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Can Male Hatters be feminists?

Five things that critics got wrong about Alice in Wonderland,
and one critic who is on the right track.

This piece is actually a critique of the critiques of the movie Alice in Wonderland, book by Lewis Carroll, screenplay by Linda Woolverton, and direction by Tim Burton. Overall, I thought the movie was enjoyable, imaginative and enlightening. I was also surprised to find some moments of heartfelt feminism.

In looking over the reviews of the movie on line, I found a surprising lack of understanding, and some dismissive negativity, about the movie. Much—but not all—of the response was related to the issue of feminism in the film.

Here are five things that most critics got wrong about the Linda Woolverton and Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland: (Note, this piece is heavy on plot-spoilers. Don’t read it if you want to watch the movie and be surprised.)

  1. The litmus test for feminism is not the female star. (more…)

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The Feminist Initiative film and discussion
last in the series…
Women’s Herstory Across the Globe

The Feminist Initiative
Sunday, April 26 at 2pm
Cinema Arts Centre
www.cinemaartscentre.org
423 Park Avenue Huntington, NY

Guest Speakers:

Hedda Marcus, Professor of English, Women’s Studies and Multidisciplinary Studies at Nassau Community College

Kimberly Wilder, writer at Independent Political Report, blogger of Georgiana Circle: Women Healing History

Andrea Callan, Executive Director of the NYCLU Suffolk County Chapter

Moderator: Charlotte Koons, board member of NYCLU, member CODEPINK

feminism ~ third parties ~coalition building ~ media ~ messaging ~ women
__________________________________________________________________

$9 Members / $12 Public / Includes Reception (more…)

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Part of a series: Women’s Herstory Across the Globe

Film: America’s Victoria
Remembering Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for US President in 1872
and
Presentation/Reception with Victoria Bond
Composer/Conductor

Thursday, March 26 at 7:30pm
Cinema Arts Centre
Huntington, LI, New York

$9 Members / $12 Public / Includes Reception

Information and tickets:
– 24 hour showtime information: 631 423-3456 or 423-2696
– Call 631-423-7610 to get the Cinema Arts Centre Monthly Program Guide
– Cinema Arts Centre 423 Park Avenue Huntington, NY 11743

Co-presented by Huntington League of Women Voters

The extraordinary ambition of Victoria Woodhull is the subject of America’s Victoria: The Victoria Woodhull Story, as her 1872 campaign for the presidency of the U.S. is documented. Enough people supported her cause to ensure a nomination, and although she was a strong advocate of women’s suffrage, she had other issues on her agenda, including marriage reform and legalization of prostitution. Her opponents mounted an attack on her personal life, and her story is told here with the help of Gloria Steinem and Kate Capshaw. USA, 1998, 54 min.; Director: Victoria Weston

Selection from the 2002 chamber opera, Mrs. President, composed by Victoria Bond, will be played following the film.

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Ralph Fiennes, out of costume

Ralph Fiennes, out of costume

Painting of the 5th Duke of Devonshire

Painting of the 5th Duke of Devonshire

As a devoted fan of the real Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and as someone who enjoyed the movie “The Duchess” very much, I have definite opinions on all of the characters, and on the portrayals in the movie.

I decided that I am still a little frustrated that Ralph Fiennes portrayed William, the fifth Duke of Devonshire, in such a sympathetic light. Though, in thinking about it, at least Fiennes showed the flaws in the Duke’s character, and did not do what would have been tragic – make the Duke seem charming or especially sexually appealing, after all the Duke’s womanizing and emotional abuse of his wife.

It is also disappointing that the portrayal of the Duke is up for so many awards, when it is Georgiana who should have been (and was in some measure)  “a light burning at the center of the film”, as commentary on the DVD edition notes. Perhaps because I had read the book by Amanda Foreman, I still saw Georgiana’s light as the center of the film. Indeed, the story would probably have not been told if it were not for her flair, her fame and her fashion sense. And, contrary to some critics, I believe that Keira Knightley’s portrayal of Georgiana was wonderful. Knightley was able to portray the character and emotions in the range of an innocent young bride of 17-years-old, to an aristocratic woman having a passionate affair, to a mother and wife who has come to terms with her place in life. (more…)

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