I have spent the last ten or so years of my professional life working in the traditional music world as a performer, educator and composer. Right now, this scene is having its #metoo moment with the hashtags #itendsnow and #misefosta. This is predicated on the valiant work of groups such as the BIT Collective, Fair Plé and protestations from 2016 and 2017 around the blatant sexism in our world.
My first awareness of a public outcry highlighting the preference for ‘masculine’ music by the industry and the lack of opportunity for female musicians was in 2016. BBC Radio 2 Instrumentalist of the Year Rachel Newton argued on social media that she felt “overwhelmed by the amount of all-male and more importantly very masculine bands… dominating the Scottish traditional music scene”. Continue reading →
(TW/CW: Abuse of power, nudes, predatory behaviour) For a long time I have been disappointed in the folk music scene for the portions of underlying prejudices it possesses. Most female musicians I …
For a long time I have been disappointed in the folk music scene for the portions of underlying prejudices it possesses. Most female musicians I know have been introduced as a ‘pretty young thing’ or ‘bonny lass’ by MCs who go on to introduce male acts as ‘brimming with talent’ and ‘a spectacular musician’ (these are just examples that I have heard first hand). However, I feel it is time to unveil a more sinister element which I have only just been brave enough to acknowledge. Since I came out about my own experiences, I have had the privilege to hear the stories of other women who have been in similarly horrid experiences. But I want to begin with myself. Continue reading →
When the actor Emma Thompson left the forthcoming animated film Luck last month while it was still in production, it was done without public fanfare, and was only confirmed when film-industry publications such as Variety magazine picked up on it. Now Thompson has put herself firmly above the MeToo parapet with the publication publishing her incendiary letter of resignation addressed to the film’s backers, Skydance Media, one of Hollywood’s most prestigious studios.
It was known that Thompson was unhappy with the arrival in January of former head of Pixar John Lasseter as the new head of Skydance Animation. But the letter goes into extraordinary detail about her disquiet over the appointment of a studio executive whose downfall had been one of the key landmarks of the Me Too and Times Up campaigns.The move was immediately hailed by activists. Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of the website Women and Hollywood tweeted: “This is more than an open letter — Thompson has issued a rallying cry. We hope others with power and privilege will join Thompson in speaking out about abuses of power and those who enable that toxic behavior.” [ . . . ]
The poster designed for the 1962 theatrical release of Stanley Kubrick’s screen adaptation of “Lolita” is one of the most brilliant and famous in movie history. It features a close-up of Sue Lyon, the actress who played Lolita, gazing at us not quite directly. She wears red, heart-shaped sunglasses, one brown eye peeking over the top, and sucks on a red, heart-shaped lollipop. There’s a provocative air to this image of Lyon as Lolita in the movie poster, and a near-pornographic dimension as well — one that is found neither in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel nor in Kubrick’s film — and the provocation doesn’t end there. The poster’s real brilliance is its two-part tag line: Above the image of Lyon, in big letters, it asks: “How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?” At the bottom right, in smaller type, is a phrase that could be read as the continuation of the question, or a censor’s warning: “For persons over 18 years of age.”
While conventional movie ads try to tempt us to see the film by directly or indirectly hinting at its subject and character, the ones for Kubrick’s movie were presented as an ironic challenge, and alluded to the fact that when it was made the industry’s internal censorship guidelines — the Motion Picture Production Code, known as the Hays Code — still prevailed in Hollywood.
Despite the novel’s great commercial success – it became a best-seller that every cultured person had to read, or at least claim to have read — it seemed inconceivable when it was came out, in 1955, that it would ever be made into a movie due to its scandalous nature. In fact, most of the film’s production budget was obtained in Britain, where Kubrick had moved in 1961, and like all the rest of Kubrick’s films from that time on, was shot in Britain, even though the action is set in America and an important part of the plot involves a journey through its ugly landscapes.
The film was distributed in the United States by MGM, which was once known for putting its imprimatur on prestige films suitable for the whole family, though the company’s fortunes had been on the decline since the late 1940s. It had its American premiere on June 13, 1962. It had an estimated budget of $2 million, and it brought in $9 million in America, so it could be called a box-office success, although it was panned by most of the important movie critics of that era. It earned just one Oscar nomination — for Nabokov, for best adapted screenplay. Nabokov was credited as the sole screenwriter, but the notable differences between the book and the movie indicate that Kubrick was surely the dominant one behind the transformation of “Lolita” into a film. [. . . ]
Actors and directors criticise film-maker for likening movement to ‘mob rule’ and remarks about Weinstein scandal
The film director Terry Gilliam has come under fire from Hollywood actors and directors for comparing the #MeToo movement to “mob rule”.
The former Monty Python member suggested the anti-sexual harassment campaign had led to a “world of victims” in an interview with Agence France-Presse.
While describing Harvey Weinstein as a “monster”, he added that the disgraced producer was only exposed because he was such an “asshole”.
Gilliam said: “Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey – that’s the price you pay.
“I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn’t. The ones who did, knew what they were doing. These are adults; we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition.” [ . . . ]