June 26, 2014
We talk Disney's Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie's cheekbones and Long Lasting Lipstick. To give us the fairy tale perspective, our guest is Tabled Fables Podcast co-host Sophie Bushwick, who adds context on the varied history and mixed morals of Sleeping Beauty as told by Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault.
While we appreciate that Maleficent subverts some stale tropes like "true love's kiss" and actually puts its female characters in center of the action, we find some of the more adult themes of this PG film quite troubling.
Plus: Why do we need villain origin stories in the first place? And why does it always gotta be about revenge?
Outro Music: "Once Upon A Dream" (theme from Sleeping Beauty) sung by Lana Del Rey
June 10, 2014
In this bonus mini episode, we talk about Anne Hathaway's latest incarnation of Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, and our guest David Archer tells a touching personal story about how Michelle Pfeiffer's deranged Catwoman scared him as a child. Plus: What's David's beef with a blonde Selina Kyle, anyway?
June 5, 2014
We discuss Batman Returns as an introduction to a three-part '90s Batman Sequels Podcrawl with our podcast pals Read It And Weep and Proudly Resents.
We've encountered two other cinematic takes on Catwoman since the 1992 Tim Burton-directed film. But Michelle Pfeiffer's hyper-sexual and winking performance is still as fresh as ever in this convoluted Christmas story, where its trio of villains outshine Michael Keaton's caped crusader.
Plus, meet the East Coast's utmost Catwoman expert David Archer. He walks us through the history of the character from her inception to her ever-evolving costumes and motives for vengeance.
Remember to listen in on June 12th to Read It And Weep's take on Batman Forever (1995) and on June 19th for Proudly Resents' discussion of Batman & Robin (1997).
May 12, 2014
To those for whom the phrase "light as a feather, stiff as a board" sends shivers up the spine: our newest episode deconstructs The Craft -- a staple of '90s slumber parties and one of the most problematic portrayals of teen girl empowerment.
We speak to Lyra Hill
(previously a guest for our Cabaret discussion
) about her thoughts on The Craft
from the perspective of a Pagan, a feminist, and a filmmaker. Lyra is in the final stages of completing the short film Uzi's Party
) and it was a thrill to get a first look at the project and dig into her theories on possession and its ties to performance and femininity.
April 13, 2014
Many female movie characters have jobs. But what makes a "working woman" movie? Along with our guest, writer/producer/dramaturge Meg Sweeney Lawless, we focus on two unforgettable, hard-nosed working ladies in two classic films: His Girl Friday (1940) and Network (1976). Both films are dark comedies that offer behind the scenes looks at the world of news media, but we leave feeling very differently about its female leads -- why? What makes Rosalind Russell's fast-talking dame so different from Faye Dunaway cool and calculating Diana? You'll be surprised to discover that they have more in common than a first glance would suggest.
March 3, 2014
Hated by most critics upon its 1999 release, The Woman Chaser is a lost gem, available only on VHS or bootleg. Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld, The Tick) is a car salesman craving artistic release as an independent filmmaker in this neo-noir that walks the line between comedy and tragedy. The film hits every mark on the misogynist checklist in its path to illustrate masculine discontent.
Despite its many wrong turns, Kseniya and Eleanor were mostly charmed by the unusual tale of a cinema-loving lug and were intrigued by our guest Caroline Golum's surprising personal connection to the film. Viewing it as a child on late night television, free of feminist judgment, this tale of a man chasing a cinematic dream provided an erotic charge for young Caroline and artistic inspiration for her future filmmaking and film programming.
Live Show Alert!
Bonnie & Maude Presents: You Are Hair -- an evening of edutainment on the subject of women's hair in television, film, and pop culture. 8PM / March 11, 2014 / Littlefield in Brooklyn, NYMore info here
Leave us a voicemail with your suggestions and thoughts: 530-628-3379
Closing music: "Bacoa" by Les Baxter
February 3, 2014
We begin another snowy month in Brooklyn with a discussion of Frozen, the latest Disney animated film to take the box office by storm. As expected, Frozen has many familiar elements -- songs, orphans, princesses, endless mention of "true love," and an adorably goofy sidekick -- but the story (the first Disney animated feature to be directed by a woman!) also plays on what we know about fairy tale tropes and twists them in a direction that is focused more on sisterly love rather than romance.
Kseniya & Eleanor discuss their childhood impressions of Disney films, their surprised enjoyment of Frozen, and what they hope to see in future productions from the studio.
Bonus: we read some letters from our mailbag and play a voicemail message we received via 530-628-3379
Closing music: "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel
January 9, 2014
We discuss Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), a darkly hilarious mockumentary about a small town beauty pageant that turns violent. Kirsten Dunst once again flexes her comedic muscles, alongside Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney as "the white trash Laverne and Shirley." Amy Adams tries out the sexpot character long before the success of American Hustle or the awkwardness of Cruel Intentions 2. A terrific female cast all around and an unusual script by Lona Williams, who we hope to see more from in the future.
Joined by guest Rommel Wood, potentially the movie's #1 fan (she has pretty much the entire film memorized!), Eleanor and Kseniya explore the upsides of black humor, the downsides of pageant and small town life, and the rare instances of when violence against women is actually funny...to women.
Closing music: "Drop Dead Gorgeous" by New Mystery Girl