24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Lee Margulies

Study: Females 'dramatically under-represented' in top 2011 films

May 15, 2012 | 12:12 am

Females were “dramatically under-represented” in the United States’ top 100 grossing films last year, accounting for 33% of all characters at a time when they made up nearly 51% of the U.S. population, according to a study being released Tuesday.

The 33% figure represented an increase over the findings of a similar study in 2002, when females comprised 28% of the movie characters, said the report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

But while there were more female characters overall, fewer of them were “clearly identifiable protagonists,” the study found -- 11% in 2011 versus 16% in 2002. “Thus, while there are more female characters on screen today, fewer stories are told from a female character’s perspective,” according to Martha Lauzen, executive director of the center.

Her title for the report: "It's a Man's (Celluloid) World."

The report mirrored a study of women's behind-the-scenes participation that the center released in January, which found that women made up 18% of all directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors working on the 250 highest-grossing movies last year. That was only one percentage point higher than when the center began studying employment figures in 1998.

Lauzen’s latest report said that, on average, female characters in last year’s films were younger than the male characters, less likely to be portrayed as leaders and more likely to be identified by their marital status. It said that 73% of the female characters were Caucasian, 8% African American, 5% Latina and 5% Asian (with the rest in smaller categories, including aliens and animals).


Oscar voters overwhelmingly white, male

Gender inequality still has a starring role in Hollywood

Few gains for women in key movie industry creative jobs

--Lee Margulies

Photo: Jessica Chastain, left,  and Octavia Spencer in 2011's "The Help." Credit: Dale Robinette / DreamWorks

Genesis Awards go to the 'Apes'

March 24, 2012 | 10:00 pm

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was named best feature film of 2011 at the 26th Genesis Awards "for examining the ethics of using chimpanzees in medical research."

The best feature documentary award also had a simian angle, as "Born to be Wild 3D" was honored "for its celebration of the people rehabilitating baby elephants and orangutans orphaned by poaching and habitat encroachment."

The Genesis Awards were presented Saturday night in Beverly Hills by the Humane Society of the United States in recognition of media presentations that raise awareness of animal issues.

For the second year in a row, Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" won the comedy award for what the Humane Society described as "a satirical twist on the whaling issue and a Utah legislator's proposal to kill feral dogs and cats."

Among the 19 other winners were CBS' "Hawaii Five-0," PBS' "Sid the Science Kid," Nickelodeon's "Nick News With Linda Ellerbee," ABC's "20/20," NBC's "Today" and the syndicated "The Ellen Degeneres Show."

The real winners "are the animals themselves," said Beverly Kaskey, senior director of the Humane Society's Hollywood Outreach program, "who rely on these invaluable voices to speak for them."


Review of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

'Luck' raises stakes on animals' use in filming

 --Lee Margulies

Photo: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." Credit: WETA Digital / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Harvey Weinstein selected for French cultural honor

March 2, 2012 |  7:09 pm

Only five days after the French film "The Artist" walked off with a handful of Academy Awards, Harvey Weinstein, the executive responsible for bringing it to the United States and orchestrating its Oscar campaign, has been selected for France's highest cultural award, the Legion of Honor.

Lest anyone think the two events are connected, however, the Weinstein Co. released a copy of the letter from French President Nicolas Sarkozy disclosing the news, dated July 22, 2011. "Weinstein requested to keep the honor private until now to avoid any conflict of interest with Academy Award best picture winner 'The Artist,'" Friday's release said.

In the letter, Sarkozy praised the American executive for "the exceptional quality" of the films he has produced, and described the Legion of Honor award as recognition of the friendship Weinstein has shown toward France and its cinema, "which you have enabled so many Americans to discover."

Weinstein and his brother Bob have been responsible for the distribution of more than two dozen French films in the United States, and will bring out the French interracial comedy hit "The Intouchables" stateside on May 25. They've also helped produce and campaign for a host of English-language Oscar winners such as "Shakespeare in Love," "The English Patient" and "Good Will Hunting."

In a statement, Weinstein expressed gratitude for the French award. "All my life, I have loved and been inspired by French cinema," he said. "I am still the young boy who walked two miles to the Mayfair movie theater in Flushing, N.Y., to see films by the greats -- Lelouch, Godard, Renoir and my personal favorite, Francois Truffaut. They inspired me and led me to the place I am today."

Other American filmmakers to have received the Legion of Honor include Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Jerry Lewis and Charlie Chaplin.


"The Artist's" win is a tribute to Harvey Weinstein's tenacity, vision

"The Artist" is big winner at the Academy Awards

What makes Harvey Weinstein run?

--Lee Margulies

Photo: Harvey Weinstein arriving at the Academy Awards last weekend. Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

Ruby slippers find a new home at movie academy

February 22, 2012 |  4:40 pm

"Wizard of Oz" ruby slippers

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has purchased a pair of the famous ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” to display in the museum it is developing with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The shoes, one of four pairs known to exist from the classic 1939 film, are believed to be the ones used in the close-ups when Dorothy (Judy Garland) clicks her heels three times to start her trip home, the academy said Wednesday.

The price was not disclosed, but the academy said donations came from Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and former Warner Bros. Chairman Terry Semel, among others.

"The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over," Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. and chair of the fundraising campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, said in a statement. "This is a transformative acquisition for our collection."

Another pair of the "Oz" ruby slippers belongs to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington. According to Profiles in History, the auction house that arranged the sale to the academy, a third pair is privately held, while the whereabouts of the fourth is unknown, having been stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.

The academy said last October that it planned to create the motion picture museum in the former May Co. building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue that is adjacent to LACMA and now known as LACMA West. No opening date has been set.


Should studios help foot the bill for museum?

Academy teams with LACMA to create movie museum

Inside the academy

--Lee Margulies

Photo: The ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz." Credit: Smithsonian Institution 

Sandra Bullock, 'Transformers' are winners (of a sort) at Razzies

March 7, 2010 |  1:10 am


No matter what happens at the Academy Awards Sunday night, best actress nominee Sandra Bullock is a winner this weekend – although not necessarily in the way aspiring young actors might dream of.

Bullock, who drew raves for her performance in “The Blind Side,” was honored twice Saturday night for something else altogether at the 30th annual Razzie Awards, which good-naturedly tweak Hollywood every Oscar weekend for all the films it cranked out the previous year at the other end of the quality spectrum.

In Bullock’s case it was “All About Steve,” the comedy that cast her as a lovesick stalker and earned her honors as worst actress and worst screen couple (with Bradley Cooper).

It could have been worse for Bullock, though. “All About Steve,” which she helped produce, also was Transformerscrop nominated as worst picture but that (dis)honor went instead to “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which wound up as the night’s big winner (or loser, depending on your point of view), collecting Razzies for worst director (Michael Bay) and worst screenplay (Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman).

In ceremonies at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood, other awards went to siblings Joe, Kevin and Nick Jonas, who collectively were named worst actor for “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience”; Sienna Miller for her supporting role in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”;  Billy Ray Cyrus for his supporting role in “Hannah  Montana: The Movie”; and “Land of the Lost” for worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel.

The Razzies are presented by the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation based on ballots sent by founder John Wilson to 657 journalists, industry workers and fans.

--Lee Margulies

Photo: Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper in "All About Steve." Credit: Suzanne Tenner / Twentieth Century Fox

Photo: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Avatar' honored with first award from new 3D Society

February 23, 2010 |  7:01 pm


“Avatar” picked up another award Tuesday night, but Oscar prognosticators probably shouldn't read anything into it -- “The Hurt Locker,” "Up in the Air" and “Inglourious Basterds” weren’t eligible.

James Cameron’s blockbuster was named best live-action 3-D feature by the month-old International 3D Society, kicking off its inaugural Lumiere Awards at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

“Up,” also in the running for Academy Award best picture honors, was honored as best animated 3-D feature, and another Pixar work, “Partly Cloudy,” won in the category for best short 3-D motion picture/narrative.

The International 3D Society was formed Jan. 21 with a stated mission of advancing “the achievement of professionals working in the arts and technologies of Stereoscopic 3D.” Its board of governors includes a diverse group -- studio executives, the heads of 3-D and post-production houses and even a PhD at UC Berkeley's school of optometry. The awards were voted on by more than 100 film industry 3-D experts, a spokesman for the group said.

Among other winners Tuesday were the Imax film “Under the Sea 3D” as best 3-D documentary, “G-Force” as best 2-D-to-3-D converted feature, and “Avatar’s” Neytiri (played by Zoe Saldana) as best 3-D character of the year.

-- Lee Margulies

Photo of Neytiri from "Avatar": WETA / Associated Press


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: