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25 Jan 04:19

Film HERstory: 60+ Classic Films Directed by Women (and Where You Can Watch Them)

by Nitrate Diva

ida_lupino
“The feminine influence is needed in film.”
This statement sounds like something you might read in a contemporary article, as Hollywood’s lack of opportunities for female filmmakers comes increasingly (and rightfully) under scrutiny.

In fact, the quote is from Lois Weber, who made the remark in 1921 and directed her first film in 1911.

Many believe that women directors are a relatively new phenomenon—although Alice Guy directed her first film in 1896, Lois Weber was one of the most acclaimed directors of the 1910s, and Dorothy Arzner directed films featuring major stars at Hollywood studios from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Too few viewers and film-lovers know these women’s movies, their stories, and even their names.

Last year, when fellow blogger Marya E. Gates, creator of A Year with Women, crowdsourced a list of essential films directed by women, I found the end result diverse and inspiring. Yet, it saddens me that only 7 movies made before 1970—and none made before 1935—got enough votes to make the list.

So, I asked myself, “What have I done to spread the word about women who shaped early and classic cinema?”

Not enough, I concluded. Nowhere near enough.

After I pledged to watch 52 films by women this year (sign up here!), I offered to give classic film recommendations to other people on Twitter doing the challenge. I was overwhelmed—and overjoyed—by the interest I got in response.

52films_dancegirldance

I’ve decided to post this resource, even in its current bare-bones form, as a starting point for those who want to discover women’s contributions to cinema from 1896 to 1966. To create a space for today’s women filmmakers, we have to recognize the female filmmakers of yesteryear, discuss their movies, and break down the persistent myth of “directors were always men.”

This list of over 60 films includes elegant melodramas, trashy exploitation flicks, avant-garde shorts, sophisticated comedies, groundbreaking documentaries, and gritty films noirs. There has never been only one “kind” of movie directed by women. Remember: with every film you watch, you’re reclaiming a bit of movie history and eroding a boys-only narrative that’s stood unquestioned for way too long.

A few disclaimers and caveats:

  • I have not seen all of these films—but I plan to! As I watch or rewatch them this year, I’ll probably add a few lines about each film. I look forward to discovering many of these movies along with all of you!
  • As far as I know, all films to which I’ve directly linked were made available legally. (If you own the rights to any of the films I’ve featured and want them removed from this list, please contact me; I will voluntarily take them down.)
  • Some of the films without direct links may not be available legally. I leave the search to you. I, ahem, suspect that you can find some of these films online without too much trouble. I consider that a last resort, though. If a film has a legit release, you should buy it. But if copyright owners want us to pay for movies, they should damn well release those movies! It’s ridiculous when anonymous Internet uploaders care more about sharing film history than studios care about monetizing that content. (I’m looking at you, Universal/Comcast. Get with it.)
  • This is NOT intended to be an authoritative list of movies made by women. I’ve limited myself to movies that are available to watch online for free or to buy (digital or hard copy) in the United States. If I’ve overlooked a film that you think should be listed here, and it’s available in the U.S., please let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it.
  • I do not necessarily endorse the content of these films. Some of them (like Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda films) are morally repugnant to me. For better or for worse, they’re part of a larger body of work by women directors. Pretending that offensive films weren’t made would not only erase chapters of film history, but also deny viewers the opportunity to confront the evils of the past.
  • “Classic” is a difficult word to nail down. And, yes, 1966 is sort of an arbitrary cutoff. 1965 is a date that’s often mentioned as the end of classic Hollywood. Since this list includes foreign films, I went to 1966 because there were just too many amazing movies made by women in 1966 to cut it off before then.
  • You should also support recent films directed by women. History is important—but so is voting with your dollars to show the film industry that you want to watch movies directed by women now.

Thanks for reading the fine print. Now, here’s the list…

cabbagefairy

The Cabbage Fairy – Alice Guy – 1896

Watch it on YouTube.

Felix Mayol Performs “Indiscreet Questions” – Alice Guy – 1906

Watch it on YouTube. (Note: Both the sound and the color are original. Alice Guy worked on many films that you could consider forerunners of today’s music videos.)

The Life, Birth, and Death of Christ – Alice Guy – 1906

Watch it on YouTube.

Falling Leaves – Alice Guy – 1912

Watch it on YouTube.

suspense

Suspense – Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley – 1913

Watch it on YouTube.

Daisy Doodad’s Dial – Florence Turner – 1914

Watch it on YouTube.

Won in a Cupboard (a.k.a Won in a Closet) – Mabel Normand – 1914

Watch it on the National Film Preservation Foundation’s website. (Note: This is accompanied by audio commentary. You can mute the video and play some ragtime music on YouTube while you watch, if you’d like.)

mabelsstrangepredicament

Mabel’s Strange Predicament – Mabel Normand – 1914

Watch it on YouTube.

Caught in a Cabaret – Mabel Normand – 1914

Watch it on YouTube. (Sorry, I wish I could find better quality…)

assuntaspina

Assunta Spina – Francesca Bertini and Gustavo Serena – 1915

Available on DVD from Kino.

Hypocrites – Lois Weber – 1915

Available to stream for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription. It’s also available on a Kino DVD.

Eleanor’s Catch – Cleo Madison – 1916

Available on the same Kino DVD as Weber’s Hypocrites.

The Ocean Waif – Alice Guy – 1916

Available to stream for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription. It’s also available on a Kino DVD.

’49-’17 – Ruth Ann Baldwin – 1917

Available on the same Kino DVD as Guy’s The Ocean Waif.

Something New – Nell Shipman and Bert Van Tuyle – 1920

Watch it on YouTube or download it from the Internet Archive.

thelovelight

The Love Light – Frances Marion – 1921

Watch for free at the Internet Archive.

The Blot – Lois Weber – 1921

Available on DVD from Grapevine Video and The Milestone Collection.

thegrubstake

The Grub Stake – Nell Shipman and Bert Van Tuyle – 1923

Watch it on YouTube or download it from the Internet Archive.

The Smiling Madame Beudet – Germaine Dulac – 1923

Watch it on YouTube or download it from the Internet Archive.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed – Lotte Reiniger and Carl Koch – 1926

Available on DVD from The Milestone Cinematheque.

The Fall of the Romanov Dynasty – Esfir Shub – 1927

Available to stream on Fandor with a subscription.

Suggested for this list by Keefe Murphy.

getyourman

Get Your Man – Dorothy Arzner – 1927

Ahem… let’s just say you’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

L’invitation au voyage – Germaine Dulac – 1927

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

Women of Ryazan – Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov – 1927

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

sensationseekers

Sensation Seekers – Lois Weber – 1927

You can watch or download it at the Internet Archive.

The Seashell and the Clergyman – Germaine Dulac – 1928

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

Linda – Dorothy Davenport – 1929

Available to stream for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

wildparty

The Wild Party – Dorothy Arzner – 1929

You can watch or download it at the Internet Archive.

And Quiet Flows the Don – Olga Preobrazhenskaya and Ivan Pravov – 1930

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

Anybody’s Woman – Dorothy Arzner – 1930

You can watch or download it at the Internet Archive.

Sarah and Son – Dorothy Arzner – 1930

You can watch or download it at the Internet Archive.

Honor Among Lovers – Dorothy Arzner – 1931

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

madchen

Mädchen in Uniform – Leontine Sagan and Carl Froelich – 1931

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

Merrily We Go to Hell – Dorothy Arzner – 1932

Available on DVD from the Universal Vault Series.

bluelight

The Blue Light – Leni Riefenstahl – 1932

Available on DVD from Pathfinder Home Entertainment.

Broken Shoes – Margarita Barskaja – 1933

Watch it on YouTube.

Suggested for this list by Eric of The Indie Handbook.

Sucker Money – Dorothy Davenport and Melville Shyer – 1933

Watch it on YouTube or stream it for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

Christopher Strong – Dorothy Arzner – 1933

Available it on DVD from Warner Archive.

The Woman Condemned – Dorothy Davenport – 1934

Watch it on YouTube or stream it for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

theroadtoruin

The Road to Ruin – Dorothy Davenport and Melville Shyer – 1934

Watch it on YouTube or stream it for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

Triumph of the Will – Leni Riefenstahl – 1935

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Synapse Films.

thebrideworered

The Bride Wore Red – Dorothy Arzner – 1937

Available on DVD from Warner Archive.

Olympia Part 1: Festival of the Nations and Olympia Part 2: Festival of Beauty – Leni Riefenstahl – 1938

Available on DVD from Pathfinder Home Entertainment.

Dance, Girl, Dance – Dorothy Arzner – 1940

Available to buy for streaming on Amazon or as a DVD from Turner Home Entertainment.

meshesoftheafternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon – Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid – 1943

Watch it on YouTube.

The Private Life of a Cat – Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid – 1943

You can watch or download it at the Internet Archive.

bluescar

Blue Scar – Jill Craigie – 1948

You can watch it on free-classic-movies.com.

Gigi – Jacquline Audry – 1949

Available as an extra on the Blu-Ray of Vincente Minnelli’s Gigi.

Never Fear (a.k.a. Young Lovers) – Ida Lupino – 1949

Available to stream for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

Outrage – Ida Lupino – 1950

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

olivia

Olivia – Jacqueline Audrey – 1951

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

Hard, Fast, and Beautiful – Ida Lupino – 1952

Available on DVD from Warner Archive. You can also stream it for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

Talman-Holds-Gun

The Stranger Left No Card – Wendy Toye – 1952

Watch it on YouTube. Note: The Stranger Left No Card won for best short fictional film at Cannes in 1953.

The Hitch-Hiker – Ida Lupino – 1953

Watch it on YouTube.

The Bigamist – Ida Lupino – 1953

Watch it on YouTube.

Huis Clos – Jacquline Audry – 1954

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

simonandlaura

Simon and Laura – Muriel Box – 1955

Available on DVD from VCI Entertainment.

La Pointe Courte – Agnès Varda – 1955

Available to stream instantly on Hulu if you’re a subscriber. Also available in a DVD box set from the Criterion Collection.

Three Cases of Murder – Wendy Toye, David Eady, and George Moore O’Ferrall – 1955

Watch instantly on Hulu if you’re a subscriber.

Eyewitness – Muriel Box – 1956

Available on DVD from VCI Home Video.

Con la vida hicieron fuego – Ana Mariscal – 1957

Watch it on YouTube.

Suggested for this list by Bucketofcake.

truthaboutwomen

The Truth About Women – Muriel Box –1957

Available to stream for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

The Very Eye of Night – Maya Deren – 1958

Watch it on dailymotion.

Le Secret du chevalier d’Éon – Jacqueline Audry – 1959

You’ll find it online if you’re looking for it.

cleo5to7

Cleo from 5 to 7 – Agnès Varda – 1962

Available to stream instantly on Hulu if you’re a subscriber. Also available in a DVD box set from the Criterion Collection.

The House Is Black – Forugh Farrokhzad – 1962

Watch it on YouTube.

We Joined the Navy – Wendy Toye – 1962

Available to stream for free on Amazon if you have a Prime subscription.

El camino – Ana Mariscal – 1963

Watch it on YouTube.

Suggested for this list by Bucketofcake.

Le Bonheur – Agnès Varda – 1965

Available to stream instantly on Hulu if you’re a subscriber. Also available in a DVD box set from the Criterion Collection.

daisies

Blood Bath – Stephanie Rothman and Jack Hill– 1966

Available on DVD from MGM.

Suggested for this list by Directed by Women.

Daisies – Vera Chytilová – 1966

Available to stream instantly on Hulu if you’re a subscriber. Also available as in a DVD box set from the Criterion Collection.

The Trouble with Angels – Ida Lupino – 1966

Available to buy for streaming on Amazon or as a DVD from Columbia/Tri-Star.

Wings – Larisa Sheptiko – 1966

Available to stream instantly on Hulu if you’re a subscriber. Also available in a DVD box set from the Criterion Collection.

bride

Feel free to make suggestions or let me know which films you’ve enjoyed most!


01 Feb 15:00

The Great Classic Fantasy Reread: The Hero and Crown by Robin McKinley

by Ilana C. Myer

The_Hero_and_the_Crown

This year I decided to conduct an experiment, and like most experiments it’s a bit dangerous. I’ll be going back to the fantasies that first shaped my love of the genre, that I got lost in when very young, and evaluating them with new (yes, older) eyes. I’m doing this in part because I want to understand how these books captivated me. But there’s another, less critical element at work: I’ve in recent years become immersed in non-fantasy fiction and nonfiction, and doing that, it’s easy to forget what made me fall in love with fantasy in the first place. This is true even as I’m as involved in the genre as anyone can be, with one fantasy book out and another on the way. Sometimes the best way to comprehend the nature of a journey, when you’re in the middle, is to look back to its beginning.

The danger is that I’ll inevitably see problems that I didn’t see when I was just starting on the writing road. There’s a temptation to let the works stay limned with nostalgia. A corollary to this new clarity is that I’m now in a better position to appreciate the authors’ strengths, the things they get right.

So this begins what I hope will be a monthly column, and first up is what was a huge favorite and inspiration, Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown. It wasn’t easy to choose which of her books to use for this experiment—I might love The Outlaws of Sherwood even more. But Hero was the first McKinley book I read, and I fell into it headfirst, re-reading it for years after to absorb its beautiful language and intangible magic.

These are still some of the most striking elements of The Hero and Crown, years later. The writing is meditative and rich, leavened with wry humor and lines of dialogue like, “Having exposed one of my most embarrassing shortcomings in an attempt to deflect you, you refuse to be deflected.” Yet it is too dark to be described, as books with such dialogue often are, as “delightful.” There is banter and wit, but the atmosphere of the book is brooding. Damar is “a land with a shadow over it,” the protagonist Aerin’s life is isolated and fractured by loss: these elements taken together make for an aura of melancholy that persists even until the end.

But back to the language. One thing I’m learning in the course of this project is that while I loved many fantasy novels growing up, the ones I feel impelled to revisit have this trait in common—the words and sentences matter. This may seem an obvious observation, but it’s not; there are plenty of fantasies I enjoyed that I’m content to leave where they are, because they would probably not have new gifts for me. Robin McKinley’s stories are not the reason to keep returning to her, strong as they often are: the writing is what sets her books apart. People sometimes refer to authors as “prose stylists” and this brings to mind, for me, a hairdresser; but language is not the hair on a novel’s head—it’s the bones and blood.

It’s impossible to talk about The Hero and the Crown without remarking on how feminist it is, yet for me that’s a new response; as a teenager I honestly didn’t notice. I’m not sure if that’s because of, specifically, the sort of teenager I was, or because most girls at that age are not as aware of the sexist clichés that are prevalent—though on another level I was most certainly aware, heaping scorn on weak-willed female characters, not to mention the more obvious embodiments of male fantasy (just what size was her bosom? Just how attractive was she when angry? Yawn). Yet the remarkable characteristics of Aerin as a feminist protagonist escaped me, perhaps because the depiction is subtly rendered.

It’s all in the title: it’s not The Heroine and the Crown. We never forget that Aerin is a young woman, and it’s mentioned that her strength doesn’t match that of her cousin Tor (who is in love with her—another reminder of her femininity) but otherwise her actions simply flow naturally from her character and her gender is beside the point. Determined to accomplish something worthwhile with her life, Aerin sets out to formulate herbs that will render her immune to dragonfire so she can dispatch the dragons that plague the countryside. Layered under this determination for significance is a deep-seated pain: as the “witchwoman’s daughter” Aerin has been summarily rejected and ostracized, despite being the king’s daughter too. She has never known her mother and her father, though benevolent, tends to emotional distance. Moreover, she lacks the magical Gift that is otherwise inherited by those of royal blood.

Aerin’s impulse to become a hero is not solely born of alienation, but the way she goes about it—by re-training the disgraced, damaged royal charger, Talat—is a mirror to her state of mind. Aerin and Talat are both outcasts, each with a flaw that makes them unfit for their assigned roles. So the princess turns to slaying dragons, which is very much outside her role; and the stallion who once bore the king into battle now carries—with undying loyalty—the witchwoman’s daughter.

The first half of the book, which details Aerin’s determined quest to become dragon-killer, is utterly compelling. A large part of this is the immersive, psychological depiction of the Damarian court: McKinley is at her best when employing her facility with words to describe complex shades of emotion and interaction, ranging from dark to comic. What people wear, in which ceremony they participate in and where they stand when doing so, are all important nuances; yet it is unfailingly presented in a manner that is interesting rather than petty. Tor’s love of Aerin is a prevailing tension, yet never takes center stage; he represents domesticity and family duty, things Aerin is not yet ready to accept—the larger battle, for her soul and for Damar, still awaits. There is a wedding, gowns, and dances; but there are also politics, the threat of war, the tragic sense of grandeur nearing its end. It would have the feel of a romantic comedy if the pall of impending destruction did not hang so strongly on the land of Damar and Aerin’s heart. It’s a complicated tone that McKinley pulls off beautifully.

This first half lays the groundwork for Aerin’s magical quest, a quest which did not draw me in quite as much. Interestingly, this was just as true twenty years ago, which leads me to wonder how much tastes really do change over time. One thing that stands out in the second half is how far McKinley is willing to go to traumatize her protagonist; what happens to Aerin when she confronts the great dragon Maur is truly frightful, and recounted in painfully visceral detail. It’s a quality that shows up in many of McKinley’s later books: the tribulations of the physical body are made concrete, rarely glossed over. We experience Aerin’s agonies, just as in The Outlaws of Sherwood the romance of Robin Hood is mercilessly pierced by the realities of medieval combat.

Ultimately, the world McKinley creates through her inimitable prose, together with a memorable heroine, ensure that The Hero and the Crown remains a fantasy classic. Aerin’s matter-of-fact and unshakeable courage, together with her unflagging sense of humor, enshrine her in the canon of enduring fantasy heroes. This is a book that rewards upon a re-read, and reminded me, too, of the wisdom of young people: Even while first forming our taste, we can recognize a gem when it comes along.

Ilana C. Myer has written about books for the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Huffington Post, and Salon. Her first novel, Last Song Before Night, an epic fantasy about poets and dark enchantments, was published by Tor in October 2015.

06 Feb 16:00

Mr. Osomatsu Coverage Leads to Pash! Magazine's Highest Ever 1st Printing of 100,000

March issue has Mr. Osomatsu cover, cast & staff interviews, clear file, poster
04 Feb 22:34

Rolled Ice Cream Shop 10Below Is Opening a New Location in Queens

by Serena Dai

The Chinatown shop serving up Instagram-friendly ice cream has had long lines since it opened.

Chinatown ice cream shop 10Below — where staff members turn cream and other ingredients into Instagram-friendly rolls of ice cream on the spot — is opening a second location in Flushing, at the Queens Crossing Mall. The shop's ice cream is inspired by Thailand street food and is made-to-order on a cold metal plate, with a set-up for customers to watch as their treat is being made. It's attracted long lines since opening. It only debuted its first location at 10 Mott St. last July, but people quickly started waiting as long as three hours to try it.

The new location, at 136-17 39th Ave. on the ground floor, will be opening next Friday, February 12, according to a representative from the shop. It will offer Mott Street's flavors, like Key Lime Pie and I Love You a Latte, and a new Thai Tea flavor will only be served in the Queens location. Many customers at the Chinatown location told 10Below that they were visiting from Queens, so the ice cream shop decided to open in the borough. Unlike the original location, the Queens one offers more seating for people to hang out. "We wanted to be able to provide them with a location they could frequent more often" a rep says.

06 Feb 02:30

Funimation Announces Psycho-Pass Film's Theatrical Dates

2015 film to run in 100+ theaters in N. America on March 15, 16
01 Feb 17:45

Shake Shack Needs to Sell Its New French-Dip Burgers in NYC, Too

by Chris Crowley

Why are you trying to make us jealous?

As Shake Shack expands into more cities across the country, it's started creating tribute burgers as a way to ingratiate itself with the locals and maintain that little-guy luster. For its Austin arrival, the chain debuted the Lockhart Link, made with jalapeño-cheese sausages from barbecue icon Kreuz Market. Now, for its big Los Angeles splash, it's unveiling a brand-new, exclusive creation: the Roadside Double, which culinary director Mark Rosati says is inspired by the French dip at Los Angeles institutions Cole's and Phillipe.

Set to be a permanent menu item at the West Hollywood location when it opens this spring, the Roadside Double comes topped with Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard, and onions cooked with bacon and beer. It sounds delicious, but there's one big problem: This burger will not be available in New York. (Even the Lockhart Link burger had a weeklong run at the shop's east-midtown store.) The slight feels particularly egregious given that this city is in need of a few more good French dips. It's also a sign that Shake Shack is truly starting to move away from its NYC origins, developing its own personality now that it's been spending some time on the West Coast. But New York needs this burger. Bring it home, Rosati.

[FWF, Eater L.A.]

Read more posts by Chris Crowley

Filed Under: burger slights, french dip, los angeles, lunch, phillipe's, shake shack

03 Feb 09:00

Q-Lia's Banana Cat Character 'Bananya' Gets Crowdfunding for TV Anime

Q-Lia character Shizuku-chan also received 3 TV anime
03 Feb 03:30

Rumiko Takahashi Nominated for Eisner Hall of Fame

Prolific manga creator among 14 nominees for 4 spots; Moomin creator Tove Jansson already chosen
03 Feb 17:00

Zelda: Twilight Princess Manga's Monday Debut, Semimonthly Schedule, Visual Unveiled

Akira Himekawa's earlier Zelda manga gets 5-volume "Perfect Edition" this year
14 Jan 14:40

Shake Shack’s Chicken Sandwiches Are Now Available All Over the Country

by Sierra Tishgart

Shake Shack had applied for a "ChickenShack" trademark, but it tweaked the name.

Excellent news: Shake Shack's Chick’n Shack, which the company has been testing in Brooklyn, will be offered at almost all American Shake Shack locations, starting today. (The JFK airport and stadium outposts are excluded, and the Theater District one needs a bit more time.) The sandwich's cage-free chicken breast gets slow-cooked in buttermilk, hand-dipped into housemade batter, bathed in flour, and fried, and it's topped with lettuce, pickles, buttermilk-herb mayo, and, of course, a potato roll. Another first: Louisiana hot sauce will now be available, too. Plan lunch accordingly.

[Shake Shack]

Read more posts by Sierra Tishgart

Filed Under: is it lunchtime yet, chick'n shack, shake shack

13 Jan 15:20

"We are disappointed in the SEO work you did for us. We can’t find our personal email addresses on..."

“We are disappointed in the SEO work you did for us. We can’t find our personal email addresses on Google at all.”
22 Jan 16:15

A Silent Voice Ranks in YALSA's Top 10 Graphic Novels for Teens

Ajin, Your Lie in April, One-Punch Man, more make Great Graphic Novels list
28 Jan 21:15

McDonald’s Will Tempt Fate and Expand Its All-Day Breakfast Menu

by Clint Rainey

McGriddle fanatics are ecstatic.

McDonald's executives maybe got to tweaking too hard on the wild success of all-day breakfast because they're already trying to score their next adrenaline rush. This ballsy plan involves trying to fix customers' biggest complaint about the longer breakfast hours: that the menu is tiny. The Associated Press hears that stores in a strategically remote corner of Middle America (Tulsa, Oklahoma, to be exact) will experiment with adding the McGriddle to the all-day lineup. The McGriddle has a cult following insane enough that McCorporate almost didn't hear the end of it when the All-Day Breakfast menu debuted with a pancake-sandwich-size hole. Only a McGriddle can fill this hole, and soon — on February 1 — it will ... if you're in Tulsa.

In addition to this sandwich, the 72 Tulsa-area stores picked for this trial (Tulsa's McDonald's game is strong!) are also going to do both biscuits and English muffins around the clock, another All-Day Breakfast menu first. Up till now, the chain has divided the nation into either biscuit or McMuffin territory. The problem with adding these items, though, is that they — in the AP's words — push McDonald's "operational limits":

The syrupy pancake buns for McGriddles and biscuits would need to be warmed up in ovens, which are also used to heat up apple pies, cookies and mozzarella sticks during lunch hours, said LeAnn Richards, a McDonald's franchisee who led a task force on all-day breakfast. McGriddles and biscuit sandwiches are also made with a frozen egg patty, instead of the cracked egg used in McMuffins.

That means franchisees — who already had to buy new equipment to offer all-day breakfast — would need to further juggle grill and oven space for an expanded menu.

The chain anticipates a lengthy test phase in Tulsa before trying to walk them out any further. According to the AP, McDonald's expects it'll need to observe the situation there for two to three months before "deciding how to proceed."

[AP]

Read more posts by Clint Rainey

Filed Under: the chain gang, all-day breakfast, mcdonald's, mcgriddles

29 Jan 15:00

MoCCA Festival 2016 announces guests of honor: Bell, Blechman, Gloeckner, Liew and Sugar

by Heidi MacDonald
The 2016 MoCCA Arts Festival has just announced this year’s Guests of Honor and they are: Cece Bell, author of the phenomenal middle grade graphic memoir El Deafo (winner of the Newberry Honor and an Eisner Award) R.O. Blechman, Emmy Award-winning illustrator, animator, cartoonist and author. Phoebe Gloeckner, whose subversive classic The Diary of a […]
25 Jan 11:39

Some stills from “Analog On” trailer by Jeremy Polgar (personal...





















Some stills from “Analog On” trailer by Jeremy Polgar (personal project).
https://vimeo.com/152936644

25 Jan 04:21

Shout! Factory Picks Up Hand-Drawn French Film ‘Long Way North’ for U.S. Release (Trailer)

by Amid Amidi

A distinctive hand-drawn action-adventure film is headed to the United States.

The post Shout! Factory Picks Up Hand-Drawn French Film ‘Long Way North’ for U.S. Release (Trailer) appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

27 Jan 18:00

Why Hamilton is the Perfect Mashup for Every Fandom

by Natalie Zutter

Hamilton mashups #Force4Ham Finn Lin-Manuel Miranda

While catching up recently with a friend who is much more active in fandom than I am, she mentioned Hamilton. “Oh, have you seen the show?” I asked. “It’s incredible.” She laughed and responded that she hadn’t listened to a single song, but “it’s on my Tumblr dashboard—every fandom mashes up with it, so it’s like I know it.”

She wasn’t exaggerating: Go to Twitter and Tumblr, and you’ll find an astonishingly high number of Hamilton mashups. Some command their own hashtags, like #Force4Ham (like the above art from Tumblr user pearwaldorf) and #Potter4Ham, while others just pop out at you seemingly out of nowhere: crossovers with SagaThe West Wing, Parks and Rec, Smash, Sherlock, Les Miserables, High School Musical, and probably several others that I haven’t found yet. But the thing is, it’s not out of nowhere. Several key elements combine to explain why Hamilton, for all of its dynamic rhymes and game-changing mic drops, actually acts as some sort of universal donor for fandom mashups.

Fandom has long been a remix culture, certainly from as early as I joined (1999) but likely stretching back decades before that. Part of how fans took in their favorite TV series, books, etc., was the process of mashing up the source material with another element. Photo manipulations, crossover fanart, and the most popular form, video mashups, drew new connections between two seemingly disparate things. I still have fan videos saved on my computer—House set to Depeche Mode’s “Precious,” and a Harry/Ron/Draco (I know) parody video set to Gunther’s “Naughty Boy” that makes me crack up every time I watch it. Then there are fanfiction remixes, which address an existing story from a new perspective, with new dialogue and plot points emphasizing the original author’s themes.

Hamilton has become embedded within fandom in its own right; at the first-ever BroadwayCon earlier this month, fans cosplaying as the Schuyler sisters and King George led singalongs and cheered at panels with the cast and creators the same way you would see at San Diego Comic-Con or New York Comic-Con. But more than many other fandoms, Hamilton has the words that can be put in other characters’ mouths. Here’s why.

Hamilton mashups lightsabers #Force4Ham

It Mainstreams the Show

Few fandoms’ source material is so unattainable as Hamilton. I mean this in a literal sense—it is nearly impossible to get tickets to the show, unless you’re willing to book a year in advance for upwards of $400, or if you manage to triumph over chance in the daily #Ham4Ham lottery. I consider myself extremely, unfairly lucky that I caught the show shortly after it transferred to Broadway, and that was only through a smart friend of mine who snatched up the tickets early. I almost threw away my shot when I thought my schedule wouldn’t allow for me to join her, and I still have nightmares about if she had found someone else to take those tickets before I got smart.

But here’s where Lin-Manuel Miranda did an incredible thing: He released the soundtrack free for a week. It’s since come out officially, so you can buy it in physical form or digitally. Now, continuing the generations-long musical theater tradition for those who lived thousands of miles away from Broadway and/or lacked the funds, fans can listen to it the way they drank in Rent or Phantom of the Opera. Furthermore, like those famous and much-beloved shows, Hamilton has no real canonical form: As blogger and critic Abigail Nussbaum explains, one person’s experience listening to the soundtrack is very different from someone who saw the show. Unlike those aforementioned shows, this matters more when you have a fandom united over their love for the music, but with varying experiences with the overall piece itself.

Hamilton mashups Harry Potter wizards duel

What unites these fans is the experience of mashing up the source material with other fandoms that they may have a more equal share in. I’m not saying that the experience of listening to the cast recording is necessarily inferior to seeing it live. But there is something to be said for having the visuals to accompany the music—and that’s where the mashups come in. They mainstream Hamilton in a way that is otherwise impossible to do. They put pictures with the words and immerse fans, who already love Miranda’s rhythms and words, in a more complete experience.

 

Hamilton mashups Harry Potter #Potter4Ham Wait for It

via Tumblr user thethingweneedmost

The Words Are Universal

Casting people of color as all of Hamilton‘s leads (with the exception of King George III) opens up the story in a way that prior adaptations about the Founding Fathers had failed to do. As Kendra James eloquently explains for The Toast,

The cast of Black, Latina, and Asian American leads emphasizes not only the reality of who actually built and expanded America (“we all know who’s really doing the planting,” Hamilton spits at Jefferson during Act 2), but also how irrelevant the Founding Fathers’ whiteness is to their claim on the country. For in Miranda’s Hamilton, America is claimed not by white men, but by the people of color onstage: “I’m just like my country / I’m young, scrappy and hungry / and I’m not throwing away my shot.”

If I may be so bold, I find that lyrics like these also apply to fans, a population carrying the baggage of derision and dismissal, now commanding the conversation around most forms of entertainment. Nussbaum lays out Hamilton‘s appeal, based mostly on the fact that it’s clear that Miranda is himself a huge fan of Alexander Hamilton:

I think that a huge component of the appeal that Hamilton holds for fannish people is that it is so obviously the creation of a fannish person. The play is brimming with odd details about Hamilton’s life and the lives of his fellow revolutionaries, and Miranda quite clearly finds his subject fascinating and inspirational (as one would almost have to, to have spent seven years working to get a musical based on the life of a founding father off the ground). One of the joys of diving into Hamilton-ia is the discovery that Miranda himself is constantly embroidering around his creation, whether it’s a cut scene denigrating John Adams, or an impromptu rap telling the audience about the fate of the Hamilton children who are not featured in the musical. It’s almost impossible not to be caught up in Miranda’s obvious enthusiasm for its subject, which seeps through every moment of the play.

If, despite the above, the fannish reaction to a play about one of America’s founding fathers seems unexpected, listening to the soundtrack makes it very clear why it has occurred. Hamilton has some irresistible character hooks, practically designed to tug at the heart of a certain type of creative, enthusiastic fan.

Part of those irresistible character hooks are Miranda’s words. Writing like you’re running out of time, making an impact on history, sabotaging yourself, stepping in and out of the narrative—could there be a more accurate depiction of what it is to be a fan?

Borrowing those words out of the mouths of Hamilton, Burr, Eliza, Washington, Jefferson, and others and placing them in the speech bubbles or thoughts of more familiar characters provides fans with a fresh perspective on figures who they might have discussed to death. Like Harry Potter—he’s been a part of the cultural consciousness for almost twenty years, yet you give him the lyrics to “Wait for It” and you’re moved anew.

Hamilton Star Wars #Force4Ham mashup Rey Leia comic history has its eyes on me

via Tumblr user charsiewspace

In the case of another recent media property like Star Wars Episode VII, mashing it up with Hamilton is a way to prolong all those incredible feels that The Force Awakens gave us for what will surely be an agonizing, almost-two-year wait before Episode VIII. Fans came out of the theater seeing themselves reflected in the new main trio, but without much canonical material to extend that association. Enter fanfiction and fanart mashups, in which Miranda’s lyrics take on new meaning and resonance, while we discover even more facets to characters like Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren.

Hamilton perfect fandom mashups #Saga4Ham

via Panels.net

In some ways, Miranda unintentionally led the trend of mashups with his #Ham4Ham lottery live shows: He’s invited the production’s three King Georges to sing “The Schuyler Sisters,” genderswapped the opening number “Alexander Hamilton” so that the ladies of the show can have their turn at its intricate, infectious lyrics, and invited other Broadway performers to try their hand at various numbers. It was a very meta move. Fandom loves meta.

 

Hamilton mashups Sherlock Moriarty You'll Be Back

via Tumblr user thethingweneedmost

It’s Already a Remix

In his essay “Lin-Manuel Miranda Has Already Cemented His Place in Broadway History,” New York Magazine’s theater critic Jesse Green made the argument that Hamilton is, most of all, a synthesis:

…as a show, Hamilton is less a breakthrough than a culmination: one of those works in which lots of ideas and trends in musical theater and culture get synthesized and reprocessed.

A Vulture piece in which Talib Kweli analyzes the soundtrack made similar points:

According to Kweli, Hamilton is a tribute to rap’s strength and malleability—its tendency to fall back on itself while also figuring out new ways to evolve. The production is also the first example of a successful Broadway show to openly embrace the ways in which musical theater and rap overlap, with characters like Washington and Jefferson, played by Christopher Jackson and Daveed Diggs, respectively, delivering plot points through complicated rhyme schemes. The technique is one Kweli has seen on Broadway before, “it just wasn’t called rapping.”

The Notorious B.I.G., Pirates of Penzance, The Beatles, The Last Five Years… the references are staggering in their variety and number (Slate and Vulture have collected comprehensive lists). Hamilton would not exist in its current form without these musical and thematic influences stretching back decades. Not only is it the creation of a fannish person, but it is itself a fannish creation. That’s why it’s so easy for fans to set Poe and Finn’s emotional reunion to “Helpless” (look into your eyes and the sky’s the limit) or depict Luke’s entire character arc (well, missing The Force Awakens) through the lyrics to “Alexander Hamilton.”

The more influences and interpretations you pile on, the more of the story you reveal.

Natalie Zutter wants every mashup of “You’ll Be Back” that you can find. You can read more of her work on Twitter and elsewhere.

31 Jan 10:30

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Browser Game Starts Service

PC game developer DMM started service for its Ginga Eiyū Densetsu Tactics (Legend of the Galactic Heroes Tactics) simulation RPG browser game on Thursday....
18 Jan 14:34

Mouse Guard Papercraft kits available for FREE from...













Mouse Guard Papercraft kits available for FREE from www.mouseguard.net/downloads/

22 Jan 18:00

Sakuga Fans Need More Carl Sagans

by sdshamshel

In a recent blog article on the site Wave Motion Cannon, blogger tamerlane laments two aspects of how we talk about anime. First, he discusses lack of appreciation (one might even say disdain) that many American fans and experts of animation have towards anime. Second, he argues that sakuga fans (essentially fans of especially expressive, dynamic, and powerful Japanese animation) aren’t doing enough to help spread appreciation of the animation in anime. On these general points, I completely agree. Whether it’s anime or manga, the technical skills of Japanese creators are often unfairly get derided, labeled as being full of shortcuts and cop-outs. Anime defies the rule books of animation that people take as gospel, so critics prefer to point a finger at anime rather than the rules themselves. Similarly, I also find that sakuga fans can often sabotage themselves, but one thing that tamerlane might not realize is that in his very post are those risky elements, that which makes sakuga fans, perhaps unfairly, seen as an insular group.

To start off, I want to highlight a couple of  lines from the article:

That is, strip away all those aspects of animation that have superior alternatives elsewhere – story, music, draftsmanship – and look at what’s left. That is animation.

Animation shouldn’t exist for its own sake, certainly, and there’s no shortage of animated films that are as vacuous as they are pretty, but without any way of meaningfully differentiating itself from other forms of art it might as well not exist at all.

In other words, animation should do what is uniquely suited to it, otherwise there’s no point. It’s simple… or not.

The problem with such a sentiment is that, while it might seem like the proper way to view animation, there are serious limitations to pinning a medium down to what is unique to it. Granted, it’s not a bad way of viewing things. An artist might want to push the boundaries of the medium, and in doing so create something great. However, it leads to what philosopher and scholar Noël Carroll refers to as an over-reliance on “medium essentialism,” where in trying to emphasize the qualities of animation that cannot be replicated elsewhere one ends up ignoring the “common” aspects that can also empower a form of artistic expression. Comics scholar Thierry Groenstein describes comics in general similarly, that it is because comics are a mixture of elements found elsewhere that it can create interesting outcomes. Try telling someone who plays visual novels that they should either read a book or play a real game. Try telling someone that they shouldn’t enjoy Inferno Cop because of its intentionally terrible animation (though I have to acknowledge the possibility that one only begins to appreciate Inferno Cop if they are a fan of the act of animating itself).

jSkwpZp

I don’t believe tamerlane means to come across as so completely essentialist, and at the very least he points out that the two schools of thought discussed in his article about animation (anime vs. Disney-esque animation) are equally valid. However, I think it’s still important to focus on the idea that to be a fan of animation (or anime) is to be a fan of the construction of animation, that it is of the highest priority for anyone who calls themselves a fan of animation. In response to this, I would argue that, while it might be impossible to just ignore the act of animating outright, one’s interest in animation can rightfully be defined by elements outside of appreciate of technical or expressive skill.

I’m going to use myself as an example. I am not the average anime fan, and I have what I would call a fairly passable understanding of sakuga and animation. I can’t necessarily recognize an animator’s work just by seeing a cut in isolation, but I appreciate Kanada, Umakoshi, Itano, and so on. However, appreciation of animation is but one facet of my interest in anime, which I would more generally describe as a fascination with the interaction of ideas and emotions across Japanese animated cartoons and their narratives, and given limited time I do not prioritize it above all else. I leave that up to the experts, whether certified or self-proclaimed, because even if they’re the latter their passion leads them further.

In fact, the reason I started looking into animators is because of Ben Ettinger, the guy behind the blog Anipages. Based on his writings, he is very clearly a fan of animation in the same sense that tamerlane and other sakuga fans are. He knows the names of the animators. He can recognize their work. He looks into the most obscure and even uninteresting shows to find strong animation. However, most crucially, I don’t sense hostility from his writing, or the idea that his way of viewing things is the right way or the only way.

kamuisenketsu-small

The problem comes when sakuga fans, as ambassadors of quality animation, deride the uninitiated for not “getting it,” or not understand the values of others. This can only serve to push their potential audience and potential comrades further away. If there is not an actual inability to relate to non-sakuga fans, it can appear to be the case.

It’s not my first time reading what tamerlane has to say about anime or animation. A couple of years ago, he commented on some Kill la Kill posts of mine, and expressed that one of the issues was that the characters weren’t fun to watch, tying this into his passion for the act of animation, while also stating that those who enjoyed the series only had weak reasons to do so. I disagreed on the simple basis that, while I could recognize some of the weaknesses he mentioned, they weren’t a deal breaker for me, and what I valued in Kill la Kill was still very present and very strong. However, this also gave an image of tamerlane as someone with a very specific and at times contentious point of view, so much so that I almost chose not to read his post.

I want to emphasize two things based on what I just said. The first is that, if I had ignored his article based on past interactions, I would have been the stupid one. It would have been an example of me judging someone purely through some brief internet talk where communication was marred by a number of factors that weren’t just on his side. I think it’s more than possible to see both sides, or to disagree about one thing while agreeing on another, but most importantly I believe it’s possible to respect the other side.

The second point is that not everybody can ignore their initial impressions, and how one communicate to others as fellow human beings can be just as important as what you have to say. I know, because I struggle with this to. I understand what it’s like to be frustrated that others don’t share my point of view, or to not be able to express myself well. However, at the end of the day, positioning one’s own reasons for liking a show as just inherently better will always rub people the wrong way.

Even if accusations against sakuga fans are unfounded, the impression one gives when communicating can plant that idea in the reader or listener’s head, and whether you’re talking to hostile skeptics or people eager to know more about animation, driving them away by telling them to get on your level is only going to convince a few. Sakuga fans have to speak to other fans on their own terms and empathize with them. And if not, they have to at least let their passion come across in a way that is not confrontational. Sakuga fans need more Carl Sagans, and if not him, then at least some Neil deGrasse Tysons, who can be both snarky and personable.

I’m going to leave off with some screencaps from Episode 3 of Aoi Honoo, a J-drama about the school where many future luminaries of the anime industry came from. Though obviously different from real life interactions and conversations, I think it’s worth nothing how Anno Hideaki (or rather the actor who plays him) is shown to express his love for animation, in spite (or perhaps because) of his lack of social skills.

aoihonoo-annosakuga1

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aoihonoo-annosakuga6


21 Jan 15:20

"Can you scan a picture of this document onto the computer for me? I need to edit it in Word."

“Can you scan a picture of this document onto the computer for me? I need to edit it in Word.”
24 Jan 13:40

"We really, really love this design! But can you change it?"

“We really, really love this design! But can you change it?”
24 Jan 15:45

Funimation, GameSamba Team With NGames for Free-to-Play Games Based on Anime

NGames removes unlicensed One Piece-based Pockie Pirates game
23 Jan 00:00

U.S. Release Date Confirmed for ‘The Boy and the Beast’

by Amid Amidi

One of Japan's biggest film hits of 2015 is headed to U.S. theaters.

The post U.S. Release Date Confirmed for ‘The Boy and the Beast’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

20 Jan 13:00

Neko Ramen Creator's Cat History Manga Neko Neko Nihonshi Gets TV Anime

Kenji Sonishi's 4-panel manga re-imagines samurai & other figures as cats
19 Jan 20:35

McDonald’s Japan Finally Debuts Chocolate-Covered French Fries

by Chris Crowley

Well.

It's been a while since someone released a truly gonzo, headline-worthy stunt food. Thankfully, here comes McDonald's Japan, the same brain trust that pioneered such groundbreaking culinary innovations as the avocado McMuffin and food filled with human teeth. Today, the world learns that the company will release its latest "French fry innovation" in the form of McChoco Potatoes on January 26.

The dish, if you want to call it that, takes the chain's French fries — the one thing that even some McHaters agree it does right — and drizzles them, questionably, in white milk chocolate and "chocolate with cacao flavor," a.k.a. chocolate with chocolate flavor. (Let's call it, generously, an homage to the chocolate-dipped fries previously unveiled by another Japanese chain, Lotteria.) Alas, there's a slim chance that anyone actually thought this one through, but it still sounds like it has more potential than the chain's attempts at luxury burgers.

For those outside Japan, of course, you're going to have to hack this thing. You can just keep dipping your fries in your chocolate milkshake and get roughly the same result, or you can start smuggling your own chocolate sauce into shops to see how it goes.

[McDonald's]

Read more posts by Chris Crowley

Filed Under: the chain gang, japan, mcdonald's japan, menu innovation

18 Jan 19:30

drew this for a silkscreen-process ghibli zine with zine...



drew this for a silkscreen-process ghibli zine with zine hug.

really excited to see how it comes out in print.

this was a lot of fun, i liked the process and file setup a lot. i may try to screen some prints for the 2016 con season if i can find the time.

-jake

18 Jan 07:30

9th Manga Taisho Awards Nominate 11 Titles

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, Dungeon Meshi, Tonkatsu DJ Agetarō, more nominated
17 Jan 09:00

U-31 Soccer Manga Gets Live-Action Film This Summer

Manga by Giant Killing author centers on 31-year-old pro soccer player
15 Jan 18:00

Realism: Gundam Thunderbolt vs. Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans

by sdshamshel

As the progenitor of the “real robot genre,” every time a new Gundam series comes out the question of its realism comes up. Even though its robots tend to be brightly colored and increasingly full of weird weapons, the simple formula of mecha as tool of war endures. Just this past year, we’ve had both Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, which follows a group of child soldiers, and Gundam Thunderbolt, which combines a gritty feel with a more hard science fiction feel. Which is more realistic? Does it matter?

I don’t intend to actually answer these questions. Rather, I’m bringing them up to try and start a discussion about the ways in which we try to position the idea of realism in something like Gundam. It’s not the first time I‘ve talked about it on this blog, either. With the first episode of Gundam Thunderbolt available, however, I can’t help but feel that it’s probably the Gundam a lot of the fans who revel in a certain image of realism have been looking for. One might call it the Macross Plus of the Gundam franchise in this respect. Its hard SF aspects, both in terms of presentation of technology and its expected character types, provide an interesting contrast to Iron-Blooded Orphans, which has a more contemporary “anime” look, cute girls and handsome boys and all. One can almost detect a generation gap in Thunderbolt vs. Iron-Blooded Orphans in terms of anime fandom; Thunderbolt feels like it came out of the science fiction conventions from which anime cons originally grew from.

In turn, Iron-Blooded Orphans seems more divisive in terms of what it tries to do with its realism, its young boys trying to carve a place in the world because of their circumstances as child soldiers. Of course, child soldiers aren’t new to Gundam. One could argue that the earliest protagonists of Gundam were child soldiers, but in this case it’s more the young guerilla archetype, seen also in Gundam 00. I do see Iron-Blooded Orphans get a bit more flack, and though my sample might be skewed by the fellow fans I interact with and observe, I think it has to do with how Iron-Blooded Orphans, unlike Thunderbolt, carries a kind of more “feminine” aesthetic that does not jive with more traditional images of realism as gritty.

Of course, grittiness does not automatically equal realism, but I think we’re trained to believe it. It’s one of the biggest trends of modern video games, and while there are plenty of games that push against it, many kids are growing up being taught by games and media that this is what “real” looks like. That said, Gundam Thunderbolt still has elements of the fantastic, and perhaps in the space between it and Iron-Blooded Orphans we can find versions of “realism” to satisfy all of those looking for it.

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