The recently released second series of Euphoria has not only broken HBO Max’s audience numbers with each new episode, it has also shown once again that it is able to provoke all sorts of public debate. The latest issue has been spearheaded by actress Sidney Sweeney, who plays Cassie, one of the most complex and talked-about figures in fiction. The 24-year-old actress has used the response to her many sex scenes in the series to call out the antiquated prejudices that still exist in Hollywood when it comes to female nudity. “When a guy has a sex scene or shows his body, he still wins awards and gets praise. But the moment a girl does it, it’s completely different,” she told The Independent, explaining there’s “a stigma against actresses who get naked on screen.” This complaint has reopened debate on the sexist dynamics of the entertainment industry and the typecasting faced by actresses who take their clothes off on camera – a problem that has become even more entrenched in today’s digital world.
In the interview with The Independent, Sydney Sweeney, who is one of the biggest upcoming stars in Hollywood, complained that her own work in the show was overshadowed by the response to her sex scenes. “I’m very proud of my work in Euphoria. I thought it was a great performance. But no one talks about it because I got naked,” said Sweeney, who has at last found recognition with her performance in the critically acclaimed series The White Lotus. “I do The White Lotus and all of a sudden critics are paying attention. People are loving me. They’re going, ‘Oh my God, what’s she doing next?’ I was like, ‘Did you not see that in Euphoria? Did you not see that in The Handmaid’s Tale?’”
The list of actresses who have regretted appearing nude on screen is as long as Hollywood is big. The list includes Helen Mirren, Sharon Stone, Eva Green and Nicole Kidman, who said she felt “humiliated and devastated” during the shooting of the show Big Little Lies. Mary-Louise Parker also admitted that she regretted appearing topless in the series Weeds, saying: “I knew it was going to be on the internet: ‘Mary Louise shows off her big nipples.’ I wish I hadn’t done that.” Even Kate Winslet, who appeared in one of the most memorable nude scenes in cinema in Titanic, questioned the scene and blamed her decision to do it on “youth and insecurity.” Natalie Portman, meanwhile, refused to do any more nude scenes following the media scandal over her nude scene in the movie Hotel Chevalier. “It really depresses me [..] [that] literally half of any article or review about it has been about the nudity,” she told The Guardian. Megan Fox has similarly ruled out doing any more nude scenes, pointing out that the images live “forever, especially now, with the internet.” While Keira Knightley has said she is no longer willing to do nude or sex scenes with a male director, explaining she feels “very uncomfortable trying to portray the male gaze.”
In the case of Sydney Sweeney, the Washington-born actress says she should have been more aware during the shooting of the nude scenes in the second series of Euphoria. And she has reason to be wary. A quick Google search of her character Cassie brings up hundreds of web pages that show frame by frame the scenes in which Sweeney has appeared naked. But the actress has no harsh words for Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who she says never tried to push her to film a nude scene against her will. “There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.’ He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it’,” she told The Independent.
So is it true, as Sweeney argues, that there is a double standard when it comes to how men are judged for appearing nude? It’s a difficult question to answer given so few well-known actors have agreed to appear nude on screen. And when it does happen, in the case of Ray Liotta in Bad Lieutenant or Michael Fassbender in Shame, erotic websites – which are typically sexist – don’t even bother to upload their scenes. In the last few decades, only stars like Halle Berry and Kate Winslet have been awarded Oscars (for Monster’s Ball and The Reader respectively) after appearing in nude scenes. When it comes to the opposite sex, this award season could mark a before and after given that two nominees Benedict Cumberbatch and Bradley Cooper appear naked in The Power of the Dog and Nightmare Alley, respectively.
In television, the number of male nude scenes has increased dramatically in the past few months thanks to streaming services, which have more creative freedom than mainstream stations and are less dependent on the approval of advertisers. This is demonstrated by Paul Mescal in Normal People, Oscar Isaac in Scenes From a Marriage, Steve Zahn in The White Lotus, Ansel Pierce in Euphoria and Sebastian Stan, who talks to a prosthetic penis in Pam & Tommy. The trend is so great that the media is calling it a “golden age” for male nudity in Hollywood. According to Ellen Gamerman, from The Wall Street Journal: “[Male nude scenes] represent a cosmic rebalancing of the scales as the entertainment industry tries to tackle its sexism.”
Euphoria has not only taken up the baton from Game of Thrones as the most talked about and celebrated series on HBO, it has also reopened debate on the hypersexualization of women, which was the subject of many articles when the show – based on George R.R. Martin’s books – was running. One of the biggest controversies concerned Emilia Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen, and appeared without clothes in a number of episodes in the first season. The British actress said that no agreement on nudity was included in her contract, and that she was pressured to perform the “terrifying” scenes. “I’ve had fights on set before where I’m like, ‘No, the sheet stays up,’ and they’re like, ‘You don’t wanna disappoint your Game of Thrones fans.’ And I’m like, ‘Fuck you’,” she said on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert.
The controversy over the pointless nudity on Game of Thrones continued until the female nude scenes disappeared nearly entirely in the later series. For Carice Van Houten, who played Melisandre of the show, the reason why there were fewer scenes was due to social movements like the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and the “mood change” in the industry with respect to nudity. Spanish actress Natalia Tena, who played Osha, said that it was “really unfair” that all the actresses on Game of Thrones “has had her tits out,” and called for men to appear nude: “Let’s make it more even.”
For Emilia Clarke, the response to her nude scenes was so great that the actress, fearing that she would be pigeonholed, decided to reject the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey. “The last time that I was naked on camera on [Game of Thrones] was a long time ago, and yet it is the only question that I ever get asked because I am a woman,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. ”And it’s annoying as hell and I’m sick and tired of it because I did it for the character – I didn’t do it so some guy could check out my tits, for God’s sake.”
Late-night shows return after writers strike as actors resume talks that could end their standoff | Culture
Late-night talk shows are returning after a five-month absence brought on by the Hollywood writers strike, while actors will begin talks that could end their own long work walk-off.
CBS’s ” The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” ABC’s ” Jimmy Kimmel Live! ” and NBC’s ” The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon ” were the first shows to leave the air when the writers strike began on May 2, and now will be among the first to return on Monday night.
Comedian John Oliver got his first take on the strike out, exuberantly returning Sunday night to his “Last Week Tonight” show on HBO and delivering full-throated support for the strike.
Oliver cheerily delivered a recap of stories from the last five months before turnings serious, calling the strike “an immensely difficult time” for all those in the industry.
“To be clear, this strike happened for good reasons. Our industry has seen its workers severely squeezed in recent years,” Oliver said. “So, the writers guild went to strike and thankfully won. But, it took a lot of sacrifices from a lot of people to achieve that.”
“I am also furious that it took the studios 148 days to achieve a deal they could have offered on day (expletive) one,” Oliver said. He added that he hope the writers contract would give leverage to other entertainment industry guilds – as well as striking auto workers and employees in other industries – to negotiate better deals.
Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns HBO, is among the studios on the other side of the table in the writers and actors strikes.
Network late-night hosts will have their returns later Monday.
Colbert will have Astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson on his first show back. Kimmel will host Arnold Schwarzenegger. Matthew McConaughey will be on Fallon’s couch.
All the hosts will surely address the strike in their monologues.
“I’ll see you Monday, and every day after that!” an ebullient Colbert said in an Instagram video last week from the Ed Sullivan Theater, which was full of his writers and other staffers for their first meeting since spring.
The hosts haven’t been entirely idle. They teamed up for a podcast, ” Strike Force Five,” during the strike.
The writers were allowed to return to work last week after the Writers Guild of America reached an agreement on a three-year contract with an alliance of the industry’s biggest studios, streaming services and production companies.
Union leaders touted the deal as a clear win on issues including pay, size of staffs and the use of artificial intelligence that made the months off worth it. The writers themselves will vote on the contract in a week of balloting that begins Monday.
Meanwhile, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists will begin negotiations with the same group, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, for the first time since they joined writers in a historic dual strike on July 14.
Actors walked off the job over many of the same issues as writers, and SAG-AFTRA leaders said they would look closely at the gains and compromises of the WGA’s deal, but emphasized that their demands would remain the same as they were when the strike began.
It was just five days after writers and studios resumed talks that a deal was reach and that strike ended, though an attempt to restart negotiations a month earlier broke off after a few meetings.
The late-night shows will have significant limits on their guest lists. Their bread and butter, actors appearing to promote projects, will not be allowed to appear if the movies and shows are for studios that are the subject of the strikes.
But exceptions abound. McConaughey, for example, is appearing with Fallon to promote his children’s book, “Just Because.”
And SAG-AFTRA has granted interim agreements allowing actors to work on many productions, and with that comes the right of actors to publicly promote them.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition
Revitalizing Fall Cinema As New York Film Festival Takes Center Stage
By Cindy Porter
Hollywood’s luminaries have been notably absent from red carpets, leaving an air of dormancy since the heady days of Barbenheimer.
However, as the 61st New York Film Festival kicks off, there’s a palpable sense of awakening.
Labor disputes are inching toward resolution, hinting at a resurgence in the industry. Considering this, the festival promises to deliver an exceptional array of films, showcasing some of the year’s finest cinematic offerings.
The Festival Lineup
Dennis Lim, the festival’s artistic director, expresses optimism despite industry uncertainties, affirming that cinema’s vitality endures.
The opening night feature, Todd Haynes’ “May December” introduces a playful yet poignant narrative led by Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton. It sets the stage for a festival packed with noteworthy films.
Highlights at the Festival
Yorgos Lanthimos’ Venice sensation “Poor Things” starring Emma Stone, offers a compelling blend of wit and intrigue.
Sofia Coppola’s “Priscilla” with Cailee Spaeny portraying Priscilla Presley, promises to be a captivating exploration of a legendary figure’s life.
Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” brings Leonard Bernstein’s story to life, adding another layer of significance to its North American premiere.
The festival’s closing feature, Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” emerges as a masterpiece.
Starring Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari, the film delves into a pivotal period in the auto maker’s life, culminating in the high-stakes Mille Miglia race.
Mann’s signature intensity permeates every frame, depicting the relentless pursuit of victory against the backdrop of impending peril.
Exploring Depth in Documentaries
The festival also showcases immersive documentaries, including Wang Bing’s “Youth (Spring)” Steve McQueen’s “Occupied City,” and Frederic Wiseman’s “Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros”.
These monumental works, clocking over 200 minutes each, delve into diverse realms, offering profound insights into the human experience.
Wang Bing’s “Youth (Spring)” unveils the lives of young migrant workers, toiling tirelessly in textile factories near Shanghai.
Their hands move with frenetic speed, a testament to the demands of their low-paying occupations.
Considering this, Wang delicately unravels their personal stories of love, heartbreak, and aspirations, painting a poignant portrait of resilience.
“All of Us Strangers”
Andrew Haigh’s “All of Us Strangers” unfolds within the confines of a near-empty apartment building. Andrew Scott’s portrayal of a screenwriter, Adam, embarks on a journey of self-discovery, triggered by an unexpected encounter with Harry (Paul Mescal). Through intimate dialogues, the film navigates the complexities of memory, companionship, and the power of storytelling.
The New York Film Festival shines a spotlight on films that transcend the boundaries of time and space.
Its dedication to authentic cinematic experiences, unburdened by distractions, reaffirms the enduring power of storytelling.
Films like “Janet Planet” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker transport audiences to specific moments in history, immersing them in a world where silence and nostalgia take center stage.
As the festival unfolds, it offers a resounding testament to the indomitable spirit of cinema.
We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!
— By Cindy Porter
— For more information & news submissions: info@VoiceOfEU.com
— Anonymous news submissions: press@VoiceOfEU.com
Copyright Dispute: DC Comics And ‘Fables’ Author Clash over Ownership, Author Aims for Public Domain
This is a story full of fairy tales. In some ways, it even resembles one. And yet it also proves that, in the real world, things rarely end happily ever after. A few days ago, Bill Willingham, the father of the celebrated Fables comic book series, announced that he was sending his most cherished work to the public domain, that is, to everyone. That’s only fair, since that is also where he got the main characters of his stories, from Snow White to the Wolf, from Pinocchio to Prince Charming, who were then relocated to modern New York. In this tale, the hero has long-faced mistreatment at the hands of the villains, DC Comics, the owner of Vertigo, which publishes the work in the United States, and its executives.
“If I couldn’t prevent Fables from falling into bad hands, at least this is a way I can arrange that it also falls into many good hands,” Willingham wrote in an online post in which he decried the label’s repeated attempts to take over his creations and opposed them with this final extreme remedy. But the company responded that it considers itself to be the true owner of the series.
In a statement published by the specialized media IGN, the company threatened to take “necessary action” to defend its rights. Thus, the end of the dispute is uncertain. But it is unlikely that everyone will end up happily ever after.
In the meantime, in a new post, Willingham celebrated the massive support he received. In fact, for the moment, he has declined all interview requests — he did not respond to this newspaper’s request, nor did the publisher — arguing that he preferred to spend the next few days working on new artistic projects. Meanwhile, the dispute continues.
Fables is one of the most celebrated graphic novels of the last 20 years, and it has spawned spin-offs and a video game adaptation (The Wolf Among Us).
This situation also touches on a key issue, namely, the intellectual property rights of characters and works, especially in a sector where, for decades, dozens of cartoonists and screenwriters have accused comic book giants Marvel and DC of pressuring them to cede their ideas and accept commissioned contracts.
Willingham sums it up as a policy aimed to make creators sign “work for hire” agreements and crush them. All of this makes a gesture that was already intended to make a splash even more resonant.
Indeed, the battle over intellectual property is as old as contemporary comics: the copyrights for Superman, Batman and The Fantastic Four all have unresolved disputes and complaints from Jerry Siegel, Bill Finger and Jack Kirby over the contemptuous treatment they suffered. And heavyweight Alan Moore has been lamenting for years that DC took away his ownership of famous works like Watchmen.
Along with prestige and principles, tens of millions of dollars are at stake, especially now that the film industry has become interested in comics.
“When you sign a contract with DC, your responsibilities to them are carved in stone, where their responsibilities to you are treated as “helpful suggestions that we’ll try to accommodate when we can, but we’re serious adults, doing serious business and we can’t always take the time to indulge the needs of these children who work for us” the Fables author wrote on his blog. Following the impact of his original message, Willingham posted two other texts. He maintains that he had thought about sending his work into the public domain when he passed away, but that “certain events” have changed his plans: among them, he lists the changes in management and attitude at the top of the publishing company; the multiple breaches of obligations such as consultations about covers, artists for new plots and adaptations; DC’s forgetfulness when it came to pay, which forced him to demand invoices of up to $30,000; the suspicious frequency with which the publisher attributed it to “slipping through the cracks” (to such an extent that the author insisted that they stop using that expression); and the time and chances he gave them to respect the pact, renegotiate it or even break it and consensually separate.
“Shortly after creating Fables, I entered into a publishing agreement with DC Comics. In that agreement, while I continued to own the property, DC would have exclusive rights to publish Fables comics, and then later that agreement was expanded to give DC exclusive rights to exploit the property in other ways, including movies and TV.
DC paid me a fair price for these rights (fair at the time), and as long as they behaved ethically and above-board, and conducted themselves as if this were a partnership, all was more or less well. But DC doesn’t seem to be capable of acting fairly and above-board.
In fact, they treated this agreement (as I suppose I should have known they would) as if they were the boss and I, their servant. In time that got worse, as they later reinterpreted our contracts to assume they owned Fables outright,” Willingham laments. Hence, he concluded that “you can’t reason with the unreasonable.”
Having ruled out a lawsuit as too expensive and time-consuming at 67 years of age, he found a more creative solution: if they prevented him from owning his works and benefiting from them as he was entitled to do, he would not let the publisher do so either. Or, at least, everyone could use the comics as they wished. But the label was quick to clarify in its statement to IGN: “The Fables comic books and graphic novels [are] published by DC, and are not in the public domain”.
For his part, Willingham promises to continue fighting for all the conditions of his still-in-force contract that he considers DC to have violated, as well as for the last installments of the series, the final script of which he delivered two years ago.
There will be additional chapters in this dispute, as well as in many other ones like it: in 2024, the historic first image of Mickey Mouse, the one that starred in the 1928 short Steamboat Willie, enters the public domain in the U.S. and other countries. Copyright in the U.S. lasts for 95 years, and math is an exact science.
Therefore, in a few years, King Kong, Superman and Popeye will meet the same fate. But The New York Times has wondered how the “notoriously litigious” Disney will react and how far it will go to fight in court. And who would dare to freely use all these works for fear of a million-dollar lawsuit? The same question surrounds DC and similar companies. Because in the real world, fairy tales are rare. Or they end up in court.
Women’s voices and votes loom large as pope is set to open a Vatican meeting on church’s future | International
Time for a tiki hut? As shops discount summer stock, there’s a garden bar for every budget
Late-night shows return after writers strike as actors resume talks that could end their standoff | Culture
NSA asks congress to reauthorize warrantless data collection • The Register
Madonna’s Last Tour: Summarizing four decades of successes, scandals & cultural milestones in two hours
7 Captivating Online Games To Supercharge Your UX Design Skills
Culture1 week ago
Exploring The Intricate Psychology Of Horror And Fear
Current7 hours ago
Assessing The Potential of The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) Against China’s Belt And Road Initiative (BRI)
Current3 days ago
Energize Your Property Value: The Surge In Demand For Home EV Charging Points
Culture5 days ago
The Benefits Screenwriters Will Enjoy After The Strike Include Juicy Bonuses, Better Salaries & Limits On AI
Culture1 week ago
Hollywood Studios Reach Tentative Agreement With Screenwriters To End The Strike
Culture5 days ago
‘Pachacútec,’ the story of a legendary Peruvian cooking school, premieres at the San Sebastián Film Festival | Culture
Global Affairs5 days ago
From YouTube to TikTok: The electoral weapons that Javier Milei has deployed in Argentina | International
Current4 days ago
A flood of offers? Two bed maisonette inside converted Grade II listed Victorian pump house with views over the River Thames goes on the market for £1.4m