Here at SQ, its important to us to spread the love and appreciation of other women working in and writing about film, not just our own staff members. Women film critics are a minority, and it’s rare to find any that have the cultural power of Kermode and Mayo, Roger Ebert or Peter Bradshaw, so we’ve compiled a list of women critics, in print or online, that you should be reading/watching/listening to.
Sophie Monks Kaufman is an Editor at Little White Lies, a print and digital love letter to film, she has also written for The Guardian, Total Film and Eye for Film. She frequently discusses feminist issues such as the Bechdel Test and the lack of minority film-makers.
Mallory Andrews is a critic at Indiewire, MUBI, Movie Mezzanine and The Dissolve. She is the chief Editor of the Cleo Journal, which offers a feminist perspective on cinema.
Lisa Schwarzbaum is a pioneer woman in film criticism. She was a top critic at Entertainment Weekly from the 90’s until 2013, often with controversial opinion, her dislike of Fight Club caused outrage. Paving a way for women critics after her, she has also written for the BBC, Vogue and been on the iconic film review show Siskel and Ebert at movies.
Check out: Lisa Schwarzbaum on loving movies, being a critic, engaging with you and the beauty of agreeing to disagree, The Hunger Games: Action film feminism is catching fire, Lisa Schwarzbaum on the Good and the Bad of how we watch movies now
A critic at rogerebert.com, ReBecca Theodore-Vachon is one of the most important voices in the discussion and criticism of black representation in cinema. As well as contributing to Forbes she is also the head of her own blog FilmFataleNYC, and hosts the talk show Cinema in Noir.
Check out: Dee Rees on colorism and creating queer spaces for black women in ‘Bessie’, Why Colin Trevorrow denying his white male privilege is bad for women directors, Acting right around white folks: On ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Respectability Politics’.
A member of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Candice Frederick is another host of the radio show Cinema In Noir. Her primary contributions lay on Reel Talk Online for films and Black Girl Nerds as a lifestyle blogger.
Marya E. Gates works in social media for TCM and is the creator of A Year With Women and Noirvember. She reviews films through her YouTube channel Coffee and Movies, with impassioned rants about every genre of film imaginable.
Amy Nicholson is a critic for the MTV generation, literally, she’s the chief film critic at MTV. Her work there is fun, gutsy and full of current humour. As part of her work at MTV she hosts the podcast Skillset, where the interviewee teaches Amy a new way to watch, look at or interpret films. She has also written for LA Weekly and Vanity Fair.
Grace Barber-Plentie is 1/3 of Got To Be Reel, who host film screenings and events that centre around an appreciation of women of colour in cinema, based in London and Brighton. She has also written for the F Word, Gal-dem and Polyester and keeps more film writings on her tumblr troll-q-u-e-e-n.
Hannah McGill used to be the director of Edinburgh International Film Festival but now contributes to Sight & Sound and because of this works closely with the BFI.
Working in both print and video, mainly for Little White Lies and it’s side-piece on YouTube, That Darn Movie Show. She also writes about culture for The Independent and does stand-up comedy.
Writer and social media manager at Bitch Flicks and avid vegan, Megan Kearns is a member of the Boston Online Film Critics. She also writes for Silver Century Foundation, a blog on the depictions of older women in film, with pieces published on Women in Hollywood too.
Check out: Friendship, stereotypes and Rape Cuture in West Side Story, Ellen Ripley battles horrifying aliens- and patriarchy, Gone Girl: Scathing gender commentary while reinforcing rape and domestic violence myths.
Another pioneer of women’s film criticism, Laura Mulvey is a renowned feminist film theorist. Having worked for the BFI for a great deal of years, she developed theories on the male gaze in cinema and also made her own films in the 70s and 80s. She now teaches at the University of London.
Check out: Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
Ashlee Blackwell takes a genre approach to her criticism. She is the founder of Graveyard Shift Sisters, a blog on the representation of black women in horror cinema and the women that make them. As a side project of GSS she co-hosts the podcast Girls Will Be Ghouls. She also contributes to Black Girl Nerds.
Haskell is another pioneer woman film critic, she worked extensively on New York Magazine, The Village Voice and Vogue and soon became a respected theorist as well as critic. She also contributed to The Guardian in the UK. She wrote the criticism book From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies that sparked a new train of thought in the depiction of women in film.
A critic for Sight & Sound and Criterion Kim Morgan feels like a personal voice in film criticism, well-read and highly prepared for interviews her detailled questions are always fresh and interesting. She also writes her own blog SunsetGunShot on typepad and has written for IFC, Playboy and Filmmaker Magazine. She is also a keen photographer with an interest in all things from the past.
by Chloe Leeson
Chloe Leeson is the founder of Screenqueens. She is 20 and from the north of England (the proper north). She believes Harmony Korine is the future and is pretty sure she coined the term ‘selfie central’. She doesn’t like Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain but she does like Ezra Miller a whole lot. Her favourite films are Into The Wild, The Beach and Lords of Dogtown. But DON’T talk to her about Paranormal Activity. She rants about cinema screenings @kawaiigoff.
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