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With Trump’s Muslim ban and the resulting protests taking place this weekend, you’d be completely forgiven for forgetting about the SAG Awards. But many celebrities who attended turned the occasion into a platform for activism, using their acceptance speeches to advocate for the rights of immigrants and Muslims and, yes, telling us all to go punch some fucking Nazis. Here are the political moments from the SAG Awards that you should pay attention to: 1. Ashton Kutcher’s opening speechHost Ashton Kutcher kicked off the night with...
A principal director on ER, Mimi Leder was surprised when producer Steven Spielberg pulled her aside in 1997 and asked her to direct a $50 million film, The Peacemaker. It would star George Clooney and Nicole Kidman and Spielberg described it as an “action thriller," the type of film women rarely get offered. Although Leder was comfortable behind the camera on ER, directing the show’s famous long shots, she was hesitant to accept the offer. Leder says Spielberg convinced her by pointing out that she directed...
  The full list of Oscar nominees was announced this morning, and there’s a lot of good and bad things to say about them. Unsurprisingly, La La Land swept with 14 nominations, because white people in Hollywood love movies about white people in Hollywood. But the other subject making headlines today is just how many nominations there are for people of color: Moonlight received 8 nominations, while Fences received 4 and Hidden Figures received 3. Here they are: Ruth Negga (Loving) for Best ActressDenzel Washington (Fences) for...
Spoiler Alert: Yeah, he did. I just wanted to see a movie with my girlfriend. I was looking for ninety-plus minutes to escape the realities of our recent presidential election and enjoy an American pastime with a side of greasy popcorn. What I did not want, let alone expect, as I sat down to view Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals was one hour and 57 minutes of squirming in my seat and continuous reminders of the violence and stigma attached to my identified gender. Don’t get me wrong....
  MA is beautifully surreal experimental film written, directed and performed by choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall (Pantsuit Nation Flash Mob, GIRLS) that uses gesture and image (no dialogue) to tell the story of one woman’s traumatic pilgrimage of self discovery. Rowlson-Hall invents her very own deeply personal visual language through movement, iconic imagery, and a haunting score (by Brian McOmber) creating a moving and original experience. Think The Virgin Mary goes on a road trip to Las Vegas. At times, the movie feels like a dream, at...
(Rogue One spoilers follow, obviously.) There are countless reviews of Gareth Edwards’ first of the Star Wars anthology films, all variations on comparing it to this Episode or that; but its solitary focus makes for a tale set apart. As the lost piece of an intricate puzzle, Rogue One satisfyingly presses into its rightful place in the series’ universe. Filling in that blank space might never have seemed necessary, but, once you’ve seen it, there’s no denying the richness added. Like a secret ingredient playing up...
While I would have been happy with Michelle MacLaren in the driver’s seat for Wonder Woman, I’m not going to sneeze at the studio hiring a woman to replace her. And that woman is Patty Jenkins. Before she was going to brave the studio gauntlet to make a film version of the woman with a magic lasso, Jenkins made a little feature film called Monster. Jenkins, who enjoys both true crime and comedy, grew up on military bases all over the globe, where she became a...
Anastasia Cazabon undoubtedly understands the plight and hard-won triumphs of women in the film industry. Though her name is not associated with big budget umbrellas such as Sony or 20th Century Fox, her progression in the independent film circuit hasn't been without the overwhelming feeling that women voices were limited or, worse, excluded in the art of filmmaking. “I had gone to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and I would say that there were 5 women to every man. So how was it...
As a child, Jennifer Kent says she put on her first play at age seven. She wrote stories and in her late teens, chose acting as her career path. As an adult, Kent enjoys visceral cinema. “I like films where I’m forced to feel something. I want to be put through something.” After an acting career with roles in Australian TV series like Murder Call and All Saints, she grew bored telling other people’s stories and decided to go back to writing her own. “Writing was...
If you’ve gone to a movie in the past few months, you’ve probably seen the trailer for the movie Passengers, which is being marketed as a romance set in space. Chris Pratt’s character and Jennifer Lawrence’s character are in suspended animation in a rocketship on their way to a new planet when they wake up early and proceed to fall in love and save the day. However, there’s a twist: Pratt’s character wakes up first, and then decides to force Lawrence’s character out of her suspended animation...
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unnamed 2 copy copy