with what looks like a gun. Yeah…not such an innocuous little ditty now huh!?!

Judy Garland's character sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" to soothe her upset sister (following snowman decapitation gate). The songs lyrics remind us that no matter how bad things are right now, things will get better. But until then, if we band together with those we love, we can "muddle through somehow."

MY GOD, DOESN’T THAT SEEM LIKE THE END OF YEAR ANTHEM 2017 NEEDS?

judy

Where I can watch it? Again, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play have it for less than a cup of coffee. If you live in the UK, it is also on SkyCinema.

This post originally appeared on F Yeah History and is reprinted here with permission.

Top photo: The Shop Around The Corner

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tashatidd@gmail.com (F Yeah History) Entertainment Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:05:22 -0500