1. “Hollywood’s Homophobia Is Even Worse than You Think.” GLAAD’s “Studio Responsibility Index” finds Hollywood fails at LGBT representation.
“One of the best features of the GLAAD study is that they not only point out what’s wrong with Hollywood and the current studio approach, they give advice as to how the situation can be improved in future years. This year’s study asks studios to make a real effort to include L.G.B.T. characters in genre films, specifically the hugely popular superhero film franchises. Diversity in the comics world has, of late, been growing by leaps and bounds, but it’s fairly scathing indictment that the only L.G.B.T. Marvel movie character in 2013 was a cameo from real-life MSNBC anchorman Thomas Roberts in Iron Man 3. Genre Y.A.-book franchises are often a great source for L.B.G.T. diversity which is why, believe it or not, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, receives some of the highest praise from GLAAD for it’s inclusion of not one, but two fully fleshed out gay fan favorites.”
2. “At Least One Real, Authentic Moment of Humanity With Cameron Diaz.” Notes on a kinda-sorta awkward conversation with the fearless “other woman” of rom-coms.
“Upon further reflection, she thinks maybe she saw a little bit of the Pamela Anderson–Tommy Lee tape, but can’t remember in what context. ’Wasn’t it their honeymoon?’ she asks. Tell her yes. Suggest that the really memorable thing about the Pam-and-Tommy tape is its nonsexual content — the extended passages depicting the banal interaction of two newly married knuckleheads who communicate in a shmoopie-ish no-I-love-you-more love-language that renders the tape in its own way far more intimate than even the most graphic footage of celebrity peen-in-vag could ever be. It’s almost an artifact of a more innocent time, crazy as that sounds. Realize too late that you are kind of conversationally plagiarizing an old Chuck Klosterman essay by saying this. Flail. Suggest to a famous actress that a tape of two people fucking is ’worth seeing.’ End of interview time.”
3. “What percentage of a film crew is female?” Stephen Follows crunches the numbers in a fascinating report.
“Today I am releasing the results of a long-term project. For a while, I’ve been looking at the gender of film crew members over the past 20 years. The results are pretty shocking, and should hopefully serve as a wake up call to parts of the industry. I don’t believe that the majority of the industry is fundamentally sexist or anti-women but when you look at these results, especially over time, it’s plain to see that something is wrong and it isn’t fixing itself.”
4. ”Galaxy Quest: The Oral History. By Grabthar’s Hammer, the sci-fi comedy classic is turning 15. Here’s the untold story of how it got made.
“’Never give up, never surrender!’ That’s the hokey battle cry spoken by fictional Commander Peter Taggart, but it also easily applies to the long journey to get the beloved cult film Galaxy Quest to the screen. In 1999 Mark Johnson, already an Oscar winner for Rain Man, was an independent producer with a deal at DreamWorks Studios. Johnson’s scouts had come across a screenplay called Captain Starshine that, by all accounts, wasn’t particularly good, but which had that killer ’what if’ hook. Basically: what if the Thermians—a group of goofy space aliens—misconstrued old episodes of a Star Trek-esque show called Galaxy Quest as ’historical documents’ about brave interstellar warriors? And based their entire society and all of their technology on it? And when their planet was threatened, went to the crew for help, only to discover (eventually) they were out of work actors?”
5. “Wallace Shawn: I wish people knew me as a radical playwright instead for
“Well, you could see the play as simply the revenge of someone who has been molested. That’s one way of looking at the play. I think it’s not the way Ibsen looked at it. I don’t think that he saw it in the way that people normally would see it today. But there’s no question that even if you were to take that whole story as a dream, you could still quite plausibly believe that when this girl was 12 years old, this man got drunk at a party and he kissed her, clearly in an inappropriate way. And of course, Ibsen is obsessed with the question of what today you would say was the relationship between power and sex. In many, many, many of his plays, he’s dealing with it. Of course in A Doll’s House, the wife is a grownup who is being treated like a child, and who has no power, because she is being sort of manipulated by her husband, and he’s keeping a lot of secrets from her. And yes, obviously, Ibsen was worried or tortured or concerned about the power relations between a powerful man and a much, much younger girl.”
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