|Occupation||Writer, film critic|
She is best known for the book Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento (1991), the earliest auteur study about the influential Italian horror-suspense director. A specialist in the horror genre, she has appeared in numerous documentaries on the subject as well as on DVD commentaries for films including Tenebrae and the Criterion Collection release of The Silence of the Lambs. McDonagh additionally is known for her work in erotic fiction and erotic cinema, with such books as The 50 Most Erotic Films of All Time (1996) and such documentaries as the UK's The 100 Greatest Sexy Moments (2003). In the mid-2010s she became a publisher of LGBTQ erotic fiction, founding 120 Days Books, which became an imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books.
Born and raised in the New York City borough of Manhattan, McDonagh received her Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College and her Master of Fine Arts from Columbia University, where she co-founded and edited the Columbia Film Review. She was simultaneously working in the publicity department of the New York City Ballet under George Balanchine and Peter Martins, eventually becoming head of publicity. McDonagh's Irish-emigrant grandparents owned The Moylan Tavern, comedian and habitué George Carlin's real-life basis for the same-name bar on the 1994-95 Fox Broadcasting sitcom The George Carlin Show.
While writing articles and reviews for numerous publications, including Film Comment, Film Quarterly, Premiere, Entertainment Weekly, and Fangoria, McDonagh published her first book, the auteur study Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento (1991), which grew out of her master's thesis.
After leaving New York City Ballet to pursue a writing career, McDonagh taught film as an adjunct professor at Hunter College and Brooklyn College, during which time she completed Filmmaking on the Fringe: The Good, The Bad, and the Deviant Directors and The 50 Most Erotic Films of All Time. Her freelance work during this period included film pieces for The New York Times.
She became senior movie editor of the TV Guide website in 1995, while continuing to contribute essays to such anthologies as the British Film Institute's The BFI Companion to Horror (Cassell, 1996), Fantasy Females (Stray Cat Publishing, 2000), Zombie (Stray Cat Publishing, 2000), and The Last Great American Picture Show (Amsterdam University Press, 2004), as well as to numerous film guides. In the mid-2000s, she wrote an occasional column on dance movies for the British magazine Dance Now.
Her book Movie Lust, third in the Sasquatch Books series begun with Book Lust by Nancy Pearl and Music Lust by Nic Harcourt, was published August 28, 2006. Later that year, she became the founding vice-president of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. She is also a member of the New York Film Critics Online.
McDonagh wrote the TV Guide website's twice-weekly column FlickChick; helped initiate the magazines weekly podcast, TV Guide Talk; and co-starred with fellow editor/critic Ken Fox in a Friday vodcast, Movie Talk. She left TV Guide in October 2008 and subsequently launched the website Miss FlickChick and its accompanying blog.
In 2014, McDonagh created the company 120 Days Books to republish rare 1970s and 1980s gay-erotica genre novels, beginning with a pair of two-in-one volumes: the crime thrillers Man Eater and Night of the Sadist and the supernatural fantasies Vampire's Kiss and Gay Vampire. Later in the decade, this became an imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books.
McDonagh provides interviews and second-channel commentary on DVD / Blu-ray releases, including for director Paul Schrader's Blue Collar, and Tenebrae, and liner notes, including for the Criterion Collection releases The Tunnel, The Innocents, Kuroneko, and the paired Corridors of Blood/The Haunted Strangler, and Arrow Video's Dressed to Kill. She stars in a documentary short, speaking on serial-killer cinema, on the Criterion Collection release of The Silence of the Lambs.
Panels and documentary appearances
McDonagh has appeared on panels for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of the Moving Image. She has lectured at the Huntington (New York) Arts Center; The Avon (Stamford, Connecticut), where she programmed and hosted several film nights from 2007 to 2012; the Finnish arts festival Jyväskylä Summer; the Morbid Anatomy Museum, and elsewhere, and speaks at horror-film conventions, reflecting one of her specialties.
Other television appearances include NBC's Today and G4's Filter, and such documentaries as Scream and Scream Again: A History of the Slasher Film for the BBC; Night Bites: Women and Their Vampires for WE: Women's Entertainment; Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror for IFC; and the 2004 Bravo miniseries 100 Scariest Movie Moments and its 2006 sequel, 30 Even Scarier Movie Moments; 2008's Zombiemania; and, in 2009, Pretty Bloody: The Women of Horror, for Canada's Space network.
Film festival juries
McDonagh served on the five-member jury judging films in competition at the 2008 New York Asian Film Festival and on the jury as well for the 2008 New York City Horror Film Festival. She served on the LGBTQ jury of the 16th annual Oxford Film Festival, in Oxford, Mississippi, in February 2019.
In the media
A character in one scene of writer-director Lucky McKee's movie May (2002) can be seen reading McDonagh's Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds, as does the character Domini in the final issue (#18, April 1994) of the Marvel Comics supernatural series Nightstalkers.
- Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento, (London, England, Sun Tavern Fields, 1991; reissued New York, Citadel Press, 1994) ISBN 0-9517012-4-X
- Filmmaking on the Fringe: The Good, the Bad, and the Deviant Directors (New York, Carol Publishing Corporation, 1995) ISBN 0-8065-1557-0
- The 50 Most Erotic Films of All Time: From Pandora's Box to Basic Instinct (New York, Carol Publishing Corporation, 1996) ISBN 0-8065-1697-6
- Movie Lust: Recommended Viewing for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason (Seattle, Wash., Sasquatch Books, 2006) ISBN 1-57061-478-4
- Lassalle, Nancy, and Maitland McDonagh, Lincoln Kirstein, Peter Martins, Jerome Robbins, New York City Ballet: Fortieth Anniversary (New York, New York City Ballet, 1988)
Maitland McDonagh essays appear in:
- Bryce, Allan, ed. (2000). "The Living Dead at Miskatonic Morgue [and] Sometimes They Come Back...Again". Zombie. Liskead, Cornwall, England: Stray Cat Publishing. ISBN 978-0953326129.
- Bryce, Allan, ed. (2000). "Martine Beswicke: Sister Hyde [and] Barbara Steele: Witches and Bitches". Fantasy Females. Liskead, Cornwall, England: Stray Cat Publishing. ISBN 0953326144.
- White, Andrew, ed. (2000). "You Gotta Have Park: Come Down by the Riverside". Time Out Book of New York Walks. London: Time Out / Penguin. ISBN 978-0140296228.
- Sidaris, Andy (2003). "On Andy's Gang". Bullets Bombs and Babes. Heavy Metal Books. ISBN 978-1932413007.
- Horwath, Alexander, ed. (2004). "The Exploitation Generation. or: How Marginal Movies Came in from the Cold". The Last Great American Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 978-9053564936.
- Edwards, Matthew, ed. (2007). "Writing Argento". Film Out of Bounds: Essays and Interviews on Non-Mainstream Cinema Worldwide. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786429707.
- Nette, Andrew, ed. (2019). "Fifty Shades of Gay: An Introduction to the Gay Adult Pulp of the 1970s". Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980. PM Press. ISBN 9781629636665.
- Kenny, Glenn (April 25, 2016). "Dario Argento's "Deep Red" and "Tenebrae" Get Massive Blu-Ray Re-Releases". RogerEbert.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
Argento’s films have inspired piles of erudite and equally obsessive commentary, beginning with Maitland McDonagh's 1991 book 'Broken Mirrors, Broken Minds.'
- Maitland McDonagh biography (official site). Archived from the original Archived 2009-04-06 at the Wayback Machine on March 18, 2012.
- Tyre, Peg (September 29, 1986). "Future Shock at the City Ballet?". New York.
- Pollak, Michael (December 30, 2007). "F.Y.I. > George Drank Here". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015.
- Lovece, Frank (February 16, 1994). "Going, Going, Gone? Carlin goes for home run with comedy series that resembles his real life". Reading Eagle. Newspaper Enterprise Association.
- "Maitland McDonagh". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- "Our Members". New York Film Critics Online. Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- MissFlickChick.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2014.
- MissFlickChick.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2015.
- Noh, David (January 8, 2015). "Pulped!". Gay City News. Archived from the original on April 5, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- 120 Days Books (official site). Retrieved on January 8, 2015. Archived from the original on June 8, 2015.
- 120 Days Books at Riverdale Avenue Books. Retrieved on January 7, 2020.
- Pizzello, Chris (May 2000). "DVD Playback: Blue Collar". American Cinematographer. Archived from the original on December 23, 2017.
- Foster, Tyler (October 5, 2016). "Tenebrae (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on December 29, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Smith, Jordan M. (September 23, 2014). "Criterion Collection: The Innocents Blu-ray Review". Ion Cinema. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Brevet, Brad (October 18, 2011). "Blu-ray Review: 'Kuroneko' (Criterion Collection)". RopeOfSilicon.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Hudson, David (October 25, 2011). "Scary Monsters 2011, Round 3". The Notebook (MUBI). Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Holmes, Matt (July 29, 2013). "Win: Dressed To Kill Blu-ray". WhatCulture.com. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Evangelista, Chris (February 13, 2018). "New Blu-ray Releases: 'The Silence of the Lambs' and 'Night of the Living Dead' From the Criterion Collection". /Film. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
- "It's Only a Movie: Horror Films from the 1970s and Today". American Museum of the Moving Image. June 16, 2007. Archived from the original on July 30, 2013.
- "Movie Guide and Film Series". The New York Times. June 15, 2007. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "Museums, Societies, etc". New York. February 6, 1995. p. 75.
'Beautiful Nightmares: The Films of Dario Argento' ... with Argento present for a talk with Maitland McDonagh...
- "The Avon JOurnal". Stamford, Connecticut: The Avon. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "Puheohjelma/Seminar programme (Speech program / Seminar program) > Movie critic Maitland McDonagh (USA)". Jyväskylä, Finland: Jyväskylän Kesä (Jyväskylä Summer). 2001. Archived from the original on December 24, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- "The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies: Monsters in the Closet". Morbid Anatomy Museum. November 17, 2016. Archived from the original on May 5, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "The 100 Greatest Sexy Moments". Channel Four. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- "Scream and Scream Again: A History of the Slasher Film (2000)". MTDb. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Jones, Stephen (2004). The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume 15. Running Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0786714261.
- Horrocks, Adrian. "Film Reviews: Sleepless (Dario Argento, US, 2001); Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror (Leon Ferguson, UK, 2000)". Dark Star. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Martinuzzi, Heidi (October 13, 2009). "Donna Davies' 'Zombiemania' documentary on Starz! Tonight!". Pretty-Scary.net. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009.
- Zimmerman, Samuel (February 20, 2009). "Pretty Bloody explores women in horror". Fangoria. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009.
- Webster, Christopher (June 5, 2008). "Full line up announced for the 2008 New York Asian Film Festival". Quiet Earth. Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
- "'I'm a Judge at the New York Horror Film Festival..." MissFlickChick blog. November 11, 2008. Archived from the original on April 10, 2012.
- "Judges". Oxford, Mississippi: Oxford Film Festival. Archived from the original on February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.. 16th annual per festival banner. from the original on February 8, 2019.
- "Here is the OFFICIAL ballot for the (Gasp!) 15th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards". The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. February 26, 2017. Archived from the original on March 22, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
- "New York City Ballet : [souvenir program] fortieth anniversary : 1988". WorldCat. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- Maitland McDonagh on IMDb
- Sieber, Mark. "Dario Argento, Maitland McDonagh, and Two Evil Eyes". HorrorDrive-In.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Interview with Maitland McDonagh at Behind the Couch