Archive for Film

Shea Serrano w/ Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Film, nonfiction, film/tv, journalism by skylightbooks on October 23rd, 2019

Movies (And Other Things) is a book about, quite frankly, movies (and other things).

One of the chapters, for example, answers which race Kevin Costner was able to white savior the best, because did you know that he white saviors Mexicans in McFarland, USA, and white saviors Native Americans in Dances with Wolves, and white saviors Black people in Black or White, and white saviors the Cleveland Browns in Draft Day?

Another of the chapters, for a second example, answers what other high school movie characters would be in Regina George's circle of friends if we opened up the Mean Girls universe to include other movies (Johnny Lawrence is temporarily in, Claire from The Breakfast Club is in, Ferris Bueller is out, Isis from Bring It On is out...). Another of the chapters, for a third example, creates a special version of the Academy Awards specifically for rom-coms, the most underrated movie genre of all. And another of the chapters, for a final example, is actually a triple chapter that serves as an NBA-style draft of the very best and most memorable moments in gangster movies.

Many, many things happen in Movies (And Other Things), some of which funny, others of which are sad, a few of which are insightful, and all of which are handled with the type of care and dedication to the smallest details and pockets of pop culture that only a book by Shea Serrano can provide.

Serrano is joined in conversation by his Ringer colleagues Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion.




Clark Allen, “MY MOVIE IDEAS”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Film, film/tv by skylightbooks on August 12th, 2019

A handful of years ago Clark Allen had an idea for a movie. Shortly after the first idea he had a second idea. The second was followed by a third, and then fourth, a fifth, a sixth, and so on. Having little interest in the silver screen himself, he never bothered to write any scripts or take any steps toward the actual filmmaking process. He did, however, continue to add to his catalog thinking that perhaps one day a hopeful screenwriter or director in need may cross his path, that he might pass along a few of his concepts, and then maybe in time he'd be able to trot down to the local cinematheque and check one out. His new book, My Movie Ideas, collects six hundred and ninety-one top notch, copyright free, suggestions prime for development at any time. 




Geoff Dyer, “BROADSWORD CALLING DANNY BOY”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Film, nonfiction, film/tv by skylightbooks on March 14th, 2019

Geoff Dyer has loved Where Eagles Dare since childhood. It is both a thrillingly realized Alpine World War II adventure with tough, compelling acting from its two great stars, Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, and a flippant travesty, reducing the central disaster in Europe’s modern history to a series of huge explosions and peopled by campy SS officers.

As he did in Zona–which took on Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker–in Broadsword Calling Danny BoyDyer gives us a scene-by-scene reaction to and reading of the film. And perhaps as only he can, the author both extols and denigrates–lovingly and entertainingly no matter which way he falls–this acme of the late ’60s action movie.

Dyer is in discussion with Joanathan Lethem, author of eleven novels, including The Fortress of Solitude and Girl in Landscape.

 




Karina Longworth, “SEDUCTION” w/ Mark Olsen

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Film, nonfiction, film/tv, history by skylightbooks on November 28th, 2018

In recent months, the media has reported on scores of entertainment figures who used their power and money in Hollywood to sexually harass and coerce some of the most talented women in cinema and television. But as Karina Longworth reminds us, long before the Harvey Weinsteins there was Howard Hughes--the Texas millionaire, pilot, and filmmaker whose reputation as a cinematic provocateur was matched only by that as a prolific womanizer.

His supposed conquests between his first divorce in the late 1920s and his marriage to actress Jean Peters in 1957 included many of Hollywood's most famous actresses, among them Billie Dove, Katharine Hepburn, Ava Gardner, and Lana Turner. From promoting bombshells like Jean Harlow and Jane Russell to his contentious battles with the censors, Hughes--perhaps more than any other filmmaker of his era--commoditized male desire as he objectified and sexualized women. Yet there were also numerous women pulled into Hughes's grasp who never made it to the screen, sometimes virtually imprisoned by an increasingly paranoid and disturbed Hughes, who retained multitudes of private investigators, security personnel, and informers to make certain these actresses would not escape his clutches.

Vivid, perceptive, timely, and ridiculously entertaining, Seduction is a landmark work that examines women, sex, and male power in Hollywood during its golden age--a legacy that endures nearly a century later.

Longworth is in conversation with Mark Olsen, who writes about all kinds of movies for the Los Angeles Times.




WNBA/LA: National Reading Group Month

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, Film, film/tv, journalism by skylightbooks on October 18th, 2018

WNBA/LA celebrates National Reading Group Month with a special Women in Media panel, featuring Gretchen Bonaduce (Surviving Agent Orange), Laura Dave (Hello Sunshin), and Robinne Lee (The Idea of You), with moderator Ezina Le Blanc.




Joshua Mattson, “A SHORT FILM ABOUT DISAPPOINTMENT”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Film, film/tv by skylightbooks on September 2nd, 2018

Set in a wildly imaginative and uncannily familiar world of nanny states and extreme rationing, Safe Zones and New Koreas, A Short Film About Disappointment is an uproarious story of trying to keep it together in turbulent times. Told in the form of 81 movie reviews, this is an ingenious novel about art and revenge, insisting on your dreams and hitting on your doctor, written by a Joshua Mattson, a debut novelist with a rotten wit and the imagination of a hyperactive child.




Joy Press, “STEALING THE SHOW”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Feminism, Film, nonfiction, film/tv, journalism by skylightbooks on July 10th, 2018

In Stealing the Show: How Women are Revolutionizing Television, journalist and television critic Joy Press celebrates the women who broke through male-dominated Hollywood and helped change the face of television forever.

Drawing on scores of interviews with key participants in this revolution, Stealing the Show is a revelatory story about the women who changed not just what we see on television but the culture in which we live.




Dahlia Schweitzer, “GOING VIRAL”

Posted in book stores, books, Film, nonfiction, zombies, film/tv by skylightbooks on July 4th, 2018

In Going Viral, Dahlia Schweitzer probes outbreak narratives in film, television, and a variety of other media, putting them in conversation with rhetoric from government authorities and news organizations that have capitalized on public fears about our changing world. She identifies three distinct types of outbreak narrative, each corresponding to a specific contemporary anxiety: globalization, terrorism, and the end of civilization. Schweitzer considers how these fears, stoked by both fictional outbreak narratives and official sources, have influenced the ways Americans relate to their neighbors, perceive foreigners, and regard social institutions.




CARINA CHOCANO DISCUSSES HER BOOK YOU PLAY THE GIRL WITH KRISTINA WONG

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, Film, Cinema, women in film by skylightbooks on May 25th, 2018

In this smart, funny, impassioned call to arms, a pop culture critic merges memoir and commentary to explore how our culture shapes ideas about who women are, what they are meant to be, and where they belong.

Who is “the girl?” Look to movies, TV shows, magazines, and ads and the message is both clear and not: she is a sexed up sidekick, a princess waiting to be saved, a morally infallible angel with no opinions of her own. She’s whatever the hero needs her to be in order to become himself. She’s an abstraction, an ideal, a standard, a mercurial phantom. 

From the moment we’re born, we’re told stories about what girls are and they aren’t, what girls want and what they don’t, what girls can be and what they can’t. “The girl” looms over us like a toxic cloud, permeating everything and confusing our sense of reality. In You Play the Girl, Carina Chocano shows how we metabolize the subtle, fragmented messages embedded in our everyday experience and how our identity is shaped by them.  

From Bugs Bunny to Playboy Bunnies, from Flashdance to Frozen, from the progressive ’70s through the backlash ’80s, the glib ’90s, and the pornified aughts—and at stops in between—Chocano blends formative personal stories with insightful and emotionally powerful analysis. She explains how growing up in the shadow of “the girl” taught her to think about herself and the world and what it means to raise a daughter in the face of these contorted reflections. In the tradition of Roxane Gay, Rebecca Solnit, and Susan Sontag, Chocano brilliantly shows that our identities are more fluid than we think, and certainly more complex than anything we see on any kind of screen.

Praise for You Play the Girl 

“You Play the Girl by Carina Chocano blew my mind. Like a goldfish realizing that water existed, I instantly came alive to the air and the atmosphere of how my Otherness informed my girlhood. Each and every message of being asked to stand still so that I could be seen by the cultural product of male-made entertainment made me scream with recognition. In particular, the Flashdance chapter time-travelled me back to my youth, but holding hands with a clear-eyed, brilliant, hilarious friend. Re-looking at Stepford Wives, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched and all of the other hypnotic suggestions about my supposed woman-hood made me feel alive and energized and ready to topple the patriarchy. The world is changing for women and girls and here is one of the first steps—going back to do archaeology about what the heck happened to us, how we got colonized. If information is power, You Play the Girl is amsuperpower.”—Jill Soloway, writer, director, creator of Transparent

“Carina Chocano is a brilliant thinker, a dazzling stylist and an intellectual in the truest sense of the word. An important critical work as well as an entertaining personal story, You Play the Girl looks at old archetypes in new and often astonishingly insightful ways and establishes Chocano as a unique talent and crucial voice in the cultural conversation.”—Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

“Carina Chocano unearths the little horrors of our culture’s pervasive, insidious sexism in essays so brilliant and witty you’ll wish her book would never end. Chocano is one of our sharpest, most original cultural observers, and You Play the Girl is as engrossing as it is unforgettable.”—Heather Havrilesky, author of How to Be a Person in the World

Carina Chocano is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and Elle, and her writing has appeared in Vulture, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. A former staff film and TV critic at the Los Angeles Times, she has also worked as a TV and book critic at Entertainment Weekly and a staff writer at Salon. She lives in Los Angeles.

Kristina Wong is solo performer, writer, actor, educator, “culture jammer”, and filmmaker. Kristina’s background in education, art for social change, and community work informs the content of her performances and writing which are both entertaining and thought provoking.

She was awarded the Creative Capital Award in Theater and a Creation Fund from the National Performance Network to create her third full-length solo show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest exploring the remarkably high incidence of suicide among Asian American women in a world that’s more nuts than we are. She is completing a novel started with the PEN USA Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellowship.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 7:30pm



ALICIA MALONE DISCUSSES HER BOOK BACKWARDS AND IN HEELS WITH MAUDE GARRETT

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, Film, Cinema, women in film by skylightbooks on May 22nd, 2018

"After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels..." - Ann Richards

Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman. As was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, the inventor of the boom microphone and the first person to be credited with the title Film Editor. Throughout the entire history of Hollywood women have been revolutionizing, innovating, and shaping how we make movies. Yet their stories are rarely shared.

This is what film reporter Alicia Malone wants to change. "Backwards and in Heels" tells the history of women in film in a different way, with stories about incredible ladies who made their mark throughout each era of Hollywood. From the first women directors, to the iconic movie stars, and present day activists. Each of these stories are inspiring in the accomplishments of women, and they also highlight the specific obstacles women have had to face. "Backwards and in Heels" combines research and exclusive interviews with influential women and men working in Hollywood today, such as Geena Davis, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig, Todd Fisher and many more, as well as film professors, historians and experts.

Think of Backwards and in Heels as a guidebook, your entry into the complex world of women in film. Join Alicia Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past and present, and looks to the future with the hopes of leveling out the playing field.

Alicia Malone is a film reporter, host, writer and self-confessed movie geek. She first gained notice hosting movie-centric shows and reviewing films in her native Australia, before making the leap to Los Angeles in 2011.

Since then, Alicia has appeared on CNN, the Today show, MSNBC, NPR and many more as a film expert. Currently, she is a host on FilmStruck, a cinephile subscription streaming service run by the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies, and she is the creator and host of the weekly show, Indie Movie Guide on Fandango.

Alicia is passionate about classic films, independent movies and supporting women in film. In 2015, Alicia gave a TEDx talk about the lack of women working in film and why this is important to change. In 2017, she was invited to give a second TEDx talk, where she spoke about the hidden stories of the earliest women working in Hollywood. Alicia has also spoken at conferences around America, and because of this, was named of one the 100 Worthy Women of 2016.

Alicia has traveled the world to cover the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and SXSW. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and over the years has interviewed hundreds of movie stars and filmmakers.

She also wrote this bio, but knew it would sound way less egotistical if written in third person.

Maude Garrett has spent over a decade as a host on all forms of media including television, radio and digital on an array of shows, but she tries her hardest to keep creating content about her favorite topic: geekdom, founding Geek Bomb back in 2012. Maude's other claim to fame is being best friends with Alicia Malone…

Event date: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 5:00pm




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