Well, we made it. 2017 has been a year but it’s time to see it off and look to 2018, be ready to do better and make the industry a more inclusive, representative, and safe place. The end of the year brings us updates on some cool projects and reminds Hollywood that success lies in being better. Happy New Year, everyone.
The Oscars Might Pick More Foreign Nominations This Year
Deadline predicts that this year’s Oscar nominations will showcase a foreign influence, following a push for foreign members after the #OscarsSoWhite debacle in 2016. Whilst more foreign nominations could mean greater variety, it doesn’t necessarily address the lack of representation for people of colour. Films such as Call Me By Your Name and Dunkirk could be included as foreign faves but still remain very white productions. In contrast, many of this year’s American films have tackled issues like racism and offer better representation for people of colour, such as Get Out and Mudbound.
Hollywood Asks How To Sell More Tickets, Twitter Has Some Suggestions
This year, Hollywood ticket sales were at their lowest since 1995, with blame resting on high ticket prices and this year’s blockbuster line-up (which included some absolute car crashes, like The Mummy and The Dark Tower). Whilst the rise and convenience of streaming services continues to affect box office attendance, some Twitter users pointed out another issue: accessibility.
-More ramps & elevators instead of stairs & escalators.
-Lower counters in the bathrooms & at concessions.
-Having actual staff at the customer service desk if someone needs assistance or a CC device. https://t.co/zeh2xVaOos
— Bloody Mallory (@_brown_recluse_) December 27, 2017
Prioritizing accessibility, tbh.
Get captions and audio descriptions working properly and in various languages, get comfortable and adjustable seating, more allergy-friendly food options, more options for wheelchair user seating, etc.#TheFutureIsAccessible https://t.co/IM0r80xgpX
— Annie Segarra (@annieelainey) December 27, 2017
Mainstream cinemas still don’t offer adequate accessible facilities, including a lack of screenings for deaf and autistic audience members. Improved accessibility could help get more movie-goers through the door, and help to make cinema a more inclusive and welcoming scene.
Cool Projects From Cool People
Season Four of Black Mirror has dropped, bringing with it a host of female protagonists and more stark warnings for modern society. The new series follows on from the hit success of season three’s episode “San Junipero,” which featured a queer couple without falling into the unwanted-but-sadly-expected Bury Your Gays trope. Season four follows several women portrayed by notable actors like Letitia Wright and Georgina Campbell, and features an episode directed by Jodie Foster as well.
Ryan Murphy’s next TV show, Pose, has been picked up by FX and will feature the most series regular trans actors in US television. According to Murphy, the first season will also feature over 50 LGBTQIA+ characters, which is a first for queer representation in American television. Pose is a dance-musical drama set in 1980s America, with queer “ball culture” being a key theme of the first season. Whilst we’re yet to see how prevalent these 50+ queer characters will be, Pose could offer some much-needed queer visibility – and celebration – on our tellies next year.
Iliza Shlesinger’s comedy show Girls Night has found itself on the receiving end of a lawsuit that would be funny if it weren’t so depressing, with complaining attorney Alfred Rava accusing Shlesinger of waging a “war on men.” Rava’s client was offered a refunded ticket after showing up at the women’s-only show, which was also raising money for Planned Parenthood. Rava is no stranger to suing for gender discrimination despite having seemingly very basic views on the subject; in this suit, for instance, he compares the women’s-only show to “old-fashioned sexism” that calls for women to learn how to “catch a good man.” You can read the full complaint, which is good because if you read it loudly and pointedly enough, it becomes its own kind of comedy show.
This year has been fraught for upcoming Indian period drama, Padmavati, which was due to be released at the beginning of this month. The film, directed by Sanja Leela Bhansali, is still being wrung through India’s notorious system of censorship and nationalism so it’s unlikely to be released before March. Padmavati is based on a 16th-century epic poem and partly includes historical facts, which has sparked the Central Board of Film Certification to ask a panel of historians and former officials to gauge the film’s accuracy and political sensitivity. The panel has tentatively offered a UA certificate (equivalent to a PG-13) after modifications including over 26 cuts and a title change. The CBFC has long been criticised by Indian film fans for censorship and it looks like Padmavati still has some way to go before it hits cinemas.
— Geeks of Color (@GeeksOfColor) December 29, 2017
Finally, send off 2017 with some exciting new images from upcoming releases Black Panther, Aquaman, and A Wrinkle In Time. Check them out to see more luscious costume design from Black Panther, Jason Momoa’s ludicrous abs, and a sneak-peek at Ava DuVernay’s next film.
- In an act of protest against sexual harassment in the industry, several actors including Dwayne Johnson will join actresses in wearing all-black at the 2018 Golden Globes. The move has been criticised as lack-luster – especially considering men traditionally wear black tuxedos to the awards ceremony as it is. The protest seeks to raise awareness of harassment but it’s definitely succeeding in raising a few eyebrows.
- Despite being a critical flop, Netflix’s Bright has managed to attract 11 million US viewers over its first three days of streaming alone.
- Star Wars has officially earned its keep at Disney, amassing more than $4 billion in ticket sales worldwide across the franchise. The news comes as The Last Jedi approaches $1 billion in ticket sales alone.