Lee Jutton

‘The Witch’ Will Transport You to Another World  —  A Beautiful, but Terrifying One

The Witch

‘The Witch’ is proof that when a film is made with utmost care down to the last detail, one can still be transported by it to another world  —  though, in the case of ‘The Witch,’ it is a downright creepy and unpleasant world, and one that I am grateful, as a woman, to not have to live in.

‘Raw’ and Coming of Age via Cannibalism

Raw

What writer/director Julia Ducournau does with ‘Raw’ is use the traditional tropes of body horror to tell the story of one young woman’s awakening. … It’s frightening and disturbing, as coming of age often is. … By filtering this all-too-common struggle through the extreme lens of cannibalism, Ducournau highlights the absurdity inherent in how women’s bodies and desires are policed.

‘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.

‘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.

Nicolette Krebitz’s ‘Wild’ and the Importance of Living Without Fear

Nicolette Krebitz's 'Wild'

That film is ‘Wild,’ a modern-day fable unlike any of the Aesop-influenced tales you heard as a child. It tells the story of a seemingly ordinary woman whose life is forever changed after a chance encounter with a wolf. By turns intense and outlandish, deeply emotional and utterly outrageous, ‘Wild’ busts taboos left and right to show audiences how true happiness can be achieved if one sets societal expectations aside and embraces one’s true nature.

In ‘Arrival,’ Amy Adams is the Superhero We Need Right Now

Arrival

‘Arrival’ is yet another in a long line of alien invasion movies, but it’s also so much more than that. It’s the story of a single extraordinary woman who steps up to save the human race, armed with nothing more than her ability to communicate. It’s a story of hope  —  and it’s one that audiences need to hear right now.

The Repercussions of Repressing Teenage Girls in ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Mustang’

Mustang

Both are critically acclaimed dramas directed by women documenting the coming-of-age of five teenage sisters under close scrutiny for their behavior — especially when it comes to their sexuality. And in both films, the girls’ response to this repression is to resort to desperate measures to regain control, resulting in tragedy that could have been averted if they were given the freedom for which they hungered.

‘The World Is Not Enough’ and the “Believability” of Dr. Christmas Jones

World Is Not Enough

Dr. Jones went from being a promising step forward for Bond girls to one of the more maligned female characters of the franchise. … And this is what is the most disappointing thing about Dr. Jones. She’s a tough-talking woman whose best moments in the film come when she grows impatient with Bond’s testosterone-driven idiocy and counters his quips with her own formidable sarcasm, yet in the end, she’s just like any of those earlier Bond girls that Denise Richards dismissed as lacking depth…

Daisy Johnson, Superheroine of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ — And Why She Matters

Agents of SHIELD_Daisy season 3

What makes Daisy special among superheroes is that she embodies all of these tropes as the centerpiece of a network television series — and is also a woman. Not only that, she is a mixed-race woman — and not a token one, but one surrounded by other women, of various ages, races and backgrounds.

Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Near Dark’: Busting Stereotypes and Drawing Blood

Near Dark

Both brutally violent and shockingly sexy, ‘Near Dark’s influence can be felt nearly thirty years later on a new crop of unusual vampire dramas that simultaneously embrace and reject the conventions of the genre. … Yet among all these films about outsiders, ‘Near Dark’ will always have a special place in my heart for being the one to show me that as a filmmaker, I was not alone in the world after all.