“Hollywood Insiders Admit Hollywood Hates Women” by Irin Carmon at Jezebel.
- “In my experience, girls’ revealing themselves as candid and raunchy doesn’t appeal to guys at all,” Stacey Snider, a partner in and the C.E.O. of DreamWorks Studios, says. “And girls aren’t that into it, either.”
- Another thing no one is into: A successful woman. We knew that, and yet this is devastating nonetheless: “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, fifteen minutes into the movie.”
- But everyone likes a hot girl, if she’s not too successful or intimidating. Of [actor Anna] Faris, a “leading agent” says, “What Anna has going for her, to be crass, is that guys want to nail her.”
- As we know, that is necessary but insufficient. She has to be sexy, but not have sex. Faris’s new film with Mylod, What’s Your Number, is about a woman who learns from a ladymag that if she sleeps with one more man than the twenty she already has, she’ll never get married. The studio executive debate over the number is instructive, as they wring their hands over how many would make the character an unrelated slut. (You have to wonder how many women these studio executives have themselves fucked, and how they might mentally reward themselves for each notch over twenty.)
No worries, because one executive concludes that “there’s an innocent quality to Anna’s sexuality, and an inherent kindness to her, that makes it possible to make a movie about sex and have it feel like she’s still a sweetheart.” Good thing she has big eyes and bottle-blonde hair — otherwise she’d just be a nasty slut.
- Faris knows this herself: “Our answer to ‘Wedding Crashers’ was ‘Gold Diggers,’ ” she says of an upcoming movie with Kate Hudson. “But the big hitch was, nobody’s going to like those girls if they seem like sluts… We realized we can’t make an actual female ‘Wedding Crashers,’ because then it would be ‘Call Girls.’ “
- The step-by-step dissection of why things suck so hard for women in comedy requires rare moments of self-awareness by men in comedy: Seth Rogen thinks Faris is hilarious, is honest about himself: “If ‘Pineapple Express’ “—a druggy comedy he starred in with James Franco—”had been about two girls, they wouldn’t have made it. And if I were a woman I wouldn’t have a career.” (We’re rooting for Best Buds in this regard.) And here’s Airplanedirector David Zucker on why the classic comedy formula of a fat guy and a thin guy doesn’t work with women: “Maybe women have a built-in dignity, and if a woman slips on a banana peel …” After a moment, he concluded, “You know, maybe it’s just that I’ve never tried it.” Maybe!
Yesterday was one of those days. You know, those days when you don’t really want to go outside. My Dad has woken me up at 6 in the morning to go out shopping for a watch – beat the Christmas Eve rush or something along those lines. I came home, collapsing into my bed, watch-less. There was nothing left to do on Christmas Eve; being a chosen person has never felt so damn lonely.
Thank god for Netflix and streaming movies on demand. My Netflix subscription has to be, by far, the best investment I’ve made all year. I finally saw Exodus after two years of silently pining for Paul Newman’s turn as Ari Ben Canaan, and I’ve been introduced to the wonders of A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Bored out of my mind, I decided to search the web for movies that I still hadn’t been able to watch. This Film Is Not Yet Rated popped up on one of those suggestion pages. You like x, y, and z types of movies: you’ll love this! I had heard of This Film before, but only in passing; one of those independent films that never really finds a foothold anywhere other than online and in art house movie theatres, it never really cracked the suburban Massachusetts demographic.
Kirby Dick (you have got to love people with names like these) is on a mission to expose the underbelly of the movie industry, namely, the MPAA. The Motion Picture Association of America is an institution of ungodly power; essentially, as Dick explains, the MPAA raters (the people who give movies ratings) are a bunch of anonymous middle-aged, Middle American men and women empowered by major studios to give films ratings.
Film ratings have always been a bit unsettling to me – what is the difference between G, PG, PG-13, R, and (the rarely seen) NC-17? Watching This Film brought up a string of questions. Why haven’t I ever seen a movie rated NC-17? Why was Pearl Harbor rated PG-13, while films depicting open sexuality are slapped with an R or NC-17 rating? Why did Blue Valentine originally get an NC-17?
This Film may be four years old, but it definitely aids any analysis of the current ratings system. One of the first themes analyzed in the film is the ratings boards’ aversion to female sexuality. Interviews with Kimberly Pierce, Jamie Babbit, and Kevin Smith focus on female sexuality and the general position of the MPAA towards women in film. Pierce and Babbit specifically talk about female sexuality as being taboo – the female orgasm, female masturbation, and women receiving oral sex are all deemed fit for an NC-17 rating. Smith details an episode he had with the MPAA in which they wanted to give Jersey Girls a more restricted rating because of a discussion between Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck’s characters in a diner. Tyler tells Affleck that she masturbates twice daily. He replies that she’s going to get carpal tunnel.
Dick’s emphasis on the hypocrisy of the system is poignant – studio films with similar material are given lighter ratings for sales, violence is rewarded over normal human sexuality. But I’m A Cheerleader received an NC-17 rating, partly, because of a scene in which a female character masturbates through her underwear; American Pie, a big studio film in which a male character masturbates by humping an apple pie, got an R rating.
I guess it really isn’t all that surprising that Ryan Gosling said this in response to the original rating of Blue Valentine. I plan on seeing that movie, not just because Ryan Gosling had the balls to call out the MPAA for sexism, but also because it looks like a good movie. I’m going to see it with its new R rating, and I probably would have seen it with an NC-17, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few people who would have stopped short at the sight of that rating. Thanks for supporting the patriarchy, MPAA.