Anne Émond: Exploring Identities Through Women’s Bodies

“What do you see when you look in the mirror? I see the scar above my lip from chicken pox, my mother’s smile and I hear my high school friend screaming out my nickname,  ‘cheekbones.’ When I look in the mirror I see my crooked teeth and my hairy arms. I strain to see my […]

When Hard Meets Soft: The Painful Pleasures of Nunsploitation Cinema

Still: Behind Convent Walls

My fascination with nuns in cinema began in high school. I attended a Montreal all-girls Catholic academy and did little socializing outside the institute’s walls. The school had once served as the residence of Canada’s Governor General, until Loyalist rebels burned down the building in 1849, forcing the Governor to flee with his family. Following […]

The Impossible Love of David Lean’s Brief Encounter

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28) Given that David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945) is about an affair, the film opens with something of […]

Bloody Fun: The Menstrual Horror of Ginger Snaps

Brian de Palma’s 1976 film Carrie has become a seminal text in female horror for its blending of the trials of adolescence with a dash of the supernatural. The film opens with Carrie’s first menstruation, a mysterious and shameful event for the sheltered outcast. After the initial shock of the onset of womanhood, Carrie’s new […]