Network For Good Rachel's Charities:
Jan 27 2013


“Afternoon Delight” just won Best Director at Sundance for writer/director Jill Soloway. It was her first feature. The film stars Kathryn Hahn as a hipster-suburban wife and mother struggling with what she’s supposed to do with her life. After she goes to a strip club with her husband and gets a lap dance, she decides that she’s supposed to save the stripper - so she brings her home to live with her family as the new nanny. Supporting cast includes Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust), Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids), Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) and Michael Keegan-Key (Key & Peele) and Jane Lynch (Glee). 

Notable in this film is its Bechdel-busting lineup: there are seven named female characters, all of whom talk to each other, about things other than men. (The Bechdel Test is really simple, and yet it’s amazing how many movies fail it spectacularly.)

From “The Feminist Delights of Afternoon Delight“ which I wrote for BitchMedia:

Marriages need spicing up. Romance fades in the face of diapers. Familiarity breeds contempt. Strippers are agents of downfall, redemption, or both. And perfect suburban life has its dark side. Is it different this time, in the hands of a female writer/director? And should that matter?
Yes and yes. Damned straight yes.


Filmmaking is about storytelling from a specific perspective. When that perspective is dominated by one type of person—generally white men—then storytelling as a whole suffers. This is definitely a film that men will watch and enjoy… But in the evolving subgenre of film where former twentysomething romantic leads suddenly find themselves grappling with a new kind of hipster malaise, it’s nice to have a woman’s perspective in there, along with Judd Apatow’s.


It’s no secret that there are way more roadblocks for woman making movies. At Sundance, where Afternoon Delight premiered earlier this week, a comprehensive study called “Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers” also had its debut, finding a ratio between male and female directors of 15.24 to 1. The reasons for this disparity included significantly less access to funding; fewer women as prestige and pay scale increase; and being cockblocked in Hollywood’s world of “male-dominated industry networking.”

The study also found that films directed by women involve more women across the board—a female director means an average of 21 percent more women working on narrative film and 24 percent more women working on documentaries. This means more roles for women on-camera and off, more opportunities for experience and advancement.

Amazing to see “Afternoon Delight” get recognition as a smart, complex and provocative film. Its success will pave the way for other Bechel Test-smashing filmmakers - and honestly, that’s good for everyone. 

(Also, I love Kathryn Hahn. So there’s that.) 

What she said. 

Jan 27 2013

[T]he business is run by men. Although the interesting thing is, so many studio heads are women. So many of these women have bought into the male mindset. They don’t care about whether they think women are funny, it’s like the John Maynard Keynes thing, it’s about the beauty pageant. You pick not who you think is the most beautiful, but who you think most people will think is most beautiful. So that’s what they are doing… I think we are getting to a winter of disconte. When they notice something authentic, that is starting to pay off.

That’s why when six years ago Judd Apatow made the 40 Year Old Virgin, it felt different. Now it doesn’t feel different. But with this, it’s women doing what he did six years ago in a way. It’s like, holy crap, it’s weird, it’s different and I love it. And I think what has to happen is that we need to go see that movie. We need to make it make a hundred million dollars.

Now they’ll take away the wrong lesson — just put chicks in there talking about vaginas, instead of funny, really funny smart chicks doing it, working as hard as they did to make a great movie.

But it’s a systemic change from the bottom up, where you vote for a movie for going to see it.

— Stuart Blumberg, co-writer of “The Kids Are All Right” with Lisa Cholodhenko on “The Female Funny: Is It Different For Girls?” panel at SXSW 2011. The movie he was referring to was Bridesmaids. I’ve been thinking about his comments a lot during this year’s Sundance, with half the directors represented by films in the festival being women. Will that translate when it comes time for acquisition and distribution?  (via changetheratio)
Aug 19 2012

IMG_9131 on Flickr.

Atop a Koko Head Crater in Oahu, Hawaii. Feb. 2012. It used to be a military outpost with over a thousand steps/railway ties to the top. You may notice a stray bit of feminine-themed graffiti below my feet - not sure if it has anything to do with the lore behind the mountain:

“Koko Crater is also known as Kohelepelepe, which means “labia minor” in the Hawaiian language. It got this name from an ancient legend, which tells of one of the sisters of the volcano goddess Pele named Kapo, who had a magical “flying vagina” that she could send anywhere. When Kamapua’a, the pig god, tried to rape Pele, Kapo came to help her. She distracted Kamapua’a by throwing her vagina to Koko Head, where it made the crater.”

Aug 19 2012

~hpa0027 on Flickr.

Lawyer Rachel, about a week after moving to NY, taking a headshot for the White & Case law firm facebook. Note shortness of skirt. My businesswear fashion sense had been wholly informed by Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place. I was 25 and still had the sunkissed streaks I’d put in right after graduating law school that had been further lightened by a month in Europe. September 1998. Oh Lordy this kid had no idea. Still doesn’t, actually.

Aug 19 2012

~hpa0026 on Flickr.

In St. Petersburg during the World Cup of Hockey, May 2000, at the tail end of my time in Stockholm. My break-in moment in journalism - front-page of the sports section of the National Post (Canada). Here with my great friend Sandra from Stockholm (pink jacket), my law school friend Steph Bolt (working at the time as a lawyer in Moscow), Tatiana Yashin, mother of NHL player Alexei, and Carol Alt, then Alexei’s girlfriend and still together, I believe. That was a funny day.

Aug 19 2012

~hpa0025 on Flickr.

A favorite shot from Malta, June 2002. (I was covering the World Cup of Lawyers. Yes, that is a thing.)

Aug 19 2012

Cuppla Mugs on Flickr.

This is me and my then-boyfriend Chris Burnside modeling the CuppleRobe for a photo that would run by my story in Glamour. We legit road-tested that thing and it was a sweaty and hilarious mess. The actual one we used was burgundy and I still have it and use it as an extra bedspread in winter and in that respect it is awesome. May actually be the best piece of swag I ever received.

Aug 19 2012

Greek Pleasure Pie on Flickr.

I forgot for three years that I could send Flickr pics to Tumblr. Uh oh. This is trouble.

Here’s a story I wrote for Glamour in late 2003 that was picked up by Greek Glamour. It was something about increasing your slice of the pleasure pie. And there you go.

Aug 19 2012

tomato_good on Flickr.

Sometimes, the tomato chooses you.

May 04 2012
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