Podcast #12: ‘There is just one word to describe her and that is fierce’: A Conversation about the BFI Joan Crawford retrospective with Anna Bogutskaya

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In this podcast, Dr Ellen Wright has a discussion with film programmer at the BFI Southbank, Anna Bogutskaya.
The pair discuss the current Joan Crawford retrospective, ‘Fierce: the untameable Joan Crawford’ and associated public talk that Anna programmed.

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Podcast#11: ‘I’m no Mary Whitehouse’: Jill Greenfield on calling out alleged sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry.

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As part of the Women in Hollywood symposium I talked with lawyer Jill Greenfield of FieldFisher solicitors, who is currently pursuing the civil case against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sexual assaults.

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An Afternoon With Joan Crawford

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Last week I got my finger nails painted ‘Jungle Red’ and headed down to the BFI Southbank to an afternoon of talks about the ultimate Hollywood star, subject of a major BFI retrospective and star of The Women (where her character Crystal wears the eponymous shade of polish) and Mildred Pierce – two Hollywood classics which will be on nationwide re-release next month – Joan Crawford.
The event was part of Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford, a two-month season ‘revelling in the formidable and versatile Hollywood star’ which runs between August and October and featured three female speakers (look mum, no mans!) Sight and Sound critic Pamela Hutchinson, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London Lucy Bolton and journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed. The three speakers all talked about their affection for Crawford and about various aspects of her stardom and performances. As I am just putting the finishing touches to a journal article about film star fan club magazines and invisible film star labour, which uses Crawford as a case study, I was keen to hear what these three experts had to say.

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

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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.

Sailing close to the wind, with the Lincoln WI

IMG_1448.JPGThe public engagement element of my job is one of my favourite bits of being an academic. So whenever I’m invited to talk I’ll always try and make it, work and life permitting. As a result last night I was very pleased to be guest speaker at the Lincoln WI.

I’ve visited and spoken to a number of Women’s Institute branches in the last few years and I’ve never had a bad experience, but Lincoln WI are certainly one of my favourites. I’d previously spoken at one of their meetings about two years ago, along with my friend and performer Storme Chaser. Our talk had been about the British burlesque community and its feminist roots. They were a really receptive, fun audience with lots of interesting questions and many of them wanted to have a go with the set of oversize, ostrich feather fans I’d taken with me. I’d even got some them to have a go at doing a glove removal routine to the David Rose Orchestra’s ‘The Stripper,’ much to the amusement of the other members.

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Charlize Theron: Fighting like a Girl

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

Becky invited me to talk about the noir spy thriller Atomic Blonde which recently ran at the cinema. The film, based on the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City and set on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, is a visceral experience and features a blistering performance by Charlize Theron as MI6 agent protagonist Lorraine Broughton.

The film is notable for its director, David Leitch, who is a renowned stunt man but what I really  wanted to talk about was what our expectations around how action-packed this film would be were regarding Theron’s performance. I also wanted to talk about the discourse around Theron in relation to the film, her star persona and reputation as a skilled actress who really throws herself into her roles, about her as an ‘aging’ star, about Lorraine as an empowered character and Theron as a producer and the history of  ‘action women’ roles in Hollywood.

Here is a link to the podcast:

*Becky Jones’ PhD is on cyborgs and gender in film. Continue reading