Film

Sleez Sisters

Sleez Sisters

On Times Square

The film is a mess. It denounces gentrification, consumerism, television, psychiatry, censorship, cops, dads, and squares, and though its flailing critiques and silly romanticism befit a teen movie, they give away the film’s agenda to cash in on all things rebellious. It doesn’t even make sense, socially or geographically, to set a punk movie in Times Square.

<i>The Brother</i> and I

The Brother and I

What is black cinema anyway?

The questions one has to ask to define such a thing are those that few people feel comfortable asking, let alone answering: Is the money that financed the film in black hands from the beginning? Will the rewards find their way to black hands in the end? In the meantime, will black audiences have the film marketed to them, have places where they can easily see it? Will they identify with its themes and aesthetics? It’s all just posturing until those questions are answered.

New World Order

New World Order

The scream’s a good weapon.

Terminal Island is a left-ish fata morgana by a femme with no time to lose. If James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, and several other, male protégés of Roger Corman made B movies as practice for A movies, Rothman made B movies as a way to make movies, period, but also as blueprints for a world in which, someday, Kathryn Bigelow would beat Cameron for the Oscar.

Powerhouse

Powerhouse

“The world doesn’t look any less pretty when skull-bashings and stabbings take place,” the film critic Stanley Kauffmann once wrote of Shohei Imamura’s serial-killer film Vengeance Is Mine. The same could be said of Jack Hill’s Coffy, and it has everything to do with Pam Grier, who plays the title heroine.

Dream Job

Dream Job

The idea that working nine to five was once possible may be in itself inspiration to revolt and organize.

This fairytale scene is the Tomlin character’s stoned-out fantasy of how she would off their “sexist, lying egotistical, hypocritical pig” of a boss. She, Fonda, and Parton have left work early and headed to a bar after boss (Dabney Coleman, delightfully unctuous and dim) fires a coworker unfairly. “Let’s revolt,” jokes the blowzy office drunk.

Devil in Disguise

Devil in Disguise

She-Devil is a film that indicts both sexes, male and female, for transforming women into contorted puppets of male desire.

Mary tells an interviewer, amid well-timed pauses and mild whimpers, “I just try to think beautiful thoughts, so that the beauty will come out in what I write.” She, herself, is equipped with an abundance of beauty. She even has her own isomorphic companion of sorts—a hot Latino butler named Garcia, clad in cheap satin open-faced shirts.

High School Reunion

High School Reunion

“We’re all sorry, Cassie.” Cassie. He can’t even get her fucking name right.

We have many real-life, terrifying examples of what alienated teenage boys are capable of, but we don’t seem to know, or care, what tormented girls go on to do. At the end of I Was a Teenage Serial Killer, Jacobson’s debut film, the protagonist explains that the systemic silencing of her rage has led her to kill. “No one wants to listen to my story,” she says, holding a broken bottle to a hippie drifter’s throat.

Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point

She does what she wants.

There is no face better suited to portray a woman seeking revenge than that of Sandrine Bonnaire, whose taut jawline, sharp glare, and high-planed, somehow strategizing forehead all suggest payback. It’s a look she wears well. The slightest arch of her eyebrow seems capable of pulling a trigger; not so much piercing someone’s heart, but dismissing it entirely.

Sweet Forgiveness

Sweet Forgiveness

All screwball comedies are, to some degree, female revenge movies.

Charles, however, has no aptitude for cards, can’t tell the difference between beer and ale, and seems never to have talked to a woman before. As he sits alone at dinner in his spotless white tuxedo reading a book called Are Snakes Necessary?, he is both ridiculous and a blank slate, an unexplored continent—an Adam to her Eve.