On Doomed Blond Girlhood in “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” “The Virgin Suicides” and “The Beguiled”

kirsten dunst virgin suicides lux lisbon

I’m so happy to be writing film criticism for the feminist site Reel Honey. Take a peek at my first piece, on the enduring legacy of doomed blond girlhood on film.

“These three films shoot their female characters beautifully – all soft focus and floaty dresses and dewy-eyed looks. This style is wielded purposefully as a counterpoint to each film’s core of the ferocious and often unpredictable rage that can flow inside even the most seemingly docile young women. In one scene in Picnic at Hanging Rock, the girls turn on one of their own, feral as in The Handmaid’s Tale‘s scenes of reckoning. In The Virgin Suicides, Lux screams and wails when her mother destroys her record collection; and, of course, the final act of The Beguiled involves the women and girls plotting murder. The contrast of style and content not only provides for satisfying tension, but also serves as a metaphor for how in life, too, the accoutrements of femininity are wielded in a similar way – the surprise when we realize the amount of rage percolating not in the tattooed and pierced punks but in the softest, quietest girls.”

Read the full piece at Reel Honey.

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