Mad Max as a feminist action film

My son took me to see “Mad Max Fury Road” last week. Little did I know I’d be watching a feminist action film, one in which Eve Ensler played a consulting role. I’m all for “sneaky feminism” like this. The film has also inspired a Tumblr blog, Feminist Mad Max, that is loaded with ingenious posts, like this one shared via Twitter:

New film tells story of Jeanette Rankin

Jeannette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives and the only representative to vote against U.S. involvement in both World Wars.

Now director Kamala Lopez uses film to tell the story of this women, who bridged the suffrage, civil liberties, anti-war and women’s movements of 20th centuryAmerica.

The film, titled “A Single Woman,” begins in 1972, when Rankin is 92 years old and vigorously engaged in Second Wave Feminism as well as the anti-war movement. Featuring music by Joni Mitchell, it moves backward in time through her years working as the first U.S. Congresswoman, peace lobbyist, suffragist and labor advocate.

Get “An Education” during break

If you are looking for a good movie over break, try “An Education.” Set it England in 1961, it is the coming of age story of a young, bright woman.

I don’t want to ruin the plot for you, but as a feminist, the movie made me mad throughout. But it is a  good movie with great acting.

There are rumors of Oscar nominations. I saw it at Cedar Lee. I don’t know if it will hit the mainstream theatres or not.

Reviews of feminist films: free online

Despite a killer cold that hit me during our plane trip to Atlanta, I would not have missed “Difficult Dialogues,” the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference last week.

I could say so much about all the wonderful speakers and programs we heard — starting with keynoter Angela Y. Davis Thursday night and ending with a Sunday morning program on travel abroad as a feminist.

But I don’t have time to go into detail now. So I will limit myself to telling you about a fabulous resource for anyone who likes to use films in the classroom.

Films for the Feminist Classroom” is a free online journal hosted by the Rutgers-based offices of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

In the two online issues published so far, the journal offers reviews of feminist films and special features such as interviews with film producers. The goal of the publication is two-fold:

  • provide a quality resource to help instructors choose films to use in their feminist classrooms and
  • ensure that students critically analyze the film and its message.

The reviews, which frame films from an academic perspective, provide:

  • summaries of the films and their themes,
  • analysis of the films,
  • suggestions about how the films relate to larger issues and
  • recommendations of other resources.

This journal is a labor of love by its three active editors, its editorial assistant and its founding editors, all from Rutgers. And they are looking for feedback about the publication as well as proposals for future reviews.