There are a lot of crazy things going on in the world right now. So how the hell are you supposed to write anything more edgy than what is really real, that is also an existing property because that’s all anyone has the balls to make (prove me wrong). Here’s how. Write a historical drama.
Because this is what is real right now: The booger eating Zodiac killer dropped out of the Republican primary, a “maybe the KKK are cool IDK?” reality TV Oompa Loompa with inconsistent views on tacos made everyone feel sorry for the guy who yells at teachers, and we all love a baseball bat named Hot Sauce.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about play your own little game of Yes, Yes, No like the guys from Reply All and catch yourself up on popular culture. Because as crazy as today might seem with our melting ice caps and imminent destruction of civilization it was just as crazy way back when.
So here are five amazing historical stories with female protagonists you can write about. And always name the baseball bat.
How has there not been a Hedy Lamarr biopic yet? Sex. War. Money. Science. Being ignored. All the things! We need a Hedy as movie star to Hedy as inventor with a spotlight as Hedy as ignored genius to Hedy as OMG we still use that. I’m very wary of cradle to grave biopics but her life from her first marriage and first film to her AMAZING career and inventions to her frankly fascinating and kind of justified constant suing of everybody all the time in her later years is begging for a beautiful three hour Oscar bait extravaganza. Listen to the Hedy episode of the You Must Remember This podcast for a great rundown of her life.
Marie Curie wasn’t the only interesting woman to die a horrible death from Radium poisoning. There were a whole slew of women who worked painting radium on clock dials so they would glow and licking their brushes to a sharp point after every stroke. If you want to see what horrible things happened to them, click the link. In the grand tradition of companies denying that they’ve done anything wrong, most of these brave women died fighting for medical treatment they desperately needed.
Their fight helped to changed the laws around occupations, disease, and labor.
Leah, Kate, and Maggie have a lot to answer for. They made up the stories that led to the making up of Spiritualism, the séanceing and ghost loving that swept the world of the 19th century up in it’s ectoplasmic embrace (mostly cheesecloth). Their apple on a string dropping and well timed eye rolling made them famous and wealthy and very, very interesting liars.
We are living in an era with one of the largest income inequalities ever. Why not make a movie about the French Revolution?
Rose Bertin was a dressmaker whose fashions caught the eye of Marie Antoinette. Together they MADE fashion. Rose rose to the joke position of “Minister of Fashion” but was it a joke? The import of her designs shouldn’t be underestimated. Rose retired after the Revolution and left her business to her nephew. Seeing that turbulent time in history through her eyes would be a wonderful point of view character and also THOSE CLOTHES FOR REALS would be an amazing movie. Yes please.
The poet who coined the phrase “My Candle burns at both ends” needs a movie to set her times in context. Millay was a poet in the Greenwich Village of the Jazz age and she had the hairdo and the lovers to prove it. She was openly bisexual, a feminist, and had an open marriage. She knew everybody and had crazy parties. Why do we need Gatsbyies, great or otherwise when we had Edna and her house Steepletop, which you can still visit today? Here’s a great Stuff You Missed In History Class about her. S
The creaky old wizards of film financing are slowly hearing the siren song of the Geena Davis Institute On Gender In Media and maybe one day they’ll actually listen.