Comedy

“You Can’t Sit with Us”: Witchy Girl Gangs and Covens

The Craft

Underwritten in this claim of selfhood, however, is a larger message. Each of the films and the TV series, to varying degrees, promote individuality over conformity. Eventually, each teaches viewers the importance of being true to yourself and avoiding the pitfalls of group mentality. …Each manifestation of the girl group trope proposes an affirmation of self-esteem, non-conformity, independence, and individuality.

‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘Prevenge,’ and the Evils of the Trump Administration

Prevenge

Alice Lowe’s ‘Prevenge’ is in some ways a modernized version of ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’ … Throughout the course of history, and especially in Trump’s America, baby always comes first. Our government cares more about fetuses than it does about living, breathing women. This chills me to the core more than a scary movie ever could.

We Need To Talk About ‘Claws’: The TV Series We Need and Deserve

Claws

This powerhouse series is led by Niecy Nash, who has finally been given the leading lady role she deserves. … The friendship and loyalty between these five women places this show in a long legacy of TV shows about female friendship, from ‘Sex and the City’ to ‘The Bold Type,’ but it handles itself in a much more realistic manner — it isn’t afraid to call out their flaws just as it highlights their strengths.

The Chameleon Woman in ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘iZombie’: Personality Swapping and Agency

Dollhouse and iZombie

The problem presented by both ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘iZombie’ is that of the “Chameleon Woman.” Both Echo and Liv carry the metaphor of the expectation that women adapt based on the needs and desires of others. However, both TV series point to this societal issue with two very different takes.

‘Fanny Pack’: An Indian American Woman Pursues Her Dreams in Woman-Directed Short Film

Fanny Pack short film

Directed by Uttera Singh, “traditional values and modern dreams collide in this comedy about a young Indian-American woman who attempts to elude her fanny pack-clad father and board a plane in pursuit of a less conventional future. The film was inspired by the filmmaker’s own experiences of traveling in the U.S. as a recent citizen.”

Stanley Tucci’s ‘Final Portrait’: What about the Women?

Final Portrait

‘Final Portrait’ is entertaining, fun in parts, silly, and a bit melancholy. It is also deeply, inescapably misogynist, so lost in being impressed with male genius that it forgets that women are even human. Giacometti, it is suggested, hates women. And yet, by never properly addressing his hatred and his fear, so, it seems, does this film.

Post-Feminist Rom-Coms and the Existing Female in ‘Trainwreck’ and ‘Legally Blonde’

Legally Blonde and Trainwreck

In the post-feminist romantic comedy, female characters transition from being non-existent objects, into existing, as subjects, in the course of love. … In ‘Trainwreck,’ Amy begins the film as a subject, but ends as an object. Amy’s opposition becomes submission to male desires, for a man, which erases her. In ‘Legally Blonde,’ Elle begins as object, but ends the film as subject. Initially, the gaze of the camera and the characters objectify Elle’s body. But eventually, Elle demonstrates her worth and success outside of male desires and ultimately finds love.

Concerning the Confusingly Named ‘Love & Friendship’ (Jane Austen’s ‘Lady Susan’)

Love and Friendship

Whit Stillman’s adaptation celebrates this power. Taking the text off the page necessarily removes it from the female form in which it is written and therefore extends the realm of female power. … Jane Austen is one of the most, if not the most, famous female authors in the world. Yet, over the course of a series of progressively shittier adaptations… a great comedian and social satirist has been pigeonholed as a romance writer.

Women-Directed Films at the Asian American Showcase

Finding Kukan

The lineup included The Tiger Hunter, (directed by Lena Khan)… Light (directed by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki), and Finding Kukan (directed by Robin Lung). … Depictions of stories that are absent from an experience that is generally thought to be collective is definitely the point of film festivals like the Asian American Showcase. The film offerings this year illuminated the immigrant experience as an American one. At the same time, the breadth of the experiences represented, while hardly a cohesive or even complete picture, offered nuanced views of stories never heard in textbook discussions…

‘The Love Witch’ Looks Familiar but Feels Remarkably Fresh

The Love Witch

Yet behind the eye-catching homage to Technicolor cinematography, the retro-glamorous hair and makeup, and the stylized performances of the pitch-perfect cast [Anna Biller’s ‘The Love Witch’] is a sharp-eyed satire of how society views female sexuality as simultaneously desirable and dangerous. …It is a remarkable look at the way our modern world views and values women  —  a serious statement about sexual politics wrapped up in a cocoon of cats-eye liner and cake, making it all the more dangerously potent.

Teen Girls Coming of Age in ‘Clueless’ and ‘The Edge of Seventeen’

Clueless and The Edge of Seventeen

These two women directors, Amy Heckerling (‘Clueless’) and Kelly Fremon Craig (‘The Edge of Seventeen’), use their films to give a focused examination on the insecurity and self-doubt teen girls face. Cher and Nadine’s personal struggles, as well as their relationships with older mentors, reveal how patriarchal expectations shape their lives as they come of age.

Versions of Yourself: Nora Ephron as Women’s Storyteller

Sleepless in Seattle

In addition to her work in film, Nora Ephron was a journalist, playwright, and novelist; unsurprisingly, her stock in trade is words. Crucially, what she does with these words is to give women room. For these women at the center of her films, there is, above all, space. Space not simply to be the best version of themselves, but all the versions of themselves: confident, neurotic, right, wrong, flawed.