Itâ€™s Friday, and Iâ€™m flying to my next stop in the celluloid trenches, the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.
Hello from 30,000 feet, where weâ€™re looking back at groundbreaker Ida Lupino, looking ahead to a very â€śWeekend Updateâ€ť Emmys ceremony, and learning about a little sleeper just hitting theaters called Avengers: Infinity War.
On Thursday, a jury found Bill Cosby guilty of aggravated indecent assault, in the first high-profile trial of the #MeToo eraâ€”an outcome that many of Cosbyâ€™s accusers once considered unthinkable. In courtrooms and in workplaces, weâ€™ll be feeling the aftershocks of the #MeToo movement for years to come, and weâ€™ll soon see Hollywood tackle this issue in a movie from Plan B and Annapurna Pictures about the New York Times reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story.
A movie playing this weekend at TCMâ€™s Classic Film Festival hints at how long women in Hollywood have been trying to tell a version of this story. In director Ida Lupinoâ€™s 1950 social thriller Outrage, a street vendor calls out, â€śHey, beautiful!â€ť to Ann Walton, a young office worker played by Mala Powers, who ignores him. Due to the Motion Picture Production Code guidelines in place at the time, the word â€śrapeâ€ť was not allowed to be spoken in the film, but Lupino communicates, through well-placed shadows and the sound of footsteps, that what happens next is a sexual assault. Though previous films had included unwanted advances, Outrage was the first Hollywood movie that centered its story on a rape and kept the story focused on the victimâ€™s journey.
The film is unique not only for its subject matter, but because it was directed by Lupino, one of the very few women directors who worked during the studio eraâ€”her position in the industry at the time was so singular that meetings of the Directors Guild of America were said to start with the invocation, â€śHello gentlemen and madam.â€ť â€śWe talk so much in the film industry about women not having parity or opportunity, and hereâ€™s a woman who didnâ€™t have a roadmap,â€ť said Anne Morra, associate curator of the Museum of Modern Artâ€™s department of film. â€śShe invented for herself what it was like to be an independent filmmaker.â€ť Asked what Lupino might make of #MeToo and Timeâ€™s Up, Morra said she thought Lupino would have been engaged in the issue. â€śWe canâ€™t know what her own experiences were like as a woman in Hollywood in the 30s, 40s, 50s. But she was outspoken and she was timely, and she might use this current debate as the topic for one of her films.â€ť
The festival will also include programming on women in animation, a panel of female screenwriters, a conversation with director Gillian Armstrong, and an official hand-and-footprints ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre for Cicely Tyson. With the Timeâ€™s Up movement planning to hold its first New York event at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, it can be illuminating to learn how previous generations of Hollywood women bobbed and weaved through the industry. â€śWhen I look at women working during the golden age of Hollywood, they wielded quite a bit of power behind the scenes,â€ť said TCM Classic Film Festival Director Genevieve McGillicuddy, citing actresses like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, and Katharine Hepburn. â€śThey navigated a system that was misogynistic, but found a way to be true to themselves.â€ť
Disney will look to make box-office history this weekend with Avengers: Infinity War, with the Marvel film on track for a domestic opening of about $230 million. But is it time to send condolence flowers to the comic-book diehard in your life? V.F.â€™s Joanna Robinson runs down the copious list of deaths in Infinity War and explains the movieâ€™s end-credits sequence, for anyone who just had to get to the bathroom after that two-hour-and-40-minute runtime.
Weâ€™ve learned who will be our new Emmy Awards hosts: Saturday Night Liveâ€™s Michael Che and Colin Jost, the â€śWeekend Updateâ€ť anchors, will helm the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards when they air on NBC on September 17. V.F.â€™s Laura Bradley is . . . not thrilled by the choice to put another awards-show-hosting gig in the hands of a couple of fellas. The Emmys, Bradley points out, are the fourth major awards show to announce a host in the wake of the #MeToo and Timeâ€™s Up movementsâ€”and the fourth such ceremony to be hosted by men.
With Amy Adams, director Joe Wright, and screenwriter Tracy Letts aboard, Foxâ€™s planned adaptation of the best-selling Hitchcockian novel The Woman in the Window reeks of prestige. V.F.â€™s Nicole Sperling spoke to Fox 2000 President Elizabeth Gabler, who said the studio green-lit the film based on Lettsâ€™s first draft, and sees The Woman in the Window as a successor to Adrian Lyne movies like Unfaithful and Fatal Attraction.
On this weekâ€™s episode of Vanity Fairâ€™s podcast Little Gold Men, our new TV critic Sonia Saraiya talks the new seasons of Handmaidâ€™s Tale and Westworld with regular hosts Mike Hogan, Richard Lawson, Katey Rich, and Joanna Robinson.
â€śI just was proudâ€ťâ€”Steven Spielberg, of sitting through the Tribeca Film Festival screening of his 1993 epic Schindlerâ€™s List, the first time he had done so in 25 years. V.F.â€™s Yohana Desta has a full write-up of the event.
Thatâ€™s the news for this week on the Hollywood and awards beat. Tell me what youâ€™re seeing out there. Send tips, comments, valet-line gossip, and Ida Lupinoâ€™s directorâ€™s chair to Rebecca_Keegan@condenast.com. Follow me on Twitter @thatrebecca.
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