I like many watch The Handmaids Tale and shudder with fear at the possibility of the story being a reality. From what I can gather and certainly referenced by people such as Michael Moore the show represents the possibility of life under a far right regime..our democracy and rights slowly taken away..and a fervent horror story put in place by men to mercilessly and cruelly reign in the freedom of women.
I however of late have come to think of The Handmaids Tale with a more sinister twist, and that it represents a lot of what is happening in our town called Hollywood..the town so against the evil right with it’s judgement and rhetoric..and filled with celebrities lined up daily to yell in protest at the evil dictatorship.
I cannot help but think of the beautiful Charlotte Rampling.
Charlotte was finally nominated for an Oscar in 2016 for her wonderful performance in 45 Years.
Charlotte had the most incredible body of work and was long overdue for a nomination..long overdue
Charlotte went on a French radio station during the Oscar publicity campaign and was asked a question re the Oscars being so white.
Let me preface this by saying I know Charlotte to be the least racist, judgmental person you could ever meet. She is a free spirit, she has no presumptions of who she is or might be..she is bohemian and interested in everyone she meets and she is deeply deeply kind.
When I heard Charlotte’s answer it did not occur to me in any way that she would be called ‘racist’ because this was so far from being truthful...she answered quickly and from what i discerned perhaps did not phrase her words in a way that best explained her meaning.
Given the political climate about the race discussion (rightly so ) circling the Oscars that year…there was clearly some shame on the part of Hollywood..it certainly looked very bad..and it was bad..so a scapegoat would be a quick fix..and that scapegoat became Charlotte Rampling.
A woman about to turn 70 years of age and at that time in her life had completed 98 feature films ( not including television)..and had a career spanning 52 years..and had shamefully never been nominated for an Oscar…and it would be this hard working champion of film makers who would be branded the example in the film industry of ‘White Privelege'
When I saw what was taking place after her interview I waited for people to rally for her..the people who knew her…to say…”there is no one less racist than Charlotte”..but it never happened…and she went down.
Not that walking a red carpet would mean that much to Charlotte..but she was even deprived of that moment at the Oscars because she knew what all the questions would be.
Charlotte may be one of the most shining examples of womanhood in the film industry that we have ever had.. A woman who did it her own way. She never succumbed to plastic surgery..she chose projects based on how interesting they were to her..it was never about stardom..or calculated thoughts like ‘will this be good for my career?’..it was always about what interested her…and she championed un known film makers..you know..gave them a shot..that is dire for first time film makers starting out.
It is hard for women to survive out there with that work ethic in Hollywood..but survive she did.
I wondered where all the women were and waited for them to come out and stand up for her..perhaps they might have if there wasn’t such fear based in association.
I look now at the responses to friends of James Gunn..who apparently tweeted awful things many years ago..and they clearly support him and think he was wrongly fired..but they cannot say it outright..they have all said it mainly in tweets..and you can sense the fear in their responses…fear of the association of supporting someone who said something terrible over ten years ago...That sort of makes you shudder..and think of speaking up as punishment..perhaps you too may be sent to the colonies..like the strong women in The Handmaids..
Yes you can’t help but think you too could be sent to the dark ends of the earth.. the colonies..never to return just for speaking up..so is it the right or the left?
I look at the case of dear Charlotte and cannot think much of the left and the galvanizing rally of women..sure she has gone on to do wonderful work in Europe and England but not much here.
And the irony was that her close friend Isabelle Hupert did go on to win the Oscar the following year for a film that portrayed the violent rape of a woman as something that..hey some women may actually turn into a game and like..but I guess that subject matter came before the #metoo movement..less than a year later.. -Lian Lunson