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Monday 25 September 2017

Reel Life

Controversy: This scene got knickers in a twist
Controversy: This scene got knickers in a twist
Box office trash: Sly couldn’t save turkey Bullet To The Head

Declan Cashin

Last week, the New York Film Academy published a thorough – and thoroughly damning – study of gender inequality in movies, looking at how women have been portrayed in the top 500 films released between 2007 and 2012.

The results: 30.8pc of speaking characters in those films are men and only 10.7pc of films have a balanced cast where half of the characters are women.

It also found that 28.8pc of women in those films wear sexually revealing clothing (as opposed to only 7pc of the men), and 26.2pc of female characters get partially naked, while only 9.4pc of the men do – bringing to mind this year's controversy over Alice Eve's gratuitous underwear shot in Star Trek: Into Darkness and director JJ Abrams' lame response in an attempt to neuter the row by showing a topless Benedict Cumberbatch that was actually cut from the movie.

What else? Well, the percentage of teenage females depicted with some nudity has increased by 32.5pc.

There is a 10.6pc increase in female characters on screen when a female director is in charge and an 8.7pc increase when a female screenwriter pens the movie.

Keep all those stats in mind when you consider the final finding in the report: exactly half of movie tickets sold in the US were bought by women.

There are other stats covering wider industry inequality and gender bias in awards, while also listing some inspiring female roles over the past decade, including Rooney Mara's Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games .

To see the full report, go to: www.nyfa.edu/film-school-blog/gender-inequality-in-film/

* This week, Forbes magazine named and shamed the biggest movie flops of 2013 in the US, headed by WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate (budget $28m, gross earnings $6m), Sly Stallone's Bullet To The Head ($25m cost, $9m earnings) and the little-seen Paranoia ($35m budget, $13.5m gross).

The other turkeys include the Jason Statham/J Lo-starring Parker, Broken City, Battle Of The Year, Getaway, Peeples, R.I.P.D. and The Big Wedding.

* Musician Ed Sheeran could "do an Adele" by winning a Best Song Oscar next year. He has written a track entitled I See Fire for the sequel to The Hobbit that qualifies him for the award.

Sheeran's competition could be the unstoppable Pharrell Williams, for his track Happy from Despicable Me 2.

* Finally, this weekend the IFI in Dublin hosts the three-day Lithuanian Film Focus to coincide with Lithuania's presidency of the EU Council.

The centrepiece of the programme, Kristina Buožyte's Vanishing Waves, which was named Best Film at this year's Dublin International Film Festival, screens tonight at 6.15pm.

It's a science-fiction romance in the vein of Tarkovsky, Almodovar and Michel Gondry about a medical researcher who volunteers to take part in an experiment that aims to communicate with a young woman in a coma.

Buožyte is in town to take part in a post-screening Q&A session.

Other films featured include Gytis Luksas' most recent offering, Vortex, and Šarunas Bartas' Eastern Drift. See www.ifi.ie

Irish Independent

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