more men I am officially tired of being asked to sympathize with in movies

bigshortmen

UPDATED!

Another year, another slate of films dominated by all the things that men do. While there were some great stories about women at the cinema in 2015 (though stay tuned: I noticed something suspicious about many of them, which I will write about soon), The Movies as a cultural monolith were dominated by men. So it felt like time to update my list of men I am tired of being asked to sympathize with. As the new additions — as well as the original list further below — demonstrate, there is almost nothing that men can do, think, or be that The Movies will not deem worthy of telling a story about.

Note: I didn’t necessarily hate all the films referenced here, and I quite liked a lot of them. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem that movies are overwhelmingly about men’s stories.

men walking up a mountain
men walking in the woods
men walking on Mars
men walking on tight ropes
men walking across bridges
men walking on battlefields
men buying other people’s mortgages
men betting against people’s mortgages
men selling computers
men who build superadvanced AIs in their own images
men who build superadvanced AIs so they can fuck them
men defying Hollywood
men defying the Church
men defying the NFL
men defying their own nations for the greater good, dammit
men surviving on the frontier
men surviving in the ’hood
men surviving as they are basically held prisoner in their own apartment
men surviving the Holocaust
men surviving on the ocean
men surviving their own brilliant minds
men talking about themselves
men talking about journalism
men talking about murder
men talking about the banality of evil
men debating other men
men hitting other men
men photographing other men
men making a name for themselves
men just trying to make music, dammit
men chasing manic pixie dream girls
men talking to dinosaurs
men building monsters
men fighting monsters
men hunting monsters
men who are monsters
men who are just there for another dude, man
men who kill women and think they should get away with it


PREVIOUS: 10.21.14

A motif that I noticed recurring during the just-wrapped London Film Festival has inspired me to add two more kinds of men whom I am tired of being asked to sympathize with:

men suffering for their art
men making other people suffer for their art

(Please note that my tiredness with how often these types of men appear in stories that ask us to feel for them does not automatically mean that I cannot feel for them, or that I didn’t end up enjoying their stories. It means only that I wish we would see as many stories about women doing these things whom male moviegoers would be expected to sympathize with.)


PREVIOUS: 03.02.14

I was already on edge before last night’s Oscars, when a recent viewing of The Great Beauty, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, infuriated me with its pretentious bullshit. Pretentious bullshit is always bad enough, but this pretentious bullshit presumes that the viewer will be able to identify with — even if it’s to ultimately reject him — an old rich white man who’s jaded and bored with his decadent lifestyle, including nonstop partying (after which he goes home to his female housekeeper, who feeds him and makes sure he wakes up in time to get to his next party), attending strip clubs and discussing a performing woman like she’s livestock, and sleeping with more than one much younger woman.

And then The Great Beauty won that Oscar.

And then the Oscar producers figured it would be awesome to give us multiple montages celebrating “heroes” in movies: Superman, Indiana Jones, Frodo Baggins, T.E. Lawrence, Chief Martin fucking Brody, for Christ’s sake. And so on and so on and so on. Basically any man who’s done anything vaguely interesting in a movie. Which is all of them. (I loved the cut to a scowling Emma Watson in the audience after Harry Potter showed up in one of the montages; I could hear her thinking, Hey, Hermione Granger did some heroic stuff, too! But it’s not a great thing that women who are pissed off at not being adequately represented in Hollywood films is a punchline.)

Look. I know how to identify with and empathize with male protagonists in movies. I had to learn how to do that if I wanted to enjoy movies. But I’m so damn tired of this being a requirement for almost every movie I see.

I am tired of being asked to sympathize with men, and being offered the courtesy of the opposite — a movie with a female protagonist that men are expected to sympathize with — on only vanishingly rare occasions.

I am tired of how, every time I mention the lack of “strong” female protagonists, someone interrupts with “But Ripley!” Alien is 35 years old. Having to reach back across a third of a century for an example of a strong female protagonist is an indictment, not a defense.

I am already tired anticipating how “But Sandra Bullock in Gravity!” is going to replace “But Ripley!” and that a single movie will be, in the eyes of some, deemed sufficient representation of women starring in their own stories for the next third of a century.

These are all the sorts of men I am tired of being asked to sympathize with*:

old men
young men
rich men
poor men
sad men
happy men
men in love
lonely men
sadsack men
ugly and ignored men
handsome men
men who are a mess
men who are drunks and don’t want to change that
men who are drunks and struggle to overcome it
men who are sick and dying
men who are sick and getting well
men who have everything together
men who fuck younger women
men who fuck older women
men who fuck men and are conflicted about it
men who fuck men and are content with it
horny teenaged boys
men who are feuding with their brothers
men who are feuding with their fathers
men who are tight with their brothers
men who are tight with their fathers
men who are criminals
men who have been unjustly accused of crimes they did not commit
men who have been unjustly convicted of crimes they did not commit
men who have avoided a life of crime through sheer determination
men who are forced into a life of crime by desperate circumstance
men who are cops
men who are tight with their brother cops
men in the military
men who are tight with their brother soldiers
men whose careers are in a tailspin
men whose careers are going great
men just doing a job, dammit
men who go to strip clubs
men who patronize prostitutes
men who are lazy
men who are ambitious
men fighting the system
men perpetuating the system
men who are sensitive
men who are sensitive but unable to express themselves
men who are insensitive and have no problem expressing themselves
men who are married and miserable
men who are married and happy
men who are single and miserable
men who are single and happy
men who beat up women
men who rescue women
men who are just trying to do what’s right for their families, dammit
men who are pushing back against cultural conventions
men who have given in to cultural conventions
men fighting monsters
men fighting aliens
men who think they should police their daughters’ sexuality
men who think they should police their sisters’ sexuality
men who build great things
men who destroy great things
men with guns
men who wish they had guns
men who are deeply committed to martial arts
men who are deeply committed to religion
men who are deeply committed to their art
men just trying to survive in a harsh world
men having adventures
men who want to have adventures
men stuck in adventures they’d rather not be having
men just trying to get home
men in capes
men in robot suits
men in capes fighting men in capes
men in robot suits fighting men in robot suits
men in masks
men in masks fighting men in masks
men in masks fighting men in capes
men in robot suits fighting men in masks
men in capes fighting men in robot suits
men who sacrifice everything for the people they love
men who sacrifice everything for the places they love
men who sacrifice everything for the ideals they cherish

In her acceptance speech for her Best Actress win for Blue Jasmine last night, Cate Blanchett said this about movies about women: “People want to see them, and in fact, they make money. The world is round, people.” Exactly. It’s time to come out of the Dark Ages, Hollywood, when it comes to movies about women.

*not an exhaustive list — feel free to add your own in comments!

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LaSargenta
LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 2:30pm

Bwahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

“But Ripley!”
“But Sandra Bullock in Gravity!”

Yeah. *sigh* Confession: Yeah, Ripley was awesome and it was great there’s Dr. Stone, but, hey, I like other movies, too, and I’m not always in the mood for something set in a spaceship (or outside a spaceship)

Hello, hello, waiting for more work from Lake Bell…

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 2:48pm

I adore Ripley. And Dr Ryan Stone is so fucking awesome I can barely stand it.

But they’re not enough. Nowhere near. Guys get guys like them in movies *every weekend.*

Lien
Lien
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 8:54pm

I recommend getting replenished by (re-)watching the beautiful Studio Ghibli animation movies… all with girl heroines!

– Spirited Away: Sen/Jihiro saves her parents
– Howl’s Moving Castle: Sophie, young girl in an old lady’s body
– Nausicaa: Princess Nausicaa saves the jungle, and the jungle saves her
– Laputa – Castle in the sky: Sheeta (girl) and Pazu (boy) fight evil forces
– My Neighbour Totoro: two little sisters Satsuki and Mei move to a new house that has a weird spirit as a neighbour

– Ponyo: the girl-creature from the ocean that wants to be human
– Princess Mononoke: male protagonist, but great duality between good and evil in the female characters of Princess Mononoke and Lynn
– Kiki’s delivery service: a little witch tries to build her independent life.

All movies about friendship, staying true to yourself, and pushing through.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Lien
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 10:39pm

I’ve seen lots of those movies. But I’d like to see lots of NEW movies about girls and women, too.

Leilani
Leilani
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 3:28am

Not to mention movies with REAL women in them. I’m not against animation, but why do all of our female leads have to come in that form?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Leilani
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:13am

It’s easier to make cartoon women look like Barbie dolls?

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Nov 04, 2017 8:03am

Guys get guys who grovel and are afraid of their wives in movies, a bunch of beta males that are fake and weak. It is bad for young men to see new films , which all portay men bossed around by their wives and kids; has caused a soaring divorce rate and plumetting marraige rate. Even though the men In Hollywood don’t act that way, nor any man in real life, we see a PC version of men who live in a way that would make any man miserable because he has to ask permission to do anything from his wife. We need a bechtel test for men.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dave Dale
Mon, Nov 06, 2017 8:10pm

You’re very funny!

KingNewbs
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 6:47pm

Lake Bell has a movie she wrote and directed called “In a World…”; it’s on Netflix and I’m looking forward to watching it… she plays an aspiring movie trailer voiceover artist?!

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  KingNewbs
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 7:08pm

You mean the movie that actually brought her to wider (an my) attention that came out last year? I wrote the word more.

KingNewbs
reply to  LaSargenta
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 1:56am

Ah, so it’s good? I’ll move it higher up on my list.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  KingNewbs
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 11:04am

You could read my review. :->

KingNewbs
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sat, Mar 08, 2014 11:33pm

Hmmm… I guess my RSS feed Fu is not as good as I suspected. I shall read it at once.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  KingNewbs
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 1:00am

Even Lake Bell can’t do it all, alas.

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  KingNewbs
Sat, Nov 04, 2017 8:06am

Lake Bell’s is extrealy wealthy, worth 275 million I read, although I don’t know accuracy of this figure..
Anyone who is extremely wealthy can, and frequently is, inserted into movies even if they have a neanderthal forehead and weak talent that can write only pandering Lifetime Network fair. Notice the men you are asked to sympathize with are usually shown answering to and obsessing over a wife and kids. In older films they were frequently single, however, today If they are single or divorced they are usually shown to be suicidally depressed or criminally insane.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dave Dale
Mon, Nov 06, 2017 8:11pm

What the actual fuck is wrong with you?

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Nov 07, 2017 9:35pm

Hollywood is basically a closed system, with most successful people either being intimately connected or extremely wealthy. Some also gain entrance via sex as a quid pro quo for a role in film, although that may change (some) since lawsuits and money have entered.
Just wiki any of your favorite players and see most are connected by family, or extremely wealthy. In addition, most newer films are misandry filled, showing adult male characters as inferior to the women and children. This was related to marketing and boycott pressure. Example: the original “The Thing” had an all male cast, the remake inserted a female scientist who was of course the smartest one.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dave Dale
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 11:45am

It’s not your assertion of Hollywood’s nepotism I am questioning. It’s your misogyny I am appalled by. Go away.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  LaSargenta
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 12:59am

Welcome to the Rileys failed to get a wider release because it starred some obscure male actor from a rarely seen TV series called The Sopranos plus an even more obscure actress who was mostly noted for her starring role in the notoriously unpopular Twilight movies. If only they had hired someone truly famous instead…

MamaMia
MamaMia
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 3:18pm

More bipolarism..hmm… women are having it soooooooooo hard….

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  MamaMia
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 3:40pm

Explain yourself or get deleted.

KingNewbs
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 6:45pm

I vote delete!

TempestDash
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 3:43pm

Just to go along with the vitriol:

* I’m tired of “but they were awesome women!” being an accepted excuse for 10:1 ratio of named men to women in films.

Yes, it’s great that women can be as badass as we let men be in movies, but that doesn’t make up for how outnumbered they are in named characters in movies. If we can have schmucks and heroes as men, we need both schmucks and heroines as women.

Shelby
Shelby
reply to  TempestDash
Fri, May 29, 2015 9:22pm

“As we let men be”, such an obnoxious and arrogant comment!! I like my movies to be believable and unfortunately a “badass” female action star well, just isnt. I like my films to be realistic, a female lead beating a group/horde/office/army of males, isnt. I like my movies to represent a true demographic of society which unfortunately unless its a “chick flick” generaly means women playing second fiddle to men. Plus Hollywood is a bussiness and they choose to make films people will want to see, a guy wont pay to see “eye candy” in a film that he has no other interest in, women do. Now you can try to call me out that Im a sexist or whatever but at the end of the day the above comments for the most part are facts.Women will watch a film with male leads, men wont watch a film with female leads. Would I watch a film with black nazi sodiers, of course not that political correctness gone mad……….but thats what it seems you want.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Shelby
Fri, May 29, 2015 9:45pm

Oh, realism?

I like my films to be realistic, a female lead beating a group/horde/office/army of males, isnt.

And just how often is it realistic that one man fights off half a dozen other goons? Realism is what you want, right? There’s a handful of MMA fighters who do one-against-many. Waaaay fewer than the number of ‘action heroes’ in movies.

bronxbee
reply to  LaSargenta
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 12:26am

i just posted something similar. really comments like this guy’s are mind-boggling. i know i should’t respond to them, but sometimes you can’t help yourself.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  bronxbee
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 1:39am

Know what you mean. *eyesroll*

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Shelby
Sat, May 30, 2015 3:45am

You have SO MUCH to learn.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Shelby
Sat, May 30, 2015 10:03am

You’re a sexist. You’re also delusional.

bronxbee
reply to  Shelby
Mon, Jun 01, 2015 12:23am

so…. let me get this straight, if i can. Fast and Furious movies are “realistic”? and you obviously don’t know the meaning of the word “demographic,” since a true demographic of society would have 51% of the characters in movies be women… hollywood “bussiness” isn’t representative of society at all; movies like San Andreas or The Day After Tomorrow, with a mostly male cast doing ridiculously impossible physical feats are not realistic. and women like male “eye candy” but that’s not all they expect of male characters… crawl back into whatever 19th century tent you came out of.

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  bronxbee
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 4:18am

I read Shelby’s comment as pointing out that a female kicking a bunch of men’s asses is unrealistic , period. I assume he knows we suspend reality as we watch films which include all kinds of unrealistic and incredible things. It’s a matter of magnitude. A car chase that is exaggerated for thrills, is different than a group of special forces guys being shown up by a girl who kicks all their butts. We are trying to relate to the characters and get tired of the baddest ass being the female cop in TV shows, etc. We would like

stories to reflect real life in that since the majority of tough law enforcement or military fighters are male, have the majority of them be male in
stories. Of course it’s OK if some of them show the exceptions, it’s just so predictiable lately that the suspense is no longer present.

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  Shelby
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 3:21am

Oh,really? Men won’t watch a film with female leads? Then how come both the new hit comedy Trainwreck (written by its star,Amy Schumer) and Melissa McCarthy latest films, The Heat and Spy have all been box office hits, then? So your claim of “men don’t want to watch films starring women” is just another BS claim.Hell, I’m a women and I seek out films with women in the lead, because men already dominate the majority of films as it is.

kooky katt
kooky katt
reply to  Shelby
Wed, Sep 16, 2015 10:58am

Cause kill bill wasn’t popular or anything….. Can you die in a car fire please?

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  Shelby
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 4:03am

Bravo.
Take a look at older films like “Five Easy Pieces”, “The Killing Fields” and “The Thing”. Before PC madness they used to make realistic stories about men who were rugged individualists, some had obligations to themselves or to an objective (battle, journalism) beyond their love interest. All the remakes artificially insert women as major characters and they don’t work.
Before they scream “mysoginst” one of my favorite series is “Wentworth”, from Netflix, with a nearly all female cast.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Dave Dale
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 3:18pm

Bringing up 5 Easy Pieces as an example of “rugged individualism” is bizarre. The whole point of the movie was Bobby’s avoidance of the hard things in life…the use of the child’s piano lesson book for the title is a metaphor.

It is a great movie. Fantastic movie. But, it is not about rugged individualism, it is about being lost and insecure and trying to make oneself more lost.

[Edited to add: But, thanks for reminding me about it. Just seeing the title brought back so many scenes — and not just the toast — to my mind. I have to see it again. About Schmidt harks back to 5EP, by the way.]

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  LaSargenta
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 5:20pm

I don’t know why this site keeps getting hit by duplicate trolls; lately, we always seem to end up with two different people making the same bigoted point on the same day. I don’t know if they’re sock puppets or if it’s just the nature of the internet, but some of the responses–like yours about Five Easy Pieces–are thoughtful and entertaining enough that it’s almost worth putting up with the trolls. Almost.

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 8:31pm

We’re OUT THERE!!!,(and like Jack and Archie, you LOVE US)

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  LaSargenta
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 8:29pm

I agree FEPs is great, but not about Bobby avoiding difficult things (except love, maybe). He worked as a wild cat in Freaking OIL FIELDS: tough work, man’s work.
The point was he was bored by that “asylum” his family called home with all it’s preppy girlishness. Like a 3 rd grade boy drugged into submission in school, he hated it there, and escaped to vent some of his natural Testosterone, which was being confined by the academic, effete world his family occupied.
Notice he didn’t have , or want kids, and when Raylene got preggers he split. They would never make a film today where the protagonist was single and didn’t want kids, if they did he would be portrayed as either suicidally depressed or criminally insane.
Bobby made no commitments, to anybody but himself. When love entered the pic via that hot blondie wrapped in a Radcliffe package, he was conflicted, because he wanted it (someting about Mommy issues?) but as she told him, he didn’t deserve it.
The public loved Nicholson and his characters. They may try to shove Allen Alda down our throats, but we still like Clint Eastwood, Archie Bunker, etc. Who gets the better looking chic?Donald Trump? or Barry Obama? case closed.
Note: As good as It Gets was just Him, 30 years later, AND CHICKS STILL LOVED HIM (note he still got the girl, a relative hottie for his age)

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Dave Dale
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 9:01pm

Who gets the better looking chic?Donald Trump? or Barry Obama? case closed.

And this is where you reveal — if it wasn’t already clear with your “women don’t have stories worth telling” comment — that you’re really nothing but a misogynist racist troll and we can safely ignore anything you say.

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  Bluejay
Fri, Nov 10, 2017 7:53am

I never said “women don’t have stories worth telling” One of my favorite shows is “Wentworth” on Netflix, about a woman’s prison with mostly female cast. That is an Aussie production and, has it’s share of misandry, but it doesn’t eclipse the story line. It’s gritty , and realistic, Unlike Orange is the new Black.
As far as being a racist? I am hispanic and am not racist (there are hispanic racists) but I am not one of them
Most people should be required to take a stats course. When someone states that most of the best cops, soldiers, STEM field majors etc. are men, it says nothing about the individual.

One man’s troll is another man’s advocate. The entire premise of this article is Trollish, as it implies men are over represented doing action things which writer finds boring anyway. The top people in hard core sciences, blue collar work, dangerous work that might be interesting portrayed on film, are 90 plus percent men (except medicine) and yet most movies so a female character outperforming the men. Most who do difficult or dangerous work are male -98 percent work place deaths are men,( JAMA, 87′, Work Related deaths seperated by gender, MGH , Schwartz, et.al )
There should be an article titled: Women characters in film i’m tired of seeing:
1. mannish female cop kicking men in groin
2. Brilliant female scientist bossing around males who are portrayed as less talented than she is.
3. Single mother against the world who is shown to have an affair with her boss, then extort special preference from him (see ‘You Can Count on me” with Laura Linny)
4. Woman who has her boyfriend beat the guy to a pulp who earlier in the piece made a crass joke she percieved as sexist, of the type we have never seen anybody make.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Dave Dale
Thu, Nov 09, 2017 9:17pm

In no particular order, responding to this odd grab bag of things you associate with masculinity…

>As someone who has worked in the field with roughnecks (and sandhogs, and blasters…it is called geotechnical engineering), I can tell you that there is nothing distinct about the oil fields from any other kind of extractive industry or heavy construction. Also, yes, it is hard, but no harder than line work in a butchering operation, for example. Nothing special about men doing it. It is just traditional that men get hired. I have watched women work the wrenches and thread rod just as well as men. The good drillers are the ones who know their equipment, turn up on time, and pay attention (and don’t cause expensive spills or malfunctions).

>Good looks are in the eyes of the beholder. I certainly do not agree with your taste in women, but, hey, if that’s what you like, nunnamybiz. Don’t use it as a measure of manhood though, it is purely personal preference.

>I can’t remember the last Alan (note spelling) Alda role I’ve seen, not all of them are typecast as doo-gooders, though, if that’s what you regard as non-masculine.

>There’s tons of films with single protagonists.

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, Nov 10, 2017 8:15am

I work STEM now (research MD), but respect all hard work, especially the skilled trades and blue collar, worked with some to pay for school.
i am sure there are great examples of women doing just about everything, however, some blue collar fields are over 90 percent men, with the best likely in similar proportion.
Good looks ARE in the eye of the beholder, and hey, if you would choose Ms. Obama over Mrs. Trump, I don’t judge. Hugh Grant picked up Divine Brown and he had Liz Hurley at home , and that could be an SAT analogy thing (I don’t judge man, go for it)
Alda was kind of a go to for the sensitive man, likely a more common one used , sorry don’t keep up on my betas. I was responding to the note that questioned my ability to get a sympathetic woman, and pointing out that they don’t select based on un PC opinions. Pyscho-bio is beyond the scope of this site , but a brilliant evolutionary biologist was asked if female selection of mates had evolved over time when brains can now be more important than brute strength, and he replied “I think women will always like guys who win hockey games”.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Dave Dale
Fri, Nov 10, 2017 1:01pm

Hugh Grant picked up Divine Brown and he had Liz Hurley at home

This is the second time you’ve compared women’s looks, and implied that white women’s looks are superior to black women’s. “I don’t judge,” “I’m not racist,” my ass.

sorry don’t keep up on my betas.

MRA crap. GTFO.

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  Bluejay
Sat, Nov 11, 2017 4:32am

Dude, Halle Berry was HOT, and their are plenty of anglo bow wow’s. Actually , the hottest are of mixed race, prolly because they have a hybrid vigor lacking in pure arian, etc. Woman complain when men rate or comp their appearance, but they judge men too, first thing they ask each other when they have a new guy is “is he cute”.
I don’t have a “type”, and most guys i think like a blonde, brunette, EuroAsian if she is thin, nice skin, well balanced features and body, long legs and gracile calfs, smooth silky hair; as long as she has a “really good personality”LOL
The reason I brought up Obama -Trump is, whenever you give an opinion that is un PC, UN White Knight, they start screaming about how u prolly can’t get a chick, and it’s like ?huh? Women choose by looks, jobs, money, etc way up the list before un PC stuff.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dave Dale
Sat, Nov 11, 2017 1:25pm

Take your MRA shit and get the hell outta here. You are not welcome.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Nov 12, 2017 8:17am

My only response to this thread:

comment image

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Sun, Nov 12, 2017 8:42am

My only response to this thread:

comment image

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Danielm80
Sun, Nov 12, 2017 2:57pm

You finished the new one! Woo hoo!

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Nov 13, 2017 6:20pm

Damn that is painful.
Well done!

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Danielm80
Wed, Nov 15, 2017 10:24pm

I’ve updated my post about the bingo card. Thanks!

https://www.flickfilosopher.com/2017/11/film-review-comment-bingo.html

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Nov 13, 2017 6:56pm

You sound angry……..
Would you care to discuss your feelings?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dave Dale
Wed, Nov 15, 2017 10:09pm

Banned.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Dave Dale
Fri, Nov 10, 2017 7:33pm

Speaking of betas…

Dude, you definitely have masculinity issues. You idolize manual labor (and think it is inherently male-coded) and, wait for it! you work in research! Probably in a lab. Probably don’t have any calluses!

Awww, do you feel emasculated and need to belittle everyone else’s life choices? Do you need to put whiteness on a pedestal b/c there are so many PhDs in your field who came to the US from other (brown) countries with better undergraduate education?

FOH.

/adhominem

Dave Dale
Dave Dale
reply to  LaSargenta
Sat, Nov 11, 2017 4:14am

Wow, nice speculation; I worked most of my career in clinical med actually and now have pursed other interests;
I respect any hard work, and right now we have a severe housing shortage so, especially respect fields that address that -i.e carpentry, plastering, etc. There are women who are great at these but they are male dominated fields, as are the STEM fields on the academic side. With the exception of women bio majors who have an eye on pre med, most STEM majors are male. More women choose liberal arts, finger painting, etc., and more women choose to not work 100 hour weeks so they can raise kids. (They are generally better at taking care of babies than men)
I don’t worship blu collar work more than say, the medical fields, pro athletes, special forces, anything difficult is a badage of honor, I just don’t wave mine unless confronted, don’t want to appear haughty and like to give added props to guys who work hard and don’t make much jack.
So far we don’t see women clamoring to enter the building trades, some feel we never will see a 50/50 split. I don’t belittle anyone who chooses to work hard in a field we need, so I am not very enthusiastic about more film majors, communications, liberal arts, sorry but we don’t need them and it’s hard to get work too.
it has become taboo to point out differences between the sexes, unless it is a difference that belittles men. JAMA recently wrote an article showing female FP’s as superior to men, many believe it was a flawed study because they choose different jobs w different patient mixes. They would never publish an article that showed the reverse (e.g. cardiac surg results)
Women should have, and now do have , equal access to everything. It amazes me the complaining about the way film portrays them, when men are portrayed much more negatively. in addition, victims of violence, addiction, suicide, homelessness , incarceration and early death are all far more likely to be men; You should be educated that Hispanics can be of any race, I am white , so , I don’t worship that. (88 % european,12 per native Am)
Foreign med grads can be good or bad so , it’s hard to stereotype them.
Actually MIT and CAL tech are loosing ground to technical in Asia, because millennials in general lack the discipline of prior generations. “The Dumbest Generation” is a great read that could open your eyes.

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  Shelby
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 12:30pm

I like my movies to be believable and unfortunately a “badass” female action star well, just isnt. I like my films to be realistic, a female lead beating a group/horde/office/army of males, isnt.

I5.

Plus Hollywood is a bussiness and they choose to make films people will want to see, a guy wont pay to see “eye candy” in a film that he has no other interest in, women do. Now you can try to call me out that Im a sexist or whatever but at the end of the day the above comments for the most part are facts.Women will watch a film with male leads, men wont watch a film with female leads.

G2.

Would I watch a film with black nazi sodiers, of course not that political correctness gone mad……….but thats what it seems you want.

You’re hilarious.

Logic
Logic
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 4:39pm

The point of protagonists is to sympathize with them. That’s not a gendered issue, it’s an issue of writing. If you don’t sympathize with a protagonist then the writer is bad at their job.

So what you’re really saying is you have something against men.

Arthur
Arthur
reply to  Logic
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 5:15pm

You’re missing the point, perhaps deliberately. The lopsided ratio is a sign that Hollywood customarily does not value women as 3-D characters worthy of being protagonists. By your own standard, one might speculate that you have something against women being protagonists.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Logic
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 9:39pm

So where are all the female protagonists?

Scrufflecat
Scrufflecat
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 1:49am

“So where are all the female protagonists?”
It’s a shame that films like Frozen, Alien, The Hunger games, and Gravity don’t make much money, don’t get popular, and don’twin awards. Oh wait.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Scrufflecat
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 2:41am

You’re being sarcastic–at least, I hope you are–but movie producers seem to take that idea seriously. Only about 30% of movies feature women in starring roles, or even give them speaking parts of any significance.

You’d think that the films you mentioned would change people’s minds, since they’ve been hugely successful. But the situation hasn’t improved much over the past several decades. I’m hoping that movies like Frozen will make things better. After all, there have been a number of very popular films about women in the past few years alone. But the statistics don’t give me much reason to be optimistic.

Here are the statistics, by the way, in case you’re interested:

Scrufflecat
Scrufflecat
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 3:15am

“Only about 30% of movies feature women in starring roles, or even give them speaking parts of any significance.”

If that’s true, that’s because that’s what audiences buy. If there was a great untapped market for female action hero protagonists, it wouldn’t stay untapped for long. If you think there is such a market, take it to a studio exec, or better yet, produce your own film.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Scrufflecat
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 5:14am

So your argument is that Frozen, Alien, The Hunger Games, and Gravity make lots of money, are hugely popular, and win awards, but there’s no market for them?

Personally, I think there’s an enormous market for movies about women, but it’s untapped because producers keep believing the conventional wisdom that “no one wants to see films about girls.”

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  Scrufflecat
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 1:11pm

Oh, I see! The reason there aren’t that many movies featuring women in starring roles is simply because nobody wants to see them! Surely it’s not the fault of…oh, I don’t know…filmmakers for not giving girls a chance to be protagonists?

Anyway, nice G2. I’m really digging Danielm80’s bingo card!

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  Scrufflecat
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 1:07pm

Old I4.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Logic
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 11:47pm

Oh, and another thing: I didn’t say I didn’t sympathize with them. I said I was tired of being asked to. I’m tired of the assumption that every single damn thing a man does is totally fascinating, when the same is not presumed of women. I’m tried of the assumption that it’s normal for women to sympathize with men but that men should never have to sympathize with women.

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 3:32am

I feel the same way—–Hollywood acts like everything men do is so much more damn important than anything a woman does, and acts like female characters in a film can’t be as complex and fascinating as any male character. I found out a long time ago that if I want to see any realistic portrayals of women’s lives in films worth a damn, I have to look out for indie films, which do a better job of that (especially when they’re written,produced, and directed by women filmmakers.) That’s the route you gotta go, and it’s usually been worth it so far.

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  Logic
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 12:57pm

Okay, so if it’s not a gendered issue, then why can’t we have more movies with female protagonists? Oh, I know: because Hollywood doesn’t think women are people worth identifying and sympathizing with(of course, women will be willing to sympathize with a female lead, but men won’t apparently, and since appealing to men is all that matters, Hollywood consistently dominates its films with men, and usually of the white, straight kind.)! So they keep making movies about men!

If it’s an issue of writing, then that issue needs to be fixed by writing more stories about women, plain and simple. If that doesn’t happen, then it IS a gendered issue. Also, not all protagonists are meant to be sympathetic. Go read Wideacre by Philippa Gregory(not a movie but it has a villainous female lead) and try to tell me that the writer is bad at her job. Meanwhile, I am of the opinion that if writers continually ignore women and girls in favor of making media about men and boys and only include women and girls when they HAVE to, then they indeed are bad at their job: for failing to consider the other half of the population.

Juuuust saying, for someone named “Logic”, you don’t seem to possess a lot of it.

So what you’re really saying is you have something against men.

Heh, nice B2.

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 5:06pm

Wait… Sandra Bullock is in Gravity?

Well so much for that movie. Why would you even consider Sandra Bullock in competition with Sigorney Weaver; they’re on totally different planets. Put bluntly, Sigorney is a man, and Bullock’s a pubescent teen with daddy’s mastercard.

Arthur
Arthur
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 5:17pm

Perhaps you meant Ripley is an *adult* and Stone is not?

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  Arthur
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 8:30pm

No, Sigorney has a long list of strong characters; not all of them kick-ass like Ripley, but all of them full grown adults.

Bullock has a history of infantile characters. I don’t see her as grown up in any of them. Even in the closest thing to a driven individual as an accomplished business woman, her character instead goes and pulls a teenager stunt and fakes a relationship to avoid a consequence.

No, these two actress’ can’t be seriously compared. Even when their characters could be comparable, Bullock will ruin it.

Michelle Rodrigeuz however, she can stand toe to toe with Sigorney.

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 3:34am

Uh,what? Bullock usually plays strong characters who take charge of their lives—where did you get this idea that she only plays “infantile” characters? Have you seen Gravity, Miss Congeniality, or one of her first films, a suspense thriller called The Net? None of those characters could be called “infantile” by any stretch of the imagination.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  Michelle Kirkwood
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 6:52am

You have a low benchmark for what constitutes “strong character”. That’s sad.

KingNewbs
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 6:44pm

Holy shit, this is a weird thing to say.

bronxbee
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 8:06pm

she isn’t putting SB and SW in “competition”… she’s giving evidence of the ratio of protagonist women to the dominence of male roles. read it again. and you obviously have some problem mixing up the “role” with “the woman”.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  bronxbee
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 9:41pm

Of course they’re in competition! There’s only room for one kickass female actor. Everyone knows that.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 6:15pm

Wonderdome: two women enter, one woman leaves..

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 9:41pm

How telling that you should chose the word “man” to describe a woman in what you think is a positive way? What’s up with that?

I suggest you see *Gravity* before to determine the quality of Bullock’s performance in it.

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 3:05am

I chose the word “man” because it comes with a number of connotations; if women can’t get past that reality, than you will never see another strong female lead again. Sigorney is in my mind, the origin tough as nails woman who can stand shoulder to shoulder with her male counterparts. Frankly, she set the bar high for all the other women who dared to follow.

The fact that you see virtually none, is a testament to the disinclination of women to follow that path; I can count only a handful of women who dare to tread in her footsteps. I’ve already mentioned one; then there’s Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovavich, and not much else. You can see it in them when they get into kick-ass mode, they’re gonna take names.

I will not be paying money to watch Gravity; Bullock ruins it for me, she carries the air of, “it’s not my fault”, which grates on me. Even the first movie I saw her in, Speed, no, no, no. If she is a contender for “strong female leads”, then I’m gonna have to cry in my beer until another generation powerful women (not infantile girls) fills the wide gaping chasm separating “strong gendered” characters.

Using the word “man” to describe Sigorney, is not derogatory. It’s a statement of the impact she made on my opinion of what women could become, if they dared. Do you care to dare?

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 4:22am

If a man is smart, competent, kick-ass, and tough as nails, maybe I should call him a “woman,” because then he’s similar to Sigourney Weaver, whom I really admire. Using the word “woman” to describe a man who is like Sigourney is not derogatory. It’s a statement of the impact he made on my opinion of what men could become, if they dared.

Or maybe being tough and kick-ass (or tender or compassionate or brave or timid or powerful or weak or mature or infantile or whatever) are gender-neutral qualities, and it’s ridiculous to call women “men” or men “women” if they have those qualities.

cinderkeys
cinderkeys
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 5:56am

“The fact that you see virtually none, is a testament to the disinclination of women to follow that path …”

So all this time, Hollywood has been offering these awesome female lead roles in great abundance, and actresses haven’t been taking them up on it?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  cinderkeys
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 7:19am

Don’t you know? It’s *always* women’s fault, because we don’t dare to be men.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 7:18am

Women could become men if they “dared”?

And you think this isn’t derogatory?

37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:21am

IF ONLY YOU CARED ENOUGH TO DARE, FF!

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 4:57pm

Thus, equality is a pipe dream.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 5:08pm

Why?

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 9:08pm

Men, by necessity, have set the stage, and the bench is high. To compete, women have to compete on existing terms. Those who do, and there are those who do, earn the respect engendered, but at a cost; the cost of family life. Women who take up the banner of career orientated, put gender aside and focus on the issues at hand; no amount of gender quotas or harassment cases will change this standard; you have to become. What isn’t said enough, is that while many men achieve high status, many more men fail to, for a number of reasons. It’s not in women’s best interest to try to compete in this gamble.

This translates onto the screen. Women drive the economy (because they have their purse, and their husband’s wallet); women want to see certain stereotypes in female characters; strong is not one of them, emotional is. Thus you get a sewage overflow of Bullock’s and Aniston’s who play into the part of “it’s everyone else’ fault, not mine”. Which plays into current society where women thanks to feminism, have become infantilized.

Yes there are women who can claim independence, but not on the level men have to. Men have no backdrops, no safety nets, no sympathy; only “man up”. So when I say “Sigorney is the man”, that is not derogatory, that is the height of my respect for a member of the opposite gender. She does not need to do the particular roles she does, she’s a good actor, and she’s a woman, she can do any female role; but instead she plays strong determined no-excuse roles. Point of fact, Ripley was supposed to be a man, Sigorney got the part as a last minute change of mind, and she DID IT!

If it weren’t for age, she would have made a much more believable Aeon Flux; but instead it went to that southern belle, who while beautiful acting in Devil’s Advocate, and A Time to Kill, and similar roles, she utterly failed as Aeon Flux, she can not present the aggressiveness Flux has. Milla or Michelle should have got the part.

Women drive the silver screen economy. Thus we get the disappointing tv shows of women in command of the family belittling their husbands etc. Men don’t watch daytime tv; they work, watch the news, and watch sports. Women don’t watch sports on the same scale, otherwise there would be a Women’s Sports Network channel by now; instead there’s umpteen channels of “reality” tv and the Home and Garden Extreme Make-over.

If equality means, bringing household chores onto the tv, to compete with the likes of Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs. There’s no competition; men create and maintain civilization, born on blood sweat and lives; thankless invisible jobs all around you that are necessary to your day to day existence. And you’re tired of being asked to sympathize with male characters. Well, we’re on opposite sides of the same boat.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 9:30pm

Do you know what a “just-so story” is? Cause you’re telling several of them here.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 9:59pm

I feel like I’m reading dispatches from an alternate universe where Don Draper ran the Nike campaign, and their slogan was, “You have to become.”

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:37pm

I’m becoming aware
That I’m staring
I’m like a rabbit suddenly trapped
In the blinding headlights
Of vacuous crap.
–Tim Minchin

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 11:28pm

Your deep and abiding contempt for women is noted.

You might want to look into feminism. It wants to smash the patriarchy that hurts and constricts men, too.

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 12:05am

So they say. However, everything feminism does constricts men into a tighter gender role, while removing ever more responsibilities from women. Patriarchy is their boogyman to keep up the guise of legitimacy; it’s fictional. Feminism isn’t a saintly messiah come to save us from our sins; it’s a bankrupt ideology based on a lie.

Admitting that women have agency, is the first step to sobriety. Do you have agency? As a grown adult, I should hope so. I’m gonna tell you a little secret. Feminism didn’t do anything to get you to where you are today, they had no hand in it; you got there on your own, barring accepting a gender quota opening, which I trust you didn’t have to do.

Once you accept that you owe nothing to feminism, you’ll begin to see it for the fraudulent religion that it is. They didn’t even come up with battered women’s shelters, they stole it from a woman who wasn’t a feminist, she was a house wife. Men didn’t come up with the tender years doctrine, which gave women automatic custody of children, feminists did that; before it was what was the best interest of the child, ie which parent could afford the child, or some equitable deal therein. Once women got the children, they needed to afford them, ergo, the introduction of alimony and child support.

Feminism is not a friend of men; it is traditionalism on crack.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Louie Cipher
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 12:11am

My god. I do not recognize the planet you live on.

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 1:06am

Congrats.

Now go read Elizabeth Sheehy’s book Defending Battered Women on Trial.

Whatever feminism you subscribe to, is powerless, or apathetic, and enables the “real” feminists, who have power, to use it destructively.

Meh, your title says it all.

KingNewbs
reply to  Louie Cipher
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 1:59am

My favorite part about this guy is how is name is like the devil’s name! So clever!

Hey Louie do you have a newsletter or weblog I could subscribe to? I gotta have these insights of yours fed to me daily.

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  KingNewbs
Thu, Mar 06, 2014 5:41am

Visit AVFM. You might find some of my work in there, buried under tons of excellent articles.

http://www.avoiceformen.com/

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Louie Cipher
Thu, Mar 06, 2014 9:21am

I knew it.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Louie Cipher
Thu, Mar 06, 2014 6:49pm

Heh, well, thank you, Louie, for letting us know exactly what kind of terrified little boy you are underneath that pseudo-intellectual exterior. It’s nice to know when someone’s brain droppings are best ignored, or most, mopped up before they stink up the place.

Louie Cipher
Louie Cipher
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Thu, Mar 06, 2014 8:00pm

Yes, and the best refutation from a guy calling himself “Dr. Rocketscience” is a nearly clever almost indirect insult to one’s intelligence.

It appears I have one view left on this rag before my lack of funding asswipe prevents me from continuing this argument. So how about I just hand over the “victory” to you and Ms tired on the basis of last word. Sounds fair to me.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Louie Cipher
Thu, Mar 06, 2014 8:40pm

Aw, look, he thinks he’s relevant. And that I want to have an argument. They’re so cute when they’re little.

Yes, run along Louie. You’ve had your fun, but it’s high time for the grown-ups to talk now.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  KingNewbs
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 7:16pm

And I see that “Louie Cipher” is now “Clint Carpentier,” with a manly goatee and solemn profile as he drives off into the sunset, stoically bearing civilization on his masculine shoulders.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Bluejay
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 7:24pm

…And he apparently is on record as being in favor of marital rape. So, yeah, nothing productive can come of engaging with this guy.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Bluejay
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 10:01pm

Holy shit.

Please ignore this creep.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Bluejay
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 1:46am

And I thought the MR in MRA stood for men’s rights.

37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 2:54pm

See, I knew it stood for Marital Rape. I don’t know how, but I knew.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Bluejay
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 12:05pm

There’s rape and then there’s sex. Sex is active consent by those taking part in it. Rape, well, is not. There really isn’t a special thing called marital rape. There is, though, an idea that there’s a difference, usually due to someone feeling they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want just because of the marriage ceremony.

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 3:50am

Dude, seriously—feminism is just the belief that women should have equal rights just like men. It’s not even that damn complicated. Basically, you sound like you just want to go back to the good old times where white men ran everything and nobody questioned the status quo. Men had already defined these rigid as hell gender roles for themselves and for women–feminism happened because women got sick and damn tired of being shoved into those narrow,limited sexist roles. But you want to act like life before feminism was some la la la fantasyland before big bad feminism supposedly came and destroyed everything—whatever,dude, keep believing that BS before you get back on your meds. You haven’t said a damn thing worth repeating, or than even makes any sense in the context of recent history.

KingNewbs
reply to  Louie Cipher
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 1:58am

Holy shit! This guy is a genius. I really feel like he’s tapped into the zeitgeist of this website. Bravo!

Tonio Kruger
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 6:09pm

Actually, the title role in the movie version of Aeon Flux was played by South African actress Charlize Theron, not Ashley Judd. And you seem to talk as if TV shows like Married, with Children and 24 never happen. And as if the majority of movies and TV shows in this country are not created by men.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 7:15pm

Created by, and created for, are two different animals. Point of fact, women have a lower creative inclination than men, but a higher buying inclination. Advertisers know this, they aren’t stupid. Just look at the difference between commercials for pick-up trucks and SUV’s; men buy pick-ups, and women want SUV’s; are there even commercials for Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s?

If men dictated the tv programs, there’d be five channels; 2 for sports, 1 for news, 1 for knowledge, and 1 for comedy. 57 channels and nothin’s on.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Clint Carpentier
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 8:35pm

Louie, we talked about this. The grownups are talking now. Run along and play with your friends.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Clint Carpentier
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 10:00pm

Point of fact, women have a lower creative inclination than men

Your misogyny has become tiresome. Please go away.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 1:15am

Keep using that word, eventually it will have meaning again.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Clint Carpentier
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 10:23am

You’re not going to get the “debate” you want here, and you’re not going to get any sympathy. You’re wasting your time.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 3:34pm

I know that; it’s in your title, lest you forgot.

37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
reply to  Clint Carpentier
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 2:59pm

^—What he says to women who say “No” to sex.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 10:39pm

Really, stop engaging this guy.

37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Mar 12, 2014 10:40am

My apologies, I shall refrain.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
Wed, Mar 12, 2014 10:51am

No worries!

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  Clint Carpentier
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 3:58am

“Lower creative inclination”? WTF!? No,dear, women love creating and writing movies and TV just as much as any man does. It’s just that men dominated the field until women had to raise some hell to even be given the chance to do the same thing. Enough of your “man are much better and smarter than women just because we’re men”BS. Feminism challenged that BS, which is the real reason you hate it, and because it busts open your little bubble of superiority you like keeping yourself in. There are way too many female directors and producers in the entertainment for you to be spewing this BS. Sorry, but everything a man does is not great merely because he’s a man, and because he’s doing it. And there are some truly screwed-up men out there who hate women just because they’re women. And who the hell are you as a man to tell women what the hell they are supposed to be like according to your BS domination fantasies? GTFOOH, for real. And,FYI, men still run most TV programs. Just show how little you actually know about the movie and TV business, which is absolutely nothing, apparently.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  Michelle Kirkwood
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 6:47am

You seriously kicked that strawman’s ass. I’m betting on you next time, I just lost forty bucks.

bronxbee
reply to  Louie Cipher
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 4:48am

i can’t even….

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  Louie Cipher
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 3:43am

“Men create and maintain civilization, born on blood sweat and lives;
thankless invisible jobs all around you that are necessary to your day
to day existence.” So do women,dude—stop giving men all the damn credit and acting like women don’t do anything,or have never made any real contribution to society (which they have—look them up.) . And,FYI, women watch the news, and some women actually like watching sports. Women work and make their own money too—you make it sound like everything should be all about men, as if women have haven’t contributed anything to civilization or helped to create it. Women have always done the low-paying jobs that men like you have always thought were beneath them. Also, every woman’s life does not revolve around her family (if she even has one) or shopping or spending. And women have always had to fight for their independence, a hell of a lot more, and harder than men have ever had to. So don’t even try to play the “oh, men are the real victims here” BS, because it’s not even true,and you know it. You sound like one of thee MRA idiots,anyway.

One last thing—if women didn’t reproduce, the human race would slow down. So women are a hell of lot more important to civilization than you even give us credit for.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  Michelle Kirkwood
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 6:51am

Mmhmmm, but wait, women aren’t reproducing; they’re too busy trying to make a living on minimum wage jobs. They can’t even afford to have kids. Perhaps feminism will be the next great extinction.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Clint Carpentier
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 12:30pm

Your hatred of women has been noted. Please cease commenting here: you’re not going to find any sympathy for your misogyny.

Clint Carpentier
Clint Carpentier
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 9:29pm

You have an incredibly loose definition of “hatred”. Playing fast and loose with aggressive terms, is a dishonest position to take. I’m glad I don’t follow your movie reviews.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Michelle Kirkwood
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 12:22pm

And now we know that if you say Clint’s name three times, he’ll appear—even a year later.

Please don’t feed the troll.

Matt Clayton
Matt Clayton
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 6:21pm

I saw part of the Oscars, but missed the montages and such. Did they really not include any female characters doing anything noteworthy/heroic/iconic in that hero montage? That’s unacceptable. Maybe the Academy should get female producers for next year’s broadcast, and try to fix that. That’s just…

*sigh*

Martha Kuhn
Martha Kuhn
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 6:24pm

I watched Perfume: The Story of a Murderer last night and just had to shake my head. The distilled essence of murdered women is a magical scent that makes people love the one wearing it? Seriously? Can you even imagine if this were flip-flopped — that a woman would be so obsessed with the scent of men that she would become a serial killer to try to capture and keep that scent? Good grief. Can’t believe Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman would associate themselves with the film.

KingNewbs
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 6:43pm

“men in robot suits fighting men in robot suits”

Hold up now! Which movie was this?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  KingNewbs
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 10:40pm

Er, Iron Man?

KingNewbs
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 2:01am

Ah… hmm… not as exciting as I pictured. Not terrible though. I was hoping there was a cool robot movie I missed.

Danielm80
Danielm80
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 7:40pm

From the Entertainment Weekly website, earlier today:

Last night, Frozen snagged two Oscars: One for best original song for “Let It Go,” and the other for best animated feature. Oh, and it also crossed the $1 billion mark for worldwide box office.

How many hours until someone in Hollywood says, “Movies about women don’t make money”?

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 9:02pm

How many hours until someone in Hollywood says, “Movies about women don’t make money”?

And THAT is when we can use phrases like “But Frozen!,” “But Gravity!”, and “But Hunger Games!” to our advantage. :-)

Matt Clayton
Matt Clayton
reply to  Bluejay
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 6:00am

Those movies are the exception, not the rule. That’s the excuse major studio execs (who, except for one, are all male) use when being presented this argument. The only thing that they got was trying the YA book adaptations when Twilight and The Hunger Games hit it big, to mostly box-office duds.

Like MaryAnn said, if the frequency of female-driven movies were equal to that of men, it’d be a whole different story.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Danielm80
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 10:44pm

Frozen was released in November. It’s now March, and it’s still playing in most of the first run theaters I got to. In Colorado.

That movie has legs.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 7:35am

It has legs because it is feeding an audience that is starved for movies like it.

But Hollywood will find a way to miss the reason for its popularity.

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 1:17pm
Tonio Kruger
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 7:53pm

But Veronica Mars! *

*jk

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 9:43pm

A TV character. Whose movie could only get made when fans paid for it in advance. And which is still getting only a small theatrical release.

Meanwhile, we’re getting a comic book movie about a (male) superhero raccoon.

Liou
Liou
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 8:25pm

Is the quality of the film not more important then the sex of the protagonist?
I see a lot of films with female leads, maybe you shouldn’t limit yourself to mostly american films.
And by the way, I loved La Grande Belezza.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Liou
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 8:58pm

Imagine if 90% of the movies that came out in 2014 were about Jamaican guys with dreadlocks. Each week, you’d see a Jamaican detective in dreadlocks solving mysteries and a Jamaican teen in dreadlocks looking for love and a Jamaican superhero in dreadlocks fighting crime.

Would you say, “These are all quality films! What is everyone complaining about?” Or would you start looking for stories with a little more diversity?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Liou
Mon, Mar 03, 2014 9:44pm

Is the quality of the film not more important then the sex of the protagonist?

Who says it isn’t? And we get tons of quality films AND tons of shitty films dominated by male characters.

I see a lot of films with female leads

Please name 100 from 2013.

maybe you shouldn’t limit yourself to mostly american films.

I’m not. But thanks for playing.

Liou
Liou
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 8:02am

I’m not going to do the 100 from 2013, I have a life, but I did check my recent downloads and came up with the following for you in a few minutes (they’re not all good films, and maybe I made a mistake somewhere if I didn’t remember correctly):
Black moon
Like Crazy
Penelope
Totally true love
children who chase lost voices from deep below
broken
la collectionneuse
Mai Mai Miracle
Sound of my voice
Stories we tell
The East
The Awakening
Another Earth
Un heureuse evenement
Beasts of the southern wild
Cracks
La source des femmes
Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-sec
And so on, and don’t forget most of the Miyazaki films or series like homeland, borgen, top of the lake, girls, new girl,…

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Liou
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:10am

Sure, if you’re going to reach across many years, you will find a few movies with female protagonists. I asked you to name 100 from 2013, because you can’t. Yet it would be easy to rattle off 250 with male protagonists.

The list you provide does not constitute “lots” in the grand scheme of things.

cautia
cautia
reply to  Liou
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 11:50pm

Is the quality not more important than the sex of the protagonist? If only, if only. That’s kinda the point???
As for your implication that there isn’t a problem in the first place, all I have to say is, nice try.

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  Liou
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 1:24pm

Is the quality of the film not more important then the sex of the protagonist?

Old B4.

I see a lot of films with female leads, maybe you shouldn’t limit yourself to mostly american films.

I3.

And by the way, I loved La Grande Belezza.

Old I4.

Seriously, this is getting laughable.

Rod Ribeiro
Rod Ribeiro
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 1:10am

Men who struggle to overcome limitations/disabilities (The King’s Speech, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Men who bond with men who struggle to overcome limitations/disabilities (Untouchables) (or women – Children of a Lesser God, which is pretty much about Mr. Leeds, and told from his POV, although it did get Marlee Matlin an Oscar)

Men tired of struggling to overcome limitations/disabilities (The Sea Inside)

crowTrobot
crowTrobot
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 6:00am

I appreciate the sentiment but Hollywood didn’t make this film and the male centric worldview is certainly not a Hollywood exclusive.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  crowTrobot
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 7:16am

Hollywood didn’t make which film? Who said the male centric worldview is a Hollywood exclusive?

What are you trying to say?

crowTrobot
crowTrobot
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 8:01am

The film central to your article is an Italian made film that would never get made by Hollywood.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  crowTrobot
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:12am

*The Great Beauty* is not central to my article. It’s merely the latest in a very long line of movies that prompted my rant.

No, it would never get made by Hollywood. Which just goes to show that no matter where you look, all the damn movies are about men. *That’s* what I’m sick of.

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:38am

Maybe The Great Beauty wouldn’t get made in Hollywood, but plenty of films about bored middle-aged writers who sleep with pretty young women do get made. They may be less cinematically lush, but is that really an important difference?

RogerBW
RogerBW
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:01am

I’m going to be even more nitpicky, and say I want to see films about women that aren’t just about their woman-ness. Not just rom-coms infertility and Not Without My Baby. Films where people do stuff, and some of those people happen to be women.

37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 10:28am

Preach it. The fact that Kangaroo Jack is a movie that exists, yet Wonder Woman is not, and no Tom Robbins books have been made into films since that Uma Thurman one in the 80s tells me all I need to know about Hollywood’s penchant for giving the male POV waaaaay too much entertainment cred.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  37 Pieces Of Ric Flair
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 1:58pm

Hey, how’s about the fact that Slap Shot, that paean to Old Fashioned Hockey, had two better-developed female characters than most films I see now? Funnily enough, that movie that is so famous for being all about testosterone was written by a woman and has great multi-layered characters, both male and female. Uh, it’s from 1977. Kinda pathetic.

Elaine LaFela
Elaine LaFela
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 2:29pm

But then again, who gives a FUCK about women? As long as the movie is good gender don’t matter.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Elaine LaFela
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 2:56pm

Please tell me you are being sarcastic. Otherwise, you’re getting deleted.

cautia
cautia
Tue, Mar 04, 2014 11:42pm

Bravo!

Rebecca Dalmas
Rebecca Dalmas
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 10:37am

Do you have a running list of great female-protaganist movies? That could be cool.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Rebecca Dalmas
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 10:58am

I’ve been wanting to start a listing of feminist movies, but there’s just no time.

Rebecca Dalmas
Rebecca Dalmas
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 12:33pm

No matter, you still promote them. I enjoyed Frances Ha, for instance.

lescarr
Wed, Mar 05, 2014 6:15pm

Of course, if you did get a great female protagonist, she would still be portrayed through a very male gaze…

http://the-toast.net/2013/11/15/empowered-female-heroine/

Olly
Olly
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 7:28pm

Bless this post, Mary. Bless it.

Michael
Michael
Sun, Mar 16, 2014 6:22pm

I find nothing to agree with in this article. You have been exhausted by the idea of sympathy for men but is it not possible just to have sympathy for the character regardless of sex? I can assure you that I am no misogynist but I do not take kindly to feminist bullshit.

Hermione most likely wasn’t featured in the montage because she’s not the main fucking character. I feel like you are asking screenwriters to rewrite their scripts with female protagonists just to empower the women of the world that feel like they are being ignored. You asked someone to list 100 movies with female protagonists from 2013. Do you expect someone to view 100 films from last year so quickly? I will tell you that some of my favorite films from last year featured positive female leads:
Her, Gravity, Short Term 12, Frances Ha, Lore, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Enough Said, August: Osage County, You’re Next, Catching Fire, The Conjuring. Need I keep listing excellent films?

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Michael
Sun, Mar 16, 2014 8:01pm

Michael, I would say that MaryAnn’s problem is with the numbers. Of course there are great films with male protagonists and great films with female protagonists, just as there are shitty films with male protagonists and shitty films with female protagonists. The problem is that there are just SO MANY MORE films about men, period. I would recommend reading Danielm80’s comment with links to the relevant stats. I’d also recommend checking out the numbers-crunching here. The salient points:

“Some 1,229 directors, writers and producers worked on the top 100 films of 2012. Only 16.7 percent of them were women. More specifically, women accounted for 4.1 percent of directors, 12.2 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers. That means men outnumbered women 5-to-1 in the most significant behind-the-camera roles.”

“The Academy Awards may split its acting prizes evenly between men and women, but the movie industry certainly does not apportion roles that way. Women obtained a mere 28.4 percent of speaking parts in the 100 top films of 2012. And only six percent of those films cast men and women in roughly equal numbers (defined as between 45 percent and 54.9 percent of speaking parts).”

And of course while these stats are for 2012, they’ve roughly been the same across many, many years. If these numbers were reversed, wouldn’t you think men were being unfairly ignored? If men only made up 4% of directors and 12% of writers in Hollywood, wouldn’t you feel that men weren’t being given a fair chance to tell their stories? If men only had 28.4% of speaking parts in the top 100 films of the year, wouldn’t you feel that we weren’t getting to see the full, rich variety of male experience onscreen?

I feel like you are asking screenwriters to rewrite their scripts with female protagonists just to empower the women of the world that feel like they are being ignored.

Write more stories to represent 50 percent of the world’s population? That sounds like a good idea to me. What’s your problem with it?

I will tell you that some of my favorite films from last year featured positive female leads

Good for you, but the issue isn’t about what YOUR favorite films are; again, it’s about the numbers. I could say that my favorite rap songs from last year were by female artists, but that doesn’t change the fact that the hip-hop world is overwhelmingly male.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Michael
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 9:42am

is it not possible just to have sympathy for the character regardless of sex?

Could you let Hollywood know that men are able have sympathy for a character regardless of her gender? Cool, thanks.

I can assure you that I am no misogynist but I do not take kindly to feminist bullshit.

And I can assure you that your privilege blinders are on particularly tight. Might want to loosen them a little.

bronxbee
reply to  Michael
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 3:20pm

yes, you do. until you reach 100… WTF? does anyone ever get to call masculinist bullshit without insults, and overbearing abuse?

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  bronxbee
Mon, Mar 17, 2014 3:29pm

Apparently some people think “women constantly going in fear of attack” is a really neat idea, and want to preserve it.

lucereta
reply to  Michael
Thu, Jun 05, 2014 5:42am

You do know that people have already *done* this work, don’t you? The stats are out there for anyone with a Googling skill of a freshman in high school. Hint: they don’t look good for your argument.

sarah
sarah
Thu, May 15, 2014 3:08am

Honestly even though I am a woman I don’t really agree with this article in its entirety. I would love to have more movies that presented the female point of view, especially in regards to sexuality, but I don’t have any problem sympathizing with many male characters. I would take having more GOOD movies and good characters who are actually interesting, whether male or female, over anything else. I love male characters. I wish I could love female characters as much, I wish there were more of them to love, but as long as I get characters to love, I’m not really going to complain.

AAN
AAN
Sun, May 18, 2014 6:23pm

It seems that you have nothing more than an axe to grind about an issue that will always exist, however hard you want it not to. The sad reality is, true equality is hard to achieve, and there is always one or the other that takes the lead, and certainly so if you stack them up with numbers. My advice is to just stop worrying about it. Women have made great strides in society, show business, and the world in general when hardly a century ago, people laughed at the idea of a woman even being taken seriously. Now, for all intents and purposes, you are able to do as you will.

I’m sorry you seem to be so against the idea of sympathizing with something because you do not share the same genitalia. When I watch something, all I worry about is the person, and whether or not they are worth the time to be interested in. You’re setting yourself an imaginary divide. Not to mention, I doubt anyone is going to sit and stack up 100 movies that simply have a woman in the lead, as you’re relying on a numbers quota rather than knowing they exist and being satisfied. I don’t mean to come off as berating, yet it is simply tiring to see how far some have come only to still be hung up over what’s essentially a minor detail. Women get roles, women get oscars, they get a great many things. It’s 2014, it’s time to put the pitchfork and torch down as the far is over. The irony is, things like this are kept alive because people like you yearn to find a problem, and you always will if you look hard enough.

Would you really feel so much better if the scales tipped to have a massive amount of FEMALE protagonists instead? All that would do is create the same bias, yet I have a feeling you wouldn’t care as then you have your preferred world.

Please, there are far worse ways you could have it in the world. Perhaps you ought to either travel back in time, or travel to a third world and be the wife of a sheik to truly appreciate you have no reason to complain. This first world feminist business is really old.

AAN
AAN
reply to  AAN
Sun, May 18, 2014 6:52pm

War* not far. Typo.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  AAN
Mon, May 19, 2014 1:53am

That typo is the least of your problems with the language.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  AAN
Sun, May 18, 2014 9:49pm

To quote Toby Ziegler, “Half full, half empty? Can we at least agree it’s not full yet?”

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  AAN
Sun, May 18, 2014 11:02pm

And why do you think that “women have made great strides”? It’s because women had axes to grind, and they ground them!

Would you really feel so much better if the scales tipped to have a massive amount of FEMALE protagonists instead?

No, I would not. And you will have to come up with some evidence to suggest that I want this. Go on, look for it. I’ll wait.

Please, there are far worse ways you could have it in the world.

Nope. You don’t get to say this. Unless you also want to say that no more minor crimes should be investigated and prosecuted as long as there are still murderers on the loose. Or that no one should be seeking cures for minor illnesses and ailments until someone cures cancer.

You do not get to tell me which battles I’m entitled to fight, and which I am not.

AAN
AAN
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, May 19, 2014 12:41am

You strike me as the kind of person that would recieve a new car and complain that it’s red instead of blue.

The point I was trying to make is that you are a poster example of never satisfied. You get, you fight, you get your rewards, but it’s never good enough. At the end of the day, if your biggest bug up your butt is something in FANTASY, most of which by the way, has many women and men that have a hand in it all, then I think the world will survive. And frankly my dear, I’m able to get to ‘say’ whatever I please. I tried to at least be civil, but it feels like as usual, a keyboard, a blog, and and a banner with a vagina on it gives you some sort of satisfactiion. Do something that doesnt raise your blood pressure, I have better things to do.

Tonio Kruger
reply to  AAN
Mon, May 19, 2014 1:44am

MaryAnn has a banner with a vagina on it? That’s news to me. ;)

But seriously, folks..

AAN seems awfully angry for someone whose chief complaint appears to be an online critic’s failure to agree with him or her. Given the number of people I know who have worse problems, I can’t help but find that ironic.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Tonio Kruger
Mon, May 19, 2014 3:47am

MaryAnn has a banner with a vagina on it? That’s news to me.

Yeah, what’s up with that? I must be using the wrong browser.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  AAN
Mon, May 19, 2014 3:35am

You get, you fight, you get your rewards, but it’s never good enough.

Because it’s NOT good enough. It won’t be good enough until there’s fair representation, which there still isn’t.

What exactly are you afraid of? What’s so bad about having as many women in lead movie roles as men? What do you think you’re going to lose?

I have better things to do.

Apparently, you don’t. You keep saying the world has worse problems — which is true — so why are you spending your presumably precious time arguing with a movie critic on a movie review site? Go solve poverty or fight human sex trafficking, and let us film lovers discuss film issues amongst ourselves.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  AAN
Mon, May 19, 2014 9:47am

You strike me as the kind of person that would recieve a new car and complain that it’s red instead of blue.

Ah, you believe that movies and pop culture are a gift, and I should be grateful for whatever I get.

Fuck that shit.

you get your rewards

I got my rewards? I got *rewards*? Holy crap, do you think that men “rewarded” women with a measure of dignity and human respect out of beneficence? No. Women fought for it, and the fight is far from over. And it’s thinking like yours that is precisely why we need to keep fighting.

KingNewbs
reply to  AAN
Mon, May 19, 2014 3:36pm

You strike me as the kind of person that would recieve (sic) a new car and complain that it’s red instead of blue.

And you strike me as the kind of person who would strike a woman across the face if she told you to go to hell, you fucking bully.

lucereta
reply to  AAN
Thu, Jun 05, 2014 5:41am

Oh, yes, we’ve gotten our “rewards.” Go compare the number of theater-released children’s movies with female protagonists there were 37 years ago when I was the age my daughter was now. Then compare how many theater-released children’s movies there are with female protagonists there were for my daughter in 2013. Go ahead. And then come tell me we got our “rewards.”

Or, hey, better one: count up the number of male superheroes who have either had an eponymous movie in the last decade or been the major role in a team movie. Then do the same for female superheroes. And again, tell me about those rewards. You know, at least my generation had a show about Wonder Woman. If she’s lucky, my kid gets a Black Widow or Mystique, a supporting role in a movie mostly about men. Rewards. Yeah.

KingNewbs
reply to  AAN
Mon, May 19, 2014 3:34pm

Yes… of course! We should travel back in time! Why didn’t any one else think of this???

Would you really feel so much better if the scales tipped to have a massive amount of FEMALE protagonists instead?

Yes, that would be a nice change.

Robert P
Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 6:29am

I’m not a huge movie buff – I’m sure there are many more but a few with strong female protagonists that come to mind:

– GI Jane

– Avatar

– Terminator – Sarah Connor anyone?
– Star Wars

– The Color Purple
– A League Of Their Own

– Untraceable (I thought it sucked but….)
– Robin Hood (1991) Maid Marian was no fragile damsel
– Erin Brockovich
– Silkwood
– Coal Miner’s Daughter
– Final Fantasy – I know you hated it but the central character was a strong, independent, brilliant female

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 7:03am

Well done, you’ve named 11 movies in the last 40 years. What percentage of films would you say that represents? Now, bear in mind that women represent roughly 51% of the population. How impressed are you with your list?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 9:49am

You’re joking, right?

I could name more movies than that with male protagonists that have opened in the past two weeks.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, May 19, 2014 3:42pm

You’re joking, right?

So these two movie critics walk into a bar…..

*Now* I’m joking.

As I say this is a quickie list that I came up with off the top of my head as a non-movie buff. The point being while there might not be equity the list is a lot longer than Alien.

Dr. Rocketscience – it’s more accurate to reflect on what percentage of the films I’ve personally seen -and- happen to bubble up from my memory this represents. I’ve seen a fraction of a fraction of films that have been made. My list isn’t even exhaustive of films with a strong, central female character that I’ve personally seen.

I’ll add a few more to my unsatisfactory list:

– The Sound Of Music
– Mary Poppins
– The Wizard Of Oz
– Gone With The Wind
– Kill Bill
– The Silence Of The Lambs
– The Hunger Games

– Dying Young
– Fried Green Tomatoes
– Stepmom
– A foreign film from the 80’s or 90’s I can’t remember the title of where the central character struggled to get her children out of a war-torn area. She was killed by revolutionaries, her children survived. The last words she triumphantly shouted just before she was executed were “My children!” Anyone know the film I’m talking about?

MAJ – out of curiosity, of the film scripts you’ve written (if you’ve done more than the one I read) what percentage featured a strong central female protagonist?

If there is a gap, do you blame the filmmakers or the audience they anticipate will or won’t go to see a particular film?

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 4:25pm

If there is a gap, do you blame the filmmakers or the audience they anticipate will or won’t go to see a particular film?

Whether a film has an “audience” is irrelevant to this argument. We all agree, I think, that people will see a film if it’s a good story, regardless of whether the protagonist is male or female. The converse is also true: a movie can flop whether the lead is male or female, and there is a long, long list of male-led movies that bombed.

Since that’s the case, then there’s absolutely no reason NOT to cast more women as leads to address the gender imbalance. Filmmakers and fans who try to defend the status quo by saying “gender is irrelevant to a film’s success or failure” are actually arguing against themselves. If gender is irrelevant to quality or success, then there’s no reason NOT to change the status quo to achieve fairer representation. The answer to “Why should a woman be the central character of this film” and “Why should there be more women in the cast of this film” is: “Why not?”

I’ll add a few more to my unsatisfactory list

I’m sure you can, but it doesn’t matter how many films YOU’VE personally seen. Statistically, female-led films are a drop in the bucket compared to male-led films, no matter how many good ones or famous ones you list.

Also, you say you’re not a movie buff; MaryAnn watches movies for a living, and she’s seen many thousands more than you. I’m inclined to think she has a better big-picture view of whether or not there’s a dearth of female protagonists in film.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Bluejay
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:15am

That’s just it, MAJ watches a statistically unusual number of films – way off in the skinny part of the Bell curve. She sees a lot of films that most people who haven’t devoted their lives to watching movies will never see.

There may not be as many movies with female central characters but there isn’t anything like a dearth. One could spend a very long time – I would surmise the rest of their life – watching nothing but female-centric films, given more typical time devoted to movie watching.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Robert P
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:23am

If you want to limit the discussion to the films that “most people” are seeing, that means the top-grossing films, from year to year. In that case, I’ll just refer you back to Danielm80’s argument.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Robert P
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:40am

If you’re actively looking for movies about women, you can find them. If you just go out to see a popular film at the movie theatre, there probably won’t be a lot of women in major roles. Statistics vary slightly, but this article

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/only-15-percent-of-top-films-in-2013-put-women-in-lead-roles-study-finds/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

says:

Women accounted for less than a third of all speaking roles in the year’s 100 top-grossing domestic films. And just 15 percent of those films had women in leading roles.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Tue, May 20, 2014 8:24am

She sees a lot of films

I don’t think you understand that this is not something that bolsters your point.

Yes, I see a lot more films. And the vast damn majority of them *are about men.*

there isn’t anything like a dearth.

You are, just simply and based on the numbers you claim you are all about, wrong.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 4:26pm

The last words she triumphantly shouted just before she was executed were “My children!” Anyone know the film I’m talking about?

I think you’re talking about Eleni. Good film, from what I remember.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Bluejay
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:02am

I think you’re talking about Eleni.

That’s it – thanks. I knew it began with an E. I’ll have to watch it again.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 5:16pm

2013 was a pretty good year for movies about women. The highest-grossing film was The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Frozen and Gravity were also in the top ten, and they both won Oscars, so it’s obvious that people are willing to see a movie with a female lead, if it’s got the right stars or the right story.

Here’s a list of the top-grossing films of 2013:

http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2013&p=.htm

You might notice that seven of the top ten films do not star a woman. If you keep reading the list, you’ll see that the next ten films also don’t have female leads, or the ten after that. You have to scroll down into the forties before you find a woman who isn’t in a supporting role.

If you have the time, go through the lists of top-grossing films. See if you can find a year in which 70% of the movies did not have a man in the leading role. Was it in your lifetime?

People like to say that movies about women are never successful. I have two responses:

(1.) How do you know if no one ever makes any?

(2.) Divergent (2014): $146,775,000

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:00am

People like to say that movies about women are never successful.

Only if they’re utterly oblivious to the long list of such movies.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Mon, May 19, 2014 10:21pm

it’s more accurate to reflect on what percentage of the films I’ve personally seen -and- happen to bubble up from my memory this represents.

As I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded, this isn’t about *your perception* of movies.

out of curiosity, of the film scripts you’ve written (if you’ve done more than the one I read) what percentage featured a strong central female protagonist?

50 percent.

If there is a gap,

“If”? So you don’t know that there is?

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Tue, May 20, 2014 2:56am

As I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded, this isn’t about *your perception* of movies.

I regard it as more a question of quantifiable numbers not perception.

Seriously the more I think about it the less of a gap I see.

– Klute
– Besides SOTL every Jodie Foster movie I can think of including a superb one she did as a kid – The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane – characters don’t come any more independent & resourceful.
– Driving Miss Daisy
– Looking For Mr. Goodbar

– Bonnie And Clyde
– Superman – yeah Lois Lane gets rescued but so does everyone else – no denying Lois was smart and tough – and sometimes too obstinate for her own good.
– The Wizard of Oz – already mentioned but it had *2* superb central female characters, not even including Glinda The Good Witch
– Mommie Dearest – I’d happily relieve myself on Joan Crawford’s grave but no denying it was a powerful film.
– All of Mollie Ringwald’s films
– Girl Interrupted
– The professional – young Natalie Portman jumped off the screen.
– Go down the list of Natalie Portman films – The Other Boleyn Girl, Black Swan, Goya’s Ghosts, Where The Heart Is, etc.
– Thelma And Louise
– Irma La Douce
-The Witches Of Eastwick
-Dangerous Liaisons

-Fatal Attraction
-Mask

-White Oleander

Lots and lots more….

I dunno. I just don’t see a glaring dearth of interesting central female characters in film.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Robert P
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:03am

If you’re committed to listing every female-led movie you can think of, then to be fair to your own argument you should also list every male-led movie you can think of and see how the numbers pan out.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Tue, May 20, 2014 8:23am

Once again, I could name more movies with male protagonists that have opened in the only the past few weeks. You are reaching across the entire history of cinema to find a handful of films.

And not even all the movies you named have female protagonists! (Lois Lane is NOT the protagonist of *Superman.* Glenn Close is the *villain* in *Fatal Attraction.*)

If you don’t see a dearth of female protagonists, you are not looking.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, May 21, 2014 5:04am

And not even all the movies you named have female protagonists! (Lois
Lane is NOT the protagonist of *Superman.* Glenn Close is the *villain*
in *Fatal Attraction.*)

Well, the majority I’ve listed have a female protagonist. I included a few with a strong, central female character who’s crucial to the story, which seemed worth including.

You are reaching across the entire history of cinema to find a handful of films.

Now *I* get to say “are you kidding?” Surely you know that the titles I’ve mentioned isn’t a remotely comprehensive list – doesn’t even scratch the surface of even just mainstream US films that fit the “female protagonist” criteria. Then there’s the whole universe of indies and non-US titles.

If you don’t see a dearth of female protagonists, you are not looking.

See that’s the thing, I think your objectivity is a bit muddied by your circumstances – i.e. that you live & breathe movies.

Realistically, how many films is the typical viewer – you’re far from the typical viewer – likely to see in a year, or in a lifetime? I’ll take your word for it that more movies are made with male protagonists. Okay. Whether it’s 200 a year more or 2,000 a year more it just means a bigger pile of films most people aren’t going to see anyway. There have been enough films made with females at the center to last most people far more than a lifetime of movie-watching even if they limited themselves to only female-centric films. If someone’s daughter is one day suddenly imbued with feminist ire and demands “I want to see some movies with female stars!” – there’s a big, big pile of ’em she can see.

If the real essence of your gripe is that film output will influence females being undervalued, I wonder if you’re being overly concerned with something that isn’t really as influential as you see it being.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 6:08am

You’re going really far out of your way not to get the point.

If you’re in a movie theatre, and you decide to see one of the most popular films that’s playing that week, chances are the film won’t star a woman. If there’s a woman in the movie at all, she’s probably going to be the hero’s girlfriend, and she’ll probably have only a handful of lines.

Now, if you’re the sort of person who really wants to watch a movie about a female character, you can look for a theatre that’s showing an independent film, or you can stay home and watch The Wizard of Oz. But most people aren’t going to make that effort. For one thing, most people have already seen The Wizard of Oz because, like nearly all of the films on your list, it came out years and years ago.

All of this means that the average moviegoer won’t see many women onscreen. I don’t just mean that they won’t see a woman saving the world from a nuclear bomb. I mean that they won’t see ordinary women working in an office, or in a science lab or a police station. They won’t even see a lot of women in a crowd scene. (If I remember correctly, only 17% of extras are women.)

In the real world, in a real workplace, most of the employees probably are men, and they probably get paid more than the women. (91% of film directors are male, for example, and there’s a 5:1 ratio of men to women working in the film industry.) A few movies won’t change that, but they might make the situation seem slightly abnormal, and they might make people wonder if things ought to be different. And that’s never going to happen if people keep saying, “You’re making too big a deal out of this.”

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 10:01am

I included a few with a strong, central female character who’s crucial to the story, which seemed worth including.

Then you are really misunderstanding the problem. Women who exist in a story only to support the male protagonist, only to motivate him, describes most women in most women’s. Women deserve to see stories *about* women, in which they get to grown and change the way that men in stories are allowed to do. (Even the dumbest action movie is *about* a man who goes on a journey — usually physical, sometimes also personal — and changes in some way over the course of the plot.) Women do NOT exist MERELY to support men, which is the conclusion most movies would lead you to.

Stories about women should NOT be something that anyone should have to make a special task of seeking out. Women are not niche. If the average movie watcher sees maybe 100 films a year — a few in multiplexes and the rest on DVD at home — the vast vast vast vast majority of mainstream movies they will have easy access to will have male protagonists!

You think you are defending your position, but you’re only making it worse.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Wed, May 21, 2014 12:42pm

Women do NOT exist MERELY to support men, which is the conclusion most movies would lead you to.

Who do you see “Fatal Attraction” as being primarily about – Alex or Dan?

RogerBW
RogerBW
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 1:16pm

You seem to be missing a basic point of logic here.

If I say “most cars are red”, and you reply “that car over there is black”, that is not an argument against my thesis.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 1:29pm

Alex is not given any sympathy. The audience is intended to identify with Dan. She is the canvas that Dan’s cheating, remorse, and fear is drawn on. End of story.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 3:20pm

Not only is “Fatal Attraction” not about Alex, she hardly even qualifies as a character. She’s a plot device, a trigger with which to initiate Dan’s story. It’s not even accurate to call her “one dimensional” insofar as she occupies two distinct states – Temptress and Psychobitch – and nothing in between.

Seriously, your arguments here aren’t just bad, they’re comically bad.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, May 21, 2014 5:42pm

It’s not even accurate to call her “one dimensional” insofar as she
occupies two distinct states – Temptress and Psychobitch – and nothing
in between.

Dan is “asshole who cheats on his wife and is desperate to avoid the consequences”.

Alex is an intelligent, successful professional woman who’s coming apart at the seams psychologically and taking her rage and frustration out on a man she sees as using and abandoning her. We see her throwing up at the sight of Dan in his family environment, in a state of severe, lonely depression and breaking down in a fit of sobbing in a solitary moment on her exercise bike. Hardly a one-dimensional character.

She’s a plot device, a trigger with which to initiate Dan’s story.

Ah, that would explain why she was nominated for both an Oscar – Best Actress in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe – Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama and Michael Douglas wasn’t.

Her performance introduced the term “Rabbit boiler” into the popular lexicon.

Certainly they both give good performances and of course he acts off her as well but the heart of the story is about her state of mind and her actions. Without her it’s “lousy bastard cheats on his wife”, the end.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 6:59pm

Dan is “asshole who cheats on his wife and is desperate to avoid the consequences”.

Yes, that’s the story of “Fatal Attraction”.

Alex is…

And then you go on to describe the two distinct states in which Alex exists, just using mor words than I did. How was this supposed to bolster the idea that Alex is a full fledged character?

And consider: what if we change Alex’s background. Let’s make her a drug-addicted waitress. Does this change the story (not the plot) of the movie in any significant way? If it doesn’t (and it doesn’t), then this isn’t her story.

Also, your unwillingness or failure to apply an equal analysis to both characters is a blatant and cheap rhetorical trick.

that would explain why she was nominated for both an Oscar… and a Golden Globe

That’s an award for performance, not for writing. If you don’t know the difference, well, that’s part of why your arguments are so awful. It certainly helps if the character is well written in a “fully fledged character” sense, bit it’s by no means necessary. Think Johnny Depp in PotC:CotBP.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, May 21, 2014 8:03pm

Also, your unwillingness or failure to apply an equal analysis to both characters is a blatant and cheap rhetorical trick.

~Sigmund Freud voice~ Ah yes, a classic example of projection.

You assert Alex barely counts as a character isn’t even one dimensional, she’s merely a plot device. I suggest you watch the movie again. There’s nothing to support your assertions. Your brushing aside the Oscar and Golden Globe nominations is just plain silly.

Dan – horny and angry.

Alex – seductive, smart, scheming, depressed, genuinely hurt, enraged, jealous, yes psychotic. We even see she can even be “nice” with Dan’s daughter.

To call her one-dimensional and “barely a character” is ridiculous nonsense.

And then you go on to describe the two distinct states in which Alex exists

You’re determined to score brownie points and are turning a blind eye to what’s going on in the story as outlined previously.

Dan is “asshole who cheats on his wife and is desperate to avoid the consequences”.

Yes, that’s the story of “Fatal Attraction”.

No, that’s the outline of Dan’s character and the catalyst for the story – the story is made by Alex’s actions.

That’s an award for performance, not for writing.

Alex is a bigger character than Dan any way you look at it. Betcha when people talk about the movie her actions are much more prominent in their memory than Dan’s.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 8:15pm

As I read your explanations, I definitely see how you find Alex a more vivid and important character than Dan; however, I think it is important to note that all art is a conversation.

You and Your conversation with Fatal Attraction is most surely not mine. It is also not the conversation that nearly all women who saw that movie told me they had, either. I suspect that might be a key. When I (and nearly all of my female acquaintences) saw that movie, we saw yet another flick where the woman was the foil and the background for the man’s (aka: hero’s) story — the difference this time being that the woman was played by Glenn Close, someone who can make something incredible of the text on the back of an aspirin bottle. This also goes for Dan’s wife — she was background for Dan.

I’m assuming you are male by your user name and I’d like to suggest that Alex’s character is more vivid to you because she frightened you, not because you could identify with her nor sympathise with her, but because you identified with Dan.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  LaSargenta
Wed, May 21, 2014 9:46pm

This.

Also too: What *Fatal Attraction* said to a lot of women is “Bitches be crazy, and cannot live without a man, no matter what their other accomplishments.” Ugh.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, May 22, 2014 1:57am

Also too: What *Fatal Attraction* said to a lot of women is “Bitches be
crazy, and cannot live without a man, no matter what their other
accomplishments.”

Did it also say to them “men are amoral, untrustworthy opportunistic dogs who don’t appreciate what they have and can’t keep it in their pants and can’t be counted on to take responsibility”?

There are lots of women who *are* like that and men who are as described.

I just saw it as a story about these particular two people that incorporated less than desirable traits that can readily be found in real life. It didn’t make me any more prone to feel one way or the other about either gender.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Thu, May 22, 2014 12:45pm

Did it also say to them “men are amoral, untrustworthy opportunistic dogs who don’t appreciate what they have and can’t keep it in their pants and can’t be counted on to take responsibility”?

Yes, it did. And the story is about a man who learns this is wrong and changes his ways!

There are also tons of movies about men who moral, trustworthy, appreciative, and loyal.

Your point?

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, May 22, 2014 1:29pm

I make excellent rabbit stew…but I like to get rid of the skin first, and there’s got to be garlic, greens, and salt and pepper.

;-)

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  LaSargenta
Thu, May 22, 2014 1:56pm

There’s only one way to eat a brace of coneys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYiCPmwOV4A

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, May 22, 2014 2:03pm

I have never seen any of this new LOTR. That clip just made me glad I didn’t. There’s no potatoes in Middle Earth unless it was in Peru.

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  LaSargenta
Thu, May 22, 2014 2:06pm

Well, tell that to Tolkien. The taters/potatoes line is straight out of the book. :-)

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, May 22, 2014 2:18pm

Jezus on a hockey puck, I blanked that out, obviously. If he were still alive, I would tell him! Anyone got a Ouija board?

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  LaSargenta
Thu, May 22, 2014 6:09pm

Does your recipe call for boiled pet, or a trip to the butcher?

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, May 22, 2014 6:16pm

It involved a snare in the woods. Otherwise, it would be a trip to the butcher, or the rabbit hutch next to the chicken coop.

LaSargenta
LaSargenta
reply to  Robert P
Thu, May 22, 2014 1:23pm

You brought up Fatal Attraction as an example, now you’re turning this movie into something that is going to prove or disprove yours or MaryAnn’s thesis. This movie — even if you were right, which I think is not true, at least, not to a helluva lotta women out there and at least a few men — is not going to disprove the point of this post.

Most movies, even if it would not matter at all to the plot, have a male front and center. This long-term, constant barrage of males to identify with, sympathise with, idolise, etc, etc, even if one is a female in the audience, is a problem. You obviously don’t agree. Well, honestly, it’s not about you. Me, personally, don’t give a flying rat’s ass about what you think I should look for in my art or what I enjoy.

I don’t get your resistance to agreeing that the brute numbers as shown from stats on IMDB (see Danielm80’s comments here somewhere) bear out MaryAnn’s rather bleakly humorous list at the top of this page.

What does it matter to you? Why are you so invested in this? You strike me as someone who thinks about thing carefully from these few posts, so, just think about this a bit more and check out why our (being the people who’ve been arguing with you) responses are making you dig in your heels.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  LaSargenta
Fri, May 23, 2014 2:34am

You brought up Fatal Attraction as an example, now you’re turning this
movie into something that is going to prove or disprove yours or
MaryAnn’s thesis.

No, it’s just become a side debate unto itself.

It’s not that I disagree that there are probably more male protagonist movies, my “thesis” is that I don’t see it as a huge issue as MA seems to think it is because there are so many female protagonist films that have been made.

It may be that I don’t see movies the typical way from MAJ’s perspective in that I hardly see movies in the theater any more because so many of them are crap whoever they’re about. I go to the theater mostly to see big splashy SFX spectaculars where I don’t have high expectations regarding the plot. It just so happens that of those I’ve seen in recent years a big percentage of them – Avatar, The Hunger Games, Atlas Shrugged – have a main character who’s female. Atlas Shrugged isn’t a splashy sfx film but I wanted to see it.

A large number of the movies I saw on a movie-watching binge a while back – including older films – are female centered or ensembles with a prominent female character. I just don’t view current theatrical offerings as the primary boundary of the film universe just like I know there’s a lot more music out there than whatever Biebercrap that Megacorp Music Inc. is currently peddling.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 10:49pm

~Sigmund Freud voice~ Ah yes, a classic example of projection.

Oh, you’re adorable.

Your brushing aside the Oscar and Golden Globe nominations is just plain silly.

No, the nominations are irrelevant, because a character doesn’t have to be well written to be well performed. Also, Glenn Close being nominated doesn’t make the movie about her character.

You’re determined to score brownie points

With who??

what’s going on in the story as outlined previously.

What’s “going on in the story” is that Dan schtoops a woman he really shouldn’t have, and that goes badly for him when the woman turns out to be crazycookoobird. Alex’s character development begins and ends with that word. The whole movie is a cautionary tale for men about being sure not to stick your dick in crazy.

the story is made by Alex’s actions.

No, that’s the plot. Story and plot are not the same thing.

movie her actions are much more prominent in their memory than Dan’s.

Falstaff is more memorable than Hal, doesn’t mean Henry IV is about Falstaff.

The whole movie is Dan’s story. He’s even allowed to win in the end. Hell, they even included a jump scare fake death for Alex, just to hammer home the point.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Wed, May 21, 2014 11:47pm

crazycookoobird. Alex’s character development begins and ends with that word.

.facepalm

The whole movie is Dan’s story.

Response 1:

I’m talking about the 1987 movie Fatal Attraction starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas. Which Fatal Attraction are you talking about?

The whole movie is Dan’s story.

Alternate response 2:

Okay.

The whole movie is Dan’s story.

Alternate response 3:

.facepalm

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Robert P
Thu, May 22, 2014 6:38am

So, smart guy, which is it? If you’re trying to be clever here, you’re really hitting the failure state.

Or better yet, why don’t you explain to us how “Fatal Attraction” is Alex’s story, and not Dan’s. Here, I’l help with some prompts: How does Alex change and/or grow? What challenges does she face? How does she attempt to overcome adversity? How does she deal with the consequences of her actions, or of Dan’s? Why do we know so little about her, how she got the way she is, what she does when she’s not stalking Dan?

Some hints: saying that it’s self-evident isn’t a response. It just says that either you don’t have an answer, or you’re just too lazy to point to what should be abundant evidence. Pointing out that she doesn’t show her psychotic side until later in the movie isn’t “change”. That’s a “reveal”. Alex was always psychotic, the audience isn’t clued in to that fact until it becomes dramatically appropriate in order to create trouble for Dan.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Dr. Rocketscience
Fri, May 23, 2014 12:55am

why don’t you explain to us how “Fatal Attraction” is Alex’s story, and not Dan’s. Here, I’l help with some prompts: How does Alex change and/or grow? What challenges does she face? How does she attempt to overcome adversity? How does she deal with the consequences of her actions, or
of Dan’s? Why do we know so little about her, how she got the way she is, what she does when she’s not stalking Dan?

What was that you said – “unwillingness or failure to apply an equal analysis to both characters” ?

We’re not told how Dan became a cheating cretin.

There doesn’t necessarily have to be a specific trauma that could cause a woman to be the way Alex is – brain chemistry/hormones can go wonky. And of course we don’t know what ended up on the cutting room floor unless it’s been specifically revealed. Glenn Close said she didn’t see Alex as a villain but someone who needed help.

Apparently you don’t recall a lot about the film – there are scenes showing her in very private moments, including the original ending that was added as an afterthought after the film’s test release overseas and which Glenn Close was opposed to.

The story is about their interaction and obviously requires both of them but in the context of what we’re shown about Dan and Alex, Alex is the bigger character. Dan’s character is mostly about reacting to what she does.

Robert P
Robert P
reply to  Robert P
Fri, May 23, 2014 12:58am

…including the original ending that
was added as an afterthought after the film’s test release overseas and
which Glenn Close was opposed to.

Editing infarction – what I meant to say is the ending seen in the US release was an afterthought. The original ending is very different.

lucereta
reply to  Robert P
Thu, Jun 05, 2014 12:59am

Okay, simple question: how many scenes are there that show Alex without Dan in them? And how many scenes are there with Dan without Alex in them? On the same thread, who do you see first? What do you know about Alex before Dan meets her? What do you learn about here in any way OTHER than what she tells Dan? Then flip those questions around for Dan.

Dan is the protagonist of the movie. He is the primary point-of-view character. We learn almost *nothing* about *anyone* except through his eyes (note I said “almost,” before you start exceptionalizing).

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 9:43pm

Protagonists can be assholes. Dan is still the character that *Fatal Attraction* is *about.*

And women would rarely win Oscars if they couldn’t get nominated for roles that were not the central role in a film.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Robert P
Wed, May 21, 2014 5:01pm

What LaSargenta said. Alex exists, as a character, to force Dan to reconsider how he lives his life.

Michelle Kirkwood
Michelle Kirkwood
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Mon, Aug 03, 2015 4:14am

That’s the damn truth—speak on it,sister!

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Robert P
Tue, May 20, 2014 5:52pm

You’re up to a generous 40 now. Since 1980 boxofficemojo has data on just over 12000 movies. So, even accepting all of your titles, including the ones older than 1980 and the ones that don’t count as having female protagonists*, you’re up to 0.3%. Obviously yours isn’t an exhaustive list, but do you really think you’ll get yourself up to, say, 20%? 30%?

This is a losing argument, dude. The nicest thing I can say about you for sticking with it is that you’re willfully blind and ignorant.

*Superman? Seriously? Are you just fucking trolling?

lucereta
reply to  Robert P
Thu, Jun 05, 2014 12:54am

Look, this is really simple. If you are genuinely looking at quantifiable numbers, just frakking GOOGLE is. People have DONE this work. You do not need to rely on your flawed memory or strategies.

“A new study finds that females comprised only 15 percent of protagonists
and 29 percent of major characters in 2013’s highest grossing films.” -http://www.thewrap.com/cate-blanchett-women-little-progress-landing-major-movie-roles-study/

http://womenintvfilm.sdsu.edu/files/2013_It%27s_a_Man%27s_World_Report.pdf

This is NOT HARD.

Vern Ballard
Vern Ballard
Tue, May 20, 2014 3:04pm

Somehow through Facebook (I think?) I stumbled upon this thread yesterday. Today a friend of mine (and kindred spirit of Maryann) linked a tangentially related piece she’s just had published in the Atlantic.

http://tinyurl.com/nn3nzlj

Alas, she too is vilified in the comment-sphere.

bronxbee
reply to  Vern Ballard
Tue, May 20, 2014 5:23pm

hey vern!

Bluejay
Bluejay
reply to  Vern Ballard
Tue, May 20, 2014 6:39pm

Great article. And this is the best comment in response to it so far. What she says (and what the commenter says) can easily apply to film as well.

I also saw her piece on Scalzi’s blog. I think I’ll check her book out.

Zaheer the Anarchist
Zaheer the Anarchist
Mon, Sep 29, 2014 6:58pm

Korra (in The Legend of Korra tv series) could have been the strong female character type that has been missing in the media i.e. the headstrong, musclebound, yet emotional, non-sexualized, main protagonist, badass. But the network freaked out on the writers for the female lead (because apparently boys can’t root for a female lead) and they stuck her with the obligatory tall, dark, and brooding boyfriend with inhuman insensitivity. Granted they dropped the silly relationship dynamic after backlash from fans and critics but that isn’t the point. As a guy who enjoys movies I can honestly say that I am tired too. I can easily identify with my own gender, I want to see more from a different perspective. I want to see female characters that don’t have to walk around half clothed in “adult” movies. There are the anti-feminist twits who say things like “but there is a greater female presence than male in University” my response is “get off your ass and go to school then.” Anyways, sorry for the somewhat irrelevant/misinformed rant.

Jurgan
Jurgan
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 2:01am

I just read through this thread, and wow. That Robert P guy… he really seemed to think Maryann having seen more movies than him made her argument weaker? A larger sample size generally makes your argument stronger, not weaker.

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Jurgan
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 10:45am

Unfortunately, many “arguments” against racism, sexism, and other bigotries consists of “Well, *I* don’t see it, so it doesn’t exist.”

Jurgan
Jurgan
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 9:29pm

Yep. I know I’ve committed that same fallacy in the past, though I try to avoid it. I would think that, faced with hard numbers, I would shut up and accept defeat.

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  MaryAnn Johanson
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 1:32pm

In other words, O2.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  SailorSerena
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 2:38pm

And also “Why don’t fish see water?” which was quoted on this site many times before I made the Bingo cards. Unfortunately, O2 covers way too much of life.

Blackmill08
Blackmill08
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 12:09am

What about. White man? I think the ladder for representation in media is simply sad for minorities. Hispanics,blacks,Asians, and Arabic. All could use better representation the man part is half cooked we need way more than women. Honestly women are easily the most powerful beings on the planet in my opinion.

Danielm80
Danielm80
reply to  Blackmill08
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 12:39pm

If you wanted to make a list of groups that are underrepresented in movies, you could add LGBT people, people who are cognitively- and physically-challenged, and any number of other groups. The point is not that women are somehow more deserving of movies than African-Americans, or that American Indians are more deserving than lesbians, or even that women are more deserving than men. The point is that there should be films about every kind of person. Then we’ll have films that are more diverse, more accurate, and more interesting.

MaryAnn chose to focus on women in this particular post, but she’s written quite a bit about other underrepresented groups.

I would ask you to back up your assertion that women are “the most powerful beings on the planet,” using actual evidence, but I’m afraid that

(A.) you’ll answer me

and

(B.) your answer will be a ten-paragraph rant about the oppression suffered by men.

Blackmill08
Blackmill08
reply to  Danielm80
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 8:21pm

Touche

SailorSerena
SailorSerena
reply to  Danielm80
Fri, Apr 23, 2021 1:34pm

The point is not that women are somehow more deserving of movies than African-Americans, or that American Indians are more deserving than lesbians, or even that women are more deserving than men.

I’m more annoyed by the fact that this person doesn’t even consider that there are women(and lesbians) who actually ARE African-Americans, or American Indians.

But no, apparently, you can only ever represent either women or nonwhite people, never both as the same character.