While the female protagonists in Barbara Loden’s Wanda and Susan Seidelman’s Smithereens may be lost — and legitimately poor — the one thing they are not is self-pitying.
Eileen G’Sell is a poet and critic with regular contributions to Hyperallergic, Reverse Shot, The Hopkins Review, and The Riverfront Times, among other publications. In 2019 she was nominated for the Rabkin Prize in arts journalism. She teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. More on her writing can be found here.
Mona Hatoum’s Psychological Surgery
While artist’s career has consistently invited interpretation based in institutional critique and real-world tumult, it is equally constructive to consider her work from a psychological, rather than political, vantage.
An Afro-Surrealist Project Deifies God-Like Bodies of Color
Damon Davis plumbs the depths of Black history, fantasy, and mythology to create a vision of power and resilience in his St. Louis exhibition.
Agnès Varda’s Utopian Musical Homage to Feminism from the 1970s
One Sings, the Other Doesn’t, Varda’s precious and poignant feminist musical from 1977 has been restored.
Bruce LaBruce Misfires with an Awkward Marriage of Punk and Camp
The provocative auteur’s latest, The Misandrists, attempts a tongue-in-cheek critique of radical feminism.
Juliette Binoche Beds and Sheds Lovers in Claire Denis’s Anti-Rom-Com
Let the Sunshine In is a rom-com only insofar as our heroine, a successful painter and divorcee, drinks and sleeps with a lot of men and frets about it later; but the laughs are few and the sighs are heavy.
Visions of Joan of Arc as a Dancing, Singing, Head-Banging Kid
French director Bruno Dumont’s latest, a ponderous experimental musical about Joan of Arc’s childhood, celebrates the innocence and banality of a young saint’s life.
Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg Spar in a Haunting Love Triangle
French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin’s latest, Ismael’s Ghosts, offers a nuanced look at how women in mid-life grapple with fear and loneliness.
Rich and Varied Visions of Black Female Glamor
Two exhibitions in St. Louis explore very different but complementary visions of how Black women have redefined glamor.
A Cruel and Comic Allegory of Destroyed Masculinity
Shock, gallows humor, and defanging the alpha male in Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Tongue-in-Cheek Fetishism, Tied Up with a Pretty Bow
Playing photographically with femininity, commodity, and bodily perception, Heather Bennett reveals a sly sense of humor.
Mother! Is a Wild Ride, But Is It Also Strangely Feminist?
The film has elicited intense reactions with its super-saturated horror, but it also has a campy streak with feminist implications.