"Books, records, films - these things matter. Call me shallow but it's the fuckin' truth."

"woc"
Sunday, June 16, 2013

2brwngrls:

Two Brown Girls - Episode 22

On this week’s episode of 2BG we’ve devoted the main part of our discussion to your questions. We discuss being the “token” person of color in the group of white friends, why Fariha hates Natalie Portman, how our Ghanaian and Bengali mothers feel about what we do for a living, Tyler the Creator’s misogynistic bullshit, and finally we delve into a discussion about the New York Times interview with Kanye West (just so you know this was recorded pre-Yeezus leak and pre-Kimye baby!)

p.s. - If you’re like Zeba and you begrudgingly watch the often problematic hot mess that is True Blood, follow us on Twitter for our live-blogging at 9pm EST! 

Happy Father’s Day! 

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*trigger warning for brief mention of rape around 35ish

Friday, May 24, 2013
7 Female Film Critics You Should Be Reading

I’m honored to be included on Film.com’s list of 7 Female Film Critics You  Should Be Reading!:

A study released today by San Diego State professor Martha Lauzen, as reported by The Wrap, has some pretty distressing statistics about gender equality in the world of film criticism. The study tracked more than 2000 reviews written by authors designated as “Top Critics” on the aggregation service Rotten Tomatoes over the course of several months and found, incredibly, that a whopping 82% were written by men. A similar study conducted in 2007, which tracked reviews written for the top 100 American dailies, found that men accounted for 70% of the material—which suggests not only have the numbers gotten worse, but that, more alarmingly, things are actually worse for female critics online than they were exclusively in print media. Whatever the reasons (or excuses), this is clearly a sorry state of affairs.

There are many great female film critics writing outstanding film criticism every week, and maybe the best thing we can do in response to a study like this is read more. We need more women writing about movies, certainly, but we also need to be more aware of the women who are writing about movies already. Men have a tendency to shout over other people; we don’t need to hear more of that.

With all of this in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight a few of the most essential female critics working today, from some of the most respected names in criticism to less established voices on the rise. If you’re not reading these women already, get on it.

- Farran Nehme – New York Post, Self-Styled Siren
Twitter: @selfstyledsiren

Nehme has long been well-regarded for her incredibly insightful film blog “The Self-Styled Siren”, where she muses on obscure works of classical Hollywood cinema and unearths rare bits of film-legend arcana. Over the last year or so she’s been steadily contributing feature reviews to the New York Post, which is an excellent fit.

Read: Her hilarious takedown of “No One Lives.”

- Kiva Reardon – Cleo Journal, Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot
Twitter: @kiva_jane

Kiva Reardon made a name for herself as a regular contributor to respected outlets like Cinema Scope and Reverse Shot, offering in-depth criticism that goes much deeper than an ordinary review. But her biggest achievement is also her most recent: last month she founded Cleo, a new journal offering feminist perspectives on film.

Read: Her thorough consideration of Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike”

- Zeba Blay – Slant Magazine, Black Voices
Twitter: @zblay

Blay’s recent festival coverage for Slant Magazine’s House Next Door has been superb, but some of the most notable writing she’s offered to date hasn’t been strictly reviewing movies, but looking at them more deeply for issues of race and representation (including a provocative piece for Huffington Post about Lena Dunham and “Girls”). Her deep engagement with issues too few critics pay mind to is refreshing and important.

Read: Interesting thoughts on the use of “yellowface” in “Cloud Atlas”

- Miriam Bale – The L Magazine, NY Daily News, MUBI, Filmmaker Magazine
Twitter: @mimbale

Miriam Bale is one of my very favorite film critics for the simplest of reasons: her writing makes me think. Writing with intelligence, curiosity, and wit, the only bad thing about Bale is that she doesn’t write enough. We need more critics like this.

Read: A sharp analysis of “Sleeping Beauty” 

- Stephanie Zacharek – Film.com, The Village Voice
Twitter: @szacharek

Our former critic, the wonderful Stephanie Zacharek has been rapidly gathering readers and esteem lately, culminating in her recent and much-deserved takeover as chief critic for the Village Voice.

Read: A killer D+ pan of “Les Miserables” 

- Karina Longworth – LA Weekly, Grantland Vanity Fair
Twitter: @KarinaLongworth

Karina Longworth might be the most widely read name on this list, and so needs no introduction. But her writing remains as vital as ever, not only in her role as a film critic but also as the author of a newly published book on Al Pacino.

Read: Her award-winning piece on the Sundance Film Festival

- Dana Stevens – Slate
Twitter: @thehighsign

Dana Stevens is one of the most respected film critics working, and for good reason: her direct, candid style is engaging and inflected with personality, her voice as open as it is authoritative.

Read: A recent reappraisal of “Heaven’s Gate” 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2brwngrls:

As some of you may know, the New Directors/New Films festival has been underway at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for the past week.

While the features section of most festivals usually get the most attention, the shorts section is boasting some pretty impressive work this year, including the New York premiere of female writer, producer, and director Basak Buyukcelen’s Take A Deep Breath

The short, filmed in Turkey, stars Nesrin Cavadzade as a high school student who decides to take control of her own body after her parents take her to a gynecologist for a traumatizing “virginity test.” Above is a brief but pretty powerful teaser from the opening of the film (tw for violence). 

I remember seeing the eight-minute short last year at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, and being absolutely floored by the sort of emotional impact it was able to make in such an apparently small amount of time.

So often I think we like to pretend that the policing of female sexuality is not a “modern” problem, that it’s something that only a small group of marginalized women have to deal with, but there was something very universal about the need, even now, to take ownership of one’s body.

If you’re in the New York area, you can catch the premiere screening of Take A Deep Breath along with several other shorts Saturday, March 30 at 1p or on Sunday, March 31. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2brwngrls:

Two Brown Girls - Episode 13

In this supersized episode of Two Brown Girls, we answer provocativegymnastic’s question about the upcoming Veronica Mars movie, discuss Amanda Palmer’s TEDtalk and crowd funding, Azealia Banks and Twitter beef (are black celebs held to a higher standard in the media than others?), and have a frank conversation about the nuances of last week’s Girls episode, ‘On All Fours’*. Happy Sunday!

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*(trigger warning for talk about rape beginning at 34m and ending at 55m)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
"I guess what kept me from being hurt by the negative comments was that I’m doing it for my sistas and my brothas and I don’t care who tells me I’m not this or I’m not that, I know who I am and I know what Nina Simone means to me. I did it all out of love for my people and my pride of being a black woman and a Latina woman and an American woman and that’s my truth."

Zoe Saldana in response to the Nina Simone biopic backlash 

What do you think?

(via 2brwngrls)

Monday, February 25, 2013
New article on Huffingtonpost: Why Lena Dunham’s ‘N-Word’ Response Isn’t Good Enough
When comedienne Lisa Lampanelli sent a picture via her Twitter a few days ago of herself posing with Girls star and creator Lena Dunham, she was no doubt well aware of the firestorm that its caption would spark. The photo, of Lampanelli smiling broadly, with Dunham standing over her holding up bunny ears, was accompanied by the controversy-baiting tweet: “Me with my n***a [Lena Dunham]… I love this beyotch!!”
It was a tweet obviously designed to stir the pot through its offensiveness, offensiveness that was later added to by Lampanelli’s wearyingly banal response in the wake of criticism, the usual crud spouted out by racists and charlatan comics looking to exude a little edge. For Lampanelli, it was about “taking the hate out of the word.” It wasn’t derogatory, she argued, because there was no “-er” on the end, and more importantly because she was referring to someone she admired, a friend.
Whatever.
While Lampanelli’s comments are just plain tedious, I was interested to see how her supposed “friend,” Lena Dunham, would handle the situation. I was disappointed but unsurprised when after four days, Dunham still hadn’t commented publicly on the incident despite her connection to it. And then, thankfully, writer Shayla Pierce, who had already been vocal about her issues with Lampanelli’s comments in several articles, decided to call out the actress/writer on Twitter.
"[Dunham] has showed her true colors on this whole n-word debacle," Pierce wrote, “her silence speaks volumes.”
It’s hard to say how I expected Dunham to respond, or indeed what it was I wanted her to say, but I was left oddly perplexed and a little annoyed by her reply. It started out, more or less, reasonably enough: “That’s not a word I would EVER use. Its implications are beyond my comprehension. I was made supremely uncomfortable by it,” Dunham said, “Perhaps I should have addressed it, but the fact is I’ve learned that Twitter debates breed more Twitter debates.”
For me, the entire exchange between Dunham and Pierce, which went on for several more messages and ended with Pierce thanking the television writer for addressing the issue, offering her “*huggies*” of reconciliation, seemed a little half-assed. However satisfying Dunham’s response may have been for the parties involved or those looking on in Twitter Land, the exchange struck me as Dunham getting let off the hook a little too easily, absolving her without really forcing her to face the issue at hand…
Read the rest here.

New article on Huffingtonpost: Why Lena Dunham’s ‘N-Word’ Response Isn’t Good Enough

When comedienne Lisa Lampanelli sent a picture via her Twitter a few days ago of herself posing with Girls star and creator Lena Dunham, she was no doubt well aware of the firestorm that its caption would spark. The photo, of Lampanelli smiling broadly, with Dunham standing over her holding up bunny ears, was accompanied by the controversy-baiting tweet: “Me with my n***a [Lena Dunham]… I love this beyotch!!”

It was a tweet obviously designed to stir the pot through its offensiveness, offensiveness that was later added to by Lampanelli’s wearyingly banal response in the wake of criticism, the usual crud spouted out by racists and charlatan comics looking to exude a little edge. For Lampanelli, it was about “taking the hate out of the word.” It wasn’t derogatory, she argued, because there was no “-er” on the end, and more importantly because she was referring to someone she admired, a friend.

Whatever.

While Lampanelli’s comments are just plain tedious, I was interested to see how her supposed “friend,” Lena Dunham, would handle the situation. I was disappointed but unsurprised when after four days, Dunham still hadn’t commented publicly on the incident despite her connection to it. And then, thankfully, writer Shayla Pierce, who had already been vocal about her issues with Lampanelli’s comments in several articles, decided to call out the actress/writer on Twitter.

"[Dunham] has showed her true colors on this whole n-word debacle," Pierce wrote, “her silence speaks volumes.”

It’s hard to say how I expected Dunham to respond, or indeed what it was I wanted her to say, but I was left oddly perplexed and a little annoyed by her reply. It started out, more or less, reasonably enough: “That’s not a word I would EVER use. Its implications are beyond my comprehension. I was made supremely uncomfortable by it,” Dunham said, “Perhaps I should have addressed it, but the fact is I’ve learned that Twitter debates breed more Twitter debates.”

For me, the entire exchange between Dunham and Pierce, which went on for several more messages and ended with Pierce thanking the television writer for addressing the issue, offering her “*huggies*” of reconciliation, seemed a little half-assed. However satisfying Dunham’s response may have been for the parties involved or those looking on in Twitter Land, the exchange struck me as Dunham getting let off the hook a little too easily, absolving her without really forcing her to face the issue at hand…

Read the rest here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

2brwngrls:

Two Brown Girls - Episode 8

On this episode of Two Brown Girls we discuss Beyonce at the Superbowl (DUH) plus sexual politics and slut shaming, the senseless death of 5-year-old Lama Al-Ghamdi*, Mike Tyson’s recent problematic appearance on Law & Order: SVU, Netflix’s new show House of Cards, and the possible problems with Indian actress Sakina Jaffrey playing a Latina, amongst other things. (bonus lolz: Zeba totally thought we were going to talk about House of Lies?)

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, feel free to leave them in our ask box or send us a tweet at our official Twitter Page - we might address them in our next episode!

If you like what you hear, subscribe to us on iTunes - and don’t forget to rate and leave a comment!

*Trigger warning for discussion about rape, starting at 16:00 and ending around 38:00

in case you missed it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2brwngrls:

Two Brown Girls - Episode 8

On this episode of Two Brown Girls we discuss Beyonce at the Superbowl (DUH) plus sexual politics and slut shaming, the senseless death of 5-year-old Lama Al-Ghamdi*, Mike Tyson’s recent problematic appearance on Law & Order: SVU, Netflix’s new show House of Cards, and the possible problems with Indian actress Sakina Jaffrey playing a Latina, amongst other things. (bonus lolz: Zeba totally thought we were going to talk about House of Lies?)

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, feel free to leave them in our ask box or send us a tweet at our official Twitter Page - we might address them in our next episode!

If you like what you hear, subscribe to us on iTunes - and don’t forget to rate and leave a comment!

*Trigger warning for discussion about rape, starting at 16:00 and ending around 38:00

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
BBC Announces Call For Comedy Scripts Centered On Transgender Characters (Open To All)

The BBC has put out a call for new comedy scripts that promote positive portrayals of Transgender people in mainstream comedy.

The call is through its Writersroom initiative, which was set up to promote new writing talent.

Callinf it the Trans Comedy Award, the deadline for entries is February 28, and will pay a writer or writers up to£5,000 (about $7,900) to develop a pilot.

The BBC says it looking for original sitcoms, comedy dramas or sketch shows featuring transgender characters and/or themes – written for television.

At the heart of it all is the writer, and at BBC Writersroom it is our passion to find the most exciting writers, voices and stories that might not have been heard and then support them as they work in partnership across the BBC,” said the BBC’s creative director of new writing, Kate Rowland.

Rowland will judge the award along with BBC head of creative resources Ian Critchley, executive producer for BBC Comedy Jon Plowman and an as yet unnamed comedy writer or actor.

By the way, the challenge is open to writers across the globe, BUT with one caveat:

If you are not currently a UK resident you can still submit but, if selected, the UK must be your place of residence for at least two years from the end of May 2013. This is required in order that selected scripts can be developed in conjunction with the BBC as per the current average timeline for development.

So, yes, you can submit from wherever you are, but if your script is selected, be prepared to move to the UK in May, where you’ll live for at least 2 years. If that’s cool with you, then, give it a go.

Click HERE to read the full terms and conditions of the competition.

Good luck!

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