June 2017 – News from Girls Represent!

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My Sydney Screen Studies Network presentation, “Nostalgia, Representation and Transgression in Disney Princess Culture,” is now available as a podcast! The podcast discusses trends in Disney Princess online fanart and discussion since 2014, including Feminist Princesses and Twisted Princesses. The podcast includes the talk itself and the Q&A session afterwards. You can listen to it here.

Girls Represent has a Tumblr blog! I reblog photographs, GIFs and videos of a wide variety of girl-centric films and girl characters in film. The blog has a growing collection of tags, which serve as links to lists of directors, stars, genres, plot elements, decades, years and different types of girls (such as queer girls, disabled girls, Black girls, Latinx girls, Native American girls, East Asian girls and South Asian girls). My goal is for the blog to become a resource for feminists, film fans and academics.

Girls Represent also has a Facebook page, where I post Films of the Day, as well as news about upcoming films about girls.

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The Girl With All The Gifts (2016)

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Plot summary: In the near future, a strange fungus has changed nearly everyone into thoughtless, flesh-eating monsters the few survivors call Hungries. When a scientist and a teacher find a girl who seems to be immune to the fungus, they all begin a journey to save humanity.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of racism, child abuse and violence. It also contains rampant spoilers for the film version of The Girl With All The Gifts.

In this entry, I discuss how the casting of the British zombie horror film The Girl With All The Gifts makes it work as a parable for black people’s experience of racism.

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Casting a New Spell: Remaking The Craft

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In this entry, I consider the ongoing significance of the teen horror film The Craft, and talk about my wishes for the ideal remake.

Trigger/content warnings: This entry contains discussions of racism (including racist slurs), ableism, misogyny, bullying, mental illness, suicide, self-harm and homophobia.

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Haunter (2013)

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Plot summary: Teenage Lisa Johnson is stuck in a time loop that is not quite the same each time. She must uncover the truth, but her actions have consequences for herself and others.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussion of rape, domestic violence and murder. There are also extensive spoilers for the film Haunter.

In this entry, I discuss girl ghosts, dead girls, domestic violence and the importance of execution over a wholly original premise in the Canadian mystery thriller film Haunter.

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July 2016 – News from Girls Represent!

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Recently, I was interviewed for the fantastic Dr Athena Bellas’ podcast Teen Screen Feminism, about the representation of queer girls in popular media. We discussed some of the central tropes used to represent queer girls in films such as Mosquita y Mari, Pariah, The Craft, Foxfire and Heavenly Creatures, including girl power, the male gaze and resistant spectatorship practices. You can download our discussion via iTunes for free and follow Teen Screen Feminism on Facebook.

Jedda (1955)

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Plot summary: Jedda is an Aboriginal girl born on a cattle station in the Northern Territory of Australia. She has been raised by Sarah McMann, the wife of the station boss, Doug. Sarah raises Jedda as her own, teaching her European ways and separating her from other Aboriginal people. A young “half-caste” stockman named Joe is in love with Jedda and wishes to marry her, but Jedda is struggling with her own attraction to an Aboriginal man named Marbuk.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of death, racism (including slurs and blackface), misogyny, the sexualisation of children and sexual assault. Indigenous readers are also advised that this entry contains names and images of Aboriginal people who have died.

In this entry, I discuss how the Australian film Jedda represents the teenage title character’s race, gender and sexuality as inextricable from one another, and the possibility of representation being exploitative.

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Bring It On (2000)

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Plot summary: High school senior Torrance is ecstatic to be named captain of her prestigious squad, the Toros, and eager to lead them to their sixth national cheerleading championship – until she finds that all of their routines were stolen from an inner-city squad, the Clovers.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of misogyny, homophobia (including some slurs) and racism.

In this entry, I discuss the representation of cheerleaders as athletes, verbal ass-kicking, race and gender in the 2000 cheerleading comedy Bring It On.

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Hide and Seek (2005)

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Plot summary: After the passing of her mother, nine-year-old Emily devises an imaginary friend, Charlie, whose influence over Emily troubles her father. When people close to Emily begin getting hurt, David must ask: is Emily behind this … or is Charlie real?

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of mental illness, suicide, murder, animal abuse, paedophilia, spousal/family violence and horror themes. There are also heavy spoilers for the film Hide and Seek.

This blog entry discusses the figure of the sinister girl-child and the representation of trauma and mental illness in the 2005 psychological thriller film Hide and Seek.

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The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002)

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Plot Summary: Eliza Thornberry, a girl with the power to talk to animals, travels across Africa in order to thwart poachers, rescue a cheetah cub and save hundreds of elephants from destruction.

In this entry, I look at healthy family dynamics, sisterly love, interracial friendships/relationships, beauty standards and colonialism/White supremacy in the American animated comedy The Wild Thornberrys Movie. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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The Getting of Wisdom (1978)

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Plot summary: 1890s. Laura Tweedle Rambotham enters an exclusive Melbourne ladies’ college. The film follows her struggles with acceptance, conformity, romance, friendship and achievement over the next four years.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of racial slurs and bisexual erasure.

In this entry, I look at beauty standards, likability, bisexuality, compulsory heterosexuality and peer pressure in the Australian coming-of-age comedy-drama The Getting of Wisdom. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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