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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cinema In Noir: Ben Affleck As Batman, Hollywood's Civil Rights Depiction, And The Damnation of Layered Female Characters

That's the theme question behind most of our discussions on today's "Cinema in Noir." Our co-host, Rebecca Theodore-Vachon, reviewed The Grandmaster and Mother of George (both currently in theaters). She said she was surprised by the former film, which is sold as a martial arts film, but has a riveting female narrative that viewers may not be expecting. Which brings us to a former discussion on a previous episode where we talked about certain films and TV shows luring a certain audience in with a mainstream appeal (in this case, the global adoration of martial arts) with the intent of illuminating the story of another (a strong Asian female character). Sounds like we may be on to something with this method.

Rebecca also wondered whether the impending award season would include Danai Gurira's work in Mother of George, which both she and our other co-host, Kimberly Renee, praised. Will Hollywood honor a film that highlights a Nigerian-American family? We're not sure...

In our news segment, which includes lots of interesting headlines, we discussed the hottest news on the casting block: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. Now I know this news has sparked a heated debate online (mostly riding heavily on the "oh hell to the nah" side), and I know Daredevil still exists and is still bad. But may I just present Hollywoodland? Back down, haters.

In honor of this weekend's 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, we discuss how Hollywood has depicted the civil rights era and what stories we'd like to see moving forward (Grace Jones anyone?).

Lastly, we shared our thoughts on actress Anna Gunn's (from Breaking Bad) New York Times piece (which I wrote about here) that calls out viewers whose inexplicably strong dislike of complex female characters has presented a whole new problem in how we view the gender as a whole.

Listen to an encore presentation of today's podcast here, and sound off below.

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