The industry and white feminism do this all the time, they come up with new and asinine ways to validate exclusion in Hollywood and a complete disregard for women of color who are making incredible strides.
By Candice Frederick
I’ve tried to bite my tongue about this. After all, it’s just great to be mentioned, right? Because as women, when one of us wins, we all win, right? RIGHT? Wrong. It’s 2018, and I’m tired of seeing women of color show up for then take a back seat to white women whose accomplishments are just as great as their own, yet they must settle for simply being in the same room as them. Nope, not today Satan. Not anymore.
Let me be more frank. You know how everyone is going on about "Lady Bird" this and "Wonder Woman" that, Greta Gerwig this and Patty Jenkins that? It seems like every Hollywood pundit is hailing the two for leading the charge for women filmmakers in 2017, as if Dee Rees didn’t just deliver one of the most astounding and technically amazing films of the year with "Mudbound" (her second since 2011’s also criminally underrated "Pariah"). Where is she in the conversation? Why is she not “leading the charge” and a frontrunner for best director this season? Why this year out of all years, when women are finally being centered in major industry discussions, does that not include Rees?
This isn’t about taking anything away from Gerwig or Jenkins (because I know that’s exactly where certain minds go when you try to integrate conversation). In fact, "Wonder Woman" is my favorite movie of 2017 and "Lady Bird", well, is a very pleasant film for those hungry to see a simple story about a young white girl on the cusp of adulthood (because the landscape is sorely in need of those, right?).
This also isn’t about using white women’s success as a barometer for women of color creatives, because that’s neither necessary or productive. Rather, this is about including women of color as we amplify those who’ve made extraordinary achievements in 2017 film. Is that too difficult of an ask, too outrageous to consider as more and more award nominations are unveiled sans her name?
Films glamorizing illness are downright dangerous because they put out a false projection of what people like me deal with on a daily basis.
By Jazmine Joyner
The "sick girl" genre of film is a name I gave to movies that feature stories around sick women and girls (predominantly white sick women and girls) and about how they flew into a male character's life and within a short amount of time they teach him how to live, as they die. Movies like "A Fault in Our Stars" (this is the reverse, it's a manic pixie dream boy, refreshing!) , "A Walk to Remember", " I Miss You Already", "Now is Good", "Me, Earl, and The Dying Girl", and "Me Before You" are prime examples of films that use illness as an inspirational tool to serve white able-bodied people.
I am borrowing the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, which is a term coined by film critic Nathan Rabin that is defined as "That bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures." This definition fits these characters to a tee.
In "A Walk To Remember" Mandy Moore's sick and soulful character Jamie Sullivan teaches Shane West's bad boy going down the wrong tracks, Landon Carter, about love and being an upstanding human, even finding the time in-between chemotherapies to reunite Landon and his father. Jamie's illness even inspires Landon to go into medicine. All while our girl Jamie is this stagnant character that solely lives to be loved by Landon. She needs nothing else, craves nothing, and then dies. She is a perfect manic pixie sick girl.
Films like "A Walk To Remember" are harmful because of how they represent sickness and those who are living with illnesses every day. Every film mentioned above is used not to show a real person dealing with chronic disease and having a good life despite their diagnosis. But make the sick person a prop to their abled counterpart. They are a life lesson or some inspirational figure there to only further the abled characters development. In these films you see glamorous frail white girls laying in bed pining for love. Because you know love can heal, naturally. These depictions not only are boring but are completely unoriginal.
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