Amber Leab

Working Women in Film


Women of color who are workers don’t weigh heavily in the American cultural imagination. When women of color appear in films, they tend to be secondary characters in low-paying jobs. Rarely do we see movies about working women who happen to be women of color.

Insubordination and Feminism in ‘Norma Rae’

A primary question about social fiction is whether the story remains relevant, or if the sociopolitical situation remains mired in the past. ‘Norma Rae’ does retain relevance, though she’d likely be working in Walmart today instead of a textile mill (as I watched, I wondered how many textile mills still operate in the U.S.). While the movie seems to be a window on a past time in working America, it’s still relevant—and progressive—on many levels.

It’s Our 5-Year Blogiversary!

BF co-founders Steph and Amber at the 2010 Athena Film Festival We can’t believe it, but today marks five years since we started Bitch Flicks. In March 2008, we started a blog with the wink-and-a-nudge name, Bitch Flicks. In that first year, we wrote a whopping seventeen posts, eight of which were actual film reviews. […]

Classic Literature Film Adaptations Week: Helen Mirren Stars in Julie Taymor’s Gender-Bent ‘The Tempest’

The Tempest (2010) directed by Julie Taymor and starring Helen Mirren as Prospera Written by Amber Leab I like films that take risks. I like filmmakers who take risks. Even if the film ends up flawed, an interesting risk always trumps the tidy execution of a flat story. Helen Mirren wanted to do Shakespeare, but […]

Popular Posts of 2012

Last year, we published the Top 10 of 2011, with the only criteria being the number of page views each post received. This year, we’re publishing the most viewed post in each month of 2012. The list, of course, would be entirely different if we published the 10 most viewed posts in all of 2012, […]

Gender and Food Week: ‘Arresting Ana’: A Short Film about Pro-Anorexia Websites

Arresting Ana (2009) This post written by Amber Leab originally appeared at Bitch Flicks on April 10, 2012. In February of this year, Tumblr made news when it announced it would no longer host “self harm” sites–which promote anorexia or bulimia as a lifestyle choice, among other subjects–and would pop up a public service announcement (PSA) whenever […]

Gender & Food Week: ‘The Hunger Games’ Review in Conversation: Female Protagonists, Body Image, Disability, Whitewashing, Hunger & Food

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games This Review in Conversation on The Hunger Games with Megan Kearns and Amber Leab previously appeared at Bitch Flicks on April 19, 2012. Megan’s Take:In a dystopian future, the nation of Panem stands where North America once existed. The government at the Capitol, which controls the […]

Women in Politics Week: ‘Persepolis’

  This piece on Persepolis, by Amber Leab, first appeared at Bitch Flicks on July 1, 2009. I rented Persepolis before the recent Iranian election, and have been thinking ever since about the film. Persepolis is adapted from the autobiographical graphic novels written by Marjane Satrapi (which I haven’t read), and represents the first graphic-novel-as-film. […]

Women in Politics Week: Quote of the Day: Rebecca Traister

Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women by Rebecca Traister Rebecca Traister’s Big Girls Don’t Cry looks at the 2008 election through a feminist lens and, (no surprise), focuses most on primary candidate Hillary Clinton, and later Sarah Palin. The book is, however, much more than just an analysis of […]

Women in Science Fiction Week: WALL-E

WALL-E (2008) This post written by Editor and Co-Founder Amber Leab was originally published at Bitch Flicks on April 13, 2009.  While the beginning of WALL-E is a lovely silent film (and would’ve been a fantastic short film), when you brush away the artifice and the adorable little robots, all you have is standard Disney […]

Women in Science Fiction Week: Inception

This review by Editor and Co-Founder Amber Leab originally appeared at Bitch Flicks on August 30, 2010. The plot of Inception is deceptively simple: a tale of corporate espionage sidetracked by a man’s obsession with his dead wife and complicated by groovy special effects and dream technology. As far as summer blockbusters and action/heist/corporate espionage […]

LGBTQI Week: ‘Fire’: Part One of Deepa Mehta’s ‘Elements Trilogy’

This review by Editor and Co-Founder Amber Leab previously appeared at Bitch Flicks on November 21, 2011. Fire (1996) Fire is the first film in Deepa Mehta’s Elements Trilogy (Earth and Water follow). Made in 1996, it focuses on a middle-class family in present-day (funny how I still think of the 1990s as “present day,” […]