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The Female Gaze in Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

The Bechdel Test, named after its creator Alison Bechdel, aims to measure female representation in film via three criteria: the film must have two named female characters (1), who have a conversation with each other (2) about something other than a man (3). The fact that 60% of films surveyed in 2021 passed the test is hardly cause for celebration — the other 40% (a … Continue reading The Female Gaze in Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

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The Controversy and Cult Following of American Psycho (2000)

Adapted from the controversial novel by Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho follows the story of Patrick Bateman, an attractive young businessman who also happens to be a psychopath. While trying to hide this aspect of his identity from his friends and co-workers, Bateman (played by Christian Bale) secretly gives into his violent desires as the film progresses.  A financial and critical success when it was … Continue reading The Controversy and Cult Following of American Psycho (2000)

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How Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Both Rejects and Celebrates the Rom-Com

If you were asked to name an iconic romantic comedy, it wouldn’t be a surprise if your answer was one of Nora Ephron’s offerings. The late writer and director is synonymous with the genre and, according to critics, “changed the way an entire generation fell in love” through her body of work. Perhaps the first film that springs to mind is When Harry Met Sally … Continue reading How Sleepless in Seattle (1993) Both Rejects and Celebrates the Rom-Com

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The Suffocating Mother in Shiva Baby (2020)

CONTENT WARNINGS: DISORDERED EATING, BIPHOBIA A bisexual sugar baby, her daddy, and a MILF Quinn Fabray walk into a shiva (the Jewish gathering during a time of mourning). That’s the premise of Emma Seligman’s feature film directorial debut Shiva Baby and the punchline is 78 minutes of pure anxiety. When Danielle (Rachel Sennott) rocks up to “the after-party for a shiva… reap[ing] the benefits of … Continue reading The Suffocating Mother in Shiva Baby (2020)

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Daughters of the Dust (1991): Preserving a Forgotten History

“Some of the slaves taken to America must have known creole English before they left Africa, and on the plantations their speech seems to have served as a model for the other slaves. Many linguists argue that this early West African Creole English was the ancestral language that gave rise to the modern English-based creoles in West Africa (Sierra Leone Krio, Nigerian Pidgin, etc.) as well as to the English-based creoles spoken by black populations in the Americas (Gullah, Jamaican Creole, Guyana Creole, etc.). All of these modern creole languages would, thus, fall into the same broad family group, which linguist Ian Hancock has called the “English-based Atlantic Creoles.” Continue reading Daughters of the Dust (1991): Preserving a Forgotten History

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Performing Pleasure (2021) and Professionalising Pain: Monochromatic Power in Ninja Thyberg’s Debut

Without the birth of modernised, progressive adult sites that exercise full commitment to consent, universal pleasure and boundaries, the entity that is the current male-centred mainstream pornography industry remains unavoidable. In a society that seeks to question a woman’s bodily rights, the world of a female sex worker often continues to linger in objectification, prejudice and control.  This is the narrative of self-named ‘Bella Cherry’, … Continue reading Performing Pleasure (2021) and Professionalising Pain: Monochromatic Power in Ninja Thyberg’s Debut

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A Rom-Com with a Difference: Blending Bollywood and Beckham (Bend it Like Beckham, 2002)

It is no revolutionary statement to suggest that the teenage rom coms of the early 2000s are reminisced upon with a bubble of luminescent nostalgia. The likes of How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and Bridget Jones’ Diary dominated the early noughties with a light-hearted but rather clichéd charm. Yet, what Gurinder Chadha’s Bend it Like Beckham brings to the table is far more than a senseless outburst of … Continue reading A Rom-Com with a Difference: Blending Bollywood and Beckham (Bend it Like Beckham, 2002)

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Disrupting the ‘Nice Guy’ in Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman (2020)

*film and article contains references to sexual assault* I’ve gone back and forth, undecided about how to start this article. Did I enjoy Promising Young Woman? Yes. Did I think it was one of the cleverest films I’ve ever watched? Yes. Do I now want to be best friends with Emerald Fennell? Absolutely. So, why was I at such a loss of words at where to … Continue reading Disrupting the ‘Nice Guy’ in Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman (2020)

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Gerwig’s Representation of Female Ambition in Little Women (2019)

Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women speaks of independence and self assertion to a 21st century audience. The classic became popular thanks to its pastoral themes and its heartwarming portrayal of the family life of four sisters showing human connections in moments of fun and hardship. This adaptation aims to give a different account that focuses on Jo, the most independent of the four sisters, … Continue reading Gerwig’s Representation of Female Ambition in Little Women (2019)

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Wonder Woman (2017): A Battle of Truth

*contains spoilers* Secrets. Ignorance. Betrayal. DC’s Wonder Woman (2017), directed by Patty Jenkins, is a story of Diana, a warrior princess who leaves her home to fight in a battle that leads to her discovering her true heritage and identity.  The film begins with a prologue voiced by Gal Gadot, who plays Princess Diana of Themyscira aka Wonder Woman. It alludes to a change in attitude following … Continue reading Wonder Woman (2017): A Battle of Truth