Entertainment

In ‘Widows’ Female Characters Are Made To Clean Up “The Man’s” Mess And Learn How To Steal Back Their Autonomy

In Steve McQueen’s latest film “Widows” a priest asks his congregation “What has happened in the world that normal now passes as excellence? When did we lower our standards?” It’s a question that soon after walking out of an early screening for the film had me thinking, not only about the lowered standards by which we uphold our current politicians, but also about the types of films that have snuck by on their overblown tropes that boast of “heist-ness” but never truly nail the genre down.

If “Ocean’s 8” is the white feminist version of a heist film, “Widows” is a paragon of the heist film.

CREDIT: Widows” / 20th Century Fox

Unlike female-takeover films as of late, which have largely failed to reckon the industry’s race imbalance, Widows is a film that takes its female leads, ensures that they are of different colors and ethnicities, and notices them for their circumstances before they pull triggers and blow up safes. Here, the main characters show their audience the repercussions of their being Black in a Black Lives Matter era, of being a Latina in a country cold to their existence, and being a white in a world where certain privileges are conferred.

“Widows”, co-written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn,hammers out a league of female characters forced to clean up the mess of their deceitful husbands who never really did well to take care of them as partners in the first place. Veronica’s (Viola Davis) husband is neglectful, Linda’s (Michelle Rodrigeuz) squanders her earnings from her small business on gambling, and Alice’s (Elizabeth Debecki) beats her.

After their spouses are killed in a high-stakes heist gone wrong, Veronica (a woman who lives in unrelatable wealth in a Chicago high-rise thanks to her husband Harry’s –Liam Neeson– dirty biddings) finds that he has left behind an impossible debt. In his most recent robbery, Harry and his deceased accomplices stole $2 million from a local crime boss turned politician all of which was blown up in the explosive fire that also killed them. At the start of the film, the ruthless crime boss comes to Veronica’s door to collect and gives her one month to deliver. With a looming and severe deadline to come up with the money coupled with a notebook left behind by her husband that points to $5 million stashed away in the household of the crime boss’s corrupted political appointment, Veronica goes out on a mission. She starts by recruiting the other widows Linda and Alice with the threat of exposing them to the crime boss if they do not help her and an incentive to split up the remaining $3 million amongst themselves. Belle (Cynthia Ervio) joins the crew in an essential role soon after the crew develops their plan.

Like the best of films, the heist at the center of this one doesn’t just get the job done it searches for truths.

CREDIT: “Widows” / 20th Century Fox

Crawling into the darkest corners of deceivingly polished settings, “Widows” exposes the most nefarious and sinister aspects of its traits for what they are before allowing them to skitter away back into their dank and corrupted crevices and continue to slither along. It dives into the repercussions of police brutality, forces you to observe the glaring bruises of domestic abuse, and most memorably encourages you to take a closer look at and scrutinize the true intentions of our political leaders. Where does all of our money go exactly?

“Widows” is smarter, more contemplative and purposeful than any other heist movie the film screen has seen in a while. Where typical heist films promise characters the ultimate shortcut to their biggest dreams, “Widows” offers its main characters an opportunity to obtain something firm that we all have a right to, one that women have strived for in a male-dominated sphere for centuries: autonomy of self. With her earning’s from the heist, Veronica can maintain an independent life her husband had never truly afforded her, Linda can buy back the business she’d lost after her husband squandered her earnings and died, and Alice can live a life where she depends on no man– no matter what kind of abuse or treatment he attempts to make her endure.

Where films like “Ocean’s 8” made work-shy attempts at female empowerment, “Widows” is forthright and honest about what it wants to be. Even more importantly the film allows women to simply be in their humanity. They aren’t angelic “badasses” who automatically know how to set off bombs, torch safety boxes and screech away in getaway vans the moment the prospect of big money rears its head. They’re multidimensional, with their darkest of sides acting and behaving in cruel ways and actively learning and researching how to, albeit out of necessity, commit gruesome crimes.

Speaking about the film in a roundtable, actress Michelle Rodriguez (who is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent) explained that the film made her feel as if she’d been given an opportunity to truly uplift women with her role as Linda. “The idea of female empowerment has been my drive in my entire career because I’ve always felt more like an activist more so than an actress,” Michelle says. “This [film] was the first time I was challenged psychology… the idea of playing Linda– you get to see what’s coming from the inside.”

McQueen’s female lineup takes the traditional plot of a heist film and turns it into something much more complex. It’s a testament to the capacity women of color have to take old genres, and not just make them new or “rebooted” but to truly turn them on their heads.

Bella Thorne Is Making Her Directorial Debut With Porn Film On PornHub

Entertainment

Bella Thorne Is Making Her Directorial Debut With Porn Film On PornHub

Bella Thorne is having quite a year, and her latest big move involves a whole lot of Pornhub. The 21-year-old actress is launching into a whole new type of industry and is getting a lot of shocked responses. For those of you unfamiliar with her career, here’s a brief wrapup: While she’s been acting since she was a child — as a way to help provide for her family — Thorne has been seen in a slew of TV and film projects. Her big break came in 2010 as a co-star in the Disney Channel sitcom “Shake It Up,” alongside actress Zendaya. She has since gone on to big box office films and has also garnered a ton of attention for her personal life.

Well, things are going to get a lot more interesting for the Floridian star.

Bella Thorne has directed her first film, which is a porn movie, and will be available on Pornhub.com.

Credit: YouTube

The film is titled “Her & Him” and takes inspiration from “Romeo & Juliet.” By no means, however, is this film a modern-day Shakespearean movie. Thorne is going all-in as a porn film. The film stars porn actors Small Hands and Abella Danger, and on Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, the film will be seen at The Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany and then be made available on Pornhub. “Her & Him” is part of Pornhub’s Visionaries Director’s Series, which includes movies by other celebs such as Brooke Candy and Young MA.

Thorne said she originally intended to do a scary holiday movie, but then had a change of heart.

Credit: YouTube

“My vision originally actually was to make a Christmas horror movie, and instead I made a very beautiful, ethereal, neon type of vision,” Thorne said in the promotional video for the film. “Sometimes, you go into something thinking that you want something specific, and then you totally change your mind and don’t go with that idea at all.”

The film itself doesn’t necessarily fall into a typical porn category. Not that we’ve seen it, however, from the trailer only, the film has a music video aesthetic and not a high definition quality that you may expect. The actress went on to say that she felt lucky that Pornhub believed in her vision and wasn’t trepidatious about doing this film with her especially because other studio executives had turned down her movie idea. She said that she had shopped around her movie pitch for a long time but was getting turned down because they were “scared to make a movie like this one when it comes to dominance and submissive[ness] between a male and female and how this relationship can turn quite sour.”

So, what was it like filming a porn movie? Thorne said it was “interesting.

Credit: Instagram/@bellathorne

As this is her launch into directing movies, Bella Thorne is no stranger to the wild ongoings of a Hollywood set. Her catalog of films is quite extensive and includes “Amityville: The Awakening,” “Blended,” and “The Duff.” This process, however, was very different, mainly because there were people having sex. She said, “we had real-life f*cking on set which I had never shot before at all.” Well, that’s one takeaway.

People on social media definitely had things to say about this startling news.

“I don’t think Bella Thorne and Zendaya could’ve taken more opposite paths after Shake It Up,” another said. To those haters, the actress said, that just because they’re uncomfortable with porn doesn’t mean they have to put that stigma onto others.

For anyone that thinks Thorne is swaying toward a negative path, they should know she’s also an accomplished author.

Credit: Instagram/@bellathorne

Last month, Thorne released her seventh published book. This one is titled “The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray.” The book has only released a couple of weeks, and it’s already a best-seller. The book isn’t a work of fiction but rather a published compilation of essays and poem deals with her personal struggles, relationships, and life as a headline-making celebrity. She’s definitely making news lately.

The release of her porn film comes just a couple of months since someone tried to threaten her by releasing nude photos.

Credit: Instagram/@bellathorne

Thorne ended up releasing the images herself in a move she said would take power away from the person trying to exploit her. Thorne got an overwhelming amount of support from fans and celebs for being brave enough to go after her hacker and release the images on her own terms. However, actress and “The View” co-host, Whoopi Goldberg faced backlash after the Oscar-winning star shamed her for taking nude images of herself.

Check out the trailer for her new porn film “Her & Him,” below.

READ: Bella Thorne Sobs While Addressing Whoopi Goldberg Who Slut-Shamed Her For Taking Nude Selfies

 
 

Selena Quintanilla’s Sister Says The Dress Scene From The Movie Sadly Wasn’t Just A Story

Entertainment

Selena Quintanilla’s Sister Says The Dress Scene From The Movie Sadly Wasn’t Just A Story

A classic scene in the 1997 film “Selena” is when the Tejano queen is shopping for a dress at a high-end boutique for the Grammy Awards. The scene features a pretty classic “Pretty Woman” moment that so many women of color can relate to. While shopping in a store, Selena is told by a shop employee that she will not be able to afford the dress that she was looking at and wanted to try on. Obviously, the woman was racially profiling the Latina and didn’t recognize her as the famous pop star she was. The shop employee later gets her just deserts when she sees Selena surrounded by fans, all clamoring for an autograph.

Famously, the scene ends with Selena declining to buy the dress and the shop employee realizing that she messed up big time.

As much as we love that scene, we’ve now found out that it didn’t exactly go down the way we thought.

Instagram / @Selena.daily

On July 30th, Selena fan Insta page, Selena.daily, posted a clip from a 2012 live stream where Selena’s siblings talked about that infamous dress scene. In the video, Suzette and A.B. Quintanilla explained that the interaction between Selena and a rude shop employee wasn’t just a one-time occurrence. Like many Black and brown people, Selena was racially profiled several times while out shopping with friends and family.

In the live stream, A.B. reads a question from a fan asking if the dress incident was a real thing that happened or if it was made up for the movie.

Instagram / @Selena.daily

“It happened with me, too” A.B. exclaims in the video. “They were following us ⁠— some security guards. We were in a Macy’s and Selena ⁠— she always picked me to go shopping with her, man. So I went with her when (Suzette) wasn’t around and so I’m with her and some security guard is following us… She turns around towards the guy and says, ‘Can I help you!? We’re not going to steal anything!'”

Like so many Black and brown people, she was being racially profiled by security because she didn’t fit the “look” of someone who would be shopping at the store. It’s hard to imagine that someone as famous as Selena would have this happen to her too but, when it comes to racists and racial profiling, the only thing that matters is skin color.

Suzette shared the reason why she thought Selena was probably the victim of profiling more often than once.

Twitter / @4Prina

Suzette talked about memories of her sister; how she would dress and how she would react when she found herself in these situations.

“I think that Selena’s thing was that Selena always dressed in jeans and a tee-shirt and she always had her hair in a low bun. You know, she would get mad when people would stereotype her.”

The public usually sees celebrities dressed up and looking like they’ve come off the red carpet. Selena wasn’t one of those celebrities. She was an ordinary girl who felt most at home in a pair of jeans. Due to this, it was easy for security guards and shop employees to mistake her for a non-celebrity. However, whether they aren’t famous or they are, the profiling of people of color is very real (it even happened to Oprah recently!) and it remains something that regularly happens decades later.

The current racial profiling by ICE has become especially dangerous and is something that should be outlawed.

Twitter / @RAICESTEXAS

Raids done by US Customs and Border Protection and ICE are racially motivated. Agents see groups of Black or brown people and identify these gatherings as possible targets to be detained. Places like buses, bars, restaurant kitchens, and nail salons are being targeted by these officers because they are identified as places that minorities frequent. It’s not a precise investigation as much as it’s a fishing net to capture for undocumented migrants.

The same happened to Francisco Erwin Galicia when he was illegally detained by ICE for three weeks. The teenager was just walking down the street with his brother when he was stopped and jailed by officers of ICE. Despite being a natural-born citizen, Galicia physically fit the stereotype of an undocumented immigrant so he became an easy target.

While that dress scene in “Selena” is one of the most satisfying parts of the movie, it points out a very real problem in our current society. We can’t help but wonder: If Selena was alive and well today, would she be as vulnerable to these illegal raids as so many of us are?