The Handmaid's Tale

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Expand view Topic review: The Handmaid's Tale

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by HBS Guy » 07 May 2018, 21:48

Including in Victoria:

A doctor and senior Mormon who blames ungodly love for HIV, as well as a prominent campaigner against the Safe Schools program, have been elected to positions in the Victorian Liberal Party.

They are among at least five Mormons elected as party officers at last week’s state conference.


https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/mormon-influence-rising-in-liberal-party-20180505-p4zdjb.html

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by HBS Guy » 07 May 2018, 17:32

mothra wrote:
HBS Guy wrote:Last week one American state, Indiana IIRC, passed a law making abortion all but impossible.

The religious right never sleeps.


No. They're organising.

Relentlessly.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 07 May 2018, 17:09

HBS Guy wrote:Last week one American state, Indiana IIRC, passed a law making abortion all but impossible.

The religious right never sleeps.


No. They're organising.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by HBS Guy » 07 May 2018, 17:08

Last week one American state, Indiana IIRC, passed a law making abortion all but impossible.

The religious right never sleeps.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 07 May 2018, 16:47

Elisabeth Moss on The Handmaid’s Tale: ‘This is happening in real life. Wake up people’

As the Golden Globe-winning drama returns, the creators and cast of the show discuss the new horrors on the horizon, and how it’s become a symbol of new resistance


“We knew that we were doing something important,” says Samira Wiley, reflecting on the feelings of the cast and creators of The Handmaid’s Tale in the months running up to the show’s launch last spring. “We knew that we were making something with a lot of integrity. But we definitely didn’t mean for it to be that timely and that relevant.”

Nine months later, the television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s seminal dystopian novel was not only sweeping the boards at every awards ceremony – remarkable for a new show, with such dark, brutal themes – but had rapidly become a social phenomenon, too: a symbol of the new resistance, with the handmaids’ uniform co-opted by protesters at US courthouses, on marches, and in Hollywood itself.

“When we were arriving at the Golden Globes, there were a bunch of handmaids outside,” recalls Wiley, who plays Moira, rebellious best friend of the main protagonist Offred. The group, calling themselves the Hollywood Handmaids, were holding a silent protest to demand an end to sexual assaults and inequalities in the industry.

“It has been absolutely crazy,” says Wiley, shaking her head in disbelief.

Certainly, the fervour surrounding the series is unprecedented, which is all the more exceptional considering that Atwood wrote the story in 1984. There have been previous adaptations, too: a 1990 film written by Harold Pinter and starring Natasha Richardson, plus an opera and a ballet. But none have sparked the torrent of memes, slogan T-shirts bearing lines from the book, and even, apparently, tattoos of its quotable mantras.

The phenomenal success of the series has, of course, been assisted by the story’s prescience: it’s set in a fundamentalist theocracy where women and minorities have been stripped of all rights, the former no longer even allowed to read or write, and all but the top 1% forced into servitude and ranked according to their fertility. And if, a few short months into the Trump presidency, season one arrived into an atmosphere of bewildered anxiety, then season two, which hits UK screens later this month, has landed in an atmosphere of radicalised action, with the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements demanding the end of widespread cultures of misogyny, sexual harassment and abuse.

On a sub-zero day in Toronto, Canada, I visit the set of the show to meet the cast and creators. Such is the secrecy surrounding the production that all correspondence with the team regarding my visit refers to the show as “Rocket Woman”, a security measure designed to avert overexcited fans, but also any fundamentalist groups who might object to its themes, I am told. As season one ended exactly as the novel did – with a pregnant Offred bundled into a van – this second series will not be Atwood’s story, moving beyond the content of the classic text. She is a consultant on the show, and approves the scripts. However, “that doesn’t mean I have veto power”, the author recently told Newsweek. “No one would ever give an author that; you’d be really foolish to do so.” That simultaneously bestows both freedom and pressure on the show’s writers, on top of already enormous expectations.

“The way we made the first season, which was in great ignorance, is exactly the way we’re trying to make the second season,” says showrunner Bruce Miller, as he shows me around the sprawling set. “We try not to think about people out there dissecting it, but instead just think about making something that’s cool.’

Elisabeth Moss, a producer on the show as well as its star, also points out that the first season was not a simple facsimile of the book, either: timelines were altered, some details were changed, while partial sentences were extrapolated from the text to create entire scenes and stories. “We were faithful to the idea and the tone and the messages of the book,” she says, “but we kept characters alive that died and we did things that were never in the book, so we’re not afraid of that.”

Nor, if the season opener is anything to go by, are the team afraid of pushing the boundaries of bleak, brutal barbarism even further than in the first series. It is tense, harrowing and bloody; the very opposite of an easy watch. In a timely echo of 2018, one theme explored is that of solidarity. “One of the saddest things about season one for me was Serena [the Commander’s wife, for whom Offred is meant to be bearing a child] not having any solidarity with Offred, or with any of the handmaids,” says Moss. “In season two, we start to think about the fact that if these women actually banded together, they could overthrow Gilead. That’s a very powerful idea.”

Miller admits that, while the writers did not seek to weave threads from current news events – such as the #MeToo movement – into the story, it is impossible not to be influenced by the political and social context in which The Handmaid’s Tale is made and consumed. “I try to let the audience figure out the relationship between the show and the real world, and how it’s interpreted and where it’s put in a political context,” he says. “But one of the things the writing staff brought this year was that – because of the more polarised discussions happening all over the world, but especially in the US, including the #MeToo movement – you’re starting to hear people verbalise things you didn’t think people thought any more.”

This season will also see an expansion of the world that Atwood created: the Colonies, the toxic waste dumps to which “Unwomen” are exiled; and Little America, in Canada, where refugees from Gilead are living. “There’s also a scene that addresses journalism in Gilead,” says Moss. “It’s really intense. But it needs to be addressed. Because, what would have happened to journalists?” she asks, rhetorically.

In Gilead, environmental factors have caused the birth rate to plunge to near zero and the few fertile women are installed as forced breeders for the barren wives of the Commanders of the Faithful. The ages of Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), along with that of her husband, Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), were a major detail altered for the adaptation; both are significantly younger on screen than in the book. “[Offred] and I being the same age adds an extra layer of jealousy and a devastation,” says Strahovski. “Here’s a woman who is my age, who can do the things that I want to do – ie have children – but I can’t.”

For Fiennes, whose character has sex with Offred every month, against her will, in a bid to get her pregnant, the burden of playing a rapist – albeit one committing an act sanctioned by the ruling order – does not sit easily. “I am repulsed by it,” he says, simply. “I am very affected by some of the things we have to do, this season in particular, I have found some of it very difficult.”

Much of the most egregious brutality of season one was meted out by – or, at least, on the orders of – Aunt Lydia, the enforcer of the handmaids’ compliance, played by Ann Dowd. “I think she thought, ‘This is not going to be tough, not at all. I’m going to get these girls in order,’” reflects Dowd. “I think the difference for her, for season two, is that she’s far more challenged than she anticipated she would be. I don’t mean to say that she is subversive – she’s all in [with the regime], still – but she realises it’s not such a straight shot, and all these young women are not all the same.”

In seeking to build an authentic world beyond that outlined in the book, Miller and his team drew – as Atwood did in her original story – on history, creating a meticulously detailed mythology for Gilead. This explains why the outwardly pious Commanders of the Faith have based themselves in Cambridge, Massachusetts, north of Boston, rather than Washington DC. “It’s not the traditional seat of power, but in America it’s the seat of intellectual power, and Boston has such a huge place in our Puritan history,” Miller explains. He says he has an unusual advantage in being able to question Atwood directly about her own inspirations. “Usually when you adapt a classic, the author is long gone,” says Miller. “But not only is Margaret very much around, she also has a spectacular memory about what she was thinking when she wrote The Handmaid’s Tale.”

One criticism levelled at the first season was the show’s depiction of race. While Miller deliberately created a multiracial world (unlike in the original book, in which minorities had been exiled), the show did not deal with, or mention, racism. Among other critical voices, New York magazine described this as the show’s “greatest failing”. How those criticisms have been taken on board in the storylines for season two remains to be seen, but some cast members say that such issues are influencing their performances.

“I watched a lot of movies on slavery, just to see how characters moved,” says Amanda Brugel, the mixed-race actor who plays Rita, one of Gilead’s low-ranking domestic servants, whose story will be more prominent this season. “I especially watched the women who were slaves, versus a character in our show like Serena Joy, who’s lived a life of freedom. I very much lean on past experiences in which I felt like I have actually been a different class, and a slave, in situations just because of my colour,” she says.

Moss and I speak again, a few weeks after my visit to the set, on the day of the March for Our Lives, held across US cities and organised by the surviving students of the Parkland school shootings. Donald Trump has suggested, as a solution to the growing tide of similar tragedies, arming teachers in schools. “When I heard that, I got chills,” says Moss. “Because I’m on set with a man pretending to hold a machine gun, in a situation that he just shouldn’t have one in.”

The parallels between the current rapid militarisation of the US and Gilead are undeniable.

“In the book, Margaret calls it the new normal,” Moss continues. “It’s a line that Aunt Lydia says – this will all be normal to you one day. That’s scary to me.” She has no tolerance, however, for people who find the show itself frightening. “I hate hearing that someone couldn’t watch it because it was too scary,” she says. “Not because I care about whether or not they watch my TV show; I don’t give a shit. But I’m like, ‘Really? You don’t have the balls to watch a TV show? This is happening in your real life. Wake up, people. Wake up.’”

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/may/05/elisabeth-moss-handmaids-tale-this-is-happening-in-real-life-wake-up-people?CMP=soc_567

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 03 May 2018, 23:57

Season 4. Wow. I was kidding .... :OMG

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 03 May 2018, 17:26

greggerypeccary wrote:
mothra wrote:Anyone who hasn't seen Peaky Blinders needs to do so post haste.

Tom Hardy's performance is actually making the little hairs on the back of my head stand up. He is such an amazing actor.

And what a soundtrack!

But best of all is their portrayal of war survivors ... and all the many interesting ways that shit fucks everything up.

Just brilliant. Like Sopranos/The Wire brilliant.


Yeah, Peaky is great.

I've seen all 4 seasons.

Brilliant stuff.


Finished season 3 last night. Last one on Netflix. Everyone off to jail. Quite the season ending. At least Tommy didn't promise they were getting out of the business this time. That was getting silly.

But the Russians were a surprise. I wondered who else they could fit in there ... what with the Fenians, the IRA, the constabulary, the gypsies, the Italians, the Jews, the Ulster boys, Winston fucking Churchill and the general cavalry. America keeps popping up so i'm expecting a Sopranos meets the lads scenario.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by greggerypeccary » 03 May 2018, 17:10

mothra wrote:Anyone who hasn't seen Peaky Blinders needs to do so post haste.

Tom Hardy's performance is actually making the little hairs on the back of my head stand up. He is such an amazing actor.

And what a soundtrack!

But best of all is their portrayal of war survivors ... and all the many interesting ways that shit fucks everything up.

Just brilliant. Like Sopranos/The Wire brilliant.


Yeah, Peaky is great.

I've seen all 4 seasons.

Brilliant stuff.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 03 May 2018, 13:17

Anyone who hasn't seen Peaky Blinders needs to do so post haste.

Tom Hardy's performance is actually making the little hairs on the back of my head stand up. He is such an amazing actor.

And what a soundtrack!

But best of all is their portrayal of war survivors ... and all the many interesting ways that shit fucks everything up.

Just brilliant. Like Sopranos/The Wire brilliant.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by johnsmith » 01 May 2018, 16:25

greggerypeccary wrote:
A new Monkey series - really? :roll

Then again, I didn't like the idea of a new Lost in Space series, but it's actually pretty good.




https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6807662/

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by HBS Guy » 01 May 2018, 15:52

ahahahahahaha! Classic!

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by greggerypeccary » 01 May 2018, 14:08

mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Yes, new Lost in space, on Netflix.

I'm really enjoying it.

The robot is pretty cool, and Dr Smith is quite the villain.


In the new one, do the girls ever get a chance not to be doing housework at the ship and have adventures with Will?


Yep.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 01 May 2018, 13:48

greggerypeccary wrote:
Yes, new Lost in space, on Netflix.

I'm really enjoying it.

The robot is pretty cool, and Dr Smith is quite the villain.


In the new one, do the girls ever get a chance not to be doing housework at the ship and have adventures with Will?

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by greggerypeccary » 01 May 2018, 13:44

mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.


My son's started watching the new 'monkey' series :WTF ....they shouldn't be allowed to touch the classics, Just replay them.

The new one looks crap, although son seems to like it, so maybe it's just me showing my age. :roll


A new Monkey series - really? :roll

Then again, I didn't like the idea of a new Lost in Space series, but it's actually pretty good.


It's a new one? Netflix?


Yes, new Lost in space, on Netflix.

I'm really enjoying it.

The robot is pretty cool, and Dr Smith is quite the villain.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 01 May 2018, 13:38

greggerypeccary wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.


My son's started watching the new 'monkey' series :WTF ....they shouldn't be allowed to touch the classics, Just replay them.

The new one looks crap, although son seems to like it, so maybe it's just me showing my age. :roll


A new Monkey series - really? :roll

Then again, I didn't like the idea of a new Lost in Space series, but it's actually pretty good.


It's a new one? Netflix?

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by greggerypeccary » 01 May 2018, 13:36

johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.


My son's started watching the new 'monkey' series :WTF ....they shouldn't be allowed to touch the classics, Just replay them.

The new one looks crap, although son seems to like it, so maybe it's just me showing my age. :roll


A new Monkey series - really? :roll

Then again, I didn't like the idea of a new Lost in Space series, but it's actually pretty good.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 30 Apr 2018, 22:39

Ha Pigsy! Marshal of the Heavenly Host!

Revisited it with both of my kids. You get so much more out of it as an adult.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by johnsmith » 30 Apr 2018, 22:34

mothra wrote:
johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.


My son's started watching the new 'monkey' series :WTF ....they shouldn't be allowed to touch the classics, Just replay them.

The new one looks crap, although son seems to like it, so maybe it's just me showing my age. :roll


You know that hypothetical question in which you're asked to pick any point in history to visit?

I'd be hard pressed to go past the studio in London where they dubbed Monkey (the proper one) into English. It would just be full of people falling about laughing all over the place. Brilliant.


pig was my favourite

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 30 Apr 2018, 22:30

johnsmith wrote:
mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.


My son's started watching the new 'monkey' series :WTF ....they shouldn't be allowed to touch the classics, Just replay them.

The new one looks crap, although son seems to like it, so maybe it's just me showing my age. :roll


You know that hypothetical question in which you're asked to pick any point in history to visit?

I'd be hard pressed to go past the studio in London where they dubbed Monkey (the proper one) into English. It would just be full of people falling about laughing all over the place. Brilliant.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by johnsmith » 30 Apr 2018, 22:26

mothra wrote:
greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.


My son's started watching the new 'monkey' series :WTF ....they shouldn't be allowed to touch the classics, Just replay them.

The new one looks crap, although son seems to like it, so maybe it's just me showing my age. :roll

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 30 Apr 2018, 22:18

greggerypeccary wrote:
Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.


Oh the pain! The pain"

I was a Monkey and Doctor Who kid. I blame them for my pacifism.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by greggerypeccary » 30 Apr 2018, 20:17

mothra wrote:Watched the movie. It's not great In fact, it's pretty awful. But that maybe i'm comparing to the series, although i tried not to.

The series is, in every way, superior.

Look forward to checking out Alias Grace though. Will do when i've finished binging Peaky Blinders.


I didn't watch the movie the other night - maybe I'll give it a miss and just go straight to the new series.

Watching Lost In Space at the moment (my favourite show as a kid), so might get onto THT after that.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 30 Apr 2018, 19:36

Watched the movie. It's not great In fact, it's pretty awful. But that maybe i'm comparing to the series, although i tried not to.

The series is, in every way, superior.

Look forward to checking out Alias Grace though. Will do when i've finished binging Peaky Blinders.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by mothra » 29 Apr 2018, 22:11

johnsmith wrote:
that's an late 80's, early 90'S hairstyle ... my sister had hers in a similar style.

by the way, were you aware that the lady in that shot died after a fall? age approx. 45. What a waste.


IIf you knew the tv series, you'd appreciate thye context in which i'm viewing that poster. That's a lot of time in hair and make up. The irony is almost cruel.

But yes, married to my true love Liam Neeson. Few kids. Absolute tragedy. That's why i had the (d) in there. Very talented member of the Redgrave family.

Re: The Handmaid's Tale

Post by johnsmith » 29 Apr 2018, 21:26

mothra wrote:


What a ridiculous movie poster. Where'd she get her hair done in fucking Gillead?

Still. i love(d) Natasha Richardson.


that's an late 80's, early 90'S hairstyle ... my sister had hers in a similar style.

by the way, were you aware that the lady in that shot died after a fall? age approx. 45. What a waste.

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