On this week’s Movies vs. Capitalism, hosts Rivka Rivera and Frank Cappello are joined by filmmaker Jessie Kahnweiler for an off-the-walls discussion of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

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A rough transcript of the episode is available here.

In the last several decades, Hollywood film and TV production has shifted away from original stories and towards intellectual property (IP) driven projects. From films like The Lego Movie to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the resurgence of franchises like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones, the studio system has prioritized IP above all other creative endeavors. Why is this? Obviously, CAPITALISM.

Rivka, Frank, and Jessie unpack the most recent cultural phenomenon of Gerwig’s Barbie and how its overall message is emblematic of “plastic feminism.” They offer their conflicting feelings about the film’s success: how it is both a win for female filmmakers and an even bigger win for the toy company, Mattel. Jessie also talks about her experience being on strike, as a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), and what’s at stake for artists in Hollywood.

For next week’s movie, MVC will be watching the 2002 drama John Q (with special guest Nina Turner!).

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