Thursday, October 29, 2009


Apparently, Dick Cheney sent Mika Brzezinski cupcakes after she weighed in against him for his "dithering" comments. His response to her criticism was that she seemed cranky. Awww, isn't it cute when your females get all in a snit, maybe at their time of the month. Give her cupcakes like a good little girl, pat her on the head, and let everybody get a good laugh.

Me, I love a good joke, but I'm not laughing. Mika's response was telling: part of her was businesslike in her resistance to the idea and her preference for a real interview. Part of her was girlish in her response, saying she wanted the pink one. And part of her was worried about the calories, as almost all public women do because they must stay slim to be taken seriously. I don't have time or interest to go on a tirade here about the substance and implications of these things. I'd prefer for us all to go out and make a movie called "Cupcake" and explored them via film.

I don't know if the Cheney's meant to demean Mika with the gift. My dad was an executive from the days when it was perfectly appropriate for him to call secretaries and waitresses "cupcake" - as he often did, along with "doll" and "baby." I'll never forget the day in the mid-70's when a waitress shot back angrily that she was not his doll. His feelings were hurt, for he had meant to be nice. He couldn't see that his effort to be nice insulted her.

At that time, I though that the waitress could have said the same thing only been more pleasant about it, precisely because my dad had meant no harm. But that burden on women, that they take an insult, consider the other person's intentions, and then convey their feelings in a non-offensive way, is just too high a standard to be a requirement. If we accept the insult, we feel bad. If push back, we feel bad.

I learned to take my bad feelings and instead of turning them inward and getting depressed, or turning them outward and getting angry, I turn them into comedy and have a laugh with my friends. This is my wish for women through this festival.

Make a 'cupcake' movie. I'd like to see it. I'd like to show it in the festival next year.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Demading Women - Where Are They?

Joanne Lipman, a former deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal and the founding editor in chief of Condé Nast Portfolio magazine has an op-ed in the NYTimes today that struck me hard because it accounts for some of why women are not getting ahead. Yes, I know all the ways the deck is stacked against women's comedies, women directors and women writers, and I don't mean to minimize how hard it can be. Yet when she says this about the simple act of asking for a raise, it makes me pause:
In my time as an editor, many, many men have come through my door asking for a raise or demanding a promotion. Guess how many women have ever asked me for a promotion?

I’ll tell you. Exactly ... zero.

This echoes something that Julie Gray of the Rouge Wave (now and The Script Department said at our screenwriting panel last year. She talked about the proportion of men to women who pay for screenwriting critiques and help. Few women seek criticism, even when by a savvy, safe and obviously constructive source. This worries me, in part because I, too, have trouble in this area.

So what are we gonna do about it?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creating Karma at the Laemmle

Some of the Broads showed up for the premiere of Jill Wisoff's Creating Karma at the downtown Laemmle. Donna Wheeler and I took a snap in front of the screening room marquis. We all want our films to be there.

We all shared some news about what we're doing next. Donna's making a short-short for the Green Screen Film Festival no-fee category which I am helping put together. You can too if you do it soon. Check out the info at and click on the Community Shorts tab. Michelle Clay is working as an editor and trying to put together funds for her next feature, Tony and Leo.

As for Jill, she was tired from all the prep leading up to the release but she's got no time to rest. On to AFM in November to see if she can sell the film. Kudos to a Broad making farce, the hardest kind of comedy to tackle.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And then there's Ralph Lauren...

My last post was about the German magazine, Brigitte, and the response of the male designers to it. The logical result of their mindset has its poster-cartoon in the new Ralph Lauren ad. (I say cartoon because it looks like a comic book drawing to me.)

Boing-boing raised a stink, mocking the ad with a pithy, "Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis." At first, Ralph Lauren threatened to sue. Now Ralph Lauren has apologized for the ad and replaced it with a de-touched image here.
But there is no sense from RL that they have had a realization about their own attitudes toward women and beauty. Only that they did a bit too much photoshopping. I don't want apologies. I want self-reflection and a change of behavior that comes from the realization that they have been wrong.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Is it just me...

A German fashion mag has decided to use real women instead of super-skinny models. So far so good. But then the video interviews some fashion industry guys and smoke started coming out of my ears. Money quote:
The problem with using "real women" is that women don't want to look like real women; they want to look like beautiful women.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Laugh Out Loud Moments

Comedy is not just about timing. Too many people overplay funny Here's a video making the rounds because of a recent oil spill in Australia. Folks are claiming it's a real interview, but a quick check at reveals that it is in fact from the 90's. No worries, as the Aussies say. It's still a fine model of comic delivery.

2008 Best Feature Opening in LA October 16

Broad Humor's 2008 Best Feature, Creating Karma, is having its theatrical release here in LA on October 16. Come on out and support one of the broads. I'm going to be running the Q&A. It should be interesting for all of you to talk with Jill about how she's worked the system and her film to get distribution. Details below the fold.

89 min Theatrical Release Version 2009

October 16-22
Q and A with filmmaker and cast following the Fri Oct 16 and Saturday Oct 17 evening screenings

345 S. Figueroa Street
Showtime information at

“This Bollywood style romp from the 60's era of free love to contemporary pseudo-intellectual is big screen farce full of fun!"
...Broad Humor Film Festival

NR: Some naughty words and insuations
this film is karmically safe for tweens & up


Karma, uptight fashion editor, becomes a poet after moving in with
her new-age therapist sister. Join Karma on her cosmic journey from the
swinging sixties to a colorful NYC landscape of shallow friends, rapping nuns,
men in housedresses and inappropriate romance! Stars dancing diva Karen Lynn
Gorney of Saturday Night Fever fame, the great American character actor Joe Grifasi
and introduces talented newcomers. Original songs byJill Wisoff (Welcome to the
Dollhouse songs/score) and music by Joel Diamond (The Believer, Milarepa).

FIND YOUR INNER HIPPIE! Be prepared to sing along!

(Verse 1) Let me take you on a journey to a real hip place
Where the mandrake grows
And a daisie bends in the wind
Rest beside the nurturing water and reincarnate
You are Karma creating karma
(chorus) And whatever you may choose, Girl (Creating Karma)
And whatever you may lose, Dude
Don’t worry about it
You are Karma!!!!

(chorus) Pass the puppet, pass the puppet
Pass the puppet to the left, to the right
Pass the puppet, pass the puppet
Pass the puppet with a hey, with a ho!
It’s pass the puppet night!

CREATING KARMA, PASS THE PUPPET © Fantasy Creature Productions 2009