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Backwards and in Heels: The Past, Present And Future Of Women Working In Film Paperback – August 15, 2017
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''Alicia Malone is one of the most inspiring voices in media today. Her book is a painful eye-opener that everyone with an interest in film should read.'' --Chris Stuckmann, Film Critic
''Alicia Malone gives me hope for the future of film appreciation. Her knowledge and curiosity are matched only by her enthusiasm for all things cinematic.'' Leonard Maltin, Film Critic
''Alicia Malone has opened my eyes to stories and stats about Women in Film, making me recognize the constant prejudices and imbalances that occur in the film industry even today, but also the ways in which women have been and continue to be celebrated. Proud to be a fellow feminist for film!'' --Maude Garrett, Founder of GeekBomb.com
''Over the years since we both moved here from our respective home countries to report on film, I've watched Alicia Malone grow more and more passionate about the roles women play in the modern movie industry, and what she can do to help better this. Alicia is talented and has a natural love of cinema, to be sure, but she's also dedicated to sharing her insights and knowledge in such a way that you can?t help but fall in love with film all over again!'' --Nadia Neophytou, Entertainment Reporter
''A fresh and passionate voice that makes us fully aware of the tremendous contributions of women to movies, while giving urgent notice to the stubborn slights and oversights of the film industry and reminding us of the job that remains to be done. A timely and important work of cultural criticism.'' --Molly Haskell, Film Critic and Author of From Reverence to Rape
''Alicia is one of those movie lovers equally adept at discussing Neo from 'The Matrix' and Italian Neorealism. Her enthusiasm is infectious; I can't imagine anyone better equipped to welcome a new generation of young women into the world of movies. With ''Backwards and in Heels,'' she's done it.?'' --Ben Mankiewicz, Primetime Host, Turner Classic Movies
''Alicia Malone is the champion heroines of cinema deserve. Illuminating, insightful, occasionally maddening, Backwards and in Heels is required reading for anyone who wants to call themselves a film fan.'' --Sasha Perl-Raver, Host, FX Movie Download
''Alicia Malone's expert perspective and inspired, informative take on film history make ''Backwards And In Heels'' a must read. An outspoken advocate for women in film and an ardent lover of cinema, here she is actively changing the conversation around women's achievements in the business with wonderful insights, wisdom and wit.'' --Miri Jedeikin, Host, Uproxx
''Women have been creators in the film industry since its inception. In ''Backwards and in Heels'' you can feel Alicia Malone's passion for highlighting the trailblazers who have deserved this kind of notoriety for decades. Any lover of film will appreciate this celebration of important figures who have made massive contributions to the art form.'' --Tiffany Vazquez, Saturday Daytime Host, Turner Classic Movies
''There's a slow but steady shift finally sweeping the industry to invest more in female voices. Having a tool like this fantastic book is invaluable for the continued growth and hope of future generations of creative women. Alicia Malone has been a true champion of female artists, exemplifying the passion, intelligence and class needed to bring people together and create positive change.?'' --Amirose Eisenbach, Radiant J Productions
''Alicia is a wonderful human whose voracious appetite for, and knowledge of, cinema and its history is immense and passionate. I can't think of anyone more suited to dig into this very important part of the story of film.'' --Elijah Wood, actor
''Starting in the very early days of film, Backwards & in Heels covers women holding all different positions throughout the film industry.From editors, to directors, to producers, to actresses, women have done it all.The problem is, in many areas, the number of women who have held these positions is few and with very little recognition.It is a battle for women that is still being fought today.'' --My Current Interests --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Alicia Malone is a film reporter, host, writer and self-confessed movie geek. She first gained notice hosting movie-centric shows and reviewing films in her native Australia, before making the leap to Los Angeles in 2011.
Since then, Alicia has appeared on CNN, the Today show, MSNBC, NPR and many more, talking about movies. Currently she is a Fandango Correspondent, and the creator and host of their weekly show, Indie Movie Guide. Alicia is also a host on FilmStruck, a cinephile subscription streaming service run by the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies.
Alicia is passionate about classic films, independent movies and supporting women in film. In 2015, Alicia gave a TEDx talk about the lack of women working in film and why this is important to change. In 2017, she was invited to give a second TEDx talk, where she spoke about the hidden stories of the earliest women working in Hollywood. Alicia has also spoken at conferences around America, and because of this, was named one of the 100 Worthy Women of 2016.
Alicia has traveled the world to cover the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and SXSW. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and over the years has interviewed hundreds of movie stars and filmmakers.
She also wrote this bio, but knew it would sound way less egotistical if written in third person.
Top customer reviews
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Not only is this a great book on women in film, it's a great book on film period. There's so many stories I had never heard of, and Alicia's style of writing is easy to digest.
Highly recommend this book if you're a film enthusiast!
A true must buy for every film fan. I really hope Alicia writes more books and we are lucky enough to read them.
The first few chapters were often a slog to read through because I was less interested in the older figures than modern filmmakers. The book also should have had a more thorough editor, allowing for quicker pacing, tighter chapters, and a better format (or perhaps that was just the fault of a poor format for Kindle). The book did not need to be placed in a chronological timeline as it is, as many of the modern women had influences that went back. If the book had been written with an interwoven format, where modern women and influences were mixed with older ones, the book would've been more interesting, keeping the reader engaged as well as connecting different women through the ages. But ultimately, this book felt like a reference PBS Special, where you would see images of women and their accomplishments, with a voiceover by Gwen Ifill (rest in peace) narrating their accomplishments, rather than a book that brought these women to life. Still, I enjoyed Alicia's tone guiding me through women that contributed greatly to film, but were forgotten. The most notable thing I learned was how women disappeared from important positions in cinema over the years, and came to be considered mainly sex objects in a male-driven industry. My favorite chapters were Alice Guy Blanche, Lois Weber, Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe. The last two were particularly awakening because we only know their public images.
I'm excited to see what Alicia comes up with for her follow up. I'm glad she wrote this.
Covering many important women through a series of mini-biographies, Malone explains how they (especially during the early days) had a great role in pioneering film technologies and film-making techniques. However, further to their technical prowess, it was women who were also ready to tackle taboo subject matter in their films. That was of course, until such a time when Hollywood was left in the hands of a small number of large studios with predominantly male executives; controlling everything from stars to theaters. This changed the landscape for women and the stories that could be told in film. Heavy censoring, racist stereotyping and sexist policies left women with an even harder road through the system than it already was. Yet still, many continued to fight their way through and paved the way for the next generation.
Surprising, inspiring and tragic at times, the book is more than a treatise on women in film, with insight into a broader Hollywood history. Explaining how Tinseltown was like a microcosm of the world, with everything from world wars to shifting social taboos and foreign influences affecting what was considered beyond the pale for women and minority groups who sought (or were forced into) careers in show business.
While Malone acknowledges her book is not a complete history of women in Hollywood, the concise timeline she presents gives a wide picture, satisfying her intent of ensuring the false “boy’s club” narrative no longer hinders our thinking. We can now celebrate them along with her as we get to know about a long line of passionate, strong, artistic and important filmmakers. Ones who left a lasting legacy, from Hollywood all the way to living rooms in Canberra where she first met them as a child.
By challenging our ideas and understanding about the role of women throughout the history of Hollywood, Backwards & In Heels becomes more than a chronology of events but rather a splash of water in the face of that false narrative which has permeated the industry regarding the role of women in film as it's been told in recent times, making the book an important read for movie buffs and contemporary historians alike.
This review first appeared on blurbhack.com
Most recent customer reviews
Worth reading especially for women and teenage girls and boys.