In his consideration of the “DC Extended Universe” title Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), Marshall Comeaux discusses the challenges inherent to building a robust and unique cinematic narrative for a character like Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), who in her initial DC film appearances (2016’s Suicide Squad) was relegated to an underdeveloped tertiary role. Comeaux’s analysis raises valuable questions for those interested in the growing “cinematic universes” of the Marvel and DC properties.
Video Essay: Disability and A New Cinema of the Body (‘Babyteeth’ and ‘Pain and Glory’)
Selome Hailu’s video essay “Disability and the New Cinema of the Body” points to two recent films, Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth and Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, as two works that give voice and space to characters that are marginalized in society due to disease and disability. In her reading, film offers a chance for audiences to see individuals with disabilities not simply as people trying to survive, but rather people with rich, full lives that are underserved by the non-accommodating societies in which they live.
Video Essay: ‘Atlantics’ and Feminist Horror
Centered on Mati Diop’s 2019 film Atlantics (Atlantique), Rachel Schlesinger’s video essay analyzes the role that horror cinema can serve in aiding feminist explorations of disempowered women. Atlantics — which became the first film directed by a Black woman in the history of the Cannes Festival to be screened for competition — offers a feminist perspective on the many socioeconomic plights of women in Senegal.
Video Essay: Establishing Perspective in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’
In her video essay on Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Praveena Javvadi details the visual logic of the film’s direction. This essay illustrates how, through her painterly, portrait-like shots, Sciamma subtly shifts between the perspectives of the two lead characters, Marianne (Noémie Merlant) and Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), thereby guiding the audience to see the events of the story through their perspectives.
Video Essay: The Many Cameras of Spike Lee’s ‘Da Five Bloods’
In his video essay, Kyser Lim examines the many different aspect ratios and other camera-centric details of Spike Lee’s acclaimed Vietnam War picture Da Five Bloods, which employs numerous devices to signal the film’s fluid movement between past and present.