July 8, 2013
New Script Thoughts: Feminism in Action

A couple of weeks ago I began writing a new script called “One Dead Girl!” about a woman, who was murdered in cold blood, gets resurrected for one night to avenge her death or be cursed to an eternity as the undead. Some of you may have heard me mention it before describing it simply as a lesbian-zombie exploitation film because exploitation films tend to thrive on shock-value words. Exploitation also runs the high risk of offending people of all walks of life and one could argue that it’s kind of the point. However, as I spend my evenings writing the script and every waking hour thinking about it, I’m noticing the heavy topics of feminism, violence, nudity, and homosexuality in film start to rise to the surface with as silly and far-fetched a plot as this, and why I’m choosing to tackle these topics as a genre film rather than a serious take. 

I believe that successfully telling a story boils down to fifty percent what you say (themes, motifs, subtext, etc.) and fifty percent how you say it (genre, medium, voice, etc.). Additionally, I believe it should also entertain, especially when you have a message to get across or deal with heavy-handed topics. For example, I am a huge supporter of feminism and believe, in the case of film, that there should be more diversity in the way women are portrayed. I think by now we’re all tired of the passive woman who’s sole motivator is a man and will drop anything promising/interesting in her life to be with him at the end. It’s done in countless movies and I find it particularly annoying in action film. Not to say I’m anti-love or anything; there have been some great love stories out there. But you would rarely see it with the genders swapped. Usually the hero is out saving the world and doing it for a nobler cause than to win a woman’s affection. That’s usually a plus when it’s a male-centric film. Rarely, if ever, do you see that in a female-centric film. I digress, but this is something I have noticed in films in a post-feminist movement age. I’m not the first one to undertake these themes and integrate them into a film. John Carpenter’s Halloween, Ridley Scott’s Alien, and James Cameron’s The Terminator dealt with this topic over thirty years ago when women’s rights were still in their infancy. Each of those films boasted bad-ass female main characters that broke the mold from the helpless damsel in distress and their motivations were never based around a man (though they were often in conflict with men). In fact, I’m glad to see this carry over to the modern age with shows like one of my personal favorites: Avatar: The Last Airbender. There we see kick ass girls on the same level (and in some cases stronger) than the men they fought with and along side with. While there were romantic subplots, they were just that and rarely took center stage. There are more examples, particularly in the last 30 or so years, which is a good thing and something I hope continues. 

All these above examples portrayed a strong element of feminism that otherwise is either subverted or totally non-existent in mainstream films and television series. These are considered classics or, at the very least, are strong contenders to become regarded as such. Other than how they deal with feminism, all these have one other thing in common; they’re all genre films/TV shows. Horror, sci-fi, animation, and fantasy. And these are probably the most recent examples. One could argue Russ Meyer (Motorpsycho, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill!) had been making feminist films in the early to mid Sixties when the feminist movement was only just gaining popularity. One could also argue that genre and exploitation films portraying feminism in a good light, have done more for that movement than any protest in much the same way blaxploitation pushed for blacks to be taken seriously in mainstream media. Queer cinema is currently going down the same path and breaking stereotypes that have been a staple in Hollywood. I’ll end up talking more about that in a later post, though. 

Speaking of Hollywood, it is well known that most of the films they make, they cater to teenage boys. This is definitely not new and with genre/exploitation films it’s probably more so. Now, I’m against making movies specifically targeting one demographic as a whole industry, but perhaps there inlies the key to possibly exposing these impressionable teenage boys to such topics as feminism and even queer cinema. Wrapping these topics in the guise of a genre/exploitation film helps make it easier to digest and has a higher chance for opening a dialogue opposed to a heavy-handed documentary shoving facts in your face. Make the message entertaining and people will enjoy it. 

Anyway, random thoughts while writing. I’m probably gonna do some more of these as I go deeper into this script and discuss some other possibly controversial tropes that will make their way into “One Dead Girl!” 

I’d love for any of you to be a part of the process here and am far from opposed to opening up a dialogue with anyone who wishes to. 

Ok, enough stalling. I can’t help but procrastinate. I’m going back to the script. 

October 2, 2012
Bettie Page: Pin-Up Queen of the Universe

Bettie Page is probably most famous for being known as the “Pin-Up Queen of the Universe” and is arguably deserving of that title for being the object of many men’s affections and causing ripples in the US Congress and Courts regarding pornography in the 1950’s. Ahead of her time, her actions and life decisions could be seen as a precursor to the sexual revolution of the 60’s and a step towards the women’s rights movement. But wait a minute! She made a career posing nude so men could stare at her pictures lustfully! Well, yes and no. With a different director, this biopic The Notorious Bettie Page could’ve been taken in the direction of a run of the mill, naive woman from the South who just wanted to take her clothes off and be photographed one day. But Mary Harron took this opportunity to depict arguably the first woman of the Twentieth Century to be in control of her own body and sexuality. While Bettie is not in any way in control, she does grow throughout the film to claim her independence from the male-dominating factors in her life and takes charge of her own life, a rarity for female characters in the world of film. 

In Hollywood mainstream most films tend to depict just about any female character as passive and non-confrontational, almost fully dependent on the leading male star. In other words, she’s usually just along for the ride. Sure you get some diamonds in the rough such as Ripley from the Alien or Sarah Connor from theTerminator films, but characters like that appear very rarely in Hollywood films. More often than not the best female characters are found in indie films not unlike this one. Not surprisingly with as much of a lack of decent female characters in Hollywood, there seems to be an incredible lack of female filmmakers as well. The 1990’s saw a revolution in independent cinema that also brought with it a slew of new, creative female filmmakers. Christina Lane contributes this largely to the advent of certain technologies, namely cable TV and, later on, digital video, to democratize and get around the male-dominated big studio system (Lane 199-200). In fact, this film benefitted from alternative means of production and distribution through HBO Films. With the rise of internet streaming and VOD, not to mention Kathryn Bigelow being the first woman to win an Oscar three years ago, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see more women enter mainstream filmmaking in the near future. 


September 11, 2012
The Player: Hollywood Making Fun of Hollywood

The moment Robert Altman’sThe Playeropens up with the single tracking shot not typically done with commercial films, we know that this isn’t exactly typical Hollywood fanfare. However, the content and plot of the film is fairly recognizable in that it deals with a linear storyline, murder, blackmail, and a girl. Nudity, sex, and violence. The film even states that it a film can not be marketable without at least one of those three things. Altman, however, utilizes those tropes and turns them on themselves in an almost satirical way. The protagonist isn’t in any way a nice or even good guy. He’s a bastard, noted even in-universe. There is nothing about him that makes us want to root for and stand behind him, but he’s also surrounded by other bastards who somehow make him sympathetic. This is about as far as Altman goes to break the typical Hollywood mold while still poking fun at it.

The still above alludes to this satire of Hollywood and is the final icing on the cake by using the cliche happy ending with “The End” written, something that has been rarely done since the 60’s and 70’s. This film was made in the early 90’s, well into the New American Independent movement where directors such as Soderbergh, Tarantino, Rodriguez, and the Coen brothers were just starting out and breaking Hollywood conventions already. Schatz discusses this on page 29 of his article and emphasizes the splitting of Hollywood and Indie narratives. While both were usually successful,  audiences by this time were tiring of the Hollywood drivel that was being released and the success of those aforementioned directors illustrates that. The Playeris a satire in similar (but completely different aesthetically) to films by Mel Brooks and David Lynch, that blends Hollywood and Indie cinema.

July 27, 2012

the-avatar-cycle:

tahnospanties:

yes-yes-no-no-10552:

Getting tired of yo’ shit hipsters

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME

(via benvolio)

July 20, 2012
In a nutshell, the climax of The Dark Knight Rises.

In a nutshell, the climax of The Dark Knight Rises.

July 19, 2012

undergroundsurge:

thedrunkenmoogle:

agirlwithhairlikethisScott Pilgrim: The 7 Evil Exes Drinking Challenge

How to play: Put in your Scott Pilgrim DVD, Blu-Ray, or whatever you use to watch it. Each drink is meant to be consumed after an ex is defeated. You can either mix drinks before hand, or after you’re finished your current if you’re short on glasses. Overall, the containers needed would be:

  • 4 Shot Glasses
  • 2 Drinking Glasses
  • 1 Double Shot Glass

You can get away with having one of each as well, just making it easier I guess. :P

So onto the drinks.

Matthew Patel - The Fireball

  • Captain Morgan’s.
  • Top with Bacardi 151

CAUTION! : This shot, CAN be lit on fire. If you decide to do so BE CAREFUL. Originally we had it in the recipe that they needed to be lit, but we had a BIG issue putting them out. For this reason, I heavily advise NOT TO IGNIGHT YOUR SHOT UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING!

Lucas Lee - The Grind

  • Shot of Jagermeister
  • Cup of Red Bull (We used NOS, but traditionally these are done with Redbull)

When Lucas Lee gets on the rail, drop the shot glass into the redbull, and chug. If you don’t finish it by the time he’s KO’d, you need to start over.

Todd Ingram - Fair Trade Blend with Soy Milk

  • 1 shot of Vodka
  • 1 shot of Bailey’s
  • 1 shot of Kahlua
  • Mix in Silk Soy Milk. (Chocolate if you want it to look like Coffee)

Roxy Richter - The Sexy Phase

  • 1/2 shot of Buttershots
  • 1/2 shot of Bailey’s

Ken and Kyle Katayanagi - The Twin Dragons

  • 1 shot Momokawa Diamond
  • 1 shot Momokawa Pearl

Layer the 2 on top of one and other in a double shot glass.

Gideon Gordon Graves - GGG Bomb

  • 1/2 shot Grey Goose Vodka
  • 1/2 shot Goldschlager

Drinks created and photographed by AGirlWithHairLikeThis.

CAN ANYONE SAY 21ST BIRTHDAY PARTY?!

I have got to remember this.

(via benvolio)

July 17, 2012
St. Osmund's Teaser/Kickstarter

What’s up, all my friends in interweb land. Check out this awesome trailer edited by yours truly for the feature film I’m working on. Honestly my best trailer work yet. If you like what you see feel free to kick us a few bucks for the cause.

Peace!
Dan

July 2, 2012

novur:

Fight like a girl has a new meaning.

(via sifu-kisu)

July 2, 2012

(Source: nevillethebamf, via benvolio)

July 1, 2012
Fandom Poll

Choose your top five fandoms (in random order):
  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
  2. Star Wars
  3. Lord of the Rings
  4. Batman
  5. Harry Potter

The first character you fell in love with:

  1. Zuko.
  2. Han Solo
  3. Meri and Pippin
  4. Uh, really?
  5. Harry

The character you never expected to love:

  1. Toph
  2. Lando
  3. Faramir
  4. Bane
  5. Snape

The character you would shag any time:

  1. Ty Lee (ATLA) and Korra (TLOK)
  2. Leia and Padme. (Really the only two girls in SW)
  3. Arwen
  4. Harley Quinn
  5. Luna

The character you’re most like:

  1. Sokka
  2. Wedge Antilles
  3. Elrond
  4. The goddamned Batman
  5. Ron

The character you’d slap:

  1. Zuko (throughout most of ATLA) Seriously pick a side!) and Mako (TLOK.) Biggest douche in Republic City.
  2. Anakin… But seriously the entire fucking Jedi council in the PT. Come on!
  3. Frodo
  4. Jason Todd (Joker cleared that right the fuck up)
  5. Fudge. Corrupt politicians are corrupt.

Three favourite characters:

  1. Zuko, Aang, Toph
  2. Han, Lando, Chewie (honorable mention for Mr. Fett)
  3. Faramir, Elrond, Gimli
  4. Batman, the Joker, Harvey Dent
  5. Ron, Sirius, Lupin

Your OTP:

  1. Aang/Katara aka KatAang. Also with beta-couples Zuko/Mai and Sokka/Suki (hard to argue with canon)
  2. Han/Leah
  3. Um, Aragorn/Arwen, I guess.
  4. Officially Bruce/Selena. Unofficial fanboy wish: Poison Ivy/Harley Quinn.
  5. Hermione/Ron

(via gorramittobias)

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