10 Amazing Movies Made by Women, About Women

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It may have come as a surprise to much of the world that the man behind many of the important films of the last 20 years is an alleged sexual predator. But to those in Hollywood, it was just a little-known fact. Within the past two weeks, numerous women have come forward with allegations of assault at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, emphasizing a deep-rooted problem in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, female directors are still fighting to make their visions known. Although it’s largely a white man’s game, a growing number of women have been staking their claim and making their creative mark; it’s time they get the respect they have earned.

From sports movies to biopics to period pieces, these are some of our favorite movies by and about women.

 

Yentl
Directed by Barbra Streisand

Having already established herself as a singer and actress, Barbra Streisand took to her first role behind the camera with Yentl. Also portraying the titular character, Streisand gave a stellar performance as a young Jewish woman who disguised herself as a boy to undergo religious training.

 


 

A League of Their Own
Directed by Penny Marshall

One of the most beloved films of our time featured a strong female ensemble, as well as a woman behind the camera. Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own was inspired by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, a group of women who kept the sport going while men served in World War II.

 


 

I Shot Andy Warhol
Directed by Mary Harron

One of the more radical feminists in recent history was portrayed in Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol. The film followed Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) on her New York journey from aspiring writer to sex worker to attempted assassin of Andy Warhol, before writing her feminist classic, SCUM Manifesto.

 


 

Frida
Directed by Julie Taymor

Taymor brought the legendary artist’s life to the big screen with this visually striking biopic. Starring Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo, the film covered her tempestuous love affair with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina) and the eccentric personality that sealed her legend.

 


 

Monster
Directed by Patty Jenkins

The notorious serial killer, Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron) was immortalized by director Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman). Working as a prostitute, she kills a customer in self defense, which turns into a series of murders that became her downfall.

 


 

The Secret Life of Bees
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood

After facing abuse from her father, Lily (Dakota Fanning) runs away with her friend and caregiver, Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) to a town in South Carolina, hoping to learn about her mother’s past. There, she finds a sisterhood with the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo) who teach her about beekeeping.

 


 

Whip It
Directed by Drew Barrymore

In Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, Ellen Page plays Bliss, a Texas teenager pressured into the world of pageantry by her mother (Marcia Gay Harden). But after meeting a roller derby team, the Hurl Scouts, she discovers a group of friends and where her true passion lies.

 


 

Winter’s Bone
Directed by Debra Granik

Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout role was Ree in this gripping drama. With an absentee mother and a criminal father, the Ozark teenager is left on her own to care for her younger siblings. When she learns her father put their home up for bond, she sets out to track him down before they’re left homeless.

 


 

Bessie
Directed by Dee Rees

Director Dee Rees tells the story of Bessie Smith, an American blues legend of the ’30s. Queen Latifah portrays the singer during her rise to the “Empress of the Blues.”

 


 

The Beguiled
Directed by Sofia Coppola

Coppola’s most recent film utilizes a powerful female ensemble to tell a gripping story of female rivalry. When a Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is injured, he seeks refuge at an all-girls boarding school. But sexual tensions lead to dangerous rivalries among the young women.

 

Nicki Minaj Promises Her New Album Title is ‘Super, Super Iconic’

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In a new profile in T, The New York Times Style MagazineNicki Minaj dropped a few clues about her hush-hush upcoming fourth studio album.

For starters, she revealed, the title of the record is going to be “super, super iconic.” And, “Sonically, I know what the album’s about to sound like. I know what this album is gonna mean to my fans. This album is everything in my life coming full circle and me being truly, genuinely happy. It feels almost like a celebration.”

Minaj’s last album, The Pinkprint, gave us such megahits as “Anaconda,” “Feeling Myself,” and “Only,” and went double platinum.

“The last album was almost like my diary,” she continued. “Closing the chapter on certain things and not knowing if I was happy or sad about beginning new chapters. I was really writing about feeling unsure. Now, I can tell you guys what happened for the last two years of my life. I know who I am. I am getting Nicki Minaj figured out with this album and I’m loving her.”

While there’s as yet no release date, more from Minaj is assuredly on the way. And while you wait, it wouldn’t hurt to revisit this little number.

 

Anthony Rapp & Wilson Cruz Have A Quiet, Historic Moment on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

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Homosexuality: the final frontier. The CBS All Access’ new Star Trek: Discovery series has already made history for having the first openly gay relationship in the franchise’s long run; but on episode five of the show, it passed another milestone with some futuristic toothbrushes and some “very, very, very, very, very comfortable” red pajamas.

 

 

In the scene, Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz casually brush their teeth as Cruz gives some words of advice to Rapp: “Well, one tends to worry when they’re doomed to love a brilliant but reckless maniac who’s willing to risk his life for glory. You may not care about you. But I do.” It’s a heartwarming scene and a huge step forward for the series. It also may have moved Rapp to tears when he watched it, according to his Twitter.

Speaking to Variety about the moment, Rapp said that it’s been “really satisfying to have writing made available that shows these different colors. I’m glad and I’m proud that our writers have approached our relationship in this manner.”

Sia’s Christmas Album Is Coming in A Month

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Photo: @siamusic on Instagram

 

Sia’s released the album art and tracklist for her upcoming holiday spectacle, Everyday Is Christmas, her follow up to 2016’s This Is Acting. 

The new holiday record, composed entirely of original work (no more covers of “Jingle Bells”!) and is out November 17. It includes songs with names like “Ho Ho Ho” and “Puppies Are Forever.” It’s also interesting to mention that the first song is called “Santa Is Coming For Us” – perhaps Sia will be taking things in a more haunting, Nightmare Before Christmas type direction?

Take a look at the full track list and album art below.

 

1. “Santa’s Coming For Us”

2. “Candy Cane Lane”

3.  “Snowman”

4. “Snowflake”

5. “Ho Ho Ho”

6. “Puppies Are Forever”

7. “Sunshine”

8. “Underneath the Mistletoe”

9. “Everyday Is Christmas”

10. “Underneath the Christmas Lights”

Obamas Select Rising Black Artists for Their Official Presidential Portraits

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Kehinde Wiley Instagram

 

It’s become an American tradition for the former president and first lady to pose for their official presidential portraits. The paintings then hang in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Past presidents have sat for 90-year-old portrait artist Everett Raymond Kinstler.

But just as they were known for during their tenure, Barack and Michelle Obama are shaking up convention. The two young artists commissioned will be the first black artists to take part in the tradition…and their styles are anything but traditional.

Indeed, The Smithsonian recently announced Kehinde Wiley as the former president’s selected artist. Known for his vibrant portraits of hip-hop artists against backgrounds of classical European motifs, the New York-based artist has painted LL Cool J and Ice T in the style of historical figures. His depiction of Barack will surely be the first “avant-garde” addition to the collection.

 

 

Former first lady Michelle has selected Baltimore artist, Amy Sherald. She’s known for her portraiture of African-American models, using gray skin tones to make other colors richer and more vibrant. Her work challenges stereotypes while blending black history and culture with surreal, otherworldly elements. It’s exciting to imagine how she will paint Michelle.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former President and First Lady,” said Kim Sajet, its Director. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The Obamas’ presidential portraits will be unveiled next year at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Google Doodle Honors the Anniversary of Selena’s Debut Album

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“Bidi bidi bom bom.” If those four words aren’t sending you into a tailspin of singing Selena Quin’s most viral hit, we don’t trust you. While the song was released on the late Mexican-American singer’s fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido, in 1994, today is cause for a different celebration. On this day in 1989, Selena burst onto the scene with her iconic self-titled debut album.

To honor the queen, Google premiered the first-ever Selena Google Doodle, an animated cartoon of her singing “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” that took over two years to make. It was through the work of Perla Campos, Global Marketing Lead for Google Doodles, that the animation came to life thanks to her own personal connection to Selena. “There were always two women who taught me I could do anything and be anything I set my mind to: my mom and Selena,” she explained to Billboard. “Selena has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.”

Together, with Selena’s family, she worked tirelessly to create an animation that highlights Selena’s journey from child to adult before her untimely death at the age of 23. It’s a moving tribute to the singer, especially at a time when the rights of immigrants have come under attack. As Campos explained: “Selena was always about transcending boundaries, and for someone who has such a powerful story to be featured on the homepage of Google – a search engine that connects people the way she connected people – that is such a beautiful thing. Featuring an immigrant woman should not be political, it should be celebrated.”

 

New Doc Explores Jayne Mansfield’s Connection to Church of Satan

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Jayne Mansfield left an undying legacy as the punk Marilyn Monroe, with such films as The Girl Can’t Help ItPrimitive Love, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter. A true sex kitten of the atomic era, her life and career was met with much adoration and fanfare.

But her death was shrouded in mystery. After a violent car crash took her life, the news led to rumors and hearsay that continue to this day. A new documentary recounts those rumors and hearsay, particularly her relationship with Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. In Mansfield 66/67, classic documentary interviews and archival materials paint a picture of the last two years of her life.

The doc premieres October 27 in the US. Watch the trailer below.

 

International Center of Photography Moving to Essex Crossing

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A rendering of Essex Crossing (Courtesy of Moso Studio)

 

Barely a year after relocating its flagship to 250 Bowery, New York’s International Center of Photography (ICP) has announced yet another move. In 2019, the museum will move to Essex Crossing, a new $1.5 billion dollar mixed-use development from SHoP Architects on the Lower East Side, which is expected to reach completion in 2024. There, the new ICP flagship will reunite with its school.

“We are thrilled to be reuniting the ICP Museum and the ICP School under one roof,” said Board President Jeffrey Rosen and Board Chair Caryl Englander in a statement. “This is something towards which we’ve been working for nearly twenty years. It’s gratifying to bring this exciting goal to fruition.”

 

A rendering of the new International Center of Photography at Essex Crossing (Courtesy of Moso Studio)

 

In 2015, the institution was forced to move to its current location after its rent-free lease with the Durst Organization in Midtown expired. Traffic at the new location decreased from 160,000 to 100,000 in the first year, but steadily increased with each show, drawing a younger, more diverse crowd. Since the move, the school has remained in Midtown, across the street from the flagship’s previous location.

“The addition of the International Center of Photography is a key milestone in the development of Essex Crossing, which calls for space dedicated to community and cultural facilities separate from the commercial and retail tenants and housing expected to fill the project,” said Karen Scanna, part of the Stroock development team. “As one of New York’s premiere non-profit artistic, educational and cultural institutions, ICP is the perfect organization to fulfill that pledge. We are proud of the work Stroock continues to do on behalf of the development partners in bringing this historic project to fruition and ultimately to market. And we salute the City’s significant investment in drawing marquee cultural attractions such as the International Center of Photography.”

Essex Crossing will occupy 1.9 million square feet that has mostly remained vacant for 50 years, and it will include residential, commercial, and community spaces. The ICP will occupy a 40,000-square-foot building, four-stories and two more floors at the adjacent residential building.

Paul Sevigny Paintings to be on Show at NYC’s Café Henrie

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As part of a somewhat ideological new art series, downtown’s most inimitable nightlife impresario and Renaissance man Paul Sevigny (brother of Chloe) will show 15 of his paintings for the first time ever.

Taking place October 19 at NYC’s Café Henrie, and in conjunction with Bill Powers’ Half Gallery, the concept is actually fairly simple: one artist, a limited number of works, and displayed for just four hours. (The inaugural show on 9/28 featured Austin Eddy.) Probably little known to those who have long followed Sevigny as a DJ and promoter – and have shaken their groove things to his sets at fashion parties, at Sway and most recently at Paul’s Cocktail Lounge at the Roxy Hotel – he has actually been painting for the better part of two decades. So this is a long awaited…coming out, of sorts.

Yet Sevigny had only this to say: “I’m not an artist, I’m a painter.” (Despite the brevity of the show, he was thoughtful enough to give it a title: Sunday Painter.)

Café Henrie is located on the LES (Powers’ Half Gallery was originally located next door, Sevigny was its first customer) and is lorded over by Paris nightlife galvanizer André Saraiva – so expect a bit of a who’s who crowd. Nevertheless, the event is open to the public.