Tuesday News: Women’s voices
9 Things We Learned From The ‘Insecure’ Writing Staff’s Panel At The Writer’s Guild Foundation – It’s no secret that I love Issa Rae’s Insecure and am thrilled at her recent Golden Globes nomination. Although it’s not long, this point by point summary of Rae’s writing panel at the WGF reflects the overall thoughtfulness and intentionality of the show, and even more generally, discussion of issues that can help make a story more effective and compelling. Among those issues: the importance of individuality and voice, the distribution of roles by talent and interest, and where a good story might be found:
All the writers concurred with Amy Aniobi’s sentiment that “If we disagree about something or if it makes us uncomfortable, it’s a story.” (For example: The story about Jered’s fluid sexuality and his homosexual experience, which Molly used as an excuse to dump him.) Rae said she often talked about the topic of black male sexual fluidity with friends and while she didn’t think it was a big deal, many of her girlfriends were adamant and felt the same way Molly did. – Decider
Final Box Office: ‘Hidden Figures’ Beats ‘Rogue One’ With $22.8M – Speaking of women on screen, and in particular, black women on screen, Hidden Figures beat out the new Star Wars movie this weekend. Yes, Rogue One has been out for a few weeks, but so has Hidden Figures, which finally went into wide release over the weekend but still played in almost half the number of theaters as Rogue One. Women, of course, were going in droves to this movie. Is Hollywood finally starting to get it?
Nabbing a coveted A+ CinemaScore, Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as the real-life African-American mathematicians who helped NASA put the first men into space even while having to endure a segregated workplace. Their story, however, had been obscured for decades.
Hidden Figures played to a diverse audience; 43 percent of ticket buyers were Caucasian and 37 percent African-American. The pic overindexed in every part of the country save for the Rocky Mountain states. Like other movies over the weekend, Hidden Figures was impacted by a major winter storm in the Deep South and Northeast, but box-office observers don’t believe the damage was too great, even with some theater closures on Friday and Saturday. Females made up 64 percent of Hidden Figures‘ audience, while 56 percent of all ticket buyers were 35 or older. – The Hollywood Reporter
New book explores an early Mormon dichotomy: Women defending polygamy while pushing a feminist agenda – An interview with historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich discussing her new book, A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835—1870. Ulrich has written a number of influential books, including Good Wives and The Midwife’s Tale (which won the Pulitzer), and she tends to write about the paradoxical ways in which women exerted social, cultural, political, and economic power from within systems that often called for their ideological confinement. For that reason alone (there are more), she’s a great resource for authors of historical Romance. And this book looks to continue her pattern:
In the 19th century, women had to legally consent to marriage — even if it was arranged — but the grounds for divorce were very narrow. It was even difficult to divorce for physical abuse, adultery or desertion. As the frontier expands, people just move. Often it’s men, leaving women in a pickle. We have so many examples among early Latter-day Saints of women who had fled husbands. They just got out of town, where they could start life anew. When they encountered the church, there was a warm welcome of that situation. … They had such a respect for choice. . . .
One of the foundations of nearly everything is the relationships the women had with one another. We spend so much time worrying about who commanded them, not realizing they’re commanding themselves. Theirs was a culture that valued reticence and soft-spokenness in women, but they are not weak women. When we focus exclusively on the formal organization of the church, we lose the continuity of female spirituality from Kirtland to Salt Lake City. In the interplay between the formal and informal [forms of communal faith], the latter is sometimes lost. – Salt Lake Tribune
How ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ TV Show Will Change The Book – So Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is being adapted by Hulu and will premier as a television series at the end of April. And oh does it seem like an opportune moment to revisit this classic. Bruce Miller, the showrunner, has made some changes, though, and I only hope this adaptation doesn’t go the way of True Blood, which not only wandered far, far away from Charlaine Harris’s books, but also indulged (and sometimes reveled) in some ironically creepy misogyny. Here are two initial points of divergence for The Handmaid’s Tale:
Once difference audiences can expect is a younger Serena Joy. Actress Yvonne Strahovski, 34, will play the woman that protagonist Offred (Elisabeth Moss) must conceive a child for. In the books, Serena Joy was older, but the executive producer Bruce Miller wanted the women to have more conflict. . . .
Those who watched “The Handmaid’s Tale” trailer already noticed one big difference. The white supremacy element is gone. Atwood’s book simply explained that minorities were sent to the Midwest, but Miller told TVLine that he had “a huge discussion with Margaret Atwood, and in some ways it is ‘TV vs. book’ thing.” – International Business Times