It was International Women's Day earlier this week and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) took the opportunity to announce that a full 50 per cent of its production budget will go towards films directed by women.
A study by non-profit organization Women in Film found that women make up only 17 per cent of Canadian directors and 22 per cent of writers, and while the NFB has never been as male-lopsided as Hollywood, the announcement represents a firm commitment to gender parity.
South of the border, Hollywood has a lot of work to do on that issue but they're trying, (kinda, so long as it's profitable). The trailer just dropped for the new, all-women Ghostbusters remake from director Paul Feig, whose last three flicks Spy, The Heat and Bridesmaids have scored big box-office victories for female-driven film.
Billed as a re-imagining rather than a remake, the new Ghostbusters is co-written by Katie Dippold and stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. The film comes out this summer and early word is Bill Murray makes an appearance.
Opening in theatres this week: 10 Cloverfield Lane is a sort-of sequel to the barely memorable 2007 found-footage alien invasion film Cloverfield. Luckily, things look a lot better this time around. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) stars as a young woman who wakes up from a car crash to discover she's trapped in an underground bunker with a doomsday survivalist (John Goodman) and his neighbour, who both claim the outside world is no longer liveable due to some sort of massive chemical attack.
Is the horror outside real? And is it more horrible than the horror inside? Smart, tense, and brilliantly acted, 10 Cloverfield Lane rocks a sort of Room-meets-The Twilight Zone vibe full of claustrophobia, unease and thick heavy silence. Totally worth seeing, and Winstead is phenomenal as always.
Also opening, The Brothers Grimsby sees method-actor Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G Indahouse, Borat) return to the big screen, this time with what looks like an 18A-rated spy-spoof action-comedy with enough obscenity and lowbrow humour to fill an elephant's vagina.
Baron Cohen stars as the idiot brother of an English super-spy who is dragged along on a mission. This one looks terrible but you can always count on Baron Cohen to push the envelope, and there are always some real laughs to be found. Baron Cohen mixes commentary with his comedy and it looks like more than a bit of fun/criticism is poked at the English working class (Grimsby is not the brothers' last name but rather where they are from, a northern U.K. town that hopefully isn't as shitty in real life).
Directed by Transporter journeyman Louis Leterrier, this one at least has the good sense to clock in at just 83 minutes. Also, is Rebel Wilson in every movie this year?