Issue: March 2013 - Women in Film

Her Story: where did the rom com go wrong? (and rom coms that get it right)

Much has been written recently about the state of romantic comedy films, or more specifically, the downfall of the “chick flick”. There are many out there who take issue with that term because it sounds degrading to material marketed to women, but I think that anger is misdirected. It should be targeted straight at the films themselves and how the female gender as a whole is being portrayed. Back in the ‘30s, a decade when some of the best screwball comedies were produced, the women were never the butt of the joke, they were smart, savvy and yearned for...

Read More

TFS Questions: Liane Balaban, Jenna Wright and Vanessa Matsui, Founders of Crankyfest

Getting a visit from Aunt Flo, that time of the month, riding the crimson wave: you’d think that something experienced monthly by 53% of the world population would be something that’s more openly talked about. Unfortunately, menstruation–the experience of it, the tools related to it and stories that happen as a result of it–continue to be a bit of a taboo subject in the mainstream media. Hell, there may actually be a whole segment of the population who believe women excrete blue liquid each month thanks to the way maxi pad commercials depict it. Luckily for ladies everywhere, three...

Read More

The woeful underrepresentation of women in directing

When I saw Zero Dark Thirty, the same thing happened to me as when I saw The Hurt Locker: I wanted to watch the movie on an infinite loop. Since that wasn’t possible, it being in theatres and all, I was hungry for pretty much any detail about the actual events the film was alleging were true-to-life. During my hunt I came across a video on the BBC’s website titled “How close to the facts is Zero Dark Thirty?” I clicked that immediately. You can imagine my surprise at discovering that what Kathryn Bigelow and the BBC felt was...

Read More

Who is she? Hollywood and the 1990s femme fatale

Look at her: she’s dangerous, sexy, probably lying to you, and lookin’ good doing it. Who is she? Well, she’s probably Sharon Stone or Demi Moore, and it’s most likely around 1994. I’ve never quite been able to figure out why, but there seems to have been a spate of big-budget Sexy Dangerous Lady movies in the ’90s. The answer is probably that Hollywood likes to maul a trend to death as soon as it garners one mega-profitable hit (see, for example, the spate of “disaster” flicks that sprouted up in the 1970s;  The Poseidon Adventure  (1972) is a personal...

Read More

Essential Canadian Cinema: I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing

Patricia Rozema’s debut film I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing is one that seems omnipresent when people begin making lists of classic Canadian films. The story centres on the ever-whimsical Polly (Sheila McCarthy), a naïve amateur photographer in Toronto who becomes embroiled with the beautiful and sophisticated Gabrielle (Paule Baillargeon) after Polly’s hired to assist in the running of a trendy art gallery. Motivated by adoration, Polly smuggles Gabrielle’s artwork into the gallery for display, initiating events which eventually reveal a conspiracy between Gabrielle and her lover Mary (Ann-Marie MacDonald), to pass off Mary’s artwork as Gabrielle’s. The film also features...

Read More

TFS Essentials: Dirty Dancing, feminism and the female gaze

I was in my early teens when I was first introduced to the unbelievable phenomenon that is Dirty Dancing. It was the early ’90s, about five years after the film actually came out in 1987. I watched it on television and found myself mesmerized by it in a way that I’d never experienced with any other film before, and few films since. At the time, I was at the very start of my adolescence, so to me, the film was a romance, and a dance film, and little else. On that first viewing, I missed the fact that this...

Read More

21st Century Pickford: women in film who live up to Mary Pickford’s legacy

When we think about a woman’s place in the world in the dawning of the twentieth century we don’t often think of them as having a lot of power over their own circumstances. Without the ability to vote or to further their own education, they were often defined by who they married and the home they kept (for an excellent illustration of this see TV’s Downton Abbey ). As with any rule however, there’s aways an exception and in the case of women who forged their own path, there’s no better example than Mary Pickford. Born right here in...

Read More

Recent Tweets

Pin It on Pinterest