Science Fiction & Fantasy

Why ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Visuals Should Carry the TV Series to Emmy Victory

The Handmaid's Tale

‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which stars Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred, is a hard watch in terms of emotional drama. But the TV series, which is the first prestige drama to focus intimately on a woman’s perspective of a dystopian world, rivals ‘Game of Thrones’ in terms of visual splendor.

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.

‘Penny Dreadful’: Departure from Heroine

Penny Dreadful finale

We do not see the warrior that we have come to know and love, for her ability to not just fight battles, but to align others to fight against their darkest selves and moments for a better world. … Her death becomes a part of their story and creates an allegory of her character; she is not a woman anymore, but a figure to them, something they now own.

‘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.

From Racist Stereotype to Fully Whitewashed: Tiger Lily Since 1904

Tiger Lily in Peter Pan

Whatever the other problems might be with this film (and they are many), my focus for this review is the character Tiger Lily, who was originally conceived as a racist stereotype by J.M. Barrie and who has had her Native identity completely erased in this latest iteration. Is this progress? I think not.

A Feminist Guide to Horror: Torture Porn TV

Penny Dreadful

Small screen torture porn, at least in the cases of ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘Penny Dreadful,’ seems to be serving rather to take our fear of sex and women out of the dark and into the light, giving us an opportunity to vicariously take women apart and show them as disgusting as a substantial portion of our society fears we might be.

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?

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and Bisexual Representation

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

But the clearest example of the Buffyverse’s discomfort with bisexuality, in my opinion, appears in the character of Faith Lehane. … Despite what was at the time a groundbreaking portrayal of a loving lesbian relationship, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ still had many issues in its messaging surrounding queer sexualities, in particular bisexuality. In my opinion, a few material changes could have gone a long way in removing at least some of this negative messaging.