Here’s what I’m wondering tonight: In the story of Beauty and the Beast, after the wedding and the closing credits, what stories are there? What happens next?

Even in the Disney version, there are only “midquels”, no sequels, but let’s leave the Disney version out of this as much as possible.

Like all good fairy tales, this one has had a lot of interesting variations from many different cultures, and some of those variations are pretty dark. Even at its most innocent, it’s still a story about Stockholm Syndrome.

Continue reading ‘What happens next, in Beauty and the Beast?’


Do not understand why the internet is so excited about the new trailer for Thale. I love mythology, Scandinavian film, and horror, especially combined. (Have I told you about my favorite horror movie of all time, Sauna? It’s gorgeous, go watch it right now.) But even though there’s not much to the teaser, it doesn’t look like a fresh new take on the story.

It looks like yet another movie about how women are evil and unknowable, especially beautiful women. Here’s what we can glean from the teaser: the Huldra is inhuman (has a tail), brutal (chopped tail off herself and is keeping it in the fridge, apparently, which is pretty terrifying), beautiful, and completely unsympathetic as a character. The one shot we get of her radiates “inhuman” and “probably going to kill you horribly.”

Okay, internet. Now explain to me why you’re excited, please. I don’t get it.

You know what could be a fantastic movie? This same movie with the Huldra humanized and sympathetic. So we’ve got a Norwegian horror film based on Norwegian mythology. Great start. Suppose you try for a poignant, haunting film that leaves the viewer terrified of the Huldra and yet a little bit in love with her. I know you, Norwegian film. You could rock that.

But instead we’re going to go with the “aah, watch out, beautiful women are evil and inhuman (sometimes literally)!”? Really, Norway?

Youtube turned up another trailer on the same story, this one an amateur student production. That one actually looks halfway interesting.

This will be a short post, but I wanted to highly recommend the recent film Jennifer’s Body, with Megan Fox. I was initially unsure about it, since the description was that a possessed cheerleader starts killing off her male classmates, and my reaction was “… and? … that’s it?”

I love a well-done horror film, and this was a well-done horror film, with plenty of dark comedy mixed in. The humor of the movie was a lot like Teeth, which I also recommend, but less teenage awkwardness and more ass-kicking awesomeness.

I’m also usually pretty picky about horror films that I’ll watch, because I hate slasher films, torture films, and anything that has scantily clad females who have no personalities and only exist to be mistreated and eventually brutally slaughtered. Or, and this is Film Studies 101, in addition to being the topic of my last post, women in films who kill men are almost invariably characterized as monsters and horribly punished (by men) for their crime.

Jennifer’s Body is none of these things. (Well, okay, it might be a little bit slasher.) It’s amazing and hilarious, go watch it.

This is going to be a long post. We’re talking about Chicago–you know, the recent musical?–and its many versions, focusing on how hollywood and the media presents women murderers, and how that has changed over the past century. Should be fun. Spoilers ahead, as always, if you haven’t seen the recent movie.

Continue reading ‘When ‘Jazz Babies’ Kill’

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the recent Memoirs of a Geisha book and movie, or any of the other recent representations of Geisha culture by American writers and filmmakers, but if you can think of any, keep them in mind.

Continue reading ‘Westernizing the Geisha’

Yesterday, I watched a movie called Thoroughly Modern Millie, starring Julie Andrews. It was made in 1967, but set in 1922. I think that seeing movies from the past portray “history” is always interesting, because as culture changes, every decade, it tints the way we look at the past. I’ll also mention now that I highly recommend this film, it’s adorable and hilarious, though that’s not going to stop me from analyzing it to pieces.

In the movie, as you may have gathered from the movie and post title, Millie is a “modern woman” of the 1920s. As seen through the lens of the 1960s, which was in the midst of the feminist movement, and the movie of course wanted to appeal to the “modern women” of the 1960s, as well.

Continue reading ‘The Modern Woman: 1920s, 60s, and Today’

Yesterday I watched the pilot for Caprica, the spin-off series which is supposed to show the final years of a prosperous civilization before the cylons show up and blast everyone to hell (as seen in Battlestar Galactica). I don’t think I’ll be watching the series, and I’m not here to discuss much about plot or characters, so I’ll keep this pretty spoiler-light.

What I want to talk about is how they construct a science fiction “future”, compared to how other science fiction shows and movies have depicted the future.

Continue reading ‘Caprica and the Science Fiction Future’