A Brief Survey of Sexually Autonomous Women in Film



Jennifer Lyon Bell founded company Blue Artichoke Films, because she wanted to create the movies she wanted to see.

“Part of our appeal to modern women is that our stories and situations aren’t bound up in monogamous romance,” she writes on her website. “Pop culture is rife with messages for women that sex is only awesome once they’ve found True Love. Love is lovely, but we think that hot, meaningful sex can also happen between total strangers.” Her movies straddle the hazy line between indie art drama and (intelligent) porn, presenting sexual and emotional authenticity.

In an interview with The Rumpus, Bell discussed her most recent movie, Matinée, and the emphasis on the female character’s sexual autonomy:

“It’s a story of a couple portraying lovers in a play in Amsterdam and the woman, Mariah, struggles with whether or not to actually have sex on stage with her partner on stage. The play is a struggle and she wants it to be a success. It’s very much her, Mariah’s, story. I want people to be into her and invested in this boundary she decides to overcome. She doesn’t let him know what she’s decided to do, so when it comes to her making this move and having sex with him, you’re completely into it, and you want her to have a good time.”