‘A fascinating polemic’ Sunday Times ‘A powerful, sobering and vital work’ The Mail on Sunday ‘A page-turning read, peppered with humour’ Sight & Sound’A must read’ Edgar Wright A call to arms from Empire magazine’s ‘geek queen’, Helen O’Hara, that explores women’s roles – both in front of and behind the camera – since the birth of Hollywood, how those roles are reflected within wider society and what we can do to level the playing field.
Hollywood was born just over a century ago, at a time of huge forward motion for women’s rights.
With no rules in place to stop them, there were women who forged ahead in many areas of filmmaking.
Yet, despite the work of early pioneers like Dorothy Arzner, Mabel Normand, Mary Pickford and Alice Guy-Blache, it soon came to embody the same old sexist standards.
Women found themselves fighting a system that fed on their talent, creativity and beauty but refused to pay them the same respect as their male contemporaries – until now . . . The tide has finally begun to turn. A new generation of women, both in front of and behind the camera, are making waves in the industry and are now shaping some of the biggest films to hit our screens. In Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film, film critic Helen O’Hara takes a closer look at the pioneering and talented women of Hollywood and their work in film since Hollywood began. And in understanding how women were largely written out of Hollywood’s own origin story, and how the films we watch are put together, we can finally see how to put an end to a picture that is so deeply unequal – and discover a multitude of stories out there just waiting to be told.