Rosamond, 1978 (Excerpt)

My grandmother, Rosamond, moved to Manhattan in the late 70s, some time after her divorce was finalized. She was in her early 50s and practiced at independence since she’d been primarily on her own throughout her marriage. It was time to secure a future, so she did just that.  She worked as a receptionist at…

Entry 53016- Questions for the Dead

My mother married a preacher’s son  Who fished in the pond behind his father’s church during sermons. Her mother married a soldier Who left school at 13 to work when his father died. Before her, my great-grandmother wed an Irishman  Who’s family called her “red skin” and treated her like a servant. Before that, I…

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…

‘Big Eyes’: Hidden Histories

Women’s stories are just beginning to come to light in film beyond chick flicks and romances. Tim Burton’s latest feature goes a step beyond drama, even, depicting the true story of a talented woman who was taken advantage of by a thieving conman (who she married). ‘Big Eyes’ unmasks an awful trend in history, one…

‘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…

‘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…

‘Sex & the City’ in 2014

Strange as it may seem to some, I saw this “Sex & the City” just around the time it was on each week. I watched with my mom. We laughed and grimaced in unison, faintly disturbed by the New York unfolding before our eyes. We’re New Yorkers, so it was half amusing because we saw…

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…