'showgirls' is about as far as you can go with pure feminine expression in film, from erotic dance as the most fundamentally feminine form of art, to female intrasexual competition revealed in its essential erotic nature. it's over-the-top because femininity is over-the-top, it's wild because female sexual desire is wild, and it's funny because sex is ridiculous and that's the fun of it. this is true high pagan art, shock-full of symbols, disguised as a big hollywood pseudo-erotic thriller. it's one of the greatest films of all time.
what saint tarkovsky did for the masculine soul in his masterpiece 'stalker', 'under the skin' is to the feminine soul. i don't think the female vortex of the soul will ever be presented in film with as much clarity, beauty and completion as this film did. it's only as terrifying and unnerving as the lunar aspects of womanhood are, but this must dare us to explore this part of our nature wholesale. probably the greatest film of the decade.
i'd consider 'crash' a film worth exploring to everyone, but particularly for women, it's wonderful to see sexual desire, fetishism and objectification be presented with complete honesty, as a mechanism for trance and self-destruction. many words have been said about this film having the texture of porn while having a subject matter (car crashes and bodily injury) that no one would find erotic, but i personally believe this film to be literal porn—fundamental, symbolic, pagan, exhilarating porn as art.
'perfect blue' is a gorgeous anime featured centered around the themes of obsession, madness, and the true cost of being the center of attention and aspiring to be at the center of the world. presented as a fever dream between sex and death, the film feels very much real to me as an artist and as an desired woman.
there's a side to being, for women AND men, that is entirely a matter of performance, and when the character one choose to play in life exists in direct contrast to the true self, that dissonance can tear the soul apart. 'paprika' shows you a way out, and you must take it: be who you truly are.
'silence of the lambs' is as mainstream feminist as this list can go. plucky girl sees himself immersed in a world of dysfunctional men, both good and evil, and it's her job to survive this nightmare of broken masculinity and find a way to manifest justice there. i disagree with some of the notions the film presents, but it's important to understand what women fear in men, and what men fear in themselves.
"welcome to the dollhouse" is one of the harshest and yet most hilarious films about jealousy between women, and what it feels to feel desire sex and attention when you're still just a dumb kid discovering those dimensions of teenage and adult life. most films about cruelty make the perpetrator the antagonist, so it's daring to see a film that has compassion for a very bad person slowly coming to terms with their own evil.
"myra breckinridge" is more an obscene act of transgenderist terrorism than a film, but it's therefore true that realizing yourself into a woman—one that acts on her own reclaimed power—can be one of the biggest forms of terror one can inflict on the world. most ciswomen wouldn't allow themself the kinda malice portrayed in the film, but it's important to know that this power is real and always available for the taking, if we dare to be amazonians and drag queens.
'ghost world' is a film about the misaimed desires, dreams and provocations of young women, as they forge an identity and try to find a path in life, when everything around you feels dead, boring and paralyzed. it's also funny, smart, wise and cool. i recommend reading the daniel clowes comic book by the same name that inspired this film, as both works provide entirely different but worth exploring angles using the same themes and character.
probably the comedic masterpiece in female intrasexual competition and social dynamics between women. i'd pretty much call it 'showgirls for teenagers'. very funny, very quotable, and also very wise and insightful about the real experience of being an alienated young woman trying to fit in within societies and sisterhoods.
'pieces of april' is a wonderfully cute film that understands the nature of mother-daughter relationships in a way that feels real, earnest and compassionate. the alienation between our wise mothers and us crazy daughters is very much real for any of us women who decide to live life on our own terms, misery and all. this film proves cathartic in exploring this divide, funny and sad as it is, and i think it provides a good map towards aiming these emotions towards mutual understanding between us and our families.
"serial mom" is one of the funniest films about letting feminine cruelty and violence run rampant, exploded into glory and pleasure. a cathartic thrill ride that both satirizes suburban life, our cultural obsession with serial killers, fame, and what it truly means to not give a fuck.
"paris is burning" is a documentary about drag queens living in poverty, danger, art and love. nothing can teach you more about femininity than seeing people who live from the desire to overcome masculinity and discover it, achieve it, and find greatness and self-expression in that female domain. unlike modern drag queen culture, which is terribly commercialized and boringly packaged for mainstream audiences, the drag performers in this film feel raw, street, powerful in their affront towards civilized society. no woman who wants to live free can survive without some old school drag in her blood.
one of the rare b-movies to be entirely centered on the female experience of sex, power and violence, exploring the duality between justice and desire while also just being a trashy roger corman-produced sex thriller about strippers, cops and sex weirdos. it's not only sexy, smart, but funny and legitimately entertaining, filled with unique feminine touches that many films of the genre rarely if ever come close to explore
"the neon demon" is the trashiest b-movie ever made about female intrasexual competition in the human female, and while it's terribly goofy and narratively incomplete, you can still get a feeling of the kinda strife that exists between insecure women when one of them is perceived as a direct competition to the other