Film

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Tavi Gevinson

Proving the power of the internet to level the playing field, Tavi Gevinson launched her fashion blog Style Rookie at age eleven and was lauded by Forbes at age fifteen for the massive audience her feminist commentary had garnered.

Zoe Kravitz

Zoe Kravitz has continued her family’s legacy in the arts as a singer and actress in her own right.
Feminist Relics in Rising Voices Fellow Sarah Groustra's Room

Cool Girls Club

Sarah Groustra

When I was nine, I idolized Hermione Granger. I had just finished the Harry Potter series, and I was convinced that she was everything I aspired to be--bookish and intelligent, a powerful witch who stood up for what she believed in, but who could also snag the world’s best Quidditch player as a prom date. 

"Grease" Rehearsal

Is Grease Sexist?

Elisabeth Eigerman

I once told a friend of mine that I think Grease is horribly sexist because the plot is basically: girl changes herself to get the guy. He responded, “I always thought it was her throwing off negative social norms. It’s not like the whole goody two shoes thing was good.” His sentiments versus my own are the crux of the argument about whether Grease is a sexist movie, or one that supports feminist ideals. 

Topics: Feminism, Schools, Music, Film
Drawing of a Prince and Princess

The Princess Tried

Rana Bickel

My favorite movie [The Princess Bride], though strikingly Jewish, is not particularly feminist. It’s not just that it doesn’t pass the Bechdel test (because let’s be real how many movies do?), it’s because the female protagonist, Buttercup, is seemingly incapable of doing anything on her own. 

Topics: Film
"Girlfriends" Movie Poster

Letting go of Woody Allen with the help of Claudia Weill

Noam Green

Woody Allen’s name is synonymous with New York City Jewry and avant-garde art; he is the poster boy for the guilt ridden, philosophically burdened, emotionally stunted kvetcher that we are all familiar with. Allen’s characters are recognizable—carrying pieces of our relatives, our community members, and ourselves. Annie Hall, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Manhattan, and Fading Gigolo, to name a few, place a strong emphasis on Jewish culture and idiosyncrasies, connecting to both a broad, general audience, that responds to the novelty, and to the specific tastes of Jews.

Topics: Film
Pride and Prejudice, 2005 Film

Elizabeth Bennet, Feminist Killjoy

Sarah Groustra

I became a full-blooded Janeite when I read Emma as a twelve year old, shortly followed by Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, a few months later. I was captivated by a world of lavish parties, grand estates, and husband-material men who make five thousand a year

Topics: Feminism, Film, Fiction
Jennifer Lawrence in "Joy"

The ‘Miracle Mop’ Can’t Wring Out Dated Stereotypes

Eliana Gayle-Schneider

Joy is a cute movie, to say the most. Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Joy Mangano, is a housewife who strives to become a businesswoman despite the men in her life advising her against it. On the surface, this is a powerful story about  a woman coming into her own; a working class woman in the late 80s who moves beyond her meager station in life to make a name for herself. 

Jenny Slate

Jenny Slate has refused to be pigeonholed in her comedy, from the controversial film Obvious Child to the quirky YouTube series Marcel the Shell.
Scene from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" Cropped

Hail Caesar! - A Movie (Obviously) by White Men

Delaney Hoffman

I wrote my most important college admissions essay about The Big Lebowski. This is probably less indicative of my commitment to higher education, and more indicative of my unabashed love of the unstoppable film duo that is The Coen Brothers. 

Topics: Film
Barbra Streisand in What's Up, Doc?

Unlearning Silence in What’s Up, Doc?

Caroline Kubzansky

For all that I am the outspoken, proud nerd in my school life, for all that I try to speak up for my views and ask questions in academic settings, for all that I am confidently liberal in conservative settings— I am distinctly self-conscious about all of it. 

Topics: Feminism, Comedy, Film
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Feminist Force Awakens

Gabrielle Cantor

On December 17, I joined millions of people around the world in a line. Now this was no ordinary line. In front of me stood Chewbacca, and behind me several Stormtroopers waited patiently. This was the line to see the latest and possibly greatest movie in the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. That evening, I joined fans both young and old in delighting in the marvels of another world. I lost myself in the journey of Rey and Finn, cheering for their victories and crying at their defeats.

"Legally Blonde" Movie Poster

Is Elle Woods a Feminist?

Abby Richmond

Elle Woods was one of my favorite heroines growing up, and I was not only in love with her sparkly outfits, but also with her fiery personality. It had been a couple years since I had watched the movie, but I caught myself thinking about Elle’s story as I walked around Harvard Square with my friend a few weeks ago. So, I decided to watch Legally Blonde again. 

Topics: Feminism, Film, Law

Ilene Chaiken

Ilene Chaiken was a successful screenwriter and television producer for years before she had the chance to develop material close to her heart into a successful show, The L Word.

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin has used her photography to honor both the courage and the gritty reality of subjects ranging from drag queens to new parents.
Kasia, Katka, Maria, and Tusia in "The Return"

The Return: A Filmmaker Discovers Modern Jewish Poland

Adam Zucker

How did I end up spending four years traveling across three continents to track the lives of four young Polish women as they explored their newfound Jewish roots?

Topics: Holocaust, Film

Amy Heckerling

Amy Heckerling’s quirky directorial style and her knack for discovering fresh angles on classic stories led to her popular and critical successes with films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless.

Nancy Meyers

With her blockbuster hits Private Benjamin and Baby Boom, Nancy Meyers defied the conventional wisdom that a movie centered on a woman’s story wouldn’t draw audiences.

Ellen Greene

While actress Ellen Greene has played a variety of roles, she is best known for her performances as Audrey in both the live and film versions of the cult classic, Little Shop of Horrors.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Hailed as the “Scream Queen” for her 1978 film debut in Halloween and her work in other slasher films, Jamie Lee Curtis defied expectations through her roles in A Fish Called Wanda and The Heidi Chronicles.

Sarah Silverman

Comedian Sarah Silverman has used her raunchy and irreverent deadpan humor as much to raise awareness about issues like women’s health as to entertain.

Kitty Carlisle Hart

Actress and singer Kitty Carlisle Hart was honored for her tireless crusade for funding for the arts when the New York State Theater in Albany was named after her.

Susan Levitas

As a folklorist, Susan Levitas had a special appreciation for the unique beauty of New Orleans culture.

Susan Levitas

A folklorist by training, Susan Levitas has used documentary and feature films to capture unexpected facets of the cultural history of the American South, from blues musicians in Washington to Jewish boxers in Savannah.

Birth of writer Marisa Silver

April 23, 1960
"I write like a collagist might work. I piece together random things and try to find their underlying joins. I don’t assert meaning or purpose. I let all that emerge." - Writer Marisa Silver
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