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MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

Voynaristic By Kim VoynarVoynar@moviecitynews.com

Coming of Age at the Movies: Where’s the Brat Pack for Today’s Teens?

My own coming-of-age years were defined by Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (seasoned with a generous sprinkle of Purple Rain and a dash of Desperately Seeking Susan). If you were a couple years behind me in high school, it was probably Say Anything and Some Kind of Wonderful.  The 1980s teen flicks were great…

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Until the Credits Do Us Part: Marriage and the Movies

If you judged marriage based on the recent history of Hollywood’s depiction of adult relationships, you might think most people spend the majority of their lives either starting new relationships or ending old ones, and very little time in the period in between. Perhaps it’s partly the influence of Hollywood, where celebrity marriages might last…

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The Slippery Slope of Truth in Non-Fiction Films

Rich, successful Latino-American lawyer takes on a big corporation on behalf of downtrodden, third-world workers and wins. It makes for a great “David versus Goliath” story of melodramatic Erin Brockovich proportions — but what if the David of the story ends up being accused of fraud, causing not only that case but others to be thrown…

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The Fame and Misfortune of Michael Jackson

People who live and make their living in Hollywood are quick to tell you that Hollywood is an awful, soul-sucking, backstabbing hell of a town, and they’re largely right. Fame is, in its way, as evil a societal monster as alcoholism and drug addiction, and it’s not particularly surprising that many people who achieve fame…

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“Chad Harbach spent ten years writing his novel. It was his avocation, for which he was paid nothing, with no guarantee he’d ever be paid anything, while he supported himself doing freelance work, for which I don’t think he ever made $30,000 a year. I sold his book for an advance that equated to $65,000 a year—before taxes and commission—for each of the years of work he’d put in. The law schools in this country churn out first-year associates at white-shoe firms that pay them $250,000 a year, when they’re twenty-five years of age, to sit at a desk doing meaningless bullshit to grease the wheels of the corporatocracy, and people get upset about an excellent author getting $65,000 a year? Give me a fucking break.”
~ Book Agent Chris Parris-Lamb On The State Of The Publishing Industry

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

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