Ava DuVernay: Focusing the Lens on Equality

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This March, for Women’s History Month, the Ms. Blog is profiling Wonder Women who have made history—and those who are making history right now. Join us each day as we bring you the stories of iconic and soon-to-be-famous feminist change-makers. Fusing social consciousness and stunning artistry, director, writer and producer Ava DuVernay‘s well of emotionally […]

“The Lazarus Effect” Is No “Frankenstein”

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The Lazarus Effect focuses on reviving the dead—hardly a new concept—and few texts have done as well as Mary Shelley’s 1818 Frankenstein. The Lazarus Effect is no Frankenstein, but, as in that novel, betrayal, questionable ethics and a fascination with the possibilities of science frame the narrative. The plot follows a team of medical scientists […]

Interview: The Activist Survivors of “The Hunting Ground”

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It’s strange to think of Annie Clark and Andrea Pino as “stars” of the new documentary The Hunting Ground, since their “stardom” arose from traumatic real-life experiences. But they’re indeed the main protagonists of this game-changing film about campus rape, which opened yesterday today in New York and Los Angeles (and, in two weeks, in Boston, […]

“It Follows”: A Horror Film That Doesn’t Blame the Victim for Having Sex

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It Follows has an uncanny eye for detail, using jump cuts, long takes and a heavy musical score to build a horror/arthouse film that suggests very ominous things about sexuality, sexual agency and sexual coercion/abuse. The second film from director David Robert Mitchell, It Follows draws upon ’70s and ’80s horrors flicks, filling the screen […]

#AskHerMore and #OscarsSoWhite are Not Separate Issues

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To every woman who gave birth. To every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America. So proclaimed Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette at this year’s […]

Alterna-Oscars 2015

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As many of us get ready to attend Oscar viewing parties tomorrow and throw a few bucks into a betting pool—hoping to pick the most winners and take home the pot—we still have a nagging sense about those who were not nominated. So here are some suggestions of Oscars that should be given out tomorrow. Best Director […]

How Did Women in Film Fare in 2014?

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Ellen DeGeneres may have hosted the Oscars last year, but that was one of the few ways Hollywood did right by women in 2014. According to a new report from Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, women comprised a meager 12 percent […]

I Watched “50 Shades of Grey” So You Don’t Have To

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I saw 50 Shades of Grey at a free preview screening Tuesday night, several days before its day-before-Valentine’s-Day premiere, and I wish I’d been given a safe word to make the movie stop. Because 50 Shades of Grey is bad. Not so bad it’s good, but just bad. And it’s boring. Especially the sex. I mean, if you thought the books […]

“Seventh Son”: Witches Aren’t Merely Wicked

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Seventh Son, the film adaption of portions of The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney has much going for it: compelling visuals, an episodic format with lots of beasties and action, a pleasing admixture of humor, horror and romance wrapped in a fantasy/supernatural package and, best of all, witches: good, bad and in-between. You might […]

Angelina Jolie and the Courage to Resist Child Marriage

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A 14-year-old girl runs joyfully across a field, celebrating her advancement to 5th grade at her rural Ethiopian school. Suddenly she’s surrounded by a half-dozen men on horseback, one of whom grabs her and lifts her onto his horse. As the men gallop away, the girl’s face turns to terror. Left behind in the grass […]