Author: Brandi Blahnik

Minority Report 15 Years Later

Dystopian. Orwellian. After 15 years, Minority Report is still a both beautiful and gritty depiction of our future. Alternating between technological eye candy and the crumbling realism of urbanization, the film has a remarkable authenticity—a kind of futuristic setting that is still just familiar enough to remain plausible. Director Steven Spielberg’s vision of 2054 was surprisingly optimistic, given the warning at the heart of the story. Like many dystopias, the film weighs the costs of a safe, orderly society against the price of the freedoms it inhibits. At its center remains the complex, theoretical question of whether we are...

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Figuring Out What to Do With Women 30 Years After The Witches of Eastwick

“Do you think God knew what He was doing when He created woman?….Or do you think it was just another one of His minor mistakes like tidal waves, earthquakes, floods! You think women are like that?” Thus roars Daryl Van Horne (Jack Nicholson) in the center of a scandalized church audience, in his wind blown pink overcoat, covered in dirt and feathers, vomiting cherry stones between punctuated lines of a raging monologue, begging us to consider: just what are we to do about women? Witches of Eastwick (1987) remains (maybe disconcertingly) relevant after 30 years, unapologetic for its own...

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Ellen Ripley: A Corrective History of a Feminist Icon

In Alien (1979), a seven-member crew of the Nostromo sets down on LV-426 where they encounter an unidentified alien life form. Lieutenant Ellen Ripley is amongst that crew. Spoiler alert: she will be the sole survivor. Since dubbed by many to be the “first action heroine,” Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) went on to be the central figure in four three (that we care about) major sci-fi films and spawned a franchise that has spanned nearly four decades now. Authoritative, collected, quick-witted, maternal—she is perpetually multi-dimensional. Her portrayal inarguably changed the landscape for female leads, particularly in both sci-fi and horror...

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