Brigit McCone

‘Drop Dead Fred’ and the Gendering of Comic Anarchy

Drop Dead Fred

There is a deeper truth here: by setting high expectations of men and offering models of liberated behavior that can be imitated, a strong male role model can be a young girl’s best mental defense against patriarchal conditioning. In the absence of one, Elizabeth has created an imaginary friend who models her mental resistance, gendering her own inner anarchic impulses as male.

Five Female Directors Who Helped Shape Nollywood


Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, has overtaken Hollywood in terms of its volume of output, and is now second only to Bollywood. What were once dismissed as stilted, static, and amateurish films made on home video, have now developed into their own distinctive visual style and genres, which are popular and influential across Africa and the African diaspora worldwide.

Vintage Viewing: Maya Deren, Experimental Eccentric


A student of journalism and political science at Syracuse University, Deren was politically engaged. Her master’s, however, in English and symbolist poetry, point to her contrasting impulses towards abstraction and the poetic. Touring and performing across the USA with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, Deren met the Czechoslovakian filmmaker Alexander Hammid in Los Angeles, and produced her first and best-known experimental film in collaboration with him: ‘Meshes of the Afternoon.’

Dysphoria Dystopias in ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Glen or Glenda’


However, comparing Wood’s deeply personal product with the Wachowskis’ deeply polished one, ‘Glen or Glenda’s explicit gender dysphoria with ‘The Matrix’s allegorical dysphoria reveals parallels that illuminate both films.

Clitoral Readings of ‘The Piano,’ ‘Turn Me On, Dammit,’ and ‘Secretary’

The Piano

But how can female arousal be visually expressed? If women stereotypically prefer to read literary erotica over watching porn, with erotica’s descriptions of the interior sensations of female arousal, is that because many women imagine that female performers of porn are uncomfortably simulating their pleasure? Can there be a clitoral cinema of female arousal, and what would it look like?

Frankenstein and His Bride: Mapping Maternal Absence


However, Whale challenges Shelley’s automatic association of the maternal with the absent female: the Bride’s rejection of Frankenstein’s monster shows that the maternal can be absent even when the woman is present, while the blind man’s nurturing care suggests that man can embody the noblest maternal impulse.

Vintage Viewing: Lotte Reiniger, Animation Innovator


Carving out their own unique niche in the filmmaking world was one way for women to resist mainstream pressures that were pushing them out of the directing craft. Lotte Reiniger can lay claim to being the greatest silhouette animator.

Parajanov and Puppies: Queering the Soviet Superman


Oscar Wilde’s polemic “The Soul of Man under Socialism” offers a prophetic warning about authoritarian tendencies in socialist philosophy, and the need to safeguard individualism, as Wilde attempted to reconcile his belief in social equality with the protection of minority opinion and divergent personalities. The philosophies of Karl Marx advocated radical equality, including gender equality, but through imposed conformity rather than equally accepted diversity.

Shishihokodan: The Destructive Female Gaze of YA Supernatural Action Romantic Comedy


Recognizing the function of Ice Prince/Wolf in YA SARCom implies the continual defeat of the Whore as structural necessity in male writings also – as a pursuing character she must be resisted to generate sexual tension, regardless of whether the male author is Team Madonna or Team Whore. The destructive impact on the self-image of female viewers is pure collateral damage, just as our SARCom is poisonously emasculating for male viewers.

‘Moolaadé’: Female Genital Mutilation And Geographical Morality


Unlike most things, injustice appears bigger when it is further away.

‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’: Childhood Is The Pits

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 2

The heroic journey of Short Round is the catalyst for both Willie’s and Indy’s own growth and transcendence, as Willie becomes proactive and Indy becomes responsible.

Vintage Viewing: Zora Neale Hurston, Open Observer

Zora Neale Hurston: Frame-Changer

In her ethnographic films, Hurston, by contrast, strikingly resists fictions of objectivity and pointedly draws attention to herself as observer. A woman and a dancing child smile directly into her lens in extreme close-up, with shy pride or beaming pleasure at her clearly encouraging attention. Instead of merely observing their games, we join the circle of clapping children and they interact with the camera as it pans over their faces.