Nightmare Alley

Theatrical to a fault, and gorgeous to look at - a goth Norman Rockwell - yet hermetically sealed to any insight that would turn our gaze inward, away from its mesmerising scenery - its characters suffering the same suffocating fate in its dense nocturnal world. In a film noir a lack of air, light, or indeed insight into the internal universe of a character does not necessarily have to be detrimental, given the genres affinity for portraits of mysterious doom, but what it must have is undeniable chemistry between its leads – and here this intricately designed storyline strangely collapses. [read more] ★★★✩✩

Promising Young Woman

An explosive device, bubble-gum-wrapped in vivacious rom-com feels, this is an ancient tale of womanhood desecrated - a female gaze extraordinaire, on men who abuse trust, and women who enable them, in a manner more belonging to Mesopotamian myth, rather than any sociopathic femme fatale trope in cinema. I am giving it a five-star, not because it is a faultless film, which it isn't, but because it is one of a kind. [read more] ★★★★★

From Door Frame to Freeze Frame: Femmes Ante Portas

A post-Jungian reading, encountering feminine mysteries on celluloid, analysis of the veneration of the Hollywood film icon, tracing the blazing trail of cinema femme fatales, their imagery framed within portals, places where darkness and light meet, the heroines gazing back at us, in defiance, as permanent challenge to imposed authority, transforming, dynamically, into a new animus/anima fluid form of the femme fatale as action figure. [read more]

Fallen Women of Hollywood Melodrama: 1930s-1950s

Exploring the myth of the fallen woman in classic Hollywood melodrama, via Jungian framework, tracing her historical, religious and literary antecedents, delving into the archetypal realms of the dark, wild feminine projected onto the screen, and her impact on the spectator, male and female. What these femme fatales, gold-diggers, seductresses, fallen angels, and furious housewives subversively revealed was a hidden narrative current underneath the official one, women's own dispossessed femininity, debased, fragmented and demonised, yet so powerfully vibrant and creative. [read more]

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