Progressive politics, ideas & culture



Jennifer Aniston gives birth to teenager!

Deconstructing the media's obsession with Hollywood celebrity pregnancies—starting with none other than Jennifer Aniston

Lisa Whittington-Hill

Sixteen. That’s the number of years tabloid magazines have spent declaring Jennifer Aniston pregnant. Rumours started gestating while the actress was still married to Brad Pitt, but really ramped up post-Pitt. Aniston has been “pregnant and alone,” “pregnant with twins,” “pregnant with John Mayer’s baby”—your body is not a wonderland when that happens—and a “pregnant […] More »

Gender Block: Jurassic World

Hillary Di Menna

I didn’t exactly expect Jurassic World  to be feminist savvy—it’s largely about capitalizing on nostalgia and making a bunch of dinosaurs run around. Dinosaurs, after all, are big bucks: as of July 26 the film has grossed $1,542,568,684 worldwide. They’re also very cool and I’ll admit I saw the movie twice. Even if the franchise […] More »
July-August 2015

Progressive porn

Why is sexy still so synonymous with white? Today’s independent porn industry challenges the sex-positive movement to break barriers and make more space for women of colour

Justine Ponomareff

It’s mid-April and Toronto’s Bloor Cinema is packed—so much so that it’s difficult to find two seats together. The lights dim around us and an announcer takes the stage. “There’s going to be naked people on screen, having sex,” she roars, punctuating her theatrical warning with a “who’da thunk” scoff. Ripples of laughter and cheers […] More »
January-February 2015

Through A New Lens

Michelle Kay

Documentarian Nayani Thiyagarajah uses curiousity and compassion to confront shadeism in racialized communities ON A GREY NOVEMBER DAY IN TORONTO, with the sun nowhere in sight and an irritating mix of rain and snow outside, Tamil-Canadian filmmaker and artist Nayani Thiyagarajah is in good spirits—despite being bogged down by a head cold. In between sniffles […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Problematic horror

Hana Shafi

While most horror movies have problematic elements, the ones below are the worst. Unlike others, there’s simply no merit in them to overpower the awful parts of the film. 1. Hostel (2005): The Hostel franchise is problematic for a variety of reasons. First and foremost it’s part of the torture porn or “gorno” subgenre and […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Filming Physical Disabilities

Hana Shafi

Grotesque deformities and burlap sack masks: these are the faces of physical disabilities in horror. Horror does not do disability well. Most “good” characters are able-bodied, whereas many villains in horror wear masks to cover birth defects, which the audience is supposed to find frightening. We’re supposed to learn that these faces are ones we […] More »

Oh, The Horror: The Purge

Hana Shafi

The Purge franchise has been a big success—not so much in terms of its critical success, but in audience reaction. On social media there was a constant buzz about it (so much so that use of the word “purge” automatically drew people to think of the film). Building on that success filmmakers debuted a sequel […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Creepy kids

Hana Shafi

Rule number one of the horror film universe is to never, and I mean NEVER, let your child have an imaginary friend. Chances are they’re talking to Satan or the dead taxidermist serial killer that’s haunting the house. As soon as there’s a little kid in a scary movie, you know something paranormal is about […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Scary seniors

Hana Shafi

Within the darkness of the woods as the wind howls, an old woman emerges from the trees and offers you cookies. Creepy, right? Despite the fact that most of us find comfort in the warm, overly buttery cooking of our grandmothers, old women in horror are the creepiest. You know granny means trouble in a […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Holy horror

Hana Shafi

Thanks to horror movies, I could probably perform a perfect exorcism. I know exactly what demons to look out for, the ways in which they can deceive you during an exorcism, and how to request permission to do one. It’s probably not the most useful thing to know, but I have to admit that much […] More »

Oh, The Horror: Body image

Hana Shafi

The last place I expect to feel bad about my body is when I’m curled up on the couch watching a horror film. Guts being ripped out of peoples stomachs and demon vomit splashing across the screen should hardly make me question whether I’m pretty enough. But then there’s the rest of the horror film. […] More »