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Toy company Hasbro has taken a lot of criticism in recent weeks regarding the conspicuous absence of Rey, the lead female character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, from its Star Wars-themed Monopoly game. A lot of people have made thoughtful and well-articulated arguments about why this is sexist, but probably the most insightful (and concise) critique came in the form of a brief letter to the company written in rainbow colours by an eight-year-old girl: “Dear Hasbro,
Various actors called for a boycott of the 2016 Oscars ahead of the awards night held on February 28, due to the lack of Black nominees for the second year in a row. Many spoke out about Hollywood's racism, with no non-white nominees in major categories for the second year running, via the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has filed a lawsuit against Distinctive Assets, the company distributing a luxury gift bag to Oscar nominees that includes an all-expenses paid trip to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government. “Distinctive Assets has been falsely representing that its extravagant 'gift bags' [are] redistributed by the Academy, at its direction, or with its endorsement or approval,” an Academy spokesperson told the Hollywood trade publication Variety.
Punks For West Papua Directed by Anthony Brennan 46 minutes www.punks4westpapua.com A friend's request to film a punk rock concert and a rushed drive across Sydney to do a last-minute interview with West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda — without even knowing who the twice Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist was — was the catalyst for filmmaker Anthony “Ash” Brennan to make his award-winning film Punks For West Papua.
Jessica Jones Created by Melissa Rosenburg Staring Krysten Ritter, David Tennant & Rachael Taylor Released by Netflix Jessica Jones is the second instalment in the fruitful Netflix-Marvel TV collaboration. Like the fantastic Daredevil before it, it is ruthlessly grim, dark and bloody, superbly well-acted and gorgeously produced. The gore and thematic material may not be for everyone. Viewers who have been looking for a dose of Daredevil's grittiness with compelling, complex female characters at its centre have found their poison.
Spotlight Directed by Thomas McCarthy Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery & Stanley Tucci In cinemas now In 2002, the Boston Globe newspaper's Spotlight investigative journalism team dropped a bombshell when they reported that at least 87 paedophile Roman Catholic priests had been actively shielded for decades by the archdiocese.
I BELIEVE that reviewers generally should disclose when they have a vested interest in the thing they're reviewing, so full disclosure: Barring another Jar Jar Binks fiasco, there was about as much chance of me--a geek hurtling toward middle age at light speed--hating J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII--The Force Awakens as there is of the Millennium Falcon successfully navigating an asteroid field.
Suffragette Directed by Sarah Gavron, written by Abi Morgan Starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter & Meryl Streep In cinemas now Suffragette, written by a woman (Abi Morgan), directed by a woman (Sarah Gavron) and co-produced by two women (Alison Owen and Faye Ward) is a paean of praise to the British women who rebelliously demanded the right for women to vote.
Amir Amirani's documentary film We Are Many — on the huge outpouring of public opposition to the Iraq War in February 2003 — has its Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival on Oct 22 and 24. On Feb 15, 2003, 30 million people marched against the impending US-led war in Iraq. The protesters warned the Iraq invasion would be a disaster and humanitarian catastrophe — and were tragically proven right.
Mexican-Lebanese actor and film producer Salma Hayek has said she never felt accepted by Hollywood. Talking with the Huffington Post, Hayek spoke out on racism in the United States and what it means to be an Arab Latina in the Hollywood industry. Promoting her new animated feature movie Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, based on Gibran's poetry book of the same name, Hayek said the US has a “very severe problem with discrimination that we try to overlook. It's there.”

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