‘Best of Enemies’: When Politics Was All About Men

Best of Enemies

Out queer writer Gore Vidal was prescient in discussing the danger of self-labeled “conservative” Republicans (“reactionary” has always been a better term for them). In 1968, as part of network news coverage of the political conventions Vidal debated William F. Buckley, the loathsome “conservative” stalwart… In their debates, Vidal describes Buckley’s rhetoric as “always to the right and almost always in the wrong.” The debates are the focus of Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s documentary ‘Best of Enemies.’

The Disappearance of Sexism and Racism in Dystopian Fiction

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Certainly, teenagers strain against authority and exert their independence. This doesn’t mean they’re immune to other big issues that plague society – issues such as sexism and racism. If the novels being written for this demographic want to call themselves true dystopias based on a futuristic society in which our current way of living led to some global disaster, then the writers of the novels and the film adaptations shouldn’t shy away from some of the biggest issues in current politics and society.

The Conflicting Masculinities of Frank and Claire in ‘House of Cards’

Frank and Claire Underwood gaze at each other. ‘Like sharks love blood’

It is this point at which things significantly begin to shift in Frank and Claire’s relationship. This entire situation, which occurred in a succession of embarrassments for Frank, clearly served as a challenge to his dominance and an infringement on his masculinity, especially coming from his wife. For Claire, meanwhile, it is evident that while Frank is fighting desperately to enforce his masculinity and remain in power, she has lost all of hers.

‘House of Cards’ Season 3: There’s Only One Seat in the Oval Office

Walking side by side in this season 3 promo still.

“I’ve been in the passenger seat for decades. It’s time for me to get behind the wheel.”

Political Humor and Humanity in HBO’s ‘VEEP’


She’s a toxic political figure, a creator of monumental gaffes and inappropriate situations who doesn’t even have the excuse of good intentions. Her intentions are always self-serving and she treats her staff atrociously, often assigning them the blame for her mistakes.

The Layered Danish Pastry Called ‘Borgen’


A subtitled Danish drama about Danish coalition politics sounds rather elitist (if not absurdly boring) and one that, at best, would appeal to a niche audience. However headlines such as “Stop what you are doing and go watch ‘Borgen,’” “Why Danish Political drama ‘Borgen’ is Everything” and “Why the World fell for ‘Borgen’” from sources ranging from ‘The Telegraph’ to the ‘Buzzfeed’ may make you reconsider that initial assumption.

History We Need: ‘Chisholm ’72’

Directed by Shola Lynch, the 2004 documentary ‘Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed’ tells the story of Chisholm’s campaign for her party’s nomination, and without even trying to, the film offers a necessary antidote to popular culture representation of the dominant white male supremacist lens of history-making that is reified when it goes unchallenged.

Pussy Power and Control in ‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’


And it sinks in. We can, half a world away, celebrate Pussy Riot’s name. We can listen to their music and cheer them on. What our challenge as feminists needs to be is to take their cause as seriously as those Carriers of the Cross take it. We must hold on so tightly to our convictions–at home and abroad–that the utter fear and terror of female power that those enmeshed in the patriarchy are emboldened by is neutralized.

Ruthless, Pragmatic Feminism in ‘House of Cards’


The women of ‘House of Cards’ are not “Strong Female Characters.” They are well-written characters with a great deal of power, which they wield alongside the men. They are integral parts of the narrative. When female complexity and power is written into the narrative, everything else–including passing the Bechdel Test–effortlessly falls into place.

‘Alias Ruby Blade’: A Story of Love and Revolution, With Not Quite Enough Ruby Blade

Alias Ruby Blade poster Written by Leigh Kolb Alias Ruby Blade, which makes its North American debut this week at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, is a documentary about “love and revolution.” The subject of the film, Kirsty Sword Gusmão, grew up in Australia. She had an “ordinary childhood,” but she says her “parents were very […]

2013 Oscar Week: More Royal Than Affair

A Royal Affair (2012) Guest post written by Atima Omara-Alwala. Anyone reading the synopsis of A Royal Affair wonders if it will be more of the same. I mean what else can be said about a high-born woman trapped in loveless marriage to an awful unsophisticated idiot who finds love in the arms of an […]

2013 Oscar Week: ‘A Royal Affair’

Guest post written by Rosalind Kemp. Rather than merely bringing European history to the screen A Royal Affair is an effective character drama of three people and their relationships with each other. It begins with Caroline Mathilda leaving her English home to join her husband King Christian VII, whom she’s never met, in Denmark. It […]