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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

from Facebook: the new Wonder Woman poster is problematic


posted in:
movie buzz
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  • Jurgan

    Well, she doesn’t have a face, but at least she has boobs and long legs.

  • Bluejay

    I kind of get what they’re going for: a teaser poster featuring the hero in profile, in a confident (not sexual) stance, highlighting the iconic elements of the costume. The Man of Steel teaser poster had Cavill’s face in shadow, with the focus on the S on his chest:

    https://thefilmstage.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/man_steel.jpeg

    And the Batman Begins teaser poster shows Batman in profile, focusing on the iconic pointy-eared silhouette:

    http://batmanbegins.warnerbros.com/images/onesheet.jpg

    The approach to the WW poster seems similar: de-emphasize the face, draw attention to the universally-recognized outfit. It’s just unfortunate that Wonder Woman’s outfit happens to be a glorified bathing suit, so you get the male-gazey element as well. But I like how colorful it is, and how she’s holding her head high (unlike the two glumsters in the other posters), and I like the tagline.

    In a way, though, it’s rather anticlimactic, since we already got a dynamic, full-faced Wonder Woman poster for Batman v Superman. Maybe they should have switched and used THAT image for this movie.

    https://teaser-trailer.com/wp-content/uploads/Batman-V-Superman-Wonder-Woman.jpg

  • Nathan

    Women never do seem to get any practical armor in movies do they? Same goes for classic fantasy games.

  • RogerBW

    Sword, breasts, hair. That’s enough characterisation, right?

  • Batman is in full silhouette. Superman, we can still see his face. Surely, someone who was involved with creating this poster must have realized that there was something not quite right about it. Unless they *wanted* the emphasis to be on her chest.

    That BvS poster of WW is much better.

  • Bluejay

    Unless they *wanted* the emphasis to be on her chest.

    I think they probably did, since that’s kinda where most of the costume is, and they wanted to say “Look at the costume!” But yeah, it’s problematic because it also means “Look at her breasts!” and all the objectifying history that goes with it.

    If they wanted to tease costume elements without revealing the full character, maybe they could have gone with something like this fan poster:

    http://img10.deviantart.net/1b32/i/2015/003/7/6/wonder_woman_teaser_poster_by_jonhughes-d8cj8xi.jpg

    But even THAT runs into problems: are those bracelets or manacles? Is she chained up? etc.

    Maybe there’s just no good way to feature only part of a woman’s body without being problematic?

  • RogerBW

    Considering the history of the character, there really ought to be some bondage/dominance implications – I mean, she was designed specifically in order to get people thinking and talking about it.
    That she is now the best known superheroine is a problem in itself, because these days that’s a very clichéd shape for a strong female character to fit into. But the superhero film industry will continue to mine the same ground, rather than coming up with any original characters, until the punters stop paying.

  • Bluejay

    That she is now the best known superheroine is a problem in itself, because these days that’s a very cliched shape for a strong female character to fit into.

    Yeah, WW unfortunately has the unspoken burden of representation, having been the one really prominent female superhero in the landscape for so long. She can’t just be whatever her character is without being seen as some sort of general statement about the nature of womanhood.

    Hopefully that changes soon. I’m really looking forward to Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel (and still hoping for a solo Widow movie), and maybe some of the recent developments on the comics side — Kamala Khan as Ms Marvel, Jane Foster as Thor, Riri Williams as Iron Man — will eventually bleed over into the films. The more diverse women heroes we have, the more they can just be themselves.

  • Danielm80

    I think they probably did, since that’s kinda where most of the costume is, and they wanted to say “Look at the costume!” But yeah, it’s problematic because it also means “Look at her breasts!” and all the objectifying history that goes with it.

    The costume doesn’t really have a bottom half. Her panties (for lack of a better word) couldn’t get much smaller without turning into a thong.

    Every piece of promotion I’ve seen for the movie has been a mixed blessing. We got an early cast photo that featured multiple women over 30, but they were wearing tiny outfits and high heels. We got a trailer with feminist dialogue and itty bitty shorts.

    Maybe the filmmakers couldn’t get the film made—or thought they couldn’t—without including a certain amount of eye candy.

    But if I’m going to be honest, I love the trailer, and I love the poster, because they feel like the character I love, even if that includes some unfortunate baggage.

    It’s sad that it’s taken us until Wonder Woman’s 75rh anniversary to make even this much progress, and sad that we haven’t come farther, but it is progress, and I’m looking forward to the movie more than I did any of the recent super-hero films in theatres.

  • Danielm80

    I really liked Adam Hughes’ poster, back when Joss Whedon was working on the movie, but I can see why people would find it…unsatisfying.

    http://i0.wp.com/www.slashfilm.com/wp/wp-content/images/Adam-Hughes-Wonder-Woman-Joss-Whedon.jpg

  • RogerBW

    Well, you know, that says to me “hair, breasts and bracers” much as the new one says “hair, breasts and sword”.

  • Maybe there’s just no good way to feature only part of a woman’s body without being problematic?

    In the current environment, that might be true. So they maybe they shouldn’t do that?

  • RogerBW

    But then they lose the valuable mouth-breather demographic.

  • LaSargenta

    I thought the mouth-breathers love their torrents.

  • RogerBW

    If they can get torrents, they can get actual porn.

  • LaSargenta

    Plenty of porn w/o torrents, too.

  • They’re losing the even more valuable half-the-human-race demographic.

  • RogerBW

    Yeah, but the mouth-breathers are easier to sucker into paying to watch a film. They don’t ask for expensive things like good scripts and subtle acting.

  • Bluejay

    Are good scripts more expensive than bad scripts?

  • RogerBW

    I assume they must be.

    Well, it means you have to look around for a script-writer rather than taking the first one off the rack.

  • I have often pointed out that they are not.

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