• festival season

    This trio of buskers were offering up beautiful music on High Street in Galway on Saturday. It was a hot, sunny day, and the start of festival season in Galway. Actually, from about March onwards Galway is the host of festival after festival, but it reaches its cultural peak during July. Tomorrow sees the start of the Galway Film Fleadh, an internationally-famous film festival that’s an important marker on the Irish film calendar. The city can’t even hitch in a breath before the two-week Arts Festival descends, and then it’s the annual Galway Races. Before you know it it’s August and the summer is sliding away and the Oyster festivals…

  • be part of the solution

    It’s no surprise to any of my regular readers that I’ve considered myself a feminist from the moment I understood what it meant. Most importantly, I have always stated that fact without embarrassment or the need for a self-deprecating modifier (‘but I like men!’, ‘but I never burned a bra!’, etc. etc.). Yet, for me it comes with a responsibility. I always remember that it’s due to the legacy of action by past feminists that I enjoy the right to vote, as well as a raft of anti-discrimination legislation. It’s up to succeeding generations of women to continue their mission for equality and fair treatment for everyone (irrespective of gender,…

  • dynamic trio

    I utterly failed to post images last week, as I promised, so I’m endeavouring to do better this week. This dynamic trio is Wonder Woman, Catwoman and Hawk Girl, and was a small splurge on my part while I was in Dublin last week. I was smitten with the expression on Hawk Girl’s face in particular. There is also a Harley Quinn in this set, but alas she sold out first (no surprise). I was up in Dublin last week for the 2011 ZeBBie Awards Ceremony, the annual awards voted upon by the members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild. It’s an event that honours Irish writers of radio,…

  • Kapow! – with added women

    The Kapow! Comic Book convention is going on this weekend, and it’s good to see that in the face of criticism over its initial all-male line-up the event has adjusted its guest list. I was not the only one who pointed out the lack of women, and I’m not claiming this result is due to my input alone. Honestly, this is a positive response, and I hope it means more women featured at the event (if they hold it again) when they have time to include women in the planning from the very beginning. Millar is even talking up the female angle now, mentioned a 30% female readership in this…

  • flipping the gender

    Thanks to Bad Reputation – a blog that’s become part of my regular reading – I discovered the awesome The Girls on Film. The team is made up of Ashleigh Harrington (co-creator, actress, editor, effects artist), Cat McCormick (co-creator, actress) and Jeff Hammond (co-creator, director). The trio re-makes scenes from male-dominated movies with the women playing the parts of the men. Thus far they’ve re-created scenes from Star Trek, The Town and Fight Club. Here is the Fight Club clip in all it’s wicked glory. The remade scenes – or cocktails as TGOF call them – underline the potential of putting women into roles that are not conventional. Both the…

  • miss representation

    I was delighted to hear that a new documentary, called Miss Represention, created by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, played at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been getting a great reception. Here’s the trailer: The issue of how women are represented in the media is one that occupies my mind on a regular basis, so I’m pleased that Newsom has put her time and effort into analysing and criticising this subject. There are a couple of articles in the Deseret News, touching upon this film and related issues that are well worth reading. The first is Family Films are not Friendly to Women, which reports on a public interview that took…

  • young pitchers

    Today I was part of a judging panel for the Pitching Competition at the 16th Galway Junior Film Fleadh. It’s the third year the event has run and the second year I’ve been one of the judges. The event took place in the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, and there was a sturdy turnout of people despite the gales and lashing rain. This year saw the largest number of applicants for the award, and from them three finalists were picked: ‘Rocky the Racehorse’ pitched by Aisling Dolan, Convent of Mercy, Co. Roscommon ‘Web of Lies’ pitched by Emma Finnerty, Ard Scoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway ‘Rineen Ambush’ pitched by Paul…

  • it gets better

    It’s been distressing to hear the glut of stories from the USA recently about gay teenagers who have committed suicide after a period of bullying by their peers. Bullying is a horrendous and shattering experience, which is made so much worse when you’re a young person trying to figure out your identity. Sex advice columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage has started a “It gets better” campaign on YouTube, where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered (LGBT) people post video messages of encouragement to young people who are LGBT and struggling to cope. The first one, embedded below, features Dan and his husband Terry discussing growing up as gay men…

  • women in horror: a summary of recent posts

    It’s time for a summary of the reaction across the Internet to my recent posts about the lack of representation of women in the SFX horror edition. As I mentioned last week David Barnett at the The Guardian blog brought up the issue immediately, and by the end of the week UK Feminist web site The F Word was running with the story. Once I posted editor Ian Berriman’s reply to my query, the response in the comments, on Internet articles and to me personally has been anger and frustration at the lack of knowledge displayed about women’s participation in the horror industry. As Cheryl Morgan put it, it was…

  • SFX forgets women in horror

    It’s ironic that during Women in Horror Recognition Month I have to draw attention yet again to another major publication that has a blind spot when it comes to women in horror. Five months ago I was irked when the British Fantasy Society published a collection of interviews of horror writers that omitted women. A minor Internet outrage ensued, which died down with the society’s quick and honest apology. Naïvely, I thought maybe a lesson had been learned. This month the British magazine SFX published a special edition devoted to Horror that overlooks women almost entirely. In his opening words editor Ian Berriman says: “You see, some people think horror…