this performance was stunning

thinking about it, this week’s episode did a lot to dispel any remaining fear i had about a power imbalance or ulterior motives in victor and yuuri’s relationship, and it’s basically because of one line.

because remember, we’ve only very recently started to hear victor’s internal dialogue, and it told us crucially here that this is exactly what victor was doing. not because of any malicious intent, sure; he was genuinely trying to help yuuri, and based on his own experiences, an extreme ultimatum like the one he presented to yuuri was the best that he could come up with. nonetheless, it was designed to manipulate yuuri in a way, to motivate him, to snap him out of his stress. 

and the thing is, even in a very well done story, that’s what we might reasonably have expected to happen: yuuri, filled with a new drive not to lose victor, someone he admires immensely, as his coach/friend/partner, delivers a stunning performance and all is resolved. that’s just how the trope seems to go.

instead, yuuri immediately sees through what victor was doing, recognizes it as out of character for victor’s coaching style and how he treats yuuri in general, and calls him the fuck out on it, because yeah, that’s unhealthy, it’s not okay, and yuuri knows it, knows that he’s in and deserves a relationship with mutual honesty and respect. 

regardless of his anxiety, his insecurities, this is not a relationship where yuuri is on thin ice, and it’s lovely to see.

But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.
 
It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
 
Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.
— 

Meryl Streep, accepting the 

Cecil B. Demille Award at the 2017 Golden Globes

An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, compassionate work. There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.

And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, ’cause it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.

Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. Okay. Go on with that thing.

it was a brave choice for emmerdale to tackle such a huge issue as dementia because it’s one that most families have some experience with in a variety of different forms and will likely effect a good majority of the audience because of that.

but it was also such a brave and inspired choice to have a storyline which not only sensitively handled dementia as an illness in itself, but also the problems that arise because of dementia, how it can effect those around the person suffering from it in different ways

tonight’s episode was a truly ingenious portrayal of that illness, and to have it filmed from the perspective of ashley was likely an incredibly difficult task, not just for the writers and directors, but also for the actors as well, particularly those actors who had been brought in to play established characters (those playing laurel and aaron especially). while the episode was, at times, confusing, that was essentially the whole point, to drive home the message that, to the person with dementia, the entire world is turned entirely on its head, where nothing makes sense, no one is recognisable, and you are living in a perpetual state of fear and confusion. 

it was expertly handled, john middleton was phenomenal as we all knew he would be, but his performance tonight was so incredibly heart-wrenching. i really just want to applaud emmerdale for giving the time and devotion to this particular storyline because it is one that so many viewers will recognise only too well, and it’s such a powerful message to send out to those suffering from the illness, the families effected by it as well, and the wider audience who may not have understood before tonight just how truly terrible dementia is.

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Best moment of the Grammy’s was not even Beyoncé’s stunning performance, it was this: recognizing and sharing the love. These two absolute queens! Girlpower all the way <3

A post wherein film writer Kimberly Luperi explores Anna May Wong’s perseverance in the face of racial discrimination.

Anna May Wong did not have it easy in Hollywood. Despite her talent and ambition, the first international Chinese-American star faced racial roadblocks that motivated her to fight for better minority representation onscreen.

Young Wong frequented downtown Los Angeles film sets, earning the nickname “curious Chinese child.” At 17, she landed the lead in the two-color Technicolor feature THE TOLL OF THE SEA (‘22). Her casting was a triumph in itself, as actresses like Mary Pickford generally played Asian women in “yellowface.” Wong’s nuanced, mature performance stunned, but to her chagrin, film producers subsequently offered her degrading “dragon lady” parts. In her 1933 interview I Protest, she pondered: “Why is it that the screen Chinese is nearly always the villain?… We are not like that.“

Dissatisfied, Wong sailed to Europe, where audiences recognized her talents. When the esteemed star returned stateside in 1930, not much had changed, and film producers still paradoxically perceived her as either "too Chinese” or “too American.” For Wong, the final straw was "one of the most notorious cases of casting discriminations in the 1930s” – the Chinese lead role in THE GOOD EARTH ('37) going to German-born Luise Rainer.

After reading Pearl S. Buck’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel in 1931, Wong longed for the role of O-Lan and the mainstream breakthrough it would afford her. Lobbying on her behalf started in 1933, but still Wong struggled against biases within both Hollywood and the Chinese community. For associate producer Albert Lewin, Wong “did not fit his conception of what Chinese people looked like.” At the same time, the Chinese government pressed against her involvement.

Wong’s hopes of winning the role faded altogether when Paul Muni landed the male lead. At the time, the Production Code forbade actors of different races from engaging in romantic partnerships on screen. These strict miscegenation guidelines held even though Austro-Hungarian-born Muni had won a role as a  Chinese character. Whether film producers offered Wong the unfavorable supporting part of Lotus is unclear, but she wouldn’t have accepted anyway, as she told Modern Screen in 1937: ”… You’re asking me - with Chinese blood - to do the only unsympathetic role in the picture featuring an all-American cast portraying Chinese characters.“

Though disappointed, Wong put the bigotry behind her, visited China for the first time and returned determined to enhance the portrayal of Chinese characters by declaring she’d only accept positive parts. The Chinese-American community welcomed the news, as Chinese-American media often blamed Wong for accepting the stereotypical roles handed her. A journalist once wrote of Wong, "She has done more than enough to disgrace the Chinese race.” Wong just couldn’t win.

But she tried. Shot on modest budgets with little risk of financial failure, two Paramount B-pictures, DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI ('37) and KING OF CHINATOWN ('39), offered Wong “progressive and unusual roles.” In DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI (’37), Wong plays a daughter of a man murdered by smugglers. To avenge her father, she goes undercover, helps solve the crime and exposes the racket. Wong thought of the role as the best she’d had to date. Then, in KING OF CHINATOWN (’39), Wong plays a brilliant female surgeon who later brings medical supplies to China to aid the war relief.

On the war front, Wong assisted the Sino-Japanese war effort onscreen in the early 1940s with top billed performances in Poverty Row pictures BOMBS OVER BURMA (’42), as a teacher, and THE LADY FROM CHUNGKING (’42), as a guerilla leader in command of a regiment of men. Wong donated salaries from both films to the China War Relief Fund.

Though Wong never fully overcame the racial hurdles she faced, she fought unjust discrimination with dignity, resilience and conviction.

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Evgenia Medvedeva FS 2017 Russian Nationals