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  1. #1
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    i am an A level media studies student. currently i am doing a piece of research for my course, i am trying to look at women in british films. my question is-

    "How far is the idea of women as only sex objects still represented in uk films?"

    i have ben trawling the internet and many text books (many of which have proved useless!) and i have been led to this site by the wonder that is google!

    i am just wondering if any fellow film buffs can offer some suggestions of films or websites etc that might help?

    or just offer an opinion on the question, i am trying to gather research into audience opinions aswell, rather than just watching films!

    thankyou.



    -x-

  2. #2
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    (Emma @ Nov 3 2005, 09:23 AM)

    i am an A level media studies student. currently i am doing a piece of research for my course, i am trying to look at women in british films. my question is-

    "How far is the idea of women as only sex objects still represented in uk films?"

    i have ben trawling the internet and many text books (many of which have proved useless!) and i have been led to this site by the wonder that is google!

    i am just wondering if any fellow film buffs can offer some suggestions of films or websites etc that might help?

    or just offer an opinion on the question, i am trying to gather research into audience opinions aswell, rather than just watching films!

    thankyou.
    Have you read Sue Harper's *Women In British Cinema* ?



    http://www.latrobe.edu.au/screeningthepast...201/bmbr13a.htm



    Women in British Cinema: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know



    For *culturally British* films I suggest you look at made for TV films, rather than UK productions aimed at international audiences.

  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    (dylan @ Nov 3 2005, 12:43 PM)

    Have you read Sue Harper's *Women In British Cinema* ?



    http://www.latrobe.edu.au/screeningthepast...201/bmbr13a.htm



    Women in British Cinema: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know



    For *culturally British* films I suggest you look at made for TV films, rather than UK productions aimed at international audiences.
    Also "Blackout: Reinventing Women for Wartime British Cinema" by Antonia Lunt.



    Steve

  4. #4
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    I am an A level media studies student doing some research for my course, i am trying to look at women in british films. my question is-

    "How far is the idea of women as only sex objects still represented in british films?"

    i have ben trawling the internet and many text books (which proved useless and mostly really dull!) and i all of a sudden had a moment of clarity and came to this site. i'm just wondering if any fellow film buffs can offer some suggestions of films or websites etc that might help?

    or just offer an opinion on the question, i am trying to gather research into audience opinions aswell, rather than my more lazy approach to research, just watching films! (they seem to frown on that! lol.)



    thankies



    -x-

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: United States theuofc's Avatar
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    (Emma @ Nov 3 2005, 09:23 AM)

    i am an A level media studies student. currently i am doing a piece of research for my course, i am trying to look at women in british films. my question is-

    "How far is the idea of women as only sex objects still represented in uk films?"

    i have ben trawling the internet and many text books (many of which have proved useless!) and i have been led to this site by the wonder that is google!

    i am just wondering if any fellow film buffs can offer some suggestions of films or websites etc that might help?

    or just offer an opinion on the question, i am trying to gather research into audience opinions aswell, rather than just watching films!

    thankyou.
    Hello, Emma, or is it Emma W.?



    A few months ago "Cerbeh" asked a similar question for his research also on "women as sex objects, etc." and also gathering audience opinions for his media studies course. You might find some of the replies helpful. Do a search for the thread: "Women Within The Film Industry, A Discussion On The Presence on women within the film industry" and you'll find the discussion in this forum.



    Good luck,



    Barbara

  6. #6
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    (Steve Crook @ Nov 3 2005, 11:18 PM)

    Also "Blackout: Reinventing Women for Wartime British Cinema" by Antonia Lunt.



    Steve
    That should be Antonia Lant....it's very good, but does concentrate on the war years.

  7. #7
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    (Emma @ Nov 3 2005, 09:23 AM)

    "How far is the idea of women as only sex objects still represented in uk films?"
    I'd question the underlying assumption, though it's certainly widely held. The words "only" and "still" suggest that British movies (at least, the older ones) showed women "only" as as sex objects and today's movies "still" may be doing so. That's often true, but it isn't fair to label all, or even most, of the roles played by Ann Todd, Celia Johnson, Sara Miles, Googie Withers, Wendy Hiller, Rita Tushingham, Virginia McKenna, Susannah York, Anna Neagle, Glenda Jackson, Phyllis Calvert, Moira Shearer, Margaret Lockwood, Vanessa Redgrave, Kay Walsh, Gracie Fields, Margaret Leighton, Margaret Rutherford, and so on, as "only sex objects." They often played purposeful women with lives and characters that far transcended that limitation. Check out Googie Withers in her Ealing films (a studio that generally didn't know what to do with women), and you'll see what I mean. She plays comedy and murder and passion and ruthlessness. And that was in the 40s. On the other hand, I'd agree that British movies generally haven't given actresses anywhere near the range of parts and opportunities afforded the men. I just think your premise requires a little more subtlety and nuance. Only my opinion, though -- good luck with the project.

  8. #8
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    Hello.

    I am studying the role of women in film, particularly focusing on the representation of women in action and adventure films and how they have changed over time.

    I would be extremely grateful if you could give me your view on this, as i am trying to research the audience's perception towards this.

    Thankyou.

  9. #9
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    LOL, don't know what it is, but it seems I have been discussing this very same subject with people on several forums lately. Mainly we were talking about how women have changed in James Bond movie series. Speaking personally, I have always looked at this subject the same way, no matter what movie and TV decade I am watching, because every century and every recent decade had strong women characters and as well as the weak ones. Maybe because I am Russian, and for many years women there shared jobs with men and were treated as a man's equal yet still managed to be mothers and homemakers, I never understood some of the women lib talk. Even watching movies like original 1960's Alfie, where people were quick to put all the blame on Alfie and feel sorry for the women he supposedly wronged, I was on his side and thought that those women had a choice and were responsible for their own actions. Same goes for James Bond movies. There are women today who consider James Bond sexist. And the role of women in the more recent James Bond movies has slightly changed since the 60's movies with Sean Connery. Then there's my all-time favourite 1960's TV series The Saint (hence my avatar ), and in a few episodes the character takes the liberty to punish a few spoilt daddy's girls by slapping them on the bottom, the scenes that do make me cringe every time I see them, and think that this is something you won't see on screen these days, yet people thought nothing of it in the 60's, considering the scenes light hearted. But then again, after watching various episodes of the show I have to realize that there was a big difference even then in the way the main male characters of the shows and movies treated women who were strong-minded and those who weren't. But you do get to see less and less women today in the roles of homemakers and motherly-types and more of those who are physically as strong or stronger than a man, like Alias for instance. I also notice that in many newer series, especially sitcoms, there's a tendency to show men in less than becoming light.



    You are probably more interested in the role of women in British films, since this is the forum for movies and TV made in GB. But I'd like to recommend an American movie for you to see, because I think it touches this subject deeply and raised some controversy among feminists. It's "The Happy Ending" with Jean Simmons and John Forsythe, and was made in the late 60's. It leaves you thinking about the story and with mixed feelings about it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Germany Wolfgang's Avatar
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    My mother says there are four types of woman in world - wife, widow, virgin and whore. Film generally only acknowledges one of those.

  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Wolfgang']My mother says there are four types of woman in world - wife, widow, virgin and whore. Film generally only acknowledges one of those.


    So we should blame your mother for the strange attitude to women that you seem to have?



    Steve

  12. #12
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    Yes, I can see Margaret Rutherford in there. Helen Mirren too, directing her husband to "start with the penis, you know where it's been." Mirren's character in COOK THIEF WIFE LOVER is an interesting portrait of apparent passivity into holding the gun to the ol' noggin, so to speak. (Where's Hannibal Lector when you need him?)



    CALENDAR GIRLS is a fairly interesting portrait of women in films. The choices were not limited to the on-secreen characters, but also the actresses - down to their very own skin. "How many more chances will I get to do a nude photo?" could have been one of the more Fellini-esque lines of that picture.



    And no matter what audience filmmakers believe they need to address for profitability (ie, 13-28 yr old males), I can guarantee you that very very few of that target-market participated in making TITANIC the blockbuster moneymaker it was. That film's money came out of girls' and women's pockets.

  13. #13
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='ChristineCB']And no matter what audience filmmakers believe they need to address for profitability (ie, 13-28 yr old males), I can guarantee you that very very few of that target-market participated in making TITANIC the blockbuster moneymaker it was. That film's money came out of girls' and women's pockets.


    All the chaps went along just to see Leo drown



    Steve

  14. #14
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    Yes, the guys went as dutiful dates. But estimates were that less than 15% of the gross was First-Time Viewers, and I'm pretty sure all the repeat customers were the teenaged girls. Pity. The boys could have stood along the sides of the theatre and ended up beside their chosen bird quicker than a dance's wall.

  15. #15
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    Thanks so much everyone, this is really helping.

    By the way, I know this forum id for British films but I am studying all films in general, so any help is great!

    Its really interesting to read all this, really can't thank you enough.

    Any others?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    As the subject was action/adventures, clearly the change has been that with film's like Tomb Raider and Alien women are now more than just a love interest or heroines in need of rescue.

  17. #17
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='DB7']As the subject was action/adventures, clearly the change has been that with film's like Tomb Raider and Alien women are now more than just a love interest or heroines in need of rescue.


    Are there any other action/adventure films with female lead as powerful as Ripley?



    Lara Croft in Tomb Raider is still just a sexual fantasy figure created by the makers of the video game. They just couldn't extend Angelina Jolie's breasts as much as they do Lara's :



    Steve

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    name='Steve Crook']Are there any other action/adventure films with female lead as powerful as Ripley?




    Uma Thurman in Kill Bill?

  19. #19
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    Virginia McKenna as Violette Szabo in (the true story-based) Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)...??

  20. #20
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='penfold']Virginia McKenna as Violette Szabo in (the true story-based) Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)...??


    Great film, but I'd categorise that more as a bio-pic rather than an action/adventure which are usually fictional.



    Violette herself was a most unusual woman, especially for the times.



    Steve

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