Does ‘Jennifer’s Body’ Turn The Possession Genre On Its Head?


‘Jennifer’s Body’ is not a traditional female possession film. The genre is generally typified by mild mannered asexual women who begin to act in overt and sometimes pathologized sexual ways once they become possessed. Jennifer’s sexuality, on the other hand is firmly established at the beginning of the film, from her clothing, the way she interacts with both her best friend Needy and the males in her school, to where she casually mentions that she is “not even a back door virgin anymore.”

She’s Possessed, Baby, Possessed!


When Phoebe is taken over by the deadly sin lust in “Sin Francisco,” she sexually assaults her professor and has sex with a policeman on the job, while Piper dances on her bar during her high school reunion when she’s possessed by an evil spirit. And almost all the evil women in the show are sexualized: the succubus, shapeshifter Kaia, the Stillman sisters in “The Power of Three Blondes,” the seer Kyra, etc.

Direct from Hell: ‘Paranormal Activity’ and the Demonic Gaze


Micah’s patriarchal control through the first half of the film is omnipresent as he mocks, coerces and films his girlfriend’s descent into possession. The second half of the film deals with the demon taking control of the film. Micah and Katie are too weak to properly deal with the situation and they lose sight of their safety. The audience see what the demon wants them to see; it is in control of not only Katie’s mind and body, but also what the audience is exposed to, creating an unstable and terrifying experience.

The Strangeness of (Surrogate) Motherhood in ‘The Innocents’


Part of what makes the excellent 1961 film ‘The Innocents’ different is the main character, the governess, Miss Giddens (played by Deborah Kerr), is thrust into a parental role suddenly. We see her at the beginning in an interview with the children’s uncle, a handsome playboy (played by Michael Redgrave, Vanessa’s father) who tells her he spends much of his time traveling and the rest in his home in London. When he offers her the job at his country estate, he takes her hand (a bold move for the Victorian era, when the film takes place) and asks if she is ready to take full responsibility for the children, because he doesn’t want to disturbed during his adventures in London and abroad.

‘Twin Peaks’ Mysticism Won’t Save You From the Patriarchy


I do believe that Lynch and Frost meant to use BOB as “the evil that men do” and as a means to understand family violence and abuse, but they jump around the issue so much that it only reflects uncertainty. The show’s inability to hold evil men responsible for their actions is too reminiscent of our own society. As soon as we answer “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” the show does its best to rebury the ugly truth that we so struggled to uncover. After that it fully commits to understanding the mythos behind it. This is troubling to me.

‘Demons:’ Finding New Language for an Old Cult Classic

Movie Poster of "Demons"

I am a horror fan and most times I root for the monster. There, I said it. I root for what should be the feared. The dreaded Other. With all the loaded symbolism that the horror genre represents (fear of sex, fear of the unknown, fear of death and decay, xenophobia etc), I find it cathartic and often liberating to root for the disruption of life as we know it. I love watching humans deal with chaotic change.

Because Being Female is Frightening Enough: #YesAllWomen and ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’

Emily possessed

In the film a young girl, Emily Rose, perishes following a protracted period of “attack” by demons while under the protective care of Father Moore, a Catholic priest. Female attorney Erin Bruner is chosen to defend Moore against charges of negligent homicide in Emily’s death. Through the two’s connection to the girl throughout the film, each undergoes what I’ve called here a “conversion experience,” as they learn more about the possibility that demons really do exist—demons that can be read to correspond to the challenges that women face in culture every day. Even before the advent of #YesAllWomen, a film like ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ shows us how to overcome skepticism and create a connected community of individuals committed to sharing troublesome experiences in the service of awareness and activism.

‘The Conjuring’: When Motherhood Meets Demonic Possession


Punishment is the main objective of the demon Bathsheba in ‘The Conjuring,’ and specifically she seeks to punish the mother figure of a family. The hauntings and road to possession begin when in 1971, Roger and Carolyn Perron move into an old farmhouse in Rhode Island with their five daughters. Slowly, they begin to experience paranormal disturbances.

Seed & Spark: The Revolution Will Be Streamed: Why Underrepresented Communities Need to Find, Fund, and Forge the Streaming Media Landscape


The statistics are startling, but the silver lining is promising: The conditions that brought women to the forefront in early film now exist in streaming media. Now is the time for marginalized communities to claim their most significant share yet of the media landscape by finding and funding streaming projects and investing in/forming streaming media companies.

Choice Within Fashion and Fundamentalism: ‘The World Before Her’


In making ‘The World Before Her,’ Pahuja chooses to walk the neutral line by avoiding a personal stand and trying to hold up a mirror instead. In an interview with ‘First Post,’ she says that she made this documentary in an attempt to create a dialogue. Her humanizing, vérité cinema approach works to that effect.

A Performance, and Film, for the Ages: Gena Rowlands and ‘A Woman Under the Influence’

A Woman Under the Influence

It was announced earlier this week that the Los Angeles Film Critics Association is to honor Gena Rowlands with its 2014 Career Achievement Award. Long overdue, no doubt, but perhaps the well-deserved attention will encourage people to revisit her impressive work. Most associated with the films she did with her husband, the ground-breaking independent director, John Cassavetes, Rowlands is an exceptionally talented and courageous actor. I must admit that I did not fully appreciate her talent until I experienced her extraordinary turn in ‘A Woman Under The Influence.’

‘God Help The Girl’: Sunny Glasgow Hosts a Twee Musical

The Band: Cassie, James and Eve pose in their best clothes

The songs allow the audience access to the inner minds of the characters, which is especially helpful for a secretive character like Eve. The songs swirl into a beautiful world where shining girls dance through the streets of Glasgow like it’s their own personal playground, always dressed for a costume party in enviable vintage. Songs cut into elaborate sequences of the band playacting on golden hills in school uniforms and battling with umbrellas on courthouse steps, that seem like mini-music videos. The film is so stuffed with beauty and whimsy that it often seems hard to make room for the parts of the story that are truly ugly.