Where’s Her Movie? Activist, Dolores Huerta – 17 in a series

“Where’s HER Movie” posts will highlight interesting and accomplished women from a variety of professional backgrounds who deserve to have movies written about them as much as all the male scientists, authors, performers, and geniuses have had written about them across the over 100 years of film.  This is our attempt to help write these women back into mainstream history.  — Rosanne

Where's Her Movie? Activist, Dolores Huerta  - 17 in a series

Dolores Clara Fernández Huerta (born April 10, 1930) is an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, which later merged with the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee to become the United Farm Workers (UFW).[1] Huerta helped organize the Delano grape strike in 1965 in California and was the lead negotiator in the workers’ contract that was created after the strike.[2]

Huerta has received numerous awards for her community service and advocacy for workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights, including the Eugene V. Debs Foundation Outstanding American Award, the United States Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights[3] and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[4] She was the first Latina inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, in 1993.[5][6]

Huerta is the originator of the phrase, “Sí, se puede“.[7] As a role model to many in the Latino community, Huerta is the subject of many corridos (Mexican or Mexican-American ballads) and murals.[8]

In California, April 10 is Dolores Huerta Day.[9]  Wikipedia

Women Prefer Anita Loos: Celebrating the Female Screenwriters Who Came Before Us, Dr. Rosanne Welch, April 2021

Women Prefer Anita Loos: Celebrating the Female Screenwriters Who Came Before Us, Dr. Rosanne Welch, April 2021

I first found Anita Loos in her memoir A Girl Like I which sat on the sparsely covered “Hollywood History” shelf in my local library one summer. Reading her story showed me women had been masterful in the world of screenwriting, which taught me that they could – and would be again – even though it was the late 1970s and I could only name two female screenwriters. Nancy Dowd, who had won the Best Screenplay Oscar for Coming Home and Harriet Frank, Jr., who had been nominated for Norma Rae. (Watch future columns for more on their storied careers.)

Read the entire article, Women Prefer Anita Loos,  on the Script web site


Read about more women from early Hollywood


18 Russell T Davies and Doctor Who from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 seconds)

18 Russell T Davies and Doctor Who from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 seconds)

Thanks to the gracious invitation from my Screenwriting Research Network colleague Paolo Russo – and a grant he was able to procure (and in the before-Covid time) I was able to spend a week at Oxford Brookes University working with the screenwriting masters students in Paolo’s course. At the culmination of the week, I gave this lecture on how writers rooms worked in the States.

Transcript:

I got a beloved chance to interview Russell Davies who came to the states to do the fourth season of Torchwood and the editor Written By knew how much I love Doctor Who, so he asked me if I’d like to interview him? Which I did and this was something that he said that meant a lot. Again you probably know he’s an openly gay man and it bothered him what he was seeing on television. So obviously, he invented Queer As Folk, and from that, he invented and revived Doctor Who and invented Torchwood, which allowed us, Captain Jack. it was just so adorable. I can’t stand it, but not on my team. So there you go. So this is really important. He was recognizing that in what he was creating for television and again made the programming more inclusive.

Watch this entire presentation

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“A Man Of Action Saving Liberty: A Novel Based On The Life Of Giuseppe Garibaldi” – 32 in a series

“All further defense across the Tiber would be terrible and useless as the French control the Heights,” Giuseppe said in a loud, clear voice. “Let us leave Rome with every armed volunteer willing to accompany us!” He ended with the promise, “Dovunque saremo, colà sarà Roma/(Wherever we may be, there will be Rome).”

Get your copy of A Man Of Action Saving Liberty Today!

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: ‘Message for Posterity’: The Singing Detective (1986) 25 years on by John R. Cook

Highlighting the articles in the past editions of the Journal of Screenwriting, of which I am the Book Reviews Editor. Hopefully these abstracts will entice you to did a little deeper into the history and future of screenwriting. — Rosanne


‘Message for Posterity’: The Singing Detective (1986) 25 years on by John R. Cook

This article offers a reappraisal of Dennis Potter’s television script for The Singing Detective (BBC, 1986) in the 25th anniversary period of the production’s first broadcast. The article reviews the history of the author’s intellectual engagement with The Singing Detective – of what it meant to him then, when he first saw the production in 1986 and of what it means to him now. It discusses the relationship of The Singing Detective to literary modernism, particularly James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses published in 1922. It examines debates on whether Potter is a postmodern writer and also explores the relationship of The Singing Detective to psychoanalysis. It concludes by arguing that Potter’s TV screenplay for The Singing Detective is best seen as a religious work in which spirituality is redefined as the capacity for human beings to reshape their own reality. In this lies Potter’s Christian optimism and The Singing Detective stands as his message for posterity in this regard.

From The Journal Of Screenwriting V4 Issue 3: ‘Message for Posterity’: The Singing Detective (1986) 25 years on by John R. Cook


Journal of Screenwriting Cover

The Journal of Screenwriting is an international double-blind peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year. The journal highlights current academic and professional thinking about the screenplay and intends to promote, stimulate and bring together current research and contemporary debates around the screenplay whilst encouraging groundbreaking research in an international arena. The journal is discursive, critical, rigorous and engages with issues in a dynamic and developing field, linking academic theory to screenwriting practice. 

Get your copy and subscription to the Journal of Screenwriting Today!



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The Civil War On Film – 27 in a series – “Nativists in New York City showed particular disdain for being conscripted into the army to fight a war that would free yet another minority group…”

The Civil War On Film - 27 in a series -

Nativists in New York City showed particular disdain for being conscripted into the army to fight a war that would free yet another minority group they feared would force them out of their jobs. Likewise, while some newly-arrived impoverished immigrants appreciated the military’s promise of regular meals, others resented when they learned that rich men could buy their way out of the draft for a fee of $300. This number further insulted white working class men who knew enslaved people in the South sold for three or more times that fee so they felt it denigrated their own worth.

Movies profiled in this book:

08 Stephen J. Cannell and Adam-12 from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

With the full recording of “How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television”

08 Stephen J. Cannell and Adam-12 from How The Chaos Of Collaboration in the Writers Room Created Golden Age Television [Video]

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When the folks hosting the conference announced their theme as “Screen Narratives: Chaos and Order” the word ‘chaos’ immediately brought to mind writers rooms. I offered a quick history of writers rooms (the presentations are only 20 minutes long) and then quoted several current showrunners on how they compose their rooms and how they run them.

Transcript

Stephen Cannell — who’s the first person I worked for as an assistant — they tell a great story when he was in the writer’s pool Universal. They came in for this show, Adam-12, they said we need an idea for the show. Who wants to write one and the first thing that came to him was — they’re policemen who rode around in a squad car all day — and his unique idea was, what if they got the squad car that was misbehaving — that had engine trouble and a flat tire and everything went wrong with the car. So the whole episode was about these men managing the tool of their job more than managing what the crime of the week was and that stood out in people’s minds. He was using the formula in a different way and that started to make people pay attention to him. So that he could leave and do other things.

For more information on the Screenwriting Research Network, visit

Screenwriting Research Network Conference, Porto, Portugal, All Sessions


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A Woman Wrote That – 23 in a series – Brave (2012), Writer, Brenda Chapman

This new “A Woman Wrote That” post is an echo of the Writers Guild campaign of a few years ago (“A Writer Wrote That”) where they noted famous movie quotes and credited the screenwriter rather than the director.  The difference here being that we will be posting lines from films written by female screenwriters.  Feel free to share! — Rosanne

A Woman Wrote That - 23 in a series - Brave (2012), Writer, Brenda Chapman

MERIDA

I am Merida, firstborn descendant of Clan Dunbroch. And I’ll be shooting for my own hand!

Where’s Her Movie? Activist, Claudette Colvin – 16 in a series

“Where’s HER Movie” posts will highlight interesting and accomplished women from a variety of professional backgrounds who deserve to have movies written about them as much as all the male scientists, authors, performers, and geniuses have had written about them across the over 100 years of film.  This is our attempt to help write these women back into mainstream history.  — Rosanne

Where's Her Movie? Activist, Claudette Colvin  - 16 in a series

Claudette Colvin (born Claudette Austin, September 5, 1939)[1][2] is a pioneer of the 1950s civil rights movement and retired nurse aide. On March 2, 1955, she was arrested at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus. This occurred nine months before the more widely known incident in which Rosa Parks, secretary of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), helped spark the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott.[3]

Colvin was one of five plaintiffs in the first federal court case filed by civil rights attorney Fred Gray on February 1, 1956, as Browder v. Gayle, to challenge bus segregation in the city. In a United States district court, she testified before the three-judge panel that heard the case. On June 13, 1956, the judges determined that the state and local laws requiring bus segregation in Alabama were unconstitutional. The case went to the United States Supreme Court on appeal by the state, and it upheld the district court’s ruling on November 13, 1956. One month later, the Supreme Court affirmed the order to Montgomery and the state of Alabama to end bus segregation. The Montgomery bus boycott was then called off. Wikipedia

18 Where Are The Women? from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 seconds)

18 Where Are The Women? from There And Back Again: Writing and Developing for American TV [Video] (40 seconds)

Thanks to the gracious invitation from my Screenwriting Research Network colleague Paolo Russo – and a grant he was able to procure (and in the before-Covid time) I was able to spend a week at Oxford Brookes University working with the screenwriting masters students in Paolo’s course. At the culmination of the week, I gave this lecture on how writers rooms worked in the States.

Transcript:

Kenny moved into The Incredible Hulk really the first superhero show on tv that ever survived and then he did “V” which was redone a few years ago and then he did Alien Nation which is where I met him. I worked on that show. So but in all these early drama rooms, there’s something missing. Who’s not in that picture? Audience: Any woman. Thank you. There you go. That’s the problem because most all these stories are being funneled through the minds of guys and you can’t blame a person for writing about what they know and what means something to them. That’s what writers do and that’s why a room wants as much inclusivity as possible right? So we don’t have any girls.

Watch this entire presentation

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library