Weinstein Scandal And (not only) Women Spoke Out

9th of November, 2017

Today, surprisingly, not about a new show or women in tv. Actually, it’s gonna be about women in movie industry and the scandal with Harvey Weinstein that led to another scandals and acussations. I’m writing about it, because it’s important for the movie and television industry as well as for women, not only in show business.

One of the first actresses that came out with accusation was Rose McGowan, the actress known from “Grindhouse: Planet Terror” by Rodriguez, “Charmed” and first Wes Craven’s “Scream”. She also spoke out about Ben Affleck’s words that defended Weinstein.  “I have been silenced for 20 years,” she told as I read in “New York Times”. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.” Along with McGowan, more and more movie stars decided to stop hiding and admit to the horrible, sexual harrasment of Mr. Weinstein. Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and many many others accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. The amount of accusations was so huge that Weinstein’s wife decided to leave him.

All the reports somehow signaled Hollywood which led to “#metoo” action started by actress and activist Alyssa Milano who speaks loudly about politic stuff on her private Twitter.

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Little did she know… Milano had no idea she would start a wave of women committing that they were abused, sexually as well as mentally. Suddenly it wasn’t only one woman. It was thousands, millions of them – actresses, singers, writers, ordinary women, women who we see everyday.

Milano showed the huge flaw that Hollywood has. Many actresses claimed that they told someone in the past. But managers told them to be quiet. This time Hollywood decided to change.

Unfortunately, “famous abuse”, how I want to call it, didn’t touch only women. Just little after Weinstein scandal, Anthony Rapp, the actor, accused “House of Cards” Kevin Spacey of sexual harrasment. Rapp claimed that Spacey acted inappropriate towards him when he was 14 years old. In response, Kevin Spacey blamed “drunken behaviour” and right after deflected the accusation by coming out as a gay man.

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His response got loud just to hit him right away. People didn’t like his response. They accused him of deflecting and hiding behind his own sexuality. Which was true.

All those situations from the past month left people whit questions. One that is mostly asked is “why didn’t they talk earlier? Why now? They just want them to talk about them.” When I hear this, I want to scream. Why? Because people don’t know how it’s like. People don’t know the movie business and the fact that actresses and actors are only puppets. Besides, everybody is their own person. Everybody has different feelings and the strength. So before someone says that again, think. Please.

I hope the whole situation with Weinstein and Spacey show not only Hollywood but also worldwide movie industry that sexual abuse is really dangerous and (unfortunately) common thing. We can fight it by speaking out. Everybody. Men and women.

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(WO)MAN UP SERIES: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

17th of October, 2017

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“Fear The Walking Dead” is a post-apocalyptic TV show created by AMC Studios, Circle of Confusion and Valhalla Entertainment. Alike “The Walking Dead”, production focuses on a group of people who try to survive the epidemy of zombies. Madison, her husband Travis, their children: Alicia, Nick and Chris as well as Travis’ ex-wife Liza. They move from Los Angeles to Mexico, they do everything for survival. Characters gain new allies as well as enemies. They also lose their loved ones.

“Fear…” is more focused on relationships between people than the whole idea of zombies and, in my opinion, it’s something that attracts people. I feel like walkers are only a trigger for people to start fighting. Throughout three seasons, the wievers have a chance to see characters evolve and change. In the name of the series, I decided to focus on one of the main, two female characters: Madison Clark and her daughter Alicia who are one of the most imporant figures in the show.

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Maddie is with the viewers from the very beginning. She is like mother who leads her children through the pain, laughter and – most importantly, survival. For many reasons, Madison is very alike “Orphan Black’s” Mrs. Siobhan Sadler (I wrote about the show earlier). When she finds out that zombie apocalypse is true, she doesn’t panic, no. A woman decides to find all her family and fight for survival. Many times she is about to sacrifice herself to protect not only her family and children, but also her friends. Maybe her behaviour has a connection to what she used to do befoe zombies? Madison used to be a therapist, some sort of psychologist in high school where also Alicia attended.

She is the one who makes all tough decisions, no matter what people say. Madison doesn’t care what others think. All she wants to do is to keep everyone alive and safe. Althought she loves her children very much, she doesn’t treat them like that. When Nick, her son wants to leave on his own, she lets him. The same goes with her husband and his son. In my opinion,  Madison is the embodiment of a strong, modern-day female warrior. It even comes to her opposing the army and threatening to kill one of soldiers just to get out of danger. And the danger doesn’t come from the walkers, but from the mortals.

Madison is only a human, of course, and sometimes even her loses it. But then she can calm down without doing anything stupid and I think it’s a great quality. The woman breaks a stereotype of weak, unstable female character in a war. She doesn’t need a saviour. She is a saviour. She doesn’t let anybody lead her. She’s the one who leads.

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Her daughter, Alicia, is really alike her mother. She’s young, around 18 years old. Although her age, she is mature enough to take a lead when Madison leaves to look for water and supplies. Alicia, young woman, has to make tough decisions that lead to either death or survival of people on the Ranch (their temporary home). That one situation defiens her, makes her stronger, but also makes her realize that nothing might change. That apocalypse is permanent and they might never have a normal house ever again.

When the viewers meet Alicia, she seems like a spoiled brat, always on her phone and listening to her music. She only cares about finding her high school boyfriend. But once the apocalypse starts, fans have a chance to see a new face of female character – strong, caring about her family etc.

It’s really important for female fans all over the world to see how mother-daughter relationship works here. When Madison is not in charge, she gives Alicia that chance. The viewers can see what zombie apocalypse does to Alicia. She’s not only more mature, she has to grow up faster and become her mom’s partner. But all of that has a price. Alicia seems to lose all hope for the future. Episode after episode her flame goes out. And she has to do something about it.

Besides Madison and Alicia, there is also Ofelia and Liza. But the first two are the ones who the viewers know from the very beginning. They show that women can be very strong, even in the most dangerous life situation. They also can unite if they have to, without any agruments or grudges.

The viewers had a chance to see two hours’ season finale previous Sunday. Hopefully, we will soon see what’s gonna happen with Madison and others as the creators left us with a huge cliffhanger.

“(Wo)man Up” Series: Orphan Black

10th of August, 2017

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Eurythmics once sang along with Aretha Franklin those lines: Sisters are doing it for themselves. Standing on their own two feet. And ringing on their own bells. There are no better words to describe “clones-sisters” from Orphan Black – BBC America production created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett. The viewers will have a pleasure (or sadness and pleasure, because production is one of the best ones) to see the last, finale episode Saturday, at 10 on BBC America channel. That is why Orphan Black will do the honour to begin new (Wo)man Up Series, where I write about women in tv shows and movies (once a week – different production).

Orphan Black is, without doubt, one of the best, the smartest, the most dynamic production people have ever seen. There is action, mystery and incredible chemistry between characters. All those qualities together gave me a thrill I never felt before. Tatiana Maslany, the main actress playing ALL(sic!) clones, is one of the most talented artist entertainment industry had ever seen – no doubt! She played almost 30 or more clones in the show. With the help of Katherine Alexandre – her double stunt – she created a group of amazing, independent, sometimes funny women who are not afraid to stand up and fight for their rights even if it means sacrifise. Oh, there was a lot of sacrifise. Fifth finale season gave fans one of the most brutnal clone death – MK, quiet clone, Helsinki survivor who was helping others. After the episode, Internet literally broke. People were grieving after MK’s death. That only proves how much of a talent Maslany really is: I try to get roles that challenge me in what I can do and who I think I can portray. For me, it’s about creating characters with really fascinating stories, because that’s what I like to watch on TV, said Maslany in one of many interviews.  Every one of Tatiana’s characters had beautiful, often sad story and the acress showed that without any fail.

Throughout all five seasons, the clones, which the audience had the best chance to get to meet Sarah Manning, Cosima Niehaus, Alison Hendrix, Helena and Rachel Duncan. Each of them, together, and also separately have shown that feminine solidarity is one of the most powerful things in the world. Each one is different, has a different way of being, different experiences – Sarah Manning is lost woman with daughter who wants to find her way in life, Cosima Niehaus is a smart scientist, trying to find a love she deserves. Alison Hendrix is not-so-typical soccer mom of two and suspects her husband is her monitor.  Helena is an Ukrainian orphan, Sarah’s real twin, trained to kill others. In her example, you can observe how difficult it is to free yourself from the mental abuse. Helena was raised by Prolethians, the group of dangerous people. Trained, tortured, raised without love, the character is a perfect example of a person, of a woman who survived and wants a change of her life.

 

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Rachel Duncan is a contrast of her sisters. Raised by Neolutionists – the creators of clones, she was being prepared to take over responsibilities of her guardian, Aldous. In many moments, Rachel resembles Helena. Although both women were raised differently, there is a certain kind of abuse that, in both cases, is similar. But the two characters show that you can get out of the oppression and after a lot of hard work, try to live normally.

Although sisters and Rachel Duncan are on opposite sides, there is day when they all have to unite to defend even more powerful villain – the founder of Neolution, PT Westmoreland who claims to be over 100 years old. Orphan Black has come to a point where there is, really is a man behind the curtain. There is a problem of patriarchy, still fresh and present  in modern world. Although PT tries to control women’s bodies, sisters, Siobhan – Sarah’s mother and Delphine along with Felix and Adele do everything they can to defy him. The time finally had come to show how strong and independed women can be to gain their rights and autonomy.

To defeat the enemy, Cosima Niehaus along with Delphine Cormier, her monitor and partner in life, and Scott, has to explore Neolutionism and work on clones’ advancing diseanse that touches her personally, too. Cosima reflects knowledge in Orphan Black, as well as his own sexuality. The scientist demonstrates that being scientifically gifted is not a graph of being so-called. geek. Cosima and Delphine (Cophine) helped many young women deal with their own sexuality. And if the series can positively affect the change in the public, it can only testify to the greatness and freshness of production.

Sarah Manning and Alison Hendrix, although so very different, they seem to be so similar. Sarah Manning is bravado, which sometimes ends up really bad. Alison seems to be like that too. A woman often makes decisions based on emotions. Both sisters have a problem with the abuse of alcohol. Both have children. Sarah Manning has a daughter, Alison has two adopted children – boy and a girl. In spite of this, Alison seems to be happier, giving the audience a laugh and a respite. Sarah, on the other hand, introduces powerful, often darker emotions.

Sisters show they can fight but they couldn’t handle everything without help of Delphine Cormier, Siobhan “Mrs. S.” Sadler, Felix Dawkins- Sarah’s brother and Adele, his biological sister. We also cannot forget about Art – police detective.

Delphine Cormier had come a long way into Clone Club to be finally trusted yet there are still some people who don’t truly believe her. But, to be honest, there is nothing to believe in or not believe in anymore. Delphine had been welcomed in clone family for good. Evelyne Brochu, playing the rold of the blonde scientist said: Women can’t only be the person only there to french kiss the hero after he’s won the game or won the war. Women are half of humanity. They’re part of history. Brochu proves that in her role. Delphine’s specialty is immunology, whose heroine devotes essentially all her life. Doctor, whose home country is France, is assigned the role of monitor. Delphine shows viewers the world of science and technology, which is extremely important in Canadian production, but not only, because the viewer has a chance to watch the heroine through the deeper relationship with Cosima that suddenly turns into love.

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In all its complexity, the image of Delphine’s world, however, creates some coherence. Spectators have the opportunity to watch her: her climbing the ranks of the career and the gradation of feelings that character reveals to the audience season-after-season. She is an employee first and answers before Leekie and then takes his place. Delphine becomes director of the institute and has to make decisions that affect not only her and her relationship with Cosima but also with her lover’s sisters. Delphine Cormier proves in every season of production that she will do everything to be a good boss and an effective caregiver. Despite the discrimination of the Cosima’s sisters, she still tries to do everything for them. The doctor proves to viewers thinking that her relationship with Cosima is ephemeral and not important, that it is an illusion. Delphine also shows that she is a much better boss than her predecessor. Delphine Cormier is the defition of a strong woman who will do anything for love and truth. mrs s ssssSiobhan Sadler keeps her pace with one exception. Not only does she prove the power of women, but also shows how tough and important it is to be a mother. Mrs. S adpoted Sarah and Felix when they were kids, had to handle all their behaviours, then Sarah’s dissapearens. She had to take care of Kira, Sarah’s daughter. But she did all of it in the name of love. Siobhan is the shadow of her family through all seasons of production. A woman cares for their well-being and takes care of them. Even when it comes to tragedy and the woman loses her mother who turned out to be a clone original – she still stands with her loved ones. Siobhan along with Felix, Delphine and Adele, destroy the Neolution. Siobhan, even for the price of her life, will not let their chickens to be killed. She sacrifises herself which is one of the most powerful, most heartbreaking scenes in Orphan Black. 

 

 

Tatiana Maslany said once: I feel so lucky to be in a show that puts women at the center. And this is true. Production proves that women can be strong and fight for what’s good for them. As Felix said in episode eight, season five – To galaxy of women!

Ten TV and Movie Women Who Inspire Me

19th of July, 2017

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Who run the world? Girls! That’s how a known singer used to sing. And thank God media listen and started creating evolving, important roles for women who now are heroines, scientists, saviors and many more. Situation with women in television is getting better. Hopefully, it’s gonna improve even more.

I present you my own, personal list of brave women from television and cinema who inspire me or inspired me in my teenage/adult life. It is amazing thing that fictional characters can positively influence people’s lives.

1. Delphine Cormier

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The female scientist from amazing Canadian TV show Orphan Black not only shows us that “science” field is not only for men, but also that love is love, no matter who you love – woman or a man. Delphine is smart, very dedicated to her work, brave with brilliant mind. She can even take a bullet for people she loves. She believes in science, not career. She can sacrifice a lot and fight like a tiger. That’s why I admire her character. Plus she is a great boss.

2. Claire Underwood

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She’s not perfect. Nobody is. I could even go further – Claire is not the purest woman in the “presidency” world. But she showed me that if you’re strong enough, you can achieve anything you want. You shouldn’t care about what other people think or say. You should always be calm and talk peacefully, because then you will annoy your opponets even more and make them talk very silly things. It’s hard for people who are extravertics, but it’s possible!

3. Aurora Luft

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Aurora Luft is a character from Canadian-Hungarian TV show X Company.  She is incredibly brilliant, speaks English, German and French. Add to that, she has amazing ability to melt into the crowd. Her alter ego – Helena Baeur, steals information from Nazi so then Aurora and the group could use it. Aurora is also amazingly skilled with using a knife. She can kill bad people in a matter of second. But the best thing about her is that she is in charge of the group of spies – all men. They all treat her equally, they think she’s an excellent leader and very smart woman. Aurora gives them the same. That’s what I value the most in her character.

4. Siobhan Sadler

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“Everyone’s mom” from Orphan Black showed me how much of a hard work you have to put to be a good mom. Sometimes you need to fight very bad people to protect your family. That’s what she does. She also has to handle her foster kids’ behaviours, which is not easy thing to do. But Siobhan handles this just great. Thanks to her I know that moms are the most hard working human beings.

5. Stef & Lena Fosters

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I was thinking if I should pick Lena or Stef, but then I decided to pick them both and put in one number. They are wives from Freeform TV show The Fosters. Together they are raising five children (four adopted and one born). The Fosters is amazing not only because of the great cast. Stef and Lena show viewers, that being gay doesn’ make you bad parent – opposite! They wanted children no matter what, they make mistakes, but they can always cope. Their sons and daughters love them and know they can talk to thme about everything.

6. Phoebe Halliwell

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Thanks to her character from Charmed I fell in love with martial arts. Phoebe taught me that not only boys can do that, girls too! Phoebe is strong, independent and funny. She was very bad teenager, but she understood her mistakes and reunited with her sisters. We also can see amazing sister/women power in Charmed. They fight the most dangerous demons with her powers, but even with powers, they would be useless if not their amazing connection they have.

7. Lisbeth Salander

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Lisbeth Salander is anti-social, rude and  dangerous. But somehow she can teach us, that no matter what, you should fight for yourself and for your autonomy. She had the worst childhood, but she survived. Then she was raped by the person who should help her – her social worker. But she survived, she got her revenge and it made her even stronger. I think that’s why she is on my list – for her will of survival.

8. Snow White 

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Snow White from Once Upon a Time where the creators made female princesses the real fighters! One of them was Snow White. I value her because of her strenght and so much love. She was the one who fought for the Prince Charming. She didn’t wait for him in some tower, no. She took all risk she could. Her character was an incredible addition to the show.

9. Lisa Cuddy

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Lisa Cuddy, the character from House, M.D was the first female who became a Dean in America under 35 years old. She showed me back in the day, me 15 years old teenager, that woman can be a great boss and have a family in the same time. Throughout the years, I finished watching House, M.D. but I would still remember about her power, wisdom and cheekiness. Especially in taking charge of House.

10. Trinity

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Her and Phoebe Halliwell were my first tv show heroines who changed my perspectives. When I saw Martix for the first time, I had birthday. Then I saw Trinity on the screen and thought – Wow! She’s a woman and she can be in the team with men, be as smart and strong as them! I need to admit, I had a crush on Trinity back in the day. She was this brave woman and I wanted to be just like her!

I hope you will like my list. All those movies and TV shows I highly recommend!

Orange Is The New Black: Abuse Of Power

11th of June, 2017

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I’m freshly after binge-watching the newest, 5th season of Netflix Original Series “Orange Is The New Black”. I don’t want to spoil anything. I can say that this season was intense, shocking and very touching.

“Orange Is The New Black” is a story about inmates in Litchfield Prison with the least strict security. But is it the least strict security in real life? Throught the seasons the viewers got to know main characters – Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), Red (Kate Mulgrew), Lorna Morello (Yael Stone), Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) and many many others. Each of inmates has their own tragic story that people can get in every episode in retrospection – one episode, someone’s story.

In season fifth everything escalates. The new guards think that they can do everything to women in prison and their chief let them. The events are getting even more intense when one of the guards accidentally kills Poussey – one of the prisoners, and another of them brings a gun to prison.

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The anger, grief after a lose of their friend and exhaustion causes a huge riot where women take hostages (all guards) and threaten not to let them go if MCC and governor don’t do what they want – better education, better treating, nicer guards and most importantly – a trial for the one who killed their friend.  In the same time all of them fight for their own smaller things like trying to see their children, love and simply – peace of mind. Some of them try to bring justice on their own. Like Red who can’t stand patriarchy of guards led by Piscatella.

The last episode knocked me out. I cried for the last five minutes. Jenji Kohan ended it like the previous seasons – with one, huge unknown. The finale left me with million questions and made me think about the world, about prisons, about those women. About overusing power. I saw how those women are beaten up without reason, molested, humiliated and then killed. No one takes responsibility for their actions because why? Those are inmates. They are lying. Everybody makes mistakes – some people bigger, some of them smaller. I got to know each character and I can see how most of them try to fix their problems, their broken families, all mistakes. But how can they do it when they don’t even have a chance? It is only a TV show yet based on true events. But it all happens on bigger or smaller level in almost every area of the globe.

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Litchfield prisoners saw the chance in riot and they took it. They decided to stand up and listen up. They decided to fight for their own lives, so often tainted. I don’t know who wins or who loses. I realized that the action is more important than the aftermath.

I think “OITNB” quite thoroughly shows mentioned overpower. On the example of the prison people can see the breakdown of the world, bad system, abuse from almost every side. It also shows what happens when you are in somebody else’s shoes. If people could change their places for only ONE day, they would understand each other way better. That’s my opinion.

I heard many times that without power, people would kill each other. But what if that power focused on understanding and better communication? Wouldn’t it be so much better? Yes, I am aware how idealistic that sounds. And maybe it’s stupid but I believe in this. Little steps are the most important. People say that they can’t change the world. But they really can.

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