Podcast#10 How to Get Ahead in Hollywood: Women’s Exploitation in the US Film Indusry

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Inspired by the upcoming Women in Hollywood symposium and by broader current events in the US film industry, in this podcast I talk with American scholar and invited speaker at the symposium, Kerry McElroy. Kerry is an interdisciplinary scholar currently based at Concordia University in Montreal, who researches and writes on women’s exploitation in Hollywood. She has written on the casting couch, on ethnicity in Hollywood and much more.

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Women In Hollywood Symposium: Useful resources

This blog post contains a number of resources you may find of use prior to and during the symposium discussions surrounding the current and historic poor treatment of women in the American film industry. Simply click on the image to be taken to the resource.

Currently these resources focus heavily on the recent context, but this is not intentional.

These resources collected here are in no way exhaustive. I’d like this to grow and I would very much welcome further suggestions as to what to add here.

Thanks

Resources:

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Registering to attend the Women In Hollywood Symposium

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The Women In Hollywood symposium on May 28th is FREE to attend but booking your place in advance is essential, even if you are presenting at the event.

To do this simply visit our Eventbrite page here and fill in the short form.

Once you have completed this short form, you will receive a confirmation message and an email confirming your booking and giving you further information about the event.

If you have any queries please feel free to email ellen.wright@dmu.ac.uk

CATH MA Travel Bursary competition open to Women in Hollywood attendees.

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To ensure that participants across a range of career stages and wage brackets are part of the conversation at the Women in Hollywood symposium, there is no registration fee to attend, but we are aware that there are other costs involved in attending.
To help cover the cost of attending, the Cinema and Television History research centre at DMU will be offering a travel bursary to a limited number of postgraduate students whose research interests link with the symposium and who want to attend this event.
The CATH MA Travel Bursary is a competitive fund for exceptional students completing or who have recently completed MAs but who are not registered for a PhD.
You don’t even have to be presenting at Women in Hollywood to be eligible to apply.
Email me ellen.wright@dmu.ac.uk for a form or if you have any further questions.

Women in Hollywood Symposium

180107-oprah-lede_ogpjbrThe context:

2017 saw a number of high profile news stories around the poor treatment of women in the entertainment industry, from the Weinstein allegations and the explosion of #MeToo, to revelations about gender pay gaps and the under representation of female labour, both in front of the camera and behind.

About the symposium

This symposium will consider the intersecting range of factors that impact upon women working in Hollywood both now and in the past. It will be a platform to discuss the disadvantageous treatment of women and will offer an opportunity to highlight examples of women’s autonomy, agency, subversion and innovation in the American film industry.

This event is organised by the Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre and will take place at DeMontfort University, Leicester on May 28th, 2018. It will run over a full day and will conclude with a panel discussion with Q&A. This closing section of the event will run between 5pm-6pm, will be open to the general public and will be recorded and made available as an audio download via this website.

Should you have a point you want to raise for discussion but you are unable to attend, feel free to email your point to ellen.wright@dmu.ac.uk or tweet with the hashtag #WomenInHollywood and we will endeavour to include you in the conversation.

Confirmed Speakers

We are thrilled to announce that the panel discussion event, scheduled to run between 5pm and 6.15pm will open with an exclusive intervention by Jill Greenfield, the lawyer currently pursuing the UK civil case against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Also participating in this discussion will be Deborah Dean, Associate Professor of Industrial Relations at Warwick University. Her research specialisms include equality issues in employment, contingent work in the entertainment industry and the interrelation of legal, social and cultural regulation of work.

Our confirmed key note speaker at this event is Professor Shelley Stamp (University of California, Santa Cruz) founding Editor of Feminist Media Histories: An International Journal, and author of Lois Weber in Early Hollywood (University of California Press, 2015) and Movie-Struck Girls: Women and Motion Picture Culture after the Nickelodeon (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Otherwise our speakers include a range of scholars from across the UK and the world.

Call for Papers.

The call for papers for this event is available here.  Given the considerable disruption caused by the current industrial dispute the deadline for submissions is now midnight, Friday March 30th 2018.  Submissions to be sent to: ellen.wright@dmu.ac.uk

Registering to attend

To attract a range of voices to this conversation, this symposium is free to attend but places are limited and must be booked in advance. To secure a place please register on our Eventbright page here.

Further details to follow…

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A timely symposium – Women in Hollywood

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Me attempting to channel Rita Hayworth. Image courtesy of Beki Doig

I am very pleased to announce that on Monday May 28th I will be running my first ever symposium at DeMontfort University.

It seems odd to me that having organised and been part of so many public events over the years, I haven’t yet organised a conference or symposium.

The idea for this event came a couple of months ago when myself, Alissa Clarke and Laraine Porter were asked by PhD candidate Becky Jones to be part of a panel discussion around the treatment of older women in Hollywood following a screening of Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool – a film about the final years of Hollywood vamp Gloria Grahame at the Phoenix cinema in Leicester.

We had a lot to say but understandably, only a small time in which to say it. We all remarked on this and also on how unusual it was to be part of an all female panel. As we gathered in the cafe bar afterwards, to continue the discussion, we drifted onto other issues women in Hollywood have had and still do encounter when trying to get on.  The #MeToo movement and the Weinstein allegations were only the tip of the iceberg. There were so many historical precedents.

The seed was sewn. We needed a day long event at least to discuss these issues. Vicky Ball also came on board and Women in Hollywood was born.

In case you are interested in attending and participating, here is our call for papers:

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Podcast #9: ‘I’ll Show Them, I’ll Record Everything’: Audience, Performance and The Room (2003)

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In this podcast I follow up on my recent blog post You can laugh, you can cry, you can do whatever you like, express yourself, just don’t hurt yourself’: Performance, Pedagogy and The Room by talking with The Room aficionado, audience researcher and Film and Culture lecturer Dr Richard McCulloch about the ‘best worst film ever’, cult phenomenon The Room.

We discuss what makes this film so bad it’s good, its director, Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist and the Golden Globe winning performance by James Franco but most importantly we talk about the unique fandom around The Room.

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Other topics we cover include fan communities and bonding via film, participatory cinema more generally, authenticity, performance and the nature Continue reading

‘You can laugh, you can cry, you can do whatever you like, express yourself, just don’t hurt yourself’: Performance, Pedagogy and The Room

 

 

Tommy in tux

Earlier this month saw one of my yearly teaching highlights, the annual screening of ‘the best worst film ever,’ 2003 melodrama, The Room.

It is ironic that a film renowned in part for such poor performances became the ultimate performative text, prompting a whole range of audience behaviours at its regular screenings.

Every year for the past three years, a participatory screening of this film has served as the climax of my third year Cult Film module, and it is promised to students at the start of the module, as a reward for their hard work and inevitably enthusiastic contributions over the course of the eleven week undergraduate module.

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The Battle of The Sexes

I was recently interviewed by PhD candidate Becky Jones* for Phoenix Talks – her podcast in association with the Leicester’s independent cinema, the Phoenix.

Becky kindly invited me to talk with her about biopic The Battle Of The Sexes which recently ran at the cinema. The film tells the story of the famous tennis match of the same name that took place in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

I wanted to talk with Becky about some of the ways in which this film raises issues around the media representation of sporting women’s bodies (which are often understood to be a problem as the power and potential they convey means they aren’t feminine or pliant enough) about toxic masculinity and about feminism. It’s a bit rambly, but hey, it was the end of term!

Here is a link to the podcast: