Instead of Breaking Hips, They’re Breaking Into Hip-Hop:
"Gotta Dance," a documentary about a group of senior women who audition for a hip-hop dance troupe organized by the New Jersey Nets basketball team, premiered recently during the Tribeca Film Festival.

"The hip-hopping seniors, who have become fan favorites, were in the audience, screening the movie about their beginnings for the first time, and wearing their red-and-white jerseys emblazoned with their age," writes Robin Givhan of the Washington Post. "They may have been laughing hardest of all, as they try to figure out exactly what makes them ‘old’ — an adjective they themselves use —
and what that even means."

Givhan’s piece, which also considers the documentary "Young at Heart" — about a group of singers who range in age from 72 to 88 — takes a serious turn as it questions the meaning of age today:

Are the senior dancers that extraordinary? Or are our expectations simply that low? Our popular culture is notorious for ignoring older people, for allowing adolescent beauty to set the standard for adults. We get more excited about physical youth than mental maturity.

So when popular culture gives us senior citizens who do not wear dirndl skirts and stay home and knit — even though that is more caricature than reality — people gawk in delighted dismay. And those bumping up against age 60 cheer, likening a gray-haired lady bouncing to a beat to an act of anarchy. How far away are we from it simply being seen as … normal?

Related: Our own Dr. Pat Allen wrote about her friend Peggy Byrne — a New Jersey Nets’ NETSational Senior who auditioned and made the squad in 2006.

Is There a Real Woman in This Multiplex?: New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis ponders the lack of women on the big screen:

All you have to do is look at the movies themselves — at the decorative blondes and brunettes smiling and simpering at the edge of the frame — to see just how irrelevant we have become. That’s as true for the dumbest and smartest of comedies as for the most critically revered dramas, from "No Country for Old Men" (but especially for women) to "There Will Be Blood" (but no women). Welcome to the new, post-female American cinema.

Nowhere is our irrelevance more starkly apparent than during the summer, the ultimate boys’ club. Over the next few months the screens will reverberate with the romping-stomping of comic book titans like Iron Man and the Hulk. The sexagenarian Harrison Ford will be cracking his Indy whip (some old men get a pass, after all, especially when Steven Spielberg is on board) alongside the fast-talking sprout from "Transformers." Hellboy will relock and load, tongue and cigar planted in cheek. Action heroes like Will Smith, Brendan Fraser, Nicolas Cage, Mark Wahlberg and Vin Diesel will run amok, as will funny guys like Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Jack Black and Seth Rogen.

The girls of summer are few in number, and real women are close to extinct.

Plus: Sign up to receive weekly email alerts from the Movies by Women First Weekenders Group, which promotes films directed by women. If female directors pull in audiences the first weekend a film is released, Hollywood executives take notice.

Also check out Women Make Movies, which facilitates the production, promotion and distribution of independent films by and about women, and In the Trenches Productions, which focuses on films by and about women over 40.

Miss Pettigrew goes to Hollywood: The Telegraph (UK) reports on the tiny publishing house of Persephone Books, which is keeping novels our mothers and grandmothers loved in print for new fans. Roya Nikkha writes:

The idea for Persephone came to Beauman during the years spent researching her book, A Very Great Profession: The Women’s Novel 1914-1939, when she made it her mission to rescue from oblivion all of the writers she so admired.

"I realised there were still so many utterly wonderful women writers out there – like Dorothy Whipple and Marghanita Laski – who had completely disappeared," she explains, looking suitably blue-stocking herself, in a cropped tweed jacket, blue culottes and men’s brogues.

Beauman, now 63, took a gamble at a time when supermarket shelves were stacked with "chick-lit" and big book chains were gobbling up independent stores. But her vision, to resurrect less "obvious" female literature, appears to be paying off.

New Breed of Business Gurus: The Wall Street Journal reports on the growing popularity of psychologists, journalists and celebrity chief executives on the list of the most influential business thinkers — as ranked by Google hits, media mentions and academic citations.

But there is one notable absence from the top 20: women. "The 2003 list included one woman, Harvard’s Rosabeth Moss Kanter, among its top 20, but she fell in the new ranking," writes Erin White.

Plant-Based Diets and Cancer Survival: A plant-based diet high in cancer-fighting lignans may be associated with improved survival among postmenopausal women with breast cancer, according to a new study presented last month at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"This study suggests that certain fruits and vegetables may offer more protection than others. Postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer who reported high intakes of lignans, which in this study were supplied mostly by dark bread, peaches, broccoli, oranges, winter squash, strawberries, coffee and tea, had a statistically significant reduction in death rates," said Dr. Susan McCann of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in upstate New York.

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