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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? a feminist protest in film criticism [funded!]

wherewomen

Mon Nov 17 2014: Where are the women in movies? They’re standing aside, even when they’re awesome, so that they can support men being even more awesome and saving the world, etc.

If women even get space in a movie at all, that is.

As a lifelong lover of movies and a film critic with 17+ years experience, I’m pretty damn tired of this.

We hear a lot of general chatter about how poorly girls and women are represented on the big screen. Now it’s time to quantify it.

Each week — pending successful funding of my new Kickstarter — from January through March 2015, I’ll rank and rate three major releases (Hollywood films, significant indies, films we’re all talking about) for their representation of girls and women. Kind of like the Bechdel Test, but bigger and more nuanced.

You can see my proposed criteria and scores here; please feel free to comment on them and suggest others. And check out sample ratings and scores for Interstellar, Nightcrawler, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and The Maze Runner.

At the same time, I’ll also compile a list of the year’s new cinema releases ranked by the score they achieve on my test, from best representation of girls/women to worst.

I have stretch goals in mind, including grading more films each week and extending the project period to as long as the whole of 2015. So please support this project if it’s important to you that we see more girls and women represented realistically onscreen, as people with hopes and dreams, aspirations and adventures of their own, and not merely as adjuncts to boys and men.

Please make a pledge at Kickstarter! Thanks for your support. I welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions!

Please also see:
“How Movies Fail Girls and Women (Fans and Filmmakers Alike)”
“More Movies with Girl and Woman Heroes Will Be Good for Boys, Too”
“Film Critic Launches Project to Highlight Lack of Women On Screen” [at movieScope]

Fri Dec 12 2014: This is now the featured Journalism project at Kickstarter.

featuredkickstarter

Thanks to all my wonderful backers so far — you helped me get here!

Sun Dec 14 2014: An incredibly generous pledge from reader amanohyo has gotten us over the top, and we are now into stretch-goal territory. Can we reach these?

$7,500: If pledges reach this amount, I’ll rate and rank five films each week (up from three films).

$10,000: If pledges reach this amount, I’ll rate and rank five films each week for six months (up from three films per week for three months).

And if pledges start to get really crazy in these last few days, I’ve got more stretch goals in mind.

Thu Dec 18 2014: Incredible! Thank you thank you THANK YOU to all my wonderful backers: the project has been funded at more than 200 percent… which means I’ll be doing twice as much rating and ranking as I’d initially hoped to do.

Rating and ranking of films will begin in early January. Stay tuned…


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