Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Where are all the white women at?

Something that's becoming more and more clear to me with every movie I watch is the absolute dearth of good, strong female voices in film. I'm probably to blame somewhat; the movies I'm choosing are based partly on my own interests and partly out of curiosity about movies I've read about in various books and magazines and it might be this dearth I sense comes as a result of a male-centric blind spot in the movies I'm choosing.

It's just that I'm really getting sick of this whole virgin/whore thing. And so many of the movies I've watched have extended sequences designed to convey the threat of rape. It's as if the sum total of the movies I've watched posit that there are only 3 women in the world and all of them have penises thrusting at them and the one who can hold out longest from being penetrated is the one everyone wants to marry.

So help me out if you're reading this. Suggestions for movies with strong female voices, preferably ones made by women. It's okay if there's virgin/whore/rape stuff in them, I'd just like some new P.O.V.s

14 comments:

Logan said...

Check out Girlffight, one of the best movies I've ever seen. Love the blog by the way.

Jeff Pidgeon said...

"His Girl Friday", by Howard Hawks. "Rio Bravo" is good for that, too.

Jeff Pidgeon said...

Any Katherine Hepburn film.

Anonymous said...

where the men aren't vol. 6

some of the strongest girl on girl voices ive heard in years...

David Wester said...

Nah, I'm a purist. Volume Six takes too many liberties with the series. I prefer Volume Eight.

Redphi5h said...

Is it possible you are worried about the virgin / whore dichotomy in your own mind? You go on about this an awful lot. It suggests anxiety. You sound like a Catholic.

David Wester said...

I realize I do go on about this stuff, but I'm not Catholic. I think I've just been watching too many movies made by Catholics.

Logan said...

That should just be Girlfight,m not the butchered word I wrote. I second Rio Bravo and His Girl Friday, two of the best damn movies ever made. In fact, any Hawks movie might just be good for that.

zora said...

ahm... how about coffy or any of those pam-grier-movies?
also strong on an interesting women's p.o.v. would be boys don't cry... well, maybe that's not what you meant.
i'll think about it some more, to support your honoured task.
i resent the previous question, whether it is a problem of your mind that you are concerned with mysogyny - that's like asking a woman if she's frigid just because she doesn't want to have sex with someone who's coming on to her.
society is full of inequality of men and women. just because this has always (since we can remember, at least) been this way is no reason to let it pass unnoticed. and especially in movies the dominance of the male view is quite obvious if you are sensitive - or willing - enough to see it.
i'm sorry if i get agitated, i just had enough of taking even "well-meaning" machismo (if there is such a thing) as a pecadillo. and don't nobody tell me that i as a woman have to feel that way. a lot of people not personally that are not personally concerned worry about all kinds of injustice in the world - just not this one.
*phew*
i had to let this out.

John said...

How about Slumber Party Massacre? Not only directed by a woman, but written by another woman famous for homosexual literature.

zora said...

okay, some movies not concerned with women's topic, but of the "male" genre with strong female protagonists: creep and the descent. also heroic trio and executioners - in chinese tradition obviously women could be kung-fu masters, and these movies deal with certain problems of the "working-women"-kind...
and one of the movies i liked for dealing with some issues that i recognized and for depicting men and women as equally "good" or "bad": human nature. but i see why some don't like it - or why it doesn't fit into this thread.

Lisa Sonrisa said...

Before I go to work, I've been watching snippets of "The Women", directed by George Cukor (1939). I love the opening credits, where in place of the character's picture, an animal corresponding to their personality is shown. Marjorie Main is a horse, Rosalind Russell is a cat, Joan Fontaine is a lamb, and so on... I can't imagine the upcoming remake will be as entertaining or as moving as the original.

Jeff Pidgeon said...

I remembered more (zora's post reminded me)! "Wing Chun" is terrific for your strong woman list. I'd put "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" there too, but you've pobably already seen that. Any Michelle Yeoh film is probably a good bet for this list.

Andrew said...

Try Bend It Like Beckham - sappy in a benign way (and there's nothing wrong with that). Her earlier movie Bhaji on the Beach was interesting when I saw it though probably very dated now.