Gender @ the Movies: On-line Film Critics and Criticism – Dr. Martha Lauzen Reports Latest Stats

Martha Lauzen

Martha Lauzen

Recent events indicate that gender often plays a role in popular film criticism. In February of this year, Rex Reed, film critic for the New York Observer, made an issue of Melissa McCarthy’s weight in his review of Identity Thief. This incident followed closely on the heels of a (now former) male editor at the Niagara Falls Reporter ordering a critic to refrain from reviewing films with strong female characters. While such anecdotal stories are attention getting, they reveal little about the relationship between gender, film critics, and movie reviews. Read on…

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing October 28, 2009

AWFJ highlights films made by and about women:

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing September 18, 2009

AWFJ highlights films made by and about women:

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AWFJ Women On Film – Tatiana von Furstenberg and Francesca Gregorini on “Tanner Hall” – Jennifer Merin interviews

Tatiana von Furstenberg and Francesca Gregorini’s “Tanner Hall” is an engaging girls’ coming of age film independently made by two fledgling women directors who have, in producing their first feature, come of age as filmmakers. Von Furstenburg and Gregorini speak with Jennifer Merin about filmmaking, friendship and sex in school and on screen.

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week in Women, September 11, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

Someone else notices that movies are hardly even about women as people. Plus: It’s okay if girls make movies, as long as we can talk about their bodies and their clothes at film festivals.

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AWFJ Women On Film – White on Rice’s Hiroshi Watanabe, On The Verge – Jen Yamato Interviews

Though he turned in memorable supporting roles in Ed Zwick’s The Last Samurai and Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima, Japanese actor Hiroshi Watanabe scored his biggest role to date thanks to a brief appearance in a little-seen independent film, Big Dreams Little Tokyo. Impressed by Watanabe’s comedic skills, that film’s director, Dave Boyle, wrote his next film specifically with the Japanese actor in mind. The result is this week’s White on Rice, an indie comedy that is steadily winning over audiences and earning Watanabe fervent kudos.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Crude” – Jennifer Merin reviews

Joe Berlinger’s heart-wrenching, alarming and brilliantly crafted documentary is all about Chevron’s desecration of the Ecuadorian Amazon and the 27-billion dollar law suit in which indigenous peoples seek remediation and justice. Read more.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Whiteout” – Susan Granger reviews

It’s not difficult to spot ice-schlocky when it smacks you in the face from the getgo. In this alleged thriller, we’re introduced to the heroine, U.S. Marshall Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), as she strips naked and takes a long, sexy relaxing shower – with puffs of steam obscuring strategic sections of her anatomy.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing September 9 and 11, 2009

AWFJ highlights films by and about women

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week In Women, September 5, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

What if a gal doesn’t want movies as her mistress? Also: Hollywood rapes women, a boob-ilicious tale, and how to get fired on network TV.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “All About Steve” – Susan Granger reviews

Who would have guessed that teaming Sandra Bullock, who scored in “The Proposal,” and Bradley Cooper, so terrific in “The Hangover,” would result in this grotesque comedy, a prime candidate for Worst Picture of the Year?

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing September 1, 2 and 4, 2009

AWFJ highlights films by and about women

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Taking Woodstock” – Susan Granger reviews

Much of our enjoyment of a movie is based on expectations – and this title is misleading.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “We Live In Public” – Jennifer Merin reviews

Documenting what happens when 100 free-spirited artists stage a month long party where they live together 24/7, sleep in Japanese hotel-style pods, shower and eat communally, while their activities are recorded by surveillance cameras tucked into every corner of the environment — even in toilet bowls. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “The September Issue” – Jennifer Merin reviews

RJ Cutler’s The September Issue provides access to the rarified environs of the fashion world, documenting the preparation of Vogue’s annual style bible and showing what happens within the offices of Vogue, at designer ateliers and runway shows, on photo shoots and in the back seat of prima fashionista Anna Wintour’s limo.Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – “At The Edge Of The World” – Jennifer Merin reviews

A thriller of a documentary following Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Antarctic Campaign, during which two small ships were dispatched to the Ross Sea to prevent the mighty Japanese whaling fleet from killing whales. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing August 26 and 28, 2009

AWFJ highlights films made by and about women

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week In Women, August 21, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

Time-traveling husbands are implausible, but aliens who like cat food aren’t? Plus: Roger Friedman just now noticed how Hollywood hates women?

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Art & Copy” – Jennifer Merin reviews

Director Doug Pray presents a parade of top adsters, each of whom expounds on the nature and importance of creativity and on how entertaining advertisements excite expectations and aspirations in those who see them. But there’s a complete avoidance of advertising’s questionable strategies and practices, and a disconnect from the role advertising plays in energizing excessive consumerism that has promoted extraordinary and damaging debt. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – Releasing August 19 and 21, 2009

AWFJ highlights films made by and about women

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week In Women, August 14, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

Katherine Heigl would just shut up if she knew what was good for her (even if there are no decent roles for women in Hollywood), the value of female film critics, and Don Draper, the perfect imperfect man.

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AWFJ Women On Film – “Earth Days” – Jennifer Merin reviews

Why, if we were nearing environmental sustainability thirty years ago, do we now find ourselves on the brink of ecological disaster? Earth Days chronicles successes of US environmental policies during the 1960s and 70s, and the collapse of the environmental movement during the Reagan administration. Read more>>

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AWFJ Women On Film – Sharlto Copley Discusses “District 9″ – MaryAnn Johanson

I hadn’t yet seen District 9 when I first met Sharlto Copley. I’d seen the trailer, of course, before I attended the pre-press screening reception with Copley and director Neill Blomkamp, but I didn’t instantly connect the handsome, vivacious man across the room with the awkward dork I’d seen in the film’s trailer. After speaking to Copley and seeing the film, I’m even more convinced: if he’s heading to stardom — and he certainly deserves to after the extraordinary performance he turns in in District 9 — Copley won’t get mobbed on the street. No one will recognize him.

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AWFJ Women On Film – Neill Blomkamp Expounds on “District 9″ – MaryAnn Johanson

District 9 is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, even though we’ve never seen a movie from its director, Neill Blomkamp, before.

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AWFJ Women On Film – The Week in Women, August 7, 2009 – MaryAnn Johanson

No girl critics allowed, no more chick flicks, and won’t someone please save us from male critics who don’t understand women?

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