Less about the Joss Whedon clusterfuck than one of its underlying questions: what’s the deal with aspirational morality?
Do you hear the slurping, mewling sounds of the internet fanboys roiling in disgust (once again) because women exist? It was hard not to get hit by the spray this week as the Cinema Massacre web site (!) achieved the seemingly impossible, and turned GHOSTBUSTERS into the most politicized film release of the year. We tackle the outrage, and then dovetail to this week’s other gender war, #toofemale.
“Feminism wasn’t about burning your bra and not shaving your legs. Feminism was shaving your legs and working in a bar as a sex object, but knowing that you were. […] And not selling your pussy and your soul for a wedding ring.”
- Judith Stein
Burlesque is a profession shrouded in public scrutiny. Callously written off as little more than strippers, selling their bodies, the women who’ve performed this art of seduction have often been shamed for their less-than-conventional career choice. Arguments are made that these women mark a regression for Feminism. That they behave unladylike, crass, twisted, and vile. In actual fact, these women embody one of the fundamental rules of Feminism; it’s all about choice. Alongside equality with men, a woman’s right to control her life, and her body, is solely her own.
Even if that means showing some skin.
After a turbulent couple of weeks in the social wars, Mamo convenes to ask: does online culture lead to groupthink? Can connected societies actually make things better? And what public blunder will eventually bring us down?
Toronto’s crop tops, the #FHRITP response, and Peter Howell vs. Tom Hardy vs. The Internet are contemplated in detail as we get to the middle of it, Mamo-style.
Would you like to know more…?
It has finally happened. Matt Gamble shows up and forces a co-host to say enough is enough and leave the room. In these parts, it is probably the best way to handle things until cooler heads prevail – which takes a few minutes. You might think is the grotesquery on display in Fury Road or the non-necessity of the Pitch Perfect sequel becoming this weekends box-office champ. But No. Appropriately it is the Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 6. If Beinioff and Weiss, HBO’s show-runners are looking for a reaction, they have gotten it… Things devolve into semantics, call it the “Daybreaker’s Effect.” But fear not, intrepid listener with ringing ears, we move on to happier, less controversial places created by Mike Judge, Neil Marshall and Alfred Hitchcock.
As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!
We look a three recent releases: Lincoln, which is doing better than expected, and Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians, which are doing worse. Plus, we inadvertently delve deep into this week’s James Gunn fiasco, and do a bit of plugging for our new podcast, Very Important!
To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo282.mp3
After watching a movie that takes place in such a strange headspace such as Lucky McKee’s The Woman, it is probably best to let the thing percolate a bit before even attempting to articulate a reaction. The prime example of this visceral reaction is a youtube video that went around Sundance after the films premiere featuring a guy who wanted the film destroyed from existence. *Deep Breath* Here goes. The Woman boldly defies any attempts to slot it into any sort of easy niche. It is simultaneously a blunt gender provocation, a deadpan satire and a gory torture movie. I suppose if a filmmaker elicits a visceral reaction in your audience, you have made a successful horror picture, but I am not sure that the film has anything new or interesting to say, and I am not exactly enamoured with how it goes about saying it. There are a fair number of of leaps and contortions to be made to get into the the film. You not only have to swallow that there is a super-psychotic family that is well integrated into the polite rural society of back-yard BBQs and supermarket chit-chat, but also that there is a feral woman who has lived her life out in the back forty thus far unnoticed. But let us proceed with an open mind, nevertheless.
I have always liked Vera Farmiga, although I came late to her party, only noticing her riveting performance in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, planted in a love triangle between Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio. While I am always a bit indifferent to directorial debuts (I’ve sadly skipped debuts from Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ruffalo and many others) but I guess I’m always drawn to the question of when and why people turn to god/religion/spirituality. Even though this is most definitely a Sundance type of films (home to many an actor debuting as a director) the interesting supporting male cast – John Hawkes, Bill Irwin, and Joshua Leonard – along with an interesting lead performance by Ms. Farmiga (if you haven’t guessed yet, she also directed the film) are enough to make me keen on seeing Higher Ground – as long as there is no Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the soundtrack. I don’t expect it to be Todd Haynes’ Safe, but few films are…
A coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of the Sixties, when feminism reached its zenith, the film depicts the landscape of a tight-knit spiritual community. Inspired by the resonant memoir from Carolyn Briggs (who also wrote the screenplay) the film is a study of one woman’s internal struggle with the primary love relationships in her life.
The trailer is tucked under the seat.
Would you like to know more…?
Catherine Breillat is the bad girl of filmmaking and one I’ve often compared to film’s counterpart of musicians L7. Her films are brash, unapologetic and sometimes difficult to watch and though I may not always agree with her feminist politics, it’s impossible to turn away from a woman who is unafraid to put women front and centre.
When it was announced that her new film was based on the story of Bluebeard, I was expecting a film packed with debauchery and 80 minutes crammed full of sexual charge but Breillat’s Bluebeard is surprisingly tame though not at the loss of making a point. The film tackles the story of Bluebeard from two sides: two young sisters reading the story aloud and the sisters featured in the story of Bluebeard, a rich aristocrat with a taste for women whom he weds and who then disappear never to be seen again. The story that he murders his wives after a year of wedded bliss scare away many but not Marie-Catherine who finds the bearded man kind and giving that is, until she fails to follow his instructions.