10 Three Women Of Color from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

 

10 Three Women Of Color from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

They don’t tell the story of people like Marion E. Wong all right. Without having the material, these stories disappear. She’s just really coming into the textbooks now. She was from San Francisco. She only made one film which was “The Curse of Kwon Guan.” She tried to get it distributed and she was turned down by almost every distributor in New York. She traveled from San Francisco to New York with her parents and they could not get the movie sold. So they went bankrupt on it and they continued running their restaurant in San Francisco.

Jeannie Louise Toussaint Welcome was a famous African-American screenwriter in the early silent days. She worked out of Chicago. She comes from a famous family to the extent that her brother was a Harlem Renaissance photographer and her parents worked for President Ulysses S. Grant. We have advertisements of the work that she did and the films that she made but none had been preserved. So we do not have things to study right? So the archives can’t tell us the whole story because these women do not have their words in those archives. We have advertisements for what they did. That’s how we know that they worked. The same is true with Tressie Souders who worked out of Kansas, We have listings from movies that were made and distributed in black-owned theaters and those kinds of things and Eloyce King Patrick Gist. We know of course more about Zora Neil Hurston because she was doing documentary work through the WPA. So and because of her novels she’s a name that we recognize but these other people were all working in this time period and forgotten because they don’t exist in our archives.

 

 


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Screenwriter Laura West Perelman: From New York to LA and Back – Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, June 2022

Screenwriter Laura West Perelman: From New York to LA and Back – Dr. Dr. Rosanne Welch, Script Magazine, June 2022

 

This month in my monthly column for Script Magazine – which “celebrates the female screenwriters who came before us” — I turn the spotlight on playwright turned screenwriter Laura West Perelman. She wrote 6 films, many adapted from plays she had co-written with her husband, humorist S. J. Perelman. I learned more about her when I researched them both for my dissertation “Married: With Screenplay” which studied several married screenwriting couples from the early days of Hollywood.

What I learned that happened often with married couples is that many of the female screenwriters were lost to history as newspapers referred more often to their husbands as the authors of the works. Unless the woman was equal or more famous than her writing partner husband (such as was the case with Dorothy Parker, Ruth Gordon, and Frances Goodrich Hackett) the contribution of the wifely part of the partnership was ignored, even by later oral historians. So it’s nice to have a place to bring their names back into the conversation about their screenplays.

Screenwriter Laura West Perelman: From New York to LA and Back


Read about more women from early Hollywood

 

11 Equal Relationships from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

11 Equal Relationships from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

If you think about it but he’s an equal partner. Again in children of earth this marvelous bit. They’re carrying these children away together. They’re saving them. He’s just as much a hero. He doesn’t have to have a job that defines him as a hero. He’s one in his heart right and so I think he’s a marvelous character that we don’t necessarily see again on American television. Still, when there are women who achieve a lot they aren’t partnered. We’re not seeing this kind of balanced marriage and I see it much more in UK shows and actually shows in Canada. We watch a lot of Canadian tv. One is the number one detective show in Canada is called Murdoch Mysteries and she’s a coroner and he’s a cop. It’s in like 1910 Toronto and they dated for a series of years and then they got married and in an American show like on Bones – I got married shows over. Show’s done. Nobody cares anymore right? Here they’ve been married for the last four or five seasons and they still both do their cool work and they have this equal relationship.

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09 Friends & Archives As Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

09 Friends & Archives As Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Friends can be unreliable narrators. Salka Viertel was an early screenwriter. She wrote several Greta Garbo films and was in fact sidelined when Greta decided to stop making films. Her home in the Hollywood Hills is a big salon. The new book out “The Sun and Her Stars” is all about that but men who write about her write about her chocolate cake. The only man to write about her as a writer that he respected was Christopher Isherwood the playwright who she rented her guest house to with his lover Don Bachardy and so he respected her work enough to mention that but her friends – her male friends – all thought about her cooking. Archives don’t want to be unreliable narrators but they can be if women don’t send their work to them. If other people don’t preserve the work of women. So as much as we adore these places they don’t tell the whole story either. I don’t think it’s their fault.

 

 


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10 Gwen & Rhys from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

10 Gwen & Rhys from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

What’s beautiful about Gwen right is that she’s beautiful but she’s powerful. She’s smart. We eventually get around the fact that she has a baby and she’s still gonna be as empowered and smart as she is and she’s gonna keep her job and because she has a family that will help that happen right? So we have actually not just that she’s powerful but she’s in a balanced marriage. She’s in a marriage with someone who’s her partner, not someone above her or below her right? They’re equals and they’re sharing in their business and finally, I’ve got a couple of friends like this. One’s a lawyer at a big law firm and she got partner and her husband didn’t at his firm so when they decided to have a baby it was like well who’s going to stay home? The lady who’s making all kinds of money or the guy who’s not. I think it’s the guy and he was totally cool with that because they’re making tons of money and he gets to be with the baby but we’re still looking at that like it’s an oddity when it needn’t be. It’s what’s best for this family right and this balanced family came to us in Torchwood. This idea that a man would be okay with his wife having this more exciting life.

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08 Bess Meredyth from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

08 Bess Meredyth from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Bess Meredyth had the same thing happen. Her husband Michael Curtiz pretty much neglects to mention her. He of course directed Casablanca and the Epstein brothers are fond of saying that whenever there was a problem on the set Michael Curtiz would say I have to go figure this out and they knew he went to the office and he called his wife at home and she would solve the story problem and he would come back to the set and say he’d figured it out but the Epstein’s knew that he couldn’t figure it out. It was Bess who was doing it for him from home. Sadly her son did the same thing to her. In his own memoir about his television writing career, he didn’t bother asking his mother much about what she did because what could she really have done that was very important right? She was a girl. So by accident he dismissed his own mother and her career which was quite long and quite famous.

 

 


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09 Gwen Cooper from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

09 Gwen Cooper from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Of course, one of the reasons that I love Torchwood is Gwen Cooper, right, and this comes directly, again, from Russell. One of the quotes he gave me was your know, I never see good gay representation. I never see good African-American representation, but what really stinks is how badly women are represented on television and that’s an amazing thing for a guy to recognize, but that is, of course, who he is. He’s a writer. He’s an artist. He’s thinking about people as whole beings and it’s true, right? I mean that’s why there’s a show on American TV now called “Kevin Can Go F*** Himself.” They’ve taken – because, for years, as I’ve watched comedies, you know, sitcoms, when I was a kid you were always like why is that really useless man married to that really excellent woman? I don’t believe for 3 seconds that he’s forgotten their anniversary for 12 years in a row and she still puts up with it. Like why am learning that’s how I’m supposed to accept my mate. This is nonsense and that’s what that show is about now. She actually – you get two versions. You see the sitcom scenes and then see her alone in a scene where she’s planning to murder him because he deserves it. And you’re like Wow, Ok. So Russell recognized he wanted to bring forth a real;y interesting woman and you can’t necessarily see a million of those yet on TV. We still don’t see as many empowered women – in this case, Gwen Cooper.

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07 Husbands As Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

07 Husbands As Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Husbands are unreliable narrators. Sarah Y. Mason wrote with her husband Victor Herman who later became a director of the Marx Brothers comedies. They won an Oscar for adapting Little Women and they wrote it twice right? They wrote the original version and they wrote the Katherine Hepburn version. They won to oscar together. When he did his oral history he said that he was the better writer than his wife. She was already dead. She didn’t get to say how much work he really did but if you look them up on IMDb, she has about 20 credits before she marries him and about 20 or 30 credits after they stop writing together because he becomes a director. He has about seven credits and half of those are writing with her. So who’s the real writer in that team. I don’t know but I think I can tell you. Clara Behringer’s husband did pretty much the same thing and Clara helped found the writing department at USC. She wrote one of these earliest books on how to write for the screen –– which is very difficult to use because it costs about $600 online right now –– because it’s like there’s few copies left but she wrote 85 different films. Her name is not particularly brought up often at USC even though she helped found the school and her husband was William DeMille who wrote about his career and not about hers.

 

 


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08 Ianto Jones from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

08 Ianto Jones from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

Transcript:

Now we know that eventually, they build into him being with Ianto which is so interesting because we start with Ianto has a girlfriend and she’s the cyber woman that he saved right which was – they – I in one of the things Russell said when he first offered the job the actor said Nah sounds like a boring character and they said in the third or fourth episode we’re going to find out you’ve been hiding your girlfriend and she’s a cyber woman and he was like oh I’ll do that show. I’m in for that right? So I think that’s so fun but of course so again Ianto, we find out is bisexual right? He starts with a girlfriend. That doesn’t work. Eventually, he and Jack come together. One of the things I learned on this trip to Cardiff for this event was – he is such a beloved character there is a monument to him and it there and it’s still there. It just – about six months ago John Barrowman visited it and was seen there and you just on his Instagram page but it literally and it was not – this is a later edition. This actual formalization of it. It started by individuals – people just putting up poetry in Ianto’s name. In honor of him right because he died in the universe. Amazing. This is the tv character, right? This is not a real human being but the story moved people so much that they just started coming here and dropping these things off and that’s why then the city has made it permanent and this is actually Roald Dahl Place. So that’s interesting too because it ties into all of the English you know the culture that we have fallen in love with if you will but I just think that’s amazing. I can’t name necessarily an American tv character that has had a permanent monument in their name. So that’s an amazing thing.

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06 Female Writers Can Be Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Nearly two years ago I had the pleasure of being invited to join a panel at the then upcoming SCMS (Society of Cinema and Media Studies) conference set for Seattle.  As you know that was canceled due to Covid with the hopes of reconvening in Colorado in 2021.  That became a virtual conference but our group decided to reapply our panel and we four were able to ‘meet’ on Zoom on Sunday and present:  Writing Between the Lines: Feminist Strategies for Historical Absences, Cliché, and the Unreliable Narrator. 

Here you can watch a clip from my part of the presentation,

“When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues in Oral Histories”

06 Female Writers Can Be Unreliable Narrators from When Men Forget Women: The Many Ways Male Screenwriters Fail to Mention their Female Colleagues [Video]

Transcript:

Francis Marion. So female writers are their own unreliable narrators. She was throwing away all her papers at the end of her career. She felt nobody would care. Her secretary dragged them out of the trash and gave them to Carrie Beauchamp who ended up writing “Without Lying Down”, right? This is one of the most wonderful books about the history of Francis Marion which wouldn’t have existed because the female writer herself threw away her work. She did not think that it was worth keeping. She didn’t think anybody would care. Likewise, Carrie worked on “Anita Loos Rediscovered” I don’t think Anita Loos needed rediscovering because Anita was very good at taking care of herself. So I apologize to Mr. Stemple for having to say his book didn’t tell us what it should but I’m not going to apologize to Mark Norman because he knew better. His book came out after Carrie’s book did and he actually interviewed Carrie and he refused to use the information from her book in his. So there.

 

 


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