FILMME GUILD: TODD HAYNES' SAFE
These are defiant times for women in movies, from Jennifer Aniston's scathing open letter to prying paparazzi to shushing Ghostbusters bias; from protesting the industry's salary gap between men and women to demanding better roles.
As the tide turns in Hollywood, cinematic feminism is on display right here in Tampa Bay.
Allie Gemmill, 26, of Tampa founded the Filmme Guild, inspired by European salons where communities gather and conversation reigns. The group is focused on intersecting film and feminist themes, like Thursday's offering, Todd Haynes' 1995 drama Safe, starring Julianne Moore, right.
"There have been some pretty contentious profiles, interviews of female celebrities, criticisms of the community at large that have been raising hackles," Gemmill said. "Considering that, and considering how people as a whole have a sharper eye on how women intersect with film, it's a pretty exciting time to be doing this."
Safe begins at 6 p.m. today at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts, part of the venue's $5 after 5 p.m. offer on Thursdays. Admission includes the corresponding exhibit, "Shana Moulton: Journeys Outside the Body."
After the movie, Gemmill will be joined by yours truly, mental health advocate Dr. Maryann Frost and the museum's Margaret Murray for a discussion and audience Q&A.
“Safe focuses on a woman's journey, at a time in the late '80s when perhaps feminism was at a lull, in terms of its pop culture usage," Gemmill said. "It's her emergence from cocoons; her housewife cocoon, her mother cocoon. … It's a bit unsettling but there are so many themes being contended with … coming of age, mental health, sexuality. Really important themes that risk becoming exploitative in the wrong hands."
A Blake High School and Penn State grad, Gemmill returned to Tampa last year after earning a graduate degree in film studies at King's College in London. While overseas, Gemmill worked with independent film societies, emphasizing feminist cinema. Back home, she noticed a dearth of such programs around Tampa, and Filmme Guild was created, with the idea of being "specialized but still fun, and not too incredibly esoteric."
For more information, visit thefilmmeguild.com.
OPENING THURSDAY: STAR TREK BEYOND
This is what happens when stars czar J.J. Abrams defects for that other space adventure: A Star Trek movie that Paramount Pictures wouldn't show to critics for review. That's a first, for what isn't the last of this franchise, with a fourth rebooted chapter already announced.
Paramount is screening Star Trek Beyond (PG-13) this week at Comic-Con, where even Tribble dung would get a standing ovation.
The entire rebooted Enterprise crew returns, including Anton Yelchin as Chekov, in one of his final performances. Yelchin died in June, in a freak auto accident. Other than that tragedy, the news is John Cho's Sulu, right, being outed as gay in a tribute to the original, George Takei, a gay rights activist who wasn't flattered.
After enjoying Abrams' two reboots, I'll take a chance on director Justin Lin.
A review will be published at tampabay.com/movies and on Etc, Page 2B.
OPENING FRIDAY: LIGHTS OUT, ICE AGE V
Not sure what's more terrifying: a bogeywoman sneaking in the dark or sitting through a fifth Ice Age movie. Heck, some zombies don't show such resilience in the face of disdain.
The answer should be easy. Lights Out is purely intended to scare in a relatively understated PG-13 fashion that The Conjuring and Insidious franchises made fashionable again. This one features a young woman named Rebecca (Teresa Palmer), whose little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) endures nightly encounters with a ghost named Diana. Wouldn't you know, Rebecca had the same visions as a child. Mom (Maria Bello, above ) isn't telling them something.
Ice Age: Collision Course (PG) is a different sort of horror, a franchise surprising at every turn, especially screenwriters who must keep coming up with skimpy plots for a shallow pool of characters. Seriously, after Sid the sloth, (voice of John Leguizamo) and Scrat the squirrel (thankfully wordless), none of these prehistoric critters do much that's memorable.
But, hey, it's for the kids.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 The Infiltrator: Bryan Cranston and Tampa Bay co-star in a true crime drama.
2 Absolutely Fabulous: The fashion world satire Zoolander wishes it could be.
3 The Secret Life of Pets: Toy Story with animals, and nearly as much magic.
4 Ghostbusters: Not as good or bad as anyone hoped, but fun nonetheless.
5 The BFG: Mark Rylance's motion-capture performance is awards bait.
(Dates subject to change)
July 27: Nerve
July 29: Jason Bourne; Bad Moms; Cafe Society; Captain Fantastic
Aug. 5: Suicide Squad; Nine Lives
Aug. 12: Sausage Party; Pete's Dragon; Florence Foster Jenkins
Aug. 19: Ben-Hur; War Dogs; Collide; The Space Between Us; Kubo and the Two Strings