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Backwards and in Heels: The Past, Present and Future of Women Working in Film

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Number #1 New Bestseller! "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels..." - Ann Richards Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman. As was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, t Number #1 New Bestseller! "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels..." - Ann Richards Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman. As was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, the inventor of the boom microphone and the first person to be credited with the title Film Editor. Throughout the entire history of Hollywood women have been revolutionizing, innovating, and shaping how we make movies. Yet their stories are rarely shared. This is what film reporter Alicia Malone wants to change. "Backwards and in Heels" tells the history of women in film in a different way, with stories about incredible ladies who made their mark throughout each era of Hollywood. From the first women directors, to the iconic movie stars, and present day activists. Each of these stories are inspiring in the accomplishments of women, and they also highlight the specific obstacles women have had to face. "Backwards and in Heels" combines research and exclusive interviews with influential women and men working in Hollywood today, such as Geena Davis, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig, Todd Fisher and many more, as well as film professors, historians and experts. Think of "Backwards and in Heels" as a guidebook, your entry into the complex world of women in film. Join Alicia Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past and present, and looks to the future with the hopes of leveling out the playing field.


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Number #1 New Bestseller! "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels..." - Ann Richards Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman. As was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, t Number #1 New Bestseller! "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels..." - Ann Richards Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman. As was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, the inventor of the boom microphone and the first person to be credited with the title Film Editor. Throughout the entire history of Hollywood women have been revolutionizing, innovating, and shaping how we make movies. Yet their stories are rarely shared. This is what film reporter Alicia Malone wants to change. "Backwards and in Heels" tells the history of women in film in a different way, with stories about incredible ladies who made their mark throughout each era of Hollywood. From the first women directors, to the iconic movie stars, and present day activists. Each of these stories are inspiring in the accomplishments of women, and they also highlight the specific obstacles women have had to face. "Backwards and in Heels" combines research and exclusive interviews with influential women and men working in Hollywood today, such as Geena Davis, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig, Todd Fisher and many more, as well as film professors, historians and experts. Think of "Backwards and in Heels" as a guidebook, your entry into the complex world of women in film. Join Alicia Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past and present, and looks to the future with the hopes of leveling out the playing field.

30 review for Backwards and in Heels: The Past, Present and Future of Women Working in Film

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brit

    The film nerd in me loved this book. I only wish it dove in to more stories, but such a great overview on women in film.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Josefine

    I've regretfully decided to give up on this. No offense to anybody who enjoyed it or the author herself, but content-wise at halfway through there was barely anything I didn't already know (which may be due to the fact that women in film is a topic I care and read about). The fact that the chapters on each lady are kept fairly short to include a lot of them certainly doesn't set the stage for a more in-depth look, and though I'm sure that style was chosen to give an overview of as many women as I've regretfully decided to give up on this. No offense to anybody who enjoyed it or the author herself, but content-wise at halfway through there was barely anything I didn't already know (which may be due to the fact that women in film is a topic I care and read about). The fact that the chapters on each lady are kept fairly short to include a lot of them certainly doesn't set the stage for a more in-depth look, and though I'm sure that style was chosen to give an overview of as many women as possible, it ultimately feels lacking and unsatisfying. In combination with the style of the actual writing itself, the chapters come across as a mixture of someone summarizing wikipedia entries and writing a blog post. Strange style breaks from an objective third person narration to a subjective first person 'conclusion' certainly don't help and make it all sound rather amateurish. For someone who's looking for an intro into interesting women in the history of Hollywood, this book certainly offers that, but for anyone who knows more and is looking for something they haven't already seen before, I'm sure there are other books out there to satisfy that need.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ann

    A full review will be featured on my blog! For now I'll share that Alicia Malone writes on a topic needing more exploration, and I'm glad she tackled it; more women, particularly young women, are going to pick up her book for knowledge they are thirsty for. I wish her book had gone through one more revision, and that's not because of the rare typo or wrong word choice. Sometimes her book is an introductory, trade book written for beginners. I can imagine it being used in English AP or lower level A full review will be featured on my blog! For now I'll share that Alicia Malone writes on a topic needing more exploration, and I'm glad she tackled it; more women, particularly young women, are going to pick up her book for knowledge they are thirsty for. I wish her book had gone through one more revision, and that's not because of the rare typo or wrong word choice. Sometimes her book is an introductory, trade book written for beginners. I can imagine it being used in English AP or lower level film courses. Other times she could've used the additional pages a textbook or historical tome would've been granted to cover her subjects and their time periods more in-depth. It's obvious she is knowledgeable, but outside of her profiles of specific women, she didn't have enough space to place them in context, even though she alternates groups of profiles with essays explaining eras, their contemporary cultures, and any shifts and advancements of women. I suspect Malone would've received more rigorous guidance if she had worked with a traditional publishing house versus one specializing in net celebrities. I'd love to read what she produces when paired with the right publisher and editor!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Agne

    I've been following Alicia Malone's indie film reviews for many years, it's great to see that she can bring her strengths to writing as well. The book is thoroughly enjoyable and accessible even if you're not a film historian. I was most intrigued by the bits about women in early Hollywood and the gender disparity in the modern film industry, especially in the behind-the-scenes roles. Spoiler alert: the numbers are a lot worse than I thought. I also appreciate the intersectionality that permeate I've been following Alicia Malone's indie film reviews for many years, it's great to see that she can bring her strengths to writing as well. The book is thoroughly enjoyable and accessible even if you're not a film historian. I was most intrigued by the bits about women in early Hollywood and the gender disparity in the modern film industry, especially in the behind-the-scenes roles. Spoiler alert: the numbers are a lot worse than I thought. I also appreciate the intersectionality that permeates the discussion. Why 4(.5) stars? It could have been longer, I wanted even more stories from more viewpoints. And maybe some more on the author's own experiences, I think she's a bit too modest here. And the text isn't justified (aligned left), which bothered me at first :D But that's my personal demon to fight.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Webb

    This book was such a joy to read! Alicia Malone has been one of my favourite film people since I first came across her in an interview she gave on Criterion Now. She’s so passionate about cinema and this comes across in her role as a host and interviewer on FilmStruck, and the videos she posts to YouTube, and really does a good job at enticing viewers to watch more great films. ‘Backwards & in Heels’ has many familiar stories within it to film fans, but many of these stories are less familiar and This book was such a joy to read! Alicia Malone has been one of my favourite film people since I first came across her in an interview she gave on Criterion Now. She’s so passionate about cinema and this comes across in her role as a host and interviewer on FilmStruck, and the videos she posts to YouTube, and really does a good job at enticing viewers to watch more great films. ‘Backwards & in Heels’ has many familiar stories within it to film fans, but many of these stories are less familiar and Malone finds a good way to bring all these stories together. Although the book is far from comprehensive and isn’t so interested in addressing women in film as a global industry, Malone provides a strong series of empowering biographies (some a couple of pages, some closer to ten) written in an accessible way that encourages the reader to both read (and watch!) more. Although some of the names from the silent era ‘golden age’ such as Alice Guy Blanche, Lois Weber, Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Bette Davis are all familiar names, Malone really hits her stride when she approaches the current era of filmmaking, addressing not only directors and actors but activists, producers, screenwriters, editors, cinematographers and so on. Many of these names might be overlooked because of the male director or lead overshadowing their contributions, but these names should be remembered for shaping the films as they are. With the most recent edition, Malone ties in the events of late 2017 and 2018, not only addressing Oscar wins and films such as ‘Moonlight’, ‘Mudbound’ and ‘Black Panther’ (among others), but tackles with the events following The New York Times investigation into Harvey Weinstein and what this means for the film industry as a whole. It’s a reminder that we need to support the work of female creatives (with films such as ‘The Lure’, ‘Desert Hearts’ and ‘Smithereens’ joining the largely male dominated Criterion Collection and FilmStruck), but also support the voices of the wide array of female critics out there such as Malone, Angelica Jade Bastien, Kat Ellinger, Kim Morgan, Amy Taubin, Lindsay Ellis and so on given the number of powerful male critics. Additionally, we need to pressure the industry to make real change. So many of the stories in this book has an element of tragedy to them, from stories about women who lack agency or control, or where manipulated by men, or failed to get the roles or due credit to support their careers. Hearing about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds still makes me so emotional. But hopefully, we can make a change. Although Malone doesn’t address narrative content so much, this is another thing we need to consider when talking about and examining women in Hollywood. Representation isn’t just made from depicting strong and empowered women on screen outside of sexist and misogynistic tropes, images and stereotypes, but in shifting the culture and placing women within creative positions to have an impact on how these stories are told.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sravanesh

    I heard of Alicia Malone through the Screen Junkies YouTube channel where she appears on Movie Fights, where she competed against other contestants on modern topics. She has been a proponent of "old cinema" and I thought her book would be an exciting read, only to be slightly disappointed at how much this book resembled a wikipedia article rather than short stories about the famous women who contributed to cinema. Her book is divided into chapters of different eras of cinema, leading back to its I heard of Alicia Malone through the Screen Junkies YouTube channel where she appears on Movie Fights, where she competed against other contestants on modern topics. She has been a proponent of "old cinema" and I thought her book would be an exciting read, only to be slightly disappointed at how much this book resembled a wikipedia article rather than short stories about the famous women who contributed to cinema. Her book is divided into chapters of different eras of cinema, leading back to its dawn in the 19th century, and each chapter has quick biographies of notable women of the time, written in a conversational, candid, and light tone. The first few chapters were often a slog to read through because I was less interested in the older figures than modern filmmakers. The book also should have had a more thorough editor, allowing for quicker pacing, tighter chapters, and a better format (or perhaps that was just the fault of a poor format for Kindle). The book did not need to be placed in a chronological timeline as it is, as many of the modern women had influences that went back. If the book had been written with an interwoven format, where modern women and influences were mixed with older ones, the book would've been more interesting, keeping the reader engaged as well as connecting different women through the ages. But ultimately, this book felt like a reference PBS Special, where you would see images of women and their accomplishments, with a voiceover by Gwen Ifill (rest in peace) narrating their accomplishments, rather than a book that brought these women to life. Still, I enjoyed Alicia's tone guiding me through women that contributed greatly to film, but were forgotten. The most notable thing I learned was how women disappeared from important positions in cinema over the years, and came to be considered mainly sex objects in a male-driven industry. My favorite chapters were Alice Guy Blanche, Lois Weber, Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe. The last two were particularly awakening because we only know their public images. I'm excited to see what Alicia comes up with for her follow up. I'm glad she wrote this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Richards

    A great overview of women working in Hollywood through the years. It doesn’t delve too far into each of the women featured in the book but gives a great succinct summary of their careers and how that has influenced others and impacted the industry. You can really feel Alicia Malone’s passion with the way she writes about these incredible women which I loved. This book has also definitely inspired me to go and do further research into some of the figures that I didn’t know a lot about and it’s de A great overview of women working in Hollywood through the years. It doesn’t delve too far into each of the women featured in the book but gives a great succinct summary of their careers and how that has influenced others and impacted the industry. You can really feel Alicia Malone’s passion with the way she writes about these incredible women which I loved. This book has also definitely inspired me to go and do further research into some of the figures that I didn’t know a lot about and it’s definitely added so many more movies to my watchlist! Overall it’s a great read for film geeks and anyone looking to learn a little more about women working in the film industry.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Give this book to all the film fans in your life, especially the high school aged women who love movies!! It is accessible and inspiring, and should galvanize a generation of feminists to transform the movie industry 🤞🏼

  9. 4 out of 5

    ㋛ ㋡

    An entertaining intro to women in film. Structurally could have been better. Earlier timeline much stronger.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I’ve always been into the Golden Age of Hollywood (~20s-60s) so most names in the first part of the book were familiar and I especially loved those stories. I knew the Hollywood industry is/was sexist, but I really had no idea how fiercely feminist the early female writers, actors, and directors were. Some stories fell flat compared to others, but overall, it’s a great collection filled with trivia tidbits on your favorites and an overview of how entertainment evolved with current events (wars, s I’ve always been into the Golden Age of Hollywood (~20s-60s) so most names in the first part of the book were familiar and I especially loved those stories. I knew the Hollywood industry is/was sexist, but I really had no idea how fiercely feminist the early female writers, actors, and directors were. Some stories fell flat compared to others, but overall, it’s a great collection filled with trivia tidbits on your favorites and an overview of how entertainment evolved with current events (wars, social justice issues, etc.). It’s about women, but it’s also about POC, LGTBQ+, and other minority communities and their fight to be represented in film, not only their roles in front of and behind the camera, but in the way their stories are told and represented. Women have made a larger stamp on the industry than I realized—even simply as an audience demographic. I enjoyed it more than expected and it's inspired me to learn and read more on this topic.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Danny Reid

    Important subject, but the writing is underwhelming.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Very interesting and inspiring read! I have so many new movies on my watch list because of this.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Casey Koester

    It's very clear that this book was Alicia's passion project. Her extensive research into women in all aspects of Hollywood production is extraordinary. Her coverage spans the birth of Hollywood all the way through the present day. It's hard to find information about who supports women in Hollywood right now, especially any men who see it as a priority. Alicia describes a few and gives glimmers of hope. She also describes the way the hiring system has worked since studios took over in the 1930s. H It's very clear that this book was Alicia's passion project. Her extensive research into women in all aspects of Hollywood production is extraordinary. Her coverage spans the birth of Hollywood all the way through the present day. It's hard to find information about who supports women in Hollywood right now, especially any men who see it as a priority. Alicia describes a few and gives glimmers of hope. She also describes the way the hiring system has worked since studios took over in the 1930s. How men were placed in charge because moviemaking became a profitable business and women were seen by investors as untrustworthy with large sums of money. Alicia particularly details the inequality in how men move through the ranks as directors of small indie films and are suddenly catapulted to directing a big budget blockbuster - after only one directorial credit. Men help each other out and she details a story of how Brad Bird (recently selected to co-host The Essentials on TCM...) did just this for Colin Trevorrow and Jurassic World. Colin had only directed one feature film at the time, but on Brad's say-so, he was given this huge chance. She brilliantly illustrates with loads of examples how women directors are not afforded this same courtesy - at least not by male power players. Women have consistently needed to prove their box-office worthiness with success after success before studios will trust them with a large budget feature. The only sticking point for me was the lack of a good editor and proofreader. There are glaring typos and errors on every other page (not an exaggeration). A little plea on the last page of the book to send errata to the publisher only serves to grate at me. The reader is not the person who should be proofreading a published work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Don Yarman

    If you enjoy Alicia Malone's introductions on TCM, you should check this book out. I saw Malone talk about this on the last TCM Cruise, and I could listen to her go on and on about the topic. The best part of this book are the profiles of little known women who, despite the forces of sexism arrayed against them, made important contributions to or marks on film history. Each profile left me wanting to know more: not of the stories I already know that are well-covered in books and documentaries of If you enjoy Alicia Malone's introductions on TCM, you should check this book out. I saw Malone talk about this on the last TCM Cruise, and I could listen to her go on and on about the topic. The best part of this book are the profiles of little known women who, despite the forces of sexism arrayed against them, made important contributions to or marks on film history. Each profile left me wanting to know more: not of the stories I already know that are well-covered in books and documentaries of their own (Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Ida Lupino), but those I'm not familiar with, like Dorothy Arzner who invented the boom mic when she saw how the stationary microphone limited Clara Bow's ability to move as she needed. There aren't long, sustained theses in this book, but the short profiles and interstitial essays are good for quick dips into the topic.

  15. 5 out of 5

    nad

    actually made me angry cry cause there’s nothing i want more than to carve out a path for myself in the industry and this (small) compendium has once again made me hyperaware of how difficult and practically impossible that is gonna be. it’s a good overview of how blatantly sexist the business was and still is to this day. i knew most stories already from my classes (film minor here) but there’s still a lot of interesting details and connections i never caught before. 4/5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ute Weiß

    I loved reading this book. Great overview of women in film. Food for thought as well. Quote: „The red carpet is a strange zone in the western world, one utterly untouched by feminism ... it is a place where there is a tacit agreement that both celebrities and the public are idiots and will be treated as such by entertainment journalists.“ According to the research described in the book this is about to change. Albeit slowly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eligah Boykin jr.

    A highly intelligent exposition on the Timeline of Women's contribution to Cinema and how this contribution can be expanded to include all the arenas of Film from the top down and inside and outside the theaters of today and beneath the marques! A highly intelligent exposition on the Timeline of Women's contribution to Cinema and how this contribution can be expanded to include all the arenas of Film from the top down and inside and outside the theaters of today and beneath the marques!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grace Lynch

    If you want a non fiction read on the story of women in cinema from the past to present, you may enjoy this. It doesn’t cover everything such as Greta Garbo, but mainly many feminists in Hollywood. Still an entertaining read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marykatherine Woodson

    I thought this was well written and great content. The history of film is a woman history but without the credit.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Some women I knew, some I didn’t, but all need to be remembered.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karla

    Inspiring!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a really interesting book that deals effectively with women in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. Structurally there were some elements that distracted me a bit, but overall Alicia pulls together very interesting stories of women, many of whom have been largely forgotten by history. She also pulls examples of exceptional people currently working, so it's got an optimistic twist! This is a really interesting book that deals effectively with women in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. Structurally there were some elements that distracted me a bit, but overall Alicia pulls together very interesting stories of women, many of whom have been largely forgotten by history. She also pulls examples of exceptional people currently working, so it's got an optimistic twist!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    A decent overview of the history of women in Hollywood, but generally it doesn't go into as much detail as I would have liked, and the writing style struck me as rather unsophisticated, so that much of it felt like reading a juvenile biography. Still, it covers a lot of ground and is an acceptable introduction to the subject. A decent overview of the history of women in Hollywood, but generally it doesn't go into as much detail as I would have liked, and the writing style struck me as rather unsophisticated, so that much of it felt like reading a juvenile biography. Still, it covers a lot of ground and is an acceptable introduction to the subject.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    UGH. Is there a feminist version of white-washing? Where you present only the good facts that support your argument and ignore everything else - even though examining the bad with the good would have been WAY more interesting?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    The mileage you get out of this book will definitely depend on what you want from it, but for me it’s a wonderful collection of stories both new and familiar (to me) that chronicle some of the biggest issues, fights, and accomplishments for women throughout the history of Hollywood. This definitely isn’t the book for someone who wants a deep, textbook-like recounting of these stories. Each one is instead told as a brief summary, but personally I enjoy that. It’s a great starting place for people The mileage you get out of this book will definitely depend on what you want from it, but for me it’s a wonderful collection of stories both new and familiar (to me) that chronicle some of the biggest issues, fights, and accomplishments for women throughout the history of Hollywood. This definitely isn’t the book for someone who wants a deep, textbook-like recounting of these stories. Each one is instead told as a brief summary, but personally I enjoy that. It’s a great starting place for people who are new to this topic and still a nice little collection that makes for easy reference for those who are a bit more well versed. The tone remains mostly conversational in a way that fits nicely with the brevity of each entry. Also, it’s great that there’s a keen eye toward intersectionality throughout the book! Admittedly, the section about the present felt a little weak, especially when it comes to recounting the careers of those who are still active. While the earlier stories had room for nuance about projects that were more or less successful (both financially and creatively) this one could at times feel like a stream of compliments scattered throughout the otherwise valuable information. Obviously it could be awkward to include the more negative side of things here, but I think that ignoring it makes those entries feel a little artificial. It also means we lose an opportunity to discuss other troubling phenomena, in particular the idea that every film made by women, or even just about women, needs to be wildly successful in order to justify making another one, as opposed to the streams of mediocre movies made by men, about men that change nothing. Overall though I’m so glad to have this book! Alicia Malone is such a valuable part of the film community and it makes me really happy that she’s using her influence to spread these stories.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Annika

    I've been a long-time fan of Alicia's work so naturally I picked up her book on women in film. I was not disappointed! For people who are interested in the topic, but haven't read up on it yet, such as myself, it is the perfect starting point. In 'Backwards and in Heels', Alicia includes a varity of stories about the unsung sheroes of film history, each highlighting the ways in which these women have changed and shaped the film industry, knocked on the glass ceiling and persisted when faced with I've been a long-time fan of Alicia's work so naturally I picked up her book on women in film. I was not disappointed! For people who are interested in the topic, but haven't read up on it yet, such as myself, it is the perfect starting point. In 'Backwards and in Heels', Alicia includes a varity of stories about the unsung sheroes of film history, each highlighting the ways in which these women have changed and shaped the film industry, knocked on the glass ceiling and persisted when faced with injustice, sexism and/or racism. As a result, I've not only learned a lot about film, but also found a whole lot of strong and inspiring women to look up to. What I love most is that Alicia made sure to include as many different POVs as possible, including women of color and members of the LGBTQ-community in her research and interviews. Despite having the main focus on female actors and directors, she also gives voice to writers, cinematographers and producers, continuing her theme of including a lot of different perspectives. Finally, I found her style of writing very easy to follow, informative (but not boring) and personal. For me, this was ideal since I was not merely looking for information, but wanted to hear her personal opinion on the topic. I also love that her passion for film and for supporting women is shining through on every single page. I will definitly take a closer look at her bibliography and continue to educate myself on the topic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    Thank you Alicia Malone for writing this book. I see a lot of reviews below complaining about how each section was too short or that they had heard of these women so they were bored. I appreciate that most in the latter did not rate. As a woman who has worked in the film and television industry for 14 years after dreaming of getting into it for almost the equivalent period of time, this was the first book I had ever picked up devoted solely to women in the film industry. For the period prior to Thank you Alicia Malone for writing this book. I see a lot of reviews below complaining about how each section was too short or that they had heard of these women so they were bored. I appreciate that most in the latter did not rate. As a woman who has worked in the film and television industry for 14 years after dreaming of getting into it for almost the equivalent period of time, this was the first book I had ever picked up devoted solely to women in the film industry. For the period prior to 1960, not a single one of those actresses or filmmakers were so much as referenced in any of my classes in one of the best film schools in the nation despite having learned about some of the powerful men that Ms. Malone pointed out claimed the credit. In my entrance into this career path, my inspiration was powerful men who I aspired to not realizing their were women who had paved that path years before. While I craved more detail as I read this book, especially the first half of it, the only thing that remained consistent is that this should be mandatory reading at film schools across the nation. These short tidbits could easily inspire young women to do their own research on these women and find alternate career paths that they did not know were available. So again I cannot thank the author enough for this book. I’ll be reading her others in due time. If you are a filmmaker or aspiring to be one (whether male, female, or other) I highly recommend this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    r.b.

    Fellow film geeks, you should definitely check this out! Along with her second book, The Female Gaze, I've learned so much from Alicia Malone's writing. I've been a fan of hers on TCM for a couple of years now (alongside Ben Mankiewiecz, my TV boyfriend) but lately, she's become my new hero/girlcrush and I've already watched a few movies I hadn't seen before that I was really missing out on (and spent some of my stimmy on even more because I am Financially Irresponsible). This book takes a look a Fellow film geeks, you should definitely check this out! Along with her second book, The Female Gaze, I've learned so much from Alicia Malone's writing. I've been a fan of hers on TCM for a couple of years now (alongside Ben Mankiewiecz, my TV boyfriend) but lately, she's become my new hero/girlcrush and I've already watched a few movies I hadn't seen before that I was really missing out on (and spent some of my stimmy on even more because I am Financially Irresponsible). This book takes a look at women in film during the past as well as providing an interesting look at some women working in the industry today. A couple of the most jarring facts were that up until Rachel Morrison in 2017 for Mudbound, no women had ever even been *nominated* for Best Cinematography. At the time the book was published, only 3% of film composers were women. I asked my brother if he could name any and aside from Wendy Carlos & Hildur Gudnadottir, who won an Oscar for The Joker last year, neither of us could name a single woman film composer. I sped through this book within 24 hours spent at my Mom's house after a plumbing tragedy led to a water shutdown at mine and let me tell you, it was a wonderful escape to just immerse myself in all this film history and trivia rather than being bogged down by pipe induced stress.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    It's late right now and I'm technically on vacation, so I'm sorry if this review is a bit weird. I really enjoyed this book though. I don't read non-fiction very often because I typically get bored, so, for me, I read through this really quickly. I've always liked movies, but I've recently started getting more and more into film, which makes this book perfect for me. Alicia Malone writes in a way that's simple and approachable, but doesn't talk down to her readers. The topics and people she writes It's late right now and I'm technically on vacation, so I'm sorry if this review is a bit weird. I really enjoyed this book though. I don't read non-fiction very often because I typically get bored, so, for me, I read through this really quickly. I've always liked movies, but I've recently started getting more and more into film, which makes this book perfect for me. Alicia Malone writes in a way that's simple and approachable, but doesn't talk down to her readers. The topics and people she writes about are explored, but not extremely deeply, so it's good for someone like me who doesn't know a lot about the topic yet. The stories and statistics in the book are eye opening, with most even worse than I expected. It made me want to scream sometimes, but I didn't want to stop reading because I was learning so many new and interesting things. The only thing that bothered me was that there are many typos in the book. I got the book off Amazon, so I shouldn't have an unedited copy. It wasn't a major problem, since I always knew what it was supposed to be, but it was distracting when they would pop up every thirty pages or so. Otherwise, it's a very informative and interesting book. TLDR: This book is good. It's an easy read, but also will teach the reader a lot of new information.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stevie

    More like a 3.75/5. A novel collecting mini essays going into small detail about famous women who paved the way for female filmmakers today. I wish they went more in depth with the scope of the film industry's environment at certain historic points, and I wish there was more of a balance of POC names in this book, but that's the industry's fault. Really insightful about the connections needed to advance in film careers. "Dudes can be assholes and they are considered geniuses. If they are meek, t More like a 3.75/5. A novel collecting mini essays going into small detail about famous women who paved the way for female filmmakers today. I wish they went more in depth with the scope of the film industry's environment at certain historic points, and I wish there was more of a balance of POC names in this book, but that's the industry's fault. Really insightful about the connections needed to advance in film careers. "Dudes can be assholes and they are considered geniuses. If they are meek, they are considered artistic introverts. Women can be neither of the above. You have to toe the line between strong and engaged but also kid and compassionate. The artistic talent alone is not enough in this industry, because we don't operate in a bubble. It is a collaborative medium and at times a political environment, so practice your social cues along with your grip, lighting and camera work and eventually you will rise to the top." - Cinematographer, Rachel Morrison.

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