June 23, 2017

Making 'The Handmaid's Tale' as a tale for our time

27 April 2017, 02:26 | Sue Hudson

Maarten de Boer Contour by Getty Images for TV Guide Magazine

Maarten de Boer  Contour by Getty Images for TV Guide Magazine

"This is a dark story", James Poniewozik writes in The New York Times. "When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn't wake up then either", she continues.

"She suffers from basically paralyzing anxiety and it adversely affects every aspect of her life including her personal relationships", Brewer said. So, so, cool. This costume, this color, the bonnets - they're so iconic.

ACTRESS: There's an eye in your house.

As laid out in Margaret Atwood's novel "The Handmaid's Tale", the events leading to America's transformation into the Christian fundamentalist-governed Gilead are believable enough.

"I think it's scarily relevant right now", she tells CNN.

The novel found an audience from the start and has kept it, never going out of print, and joining high school and college reading lists across the country. Because she is a fertile woman, she is forced to have sex with the "commander" Fred and conceive his baby. These women were called handmaids.

The Handmaid's Tale is a 10-episode show from Hulu, starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bleidel and Samira Wiley. As with all the handmaids onscreen, we have to reckon with those images and whether we can accept the ugly possibility of a scientist or gay man or place of worship being treated the same in our real life without breaking. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself given a cutting edge or a twisted sheet and a chandelier. She loves her husband, and wants a child. However, her battle with anxiety is holding her back.

JEFFREY BROWN: The series is striking in how disturbing it is, both in the dark version of society it portrays, and, at the same time, its handsome look, a combination sought by series showrunner Bruce Miller and executive producer Warren Littlefield.

Koeman wants 'improved' top scorer Lukaku to stay at Everton
"There wasn't any row, I should know about that because it was me who spoke to him". Though if supporting Everton has taught me anything it is to expect the unexpected.

In addition to Moss, the cast of "The Handmaid's Tale" is full of familiar faces. It's a handsome world. They want the food to be healthier. This was supposedly done to protect women, since people were scared about the plummeting birth rate, but it crushed women under the guise of honoring them.

"The Handmaid's Tale" has been adapted several times and this is the first time it will come to the small screens. "It just felt like a really good fit. Those are the women I look up to". You can make your way to a feminist dystopia by treating women as if we're risky, insatiable temptresses whose sexuality needs to be kept under strict control. I think that's kind of circumstantial for me. Atwood explained in a series of tweets that while the cast of the series is pro-feminist, the actors are also aware that there are those for whom it the word conjures negative connotations.

"It's another huge right taken away, which is the right to privacy", Moss said. It's a brand-new concept to a lot of women. "I wanted to say ― and I'll just say it right here, right now ― OBVIOUSLY, all caps, it is a feminist work".

Their interests were other. How her daughter was taken away from her. "I approach it from a very human place, I hope". The world is a unusual place, even if it's not odd in precisely the ways that Margaret Atwood, Mike Judge or Richard Kelly imagined.

But a totalitarian gets serious the moment at which it fires on a protest crowd.

This Handmaid's Tale stays spiritually true to Atwood's vision, with conceptually appropriate personnel choices (the first three episodes were directed by Reed Morano, a cinematographer known for her work on Beyoncé's Lemonade) and well-chosen deviations from the text (the book leaves out people of color completely; thank goodness someone vetoed this in the adaptation). Subsequent episodes will be released weekly.

For the PBS NewsHour I'm Jeffrey Brown. You can oppress us because you ascribe us too much power and the wrong kind of importance, and because you assign us none at all.

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