The Feminist’s Guide to the Hollywood Fringe

It’s summer, which means elite theater professionals all over America are headed to the country for summer stock. If you can’t make it up into the mountains this summer (or if you can’t afford the expensive tickets to these high-society productions), fear not: Our cities are full of all variety of underground artists hawking their […]

Miss Julie and The Timeless Art of Slut-Shaming

Apparently, some things never get old. Neil LaBute, screenwriter of such movies as a remake of the 1973 film The Wicker Man, about crazy, man-killing witches, has adapted the misogynist classic Miss Julie, written in 1888 by August Strindberg. (If you haven’t heard of Strindberg, think Rush Limbaugh as a 19th-century Swedish playwright: avowedly sexist, […]

The New Evil Dead: Another Lesson in Masculinity. And Tree Rape.

evil-dead-poster1

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains major spoilers. Also, TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE. I am not really into gore for gore’s sake: When I go to horror movies, I want to be held in suspense and suddenly surprised, not just grossed out. Luckily for Sam Raimi fans, the new version of the 1981 cult classic The Evil […]

The Little-Told Story of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary T. & Lizzy K.

As the DVD of Spielberg’s latest epic, Lincoln, hit shelves last week, the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. was telling a different Lincoln story: that of Mary Todd Lincoln and her dressmaker, former slave Elizabeth Keckley. Keckley, author of Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, was […]

Dammit Mamet

Slide1

Warning: This post contains language which may be considered profane, sexist, ironic, feminist and/or totally quotidian. Oh Mamet. Mamet Mamet Mamet Mamet Mamet. Fuuuuucking Mamet.”Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting. In his tail? In his tongue.” Ask almost any theater practitioner what they like about David Mamet and they’ll tell you: […]

Feminist Face-Off: Beautiful Creatures vs. Twilight

smaller 2

It’s hard not to make the comparison: two supernatural teen romances, both adapted from Young Adult novels, both involving a Romeo and Juliet-like attraction between a human and a superhuman. For feminist spectators, the popularity of such genre films warrants an investigation of their depiction of gender roles. So how do the two films stack […]

Guillermo del Toro’s Mythical Mamas

1-Mama-Poster

For horror fans, January is both a blessing and a curse. Christened “Hollywood’s dumping ground,” January is where movies go to die. With everyone’s attention focused on awards season, or so the thinking goes, studios can afford to release films from which they do not expect much profit, many of which are horror movies. Though […]

Trains, Pullman Porters and a Woman’s Blues

pullman

What do you get when you combine passionate individuals determined to survive with multi-generational family drama and two key moments in African American history? A pretty great new play, that’s what. Opening November 23 at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, Pullman Porter Blues, by Cheryl L. West (Jar the Floor, Before it Hits Home), takes […]

Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part Three: Worlds Without Patriarchy

download

This is the last in a three-part series on watching horror movies as a feminist spectator. Having covered films which reinforce the necessity of the patriarchy, and films which question its value while still punishing challenges to patriarchal norms, let’s look at two movies in which the patriarchy is almost entirely irrelevant. British director Neil […]

A Feminist Guide to Horror Movies, Part Two: It’s Not Just About Vampires

vamp

This piece is part two in a series. See here for part one. Since Edward Cullen first graced the pages of a young adult novel in 2005, vampires have been the sexy bad guys du jour. But it’s not just the lingering fear that sex might lead to death that makes these nightmarish manifestations of […]