Screen

Period Pieces: The Last Taboo of Reality TV

Detailed discussions of diarrhea (Survivor). On-camera vomiting (The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser). Extensive cosmetic surgery (The Swan). Endless hot-tub makeout sessions (take your pick). On reality tv, no subject is too personal to reveal, no biological function too intimate to discuss—... Read more »

Suburban Blight: The Battle of <em>The Stepford Wives</em>

A film studies professor once told me that everything you need to know about a movie is revealed in the first five minutes. This is particularly true of The Stepford Wives. 
 In the opening scene of Bryan Forbes's 1975 original, Joanna Eber­hart (Katharine Ross) takes a long,... Read more »

Compromising Positions: Gender by design on <em>Merge</em> and <em>Mix It Up</em>

Mass media, particularly so-called family television, from Bewitched to Everybody Loves Raymond, has long portrayed the home as women's domain, an ultra-feminized realm in which housewives bustle and cluck while their hapless husbands do little more than hand out spending money and retreat to the... Read more »

The Queen's Gambit: The underhanded treatment of race in bringing down the house

Few would debate the fact that before the civil rights and women's liberation move­ments percolated into mass culture, representations of black/white relationships in popular media, particularly Hollywood, were thoroughly unbalanced. Viewed in retrospect, seemingly amicable duos like Uncle Tom and... Read more »

Fan/tastic Voyage: A Journey Into the Wide, Wild World of Slash Fan Fiction

A journey into the origins of slash fanfiction.  Read more »

The Women's Academy

There are some contests in which women are truly at a disadvantage when competing with men. Football. Presidential nominations. Snow-writing. But acting is not one of them. Streep vs. Nicholson, Dame Judi vs. Sir Ian, Maggie Gyllenhaal vs. Jake Gyllenhaal - the Vegas odds would be close ones indeed... Read more »

O is for the Other Things She Gave Me: Jonathan Franzen’s "The Corrections" and contemporary women’s fiction

As every tabloid reader knows, it’s a short step from a celebrity marriage to a publicity-filled divorce. When Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, The Corrections, was published this fall, critics waxed hyperbolic over its wedding of character-driven family drama and up-to-the-nanosecond cultural... Read more »

A Galaxy of Our Own: Searching for black women in science-fiction film

In the '90s, the black man suddenly invaded the blockbuster science-fiction and fantasy film. African-American males found expanded roles for themselves in a genre that had previously been blindingly white. We finally have a celluloid landscape in which Will Smith and Wesley Snipes get to... Read more »

Sex, Lies, and Videotape: An Interview with <em>The Center of the World</em>'s Molly Parker

Reviewers have likened it to a dot-com Pretty Woman, but The Center of the World, the latest film from director Wayne Wang (Smoke, Blue in the Face, The Joy Luck Club), is a far more complex rumination on the intersections of sex, love, and commerce. Set in southern California, the story follows... Read more »

Bad(ass) Brains: An Interview with Filmmaker Marina Zurkow, Creator of the Web's Freaky, Fiesty Cerebelle du Jour, Braingirl

I met Marina Zurkow in 1986 on the set of a horror film called Matt Riker: Mutant Hunt. I was the art director. She was hired to be my assistant. It was an entirely inappropriate crewing decision, typical of the low-low budget B-movie genre. I’d never studied art, never been on a film set,... Read more »

Pages

Tina Belcher's Sexual Revolution

Tina Belcher breaks all the rules of network sitcoms. That's why she's wonderful.  Read more »

"Moonlight" is an Essential Work of Art for the Current Political Moment

Moonlight displays the kind of empathy and humanity that we desperately need right now. Read more »

Game Changer: Why Gaming Culture Allows Abuse... and How We Can Stop It

You're a Bolshevik feminist jewess that hates white people… and you expect to be taken seriously when you're “critique-ing” ...

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Films and TV Portray Abortion as More Dangerous Than It Is

Films and television shows tend to present a skewed portrayal of abortion—when fictional movies and TV shows include a plotline about abortion... Read more »