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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

‘Captivity’ promises to be a feminist dream

There’s a party at the Privilege nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood tonight. It’s to celebrate the release, this coming Friday, of the new film Captivity. There’s gonna be cage fighting, Suicide Girls, and a warren of live torture rooms. I was invited, but of course I’m on the East Coast and no one offered to fly me out. I’m heartbroken I’m gonna miss it, though, because the “undisclosed main event” of the party was described recently in The New York Times by producer Courtney Solomon of After Dark Films as “probably not legal.” But ”the women’s groups definitely will love it. I call it my personal little tribute to them.”

How lovely of Solomon! His people know I’m an unabashed, vocal feminist — an unabashed, vocal feminist who isn’t afraid to review films from that perspective — and they invited me to this exciting little feminist soiree! I can only imagine what Solomon and his people could get up to that would be “probably not legal” that would also please feminists. Maybe one of those torture rooms will feature live men actually being castrated! Because we feminists love that, right?
But no: that would be cruel and inhuman. And it’s not like Captivity is a movie about cruelty and torture. I mean, look at that poster! Look at that lovely woman! Look at how her lips are parted in something akin to ecstasy! And she’s crying with joy. This is gonna be a story about a vibrant, sexy woman who, clearly, is metaphorically “captivated” by the love and respect of a fine, honorable, upstanding man. Oh, I know, he’ll be unrealistically handsome, of course — come on: this is Hollywood, after all. Oh, wait! Maybe she’s captivated by the love of a woman! We feminists would love that, what with all of us being lesbians and all.

Oh what a rare specimen is this Mr. Solomon: he’s a man who understands women, understands feminists! He’s so unlike that Neanderthal Joss Whedon, who whined, frankly, like a little girl to the MPAA about the movie:

[T]he ad campaign for “Captivity” is not only a literal sign of the collapse of humanity, it’s an assault. I’ve watched plenty of horror – in fact I’ve made my share. But the advent of torture-porn and the total dehumanizing not just of women (though they always come first) but of all human beings has made horror a largely unpalatable genre. This ad campaign is part of something dangerous and repulsive, and that act of aggression has to be answered.

Sheesh. Listen to him, sounding like he’s on the side of women! I think he’s just jealous because no woman has ever looked at him the way that Elisha Cuthbert gazes out at her unseen lover on that poster. Clearly, Whedon doesn’t get women, and you can take that however you like.

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