Female Protagonists

Bluestocking Film Series Showcases Complex Female Protagonists

Bluestocking Film Series 2016

I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Kate Kaminski, Bluestocking Film Series Founder and Artistic Director. We talked about the need for more complex female protagonists, ensuring diversity, women’s representation in film, and what she hopes to accomplish with the film series.

The Evolution of Women in Car Movies

Letty in Fast and the Furious series

From Imperator Furiosa to Letty Ortiz, strong and knowledgeable female characters crop up in car movies. The women who used to be relegated to flag girls and objectified as hood ornaments are now being introduced as main characters with their own plot points and story developments.

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Check out what we’ve been reading this week – and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

‘Thelma and Louise’: Redefining the Female Gaze

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The violence may decrease as the movie progresses, but Thelma, Louise – and we – become comfortable about their actions as the film winds down, because they were now tapped into our veins, nourishing our battered spirits with acts that said, “See? We recognize your anger, cause we’re angry – and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Totally Radical Girls and the Bitchin’ Burden of Civilization

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I mean, she doesn’t wrap her arms around some guy’s waist to hold on for the ride of her life or even jump onto a Vespa or something weak. Nope, she’s a zombie-fightin’ shoulder-padded biker who escapes danger on her own and looks just as feathery-haired good when she gets to her destination as when she put down her attacker in the alley (although this was the early 80s while CFCs were being phased out, so big hair treated with a half-bottle of AquaNet always had some hold).

Suzanne Stone: Frankenstein of Fame

Poster for To Die For

The would-be news anchor is not only an extraordinarily unlikable–though entertaining–protagonist; she also embodies certain pathological tendencies in the American cultural psyche.

What Country’s Film Industry Has the Best Gender Equity?

French film "Blue is the Warmest Color" centered on compelling female stories—but behind the camera, men outnumber women in the French industry nine to one. Film still from Sundance.

The study from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and a group of partner organizations analyzed 120 films from the 10 countries with the most profitable film industries in the world. On average, women don’t fare much better in films internationally than they do in the United States: only 30 percent of characters with speaking parts or names are women. However, the cinematic gender balance varies greatly between countries. In Korea, for example, 50 percent of leading parts went to women while women played only 10 percent of leading roles in Russian films.

Bewitched by Bridget: Female Erotic Subjectivity in ‘The Last Seduction’

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Female viewers may derive psychological pleasure from watching Bridget’s erotic, self-interested shenanigans. It’s exhilarating to see a female cinematic character take sexual control and outwit her male partners. It makes a refreshing change from watching women suffer the pain of romantic love. We know that Bridget will never be a victim. She will never tolerate domestic drudgery or the compromises marriage brings. In fact, it’s pretty much a given that she will always overcome her opponents. Life is a pitiless yet entertaining Darwinian game in ‘The Last Seduction,’ and Bridget plays it brilliantly.

Q&A: Girlhood Behind and In Front of the Camera

Hermione Granger

Ten questions between filmmaker Morgan Faust and 13-year-old actress Rachel Resheff.

Morgan: The truth is when I was growing up in the 1980s, the child actresses were often given pretty syrupy roles (with the exception of Journey of Natty Gann and Labyrinth). It was the boys who got to have the cool movies–Goonies, Stand by Me, even The NeverEnding Story and E.T., which did have girls, but the boys were the heroes. That is why I write the movies I do–adventures films for girls–because that’s what I wanted to do when I was a kid, go on adventures, be the hero. I still do want that. I mean, who doesn’t?

Powerful Realism and Nostalgia in ‘My So-Called Life’

My So-Called Life

Almost 20 years later, we need more of what My So-Called Life gave us a taste of. We need teenage girl protagonists to be sexual, not sexy. We need honest portrayals of what it is to be a teenager–not only for teenagers who need to see themselves in faithful mirrors, but also for adults who are still trying to figure themselves out.

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Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!