Colleen Clemens

Evolution in Marjane Satrapi’s ‘Persepolis’ and ‘Chicken With Plums’


In a similar way to Marji (‘Persepolis’), Nasser (‘Chicken with Plums’) must be sent far away to have his journey of becoming. There is something in him — talent — that requires he must go beyond his home. But whereas in Marji’s case she must go away to protect herself, Nasser must go away so he can grow, get bigger and fuller and richer.

‘The Red Card’: A Short Film that Treats Young Adults with Respect

The Red Card

Trigger warning: rape and sexual assault | Watching a young adult have to navigate the social stigmas of rape and sexual assault in a small high school community is what pushes this film past the danger of falling into a trope that some filmmakers use as an easy way to tell women’s stories.

What’s in a Name: Anxiety About Violent Women in ‘Monster,’ ‘Teeth,’ and ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’


The first college course I ever developed focuses on women and violence. Stemming from my interest in women who enact violence on and off the page, I wanted to ask students to think about our perceptions of women as “naturally” peaceful.

In Which I Attempt to Convince the World to Watch All Things Tig Notaro


I had never heard anything like this sketch; I was enthralled. The timing. The repetition. The silence. Such gorgeous pauses. In a world where it feels like we need to fill every space with some yammering, to hear someone on stage using silence–to be brave enough to use it–made me take notice of this person Tig. And not just me. ‘The New York Times’ ran a piece about her 13-minute paean to Taylor Dane.

‘A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile’: Telling the Story of the Hoax Heard ‘Round the Blogosphere

A Gay Girl in Damascus doc

Directed by Sophie Deraspe, ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile’ begins as a love story, turns into a story of fearless resistance, collapses into terror, and then transforms into the investigation of a…man who breaks strangers’ hearts.

‘Tough Guise 2’: Disrupting Violent Masculinity One Documentary at a Time

Wayne in The Searchers

Narrator Jackson Katz uses visuals and film clips to argue that such a view of masculinity is creating a crisis in young boys as they grow up being made to feel that violence=agency and that rape is just fine because you should get what you want—and if the answer is “no,” then you just take it.

‘Ex Machina’: Scavenging for Parts in a Patriarchal World


For Ava is not naïve; she is about to enter a world of patriarchal capitalism, and in order to survive, she must take from other women, not give. The moment for collectivism is lost as Ava chooses to free herself as a whole woman, gorgeous and nubile.

Whispers of a House Mouse: Attempting to Disrupt ‘Cinderella’ in 2015


However, just as with the rest of the movie, I also felt an anxiety about those scenes as I felt the weight of my daughter, sitting on my knee at this point in the movie. If the goal to be attained is the love of a wealthy man in just about every film marketed to her, and if her initiation into girlhood isn’t going to be completely mediated by me (though how I wish that were possible), what are my choices?