The Hollywood Reporter published a roundtable conversation featuring seven animation producers and directors discussing their respective films. The talk centered around how cultural biases affect their approach to making movies and their portrayals of princesses on screen.
Each director, you guessed it, was a white man.
It didn’t take long for the internet to call out The Hollywood Reporter on its ironic roundtable conversation.
A bunch of white man talking ethnic stereotypes and princesses. Sure. Makes total sense to me. https://t.co/97B8Mku5aQ— Lisa A. Weir (@lisaweir77) December 14, 2016
Seth Rogen, the guy who pissed off an entire Asian country a few years ago, now an expert on avoiding stereotypes. Good one, God. pic.twitter.com/tcqsEFczET— Sweet Chin Music. (@thewayoftheid) December 14, 2016
Another WTF moment. Title of piece: “Avoiding Ethnic Stereotypes and How to “Break the Mold” of Princesses” pic.twitter.com/zyibS1eNlc— Melissa Silverstein (@melsil) December 14, 2016
1st paragraph-director of “Trolls” compliments seth rogan on the racist taco in Sausage Party. How about that Avoiding Ethnic Stereotypes https://t.co/0lypoFN0Zl— Liz Keene (@rizgigg) December 14, 2016
Go home 2016. It’s really, really just over. pic.twitter.com/4jrYyqXEHU— Rebecca Carroll (@rebel19) December 14, 2016
One user even made a prophecy about The Hollywood Reporter’s next interview.
I wouldn’t put it past The Hollywood Reporter to get a roundtable of white, male actors to talk about the best black films.
They’ll do it.— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) December 14, 2016
Rogen responded with his own tongue-in-cheek response.
“Finally, you can see the white male take on ethnic stereotypes and sexism! Proud to break new ground,” the actor tweeted.
Finally, you can see the white male take on ethnic stereotypes and sexism! Proud to break new ground. https://t.co/Pji1GWodm8— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 14, 2016
Sometimes history is so absurd that it’s funny.
“This Land is Mine,” an animated short film about the history of Israel by cartoonist and animator Nina Paley, has resurfaced in the wake of the latest war in Gaza. The short displays all of the tribes, empires, and countries that have claimed the region at some point in history killing each other in chronological order. The result – set to an exaggerated, Frank Sinatra-style theme song – is a ruthless but hilarious historical timeline of the fate of one of the world’s most contested regions.
The first trailer is out for Ari Folman’s new film, “The Congress” (see here for background), and though I hate to say it, it’s a little disappointing.
I’ve been looking forward to this movie for ages, mainly because it seems like the perfect creative pairing.
Folman, in his 2008 film “Waltz With Bashir,” used groundbreaking animation techniques to create a movie of impressive psychological depth and intensity.
“The Futurological Congress,” the book by Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem on which “The Congress” is based, is a hallucinatory look at a possible future in which humanity has drugged itself with psychoactive chemicals in order to make an overpopulated, resource-exhausted world bearable to live in.
I was hoping that combining Folman’s animated storytelling technique with Lem’s multi-layered dystopia would produce something like Satoshi Kon’s “Paprika,” another animated exploration of the mind’s slipperiest states.
Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror, is a somber one. Families and friends visit the graves of deceased loved ones, sad music plays all day on the radio, and special programming replaces regularly scheduled television shows. It doesn’t seem like the kind of day to be animated.
But Beit AVI CHAI, a cultural and social center in Jerusalem established by the AVI CHAI Foundation, is doing the unexpected. In a new project called “Panim. Yom. Zikaron,” (Face. Day. Remembrance) it is capturing memories of fallen soldiers in short animated videos. Families submit recollections of fallen loved ones, and young animators are commissioned to create short videos based on them.
There are currently nine videos posted on a special section of Beit AVI CHAI’s website, and it has put out a call out to animators, asking them to participate in the project, and to the public to submit stories. The videos and information are in Hebrew only, but you can understand the gist of the stories without knowing the language.
In March 2012, teenage fashion writer Tavi Gevinson gave a TED talk bemoaning the lack of strong female characters in pop culture. “Strong,” she said, doesn’t mean “two dimensional super-women who maybe have one quality that’s played up a lot.” Rather, she argued, we need “strong characters who happen to be female.”
In a recent post, culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg went further. “The evaluation of whether a female character is strong shouldn’t be about whether or not the character herself demonstrates physical or emotional resilience, but about whether the execution of the character… is precise and unique,” she wrote. “”Strong,’ if we’re going to keep using the term, should be an indicator of quality, rather than of type.”
I couldn’t agree more. And it’s a reason that “Archer” — Adam Reed’s animated spy comedy now in its fourth season on FX — is one of the best shows on television.
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