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Women vs Hollywood

The Fall and Rise of Women in Film

Helen O'Hara

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Little Brown
23 February 2021
'An enlightening page-turner, stacked with stories and stats that will have your jaw on the floor' Anna Smith, host of the Girls On Film podcast 'This is the film history we need: one that gives leading roles to people who usually only get to be background players' Pamela Hutchinson, film historian and critic A call to arms from Empire magazine's 'geek queen', Helen O'Hara, that explores women's roles - both in front of and behind the camera - since the birth of Hollywood, how those roles are reflected within wider society and what we can do to level the playing field.

The dawn of cinema was a free-for-all, and there were women who forged ahead in many areas of filmmaking. Early pioneers like Dorothy Arzner (who invented the boom mic, among other innovations) and Alice Guy-Blache shaped the way films are made. But it wasn't long before these talented women were pushed aside and their contributions written out of film history. How and why did this happen?

Hollywood was born just over a century ago, at a time of huge forward motion for women's rights, yet it came to embody the same old sexist standards. Women found themselves fighting a system that feeds on their talent, creativity and beauty but refuses to pay them the same respect as their male contemporaries - until now...

The tide has finally begun to turn. A new generation of women, both in front of and behind the camera, are making waves in the industry and are now shaping some of the biggest films to hit our screens. There is plenty of work still needed before we can even come close to gender equality in film - but we're finally headed in the right direction.

In Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film, Empire's 'geek queen' Helen O'Hara takes a closer look at the pioneering and talented women of Hollywood and their work in film since Hollywood began. Equal representation in film matters because it both reflects and influences wider societal gender norms. In understanding how women were largely written out of Hollywood's own origin story, and how the films we watch are put together, we can finally see how to put an end to a picture that is so deeply unequal - and discover a multitude of stories out there just waiting to be told.
By:   Helen O'Hara
Imprint:   Little Brown
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   480g
ISBN:   9781472144423
ISBN 10:   1472144422
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   23 February 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Helen O'Hara has been working as a film journalist for over fifteen years, after qualifying as a barrister and immediately getting bored. She started her film writing career on the staff of Empire, the world's biggest film magazine, and remains their editor-at-large and co-host of the Empire podcast, where she can be found weekly singing the praises of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and complaining about La La Land. She is also an author and freelance writer. Northern Irish born, O'Hara now lives in London, splitting her time between cinemas, libraries and coffee shops.

Reviews for Women vs Hollywood: The Fall and Rise of Women in Film

A fascinating polemic * Sunday Times * A page-turning read, peppered with humour * Sight & Sound * Women vs Hollywood is fascinating and righteous. The research is incredible, as is the storytelling. It'll be a game changer for how the history of women in film is considered and told. The history is rich and deep and robust, but O'Hara also has such a precise point of view. An incredible piece of work that is as inspiring as it is informative -- Terri White, editor-in-chief of <i>Empire</i> and author of <i>Coming Undone</i> I will be quoting this liberally on Girls On Film - it's an enlightening page-turner, stacked with stories and stats that will have your jaw on the floor. Thanks to O'Hara's thorough research and sparkling writing, it works as an engaging alternative history of Hollywood as well as an important feminist film text and a call to action. I'd recommend it to any open-minded film lover, whether or not they identify as feminist - and who knows, they might do by the end -- Anna Smith, film critic, broadcaster and host of the Girls On Film podcast Helen O'Hara exposes Hollywood's dirty secrets and double standards in a fascinating-slash-infuriating story of the women who wanted to make movies and the men who held them back. This is the film history we need: one that gives leading roles to people who usually only get to be background players -- Pamela Hutchinson, film historian and critic The book is so well-written and researched - a fantastic read that beautifully celebrates women in Hollywood -- Edith Bowman, broadcaster Women have long been pushed to one side in Hollywood. This essential book puts them back where they belong: firmly in the spotlight. A celebration of their triumphs and clear-eyed recounting of their travails, it's an incisive, eye-opening and riveting read. More than that, it'll leave you itching with indignation and wanting to see a change to the status quo. A vital call to arms for a fairer, brighter future -- Nick de Semlyen, film critic and author of <i>Wild and Crazy Guys Essential reading for all serious film fans -- James King, film critic and author of <i>Fast Times and Excellent Adventures</i> and <i>Be More Keanu</i> Women vs Hollywood is encyclopaedic, illuminating and passionate all at once, and O'Hara's erudition and love of film shine throughout * Sunday Independent *


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