Women’s History Month- 10 Inspiring Women Who Deserve Their Own Biopic

For this Women’s History Month, I have decided to focus on creating some top ten lists which discuss films, biopics and documentaries about women in history that will hopefully inspire and inform readers about the accomplishments of women throughout history. For this piece I am focusing on ten women who deserve their own biopics and will be discussing who I think should star in the film, who could possibly direct the film and why their stories deserve to be seen on the big screen. Continue reading Women’s History Month- 10 Inspiring Women Who Deserve Their Own Biopic

Women’s History Month: 10 Women Who Have Inspired Me

First off, it’s damn near impossible to pick just ten women who have inspired me over the years. I have heard and read so many stories of hell blazing women who have stood up against discrimination in the film industry throughout the years, whether it’s the brave women who spoke up against Harvey Weinstein and shared their #MeToo stories, or women like Frances McDormand, who have actively campaigned for the Inclusion Rider in filmmakers’ and actors’ contracts in order provide a certain level of diversity in the casting and production process. Continue reading Women’s History Month: 10 Women Who Have Inspired Me

Review: Beyond The Visible: Hilma Af Klint

I shouldn’t be surprised that I haven’t heard of the artist Hilma af Klint. Unfortunately, one of the misfortunes of being in a patriarchal society is the fact that our history has been written by men for men. The hard work, struggles and achievements of many female pioneers have been swept to the side in order to place their male peers on a pedestal. In the same way I was stunned last year by the content of “Sisters With Transistors” (you can read my review here and interview with Lisa Rovner the film’s director here), I was left stunned and inspired by the sheer beauty and power of Hilma’s work. This outstanding documentary by German filmmaker Halina Dyrschka is worth seeking out and an important addition to the conversation surrounding women’s involvement in the history of creative arts. Continue reading Review: Beyond The Visible: Hilma Af Klint

Spotlight: Helen Gibson, Hollywood’s First Professional Stunt Woman

In the month of August, we at In Their Own League are focusing on Women in Action; female-led films in the action genre. For this piece I’ll be looking back at the work of Helen Gibson, a truly amazing woman from the silent film era who is dubbed “Hollywood’s First Professional Stunt Woman”. Continue reading Spotlight: Helen Gibson, Hollywood’s First Professional Stunt Woman

A Beautiful Mind: Hollywood’s Depiction of Love and Mental Illness

Hollywood loves an underdog. The story of the comeback over adversity, even better if that second chance is inspired by love, is known in certain neighborhoods of New York as “schmaltz,”- meaning, sentimentality. Mental illness is commonly reduced to the simplistic terms of sentimentality in the movies, but there are stories which manage to rise above. Extraordinary people can inspire but sometimes their loved ones who do not get the star treatment deserve it as much, if not more.

 John Nash was so visionary in his mathematical ability his doctorate dissertation at Princeton was awarded a Nobel Prize forty-five years later. It took the rest of the world that long to catch up with what Nash was saying about “game theory” and how it could impact economics, among other applications. Continue reading A Beautiful Mind: Hollywood’s Depiction of Love and Mental Illness

Animation April: Gertie the Dinosaur

The first animated film star wasn’t a mouse or a rabbit. It may have seemed like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988) was one of the first times animation and live-action interacted but Roger and his other inked on acetate pals all owe a debt to Gertie the Dinosaur.

Yes, Gertie was a decidedly female animated star, even though she sprang from the imagination of a particularly gifted male artist named Winsor McCay. McCay was largely self-taught though he did do a brief stint as a student at Eastern Michigan University. Ambitious and rebellious of his family’s hopes of him entering the world of business, McCay headed to Chicago to try to support himself in his own way. Continue reading Animation April: Gertie the Dinosaur

GFF Exclusive Review: Radioactive

This historical drama directed by Marjane Satrapi follows Marie Curie from her discovery of radium and polonium to her death in 1934. It merges a range of historical time periods in a blended visual style which leans on its graphic novel roots. It may not work for some but is certainly bold.

We meet Marie as Maria Skłodowska (Rosamund Pike), a Polish immigrant living in Paris and “taking up too much space” in a shared laboratory. She is informed by a roomful of men that she is being kicked out and she must find another if she wants to continue her scientific endeavours. Continue reading GFF Exclusive Review: Radioactive

Women’s History Month: Marvelous Mabel Normand

There are many forgotten faces in Hollywood who once captivated audiences. Few were more groundbreaking than Mabel Normand who starred, directed and produced silent films when the medium was still experimenting with what it could do. So much of what she and her professional, sometime private, partner Mack Sennett accomplished has now become standard, even cliché in film comedy. That she did so much in so few years is as dizzying as the breakneck chase scenes they would become recognized for in one of their more successful film series. Continue reading Women’s History Month: Marvelous Mabel Normand

Berlinale Exclusive Review: Minamata

Some shocking visuals and a few knuckle-biting moments bring this true story of the Minamata poisoning exposé to life. But despite best efforts the white saviour positioning undermines the power of the film.

It’s 1971 and once well-regarded photographer W. Eugene “Gene” Smith (Johnny Depp) is at the end of his useful career and drinking too much. Haunted from photographing the horrors of WWII, he has annoyed his publishers too many times to get consistent work and is reduced to endorsing products he doesn’t use for money.

Late one night Aileen Mioko (Minami in her first English Language film) visits to beg him to come to Japan and cover the Minamata poisoning. A whole region is suffering from sickness and birth defects from the Chisso Corporation chemical factory pumping mercury into the water. Continue reading Berlinale Exclusive Review: Minamata