SILENCE OF THE LAMBS at 30: Giving Clarice a Voice – Valerie Kalfrin comments

Silence of the Lambs is a curious film. The first horror film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and the rare one to sweep four of the Oscars’ top categories, it has suspense and atmosphere that still enthrall even after 30 years. It also has rich characters, like FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who finds her courage tested yet navigates a world that seems stacked against her. The problem is, the movie is stacked against her, too.

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PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN: Susan Jacob’s Female Power Soundtrack – Rachel West comments

Emerald Fennell’s bold Promising Young Woman isn’t just a triumph for star Carey Mulligan, it’s a soundtrack showcase for female-driven power-pop. Spanning the gamut of Mulligan’s Cassie’s emotions, the Promising Young Woman soundtrack is equal parts dark, edgy female rage and catchy, lighthearted pop. Throughout the film, music supervisor Susan Jacobs allows Cassie’s state of mind to manifest in the music from the movie’s first few minutes until its ultimate conclusion.

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An AWFJ Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Not all cinema superheroines wear capes. In fact, one leader in the league of heroic women whose accomplishments are celebrated in cinema was the wearer of black robes and white lace collars, and she has been as much of a superheroine in real life as she has been on the screen. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on September 18 at age 87, championed women’s rights for her entire career and leaves a legacy of progressive positive change in the United States. Her ethos and accomplishments have been celebrated in film.

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20 Femme-Helmers in the 2020 Oscars Pipeline – Susan Wloszczyna reports

One upside to this topsy-turvy season is the release of superb femme-centric, femme-helmed titles that are solid Oscars contenders that could easily make the Best Picture and Best Director cut. There are at least five actresses making their directing debuts, a pop star going behind the camera, old-school directors, new-school directors, blockbuster overseers and at least two former competitors in the category. Here is what might be the best of an encouragingly large batch.

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The New MULAN’s Critical Chi – Nell Minow comments

Nothing is simple and straightforward and uncontroversial in 2020, not even a live-action remake of a popular Disney animated film. Whether intended to or not, the new Mulan has achieved one of the essential goals of any work of art in provoking thoughtful conversations that transcend but are illuminated by the story we see on whatever screen we see it on.

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Meet the Makers: Stanley Nelson and A’Lelia Bundles on TWO CENTS AND A DREAM – Kathia Woods reports

World Channel held a screening of Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C.J. Walker. It is a documentary on the life of Madame C. J Walker by Stanley Nelson. A conversation with filmmaker Stanley Nelson and author A’leia Bundles was held before the screening.

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Sharon McGowan & Jan Miller: Canadian Tax Credit Changes to Benefit Female Filmworkers (Guest Post)

The tax credit program distributes close to one billion dollars annually to Canadian and foreign-service production but does not include policies to address gender equity or inclusion of workers marginalized in the screen industry. The Federal Minister of Canadian Heritage has agreed to address and rectify the issue.

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Karin Fong’s JACK RYAN Titles Inaugurate A World – Diane Carson comments

A movie’s title sequence must quickly and efficiently whisk viewers from the thoughts and concerns of their multifaceted realities into a receptive embrace of the film. In Jack Ryan, title designer Karin Fong shows great mastery of the art.

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WonderCon@Home: Women Rock Hollywood Panel – Leslie Combemale reports

Things are changing in Hollywood, albeit slowly. I’d like to think that the annual Women Rocking Hollywood all-female panel at San Diego Comic Con has contributed to the change. Like all 2020 con events, this year’s edition of the live panel fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic. But opportunity to go virtual came from Comic-Con International organizers whey they decided to stage a virtual con, presenting panels that were filmed remotely.

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Uniqueness in the Age of Global Aesthetics – Katia Shannon (Guest Post)

Filmmakers are encouraged to develop a distinguishable aesthetic to pierce through the clutter. But it might be harder than ever to achieve. Where you are from and what your films should look like, are not interdependant anymore. That’s exciting, but the globalization of aesthetics is both a brilliant opportunity and a trap. The challenge lies in embracing the opportunity of a cross-cultural digital dialogue while recognizing what makes your world view unique and inimitable. The good news is, that it’s already around you, beckoning for attention.

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