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" . . . [an] enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, film school, and community library Film Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists." -- Reviewer's Bookwatch, a publication of Midwest Book Review, April 2006
" . . . a sociologically sound study of strong women in film and TV . . ." -- The New Haven Advocate, April 6, 2006
". . . what sexy, muscle-icious fluff. " -- OutSmart Magazine, May 2006
". . . written with unpretentious academic authority." -- Arizona Daily Star, May 5, 2006
"Ass-kicking chicks deserve a good book treatment . . . the authors tackle this subject with enthusiasm and insight." -- Baltimore City Paper, June 7, 2006
"The Modern Amazons totally takes the negative Amazon Woman myth and flips it... a rockin' book..." -- Bay Windows, April 1, 2006
"[A] hefty volume . . . [with] hundreds of illustrations of . . . lethal ladies . . ." -- Sci Fi magazine, August 2006
Dominique Mainon has authored multiple books on cinema history, pop-culture, and gender-related studies. She is also a screenwriter, indie filmmaker and guerrilla artist. Her next two books in progress are: SURBURBAN APOCALYPSE: THE DEBASEMENT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM IN CINEMA and RISE OF THE MACHINES: ROBOTS, ANDROIDS AND CYBORGS INVADE CINEMA, with Scott Tapio.
Published work currently available:
FEMME FATALE: CINEMA'S MOST UNFORGETTABLE LETHAL LADIES (Hal Leonard/Limelight Editions)
CINEMA OF OBSESSION: EROTIC FIXATION AND LOVE GONE WRONG IN THE MOVIES (Hal Leonard/Limelight Editions)
THE MODERN AMAZONS: WARRIOR WOMEN ON-SCREEN (Hal Leonard/Limelight Editions)
TASCHEN MOVIE ICONS: MAE WEST (part of series edited by Paul Duncan).
For further information on other books that Dominique has authored, co-authored or contributed to, such as The GANGSTER FILM READER, edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini, visit DominiqueMainon.com.
Dominique's film work includes an ongoing documentary film project called AUKAI COLLINS: HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL about the life of former mujahideen warrior Aukai "Aqil" Collins turned FBI operative and bounty hunter. (See his controversial book, MY JIHAD)
Interact with Dominique Mainon at the following pages and networks:
After briefly citing some references to women warriors in ancient mythology and history, the authors with broad backgrounds in film studies and popular culture note their book does not speculate "about the possible existence of Amazon women in the past, but rather document[s] the proliferation of the warrior woman archetype in popular culture, film and television in particular." An encyclopedic filmography and another back section on women warrior movies and television series records the varieties of this proliferation. Used loosely, the term woman warrior encompasses not only women warriors like men soldiers, but also women detectives, science-fiction characters, prehistoric humans, cowgirls, spies, martial arts experts, athletes (e. g., "Million Dollar Baby"), and more or less ordinary women who at moments accomplish extraordinary feats such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though such extraordinary women characters transgressing the conventional image of women can be found in films from its beginning in the early 1900s, the overwhelming majority are from the post-WWII years with the numbers of films increasing exponentially in recent years as gender roles have weakened and popular interest in the potentials for women has grown. The approach is to classify the categories of "warrior women" and discuss the women characters and the films or TV shows in each category. Like the term "warrior women" itself, the categories are loose. But the aim is not strict definition, rather recognition of the expansion and diversity of this genre involving unconventional, in many cases quite imaginative women characters. Photographs on almost every page picture the women in their various costumes or engaged in their exploits.
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What this fun, engaging book lacks in depth, it makes up for in breadth. I did not find this especially helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of the changing roles that strong female characters have been playing in popular culture in the past several decades, but no book I know can match it for its range and scope. I've done a great deal of reading about women in the movies and on TV, but this books goes way beyond that to show how women have appeared in a vast array of media during recent years. I give the book 4 stars instead of less simply because it provides an incredible services by calling attention to strong women in a number of areas that have been neglected in previous surveys. Nonetheless, I think the book can at best serve as a jumping off point for further work. But by helping map out the areas where strong women can be discerned is an invaluable service. It was very close to being a near complete cataloging of the most important female figures in popular media. There were a few minor omissions, but as far as I can tell only one major one: the inexplicable failure to mention FARSCAPE, the show above all others that not only features multiple strong female characters but places these in a non-patriarchal universe. No show I know engages gender issues so interestingly and few female characters on TV are as pertinent to the authors' discussion as Claudia Black's character Aeryn Sun.
This is also one of the more lavishly illustrated books that you can ever hope to own. There are photos on nearly every page of the book, many of them full page.
There are, however, a number of problems with the book. First, the sheer breadth means that nothing can be discussed in much depth.Read more ›
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Co-authored and compiled by Hollywood film experts Dominique Mainon and James Ursini, The Modern Amazons: Warrior Women On-Screen is a profusely illustrated compendium of the actresses and the roles they played as fighters, warriors, and combatants in the past fifty years of filmmaking. Ranging from iconic image of Raquel Welch in the prehistoric adventure fantasy "One Million Years BC"; to Pam Grier as the first African-American woman in such films as "Coffy", "Foxy Brown", and "Sheba, Baby"; to Lucy Lawless' six-season portrayal of "Xena: Warrior Princess"; to Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in two "Tomb Raider" movies; to Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in the sci-fi "Alien" adventures, to the women who have played vampire slayers, superheroes (and villains), as well as assorted television, cartoon, comics, and video game fighter characters in the various movie action/adventure genres. The Modern Amazons is a welcome and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, film school, and community library Film Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.
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