For Women In Film, Progress And Frustration

Hollywood’s “Sisters of Summer.” Women and the movie business now.

Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman and Gillian Robespierre on the set of the new film, "Obvious Child." (A24 Films)

Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman and Gillian Robespierre on the set of the new film, “Obvious Child.” (A24 Films)

In the silent film era, Hollywood knew how it liked its women.  With fluttering fans, maybe.  Or tied to the tracks.  A century on, women are still fighting for their full place in Hollywood, behind and in front of the camera.  It matters, says Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday, because movies mold our sense of the world.  Our cultural expectations.  Our sense of what we ought to be.  What we can be.  This summer, there’s a riffle of change, she says.  In “Obvious Child,” “Maleficent,” “The Fault in Our Stars. This hour, On Point:  Women, power, and Hollywood now.

- Tom Ashbrook


Ann Hornaday, Washington Post film critic. (@AnnHornaday)

Wesley Morris, critic for Grantland. (@Wesley_Morris)

Gina Prince-Bythwood, director of the upcoming film “Beyond the Lights.” Also director of the films “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Love and Basketball,” among others. (@GPBmadeit)

Gren Wells, writer and director. She’s making her directorial debut with “The Road Within.” (@grendola)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: The sisters of summer — “The fact that women seem finally to be on the cusp of being taken seriously as a market is good news, just as last year’s plethora of successful films by and about African Americans boded well for audiences interested in seeing more than the usual white faces on screen (see ‘cinematic monoculture, sexism and racism of’). But this early summer crop of hits also suggests a welcome widening of the lens when it comes not just to women’s roles, but men’s as well.”

NPR: ‘Obvious Child': A Momentous Film Of Small, Embarrassing Truths – “Director Gillian Robespierre has a good last name for a revolutionary. But it’s not a revolution with placards and manifestos. It’s a revolution of small, embarrassing truths. Obvious Child begins with Donna, played by Jenny Slate, standing before a mic in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, club making fun of her Jewish features and her farts and implying it’s a miracle she even has a boyfriend. That boyfriend, Ryan, is standing in the back, scowling. He doesn’t seem to like her exhibitionism. In fact, he’s fixing to dump her. ”

TIME: How Hollywood Can Get More Women To See Movies – “Getting a lot of women to see your movie is notessential to its success. Superhero and monster movies will continue to draw big crowds: Spider-ManX-Men and Godzillaall had at least $90 million opening weekends. But courting more women certainly doesn’t hurt. After all, females make up 51% of the population.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 13, 2015
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, Syrian armored vehicles get ready to move near the village of Morek in Syria. The Syrian army has launched an offensive this week in central and northwestern Syria aided by Russian airstrikes. (AP)

Russia’s big power play in Syria, the US response, and where this could go.

Oct 13, 2015
The bare landscape of Crimea, Ukraine, offers little protection in warfare, and German infantrymen hug the ground to escape enemy fire, Jan. 7, 1942.  (AP)

We’ll talk with historian Tim Snyder, who sees resource wars behind past genocides and says climate change now raises the danger again.

Oct 12, 2015
A portion of the cover of Larissa MacFarquhar's new book, "Strangers Drowning." (Penguin Press / Courtesy The Publishers)

An extreme commitment to others. Larissa MacFarquhar joins us with stories of those who sacrifice almost everything to do good.

Oct 12, 2015
Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman talks on his phone outside the newly constructed jail as prisoners are transferred into the facility in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP)

Step one in sentencing reform: 6,000 federal prisoners will go free at the end of this month. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Meet The Interns, Fall 2015
Friday, Oct 9, 2015

Meet our Fall 2015 interns! (Better late than never, right?)

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 9, 2015
Friday, Oct 9, 2015


More »
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »