Originally published in Cinema Scandinavia

Warning: spoilers ahead

In Carrie, Brian De Palma’s horror classic, Carrie White is an outsider plagued by an abusive mother and a gaggle of bullies. Following the onset of her first period, she starts to develop telekinetic powers, which enable her to take revenge against her oppressors. What Carrie presented in 1976 is harkened again forty years later by Joachim Trier, but to vastly different conclusions.

Trier’s 2017 film Thelma tells the story of a young woman moving to Oslo to start studying at university. While there, she struggles with loneliness, first love with a…

an analysis of gender in Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructions

Maiken Alrgen in The Perfect Human (1967)


The Five Obstructions (2003) is a documentary film about film-making. It follows Danish film-maker Jørgen Leth as he attempts to re-make his 1967 short film, The Perfect Human, within a changing set of boundaries, or “obstructions”, as assigned to him by fellow Danish film-maker Lars von Trier. What results are five individual short film remakes: four made by Leth, and the fifth made by Trier. This essay will discuss the original film, The Perfect Human, as well as Obstructions no. 1, 2, and 3. Obstruction no. 4, a cartoon film, will not be discussed, as it is an amalgamation…

Originally published in the Strathclyde Telegraph, October 2018. Print edition.


BlackKklansman — Spike Lee’s latest feature which premiered this summer — is not a horror film.

It lacks the tacit signals telling us when to scream such as ambient music and jump-scares. But, despite not following the list of horror con- ventions that our collective conscience has been memorising for decades, exiting the cinema after seeing BlackKklansman left me more rat- tled than many true-to-genre horrors. The last five minutes of the film didn’t require a script. No tricks were used to make us jump from our seats. Instead…

Originally published in the Strathclyde Telegraph, October 2018. Print edition.

Halloween was my mother’s first and last horror movie. She would’ve been sixteen when it came out, but its mention still warrants shudders. “Terrifying,” she tells me. “Why would you want to see that?”

This is where my mother and I differ: one of us (moi) can appreciate a good scare. It’s somewhat surprising then that before this week I’d never seen the original Halloween, John Carpenter’s 1978 horror staple. With a whole lot of built-up excitement, I entered the cinema expecting to be enchanted, transported to that both gritty…

Emma Olsson

A growing collection of my written work: articles, academic essays, reviews and more. I mostly write about social issues and movies.

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