Witches to Love: A Bibliography

Not everyone loves witch stories, but many people do. They’re characters who can right injustices with ancient magic or psychic abilities. They can fly or talk to animals or entice romantic interests. They can transform. Audiences are drawn to their power and their powers, their wisdom and their knowledge. They are women who are respected…

“Toni Erdmann” and the Burdens of Womanhood

You were lied to. Toni Erdmann is not a comedy. Sure, German director Maren Ade’s Oscar-nominated ode to fatherhood (and daughterhood) is hilarious. I laughed my heart out at its quotidian absurdity. The log line primes us for funny: “Goofy older music teacher plays pranks on his upright, workaholic kid to spark a little life…

“Antibirth” Review: Something is Rotten in the State of Michigan

Hallucinogenic body horror flick Antibirth is a stomach-roiling kaleidoscope of mindfuck terrors and shock-induced howls, an experience so bizarre, so brain-frying, you’ll stumble off the ride and immediately want to go again. Danny Perez’s feature film debut is a triumph of disgust and primal feminist rage, a dream fever that questions what a drug-fueled threesome…

“Left on Pearl” Review: Searing Documentary Reads Like a Heist Film

On March 8, 1971, at the burgeoning of the women’s liberation movement, several hundred young activists marched from an International Women’s Day rally at Boston Common into the city of Cambridge and ended up seizing a Harvard University building in the name of feminism. They called it “The Women’s Center.” The activists were young, spirited, and savvy, drawn…

Why “Maleficent” is the Rape Revenge Film That We Need

Reposted from an article I wrote for Indiewire in June 2014.  Not since I Spit on Your Grave have I seen such an intrepid and compelling rape-revenge film. I am talking, of course, about Disney’s Maleficent, the latest in a long line of revisionist fairy-tale epics to hit theaters in the last few years, though this might…