Alicia Malone is a film reporter, movie geek, writer, and host from Australia. She is quite passionate about supporting women in the film industry and has been invited twice to talk about the subject on TEDx talk. She was named as one of the 100 worthy Women of 2016.
‘Backwards and in Heels: The Past, Present, And Future Of Women Working In Film’ is a guidebook written for women and their entry into the world of the film industry and it’s relation with women.
It is a collection of interviews and intense research involving celebrities like Octavia Spencer, Geena Davis, America Ferrera, Ava DuVernay, and many more.
Alicia masters the past and present of women working in the industry and looks at the future with the hope of equality. We discover that since forever women have been at the forefront of innovation, revolution, and advancement of the cinema and yet they are not recognized, and neither are their stories shared.
Therefore, through this book, the author has made an attempt to resurface the contributions and obstacles of women from the past and present with the hope of inspiring and educating more women.
From each era of Hollywood, film stars, activists, directors, camerawoman, etc have been picked out and talked about.
By mapping this journey, Malone is trying to examine the difficult road that has to lead to the present climate of Hollywood. Wage gaps, bias, and double standards are some of the problems that women have been facing over the years all over the world. Some of the women who dared to stand up for themselves in the industry were Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Emmy Rossum, Mila Kunis, and Lena Dunham.
Most of us, including me, are aware of this gender disparity in the industry but to what extent it exists is unknown to many. This book reveals the staggering figures and stories that makes one wonder of the world is progressing at all. As a reader, it is a guarantee that you will be left wanting more stories and revelations.
Are you still wondering if you must read this book? Let me clear your doubts. If you are a movie buff and wish to make a career in the industry as a woman then you should essentially be aware of the realities of the working behind and in front of the camera. You might think you are aware of the celebrities and their lives as fans but have you noticed why and how they disappear over the years from the field altogether? And even the most talented women come to be considered as sex objects in this male-driven industry? We as admirers only know the public images of our idols but though this novel you get a chance to see beyond this fence, especially in the last two chapters. Some of the popular chapters include those of Rita Hayworth, Alice Guy Blanche, Lois Weber, and Marilyn Monroe.
The author has tried to cover all kinds of women, their issues, prejudices, and voices through her work. It also evokes a certain nostalgia among people when they read about the movies and women of the past. I personally look forward to more works by her that inspire women throughout the world.
Also explore the bold and eye-opening “Too Fat. Too Slutty. Too Loud” By Anne Helen Petersen.