Melissa McCarthy's New 'Spy' Movie Will Contain All The LOLz

No April Fools about it: We just love this badass lady (and who needs another James Bond movie when you've got MM on the horizon?). Spy, out in theaters this summer, looks like the blockbuster we'll be looking forward to above all others—but don't take our word for how awesome it's gonna be: Check out the trailer below!

Image c/o Unreality TV

6 Reasons We're Supremely Excited About The Little Women Remake

 

Can we ever have too many versions of Little Women? We say no, and luckily, so does Sony Pictures.

There are tons of reasons we're pumped about an updated version of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, the main one being the obvious fact that we are long time Little Women lovers. Alcott’s book was fiercely pro-women and inspiringly ahead of its time, and for that alone we’ll always be thrilled to see its story honored.  

But there are plenty of other factors that are making us believe this adaptation of Little Women will be especially incredible: 

1. It will put women in the spotlight for the vast majority of the movie. Yes, this seems like a "duh," but because so many movies don't, we're psyched about it. Like the versions before it, this film will no doubt pass the Bechdel test, and that’s (unfortunately) nothing to sneeze at. Following four sisters as they come of age in the post-Civil War era, this story features plenty of conversations among women about important aspects of life other than men. Yes, please.

2. It will be CREATED by women. It's looking like the production, direction, and screenwriting will be led by women (what we wish wasn't a Hollywood rarity). Amy Pascal just signed on to produce aside Denise Di Novi and Robin Swicord, and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz) will be in charge of the script. A movie all about women, created by women? It’s safe to say Alcott (and our) dreams are coming true.

3. It’ll likely have a killer cast. While we’re huge fans of the earlier versions’ stars (Winona Ryder, Elizabeth Taylor, and Katharine Hepburn to name a few), we can’t help but get excited thinking about all the empowering young actresses that we’d love to see putting their own spins on the adored March sisters—Chloe Grace Moretz, Tavi Gevinson, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence—the list goes on, and we can’t wait to see what the awesome female production team comes up with!

4. It'll be wonderfully empowering. Based off a book with such strong female characters, we have no doubt that the most recent adaptation will find countless ways to remind us how amazing and independent women are. Look no further for proof than these unforgettable Jo March quotes:

“ I find it poor logic to say that because women are good, women should vote. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country.”

“I fly around throwing away perfectly good marriage proposals.”

“My book! Someone's publishing my book! Hannah! Hannah, someone's publishing my book!

5. Stories like Little Women are timeless. A film adaptation of a book about family, girl power, and facing the fear of going against the grain? These themes just don’t get old. The relationships among the March daughters and their mother send inspiring messages about finding sisterhood with other women, and everyone can relate to strong connections felt amongst family. Not to mention, Jo rejected traditional ideas of femininity with her “tomboyishness” in the late 19th century, and over 100 years later, individuals are still living in a world where being themselves very often requires challenging gender norms. Talk about pertinent. 

6. It will kick off a conversation about feminism in pop culture. The fact that feminism has really been hitting the mainstream, and an increasing number of young women are proudly identifying as feminists, means this is the perfect time for a revamp of a “girl power” story that goes way back. If the creators take this opportunity to parallel their characters’ concerns with those of the film's modern audience, this version could be more nuanced and relevant than ever. And that, our dear readers, would be an amazing thing to see.

 Image via Moviehole

#IRISAPFEL Is Getting Her Own Documentary And It's Going to Be Marvelous

Iris Apfel has been an icon in the fashion and interior design world for seventy-five years. Let's not even pretend we haven't noticed. From her signature glasses to her fabulously gaudy costume jewelry, Iris has been sparking our love of thrift-store finds since before we could shop. Now, she's getting her own documentary. Filmed by the late Albert Maysles (quite the seasoned individual himself, with Grey Gardens & Gimme Shelter under his belt), Iris is a fashion oriented film sure to inspire new outfits, an entire W/F 17 collection, and a girls' night out you won't forget.  

Iris will hit theaters in NYC starting April 25th of this year. 

Bonus P.s. We have an exclusive interview with Iris in our April/May issue which hits stores next week! 

Image c/o Magnolia Pictures 

Does The World Really Need A Sequel To Frozen?

So Disney has decided it wants to continue milking the cash cow that is Frozen. (Insert Let it Go pun here.)

Even those who consider Frozen overhyped cannot deny that it's become a phenomenon that has little girls (and boys) screaming for more Elsa, Ana, and Olaf (…not much love for Kristoff.) Elsa and Ana’s story has driven tons of feminist think pieces about female relationships, the modern fairytale, and stories that don’t need to end in love triangles. While it is not the first film to break the mold (Mulan, Lilo and Stich, Brave, etc…) it has certainly become one of Disney's most successful, artistically and financially, releases to date and a true reinvigoration for the animation studio. 

Some of us remember the period where Disney decided to release direct-to-video sequels of classic stories and while some of them did well (Aladdin 2 & 3, Cinderella III, The Lion King 2), most were sub-par at best (The Little Mermaid II), or just painful (Bambi II). Frozen's sequel certainly has a lot to live up to and a rather cringe-worthy legacy to avoid. Only time will tell how it will fare.

Here's what we would like to see in the next installment. 

(1) More Diversity:

The Disney empire tries to be diverse, but most of its attempts end up falling short of expectations. The fact is that when it comes to Disney Princess movies, audiences just don’t show up in the same numbers for films featuring a non-white royal lead. With the Frozen audience already rearing to hand over their money, it would be great to see the writers add more diversity with secondary characters. I mean, they live in a port city and have finally opened up the gates for others to come. It practically writes itself.  

(2) More Personality for Elsa:

Elsa may be the most popular character, but when it comes down to it, besides her anxiety, she is very underdeveloped as a character. Maybe we can find out what her hobbies are this time around. 

(3) More Sisterly Love:

The relationship between Elsa and Ana was the key hook in the first film, so in the sequel we’d love to see them actively catching up with each other. Perhaps they could team up to save Kristoff from the main villain(ess)? 

 (4) A Real Villain(ess):

This is a big one, because Hans…well he didn’t really cut it. Especially since The Snow Queen, the original fairy tale upon which Frozen is based, features one of the most interesting female villainesses in Western lore. Elsa was originally supposed to be more of an anti-heroine in the first movie and I think we missed out.

Avoid At All Costs:

(1) Love Interest For Elsa:

Unless it’s a girl no one is interested. Sorry.

(2) More Male Characters:

Again…unless they are MoC (men of color), no one is interested.

(3) More Love Guru Trolls:

They were the worst part of the movie. Did the Gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame teach you nothing Disney? When you have Olaf what more could you need?

 

In the spirit of diversifying, check out this awesome video of the hit song "Let it Go" featuring translations of over 20 different languages! 

 Image c/o Disney

'Slut: A Documentary' Pulls Out Some 'It Gets Better' Realness For Survivors Of Sexual Bullying

Emily Lindin, like too many young girls, was bullied and shamed after being labeled the school “slut” during her preteen years. As an adult, she’d hear of the tragic stories of girls who’d committed suicide—Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd, Audrie Pott—after experiencing the same kind of suffering. So, in 2013, Lindin decided to do something to help: She wanted to show girls that though they may feel isolated or trapped, they are not alone. She started publishing entries from the diary she kept in middle school online, calling it The UnSlut Project. It’s now evolved to include stories from women all over who’ve been slut-shamed or experienced sexual assault in any way. 

Lindin next teamed up with friend and filmmaker Jessica Caimi and successfully crowdfunded Slut: A Documentary. The film is in post-production and seeking funding so it can reach even more people. We recently spoke with Lindin about the website, the idea behind the documentary, and her goals to get adults to put an end to sexual bullying once and for all.

Was there any one moment that inspired you to put together the documentary?

In the summer of 2013, I had been posting my middle school diaries online and collecting stories from other women who had survived sexual bullying for a few months. It occurred to me that I was going to run out of diary entries to post! And I really wanted the conversation to continue beyond my personal experience and the sharing of that experience online. I had never made a film before, but one of my best friends, Jessica Caimi, had experience. Putting together a documentary seemed like a great starting point for conversations to happen among people who had not yet discovered The UnSlut Project and who, in fact, might never have even thought about sexual bullying as an issue.

Have you come to see the Internet as a harbinger for good?

The Internet does amplify certain voices over others. And often those voices that we hear most loudly and most often are negative and hateful. That's one of the reasons I started The UnSlut Project: to create a little corner of the Internet where girls can find support and safety, and where people of all genders who have gone through some kind of sexual shaming can speak up and have their voices heard amid all the Internet noise.

What kinds of responses have you seen in regards to The UnSlut Project?

The best and most important responses I get are from young women and adolescent girls who write to let me know that reading my diary or reading the experiences that other women have shared through the project has really given them hope for their own lives. That's the primary reason I created this project, and hearing from them outweighs any negative responses. With that said, I have had a lot of people, mostly men as far as I can tell, get in touch with me for the purpose of telling me to stop what I'm doing. Sometimes their messages include death and rape threats, and I would be lying if I said that doesn't rattle me. But those responses only prove that the work we are doing with this project needs to be done! I tried to turn that negative energy into fuel to work even harder.

When you were feeling trapped and/or ashamed, where did for comfort or community?

Throwing myself into [the world of performing] allowed me to redefine myself in the eyes of my peers, but most importantly, in my own eyes. I was very, very lucky to have motivated parents who noticed something was wrong. They enrolled me in voice lessons and a choir that was not affiliated with my school, where most of the bullying happened. That community outside of school was invaluable to building my confidence.

Who do you want to make sure sees your film?

Every parent, every teacher, and every policy maker. The film will be useful for adolescent viewers, but if we are going to change our cultural perceptions of female sexuality and the way we support sexual assault victims, it needs to be on an institutional level. And we as adults need to take responsibility for our role in making that change.

How can people tell this is a film not just for girls, but for boys too?

In addition to speaking to some female thought leaders, we also spoke to men. And we asked our experts, men and women, specifically about the role boys and men play in making change. For too long, conversations have centered around the idea that somehow we can teach our girls to behave in a certain way or to protect themselves, and that this is good enough. We need to [instead] raise boys from an early age to respect their female classmates as equals, and that includes issues having to do with sexuality.

What kind of impact would you expect or like the film to have across genders and within the LGBT community?

Issues having to do with sexual shame affect us all, and I hope the film calls people into the conversation no matter how they identify personally. There is an obvious parallel between LGBT youth who are bullied to the point of suicide and young women who take their own lives because of sexual bullying. In fact, I started The UnSlut Project with the It Gets Better project in mind. Especially when you don't have support from adults in your own life—perhaps your parents are part of the shaming problem—it can really help to hear from other adults that they have survived something similar, and that you, too, can overcome this.

If there's one thing you want people to walk away with after seeing Slut: A Documentary, what is it?

I want people to walk away with a sense of responsibility in their own lives. When it comes to making large-scale cultural change, the situation can often seem hopeless and it's easy to just throw our hands up and say well, that's the way things are. But if we don't change, then nothing changes. We need to start with ourselves, with our own assumptions about female sexuality and our own expectations of girls and women. We can work outward from there into our communities. Funding for Slut: A Documentary post-production costs ends on March 6th. Watch a preview below and check out the project here.

This interview has been edited for length.

Image c/o The UnSlut Project

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