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VIDEO ESSAY: Lars Von Trier: Cinema's Dancer in the Dark

Some feminists criticize the way Lars von Trier depicts his heroines, his obsession with their suffering, but von Trier’s films never struck me as misogynistic, as some critics claim. His heroines are complex and authentic. They make choices with conviction, even when those choices end up being the end of them.
  • By Nelson Carvajal and Arielle Bernstein
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  • April 10, 2014 2:10 PM
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ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: Orphans, Refugees, and Architectural Spaces: The Dream of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Wes Anderson’s latest film, "The Grand Budapest Hotel," is about human spaces as much as it is about people.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • March 28, 2014 1:05 PM
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ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: Childhood from ADAPTATION to MAD MEN to MOONRISE KINGDOM

For adults, childhood is perceived as a time of full potential. At the end of the film Adaptation, Susan Orlean, awash in a druggy love affair, calls out that what she wants most is to start over. “I want to be a baby again,” she whimpers, “I want to be new.”
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • February 26, 2014 3:47 AM
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ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: The Spaces Between: Spike Jonze's HER and Love in the Time of Machines

"Her" might present one of the most egalitarian and loving relationships on screen this past year.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • January 27, 2014 1:44 PM
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ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: Gold Leash: The Gap Between Role Model Feminism and Our Obsession with the American Gangster Wife

Make no mistake—when we talk about Beyonce being Queen Bey, we are not just referring to her creative talents; we are talking about her entire real-life identity. As opposed to Janelle Monae, who actively constructs a creative universe, in her immersive concept albums, Beyonce’s creative work is about her own development as a woman and an artist.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • January 8, 2014 1:16 PM
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ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: Swaddled in Bravado: Our Heroes and Us

Cultural critics often lament the lack of strong female characters, but rarely turn their gaze to ask whether male heroes are actually as empowered as we think they are. For all their bravado and bluster, most classic male heroes are not allowed much emotional latitude.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • December 23, 2013 1:54 PM
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A New Column by Arielle Bernstein: Without a Caveat: Can Girls Look Past GoldieBlox?

Consumer culture has always been about the illusion of options. GoldieBlox, a toy that encourages girls to be engineers, both plays off of stereotypes about female needs and yearnings (the need for a story, the requirement of pink packaging) while also attempting to undercut current pink princess culture.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • November 29, 2013 1:35 PM
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  • 2 Comments

A NEW COLUMN BY ARIELLE BERNSTEIN: The Princess, The Queen and The Warrior: Part 1: Teeth and Swagger.

This column will be centered on the question of female agency, which I see as being fundamentally tied to positive images of women in power, rather than princesses on the cusp of coming-of-age.
  • By Arielle Bernstein
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  • November 15, 2013 12:49 PM
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  • 1 Comment

VIDEO ESSAY: Gliding Over All: The Cinematography of BREAKING BAD, Season 5.2

The final episode of "Breaking Bad" was a tender goodbye. The great Heisenberg went out with a sigh of contentment, rather than a roar of pride.
  • By Dave Bunting, Jr. and Arielle Bernstein
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  • October 1, 2013 12:11 PM
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VIDEO ESSAY: Female Sexual Agency in a World of Blurred Lines

We live in a culture where female bodies are constantly on display. However, most images of female sexuality we see are passive and two-dimensional.
  • By Arielle Bernstein and Serena Bramble
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  • September 16, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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