Feminism in Rom-Coms Case Study: ‘Someone Like You’

I grew up watching romantic comedies. My childhood was full of screen stories about semi-cynical modern women fussing over strangely materialistic courtships, all of whom ended swept up off their feet by men who accepted their flaws and redeemed them by dissolving said cynicism with, of all things, love. I'm a feminist and this is … Continue reading Feminism in Rom-Coms Case Study: ‘Someone Like You’

‘Appropriate Behavior’: The Importance of Unromantic Comedy

In an awards season teeming with adorable, quirky romantic comedies, Desiree Akhavan's decidedly unromantic comedy is a nice departure from average depictions of relationship woes. In 'Appropriate Behavior' protagonist Shirin (played by writer/director Akhavan) struggles with finding her way in the world, stuck between her traditional Iranian family's expectations and her own desires after a … Continue reading ‘Appropriate Behavior’: The Importance of Unromantic Comedy

‘Obvious Child’: A Continuation of Last Year’s Brilliant Feminist Rom-Com Magic

Back in 2014, I wrote that 'In a World' was the first truly feminist romantic comedy I'd ever seen. The fact that there was a female protagonist with sexual and career-oriented agency, who's main focus was not how her hair looked when her crush walked by, but that she liked him...and he liked her. There's … Continue reading ‘Obvious Child’: A Continuation of Last Year’s Brilliant Feminist Rom-Com Magic

‘Marnie’: The Complexities of a ” Sex Mystery”

"One might call 'Marnie' a 'sex mystery', if one used such words." - Alfred Hitchcock 'Marnie' is by far the most extreme vision of frigidity Hitchcock ever explored. Adapted by Jay Presson Allen from Winston Graham's novel of the same name, it serves as an oddly seductive screen commentary about the origins of psychosis in … Continue reading ‘Marnie’: The Complexities of a ” Sex Mystery”

Old / Interesting: Deviant Women in Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Weight of Water’

Kathryn Bigelow is known for her gut-wrenching studies of contemporary warriors and putting modern war tactics on display to the possible peril of her public reputation. Fortunately for her, this venture has proven to be undeniably captivating, in spite of being the subject of massive amounts of controversy. After all the talk, she is recognized … Continue reading Old / Interesting: Deviant Women in Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Weight of Water’

The World of ‘Outlander’ vs. the Spectacle of ‘Reign’

I love history and I truly appreciate that people who run television networks think historical characters are worth putting on T.V., but why must it all be inaccurate? Can it not be spectacular and real and massively viewed, all at once? Why did a show like "Reign" make it past the first season? Sensationalism. Targeting … Continue reading The World of ‘Outlander’ vs. the Spectacle of ‘Reign’

A Knock-out Drama: the Private World Explored in ‘Concussion’

'Concussion': She said “I have to do something.” Abby Ableman reads and vacuums at the same time, fixes up hole-in-the-wall apartments in Manhattan, and spends inordinate amounts of time in cycling classes, amidst the aimless, though healthy-minded chatter of other soccer moms. Most importantly, Abby violently, helplessly curses at her son when he hits her … Continue reading A Knock-out Drama: the Private World Explored in ‘Concussion’

Oscars Watch: Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Cate Blanchett’s Oscar-winning role in 'Blue Jasmine' was the grittiest and most econo-socially relevant of the season. There was the sweetest Dame Judi Dench in 'Philomena', the raspiest, most frightening Meryl Streep in 'August: Osage County',a sultry, mysterious, and brilliant yet cracked Amy Adams in 'American Hustle', and of course Sandra Bullock’s space heroine of … Continue reading Oscars Watch: Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’

Wangechi Mutu’s “The Fantastic Journey”

Having previously written about the very ….how should I put it? well-documented Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, I’ve also been ruminating on the truly fantastical collection of work on display in the same museum, but with no cameras allowed, by Wangechi Mutu. The exhibit is quiet, so that you can feel the … Continue reading Wangechi Mutu’s “The Fantastic Journey”

The First Feminist Rom-Com: ‘In a World’

'In a World…' is perhaps the only successful feminist critique of the entertainment industry to ever have been brought forward in the form of a romantic comedy. The story: an eccentric and graceless yet very attractive female protagonist named Carol Solomon lives under her glaringly misogynistic VoiceOver artist father’s (the big-wig Sam Sotto) reluctant wing, … Continue reading The First Feminist Rom-Com: ‘In a World’

Project Continua + The Sackler Center

brooklynmuseum: I was blown away by the success of Saturday’s Wikipedia edit-a-thon. We couldn’t have hoped for a more enthusiastic or diverse community of participants. Project Continua’s Director, Gina Luria Walker, said during her remarks that by editing articles about historical women, we were “making history by providing an alternative narrative of the past.” A … Continue reading Project Continua + The Sackler Center

The Primordial Darkness of ‘August: Osage County’

An alternative tagline for the screen version of August: Osage County could be “Streep and Roberts go darker than ever, fist in fist”. The thriller angle of this drama is seeing these two women, who have stunned audiences in award-winning biopics and the like for decades, revel in portraying what turned out to be possibly … Continue reading The Primordial Darkness of ‘August: Osage County’

‘Natural Selection’is a Feminist Feat

NATURAL SELECTION is a feminist film: there’s a lady protagonist on a mission that involves quite a lot more than her body and the journey sets her free of all social restraints, even the need for love. She is strong, without self-pity, and proactively seeks out pleasure and accomplishment without being punished for it. While … Continue reading ‘Natural Selection’is a Feminist Feat

Maryam Keshavarz’s ‘Circumstance’

CIRCUMSTANCE is the story of two young women who try to live the lives they desire under an increasingly brutal dictatorial government. Materially privileged Atafeh Hakimi (Nikohl Boosheri) introduces her socially stigmatized friend, Shireen Arshadi (Sarah Kazemy), to the Tehran underground. There after school and before curfew, behind blinds blocking sunlight from makeshift clubs, the … Continue reading Maryam Keshavarz’s ‘Circumstance’

‘Another Earth’ & Earthly Redemption

The elements of science fiction in ANOTHER EARTH accentuate the most important human elements of the story: forgiveness, alienation, victimization, and how to carry a burden. Protagonist Rhoda Williams is just about to start her life as a student at MIT, when she crashes into a car, killing a man’s wife, son, and unborn child. … Continue reading ‘Another Earth’ & Earthly Redemption

Like Project Continua on Facebook

Project Continua will be accessible and contributable by everyone. The core of Project Continua is the “female biography” archive, searchable content containing individual entries for each woman, including up-to-date scholarship on their life trajectories, their work, and the new knowledge they produced. Project Continua will also act as a virtual workspace in which students can … Continue reading Like Project Continua on Facebook

Discussion After the Amazing Women in Film Panel with Thelma Adams

Thanks to Thelma Adams, the moderator of this years Amazing Women in Film panel at the Woodstock Film Festival, I got to participate in an enlightening and exciting discussion on Facebook about the state of women in film. Check it out by clicking the link above. I nearly burst with excitement at the chance to … Continue reading Discussion After the Amazing Women in Film Panel with Thelma Adams

An excerpt from “Imagining a Cinematic World without Rape”

                          The problem with cinematic gendering is that when it comes in the form of fantasized characters made for the purpose of entertainment, then the foundations are conventions, not innovations. Audiences can connect to the mother figure, but they are not supposed to admire the femme fatale: what happens if they do? Is it because … Continue reading An excerpt from “Imagining a Cinematic World without Rape”

Filmmaker Elena Rossini writes about the state of women in film

I really recommend this link and the blog that hosted the piece - The Beheld. Also take a look at Rossini’s http://theillusionists.org/ to get a taste of what it means to be a feminist in the eerily elusive yet totally pervasive world of film and media. Filmmaker Elena Rossini writes about the state of women in … Continue reading Filmmaker Elena Rossini writes about the state of women in film