The 15 (Or So!) Best Feminist Films of 2015

A nonagenarian fashionista who wears her wrinkles as “a badge of courage.” Two transgender women of color stomping it out in the streets of Hollywood with only their friendship to cling to. A warrior woman risking life and limb to fight for the radical idea that she, and women like her, “are not things.” This […]

Princess Leia’s Feminist Agenda: Yeah, She Had One

Reprinted with permission from The Broad Side In 1977, the year Princess Leia hit the big screen in the original Star Wars movie, the National Women’s Conference was held in Houston with a galactic agenda that included the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), reproductive rights, the nuclear family, child-care funding, sexual orientation and the rights of […]

British Painter Jenny Saville Responds to the Old (Male) Masters

Two parallel exhibitions are currently on view at the University of Oxford’s venerable Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. Titian to Canaletto: Drawing in Venice brings together masterpieces from the 16th to 18th century by some of the greatest early-modern Venetian artists, such as Titian, Tiepolo and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Running alongside this is a […]

While Heartfelt, “The Danish Girl” Recycles Tired Trans Tropes

The Danish Girl takes the “touchy” subject of transgender artist Lili Elbe’s life and renders it into a beautifully artistic film. However, rather than unraveling the complexities of transgender identity, the film focuses too literally on touching, on the feel of fabric, hosiery, skin, lipstick, high heels—as if one can “cross” to “the other side” of […]

In “Chi-Raq,” Women’s Only Power is Between their Legs

Reprinted with permission from the Chicago Tribune Chi-raq. The first time I heard this term I was working as a trauma physician in an emergency room on Chicago’s West Side, where bullets sometimes fly like gnats decorating the summer skies. It was part of the landscape of the gang violence so often featured on TV. Gruesome […]

Why This Film About Pre-WWI London Rings Too True Today

“You have to see this movie,” I had intended to implore everyone I know. I intended to post the trailer on Facebook with this command: Go see this movie! But then I saw the movie. And haven’t been able to recommend it to anyone. I can’t. Because I felt nauseous throughout most of it. Not […]

Final “Hunger Games” Film Ends on a Low Note, But JLaw Still Soars

Mockingjay — Part 2, the final film of The Hunger Games series, is more of an action flick than any of the other iterations. Yet, thanks to its condemnation of greed, its depiction of oil as a killer bent on drowning all in its wake, its satirizing of news as infotainment propaganda and its denunciation […]

The Feminist “Hotline Bling” Translation You Didn’t Know You Were Searching For

Unless you’ve been stranded on an icy island somewhere in the Arctic this year, chances are you have heard Drake’s newest hit song, “Hotline Bling.” With its strangely addictive elevator-music-meets-Drizzy-beat—reminiscent of D.R.A.M.’s “Cha Cha”—the song quickly became a hit. While the tune is undoubtedly catchy—and the video wonderfully meme-worthy—the lyrics of “Hotline Bling” are decidedly un-feminist. […]

The Film That’s Taking on Campus Rape—And Winning

The Hunting Ground, a documentary directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering—the team behind The Invisible War—has received critical acclaim for bringing new light to the campus rape crisis facing schools across the country, and breaking the silence on sexual assault reports suppressed by college officials. Since its release in February, The Hunting Ground has screened at more than 700 universities, high schools, […]

Women and the Big Picture: New Study Reveals Gender Bias in Film Production

The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University has released a new report that finds films with a female director employ more women in behind-the-scenes roles—such as writers, producers, editors and cinematographers—than those helmed by men. Women and the Big Screen, a first-of-its-kind study by Martha Lauzen, examined behind-the-scenes employment of over 5,800 […]