The Politics of Action: Reading Wonder Woman’s Body Image

by Mackenzie Belo

Wonder Woman (WW) has become a social and pop culture phenomenon that storms the box office. The hero has become a symbolic artifact of the entertainment and superhero industry. Her diverse story of femininity and power draw in a new segment for the franchise that her male superhero counterparts fail to encompass. For over 80 years, the superhero franchise’s beloved Wonder woman, formally known as Diana, has symbolically represented powerful themes of equality, truth and justice.

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Comedy’s Reveal of a Flawed Political System

by Tyler Yen

In modern-day society, politics has cemented its footing into every aspect of life. Whether it is a class you are taking, a song you are listening to, or a film you’re watching, politics has managed to find its way in. In film specifically, it’s extremely hard to dodge any sort of political substance. As political films take many forms and genres, it is sometimes hard to decide how successful and efficient the political aspects are delivered.

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Disguised Politics in Wonder Woman 1984

by Tara Fotoohi

There has always been a deep divide between real-world issues and the plots that films and filmmakers feel are acceptable to produce. Heavy political topics seem too taboo to be used in mainstream plotlines, however, this underrepresentation of more serious issues leaves many voices and stories silenced to the point of rendering them non-existent. To rectify this, many mainstream studios chose to blend together a popular film genre and mask a political issue underneath in order to get across a particular issue without the fear of the film being labelled as ‘too political’.

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Maximizing the Mockumentary Genre to Create a Doubly-Effective Political Tool

by Elizabeth De Barros

The year 2020 saw great chaos worldwide with the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the midst of this upheaval was the appalling state of American politics, the egregious abuses of power by the elected Republican administration on full display. Supporting this administration were routes of perpetuated misinformation, as biased news outlets and covert methods of foreign political intervention warped the reception of facts for countless US citizens. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm aims to remedy any remaining lack of clarity among US citizens and global onlookers, serving as a thoroughly informative picture within its outrageous antics.

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Negotiating LGBTQ+ Representations on Screen and the Social Reflectivity of Commercial Films

by Vrushali Bhavsar

LGBTQ+ rights and representations have long been a controversial issue continuously undergoing changes, particularly in the past five decades. Protests for LQBTQ+ liberation since the 1970s resulted in remarkable changes of attitude and depictions of LGBTQ+s in the social and cinematic spheres. These changes are somewhat reflected in The Boys in the Band (2020) by Joe Mantello, an LQBTQ+ dramedy revolving around nine gay individuals gathering to celebrate Harold’s (one of the characters) birthday.

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The Politics of Gender in Black Widow:
The Role Submissive Femininity Plays in Reinforcing Negative Connotations of Women

by Jaypreet Dhaliwal

The superhero film industry has long been dominated by male protagonists with little to no adequate female representation. The current representation of women in Marvel movies are subjected to a power structure, with males taking the lead and women falling into traditional gender roles. Black Widow is one of the most anticipated female superhero movies of the Marvel Universe and is now being analyzed under the feminist perspective in relation to politics. The representation of women in film is significant to deconstruct, evaluate and legitimize existing or past notions of feminism, femininity, and power structures.

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Fashion and Harley Quinn: The Third-Wave Feminist Emancipation of Female Superhero Fashion

by Liam Mackenzie

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020), directed by Cathy Yan, is an auteur political film that follows anti-hero Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) after her break-up with the Joker and her journey with a group of women to save themselves from a crime lord, Black Mask. Birds of Prey is a departure from the stereotypical superhero film with its campy, neon-infused, glittery aesthetics and centering on a group of women as its protagonists.

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Hero of Women, by Women, for Women Cinematizing Women’s Liberation from Patriarchy in Black Widow

by Won Il Lee

As Christmas is fast approaching, families now plan for a traditional family dinner. There is a pertinent question: where does the father sit at the dining table? In a famous winter holiday film, Home Alone, the father occupies the head seat while the mother and the grandmother are away from the table preparing the drinks (Home Alone 00:09:03). Owning a dining table symbolizes power, typically reserved for the male head of the household (Griffin 1). The media has been amplifying patriarchal viewpoints, even through a representation of family companionship. Under this male gaze, female characters become passive, indecisive, and subordinate to men. Women are everywhere in films, but most of them are far from being in positions of authority.

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Female Empowerment in Ari Aster’s Midsommar

by Ethan Rei

Historically, horror has been one of the main film genres to consistently utilize women as the main focus characters. However, this genre has also proven to be problematic in its portrayal of the female gender whether it be through hyper-sexualization or the repeated use of the same character stereotypes. This has led to an overall decline in boundary-pushing depictions of women within popular horror. Ari Aster’s second full-length film Midsommar combines a lead female character and a well-crafted narrative to deliver a unique depiction of female empowerment. The plot of the film centers around Dani (Florence Pugh) as she joins her boyfriend and his friends on a trip to rural Sweden to participate in a traditional midsummer festival.

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Concealed Malefactor: A Close Look into the Cult Ruled by Women

by Bai Yi Lin

The film Midsommar directed by Ari Aster portrays women as powerful weapons, showing two sides of a coin. Many questions arise after watching the film regarding the women’s role and the way they have been portrayed. Unlike the usual trope where women are cast as insignificant side characters or irrelevant personas that even death could not accentuate, Midsommar pushed its boundaries on women in society. Aster demonstrates how women can be leaders despite the odds and by adding in a touch of culture, the film was able to showcase an ideal world. A world separate from the current male-driven civilization.

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