Drama

Amma Asante Shows that Period Films Can (and Should) Center Black People

A United Kingom

Actress Thandie Newton argues that “historical dramas ‘limit UK Black actors’.” Churning out endless projects about the royal family and the so-called “good old days” isn’t doing Black actors any favors. …”Historical/period drama” is one of the worst genres for inclusion of Black characters, with a whopping 80% of such films having no named roles for Black actors whatsoever. …Period dramas and Black stories aren’t mutually exclusive, as Amma Asante shows us in ‘Belle’ and her latest film, ‘A United Kingdom.’

Vintage Viewing: Marion E. Wong, Energetic Entrepreneur

Marion_Evelyn_Wong

What is certain is that, while ultimately upholding the value of family and of traditional culture, ‘The Curse of Quon Gwon’ gives vivid expression to the frustrations of women within those rigid norms, doing so with a cinematic language of the female gaze that centers female perspectives.

Why ‘The Bold Type’ Is Exactly the Feminist TV Show We Need Right Now

The Bold Type

The magic that has propelled ‘The Bold Type’ to the forefront of the TV summer landscape is, without a doubt, the depth and strength of the bond between the trio. … I just can’t overstate how lovely it is to see young women caring about each other unconditionally, through thick and thin. Strong friendships and more importantly strong writing, especially for female characters, doesn’t always have to rely on drama and conflict and rivalry. Sometimes all we want to see is women giving their friends a shoulder to lean on.

Why ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Visuals Should Carry the TV Series to Emmy Victory

The Handmaid's Tale

‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which stars Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred, is a hard watch in terms of emotional drama. But the TV series, which is the first prestige drama to focus intimately on a woman’s perspective of a dystopian world, rivals ‘Game of Thrones’ in terms of visual splendor.

International Women-Directed Films at the 2017 London Feminist Film Festival

Talk Back Out Loud

The London Feminist Film Festival is all about “celebrating international feminist films past and present.” It “will provide a safe space to explore, celebrate, organise, and inspire.” Now in its fifth year, the festival will run from August 17-20.

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.

‘The Girl Down Loch Änzi’ and Our Slippery Relationship with Ghosts

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‘The Girl Down Loch Änzi,’ which had its North American premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs film festival, is a ghost story. Laura lives on a Swiss farm that borders the fabled Änziloch – a deep ravine that, legend has it, is home to the ghost of a woman cast out from the village several centuries before, and either left to die or imprisoned below. …An unusually stylish documentary, with beautifully-composed shots and scenes that play out with a feature film’s attention to blocking…

‘The Fits’ and the Complicated Choreography of Adolescence

The Fits

Director Anna Rose Holmer… described her film as portraying “adolescence as choreography.” I personally cannot think of a more apt way to describe the delicate movements one takes throughout the teenage years. One yearns to step into the spotlight and embrace one’s individuality while also fearing the consequences of doing so. It’s a delicate balancing act, wanting to be your own person while also wanting to fit in with everyone else.

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…

Courage, Death, and Love in Dorothy Arzner’s ‘Christopher Strong’

Christopher Strong

In spite of the ending or what the trailer suggests, ‘Christopher Strong’ doesn’t demonize Cynthia for her ambition and her desires; instead, the film sheds a sympathetic light on her story even as it depicts her pursuit of independence and love as an impossible one within the context of the world she occupies. The story of such a pursuit and the societal pressures attached likely felt familiar to director Dorothy Arzner, writer Zoë Akins, and star Katharine Hepburn — each of whom occupied positions of creative control in the film’s production and led successful careers in an industry still notorious for undervaluing women today.