Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
NEW TO STORE:
Mad Men, Sopranos AND
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Female characters throughout history have been burdened by the moral trap that is likeability. Any woman who dares to reveal her messy side has been treated as a cautionary tale. Today, unlikeable female characters are everywhere in film, TV, and wider pop culture. For the first time ever, they are being accepted by audiences and even showered with industry awards. We are finally accepting that women are―gasp―fully fledged human beings. How did we get to this point?
Unlikeable Female Characters traces the evolution of highly memorable female characters, examining what exactly makes them popular, how audiences have reacted to them, and the ways in which pop culture is finally allowing us to celebrate the complexities of being a woman. Anna Bogutskaya, film programmer, broadcaster, and co-founder of the horror film collective and podcast The Final Girls, takes us on a journey through popular film, TV, and music, looking at the nuances of womanhood on and off-screen to reveal whether pop culture―and society―is finally ready to embrace complicated women.
Praise for Unlikeable Female Characters:
"Fascinating, insightful, and kick-ass." ―Emma Jane Unsworth, internationally bestselling author of Grown Ups and Animals
"Beautifully written." ―Chelsea G. Summers, author of A Certain Hunger
"Part-cultural exposé, part-Taylor Swift album." ―Clarisse Loughrey, Chief Film Critic at The Independent
"Brilliant masterpiece breaking down the tired tropes of TV and beyond." ―Aparna Shewakramani, author of She's Unlikeable and star of Indian Matchmaking
Unlikeable Female Characters is deeply researched, with fascinating behind-the-scenes details and insightful analysis. It is also wildly entertaining, categorizing characters as bitches, sluts, witches, mean girls, angry women, trainwrecks, crazy women, psychos, and shrews.
Good pop-culture writing is the literary equivalent of a nutritious Twinkie. Anna Bogutskaya's Unlikeable Female Characters is a nutrient-rich and delicious exploration of film and television's so-called unlikeable women... such dishy fun that it's almost possible to forget the problem that brought the book into being in the first place.
Anna Bogutskaya is a London-based freelance film programmer, broadcaster, writer and creative producer, connected in both the worlds of US and UK film. She is also the co-founder of the horror film collective and podcast The Final Girls and Festival Director of Underwire Festival. Previously, Anna was the Film and Events Programmer at the British Film Institute. In 2019, she was selected as one of Screen International’s Future Leaders in Curation and Programming and was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and in 2020 was selected as a mentor at SXSW.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.