Hollywood women, modern art: two documentaries

THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING (2019) is a documentary on sexism in Hollywood, taking its title from the repeated declarations that the spectacular surprise success of Movie X — Thelma and Louise for example — is a game-changer that guarantees Hollywood will have to take women-led films/female directors/the female audience seriously … and somehow it never happens.

As someone who writes about both movies and sexism, there’s not a lot here that’s new to me, but that doesn’t make this a bad film. The most interesting parts were the personal stories — a woman director watching Mel Brooks call out the Directors Guild for not giving women more support, or one black woman’s awe at seeing Diahann Carroll as John Forsythe’s half-sister on Dynasty — a black woman who was wealthy, held her own with white people and could slap Joan Collins without getting arrested. “If you open yourself up to it, the work gets better.”

MY KID COULD PAINT THAT (2007) is a documentary about a four-year-old art prodigy whose abstract paintings became hot commodities on the New York art scene until Charlie Rose did a 60 Minutes piece claiming (rather dubiously from what we see here) that her dad did most of the work. This killed the kid’s  career until the family released a DVD showing her doing all the painting herself. However the subject is less the girl than the perennial question of how we evaluate, interpret and understand art (the paintings becoming less valuable when “she didn’t paint them herself” was the story) and whether abstract modern art has any meaning. Good job. “It’s never just about art, it’s about the story art tells.”

#SFWApro. All rights to the image remain with current holder.

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One response to “Hollywood women, modern art: two documentaries

  1. Pingback: Black filmmakers, a black filmmaker and Black Adam: movies viewed | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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