Monday, December 14, 2015

Actresses and classic films (Ava and C.I.)

Last week, in "Media: You Better Sit Down Kids," we wrote:

Robin Morgan shooting off her big yap and attacking (a) Arabs and (b) Muslims last Friday may be Robin being Robin but it does reflect on Jane who may quickly discover she's the Merle Oberon of film.



Jane's not Faye Dunaway.

She has no films that are considered classics the way Faye or Goldie Hawn does.

NETWORK, CHINATOWN, THE THOMAS CROWNE AFFAIR, even MOMMIE DEAREST are considered classics and those aren't Faye's only ones.

Faye will be remembered.

Maybe Jane will be remembered too -- for trashing Faye in an interview?

Now we would argue that Jane has made some classic films.

And we use this outlet, THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW, to rescue the work of women, to make the argument that women's art matters.

But, honestly, we'll walk away from Jane -- and focus on Goldie or some other worthy actress -- if it means that we're having to spend all of our time explaining how she's not anti-Arab.

She's got  that reputation and remarks by Robin Morgan only make it worse.

E-mails made clear that we needed to expand on this.  (The e-mail address is

We don't think Jane's filmography is useless.

For example, we've hailed her (Academy Award winning performance) in Alan J. Pakula's KLUTE as the finest performance by any actor -- male or female -- in the 20th century.

And, in 2005, we highlighted a series of her films as she prepared to return to movies with the comedy MONSTER-IN-LAW:

"DVD review: Cat Ballou"
DVD Review: Barefoot in the Park "
DVD review: Barbarella"
DVD review Jane Fonda's Fun With Dick & Jane"
DVD review: Jane Fonda in California Suite"
DVD review: The Electric Horseman"
DVD review: Nine to Five"

And we followed that with "DVD review: The Morning After."

The e-mail reactions to those pieces was strong.

And we're glad because that's the whole point of being here.

To ensure that women are a part of the canon.

When the rock canon was built in the 60s, only a token women or two were included.

It results from lists.

It results from fan boys pushing their bro crushes.

And we're here to be an antidote to that.

In terms of walking away from Jane Fonda?


If she's not going to address the anti-Arab image she's got, that's on her.

We have enough work to do raising the profile of women, shining a spotlight on female artists, without having to take on her latest baggage.

It has to do with recognizing what's the best use of time.

In this edition, we're focusing on two artists, Faye Dunaway and Diane Keaton, with a list of their films.

As you look at the lists, you should be able to grasp that both actresses will have an easier time making it into the canon -- and staying there -- 40 years from now than will Jane Fonda.

That's not to say Fonda's got nothing.

But without feminist's championing her work, what she's got is largely BARBARELLA and THE GAME IS OVER (both directed by Roger Vadim) and HURRY SUNDOWN.

Now the Vadim films are part of the French New Wave and they're Vadim's vision.

He had a strong and uniform vision (which is why his section of SPIRITS OF THE DEAD is really the only part of that film which holds up today).

Otto Preminger also had a vision.

HURRY SUNDOWN is frequently downright laughable (especially when Jane's blowing an instrument between Michael Caine's legs).

But it does have Preminger's signature.

Other than those, only KLUTE easily makes it onto the list of classics.

9 TO 5 is a classic and should be on the list.

And if women -- and men -- online did their part, we'd see a more inclusive canon.

But that's not what happens.

We rolled our eyes at PUMA for many reasons (while still supporting Party Unity My Ass) but primarily because one PUMA website included movies every weekend.

Movies you should watch.


Movies revolving around men.

And they never noticed that.

A site supposedly interested in supporting women couldn't even support women in films.

We don't know what tomorrow has in store, but we do know that a lot more ground should have been covered by now.

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