THE YELLOW WALLPAPER – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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The patriarchal bullshit of the world drives women crazy. This is as true today as it was in 1892, when feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman published her best-known work, short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” It is the tale, told in the form of diary entries, of a woman descending into apparent psychotic madness after her doctor-husband prescribes a socially isolating, intellectually stultifying “rest cure” during a bout of what we would recognize today as postpartum depression. (Gilman based the story on her own experiences after giving birth.)

An incisive film adaptation of this groundbreaking story — one that captures the quiet horror of how the world has in the past and still today fails to acknowledge that women have inner lives that need nurturing — would be very welcome. This is not that movie. This is a stiflingly literal mounting of Gilman’s words that lacks any appreciation of both the wider cultural context in which those words were written and the narrow literary conceit of the story’s unreliable narrator. Continue reading…

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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).