It’s never really a good year for the Bechdel test. But is it possible that things are degenerating for women in film? According to a study done by USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, the answer is yes. A study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith found that over the five years that the researchers looked at — 2007 to 2012 — the most recent, 2012, was the worst for women onscreen. Annenberg’s study found that:
“Out of 4,475 speaking characters on screen, only 28.4 percent are female. This translates into a ratio of 2.51 males to every 1 female on screen. 2012 reveals the lowest percentage of on-screen females (28.4 percent) across the 5-year sample. Only 6 percent of the top-grossing films in 2012 featured a balanced cast, or females in 45-54.9 percent of all speaking roles. Just over a quarter of all narrators (27.5 percent) are female.”
Additionally, women who appear onscreen are depicted more sexualized, especially in the 13- to 20-year-old age group. Last year, over half (56.6 percent) the women in that age group was shown in “sexy attire.” Keep reading »
Comic-Con is going on right now, and in case you were wondering, pretty much all of Hollywood is there. And many of them are wearing weird costumes! In case you weren’t able to make it to the largest yearly gathering of comic nerd-dom, we’ve collected a bunch of images from the event. Check out all the famous faces that made their way down to San Diego this past week.
Hellooooo, Scarlett! Disregarding the fact that, like, everyone and their corgi seems to be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Scarlett nailed it in Preen yesterday at her ceremony. Nailed it! I haven’t seen her look this good since before her busted Sean Penn days. This is how you do it.
Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a fan of Katherine Heigl movies and I probably won’t see her new film “One for the Money” unless I’m forced. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s gotten a raw deal in the media. A new article from New York magazine asks, “Is It Over for Katherine Heigl?” and examines the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star’s relative bankability compared to her position a few years ago. What it finds is that Katherine Heigl is guilty of a couple of major things, among them:
- Being demanding and high strung — incurring the nickname “Hurricane Heigl.”
- Having opinions about the projects she does.
But the real core of Heigl’s problem — and why she’s the object of such grating analysis, is that she’s a woman — a woman who’s done and said some unlikeable things. Call it the “America’s Sweetheart” problem, something Heigl seems acutely aware of. “I’ve never really been America’s sweetheart, but for a minute I think that’s what they wanted me to be,” she told Elle this past December. And I had ‘em for a second thinking maybe I was. And then I opened my mouth and it was clear I wasn’t.”
And none of these things would really matter if she was a man. Keep reading »
Okay, okay, so I get it: fashion’s always on to the next. The newest, the weirdest, the most avant-garde — and apparently, the youngest. And that’s why the Fanning children, Elle and Dakota, have been on fashion’s sweet radar for the last year or so, making the rounds in magazine editorials, on blogs and in designers’ campaign videos. Dakota, the elder Fanning, is the ripe old age of 17, and so we’re somewhat less troubled by her meteoric rise into the sweet embrace of fashion’s bosom. But younger sister Elle Fanning is only 13 years old. And she looks it!
So what, you say? Keep reading »
“Nicholas Stoller, director of ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall‘ and ‘Get Him To The Greek,’ says, “There’s a misogyny in audiences, a much higher bar of required likability for women stars. You need to make the actress completely adorable, or else she’ll be thought of as the straight man or the bummer — which is why I focus so carefully on trying to write fully fleshed out roles for women in my movies.” To make a woman adorable, one successful female screenwriter says “you have to defeat her at the beginning. It’s a conscious thing I do — abuse and break her, strip her of her dignity, and then she gets to live out our fantasies and have fun. It’s as simple as making the girl cry 15 minutes into the movie.”
— A profile of actress Anna Faris in The New Yorker by journalist Tad Friend became a larger thinkpiece about the “required likability for women stars,” as one director put it put it. There’s a requirement that women on film are not too threatening to male — and one would assume, as well, female — audiences. You have to wonder why that is. I’ve always said that sexism still exists in 2011, only it is a lot less blatant than in years past. But if you ever needed evidence that sexism is alive and well, there you go. (If you’re curious, I wrote a post back in 2009 on this same general topic.) [The New Yorker via AnnaHolmes.Tumblr.com] Keep reading »
“I have a suspicion that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to f**k her anymore.”
— Tina Fey, writing in The New Yorker. Yes, The New Yorker! My dream woman writes for The New Yorker! Which is kind of why she’s my dream woman, isn’t it? But seriously, this is so true. Just ask Helen Mirren. [The New Yorker via GQ.tumblr.com] Keep reading »
“I auditioned for a job recently, and didn’t get it. Word came back that they were looking for ‘a flirty piece of ass.’ Now, I do not want, and have never wanted, to be a flirty piece of ass, but when told I was not one, I found myself quite offended. I was thrust right back on the most primeval battlefield, the loser at the mating game. The point that sex appeal is not the level at which I want to compete was lost on me, momentarily.”
— Actress Rosamund Pike (“An Education,” “Made In Dagenham,” “Barney’s Version”) on how expectations of Hollywood actresses mess with her head. The reason I lurve Rosamund is because she’s always totally honest about this kind of BS. [Montreal Gazette] Keep reading »