Female Protagonist

Vintage Viewing: Marion E. Wong, Energetic Entrepreneur


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.

The Unvoiced Indigenous Feminism of ‘Frida’


Frida Kahlo’s sense of kyriarchy, in which the tension between Indigenous culture and European imperialism is a core aspect of her multi-faceted narratives of oppression and resistance, is simplified in Julie Taymor’s film ‘Frida’ towards a more Euro-American feminism, focused on Kahlo’s struggle for artistic recognition and romantic fulfillment as a woman, to the exclusion of her ethnic struggle.

‘Meera’: The Satyagrahi as Social Rebel


In the two most famous films based on Meera’s life, 1945’s ‘Meera,’ starring the legendary M. S. Subbulakshmi, and 1979’s ‘Meera,’ starring Hema Malini, Meera’s social rebellion is made less threatening by her characterization through an Indian ideal of the devoted and submissive wife, albeit devoted to Krishna rather than to her earthly husband. Nevertheless, each film offers an interpretation of Meera’s resistance that represents its own philosophy of female emancipation.

Star Wars’ Rey: Feminist Heroine or Mary Sue?

Star Wars The Force Awakens_Rey 2

The heroine of the story turned out to be Rey: a lone scavenger using her brain and her strength to survive. … In a world of fantastical male heroes, is there not room for a legendary woman? Isn’t the whole point of a fantasy story some sort of wish-fulfillment? An epic triumph over evil rarely achievable in real life?

Nobody Puts Susan Cooper in the Basement: Melissa McCarthy and Skillful, Competent Violence in Film


As McCarthy tousles with her own nemesis in the kitchen fight, Feig uses slow motion to let us savor the violence and bird’s eye shots to let us see the controlled swings of Cooper’s arms and legs as she fights. The violence is not slapstick. The violence is not played for laughs. The violence is just flat-out cinematically terrific.

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.

Catherine Breillat’s Transfigurative Female Gaze

A Real Young Girl (Une vraie jeune fille)

Breillat’s complete oeuvre (which certainly demands our attention beyond these three films) delivers continually shocking treatment of female sexuality presented though the female gaze. She wants us to be uncomfortable and to be constantly questioning both representations of female desire and our responses to those representations, and how all of it is shaped by a religious, patriarchal culture.

‘The Hunger Games’: Proving Dystopia Is the Best Young Adult Genre

What Would Katniss Do?

Dystopia, in its futuristic escapism and its contemporary relevance, is an ideal genre for the young adult demographic. By pushing the boundaries of disturbing content and reflecting on youthful idealism, dystopian narratives trust the YA consumer to be both literary in their consumption of the book or film, but also socially and morally insightful in their view of the imagined world they hold.

‘Mockingjay – Part One’: On YA Dystopias, Trauma, and the Smokescreen of the “Serious Movie”

Mockingjay: Part One sees Katniss struggle in her role as the figurehead of the revolution against the totalitarian Capitol.

Though we get a sense of District Thirteen’s manipulations in the novel, Katniss savvily negotiates with them, resists their orders, and remains distrustful of their motivations, in contrast to her comparatively slight unease in the film. While these changes leave most of the major plot elements intact, they undermine our sense of Katniss as an intelligent political actor who is connected to and moved by the revolution itself, rather than just her personal stake in the events.

Alicia Vikander Stars As World War I Feminist and Pacifist in James Kent’s ‘Testament of Youth’

James Kent

Director James Kent: “People offer me these projects and I’m immediately intrigued by the woman’s story in history because often I think women are written out of in history because they are the underdogs. Often it’s a better story than the one who’s king; he’s got it all his way. “

Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ Provides Long-Term Joy


As for ‘Inside Out,’ it gives us not one female protagonist, but three – Riley, Joy, and Sadness – and NONE of them are princesses! And, minor criticisms aside, the film is a true joy to watch – and, like deeply felt joy – it has its moments of hilarity, of reflection, of nostalgia, and, yes, of sadness too.

Vintage Viewing: Germaine Dulac, Surrealist Theorist

Germaine Dulac: auteur for sure

While America was building its clout as the commercial center of the global film industry, it was France that became the center of film theory, driving experimentation. A key figure in that development was Germaine Dulac.