A still from Princess Nicotine

The Exploding Women of Early 20th Century “Trick Films”

In “trick films,” women were shown literally exploding over kitchen accidents—the early 1900s way of mining humor out of human tragedies.
From the video game State of Decay

The Therapeutic Value of Horror Video Games

In stressful situations, seeking out even more stress can be cathartic.
Marlon Riggs, left, and Essex Hemphill in Tongues Untied.

Filmmaker Marlon Riggs: “Notice Is Served”

The award-winning Black gay filmmaker, author, and activist Marlon Riggs left a legacy of protest against racism and homophobia.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_G._Robinson_and_Joan_Bennett_in_%27Scarlet_Street%27,_1946.jpg

How Fritz Lang’s Flight from Nazi Germany Shaped Hollywood

German expressionism--imported to Hollywood by Jewish exiles--brought a lasting tradition of shadows, duality, and mirroring to mainstream American cinema.
Thomas Edison's 1896 silent film "The Kiss" featuring May Irwin and John C. Rice.

The First Movie Kiss

The public fascination was so intense that fans soon started demanding live reenactments.
The Loud Family, 1973

Remembering Craig Gilbert and An American Family

The twelve-part documentary chronicling a family's dissolution was one of the most talked-about TV shows of the past fifty years.
Reefer Madness

Marijuana Panic Won’t Die, but Reefer Madness Will Live Forever

Originally produced as an exploitation film that drew on racial stereotypes, the ironic revival of Reefer Madness made it a cult classic for stoners.
Laurette Luez

Hollywood Cast Laurette Luez as a One-Size-Fits-All “Exotic”

Like many actresses of her day, Laurette Luez was expected to be a beautiful siren in skimpy clothing who could be from almost anywhere—just not here.

The Masculinization of Little Lord Fauntleroy

The 1936 movie Little Lord Fauntleroy broke box office records, only to be toned down and masculinized amid cultural fears of the “sissified” male.
Jeanne Cagney in Quicksand

How Film Noir Tried to Scare Women out of Working

In the period immediately following World War II, the femme fatale embodied a host of male anxieties about gender roles.