“A Thousand Times Goodnight” — The Work/Family Conflict Goes to War

safe_image.php

A Thousand Times Goodnight goes way beyond the usual conversation about how a woman can balance the competing demands of work and family. It illuminates the profound moral quandary at the heart of the conflict, heightened because this mother’s work not only takes her away from her family: It can also kill her. Rebecca (Juliette […]

Forgotten Women of Film History: Marion Wong

Screen shot 2014-10-16 at 3.12.24 PM

The second installment of our “Forgotten Women of Film History“ series shines the spotlight on the earliest known Chinese American film director, Marion Wong. While there are conflicting reports about the exact dates of her birth and death, it is believed that Wong was born in 1895 in the San Francisco Bay Area and lived there until […]

Geena Davis to Filmmakers: “Add More Female Characters”

9188506383_d6a55fc5c2_z1

Last week, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDIGM) hosted their 2nd Global Symposium in Los Angeles to share the findings of a new study examining how women are portrayed in films—and how often they get cast at all. The event featured keynote speakers such as institute namesake Davis, study leader Dr. Stacy L. Smith, PhD. and […]

Forget “The November Man” — Try “Homeland,” “Hunted” or “Haywire” Instead

novemberman ad

You don’t have to be a feminist to not like The November Man. You just have to be someone who likes good movies. Even though I grew up watching sexist James Bonds films with my real-life CIA dad, this movie is worse. Not only does the film specialize in putting women down, but the female […]

What’s Missing From the Gone Girl Debate? Privilege!

Gone-Girl-2014-film-poster

  WARNING: THIS PIECE CONTAINS SPOILERS Gone Girl has been called misogynist, an amalgamation of negative stereotypes of women, a text that perpetuates rape culture, and a narrative that fuels men’s rights activists’ ugly depiction of the gender equality feminists are trying to achieve. Putting the talent of the author aside—because I do think Gillian Flynn […]

Forgotten Women of Film History: Alice Guy

15038052876_5070c4854c_z

Spielberg. Scorsese. Tarantino. Lucas. Hitchcock. When we think of filmmakers, we often think of men. It’s not surprising, considering a recent study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found women account for only 16 percent of directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors and cinematographers working on the top films. But the film industry wasn’t […]

“This Is Where I Leave You” — Chutzpah v. Repression

hr_This_is_Where_I_Leave_You_1

Jane Fonda and Tina Fey, two comic masterminds in one film? Yes, please! 9 to 5, which Ms. magazine featured on its January cover in 1981, remains one of my favorite comedies. Fonda as the naïve, buttoned-up secretary Judy, learns how to ovary-up from her feisty coworkers Violet (Lily Tomlin) and Doralee (Dolly Parton). In real […]

Lost in a Maze of Males

The-Maze-Runner-5

The Maze Runner, the new post-apocalyptic film based on James Dashner’s 2009 book, has a strong lead female and a diverse cast in terms of race (what a nice change from the too-white Hunger Games!). But, when I mention “a strong lead female,” I literally mean “a”—yes, as in one—one female among a gaggle of adolescent […]

“Boyhood” Is Also a Film About Motherhood

boyhoodposter

Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood has been widely praised for its innovative approach and its ability to handle a sweeping topic (growing up) largely without sentimentality. The movie is filmed over the course of 12 years, using the same cast and whatever cultural backdrop was handy in Texas at the annual time of filming. For instance, […]

“The Giver” Delivers Powerful Pro-Choice Message in Slick, IKEA Package

meryl-streep-the-giver-lg

Translating dystopian texts to the screen is tricky business, as such texts rely so much on the reader’s perception of what a truly dystopian society would look and feel like. To some, the visuals of The Giver might seem ideal: cookie-cutter houses filled with sparse, functional, IKEA-like furnishings and a society that also has a straight-lined, minimalist, […]