Helen Charman

8 November 2022

In the Brontë Machine

Most of the responses to Emily have focused on sex and death; nobody told me it was a film that hates teaching.

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19 October 2021

Fertility Lessons

On 10 October, the Sunday Times ran a story about Murray Edwards College, one of the two remaining women-only colleges at Cambridge University, offering ‘fertility seminars’ for its students. The college’s new president, Dorothy Byrne, was quoted as saying that fertility was a ‘forbidden subject’, and implying that the classes would be a kind of aide-mémoire: young women, she said, might ‘forget to have a baby’. The piece was widely shared, and the backlash was swift.

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11 April 2017

On ‘Elle’

Reading interviews with Paul Verhoeven on the publicity trail for his latest movie, Elle, you get the sense he might be disappointed at the relative lack of outrage over his ‘psycho-thriller’. The film, based on Philippe Djian’s prize-winning 2012 novel, Oh…, stars Isabelle Huppert as Michèle Leblanc. It begins with her being raped by a man in a ski mask, who has broken into her house.

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