TAPE – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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How do you get people to listen to things they don’t want to hear? How do you get them to understand things they don’t want to contemplate? Human blindness to uncomfortable issues is not limited to one realm of grief and suffering, of course, but it’s a particular problem when it comes to sexual harassment, intimidation, and rape that so many women (and some men; but far more women) are subjected to. Women who speak about their experiences at the hands of predatory men are often gaslit by our culture: cops and lawyers, even friends and family may ask, “Why did you let yourself be alone with him?” “What were you wearing?” “Why didn’t you say no?” And we women gaslight ourselves: “Did I inadvertently lead him on?” “Why didn’t I leave?” “Is this my own fault?”

Coping with the aftermath of such an encounter can be confusing, anxiety-inducing, and angry-making. So it’s hardly any surprise that the intimate, internal Tape — based on a true story; undoubtedly many true stories — is similarly messy, furious, and sometimes even deeply at odds with itself. That does not mean that it is not absolutely necessary, nor that its rage is not absolutely vital. That does mean that this uneasy film reflects, if perhaps accidentally, a state of mind that is itself uneasy. Continue reading…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tape is AWFJ’s Movie of the Week for April 3, 2020

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MaryAnn Johanson

MaryAnn Johanson is a freelance writer on film, TV, DVD, and pop culture from New York City and now based in London. She is the webmaster and sole critic at FlickFilosopher.com, which debuted in 1997 and is now one of the most popular, most respected, and longest-running movie-related sites on the Internet. Her film reviews also appear in a variety of alternative-weekly newspapers across the U.S. Johanson is one of only a few film critics who is a member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (the Webby organization), an invitation-only, 500-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities. She is also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. She has appeared as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio, LBC-London, and on local radio programs across North America, and she served as a judge at the first Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Film Festival at the 2003 I-Con, the largest SF convention on the East Coast. She is the author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride, and is an award-winning screenwriter. Read Johanson's recent articles below. For her AWFJ.org archive, type "MaryAnn Johanson" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).