Adventure

How ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Crystallizes the Problems with Marvel Movies

captain-america-civil-war

I realized that while I had ultimately enjoyed ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ it exemplified the worst tendency of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — namely, the avoidance of dramatic risk and legitimate emotional stakes in order to create and maintain a sense of delight and entertaining status quo.

Privilege Undermines Disney’s ‘Gargoyles’ Attempts to Explore Oppression

Gargoyles

Yet ‘Gargoyles’ is also a fantastic showcase of what can happen when creators possessing privilege write stories about the oppressed without their input. … ‘Gargoyles,’ with its “protecting a world that hates and fears them and has been fairly successful in enacting their global genocide” premise, seeks to be about marginalized peoples. At the same time, it consistently centers and prioritizes the lives of the privileged over those of the oppressed, and places the burden of obtaining justice on the latter.

The Ironically Iconic ‘Wonder Woman’

wonder-woman-lynda-carter

With D.C. superheroine Wonder Woman recently named UN honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls and her forthcoming feature film building hype, her profile could hardly be higher as a feminist symbol. Yet Wonder Woman, who the U.N. hopes will focus attention on women’s “participation and leadership,” is an image entirely created by men. She represents, ironically enough, male domination of the struggle against male domination. … Far from a step forward, ‘Wonder Woman’ is worse than more simply offensive chauvinism, because it insidiously exploits the female audience’s desire to identify with Wonder Woman’s empowerment.

‘Lilo & Stitch,’ ‘Moana,’ and Disney’s Representation of Indigenous Peoples

'Lilo and Stitch' and 'Moana'

Looking at ‘Lilo & Stitch’ can provide a valuable lens in which to analyze the upcoming ‘Moana,’ as well as other mainstream films attempting to represent Indigenous cultures. … Regardless of its individual merits, ‘Lilo & Stitch’ is a moneymaking endeavor to benefit the Disney Company, which has not always had the best relationship (to say the least) with representing Indigenous cultures or respecting Indigenous peoples.

The Problems with Disney’s ‘Pocahontas’

Pocahontas

In ‘Pocahontas,’ Disney missed an important opportunity to represent Indigenous women in a relatable, empowering way, and instead focused on commodifying their culture for mass-market appeal. … Pocahontas’ life only became a story worth telling when a white man became involved. She only became a princess when a white man recognized her as royalty. She only became the center of a Disney movie because white men realized they could profit off of her myth.

From Racist Stereotype to Fully Whitewashed: Tiger Lily Since 1904

Tiger Lily in Peter Pan

Whatever the other problems might be with this film (and they are many), my focus for this review is the character Tiger Lily, who was originally conceived as a racist stereotype by J.M. Barrie and who has had her Native identity completely erased in this latest iteration. Is this progress? I think not.

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

Are spine-chilling films always in demand because they help us dialogue with and about death? … In the past year, I’ve been focused on seeing films directed by women because I participated in the “52 Films by Women” initiative.

‘Firefly’: Mixed Messages on Inara’s Sexuality

Firefly

In ‘Firefly,’ women can be strong, they can be independent, they can be respected, but they are still fetishized for their sexual choices. Inara’s queerness is less a way to incorporate diverse sexuality into the show and more to stoke a fantasy of women for the consumption of heterosexual men.

Bisexuality and Masculinity in ‘Y Tu Mamá También’

Y Tu Mama Tambien

‘Y Tu Mamá También’ points out the elastic, freeing nature of femininity compared to the toxic, fragile nature of masculinity. Over the course of the film, Luisa only becomes a month or so older and finds truth, or at the very least solace for herself, while Julio and Tenoch go from brash young adults to estranged, closed-off adult men, refusing to come to terms with their bisexuality.

Girly Girl Vindicated: The Rise of Sansa Stark on ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones_Sansa Stark

Strength is more than fighting with swords, and no one has proved that more often than Sansa Stark. She’s gone from being a (honestly, pretty annoying) starry-eyed teen to a brave and complex heroine, capable of making tough decisions in the face of tremendous personal pain. Perhaps most importantly, she’s done it without attempting to remake herself in the image of men or by diminishing the strongly feminine traits that set her apart from many of Game of Thrones’ other women.

‘The World Is Not Enough’ and the “Believability” of Dr. Christmas Jones

World Is Not Enough

Dr. Jones went from being a promising step forward for Bond girls to one of the more maligned female characters of the franchise. … And this is what is the most disappointing thing about Dr. Jones. She’s a tough-talking woman whose best moments in the film come when she grows impatient with Bond’s testosterone-driven idiocy and counters his quips with her own formidable sarcasm, yet in the end, she’s just like any of those earlier Bond girls that Denise Richards dismissed as lacking depth…

1950s B-Movie Women Scientists: Smart, Strong, but Still Marriageable

Gog movie

While the happily ever after scenario in these 1950s B-movies comes with an expectation that women give up their careers in science to become wives and mothers once the appropriate suitor is identified, it seems there are women in B-movies who do have it all — they maintain the respect afforded to them as scientists and also win romantic partners, without having to sacrifice their professional interests to assume domestic roles instead.