In Theaters Now

‘The Transfiguration’ Offers Insights into Vampirism and How Our Experiences Shape Us

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The point of the story is that, like so many vampires, he’s been transformed against his will into a creature he can’t quite make peace with. It’s an insight into vampires – backed by what seems to be an encyclopedic knowledge of how they have been portrayed in film – but just as interestingly, and perhaps more importantly, it’s an insight into how our experiences shape us; how early the die can be cast on the type of people we grow up to be.

‘Moonlight’ and the Radical Depiction of Love

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It’s like Plato’s overused allegory of the cave – everything we knew about this world before was shadow and puppetry; now we’ve seen a glimpse of the real thing. ‘Moonlight’ deals with highly politicized content – race, class, sexuality, gender expression, drug use – in a disarmingly nuanced way. It parachutes into territories dominated by stories about hate and dares instead to tell us stories about love.

‘Logan’: On Death and Dying. And Mutants.

Logan

‘Logan’ is a real film. In fact, it’s more real than any comic book superhero movie has business being. … It is a beautifully crafted film. If you still think that comic books and their offspring are incapable of being high art, I urge you to give it a chance.

In ‘Arrival,’ Amy Adams is the Superhero We Need Right Now

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‘Arrival’ is yet another in a long line of alien invasion movies, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s the story of a single extraordinary woman who steps up to save the human race, armed with nothing more than her ability to communicate. It’s a story of hope  —  and it’s one that audiences need to hear right now.

‘Certain Women’: Four Women United by Emotional and Under-Recognized Work

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‘Certain Women’ belongs to the four women at its core: Laura Dern’s fragile, exhausted stoicism, Michelle William’s neutrality laced with sharp edges, Lily Gladstone’s quietly powerful grasp of the feeling of new love, and Kristen Stewart’s almost-sweet awkwardness, are what make Certain Women worth the trip.

The Women of the New York Film Festival 2016

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The New York Film Festival (NYFF) wraps up this weekend. Here are the best of films about women or directed by women (or both) that still have NYFF weekend screenings (including some “encore” shows on Sunday) or are streaming or open today in theaters: including Ava DuVernay’s ’13th,’ Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women,’ and Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Julieta.’

‘As I Open My Eyes’ to Sex and The Police State: An Interview with Director Leyla Bouzid

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Two things that make Leyla Bouzid’s new film ‘As I Open My Eyes’ distinct from these other [portrait of the artist, coming-of-age films] are: the lead who resists family pressure by joining a band is a young woman and her parents have more to be concerned about than what the neighbors think. The action takes place in Tunis, Tunisia, in 2010, before the Revolution, so any kind of rebellion, even artistic, can draw the attention of the police and lead to arrest — or worse.

The Women Men Rescue (or Choose Not To): ‘The Witness’ and ‘Disorder’

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Saving a beautiful woman from danger is such a pervasive male fantasy that right now, no matter where you are you could probably see an example of this trope by randomly flipping through channels or wandering into a multiplex. But what if the man was never able to save the woman? Or what if he has problems of his own that keep him from being a stereotypical hero?

‘The Neon Demon’: Objectification and Rape Culture

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‘The Neon Demon’ brings to light the dual narcissism of our culture: the simultaneous, reciprocal reality created when consumers come into contact with images. The images exist so long as we look at them, and all Refn has done is reify our culture’s unhealthy obsession… I’m glad for ‘The Neon Demon,’ because it solidifies something that was already there: a hundred ornate mirrors reflecting back a society complicit in rape culture.

‘Neighbors 2’ May Not Be Feminist in Name, But It’s Feminist in Nature

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‘Neighbors 2’ doesn’t explicitly state that sororities are misogynist, but the goal of the alternative sorority (essentially an all-female share house, right?) at its center to create a space where the women can make their own fun outside of the patriarchy — that wants them to be well behaved and perform their sexuality for men — is feminist, whether the movie states it or not.

‘Anomalisa’ and the (Fe)Male Gaze

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Charlie Kaufman draws on an emotional darkness that is deeply human – something that every person can relate to in some way, big or small, regardless of gender or age. Which is why it’s frustrating to see in ‘Anomalisa’­ – like in so many movies before it – the sense of hope come in the form of a woman, an object of romance for a man. … To put it bluntly, I’m sick of movies in which sad men think they can be saved by their idea of a woman.

‘The Witch’ and Female Adolescence in Film

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This blame, fear and guilt are heaped upon Thomasin right as she starts to blossom into womanhood… This may be why ‘The Witch’ so strongly resonates.