A bold, convincing call for new voices and perspectives in cinema.

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THE WRONG KIND OF WOMEN

INSIDE OUR REVOLUTION TO DISMANTLE THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD

An investigation of how the male-dominated film industry silences women’s stories.

Drawing on more than 100 hours of interviews and abundant studies and news articles, actress, writer, and producer Jones makes her book debut with a spirited critique of the film industry’s treatment of women at all levels. “I have lived and experienced the harassment, the casual dismissals, the closed doors, the patronizing head-pats, the blatant sexism, the indifference toward women in film for over a decade,” she writes, mounting compelling evidence that her experiences are widespread—and persist even after #MeToo, #OscarsSoWhite, and the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Fresh out of drama school, Jones knew she would have to spend a few years “furiously battling to get auditions” and working for little or no money in order to build a resume. She soon discovered that along with competition and disappointment, “sexual harassment, assault, and degradation make up the constant, thrumming, crushing backdrop of being an actress.” With men predominant as casting directors, agents, directors, and producers, she found that when trying out for a part, she was “being held up against a set of stereotypes of the type of women who are allowed to appear in films and on television” and “make sense to the creators and gatekeepers.” Frustrated as an actress, she faced gender discrimination, as well, as a film producer. Female film school graduates, argues the author, “have a far harder time than their male peers acquiring even the lowest-level entry jobs in the industry,” meaning less access to financial support and networking. Women behind the camera, moreover, have “to fight to command the respect from typically majority-male crews.” Sexism directly affects film’s cultural impact: Since 95% of movies have been directed by white men, the images they perpetuate “have shaped everybody’s cinematic visual language,” turning women into the objects of male protagonists’ “actions, desires, and gaze[s].” Jones offers concrete suggestions for change within and outside of the industry, including by filmgoers who should “vote with your dollars.”

A bold, convincing call for new voices and perspectives in cinema.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-80-703345-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Oct. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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