In most tales of alien infiltration, the extraterrestrial life force arrives heavily armed: death rays, mysterious pods, killer black ooze, and the like. In unsetting and surreal sci-fi film Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson arrives equipped only with a sexy female form, a winning damsel in distress routine, and a robotic desire to consume. Of course, she is a highly effective predator.
At the beginning of the Finding Vivian Maier, numerous friends, relatives, and former employers of the recently discovered Chicago street photographer and nanny try to describe her succinctly: she’s eccentric, bold, private, paradoxical. Above all, say friends, if she were alive, she would never have allowed this cinematic exposition of her life.
In the two weeks before the theatrical release of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: Vol 1, I watched every film von Trier has ever written and directed. This included the three hardcore pornographies produced by his company Zentropa. I will neither confirm nor deny whether the porn films are successful in their intent.
The proceedings of the infamous Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas Senate hearings in 1991 perhaps felt like a revolution at the time. A black woman challenged her boss’s bad behavior on a national stage and made sexual harassment part of our national conversation. On film over 20 years later, the entire episode feels like a relevant counter-point to “leaning in.” The professional world, the documentary reminds us, isn’t a cute place to be a woman. Anita Hill had to act against the interest of her career to do what she knew was right. Instead of leaning in, she called out her boss. For that, she’s earned both immense respect and scorn.
When we meet Davina (Natalia Dyer) in Leah Meyerhoff’s film I Believe in Unicorns, she seems like many teenage girls—a dreamer lost in her own imagination, clad in Converse shoes and slip dresses, and perpetually taking pictures of her feet.
When The CW canceled beloved TV show Veronica Mars in 2007, I was in my last year of college, huddled around the TV with friends. We all berated The CW for canceling our favorite show about a teenage private eye only to replace it with a reality show about The Pussycat Dolls.
My guess is that a great number of people will see Gloriafor the sex scenes. And, actually, I think that’s a valid reason for seeing it. But my hope is that you’ll stay for more—to appreciate a truly subtle and elegantly aimless film.
There’s a big revelation in Ukraine is Not a Brothel, a new documentary about feminist protest group Femen: the group, which is known worldwide for its strategy of topless protests, was actually founded by a man. After the film’s September premiere in Venice, the internet exploded with headlines that seemed ripped straight from an Onion article.
“Femen mastermind outed as man who calls women 'bitches,'” read a headline in The Week. “Abusive man sells new brand of feminism under banner of boobs. All media falls for it, as per usual,” wrote Canadian feminist Megan Murphy.
Teenage wastelands are a hot topic these days. It’s hard to miss the bevy of post-apocalyptic stories populating bookshelves, movie theaters, and pop-culture discourse; most notably, both the wildly popular dystopian Hunger Gamesand Divergent series have been massive commercial successes. They’re fast-paced and well-plotted and, at their best, authors Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth create dynamic and vivid characters whose lives crackle with high-stakes tension. But there are larger—and troubling—issues in the worlds these two series establish.
There’s nothing like getting off a plane and finding out that Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar. That was my experience last night, flying into Los Angeles in the middle of the ceremony, only to see my Twitter account overflowing with tweets celebrating her talent, her beauty, and her sweeping sky blue dress reminiscent of air. Rushing to a friend’s house to catch a recorded version, I couldn’t wait to witness this victory, and many others.