Mystery

Catherine Tramell in ‘Basic Instinct’ Is a Subversive Anti-Hero

Basic Instinct

The notion of Catherine as a subversive anti-hero develops when you view the film not as a story about the supposed protagonist Detective Nick Curran but as Catherine’s journey from mind games to almost domestic bliss but always returning to her basic instincts which threatens the Hollywood happy ending of established heteronormativity.

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 Faculty’: Gender, Dialogue, and Naked Alien Space Monsters

The Faculty

How did these male filmmakers make a movie marketed to men full of female characters who actually get the majority of the dialogue? I’m about to crack the code and share the secret — are you ready to become enlightened? Here’s how they did it: They included female characters and gave them lines. WHAT. Yes, it’s that simple.

The Threat of Feminine Power in ‘The Witch’

The Witch

Recognizing the witch hunts dotted throughout the U.S.’s early history as a feminist issue, Robert Eggers smartly constructs his film to be a power struggle between the two main female characters, each representing a different conception of femininity. … By rejecting motherhood, the witches reject their feminine role in the patriarchal Puritan society.

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.

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?

Biphobia in ‘Basic Instinct’

Basic Instinct

The film is extremely biphobic and includes many of the most negative stereotypes about bisexuality, particularly in terms of bisexual women… ‘Basic Instinct’ manages to have not one but three queer women characters, including two canonically bisexual ones, and they all are written as stereotypes.

The Trope of the Murderous Bisexual Woman

Basic Instinct

There are a number of films — frequently defined as “erotic thrillers” — which feature bisexual women who are violent, manipulative, and even murderous. … The trope of the promiscuous, aggressive, violent, and unstable bisexual woman is one that truly needs to disappear. Even if directors do not intend any harm to queer people or communities, these inaccurate portrayals lead movie-goers to believe that bisexuality is something dangerous, to be feared.

Daughters of Horror Masters: Examining the Films of Asia Argento and Jennifer Chambers Lynch

Scarlet Diva and Boxing Helena

I’ve chosen to focus primarily on the debut films of Asia Argento and Jennifer Chambers Lynch: ‘Scarlet Diva’ and ‘Boxing Helena.’ … Long story short, these women intrigued me. Both are the daughters of prominent filmmakers, and both released their first feature film at the age of 25. My own father was a juvenile probation officer, so I couldn’t exactly relate in terms of family ties, but being 25 years old myself, I admired their gusto.

My Sister’s Keeper: When Sisterhood Sours in Horror Films

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane 2

But there’s also a darker side to sisterhood, where rivalries take violent turns and where bonds are almost too strong, superseding everything else including reality. When sisters are pushed to the extremes, when women don’t meet society’s expectations, what does this tell us about the constraints on women to conform to idealized versions of femininity and sisterhood? Are bad sisters just failures or are they simply women with complicated narratives that a patriarchal society doesn’t allow room for?

In Rewatching ‘The X-Files,’ One Thing Is Clear: Mulder Is a Real Jerk

The X-Files miniseries

I realized something even worse: Agent Mulder is not a dreamboat. In fact, he’s an asshole. An asshole who spends most of the series mansplaining to Agent Scully. … Twenty years after ‘The X-Files’ debuted, it’s still rare to see a female character who’s as complicated and resilient as Scully — especially who works in science.

‘Contact’: The Power of Feminist Representation

Contact

‘Contact’ remains a singularly astute portrayal of a woman combating the oppressive confines of institutional sexism, as well as a reminder of how deeply mainstream cinema still needs progressive feminist portrayals that contradict gender clichés. … How refreshing that a woman’s personal arc is considered important enough to be entwined alongside the movie’s core theme of discovering meaning in our seemingly meaningless universe.