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Daily Reads: Woody Allen's Publicity Problem, 'Orange Is the New Black,' Larry-style, and More

Criticwire By Max O'Connell | Criticwire July 17, 2014 at 9:50AM

Plus: Comparing "The Strain's" TV and comic-book iterations, and why there aren't more great female directors.
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Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino

Criticwire's Daily Reads brings today's essential news stories and critical pieces to you.

1. "The Strain": Comics vs. TV. Fan of the new FX series "The Strain"? Curious about how close the show is to Guillermo Del Toro's comic books? Wonder no more, because Bleeding Cool has post comparing the two:

Huddleston’s art style in the comics reminds me a bit of Gabriel Bá and Eduardo Risso at times, but it’s definitely his own style and extremely consistent issue after issue, series after series. While the comic doesn’t serve as a storyboard for the show, some of the shots sync up perfectly from both mediums. It’s not "Sin City," but it was definitely entertaining to find the panels that matched the shots in the show. Read more.


2. Why Have There Been No Great Woman Directors? Answer: there have been, but, as one might expect, they haven't been represented. Alexandra Heller-Nicholas addresses the issue by going all the way back to the first Hollywood star to move from acting to directing, Ida Lupino, whose film "Outrage" tackles the subject of rape not as a thing of the past, but as a reality of the present.

If you haven’t heard of Outrage you are not alone – and it’s not only the boys who are to blame. Even feminist film critic Molly Haskell overlooked the film in her otherwise excellent book "From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies (1974)," where she lambasts Lupino for her hypersexualised star persona and "masculinised" films, effectively accusing her of being a gender traitor who made movies that were "conventional, even sexist." Read more.


3. The Real "Orange Is the New Black" – From Larry. Fans of the Netflix Original Series "Orange Is the New Black" know that the show is based on a book by Piper Kerman (Chapman in the show), and some of them have likely read the book to see where the show deviates from the source. But Kerman's husband Larry Smith, the inspiration for Jason Biggs's Larry Bloom, has his own perspective on the story. He speaks about his first learning about the deeds that landed Kerman in jail:

I don’t remember the exact first words I said on that fire escape. But the scene that played out before us was pretty close to what happens between Piper Chapman and Larry Bloom in the first episode of Season 1 of "Orange Is the New Black." I didn’t say, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Clearly she wasn’t. The blood did not drain out of my body leaving me lifeless, nor did I lose my mind and start screaming. I didn’t, like Larry Bloom, exclaim, “Who are you? I feel like I’m in a Bourne movie! Have you killed?” But I wish I had—it’s a great line. Read more.


4. Woody Allen on "Bad Publicity." Woody Allen has a new film on the way, and while his fans try (and usually fail) to look past the allegations of sexual abuse that flared up during the "Blue Jasmine" Oscar campaign, Allen's unconcerned about how it may or may not affect the audience for his future films, saying that "No thoughts like that ever occur to me. They only occur to you guys."

“I don’t think anyone has ever not come to a film of mine that they thought they would enjoy,” he added. “Nothing keeps them away if they think they’ll enjoy the film. And if they don’t think they’ll enjoy the film, nothing we can do ever brings them in.” Read more.


5. The Style Essentials: Ginger Rogers in "Swing Time." 
Ginger Rogers was an extraordinary dancer, singer and actress (likely the more talented of the famous Astaire/Rogers pair), but she was also a fashion icon. Rogers's favorite of her own films, "Swing Time," might best typify this, and GlamAmor chose to highlight just how Bernard Newman's costumes brought the best out of her.

Another dress from "Swing Time" — the "Never Gonna Dance" bias cut gown — is perhaps the sexiest dress Ginger ever wore. She looks so luscious that you would never guess how much strain she was under while wearing it. "Never Gonna Dance" was the pair's most ambitious number together and one that was plagued with problems; everything seemed to go wrong while shooting, which took more than 48 takes and made Ginger's feet bleed in her shoes. Yet, without complaint, she powered through and the dress became the film's most influential, inspiring countless copies at the time and many an homage continue to exist in fashion today. "I can never emphasize enough how important clothing was to me," Ginger said, relating to these costumes in her autobiography. For her, they made the difference between a performance that was good and one that was great. Read more.


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This article is related to: Woody Allen, The Strain, Daily Reads, Orange is the New Black


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