Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Girls on Film: Today's Vid Pick

Natalie Portman could barely contain herself at this year's Golden Globe ceremony during her acceptance speech (video) for Best Actress.  Consensus?  Youtube commenter jameswm69 says: "i'd stil hit dat."

No Strings Attached is No Big Deal

The top box office flick this weekend, No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, is a real letdown.  The film's snappy script was written by Elizabeth Meriwether, but don't be fooled.  The facade of empowerment is quickly torn down by Portman's near-psychotic (but supposedly independent and intelligent) character Emma, who is really less-'role model'-more-'poster girl' for standard female behavior.

In No Strings Attached, Emma and Adam (Kutcher) become friends with benefits, but Adam wants more (oh, a little typical role reversal, that's cute).

Emma reads like a Cosmo magazine, which is unfortunate considering the possibilities for a character like this.  Her resistance throughout the film to the relationship that Adam desires could show her dedication to work (Emma is a medical resident) or her fabulous insight into men.

Instead, the script follows only its creator's whims and leave us in the dark about why she behaves this way.  And any jackass can see the ending from a mile away, so we might as well mention that her personal crusade is an exercise in failure.

When will women make their mark on the box office outside of the standard role of nutjob or object?  When we acknowledge that it's more than just a character, it's an distorted view of all women that we subscribe to at the theaters.

My License to Spill

She cranes her hand.  One, two, three, four, five rapid punches to the chest and Bill doubles over in pain and disbelief.

"Pai Mei taught you the five-point-palm exploding heart technique?" he asks.
"'Course he did," replies the bride in tears.

Yes!  She did it!  She came all this way and she did it. 

Maybe Kill Bill is not the greatest example of a profound feminist film, but it worked similarly on my 14 year old brain.  It seems I had never seen it end that way before, didn't even know that the woman could win too.  

And she did more than win.  She kicked ass.  I was inspired.

In college, I've studied the feminist discourse closely.  The burning bra culture has screamed my name since my glory days in Elementary School, where I would routinely push the boys around on the soccer field for a chance to shine.

Now I apply it to more than just myself.  It's in my passions: films, music, culture.  It's in the news every single day.

It's a woman's point of view.  And you should know about it.  Read on.

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