Why “Top Five” Ranks in the Bottom Five for Women Journalists

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Chris Rock’s new film, Top Five, has been lauded as a funny and provocative work that showcases groups generally marginalized in movies, including people of color and strong women. But critical backlash has highlighted the way in which the movie strips its leading lady of her supposed intellect and instead turns her into what New […]

5 Fabulous Feminist Films from Sundance

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While feminist achievements in popular culture are not always easy to come by, the last few months have brought more than a few heartening examples. This year’s Golden Globes, for instance, had a plethora of feminist moments. Perhaps more surprisingly, even the Super Bowl featured anti-domestic-violence ads, an anti-racism ad starring Mindy Kaling and a spot […]

White, Male

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The 2015 Oscar nominations, announced this morning, loudly echo Martha Lauzen’s most recent report on the “celluloid ceiling” for women in Hollywood. What Lauzen said about her findings can equally be said of today’s nominees: [They] drive home the point that men continue to construct the vast majority of the visual and aural worlds featured […]

Breaking Through Hollywood’s Celluloid Ceiling

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Amidst the pomp and circumstance of the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, it’s easy to get swept up in the opulence that is Hollywood and not look behind the shiny veneer of the television and film industry. While there was deserved hoopla over the feminist moments of the evening, with wins for up-and-comer […]

Selma Shows Why We Need More Black Women Filmmakers

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Last year was a stellar one for black women filmmakers. First, there was Amma Asante’s exquisitely filmed Belle (starring an impressive Gugu Mbatha-Raw), followed later by Gina Prince-Bythewood’s emotionally layered Beyond the Lights (also starring Mbatha-Raw). The year finally closed out with Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed historical drama, Selma. However, while Belle was summarily dismissed by movie critics as a “black Jane […]

The Many Truths of “Selma”

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Instead of getting lost in the “fact” checking about whose depiction of President Lyndon B. Johnson is correct, let us get clear about the important lessons that the film Selma can teach us all—especially white people. White racism was and is ugly and murderous. Black civil rights activists were courageous and willing to die for […]

The Year of the Fighter: The Top 10 Feminist Films of 2014

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Hollywood has long been a boy’s club, but this year, women made a dent in the door. From bow-wielding revolutionaries to outspoken intellectuals to ordinary women with the will to change the world, women warriors, both onscreen and off, challenged audiences to reimagine women as masters of their own destinies. Though the battle is far […]

Unbroken: Jolie’s Testament to the Human Spirit

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Starvation, deprivation and torture permeate Unbroken, making director Angelina Jolie’s film (based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book), one that invokes flinches, jerks, audible gasps and covering one’s eyes. The edge-of-the-seat opening sequence, set in a B-24 bomber that is being shot apart above the Pacific Ocean, captures the noise of war as well as the heart-pumping […]

The “Both/And” Celebration of “Into the Woods”

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The film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical Into the Woods should please feminist lovers of musicals, fairy tales and narratives that don’t take themselves too seriously. The film, like the play, pokes fun at our all-too-human wishes and failed quests and, oh joy of joys, suggests heteromonogamy is the true tall […]

The Final Hobbit Film: One Kick-Ass Chick Among the Sausagefest

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You like battle scenes? You’ll probably like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the last of director Peter Jackson’s six films based on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Battle scenes make up the majority of the 144-minute film—and that doesn’t even count preparing for battles and talking about battles. Though there are some […]