Welcome to the latest edition of 24 Frames. Sahara Shrestha and Andrew Jamieson will be guiding you through the exciting, confusing and often brilliant world of 'film'. Expect news, trailers and plenty of opinion.

The latest edition is brought to you by Andrew Jamieson, who can be found on twitter over at @theghostwriterc.



24 Frames: The 'Cover' Edition

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on women in film and the position of women within the industry. I made a few positive points about where I saw the gender dynamics within the movie industry. I thought I was finished with the issue as a whole, however during this summer as I have been purchasing a lot of DVDs and Blu Rays, I was slightly troubled by the covers and marketing of movies and the slight affectation of gender bias that still exists throughout cinematic popular culture.

I am not on some kind of crusade here, however I have noticed that on a certain number of new releases this year that males have been front and centre of the marketing of the film while also being featured on the cover of the DVD. However when looking at the contractual agreements for some of these movies there is an in discrepancy when you consider the fact that the female actors cast in the movie also have a lead role in the picture itself and are not featured on the cover. This can be seen by simply looking at the credit list on the back on the box. Look at the entertainers that feature before the title card for some of these movies and then ask; why isn't that female on the cover? I accept that contractual negotiations are paramount here, although to me there is a subtle nuance to this debate. While I would not say that the promotion for movies displays outright sexism on the part of some studios it is a factor that we as movie lovers must consider.

I have noticed that from my formative cinematic years to today that many women who appear on a one sheet poster or DVD box when promoting a movie are not listed on the credits for that movie with any prominence. Surely it is logical and reasonable to assume that if you're being promoted to the general public then your name should appear above the title card. I would say this should be true for both sexes - but I would also suggest that in some regards the gender bias here is so significant that it should be a consideration for marketing executives around the world.

  • Andrea Riseborough in James Marsh's Shadow Dancer (2012)

While we see many Hollywood properties still being helmed by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Angelina Jolie and with superb new actresses such as Andrea Riseborough (pictured above) gaining new prominence. I would also indicate that underneath this veneer there appears to be a sleight of hand toward female cast members which still exists even to this day. I asked myself last week: in how many big budget movies that I have seen this year were the female characters the most illuminating part of the narrative? Most, if not all. Then I ask myself why wasn't that person featured in the promotion of this movie? When you look at the promotion for The Lone Ranger in which the producer Jerry Bruckheimer's name is touted in most of the promotional materials for the picture.

The same is not true for the prominent female producers in the industry. Bruckheimer is of course a famous producer throughout the industry. However if you look at somebody like Kathleen Kennedy who has produced everything from Schindler's ListWar of the Worlds to (Steven Spielberg - 2005), her name is never featured as prominently as her fellow industry producer's name Jerry Bruckheimer in the promotion of those movies.

  • Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games (2012)

All I would say is that both sexes deserve equal prominence on screen and behind the camera, and I do think that my simple point about DVD covers does point toward a wider debate that perhaps needs to be had. Women and men give us all so many wonderful moments at the art house cinema to the multiplex so lets give credit where credit is due?