Katheryn BigelowNews flash: If you don't already know her Bigelow is responsible for serious hits like Point Break and Strange Days but this year she gave us a jolt to our heart with her harrowing film The Hurt Locker. The film stars Jeremy Renner, in what could be the role of a lifetime, as the captain of an elite bomb disarming squad in Iraq. Bigelow held a microscope up to the bulls**t of war. She got in there. She presented her characters as real, honest people without the smoke and mirrors of recent war films. Frankly, there was a time recently when people didn't want to see any film on war. It was considered out of fashion in the industry. But Bigelow basically said, "Who cares". There are stories to be told about a time in our history that has been very controversial and very extraordinary and she obviously wanted to explore that. The intimacy that she captured was outstanding, beautiful, thoughtful and true.
Women directors rarely come around with this type of subject matter. In the last few years many have not been making films at all (talking about you Lynne Ramsey). But to see one of our own making buzzed about, serious, dramatic films is such a joy. This summer, we felt it.
- 2Karen is simply classic. Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been around since their first album Fever To Tell exploded on the scene in 2003. She remains the consummate front woman who is sexy, raw and above all real. In an age where all women seem like their sex appeal is the only thing going for them here's someone who's got the real thing. The real thing is when you don't care and you wear what you think is cool and you hang out with who you like and you have confidence about the situation.
When asked to appear in Playboy she was not down. She didn't like the audience the magazine appealed to and when asked how she felt about being like a hot sexy babe she said, "I guess it's fun, but I'm so detached from it. I see footage from our shows, I'm so shocked by what I'm doing."
Well guess what? That's what being cool is all about. This summer they put out their third album called "It's Blitz" and it was. So many hits it's kind of outrageous. Karen also did the soundtrack to what's sure to be next year's most righteous film "Where The Wild Things Are" for good friend director Spike Jonze.
Richard Ayoade who currently stars in U.K. TV series "The Mighty Boosh" directed the outrageous video from their second single "Heads Will Roll". Literally the best video of the summer and Karen kills it.
Julie ZeilingerYou may not have heard of Julie Zeilinger yet but you're going to. The 16 year old started her own feminist blog in March, which took off big time this summer. The F Bomb not only posts hard-hitting news stories, it boasts interviews with some of today's most profoundly awesome women. She even interviewed Gloria Steinem!
I had a mini interview with Julia and got some interesting answers:
Q. What kind of negative/positive feedback have you been getting on the blog?
A. I'm lucky in that I haven't really received too much negative feedback - people generally like what I'm doing. There have only been a few really disparaging comments-- most of the comments have been really productive and have sparked great discussions. A lot of the positive feedback has been from teenage feminists themselves who are really happy that there's finally a place just for us and an opportunity for them to speak out. Also, a lot of second and third wave feminists have been telling me they wish they had had the fbomb when they were teenagers.
Q. How has the blog affected your life positively?
A. I think the greatest thing about having the blog is the fact that it now reaches people in 125 countries. I've received posts and comments from people from all over the world, and that perspective has been really valuable and has taught me so much. Also, whenever I get an email from another teenager saying that they love the fbomb and that they're getting something out of it, I feel like I'm doing something to help a movement I believe in.
Q. What is your message to young feminists who worry about speaking up?
A. I'd say never underestimate your voice. Everybody has a unique perspective and everybody has something to bring to the table. Chances are there is somebody else out there who is going through what you are and feels the same way you do, and by speaking up you never know who you're helping. And if young feminists are afraid of opposition or negative feedback, one thing I've learned from this blog is that you can never please everybody, but just knowing you added to a debate and that you shared your ideas is really satisfying in and of itself. Speaking up truly makes you feel powerful.
Yeah, it's hard to believe she's only 16 but frankly it's amazing that anyone could be this smart and eloquent at any age. What a wonderful forum for all women of every generation.
The Girls of Dirty ProjectorsAmber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Angel Deradoorian (vocals, keyboard, samples, guitar, bass) and Haley Dekle (vocals) are members of the band Dirty Projectors who released a record this summer that was completely unreal. Dave Longstreth leads the band as they create sounds that are off the charts interesting. Unbelievable harmonies mixed with complex and rich instrumental skills (changing time signatures/madness).
Collaborators include Bjork and David Byrne (who played with them on another one of this years hits, the Dark Was The Night compilation which included the likes of Feist, Grizzly Bear, Yeasayer and many more).
The Dirty Projectors latest album Bite Orca earned them a whopping 9.2 rating on Pitchfork. But it needs to be said and I'll say it here. The women of this band are bringing home the bacon. Amber's voice is outstanding. Trained or untrained who cares? Her hit single "Stillness Is The Move" brought down the Troubadour when I saw them there and continues to be an iPod staple. Deradoorian's "Two Doves", and ode to Nico's "These Days" was the opener and blew me away. Sung with tenderness of an old soul. Brilliant.
Deradoorian also released a solo effort in May called Mind Raft. Something special. Looking forward to the new Dirty Projectors EP called Temecula Sunrise due out in Sept. with tracks that didn't make it onto Bite Orca.
- 5You wanna know something? Meryl is the greatest actress of our time and she is constantly still amazing us. Couple shout outs are Kramer vs. Kramer, The Deer Hunter, Sophie's Choice, Out of Africa, Defending Your Life (!!!), The Hours, Angels in America, Doubt and now she's Julia Child in Julie & Julia.
Whatever you think of the film she has killed this role. Funny, charming, beautiful and provocative. Meryl never ceases to amaze. I saw the film just for her performance and, per usual, it blew me away.
Streep chooses to portray smart, witty, intelligent and successful women in the roles that she plays. She brings to these various women a strong mind and heart being subtle yet strong. When asked about her recent success with the "summer blockbusters" on The Early Show she said, "I don't think they're going to get me in the cat suit any time soon".
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