Science Fiction & Fantasy

“You Can’t Sit with Us”: Witchy Girl Gangs and Covens

The Craft

Underwritten in this claim of selfhood, however, is a larger message. Each of the films and the TV series, to varying degrees, promote individuality over conformity. Eventually, each teaches viewers the importance of being true to yourself and avoiding the pitfalls of group mentality. …Each manifestation of the girl group trope proposes an affirmation of self-esteem, non-conformity, independence, and individuality.

20 Years of ‘The Craft’: Why We Needed More of Rochelle

The Craft

Rochelle was the social outcast with the other handful of social outcasts of St. Bernard Academy, sure. But how do we cinematize the Black girl outcast teenager that many of us felt like? That just so happens to be a practicing witch? Much of what can be read of Rochelle relies heavily on those of us whom she meant so much to.

‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘Prevenge,’ and the Evils of the Trump Administration

Prevenge

Alice Lowe’s ‘Prevenge’ is in some ways a modernized version of ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’ … Throughout the course of history, and especially in Trump’s America, baby always comes first. Our government cares more about fetuses than it does about living, breathing women. This chills me to the core more than a scary movie ever could.

‘Metropolis’ and ‘Ex Machina’: Portrayals of Gender, Technology, and Society

Metropolis and Ex Machina

‘Metropolis’ and ‘Ex Machina’ are merely the oldest and one of the most recent examples, respectively, in a long line of films (and texts) that associate women with technology in this manner, presenting them as potent and potential threats to societal order and to the men who create and aim to control them.

The Chameleon Woman in ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘iZombie’: Personality Swapping and Agency

Dollhouse and iZombie

The problem presented by both ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘iZombie’ is that of the “Chameleon Woman.” Both Echo and Liv carry the metaphor of the expectation that women adapt based on the needs and desires of others. However, both TV series point to this societal issue with two very different takes.

“You Are Who You Eat”: Digging in to Antonia Bird’s ‘Ravenous’

Ravenous

In ‘Ravenous,’ the primary meat and potatoes of the terror the audience feels isn’t provided by novel sights on the screen. While the visuals are gorgeous, its true potency comes from its sense of self-confidence. … Director Antonia Bird is unafraid of long silences; she trusts her skills to communicate plot and character visually without the need for exposition. … It makes for a moody, evocative, distinctive, and extremely memorable personal style.

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.