Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

This is a pretty sobering video, reminding us all that most American movies consider female points-of-view beyond even being touched upon. I miss great roles for women in movies; they come about 5-10 times out of the year, and then the rest of the annum is pretty much devoted to purile male-oriented junk. I don't know when this hatred or outright dismissal of female concerns and character began--maybe it's gotten worse as sort of a backlash against the rise of female empowerment. But it's not very healthy, fair, or smart. And it certainly makes for a particularly bland flavor of cinema. (That said, this test seems to be a little harsh; what's wrong with two women sitting around talking about their husbands, or their sons, or their fathers? It still illuminates parts of their lives that have rarely get plumbed on screen. These three rules eliminates about 98% of the movies out there from being considered fair and balanced, and I refuse to believe 98% of all movies are sexist trash. Maybe 75%, but not 98%.)

Still, I know what the piece is getting at: it's certainly not often we get movies like Interiors, Meek's Cutoff, Mulholland Dr., Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, The House of Mirth, 3 Women, Suddenly Last Summer, The Return of the Secaucus Seven, Lianna, Clueless, Life is Sweet, Gone With The Wind, The Little Foxes, Mildred Pierce or Dancer in the Dark. We're really missing something here.

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