FEMINIST FRIDAY: New Documentary Celebrates Actress & Tech Pioneer Hedy Lamarr

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday! This week it’s all about celebrating the achievements of women, especially women who have not been given the recognition and credit they deserve. First up, a new feature length documentary by director Alexandra Dean called ‘Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story’. Hedy is a woman whose legacy is so underrated it’s almost criminal.

Many may know her as a Hollywood icon from the 1930’s and 40’s, but her career extended much further than the big screen. The tech pioneer is credited with developing early technology that became the basis for Wifi and Bluetooth during World War II. She not only developed this technology, but she perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII.

Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film ‘Ecstasy’ to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.

This is a must-see film, especially given the current conversations around the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry. Despite the male-dominated culture of Silicon Valley and beyond, ‘Bombshell’ is proof that women’s achievements in the tech world have been around since the beginning, long before the Jobs’, Zuckerberg’s and Gates’ were around. Head over to the Zeitgeist films website to find a screening in a city near you.

The next two videos are from a clever campaign for the Bank of Montreal all about celebrating women, and the unique way they get the message across. When you look at the thumbnail for both videos, you see two men, along with the “Meet Jamie” and “Meet Sam” titles. But the video is not actually about the two men you see. The videos, made by creative agency FCB Canada, use a clever device to challenge commonly held perceptions of gender and success.

Using unisex names, the videos begin with the men in focus in the foreground of the video, as the narrator talks about “Jamie” and “Sam’s” achievements. In 30 seconds, the men gradually fade out of focus, and the camera focuses on a woman who is also in shot. It exposes just how ingrained and subconscious it is for society to examine our own biases, and how certain types of names can often be assumed as male by default according to the way we typically think of gender roles.

“We wanted to bring female leaders to the forefront. In Canada, more and more women are changing the face of leadership, and we believe they deserve their chance in the spotlight,” agency creative chief Nancy Crimi-Lamanna tells AdFreak.

FCB also found that search terms such as “CEO,” CFO” and “Canadian business leaders” yielded mostly male names and images. So, the shop took steps to make sure women that BMO has recognized through its Celebrating Women Awards placed higher in Google results.

Almost everyone who worked on the campaign was female, added Nancy in the article.

“The creative idea was conceived and executed by women at the agency—from the creative team, to the account team, and even myself, the chief creative officer. Our approach to the shoot was very similar. We used a female director, along with as many female crew members as possible,” she said. Watch both videos below:

The final video this week is a music video accompanying a powerful new documentary called ‘Served Like A Girl’, from director Lysa Heslov, which follows several American women who were wounded in action and are now transitioning from soldier to civilian after serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Struggling with PTSD, homelessness, broken families, divorce, serious illness, and military sexual abuse, these remarkable women harness humor to adapt to the emotional, social and economic challenges they face, through the Ms. Veteran America competition.

An original song was written for this film by legendary hit-maker Linda Perry, who teamed up with Neil Giraldo and 80’s icon Pat Benetar, who also performed the track ‘Dancing Through the Wreckage’. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Linda (who is friends with Lyla Heslov) says it was a particular statistic about female veterans that hit her in the gut and made her want to contribute her creativity for this project – there are 55,000 homeless female veterans in the United States.

“I was completely ignorant of the facts [about female vets] and frankly, I was stunned. Once I was aware of the issues, I knew I had to be part of this cause. When I told [Neil] about the film, he, of course, joined as well,” she said.

Although the lyrics reference the lives of female soldiers, the themes of strength and empowerment are universal and are meant to inspire many other people who listen to the track.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of songwriting is creating the common thread. You begin writing about a specific subject but end up creating a broader narrative. This is the power and beauty of songwriting,” said Pat Benatar.

All proceeds from the soundtrack will be donated to the female veteran focused charity, Final Salute. Watch the music video below:


 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: Dua Lipa, Kesha, & Lady Gaga - Celebrating Our Fave Music Videos Of 2017 - GirlTalkHQ

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