Science Fiction & Fantasy

Alienated Women: The Terror in Mica Levi’s Scores for ‘Under the Skin’ and ‘Jackie’

Under the Skin and Jackie

Jackie’s deeply emotional outbursts may stand in stark contrast to the alien’s lack of empathy, but both women share a troubling alienation from the people around them. Mica Levi’s scores make this alienation audible, the grim discomfort of her music allowing the audience to feel, even for 90 minutes, the terror of such a solitude.

‘Logan’: On Death and Dying. And Mutants.

Logan

‘Logan’ is a real film. In fact, it’s more real than any comic book superhero movie has business being. … It is a beautifully crafted film. If you still think that comic books and their offspring are incapable of being high art, I urge you to give it a chance.

How ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Crystallizes the Problems with Marvel Movies

captain-america-civil-war

I realized that while I had ultimately enjoyed ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ it exemplified the worst tendency of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — namely, the avoidance of dramatic risk and legitimate emotional stakes in order to create and maintain a sense of delight and entertaining status quo.

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.

‘Firefly’: Mixed Messages on Inara’s Sexuality

Firefly

In ‘Firefly,’ women can be strong, they can be independent, they can be respected, but they are still fetishized for their sexual choices. Inara’s queerness is less a way to incorporate diverse sexuality into the show and more to stoke a fantasy of women for the consumption of heterosexual men.

‘Orphan Black’ and the Breakdown of Tokenization

Orphan Black

This scene, a scene in which an assumed-to-be heterosexual protagonist casually courts another woman, is significant because Sarah is one of three queer women – two of whom are bi – on a single television show, each of whom experiences their queerness differently. … Sarah, Cosima, and Delphine are three very different women with different narratives, inhabiting their queerness in three disparate ways.

Who Controls the ‘ARQ’ in the Time Travel Sci-Fi Thriller?

ARQ

The characters are thrown into an adrenaline-fueled, confusing, science-fiction quest from scene one. They don’t have time to make anything more than impulsive decisions, there’s a plot twist every time they think they know what’s going on, and every double-cross turns out to be a double-double-double cross instead. The story doesn’t always make sense, but it’s a wild ride that holds your interest from beginning to end.

‘Colossal’ and ‘Lady Macbeth’ Tell Similar Stories of Violence and Empowerment at TIFF

'Colossal'

Both Nacho Vigalondo’s monster movie, ‘Colossal,’ and William Oldroyd’s period piece, ‘Lady Macbeth,’ are solid, carefully-made films built around a stunning performance from their lead actors – Anne Hathaway and Florence Pugh, respectively – and both tell the story of a woman surrounded by men who try to control her. Rightly or wrongly, both films also seem to presume that the best way for women to be strong and empowered is through physical violence.

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.

1950s B-Movie Women Scientists: Smart, Strong, but Still Marriageable

Gog movie

While the happily ever after scenario in these 1950s B-movies comes with an expectation that women give up their careers in science to become wives and mothers once the appropriate suitor is identified, it seems there are women in B-movies who do have it all — they maintain the respect afforded to them as scientists and also win romantic partners, without having to sacrifice their professional interests to assume domestic roles instead.

In Praise of ‘Jurassic Park’s Dr. Ellie Sattler

Jurassic Park

Dr. Sattler is awesome. She’s a character who doesn’t fit into any typical Hollywood box: A friendly, stable, super-smart woman who wants to be a mother, has her own nerdy career, and doesn’t think twice about being a badass. … I saw ‘Jurassic Park’ when I was seven and from then on wanted to be Dr. Ellie Sattler.