ROUND-UP October 16-20, 2017

This week I double-published for BUST: I interviewed animator Becca Schuchat about her new video for Sophie Strauss's song "Quiz in a Magazine," and reviewed Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.
"Q: How did you decide to incorporate your students in the process? What was their response to the beginning of the project, and how did working with this explicitly feminist song affect them? 

"A: I tried to have my students take the lead in the directing process for the video. They storyboarded and wrote shot lists themselves, and I mainly wanted my part to be more as someone who could share resources and different animation techniques. They definitely warmed up to Sophie—especially after they got to [video-chat] with her and ask her questions about her artistic/songwriting practice. 

"Within the first few days of the class, we did end up talking about double standards for women and men. The general consensus for my students, I felt, was that they had yet to actually encounter direct sexism. We talked about how sexism has effected them in schools and they were pretty hesitant to share anything from their own lives. Which makes sense; they were a younger group—ages 11 to 13—and I remember from when I was that age, you aren't necessarily thinking about how external forces might shape your perspective on anything. They were very aware of the more concrete aspects of sexism—like the wage gap, or double standards for school uniforms, or how girls’ clothing is usually pink while boys’ is blue, et cetera—but I think the more abstract aspects of sexism/misogyny hadn't yet made themselves prevalent in their lives. They did really latch onto how sexual some of the magazines that are marketed to girls are—like [Cosmopolitan], which we used as a prop in the video."
"What’s remarkable (and perhaps a little bit of a letdown) is that the relationship among Olive, Bill, and Elizabeth as portrayed in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women falls rather into the typical pattern of a romantic comedy-drama. We have the meeting, the courtship, the flirtation, the consummation, the arising of obstacles that threaten to tear their love apart, followed by the inevitable reconciliation. Three, it seems, is not a crowd when it comes to the conventional formula of telling Hollywood stories of falling in love, at least on a formal level."