Posts Tagged 'movie theater'

Reel Women: ’60s Sex Comedies

Reel Women: ’60s Sex Comedies

This month’s Reel Women is dedicated to a brief blip in the generic morphology of the romcom known as the sex comedy. Between the large-budget movie musicals of the 1950s that replaced sex with song, and the notoriously bleak cinematic landscape of the 70s in which, it seems, only Woody Allen bothered to produce romcoms (a sign that the genre was, indeed, on the rocks), the sex comedy reigned with the sugary self-assurance of a pre-Nixon world. With an aesthetic that I can only describe as what mid-century Hollywood imagined middle America imagined New York to look like, it brought glamour to middle class sex.

Dedicated to the sexual exploits of the newly urban and distressingly unmarried boomer generation, the sex comedy—like all romcoms—attempted to deal with a lot of anxieties about gender, sexuality and class by marrying them off. Despite its name, the sex comedy is exceptionally chaste. Although its characters talk more explicitly and soberly about sex than almost anywhere else in American cinema before them thanks to the Hays Code, they never actually move beyond a theoretical discussion of the mechanics of premarital sex. Two decades earlier, audiences saw more bed-hopping in the screwball comedy than they would find in these movies. Instead, sex in the sex comedy is tasked with both emblematizing a new politics of gender parity while also providing the occasion to force those politics back into the home, ensconced within a loving and now sexually-fulfilling marriage.

Studio Ghibli says goodbye with “When Marnie Was There” [Spoiler-Free Review]

Studio Ghibli says goodbye with “When Marnie Was There” [Spoiler-Free Review]

Studio Ghibli’s latest and perhaps last offering, When Marnie Was There, is a strange and compelling turn into the Gothic, signaled to us by its abandoned mansion, haunted grain silo, and little girl maybe-ghost. But the movie also delves deeply into some of the studio’s best storytelling centered on the growing pains of young women, like its slightly lighter and more fantastic peers Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service. Like any good coming of age tale, it makes room for sweetness and allows for bitterness. But unlike its more famous counterparts Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, Marnie’s focus is less on a magical world and more on the dark possibilities of self-loathing internalized by young women struggling to find their way and worth.

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

The Zellner Brothers’ Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is a deeply somber modern-day odyssey with a host of heartbreaking episodes, softened by glimpses of droll humor. It is dark tragicomedy at its finest, and is cinematically stunning from beginning to end. The filmmakers reimagine a now-debunked urban myth involving a Japanese woman named Takako Konishi, who was found frozen in a Minnesota field. The news sensationalized her story, claiming that she died from pursuing the treasure she believed to be real in the movie, Fargo.

Virtual Horror: Social Media, Found Footage, and Unfriended

Virtual Horror: Social Media, Found Footage, and Unfriended

Last month, The Feminist’s Guide to Horror took you into the world of body horror where films focus on the human form as a bloody, suffering spectacle–this month we’re taking a turn into the realm of Found Footage horror, which is all about the power of suggestion. Found Footage horror is the land of amateur documentarians in pursuit of a supernatural mystery. It privileges local narratives and urban legends told from the first-person perspective of those who are most invested in discovering the truth behind these phenomena.