Interesting prospects are happening 'over at the' Oscar Season (Awards Season, you call it).
"May the best woman win!" - Sasha Stone from Awards Daily wrote this article where she ponders the Angelina Jolie case, and her film Unbroken. It is a really peculiar situation to ponder upon. And one that will need a lot of help and conscious analysis from wonderful femininsts like Sasha Stone, which I believe is really one of the women's saviours of Hollywood town. God, if she is needed.
In this article titled "A Movie Star Crashes the Best Director Race", she writes about the current situation where a great part of the Oscar pundits are choosing Unbroken to be the Best Film of the Year, when no one actually saw it. The film premiered in Sydney, a couple of days ago, but no one is allowed to talk about it until the first day of December. The word of mouth from the premier in Sydney is that it was 'warmly' received. As Sasha Stone been remembering us throughout the season, is that it is really hard to live up to these kind of expectations, where the film needs to be almost perfect to live and not immediately drown.
Here is the Variety article.
Ava DuVernau on the set of her film Selma.
The other woman from this season is the inspiring Ava DuVernay.
Over at Indiewire, two articles just came out about her. Peter Knegt, covering awards season, writes about the history that can be made with the nomination of Ava DuVernay for Best Director. The nomination alone. Similar to what I wrote two posts ago, he lays out the 'correct' Oscar data and analysis of Ava DuVernay's possible history. If Sasha Stone is a saviour, then Melissa Silverstein, over at the Indiewire's Women and Hollywood, is the ultimate, relentless warrior. I'm a huge admirer. She also released an article today writing about Ava DuVernay. Melissa also writes about Oscar history and statistics, but she reminds us that the beauty of what's happening to Ava DuVernay is that it is on a big scale, the Oscar scale, the world wide, everyone watches Oscars - scale.
Here's an interesting trivia from Selma she wrote-
And speaking of writing, the credits on Selma will say a man named Paul Webb wrote the film. He wrote the first draft. He wrote a movie that was more of a tete-a-tete between King and President Lyndon Johnson. He wrote about two guys. In the film business, it is usual for other writers to take passes and do polishes on scripts. Because of rules (some ridiculous and plainly unjust) and contracts, there are lots of instances where people whose words we hear onscreen don't get the credit. That is the case with Selma. While Paul Webb might get the credit for this film, he did not write what we are seeing up there. He knows it. The studio knows it. The producers know it. Everyone knows it. He could have given Ava a co-writing credit (which she was promised), but he has at all turns not been interested in acknowledging that this is a joint piece of work. Shameful.
So let's go over it again, because it really is an amazing history:
11 Films in 86 years, directed by women, were nominated for Best Picture.
In 86 years (423 nominations, 'chances'), only four women got nominations for Best Director, including the win for Katherine Bigelow. All of them were white.
The first woman ever to be nominated for Best Director was only in the seventies, 1977, for an Italian woman with a Foreign film, she was called Lina Wertmuller. Then more than a decade later, an Australian, Jane Campion for her film The Piano. This was 1993. Than ten years later, came young American woman, in the Twentieth First Century, the first American woman is nominated for Best Director. In 2009, the historic year when Katherine Bigelow won for her film The Hurt Locker.
Again, of these 423 chances, only FOUR WHITE WOMEN were nominated for Best Director, and now THREE BLACK MEN were nominated for Best Director. I don't even know which one is more shocking. The first Black Man ever to get nominated for Best Director was only in the nineties, 1991. As Peter Knegt writes, Woody Allen alone was nominated for as many times as the women and black men put together.
Well, it isn't that different with the other branches. No woman was ever nominated for Best Cinematography. The writers brunch must be pretty mediocre as well. Gillian Flynn is pretty much going solo this year.
Gillian Flynn makes history in the adapted screenplay race as she stands to become the first female nominee to ever adapt her own novel.
It is the deadliest fact - America is a staggering racist country. And the way they 'treat' women has been downgrading, just getting worst to a ridiculous point. You can see that just by looking at the History of the American Cinema, with the statistics on Box Office, etc, etc, etc. Because again, it goes the same with the Black, Hispanic, Gay, all the minorities.
Think of the way many men and women have talked about David Fincher's Gone Girl. I'm in no way mentioning the people who didn't enjoyed the film on its own terms.
Let’s talk about Gone Girl. Some people felt really disappointed because they weren’t able to fully enjoy the film because of their high standards on David Fincher. I think it is a solid storytelling, pretty solid on pretty much everything. It’s a pity one isn’t able to enjoy the film as much as one wants because of such perspective. I don’t think they have to worry about disappointing their friends because the film is pure entertainment (also masterful). Talking from the American Cinema history, it is a relevant film. To me, it was pure entertainment. Who cares if it is one of the best films of the past decade or so? I don’t think saying Gone Girl isn’t a brilliant masterpiece or that it isn’t David Fincher best film is an excuse to downgrade Gone Girl. The film is really good. It isn’t much of an argument. It’s a pity people don’t enjoy this film because of these reasons, but these are somehow the least offensive. Some other excuses get to do with the story content, meaning, the feminism. This one is pretty ridiculous. To say the film, I mean the story, the one adapted from the novel, is anti-feminism because it portrays a negative portrait of a woman is plain wrong. This is where Sasha Stone comes in and is the Women's saviour. We all know, what this is a representation of a human being. Period. Forget gender sweethearts. I think we all know that representing an unsettling woman doesn’t mean women are all unsettling. We shouldn’t even be discussing such argument. It’s just so archaic. But anyway, one has to make sure to emphasize on the obvious. “I wish I could stoop to the womanly art of communication.” This sentence was written by a woman, from a men’s perspective, private thought, and one I utterly relate to, being a female myself. As I relate so often with Nick.
Sasha Stone brilliantly summs up in this article of hers, I think, the Gone Girl and the woman 'issue'. It's a great read.
Finally, in addition to this current theme, once again, Sasha just released an article titled "Women Take in This Year's Oscar Race' where not only she mentions these women and other Film statistics, but she also mentions other sections, like Documentary. Click here.
Sasha Stone about Ava:
But hey, no pressure. It’s only a black woman who made a career change over the age of 40, started her own releasing company to bring more black ticket-buyers to the arthouse, whose indie career has been ticking along steadily, who won Best Director at Sundance in 2012 but was overlooked in the original screenplay category. This auteur steps into the Oscar race and the film industry as an original – there has never been anyone like Ava DuVernay. That makes it quite possible she has the ability to change the Oscar race as we’ve known it for a while.
So this is where we stand, dear men and women from this century, about Film History and Oscar History and American Film History. Isn't it a cool interesting history? Some same is pathetic, some say ridiculous, I wouls say it is a tragic comedy. Have a good rest of the week.