MOVIE OF THE WEEK November 17: THE BREADWINNER

motw logo 1-35The Breadwinner is a powerful, gorgeously animated film about Parvana, a remarkable little girl caught in untenable circumstances in Taliban-controlled Kabul, Afghanistan. From the studio and filmmakers who previously gave us The Secret of Kells and other animated gems, “The Breadwinner” isn’t your typical mainstream “cartoon” fare. Based on the same-named novel by Deborah Ellis (who has co-screenwriting credit with Anita Doron), director Nora Twomey’s remarkable film tells a deep, thoughtful story replete with elements of both pain and joy, despair and hope. Continue reading…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Jolie and Loung Ung Honored, WONDER WOMAN Top Grosser, The Guardian’s Women’s Cinema Canon

Filmmaker, actor and activist Angelina Jolie and author-activist Loung Ung will receive the Hollywood Foreign Language Film Award at the 21st Annual Hollywood Film Awards for their critically-acclaimed film “First They Killed My Father,” which is also Cambodia’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. ‘Wonder Woman’ sill soars at the box office to become the top-grossing superhero origin film. Writer-directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s “Loving Vincent” sets new standards in animation art. The Guardian proposes a new cinematic canon chosen by women. Note that the members of the Alliance of Women Film Journalist created a Top 100 Films list a decade ago in response to AFI’s heavily male dominated Top 100 Films List. And the beat goes on. Read details on THE WEEK IN WOMEN...

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 29, 2017: FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER

motw logo 1-35Heartbreaking and powerful, First They Killed My Father is Angelina Jolie’s adaptation of activist Loung Ung’s memoir about her childhood in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge’s murderous regime. In the film, young Loung (Sareum Srey Moch) and her family — mother, father, several siblings — are enjoying a comfortable, happy life in Phnom Penh in 1975; then Pol Pot’s army marches into the city, abruptly orders everyone else out, and rounds them up into work camps, where they’re expected to obey orders instantly and give up any pretense of individuality or agency. It’s all for the greater good of their new-and-improved nation, they’re told. Continue reading…

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THE WEEK IN WOMEN: Women Filmmakers Helm “Mankiller” Documentary, plus Jolie Pitt, Moon Girl, Dinosaurs in Heels and a New Stats Study – Brandy McDonnell comments

mankiller croppedThe upcoming PBS documentary “Mankiller,” helmed by Gale Ann Hurd and Valerie Red-Horse, is the heroic life story of the first woman elected chief of the Cherokee Nation. Angelina’s Jolie Pas Productions announces The Breadwinner to be made by women, Marvel makes Moon Girl, Jurassic Park’s dinos in heels, a NY Times stats study and more. Read this week’s The Week In Women>>

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Top Five Cinema Female Psyche Distortions and the ‘Isotta Fraschini’ Syndrome – Quendrith Johnson comments

MaggieGyllenhaal-234x300Ever since Maggie Gyllenhaal went public with the fact that she lost a role, at 37, as a love interest for a 55-year-old leading male because she was “too old,” the internet lit up with shock. But why should we be surprised? Disparity in casting leading men and women has been around since the Silent Era. So has a distorted view of the female psyche on film. Not only a distortion as to who and what women represent, but how the props, set dressing, costumes, conspire with the script, even the director, to really hammer the point home. Read on…

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Anne Thompson’s THE $11 BILLION YEAR (Exclusive Excerpt)

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After reporting on everything movies for 25 years, Hollywood pundit Anne Thompson, an AWFJ member, has written her first book. It’s fascinating. We excerpt it here.

From CHAPTER 7: WOMEN, POLITICS, AND ZERO DARK THIRTY

In its history, the Academy’s largely male directors’ branch had nominated only three other women directors—Italian Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties), New Zealander Jane Campion (The Piano), and American Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), daughter of Oscar-winningGodfather creator Francis Ford Coppola.

Gender politics in Hollywood—as everywhere else—are complex, layered, often unconscious, and difficult to parse. One can argue that things are slowly improving for women in the film industry, but they are still woefully underrepresented in too many areas, from hiring, especially as directors, to roles onscreen.

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IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY – Review by Susan Granger

Angelina Jolie acquits herself admirably as writer/director in this controversial, cross-cultural love story set amidst the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990s:

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Salt” – Review by Susan Granger

Angelina Jolie could turn out to be the #1 action star in the world. She’s that good in a

role written for Tom Cruise but rejected by him as being too similar to that of Ethan Hunt

in the “Mission Impossible” franchise.

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week In Women, April 23, 2010 – MaryAnn Johanson

Even lady action heroes get the blues…

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week in Women, July 3, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

Sixty-seven cents on the dollar would be an improvement, misogynist vampire stories suck, and Tilda takes the cinematic highroad.

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week in Women, June 5, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

Women get pushed to the sidelines, unless they’re the most powerful celebs in the world. But even that ain’t as good as it sounds…

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