NOC Interview: Maggie Q on Representing Powerful Asian Women in ‘The Protégé’

The Protégé isn’t just your typical action movie. And Maggie Q is absolutely not your typical Hollywood action hero. Indeed, Q and this movie represent something special for Asians like myself; more so especially for Asian women. In the history of American-made action films, how many have been led by Asian women? And no, Scarlett Johansson doesn’t count for obvious reasons. I bet if you’re counting at home, you have barely finished counting on one hand.

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‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ Set to Release in July

FINALLY!!!

We have news about the anticipated film Gunpowder Milkshake starring ALL OF OUR FAVORITE PEOPLE, including Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Karen Gillan, Lena Headey, Carla Gugino, Chloe Coleman, and Paul Giamatti. For the past year, we have been seeing images and videos posted by the stars themselves and with no information regarding the film itself.

We finally got something! Cue the “We did it, Joe” gif!

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Bonus Hard NOC: Chiara Aurelia Discusses Episode 4 of ‘Cruel Summer’

Chiara Aurelia portrays Jeanette Turner, a nerdy and sweet high schooler who wants more from life, in Freeform’s highly anticipated new drama Cruel Summer. I got to speak with the actress all about the series and episode 4, “You Don’t Hunt, You Don’t Eat,” before it aired so beware: we will be getting into spoilers. New episodes of the series air Tuesdays at 10 PM EDT/PDT on Freeform and are available the next day on Hulu.

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‘Toy Story 4’ and the Amazing Women Behind the Return of Bo Peep

“The world needs strong women. Women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.” — Amy Tenney

Earlier this month, I wrote about the debut of Toy Story’s newest character, Forky, whom will be making his arrival in Toy Story 4.

However… Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang aren’t just welcoming new friends like Forky in Toy Story 4 — they’re also getting reunited with an old one.

Bo Peep is back!

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‘Captain Marvel’ Directors Dive Deep into Carol Danvers and Brie Larson

Captain Marvel is set to release in less than one month, and fans have been anticipating for more juicy details about our awesome HERo and the woman playing her, Brie Larson. During a set visit in May, Captain Marvel directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck revealed the importance of Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, being the first woman-led superhero film for Marvel and the first being directed by a woman director.

“I feel incredibly honored to be given the opportunity to, to be here with this awesome group of people,” Boden told The Nerds of Color. “It amazes me that I am the first female director to be doing one of their films. But I, you know, [I’m] just kind of trying to tackle it like I would any other job. And the more I think about that stuff, the less focused I am. Just kind of trying to work every day, and one of the things that I love about this movie is that what a collaboration — what an amazing collaboration it is.”

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We Made a Wonder Woman Jacket… and Guys Hate It

by Tony B. Kim | Originally posted at Hero Within

On Monday morning we released our summer collection that included our new Wonder Woman Denim Jacket. Out of everything new we are creating this year, this is the one piece I am most excited for. Wonder Woman is FINALLY getting her own live action film after almost 40 years since Linda Carter’s iconic TV version. Fortunately, in the past few years, we have seen more social advocating for equal representation of gender, orientation, and race in our favorite comics, TV, and films. Much has changed. Much has not.

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Womyn Warriors of The Great Wall

The Great Wall was, as the movie posters implied, about how we should all say #ThankYouMattDamon. Yes, he comes up with the brilliant plans that the Chinese hadn’t figured out in the last 2,000 years (even though there was a clue in ancient texts) and all that white savior stuff — fittingly, the movie was written by the same guy who wrote The Last Samurai. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up). But I’m not gonna talk about it because you can find it all over the internet.

You can read about the plot here — or read Valerie’s review here — so you know what I’m going to be talking about, but it’s basically Starship Troopers in ancient China. But there was a theme that made me not want to slit my wrists and go screaming out of the movie theater (which was the case when I saw Kubo and the Two Strings, but that’s for another day). What was it? It was the portrayal of womyn.

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Gender and Tech: The New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

My name is Julie, and I am an actual woman in tech. Sometimes it’s hard being me in tech, because I am a woman… of color… with children… who hasn’t watched a single Iron Man or Wolverine movie. Call me Unicorn.

Have you read about the latest study that shows how shitty it still is to be coding while female (or, I assume, presenting as female)? The way they controlled for geekiness is especially awesome. There aren’t many surprises in this study’s findings; women in Computer Science and tech in general have always been excluded, implicitly and explicitly, and it seems the majority still likes to protect its vanguard.

The article’s flaw, in my opinion, is labeling Dungeons & Dragons, Star Trek, and other geek institutions as “masculine.” That’s too easy to dispute, and therefore, dismiss. We all can see why “masculine” is not the most accurate adjective to use: there are plenty of counter-examples of masculinity that have nothing to do with that stuff, and of course there are plenty of femmes who like that stuff. It is rather more a slice of the pop culture universe that is indeed white male dominated, but takes its identity from fandoms, the objects of those fandoms, and the general quest for purity within those fandoms. So for the rest of this article, I’m going to call this cultural archetype “ubergeek.”

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The Creation of Kaya, Magic: The Gathering’s First Black Woman Planeswalker

On August 3, I was excited to unveil a project I’d been working on for nearly a year. I had been working with Magic: The Gathering to produce a brand new character; a character who is a biggie for their Planeswalkers cast of characters. Kaya, Ghost Assassin has made history as the first black woman Planeswalker, and I’m honored to have been a part of her creation.

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This Year’s Supergirl

Originally published at Bitch Flicks

At 8 years old, I would wake up early every Saturday morning to tune in and watch Superboy. Over the years, I’ve been a faithful viewer of the original George Reeves Superman series, Lois & Clark, the Bruce Timm animated series, the live action films, and of course the comics. I’m a comic book guy through and through. For me, Superman isn’t just a superhero. He is THE superhero. I’m very protective of the Man of Steel’s mythos and legacy. Suffice it to say, I had my concerns when the CBS series Supergirl was announced.

Somehow when I wasn’t paying attention, my reaction evolved from, “The pilot was cute, I guess I’ll tune in,” to “Jesus Christ is it Monday night yet? I need my Maiden of Might!!!!”

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How Diverse is the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The Movies: Phase One

The Doctor Strange controversy — combined with the push to cast an Asian American actor as the title character Danny Rand aka Iron Fist —  has been buzzing for the last couple months. With the release of the first official trailer for Doctor Strange, Marvel’s next would-be blockbuster movie after Captain America: Civil War, the controversy has reached an all time high. So much so that a Marvel spokesperson gave this statement to Mashable regarding the casting of Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One in Doctor Strange:

Marvel has a very strong record of diversity in its casting of films and regularly departs from stereotypes and source material to bring its MCU to life. The Ancient One is a title that is not exclusively held by any one character, but rather a moniker passed down through time, and in this particular film the embodiment is Celtic. We are very proud to have the enormously talented Tilda Swinton portray this unique and complex character alongside our richly diverse cast.

Is this statement true though? Has Marvel Studios really pushed diversity in their movies? Have they increased the visibility of marginalized peoples in their film franchise or television properties? Has Marvel Studios subverted stereotypes? Enough to supposedly excuse recent controversies surrounding Doctor Strange and Iron Fist?

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NOC Exclusive Video: The Women of Yamasong

For the last year, we have been excited for the upcoming fantasy film Yamasong: March of the Hollows. Featuring the voice talents of George Takei, Whoopi Goldberg, Freida Pinto, and other top names in Hollywood, Yamasong — from director Sam Koji Hale — looks to revitalize the fantasy puppet movie genre. So it is very exciting to present this NOC exclusive behind-the-scenes video spotlighting the women who are bringing the world of Yamasong to life!

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The New Ghostbusters: Should I be Afraid?

So… The trailer for the new Ghostbusters film hit today. I am a really big fan of the original first film, and I enjoyed the much misunderstood second. I was really looking forward to this reboot. The new (all woman) cast looked stellar. I love the idea of an all-woman ghostbusting squad. I think there are opportunities for a completely different type of humor that would be a welcome relief from the smarmy, white guy charm of the original two films. I damn near broke my tablet trying to watch it.

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Of Fear and Fake Diversity

by Lexi Alexander | Originally posted at Lexi-Alexander.com

2015 was an interesting year for me. After finally getting back behind the camera at the end of the summer to shoot The CW’s Arrow,  I found myself a couple of months later in a Federal building in downtown Los Angeles, trying to convince half a dozen security guards to let me make my EEOC appointment despite my expired driver’s license.

Luckily ACLU lawyer Melissa Goodman, the patron saint of women directors, was with me and was able to convince the no-nonsense guards that I wasn’t a threat.

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We Are Brienne

by Lexi Alexander | Originally posted at Lexi-Alexander.com

“All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.”

Brienne of Tarth to Jaime Lannister

Imagine being a female TV & movie director trying to make it in an already competitive industry and the first thing that comes across your news feed at the beginning of the week is the sad fact that the most talked about show on TV failed to hire a single female director on its last season.

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Four Hollywood Rip Offs of Motoko Kusanagi

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of Ghost in the Shell, (and 26 years since the manga was first published).

There is no denying the influence this film has had on Hollywood. From James Cameron to Steven Spielberg, directors have praised writer Matsume Shirow and director Mamoru Oshii for their work on the series. Ghost In the Shell was a game changer as it introduced a true Japanese post-cyberpunk world to American audiences.

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Did Xena: Warrior Princess Inspire Legend of Korra?

In the 1990s, Xena: Warrior Princess — starring Lucy Lawless — ruled TV. Her chakram, armor, and famous warrior cry helped elevate Xena to one of the 25 best TV shows of all time. It’s 2015, and we have a new TV super woman, and her name is Korra, the Avatar (voiced by Janet Varney). The Legend of Korra is the Nickelodeon animated series that tells the story of a young woman who has the power to control the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Her power to control the elements makes her the most powerful human on the planet. Korra is tasked with bringing balance to the world by merging the spirit and human world in perfect harmony.

Being a fan of both Xena and Korra, the wheels started turning in my head, so I came up with a theory that the creators of Legend of Korra had a little Xena inspiration.

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Feminism is our Superpower

by Marjorie Liu

What can I add that hasn’t already been said? Not much, I suppose. There’s been an amazing symphony of voices on the internet, keeping alive the reality, the truth, that so many would prefer to ignore: that misogyny continues to thrive in every corner of the world. It is reflected back on us women every day, in a million different ways, and while it’s easy to point the finger at other countries and say, “Look at the way they treat women!” we all must know, deep down, that here in America we put into practice the same patterns of hate and ownership, and entitlement.

A pregnant woman was just stoned to death in Pakistan for marrying a man against her family’s wishes — but that happens here in America, all the time, with just slightly different players. Google “boyfriend kills pregnant girlfriend” and you’ll see a list of unending deaths. We read in horror about how rapists in other countries are let off easy by “corrupt authorities,” but what about our legal system? It’s just as monstrous towards victims of sexual assault. Check out this imagined, but very real, conversation — what if mugging were treated like rape is in the eyes of the law — found at the @femusingsteam twitter feed:

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Maiden, Mother, Crone: Why Voyager Was Awesome

Note who's standing in front.
Note who’s standing at the front.

In honor of N.O.C.’s Star Trek Week, I’m reposting something I wrote about four years ago on my own blog. It’s about Star Trek: Voyager. Wanna hear it? Here it go:

Over at Tempest’s blog, she asks why people really disliked Captains Sisko and Janeway. (If you don’t know why this is a loaded question, don’t bother reading this post, because it means you don’t know jill about Star Trek.)

I started to respond in a comment, but then it got really long, so I thought I’d just take it over here.

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