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  1. #1
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    Hi all

    I am conducting some primary research for my A level Media studies Critical Studies exam, my chosen topic area is, Women in Film, but more specifically the representation of female leading roles over time.



    I would really like to read your thoughts about how the female image has changed and what your reaction to it is as an audience. Whether the more dominent female figures of film, for example Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, (who creates an image that she doesn't need to be protected by a male character) is more appealing to you, comapred to others such as, Lois Lane in Superman (although being a strong female character) needs the male figure, which in this case is a superhero to keep her safe and save her from any trouble she may get herself into.



    So the general question i am asking is; which do you find more appealing in a female leading character as an audience, a damsel in distress who needs to depend on a man, or a female who can take care of herself?



    Any response you have will help me enormously

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    I think you are now legally allowed to copy off of previous posters on this topic, so long as they get an acknowledgment in the foot notes.



    Just use the [Search] tab at the top!



    "You there! No running in the corridor!"

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I think we should start charging for this service ....



    LINK: Media Studies - Britmovie - British Film Forum

  4. #4
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    Definitely the female who can take care of herself. I have always been irritated by the portrayal of the heroine as a helpless creature who cowers in a corner and screams while the hero struggles to save her. I used to wonder why she didn't try to help, pick up the dropped gun, start punching and kicking the villain etc. I think it might be interesting for you to look at the portrayal of women in some of the films of Lewis Gilbert from "Carve Her Name with Pride" (1958) to "Educating Rita." Compare them to the 'liberated sixties' where most women are beautiful bimbos. Violette Szabo in "Carve" is an 'ordinary' housewife during WWII who is asked to become a spy. She is trained to fight and kill and use her initiative. At one point in the movie, she single-handedly fights off German soldiers with a machine gun. She is captured and tortured but refuses to speak and is finally executed. And this is a true story. We had to wait until 1979 and the release of "Alien" to see the portrayal of a comparable heroine (Ripley).

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='thatllbetheday']We had to wait until 1979 and the release of "Alien" to see the portrayal of a comparable heroine (Ripley).


    What about Odette (1950)?



    In the original Alien Ripley was not too heroic .... it wasn't until Aliens (1986) that she became the all guns blazing action heroine.

  6. #6
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='batman']What about Odette (1950)?


    And of course there were really plenty of other tough women in SOE during the war. There have been a few documentaries about them but not many feature films. Only Violette and Odette have had that honour so far. There's a film waiting to be made if anyone wants to do it to tell the story of Noor Inayat Khan, the Sufi Princess who was the third woman from SOE to be awarded the George Cross (also posthumously).



    Or, if you want a really tough, action woman, try Nancy Wake.



    Steve

  7. #7
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    name='Steve Crook']And of course there were really plenty of other tough women in SOE during the war. There have been a few documentaries about them but not many feature films. Only Violette and Odette have had that honour so far. There's a film waiting to be made if anyone wants to do it to tell the story of Noor Inayat Khan, the Sufi Princess who was the third woman from SOE to be awarded the George Cross (also posthumously).



    Or, if you want a really tough, action woman, try Nancy Wake.



    Steve


    This extract about Josephine Baker (the singer and entertainer with the banana skirt);



    "Baker was so well known and popular with the French that even the Nazis, who occupied France during World War II, were hesitant to cause her harm. In turn, this allowed Baker to show her loyalty to her adopted country by participating in the Underground, smuggling intelligence to the resistance in Portugal coded within her sheet music. After the war, for her underground activity, Baker was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the L�gion d'Honneur by General Charles de Gaulle, and also the Rosette of the R�sistance.[3]"



    Josephine Baker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    Although I found it in Wikipedia first, there was a great documentary about Josephine a few years back which mentioned her Resistance work.

  8. #8
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    To me Violette Szabo in Carve Her Name With Pride is one of the great war film heroines of all time.Perhaps the most moving moment is when her father finds out how she really injured her ankle and the way the camera backs out of the room into the street.typical british understaement \i doubt that there is a more moving moment to be seen.I wonder how the americans would have played this scene?

  9. #9
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='orpheum']To me Violette Szabo in Carve Her Name With Pride is one of the great war film heroines of all time.Perhaps the most moving moment is when her father finds out how she really injured her ankle and the way the camera backs out of the room into the street.typical british understaement \i doubt that there is a more moving moment to be seen.I wonder how the americans would have played this scene?


    That's my favourite scene in the film as well. A brilliant piece of work from Virginia and Jack Warner. Understated, but so powerful



    Steve

  10. #10
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    name='Steve Crook']That's my favourite scene in the film as well. A brilliant piece of work from Virginia and Jack Warner. Understated, but so powerful



    Steve


    You do realise you're talking about a film made before 2006. You could be had up for mental cruelty!



    Most media students subscribe to the "creationist" theory of cinema: that it started back in the dim and distant past (i.e. around 1985); then came the old classics - you know films like THE MATRIX and THE GODFATHER . . .



    (Okay, now that was patronising.)

  11. #11
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    name='orpheum']To me Violette Szabo in Carve Her Name With Pride is one of the great war film heroines of all time.Perhaps the most moving moment is when her father finds out how she really injured her ankle and the way the camera backs out of the room into the street.typical british understaement \i doubt that there is a more moving moment to be seen.I wonder how the americans would have played this scene?


    By using their best talent at the moment. Stable nightmares Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell.

  12. #12
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    I appreciate that Odette was also about a WWII heroine but my point was the Lewis Gilbert is a director worth studying in a feminist context. Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, The Little Ballerina and Alfie (yes, Alfie is a feminist movie very much out of step with the guilt-free pleasure ethic of other '60's movies). Herbert Wilcox who directed Odette usually chose vehicles for his wife Anna Neagle - musical, romantic comedies. She was superb in Odette, though. Sippog, I take your point about movies made before the 1980's though I find that Star Wars (1977) is the true cut-off point.

  13. #13
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='thatllbetheday']I appreciate that Odette was also about a WWII heroine but my point was the Lewis Gilbert is a director worth studying in a feminist context. Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, The Little Ballerina and Alfie (yes, Alfie is a feminist movie very much out of step with the guilt-free pleasure ethic of other '60's movies). Herbert Wilcox who directed Odette usually chose vehicles for his wife Anna Neagle - musical, romantic comedies. She was superb in Odette, though. Sippog, I take your point about movies made before the 1980's though I find that Star Wars (1977) is the true cut-off point.


    Odette only got a mention here because of the response to your statement:

    We had to wait until 1979 and the release of "Alien" to see the portrayal of a comparable heroine (Ripley).

    It's just that one assertion that is wrong, in many ways.



    I don't think anyone was suggesting that you look at other Gilbert/Neagle films.

    Although The Lady with the Lamp (1951) doesn't fit in with the musical, romantic comedy style you describe them as using either.



    Steve

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    All of these replys are great thankyou and any more which you wish to add i would be ever so greatful to you

  15. #15
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    True, Steve and neither does "Queen Victoria" and the number of Lewis Gilbert 'feminist' movies are quite small but I feel that he was interested in portraying non conforming women over several decades. And he didn't use the same actress in all of them.

  16. #16
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    i reckon that the damsel in distress is attractive more in films because there is a sense of male ego to save her



    lara croft i thought was too manly and although attractive physically her actions were far too manly



    please cpould you help ,me as well and reply to the quantum of solace post thanx

  17. #17
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    I must admit that the films about Marie Curie (Madame Curie - 1943), Amy Johnson (They Flew Alone - 1942) or subjects about a group of people such as nurses and the very strict rules which they had to adhere to even in war time (The Lamp Still Burns - 1943) make more of an impact on me. No damsels in distress there.

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