movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Sun Mar 14 2010, 01:43pm | 4 comments
…women go to the movies more than men, and more.
Yup, it’s The Week in Women, my regular column over at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Enjoy.
What a brou-ha-ha about nothing.
I’m not overly familiar with Kathryn Bigelow’s body of work. Besides The Hurt Locker, I think the only flicks of hers that I have seen are Near Dark and Point Break. Loved the former, liked the latter. Didn’t give a shit that a woman directed ’em, if I enjoy a movie, I enjoy a movie.
I saw practically no new movies in 2009 so it’s hard for me to compare The Hurt Locker to anything else. I thought it was a decent flick, but I wasn’t absolutely blown away by it. I don’t know how much (if anything) that has to do with a woman having directed it; I think it was more of a story issue. To me, the story wasn’t particularly compelling. It was interesting, a bit thought-provoking, but I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my seat the whole time.
It is kinda funny. As I’ve probably said before, often enough when a male director is seen to “get” female characters and drama they are lauded for it. Obviously a sign of their craft and sensitvity, a string to their bow etc.
A woman with skill in male characters and action/suspense craft? Must be something the matter with her.
I found the article really interesting because this is what happens to creative women breaking glass ceilings. I would like to point out an oldie but goodie: Joanna Russ ‘How to suppress women’s writing’. This is about film making, not writing. But every argument MaryAnn mentions in her week in women piece can also be found in the list of techniques Russ identifies to belittle women’s creative achievement. Yeah, she made a movie/wrote a novel, but look at what it’s about, it’s just wrong. Or: she won but she’s the exception. And so on, it’s all there. Recommended reading…
I admire Kathryn since her first movie, Near Dark, but I’ve never considered her as a “male” ora a “female” director, but simply a GREAT director, particurarly talented for action movies, or more in general for genre movies.
When she did Strange Days, she gave us one of the most tough and at the same time sensible woman ever seen in a movie, interpreted from Angela Bassett.
And I think that she also had a big influence in most of the movie of his ex-husband James Cameron, with strong lead female character, starting from Ripley of the Alien Saga and ending with the best characters in Avatar, Ney’tiri and Dr Grace Augustine.
I think that the best movie between the ten nominated was Inglorious Basterds from the great (a movie where the best and strongest character is a woman, again) but I also think that the Oscar to Kathryn is really important for women.
No matter what some cynical, chauvinist and little-minded people could say about it ….
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