This is hillarious, and more than a little disturbing (via Shakesville.)
My family! My daughter! My wife! (Kind of reminds me of this scene from Chinatown–scroll up to 2:30 for the dramatic revelation.)
Contrary to my post about the new movie Julie & Julia, which I subtitled “mastering the art of feminist filmmaking,” the movie clips here are more typical of the ways in which women are served up in Hollywood movies: victims of violence and predation whose experiences serve as the pretext for a masculine avenger to take action, and to take over the narrative. It’s not that Julie & Julia has an overtly feminist message, aside from the shared experience of taking charge of their lives through cuisine. It’s that it showed women as real, complex characters whose predicaments were the central dramatic tension, instead of a pretext for a man to swing into action.
Sadly, that small fact makes it a feminist film. Whereas it’s no longer true (as it once was) in History that a woman’s biography or a book or article about women’s history is essentially feminist, Hollywood crawled back into its cave sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and it hasn’t returned. For those of you who have seen the movie: wasn’t it remarkable that all of the women remained fully clothed and (especially in the 1940s and 1950s scenes) fabulously turned out throughout the movie? This is perhaps another fact that makes it a feminist movie.
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