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.
As Portland hunkers down today for an impending blizzard, we're also getting ready for the annual Portland International Film Festival at the Northwest Film Center, which starts today and lasts two weeks, with dozens of movies from around the world. Here at Bitch, we'll be rounding up some of our favorite films. Here are our picks that are playing this weekend, come snow or sleet! If you're not in Portland, make sure to keep these films, directors, and actors on your radar!
August: Osage County has garnered mostly lukewarm reviews. This is somewhat of a surprise: the movie is based on the Pulitzer-winning play by Tracy Letts and the film’s cast is packed with talented actors. Although both Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were nominated for Golden Globes for their powerful performances, both of them walked away from the award ceremony last Sunday night empty-handed.
But then, this is a movie that is, unambiguously, about women. August: Osage County is about morally flawed, sometimes cruel, and often unlikable women. And that’s what makes August: Osage County good.
Above: A still from Kibwe Tavares' beautifully shot short film Jonah.
Curious about emerging indie film directors but don’t have a few thousand dollars lying around for plane tickets and festival passes to this year’s Sundance Film Festival? Then mark your calendar, rearrange a decimal point on the admissions price, and wait for Sundance to come to you: Selected shorts from last year’s festival are screening across the country at independent theatres through January and February.
Last Tuesday night, I caught a screening in New York at the IFC Center. The polar vortex had made Manhattan feel like an arctic ghost town all week, but still the theatre was packed. Why were people braving -8 degrees temperatures on a weeknight to see a collection of short films? Because shorts are where they’ll discover their new favorite director.