September 4th, 2008

breaking bad

Bechdel test discussion

There's an interesting long discussion of the Bechdel Test on metafilter here. Some commentators spectacularly miss the point.

The Bechdel test (you probably already know) is whether in a given film or TV show there is more than one named female character, and these women are shown talking to each other about something other than a man (I think the implication is, a man in whom one or both has a romantic interest, rather than you know fighting Hitler or something like that).

I'm thinking how much of my life is concerned with conversations with other women that are not about hetero romance. I enjoy chatting about romance as much as the next gal, but it's a small part of my life. If I had a heightened life (one worth making a film about) I'd hope the amount of dynamic talking would go up rather than down.

I think it is interesting for men and women who think there is little or no inequality 'nowadays' to think what it would be like if most films only showed men when they were talking about women. And what it feels like as a woman to be shut out of film after film.

One commentator says he knows what it's like to be excluded because of your gender, because he watched Buffy. But how silly - there are lots of lively male characters in Buffy. He isn't empathising with what it is like to just not be there at all, to be completely silenced. I think it's easy for people in privileged positions to make these dismissive remarks.

Don't get me wrong, some of my favourite films have a more or less all-male cast (someone on metafilter mentions 'The Thing' another example would be 'Southern Comfort'). I just wish there was a spread of films, reflecting the spread of real human life. I don't mean make films boring - I mean make the women in films more active and exciting like real women are.
breaking bad

20 essential SF films

In instant_fanzine ninebelow lists his 20 essential SF films of the last 20 years (cf books here)

Here is my list
Akira (1988)
Delicatessen (1991)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Strange Days (1995)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Gattaca (1997)
Dark City (1998)
The Truman Show (1998)
eXistenZ (1999)
The Iron Giant (1999)
The Matrix (1999)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Pitch Black (2000)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
The Incredibles (2004)
Serenity (2005)
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Children Of Men (2006)
WALL-E (2008)

Man I love these films, every one of 'em