Monday, 17 February 2014


Well we applaud the winners for this year's BAFTA awards. Once again, award ceremonies continue to highlight the sexism and misogyny prevalent within the film industry. Host Stephen Fry referred to Emma Thompson as 'piece of offal'. Fry is a man who advocates against homophobia, but his compassion does not extend to giving women some dignity. Thompson took it in good stride but I couldn't. There are far too many misogynists out there, with women constantly demeaned and rated in relation to their appearance.

The BAFTA Fellowship was awarded to Helen Mirren. The award was presented by the gut-churning miscreant Jeremy Irons, sycophantically standing with Prince William, who understands as much about the real world as these overpaid Hollywood actors. Irons says he first became aware of Helen through her theatre work: 'it was always worthwhile... and because of her it was always intrinsically sexy', quips Irons followed by an eye-roll from Helen. Irons goes on to note that, as the lead in Prime Suspect, Helen was 'middle aged and tough without having lost any of her immense sex appeal'. Thereafter, a retrospective of Helen's film work is played. The first clip 'to remind us of her talents' consists of a young, scantily-clad Helen in Herostratus, the focus on her plunging cleavage, her years of commitment as an actress reduced to her breasts and 'sexiness' as Irons drools.... 

Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave won Best Film. I regard McQueen as an incredibly talented director. Ever since his debut film Hunger, it has been clear that he is a cut above the shallow rest. His films are poetical and reflective on the human condition. Above all, he gives dignity and compassion to his characters. Lupita Nyong'o was ignored for her outstanding performance as Patsey, a slave. As McQueen points out in his acceptance speech, a star is born. I applaud her grace and ability to embarce her natural beauty, illustrating that your skin doesn't need to be bleached or your hair straightened  to achieve merit. It is refreshing to see a woman celebrating her natural beauty. McQueen is right, she is a star in the making. 

'Best Actress' Jennifer Lawrence. source:

Lupita Nyong'o's heartbreaking performance in 12 Years A Slave. source:

I want to see more women applauded for their intellect and acting merit, not for their 'sex' appeal. For her portrayal of the hateful stereotype of the 'gangster accessory' that we have seen all too often by the likes of Martin Scorsese (this time channelled by the despicable David O Russell, winner of 'Best Original Screenplay' and who remained grinning smugly throughout the ceremony - have we all forgotten that this is the man who verbally abused Lily Tomlin?), Jennifer Lawrence beat Lupita Nyong'o in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in American Hustle. All nagging, big hair, copious amounts of cleavage and scenes of bending over so as to reveal said cleavage, Lawrence was deemed more worthy than Lupita's outstanding, heartbreaking portrayal of an enslaved African woman, as depicted by an African woman. 

Stroking the fragile ego of powerful Hollywood men that have the option to make or break a film, the BAFTA awards allows us to see the kinds of men behind the superficial glitz: we observe Harvey Weinstein sitting smugly in the audience with his trophy wife, Georgina Chapman.

Well the circus is over... last night's parade of elitism in the film industry fades as dust settles over the superficial glitz and glamour in the Royal Opera House. The winners exit the stage and leave nothing but a bitter taste in my film buds. BAFTA is nothing more than a self-congratulating industry that bows down to the parochial world of American cinema. BAFTA insults the hardworking British film makers that struggle to get their films into the cinema, ignored by the Brits' sycophantic fascination with Hollywood. Where were all the female directors? If I came from another planet I'd assume that the BAFTAs were American? No?

Some of you might be looking at the stars. I'm reflecting from the gutter....

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