Films By Women

The Love That’s Really Real: ‘American Psycho’ as Romantic Comedy

American Psycho 4

Although primarily a horror film, ‘American Psycho’ has a satiric backbone that appropriates codes from the romantic comedy genre to expose the absurdities of our gender ideals. Director and co-writer Mary Harron’s lens skewers the qualities we find appealing in romantic comedies as terrifying.

Does ‘Pitch Perfect’s Fat Amy Deserve to Be a Fat Positivity Mascot?

Pitch Perfect

It’s great to see a character whose fatness is a part of her identity without being a point of dehumanization, but the films try to make Fat Amy likable at the expense of other characters, positioning her as acceptably quirky, in contrast to the women of color, who are portrayed in a more two-dimensional manner, or Stacie, who is unacceptable due to her promiscuity. Ultimately, the underlying current of stereotype-based humor puts the film’s fat positivity in a dubious light…

Unpopular Opinions in Film: A Critical Re-Examination of ‘Twilight’

Twilight

My intent is not to claim that ‘Twilight’ is a perfect movie, but rather, I want to argue that it has more virtues than it is given credit for, and to point out that its dismissal is frequently based on pervasive sexist attitudes. I am not speaking for the other films in the series — all directed by men — but rather, the first film, which was written and directed by women (Melissa Rosenberg and Catherine Hardwicke, respectively), based on a novel written by a woman. There are many valid reasons why one may not enjoy ‘Twilight,’ but it is important to recognize that it is unfair and sexist to dismiss the film and its fans based on the fact that it is a romance told from a female perspective.

‘Certain Women’: Four Women United by Emotional and Under-Recognized Work

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‘Certain Women’ belongs to the four women at its core: Laura Dern’s fragile, exhausted stoicism, Michelle William’s neutrality laced with sharp edges, Lily Gladstone’s quietly powerful grasp of the feeling of new love, and Kristen Stewart’s almost-sweet awkwardness, are what make Certain Women worth the trip.

Trespassed Lands, Transgressed Bodies: Horror, Rage, Rape, and Vengeance Within Indigenous Cinema

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

By forcing the subconscious fears of audiences to the surface, horror cinema evokes reactions psychologically and physically — that is its power. This power can serve and support uncensored Indigenous expression by allowing Indigenous filmmakers the opportunity to unleash dark, unsanitized allegorical representations of the abhorrent, repugnant, violent abomination that is colonization.

‘Older Than America’: Cultural Genocide and Reparations

Older Than America

One female-helmed film that directly addresses the horrific psychological, cultural, and spiritual legacy of Native boarding schools on Indigenous families in the United States is ‘Older Than America,’ a 2008 release, directed and produced by and starring Georgina Lightning, from a script by Lightning and Christine Kunewa Walker. … Rain’s journey is part of the collective story of her community and her tribe…

The Unvoiced Indigenous Feminism of ‘Frida’

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.

Abortion in America: Dawn Porter’s ‘Trapped’

Trapped

The perspectives many of us are unfamiliar with are the brave abortion providers, lawyers, and clinic workers who fight every single day to try and give (and protect) medical care to the people who need abortions, and the people most often impacted by lack of abortion access: women of color and poor women. This is the narrative that Dawn Porter provides as the backbone to ‘Trapped,’ and it’s astonishing.

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

10 Women-Directed Films for Halloween

Are spine-chilling films always in demand because they help us dialogue with and about death? … In the past year, I’ve been focused on seeing films directed by women because I participated in the “52 Films by Women” initiative.

The Women of the New York Film Festival 2016

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The New York Film Festival (NYFF) wraps up this weekend. Here are the best of films about women or directed by women (or both) that still have NYFF weekend screenings (including some “encore” shows on Sunday) or are streaming or open today in theaters: including Ava DuVernay’s ’13th,’ Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Certain Women,’ and Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘Julieta.’

Bi Erasure in Film and TV: The Difficulty of Representing Bisexual People On-Screen

How to Get Away with Murder

As frustrating as our erasure and stereotyping is, however, I’d like to go beyond the question of “good” and “bad” representations of bisexual characters to ask this: exactly what it is about bisexuality which makes it so hard to represent on-screen? And why, when bisexuality is visible, is it so likely to collapse back into dominant stereotypes of bisexuality as either promiscuous or merely a phase?

‘Jennifer’s Body’ and Bisexuality

Jennifer's Body

We don’t have direct evidence of how Jennifer or Needy would describe their sexual orientations, but ‘Jennifer’s Body’ works as a depiction of the relationship between two young bisexual women. If nothing else, it subverts expectations around gender and sexuality in horror films. … Even when Jennifer and Needy resort to physical violence with each other, their conflict has an erotic, and even romantic, subtext.