This is a bit of a film review post as well as a high five and kudos to Hollywood recently! Last two movies I’ve seen is the remake of Dredd and Interstellar. Those of you that read my blog regularly (or follow my crazy ramblings on Twitter) know that I’m proudly and loudly a feminist.
I reckon Hollywood deserves a big thumbs up right about now
By the way, SPOILER ALERT if you want to read further, I have no ability to write about creating works in such a way that won’t give away crucial plot points and other such goodies, so just stop reading until you’ve seen the movies (if you were planning to watch them).
So I’ll start with Dredd. Unlike the original with Stallone, this one is all set within one building complex in this new superworld that has what seems like one big city across most of the US. Dredd’s character is still the same, police officer, arresting officer, judge, jury and executioner all in one. I think the idea is that crime is so rampant that the traditional court system is just too cumbersome. (As a criminology student, I am tempted to go off on a tangent here, but I will digress, or perhaps save it for a different blog post!)
I do want to digress here and point out that one of the simplest needs that most feminists (yes I just said most feminists, it’s my blog, my opinion :-P) want is simply that there is more than one female character and that the female character is not merely an accessory to whatever lead male character there is. While Dredd is purportedly about Judge Dredd, the “lead” male character, I would argue that the character played by Olivia Thirlby, Cassandra Anderson, is much more central to the plot. The simple premise is that it’s her “test” to see whether she can make it as a “judge”, Dredd being her “testing officer”. Of course, like all action movies, all sorts of bad things happen and she is tested in ways that she didn’t think would happen on the first day of the job. The “villain” in this piece is Ma-Ma the crazy psychotic crime boss who makes all the other villains in movies look like Pooh Bear. The movie kinda juxtaposes Anderson’s character between Dredd and Anderson where the viewer questions their morality and what it means in their normal lives. (well that’s how I felt about it) So anyway, read Culture Smash’s take on it, it’s a much better articulated version, but basically, from me.. KUDOS, see it’s not that hard Hollywood, no one thought this movie with GREAT female protagonists was weak. It is a great movie (and yes, overly violent and all other things you can expect from action movies)
Then last night I went to see Interstellar. According to Jessica Chastain (one of the main actors in the movie) the role she starred in was originally written for a man. Christopher Nolan, the director, decided that the father/daughter dynamic would work better than a father/son dynamic, and so ‘Murph’ was created and Chastain casted. If you haven’t read the article yet, check it out on @annasmithjourno’s tweet here, or click on it to the right there to make it big enough to read 🙂 Again, kudos Hollywood. Yes, while the “main character” was still a man (Matthew McConaughey is Murph’s dad, the cosmonaut who goes off the save the world) it is the relationship between his character and Murph that really makes the movie. Also as a parent, prepare for some tears!
So yea, that’s me right now. A bit of a happier post than normal. I really think the tide is turning for feminism in general, and perhaps, just perhaps, my grand kids will wonder what all the fuss was about!