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Top Stories Of The Week: Women, Cinema & Sexism; Mersal Row And More

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Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s case was just the tip of the iceberg. Weinsteins exist all over the world – powerful men who prey on women, even as they cloak themselves in male privilege. The South Indian film industry, we found, was no different. The workplace is not designed to be comfortable for women, with a notable lack of basic facilities and a firmly established patriarchal setup.

Read here: Women, Cinema & Sexism: When Film Sets Are Designed For Men & Other Struggles As Reported By The Female Crew

Being a dance assistant in the film industry is no mean feat. An assistant speaks to Silverscreen about her life thus far, and the many ways by which FEFSI tries to protect the women members.

Read here: Women, Cinema & Sexism: The Life Of A Dance Assistant In The South

A couple of backup dancers, on the other hand, told us a whole different story about life in the industry. From inappropriate contact under the guise of coaching to lewd men who stand outside dressing rooms, their ‘awkward as hell’ life stories were at once pitiful and truly horrifying.

Read here: Women, Cinema & Sexism: ‘Harassment Happens Under The Guise Of Coaching; Women Do It Too’, Says Budding Dancer

Cinematography is largely a male dominated field. Fowzia Fathima attests to this fact in a special interview with us.

Read here: Women, Cinema & Sexism: Fowzia Fathima On Being Passed Over In Favour Of Male Cinematographers

Indian cinema has for the most part done its female fans a huge disservice. Much of the films made over the past few decades are full of sexism and misogyny, according to a recent study.

Read here: Sexism In Cinema: A Study Of Over 4,000 Bollywood Films Shows What We’ve Known All Along

With films like Arjun Reddy, Judwaa 2 dominating public discourse, it is clear that as far as Bollywood is concerned – activism is very much a matter of convenience.

Read here: Women, Cinema & Sexism: In Bollywood, Activism Is A Matter Of Convenience

David Fincher’s Mindhunter was another topic that occupied social media for much of last week. A crime thriller, the latest Netflix series offered a rare glimpse into America in the 70s.

Read here: Mindhunter: Not Just A Crime Thriller On Serial Killers, It’s Also A Study Of 70s America

Mersal and its many controversies continued to dominate social media. Political leaders and film stars rushed to offer support to the film and its male lead, Vijay. The movie, which opened to mixed reviews earlier this month, profited considerably from the controversies. It is on its way to the Rs 200 crore club, according to trade experts.

Read here: Never Seen Before: Tamil Film Fraternity Comes Together To Support Mersal & Vijay

Embargo on movie releases, copyright and issues with the censor board — Mersal faced it all in the past week alone. But the controversies did not stop even after the film’s release on Deepavali (October 18). It took a political turn when the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP demanded cuts for the scenes pertaining to Goods and Services Tax (GST) and demonetisation. BJP’s national secretary H Raja raked up a new controversy accusing Vijay of having an anti-Hindu agenda.

Mersal, it seems, is controversy’s favourite new child.

Read here: Mersal, Controversy’s New Child: The Story So Far

Renowned filmmaker IV Sasi passed away earlier this week. A true blooded filmmaker of the masses, the man dominated Malayalam cinema in the 70s and was often hailed as a pathbreaking director.

In his youth, he made films relentlessly, one after another, at a pace no one can aspire for in these days. While it was Sasi’s films such as Devasuram, and Aavanazhi that established Mohanlal and Mammootty as the epitome of masculinity (an image the actors would excessively exploit in their later inferior films), the renowned director has also made many films where the two actors played flawed men who didn’t conform to the societal notions of heroism.

Read here: IV Sasi Was A True-Blooded Filmmaker Of The Masses

If there’s something that Lokesh Kumar, director of My Son Is Gay, had come to realise, it is the non-portrayal of the LGBTQ community on screen; the representations thus far, in regional cinema at least, have been truly terrible. But, My Son Is Gay just cannot be compared with the lot, for it not only tells the tale of a mother and son who are unable to come to terms with the latter’s sexuality, but also aims to educate the masses in a largely heteronormative society.

Silverscreen catches up with the team of My Son Is Gay – from the director and actors to the editor and cinematographer – and documents their individual sentiments about the film.

Read here: In Conversation With The Team Behind ‘My Son Is Gay’: ‘It Is A Love Story Like Any Other’

In the 90s, when independent artistes were slowly making their way into the music scene, one could listen to a piece of music that wasn’t actually a part of a film. It was the time of MTV and Channel V. It was the time of Baba Sehgal.

Read here: Baba Sehgal, The 90s Icon Who Introduced Desi Hip-Hop

Art director Muthuraj is hot property right now. From Mersal to Rajinikanth’s 2.0, Muthuraj has worked on some of the biggest films this year. In our ‘Get To Know’ series, he talks to us about his work and why the advent of computer graphics is both a boon and a bane.

Read here: Get To Know: ‘Mersal’, ‘2.0’s Art Director Muthuraj

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