SCREENING ROOM: From Colonialist Queens To Rebel Native Princesses At The Movies:
The Young Victoria: Mary Poppins or Margaret Thatcher? Royal Octomom plus one, and who really wears the pants, or rather the crown, in the family. And later for contemporaries Charles Dickens, Karl Marx and other elephants in the room. Producer Graham Kings shares Victoria's secrets.
Avatar: Born again marine wheelchair warrior turned unwitting capitalist tool in league with a digitalized free spirit princess, takes on forest foreclosure and the military industrial complex, in this breathtaking futuristic identity theft odyssey.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE
The WBAI Women's Collective Does Air America Radio! Lisa Collins, Prairie Miller in attendance.
WATCH THE SHOW HERE
I think Laura Flanders intended for this piece to be somewhat, 'light'. Prairie Miller, it seems, had intentions other than speaking to, "art in cinema". All things considered, Laura handled it well. Prairie had some good social commentary though; Coco as a Nazi, deferred blame within the Ghetto in "Precious", fashionably pretty heroines, etc. Unfortunately for Prairie, "Greek Tragedies" haven't fit into our insulated lifestyles for quite awhile...God forbid there should be a crack in our pre-packaged veneer...People simply want a good yarn. Nevertheless, even in your alternate media universe, it's nice to see that things can get away from you as well. But, kudos to you guys for bringing Prairie the 'Clock Stopper' on in the first place and allowing her, her say, to dispossessed peoples everywhere.
Linda Z Weighs In:
With Critical Women On Film, there is never a dull moment. Particularly when they are asked to voice their opinion on films. Veteran film critic Prairie Miller is not shy with her opinions. Though they seldom cater to the Hollywood industry.
There appears to be a trend in today's Hollywood films, to show mothers as bad mothers and to blame the malaise of our lives on the bad female. Rather than on the economy gone awry, a happening for which men are rightfully held responsible.
In addition to the "bad mothers," the 'A' word is seldom if ever spoken in an American film. That ABORTION is as a taboo word is not just a slight of hand, but can be blamed for the backlash in the women's movement where abortion, the centerpiece of women's successful struggles in the last century, appears to be bordering on extinction.
Abortion is not on the table, in films like Precious, Disgrace and Jazz In The Diamond District, or anywhere else in 'polite' company. Date rape, incest, gang rape the most heinous male crime against a women is not, in today's America, justification for aborting the fetus. What is this all about?
And the third trend which Praire Miller and Lisa Collins brought to the fore in their Air America on-air roundtable 'discussion' with Laura Flanders, was the recent revisiting of ghetto poverty. (As if black people were disproportionately represented on the welfare rolls, when in fact it is Caucasians who champion that statistic. Why not a successful black man without white or middle class black saviors, on the Hollywood screen today?
Lisa Colins said this is a return to a 'comfort zone' before Obama entered the White House to threaten to age old notions of the dumb black man and his disfunctional family. Well, I don't feel comfortable at all with all the ado about Precious, one of the year's worst films. 'Horrible,' Prairie Miller said on air. Frankly, the distortions in that film, the blatant prejudice against women, black women, black men, fat women, dark colored skin people, single moms, welfare recipients and the list goes on, makes me feel uneasy. And to see celebrities embrace this film as if it is the cat's meow, makes me downright ill. It is obvious that the dull, the insensitive, the out of touch with reality and society are the middle to upper class celebrities who think Precious is a true to life everyday story of black poverty and this societal ill.
Prairie Miller and Lisa Collins understand films, not from the typical critic's superficial level of 'I like it, I didn't like it' but from the point of view of the impact of the film, what it says about life in general, what the hidden agenda of the film is and how it impacts of our political/social life today. What a team!
Make sure to check out Laura Flanders on Air America, it's the Women Film Critics Circle and the WBAI Women's Collective at their finest hour, their strongest moment of honesty admid an onslaught of duplicity and career opportunism.
WBAI Women's Collective