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  1. #1
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    Hi, I'm starting my Critical Research for Media exam in January and I've chosen to look at Women and Film: How does the representation of women in films aimed at men compare with that of films aimed at women?



    Does anybody have any suggestions as to what sort of research I could conduct myself? Or does anybody have any personal views on the topic?



    Thanks x

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    A film for men ....







    A film for women ....







    Two very different films and roles for the lovely Ms Kinski.

  3. #3
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    name='batman']A film for men ....







    A film for women ....







    Two very different films and roles for the lovely Ms Kinski.


    Speak for yourself!



    I prefer the latter. And I'm a man. Or at least I do impressions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Scotland silverwhistle's Avatar
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    Since I got my passion for Thomas Hardy from my Dad, I'm a bit surprised at Tess being classed as a women's movie. Also, it has had more glamorous artwork: the video release in the UK was like this:


  5. #5
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    name='silverwhistle']Since I got my passion for Thomas Hardy from my Dad, I'm a bit surprised at Tess being classed as a women's movie.


    Natassia Kinski wafting about being fed strawberries in a sensual manner and Peter Firth? No way is that a woman's picture!



    I would consider The Hunt For Red October a woman's picture - handfuls of attractive chaps all over the place doing manly things and no big-chested wenches clogging up the place in meaningless roles. (Sadly, it also features Peter Firth, but Sir Sean soon takes care of that. )



    I think the definition of 'women's picture' is sexist and misrepresentative. Not all of us with two X chromosomes want to sit through Merchant/Ivory films and ghastly RomComs with Julia Roberts.



    And I say that as a very girly girl.

  6. #6
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    I'd take a look at the Bond movie The Living Daylights, which I regard as the only Bond movie which come across as aimed at women.



    The then-new Bond, Timothy Dalton, is seen through the eyes of of an innocent sucked into the baddies plot (Maryam D'Abo) in a plot which seems to trade off Dalton's other major role of the period, as Mr Rochester in a highly regarded BBC version of Jane Eyre.

  7. #7
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    name='Lord Brett']I'd take a look at the Bond movie The Living Daylights, which I regard as the only Bond movie which come across as aimed at women.



    The then-new Bond, Timothy Dalton, is seen through the eyes of of an innocent sucked into the baddies plot (Maryam D'Abo) in a plot which seems to trade off Dalton's other major role of the period, as Mr Rochester in a highly regarded BBC version of Jane Eyre.




    But that's the typical blokey film maker perspective of what women want to see in a film. Chaps always put some ingenue in a dangerous position so she can be rescued by the bloke. Pure Mills and Boon rescue fantasy.



    I'd rather the woman would play the supervillain.



    But I say that as someone who wanted to be Catwoman when she grew up.

  8. #8
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    name='Wicked Lady']But that's the typical blokey film maker perspective of what women want to see in a film. Chaps always put some ingenue in a dangerous position so she can be rescued by the bloke. Pure Mills and Boon rescue fantasy.


    I know what you mean, but as the Bond of the AIDS era, I thought that what they tried to do with the character was really interesting.



    My theory is that films aimed at men portray women as unknowable and potentially treturous (film noir is a good example of this tendency, such as Double Indemnity), wheras in The Living Daylights Bond is portrayed as the unknowable man, taking its cue from the largely femenine authored gothic novel genre.



    It's not that Kara is just there to be rescued by Bond, it's more that just when she thinks she knows him and is getting close to his heart, something happens that she has no knowledge of, and he goes cold on her again.



    Sorry to ramble on about this, but to me it's the great underrated Bond movie, and one that works on levels other Bond movies never tried to.

  9. #9
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    name='Lord Brett']I know what you mean, but as the Bond of the AIDS era, I thought that what they tried to do with the character was really interesting.



    My theory is that films aimed at men portray women as unknowable and potentially treturous (film noir is a good example of this tendency, such as Double Indemnity), wheras in The Living Daylights Bond is portrayed as the unknowable man, taking its cue from the largely femenine authored gothic novel genre.



    It's not that Kara is just there to be rescued by Bond, it's more that just when she thinks she knows him and is getting close to his heart, something happens that she has no knowledge of, and he goes cold on her again.



    Sorry to ramble on about this, but to me it's the great underrated Bond movie, and one that works on levels other Bond movies never tried to.






    You're not rambling at all, dear fellow. I'm very interested to read your views.



    I would agree with your take on the female stereotype of the aloof siren in films aimed at men, and add that there are a couple of others that film makers use. One is the innocent doe-eyed (useless) childlike woman who must be protected, there's the Scorpion woman who is frequently protrayed as a man-hater, and, lastly, if you watch a lot of Bruckheimer films, there's the disposable bimbo (who'll end up dead in a hideous manner).



    Women portrayed in women's pictures are either spunky heroines, bitch queens or dithering fools. Or worse, the serious-minded sensible woman who wants to talk about 'relationships' a lot. Ugh.



    Like I say, I wanted to be Catwoman - she had a career, she had henchmen, and she got respect from Batman. (Plus she had those fab boots).

  10. #10
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    I think..I hope that everyone has moved on a little from women/black people etc being

    'significant' by their appearance at all?



    There has been a fairly severe post-eighties backlash against 'feminism' going on..but, I think, generally, the greatest trend, recently, is that the fact that someone happens to be female is not considered to be so hugely significant unless you are talking about films such as 'Employee of the month' etc...or even the 'films for women (I have never met)': 'P.S. I Love you' etc 'romcoms' (I use the term loosely) which are supposed to be aimed at women - but are hard to watch if you've been an independent woman coping with complicated situations and having thoughts about everything from Global warming to fiscal policies and yet suppose that women devote 90% of their brainpower to finding the right wedding dress (I'd say only about 20% on a good week. That was seriously a joke.)



    The most popular programmes with the up and coming generations 'House' 'Greys Anatomy' 'Lost' etc - feature female characters where the fact that they are female is not the issue, it's just a factor..they don't have to 'represent' anything by the fact that they are being featured.



    Film is lumbering behind because there appears to be this obsession with 'men' film's and 'women' films for the popular market. A few years ago, I would have said 'yes, I don't like action films' and possibly I don't. But, through my son, I have sat through a number of the best of the genre and enjoyed them - because they have something to say about being alive in general..which, to me, makes more sense.





    Quite often you can tell if a film is going to be interesting by the very fact that it doesn't make these distinctions.

  11. #11
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    Still, wouldn't you like to see a properly done Modesty Blaise movie, done in the style of the books?

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='batman']A film for men ....







    A film for women ....







    Two very different films and roles for the lovely Ms Kinski.


    I think I have been misinterpreted. My choice of these two films was to show that the same actress can be portrayed differently to appeal to two different target audiences. In Cat People NK's suffering is presented in an exploitative way which primarily appeals to men. I do not know of one woman who likes that film. In Tess NK's suffering is portrayed in a more intelligent and sensitive manner which connects to both men and women at a less visceral level. Most women I know love the film. I like them both.

  13. #13
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    name='Lord Brett']Still, wouldn't you like to see a properly done Modesty Blaise movie, done in the style of the books?


    I think this little snippet might answer your question (what the hell???)



    [ame=http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mXV1YDvZVg4]YouTube - Modesty Blaise[/ame]



    You're right - it was the 'character' of Modesty Blaise I was thinking of - I didn't want watch the film all the way through - perhaps I should have done.



    But, yes, on reflection..that was I why I asked for it to be changed to MB.



    Plus, in my defence - I was on very strong painkillers at the time! (I'm not joking - I thought I saw a dinosaur outside the hospital for a minute.)



    Modesty Blaise:



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modesty_Blaise

  14. #14
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    The Joseph Losey MB film was a miscast travesty of the Peter O'Donnell character by filmmakers who thought they were better than their source material (which was, at the time, a newspaper comic strip), and above making a 'mere' action thriller.



    It's all too long ago to get angry about, but this was the period in which, for me, Losey decended into pretention.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the posts guys!

    :) x

  16. #16
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    Lord Brett



    I stumbled across your post and have to agree, the Living Daylights is my favourite Bond, as is Dalton and D'Abo is just glorious. I still think Dalton's portayal of Bond is the closest to Fleming, his relationship with Kara is the most beautifully written in the Bond movie canon. It had a beautiful balance of intrigue, blossoming romance and humour.



    I see none of that I'm afraid in the recent Craig Bonds. I respect Craig as an actor but the ridiculously over the top action plus over the top brutality and his lack of class and panache is something I really don't like. In short Dalton did it better twenty years earlier.



    Interestingly I have to give Pierce his due here too - he played Bond with a good degree of tired resignation and regret too (in the scene in Tomorrow Knever Dies with his ex where he's drinking heavily and they have a conversation about why he had to walk away and in the scene with Sophie Marceau where he kills her in Thw World is not enough) They're beautifully done scenes and I see nothing in the recent Craig Bonds to touch them.



    Jonathan

  17. #17
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    The Original Wicked lady ?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    "Entertaining Angels" is aimed at women.



    Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996)

  19. #19
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    As a footnote/perspective for future consideration, the Bechdel test is an interesting tool. For a film to pass:

    1. It has to have at least two women in it,

    2. Who talk to each other,

    3. About something besides a man.



    Of course this doesn't automatically sort films into the categories of 'for men' or 'for women', but it does highlight films that portray women outside the normal roles of wife, mother or lover.



    Dykes to Watch Out For - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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