Tag Archives: Still

Darren Aronofsky Shares New Trailer for Mother!, and We’re Still Not Quite Sure What’s Going On

So, yeah. There’s a new trailer for mother!, Darren Aronofsky’s newest project. We’ve … not quite figured out exactly what the movie’s supposed to be about yet, and while many folks have certainly made some intriguing guesses, the jury’s still out on what it will be. Judging by Aronofsky’s past work (PiBlack SwanRequiem for a DreamThe Fountain), watching it may just lead to even more questions—not that that’s a bad thing.

But this trailer certainly doesn’t shed too much light on mother!‘s subject matter. Here, you’ve got Jennifer Lawrence walking through what looks like an abandoned, empty house, while a voice over of her ostensibly speaking to Ed Harris’ character, who explains that he’s looking for a room. Javier Bardem, who plays Lawrence’s husband in the movie, says Harris’ character thought they owned a bed and breakfast. Eventually more and more people start showing up to the house, invited by Harris’ character. It spirals outward from there, with Bardem yelling at Lawrence about just wanting to “[bring] life into this house.”  Of course, then you’ve also got the standard-issue smash cuts at the end with a bunch of very provocative and intriguing shots flying by super fast.

I’m not going to try to hazard a guess as to the symbolic meaning of the house, but something stuck out to me in this trailer: Bardem’s character gaslights Lawrence’s character a little bit. She’s concerned about this mysterious stranger who shows up to their home, and she tells him, “He has pictures of you in his luggage,” to which he replies, “Why are you looking in his luggage?” It’s possible it’s a misdirect and just a good sound cut, but it’s telling that in this context, it makes him sound like he’s instantly turning the blame back onto her, talking about what she did wrong, rather than what’s actually happening. Moreover, the idea that Harris’ character thinks this was a bed and breakfast makes me think that he’s actually being straight up with that, and that Lawrence’s character is either a.) an amnesiac or suffers from Alzheimer’s, which would lead her to forget things like this and Bardem is her guardian/caretaker/husband, or b.) she’s actually the “mother” in this case, and Bardem is actually her son, in which case the “a” possibility above could still be true.

Hey, I’m speculating, and if you spent any time with that speculation thread I made about Rey’s parentage in The Last Jedi, then you know my speculations are as wild as they come. I’m just shooting in the dark. But exploring mental illness and the obsessions people have with the human condition are kind of hallmarks of Aronofsky’s work. Requiem was about addiction and pride (to a point). Black Swan was about envy, and Pi is about paranoia and obsession. It would be fitting that mother! also touches on similar subject matter, I think, rather than just being a straight up thriller or horror flick.

Anyway, we’ll find out what’s what when mother! comes out on September 15th.

(via Collider)

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While You’re Out Fighting Nazis, Don’t Forget Misogynists Like This Douche Still Exist

We had a lot of talk about Nazis yesterday, because apparently that’s a thing we need to be doing now in 2017. However, lest you think that white supremacy has taken over as the oppression du jour, let’s not forget that there’s still sexism and misogyny to contend with. Some forms of oppression never go out of style!

A recent, and particularly gross example comes out of the entertainment industry, which shouldn’t be surprising, as there’s a lot of sexism in the entertainment industry. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, back in March around the time of the “A Day Without a Woman” strike, a Hollywood assistant and aspiring TV writer, Rosette Laursen, asked for an unpaid day off to participate in the strike. Her boss, talent manager Michael Einfeld, didn’t respond directly to her. Instead, he chose to vent about it in the most sexist and disgusting way possible to her two male co-workers.

Funny story, though. He accidentally copied her, too, so she got to experience the joy that is this email:

“Are you fucking kidding me. At the end of pilot season. Someone should sew her vagina shut. I’m never hiring a girl ever again.
No bonus for anyone that strikes or leaves early in pilot season. No one is striking in show business we are all against Trump. And women are considered diverse and being shoved in as writer and directors. Zach who is a Jewish male is being pushed out.
Uppity Selfish Cunt. Heather went to work. I’m sure anyone at a casting office or agency would be fired.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

When Einfeld realized his mistake, he tried to offer an “apology.” “Apology” is in quotes for reasons. He wrote:

“I apologize for venting like a misogynistic faggot. I was letting off steam I didn’t mean to hit reply all. I’m an asshole. If you come back we can play Nazi death camp. You can beat me and put me in the oven. Or feed me cabbage and lock me in the shower. I am truly sorry.”

You know what’s my absolute favorite thing? When people don’t apologize for what they do so much as they apologize for getting caught. What makes this particularly frustrating is that Einfeld is both Jewish and gay. You’d think he’d maybe kinda sorta understand things like oppression and maybe how to treat people in other marginalized groups.

But that’s the thing right there. He says right in his email that he doesn’t really believe women are a marginalized group. He says they’re “considered” diverse, as if the whole thing is made up and they’re being “shoved in” to jobs they don’t deserve, rather than considering the hiring of more women an attempt to correct an imbalance.

Laursen posted about the entire ordeal on her Facebook page, where she details how she quit, as well as the legal action she tried to take against Einfeld afterwards. She also talks about the fact that, despite his sometimes being a nice guy, for the most part behavior like this was not new. This was just the last straw for her.

Getting back to inadequate apologies, THR printed the contents of a public “apology” that Einfeld posted on his Facebook page (only after Laursen made the ordeal public, of course) that was made private the following morning. It read:

“Let me say without reservation — I am sorry. I used language that was tasteless, humorless and completely inexcusable. I believe deeply in workplace diversity regardless of race, gender, creed or sexual orientation, and I am mortified that the things I have said have worked against my commitment to inclusion. As I’ve searched for a response to all this, what I’ve discovered is that words fall woefully short of my extreme remorse — I am so sorry. I will be undertaking some obviously needed introspection, and want to thank those of you who have expressed a willingness to stand by me. To those that feel they need space from me — I am heartbroken but understand.”

He’s right about the language being completely inexcusable. Where he’s completely full of shit is in his talk about any sort of “commitment to inclusion.” Einfeld never had any “commitment to inclusion.” Anyone with an actual commitment to inclusion would never say the things he said about women to other men when he thought it was in private.

He’s not sorry. He’s sorry he’s been found out.

And no, being a gay man doesn’t make it okay to give a female assistant lingerie as a workplace gift, even as a “gag gift.” And no, having experienced oppression of your own does not give one license to dish it out elsewhere.

But this is how deep sexism goes. Men who are marginalized because of their race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, physical/mental ability, or even their gender expression always have women to look down upon and treat like garbage.  That’s male privilege at work.

Let’s look at the last two lines of his most recent apology again: “I will be undertaking some obviously needed introspection, and want to thank those of you who have expressed a willingness to stand by me. To those that feel they need space from me — I am heartbroken but understand.”

So, he’s apologizing to save his business. Understandable for him, I guess. However, there are apparently already industry-types willing to stand by him. Just as they continually stand by the men in Hollywood who abuse female colleagues or other women in their lives in various ways.

Just as there are people who stand by and continue to work with Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Casey Affleck, Chris Brown, Johnny Depp, Roman Polanski, Terry Richardson, Charlie Sheen, etc, etc, etc. Women instantly go to “director jail” after one bad film. Men in the industry can literally abuse the women they’re working with and at the very least continue to work, and at most win accolades for that work.

Sexism is a complicated, insidious thing that seeps into all of our lives, and finds its way out of our mouths no matter who we are. Fighting it is difficult and must be approached from many angles. However, at the very least we can be more vigilant about and harsh toward obvious perpetrators of violence and harassment against women. Just as denouncing Nazis should be an obvious thing to do, so should denouncing misogynist abusers of women.

(image: Lobro/Shutterstock)

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GLAAD Finds LGBTQ Representation on Television Is Increasing, But Is Still Pushing Old, Damaging Stereotypes

At the Television Critics Association press tour yesterday, GLAAD hosted two panels to discuss the state of LGBTQ+ representation in television today. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that there’s still a lot of work to be done.

The LGB panel featured Lena Waithe (Master Of None), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Danger & Eggs), Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, 13 Reasons Why), Emily Andras (Wynonna Earp’s executive producer), and Pete Nowalk (How To Get Away With Murder creator/EP), as well as GLAAD’s Director of Entertainment Research & Analysis Megan Townsend and GLAAD’s VP Zeke Stokes.

The group gathered to discuss where we are in terms of representation, and where we need to be heading. According to GLAAD’s research, there are 278 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters on TV. 71 of those are on broadcast television; cable has nearly double that with 142, and streaming platforms have 65. The majority of those are gay white men.

But those 278 characters are still subjected to the same long-standing, damaging tropes.

To start, the “bury your gays” trope (killing off LGBTQ characters) is still going strong. Over the last two years, 62 gay and bi women television characters were killed off of their shows.

Additionally, those characters are often portrayed as stereotypes, either as the butt of a joke or as villains.

Representation is meaningless if the only queer characters we see are stereotypes. These portrayals are destructive, both for those looking for characters to relate to, as well as straight audiences who are having these stereotypes driven even further into their subconscious.

(A quick aside: Stephanie Beatriz apparently has a tattoo of a Danger & Eggs character on her arm. There has to be a picture of this somewhere, right? Please?)

Emily Andras laid out the job of those producing these shows.  “We need to be more aware of these tropes  — especially the ‘bury your gays’ trope. We, as writers, should challenge ourselves to write more interesting and complex queer characters.”

Lena Waithe says she wants to do just that. “I always want to write stories about queer people of color because I’m familiar with stories where queer people of color are the center. I am trying to make that happen, but I need the business to work with me.”

She points to the “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None, which she wrote. (And for which she became the first black woman nominated for an Emmy in comedy writing–a first she didn’t even know she was claiming until this panel.) She said that stand-out episode is “so black and so gay,” but she still gets straight white guys telling her it’s their favorite episode.

“That’s when I know I’m doing my job–when anybody can relate,” she says. “It speaks to where we are. We are making progress, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

(via Deadline, featured image: Netflix)

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