Everything You Wanted to Know About the Backlot Bitch*

Salutations from the East Coast! My name is Monica and I'll be your resident "Backlot Bitch" for the next few months. Or more, if you like me. If you really, really like me.

Why "Backlot Bitch"? Well, it's alliteration, and literary devices. But really, I've always loved the history of old Hollywood and the studio backlots were once the hubs of the industry. As I've grown up though, like many others here, I've learned that the Hollywood fairy tale wasn't meant for everyone—and it still isn't easily accessible to everyone. And that's where I come in, and call out the bull. It's 2012, and the Oscars are only slightly more diverse than they were 50 years ago. I can still count the number of well-made mainstream movies with female protagonists on two hands. Why are we still dealing with whitewashing casting and charater stereotypes from the twenties? Why hasn't this changed? What can be done about the systemic exclusion of anyone who isn't white, heterosexual, cisgendered, and able-bodied?

illustration of the MGM backlot
Old postcard from MGM Backlot

I love that Bitch has a super responsive readership. I do. I'd love for you all to come in with opinions on my posts. I'm a film critic by trade, so I'm used to disagreeing with folks. I'm also quite grateful that the editors here saw my application and thought, "you should write for us." That's huge for a young writer finding rejection to be the norm of the business. I'm quite excited to get my feminist film critic on. ;)

What? More about me? Uh okay, well, I like long walks on the beach (I am originally from Florida, now in Boston), traveling (if I could, I'd do nothing but report on film festivals), food (I used to make chocolate treats in my spare time), books (currently reading the history of the movie "Casablanca"), art (still do "field trips" to the museum), dance (former ballroom instructor), and movies (duh). You can follow me on the twitters at mcastimovies.

I'll be posting twice a week during this series on movies, feminism, and everything in between. Have something you'd like me to cover? Let me know in the comments! Okay, so let's do this "Backlot Bitch" thing! All together now.

*but were afraid to ask. Well, may be not afraid. Just uninterested. Until now.

by Monica Castillo
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Monica Castillo is a freelance film critic. You can usually find her on Twitter talking about the movie she just watched at @mcastimovies.

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2 Comments Have Been Posted

We are still using Victorian Stock Characters, HELP!

Please help this Damsel in Distress (if anyone could save this guy, it's BITCH!)

I find it remarkable that the same stock characters of Victorian Melodrama are currently the norm in the film industry today. The corporate heads don't believe we will be able to understand a story if it isn't laid out the way it has been done for more than a hundred years. The thing that I think is sad is that even a large number of films that are geared toward certain demographics still have the same 5 stock characters. If I have to see one more movie where the "hero" gets outsmarted by the "villain" up until the last 5 minutes of the movie, right in time to save the "damsel" I will cry. Sorry for my rant. I am excited about this series to say the least.

Totally legit rant. I do

Totally legit rant. I do think it's funny how we're also still using the "good" vs "evil" tropes like it's the Greek ages. Duly noted :)

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