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Women in movies.
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palaeo Offline
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Post: #1
Women in movies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLF6sAAMb4s

Found this video and it kinda took me by surprise. Thought you guys might like it. smile
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manju Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Women in movies.

Quote:Despite an increase in tough and even violent female characters in American films, women continue to be shown as sidekicks to more dominant male heroes and they are also frequently involved in a romantic relationship with them. The work of Katy Gilpatric, from the Department of Social Sciences at Kaplan University in the US, points to continued gender stereotypes set within a violent framework of contemporary American cinema. These have the potential to influence a young viewing audience and their ideas about gender and violence.

Quote:Over 58% of violent female characters were portrayed in a submissive role to the male hero in the film, and 42% were romantically involved with him.


Tough Girl or Sidechick? Violent Female Characters in American Films

Manju Vadiarillat
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Ajita Kamal Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Women in movies.

This is an interesting little experiment. I brought it up at a group discussion yesterday and we had a fascinating debate. The main focus got drawn away to market behavior and demand which is what really dictates which movies become popular, and therefore which movies get made. The major movie productions are often put together with the lowest common denominator in mind. This is the root of the problem; society itself, together with the socio-economic system we have in place. When societal demand is for movies that stereotype women as frail and dependent, and men as macho and insensitive, that is what the filmmakers will make. Of course, we can argue that artists and movie makers have a moral responsibility to be conscious of the damage they do by pandering to society's basal instincts. There is, after all, a bit of a feedback loop here, with stereotypes feeding on the already prejudiced mindset. But to work within the capitalist system instead of working against it (and risk everything), socially conscious artists and filmmakers need to find pluralistic and innovative approaches in harnessing art towards achieving our ideological goals. This applies to movies made for men, for women and for both.

The person in the video makes a good point about how the test doesn't necessarily point to movies that are sexist, just that women are heavily underrepresented in movies in general, and when they are represented it is often in a supporting role typically seen as subservient to men. It is the scale that makes this significant.

One other point that came up in our discussion yesterday was the fact that many movies that do pass the test often end up perpetuating and reinforcing negative stereotypes about women, often more so than the movies targeted at a predominantly male audience. The girl who brought this up suggested Little Women, and Sex and the City, as examples. I rather tend to agree with her.

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
(This post was last modified: 19-06-2010 05:37 PM by Ajita Kamal.)
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astrokid.nj Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Women in movies.

(19-06-2010 04:56 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:  The major movie productions are often put together with the lowest common denominator in mind. This is the root of the problem; society itself, together with the socio-economic system we have in place.

I was thinking to myself.. what are the movies I know that pass the test.. "Horse Whisperer" (the mother and daughter talk about the horse), "Last of the Mohicans" (there are 2 women..and whenever they talk, its about their own survival).. not many more.

I have come to view people as falling in 2 broad groups.. orthodox vs progressives. I dont know what is the split in percentages, but it appears that orthodox heavily outnumbers the progressives. I suspect that most people are born into orthodox environments, but some break out into progressive thinking. Although orthodox people are productive to society, they stay rather stagnant in their thinking. I think that most movies are targeted towards these orthodox masses, for economic reasons of course. Thus, it is only the occasional movie that may pass the bechdel test, or in a broader sense, explore/portray non-orthodox issues.

I pretty much stopped watching Indian movies 15 years ago, just as I was completing my bachelors degree. Most movies were pretty much the same (good hero overcomes evil, interspersed with non sequitur guy and girl dancing around tress in brain dead fashion). Hollywood movies fare better, with a wider variety of themes to choose from, but there's still a large amount of deja vu.

I would be curious to know how movies are in the largely-progessive nations of the world, such as Denmark.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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Swati Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Women in movies.

You can't write off Indian movies just like that.

I loved Sudhir Mishra's "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi". Check out his blog:
http://passionforcinema.com/hazaaron-khw...and-after/
BTW, he's the one who made "Dharavi" on Asia's biggest slums in Mumbai, 30 years before Slumdog Millionnaire.

Movies by Vishal Bharadwaj are worth watching - Kaminey, Ishqiya, Omkara and more.

Some other movies : Life in a Metro, Khosla ka Ghosla.
(This post was last modified: 20-06-2010 09:13 PM by Swati.)
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astrokid.nj Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Women in movies.

(20-06-2010 08:07 PM)Swati Wrote:  You can't write off Indian movies just like that.

I loved Sudhir Mishra's "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi".

Yes, I have seen that. Excellent movie. (I liked the blog too. thanks for the link). Strong story telling, and good distribution of story amongst the male and female protoganists. "Raincoat" is another good movie that comes to my mind.

But I am still 'writing off' Indian movies smile , coz my 'return on investment' is small. For every such progressive movie, there are tens of orthodoxy "Drona"s (Abhishek, Priyanka. Nearly puked). The problem is one of scale.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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