Sexism in movies and on the set.

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Sexism in movies and on the set.

Postby Comrade_Newski » Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:27 pm

Now, it really only bothers me when it is blatantly obvious. I'm sure most movies somebody can find something sexist about, but you can also find racism and other prejudices in there, as they are made for a society that thinks a certain way. Sometimes, though, it's more blatant, and noticeable.


Case in Point: I watched the remake of the Hills Have Eyes last night. Pure exploitative garbage, and I'm a fan of exploitation films. Women are depicted as being nothing but weak, and fragile. Or, in the case of the one mutant girl, just purely sweet natured. Now, in the original, she had edge. She had some bite to her. She wasn't a good person, she was simple bitter with the rest of the family of freaks and wanted more from her life.

At least Jamie Lee Curtis managed to take down Michael Myers twice before her male saviour arrived....

But where I have found the most sexism is not in the movies, but on the set. I've worked on almost ten films, and never once with a female director. On the last set (Well, technically not this last one, which I just finished, but the one before that), this woman applied to be Assistant Director, but was made a Make up Artist. The interview went like this. "Do you know anything about make up?" "Yes." "Good. We need a make up artist for this movie." The assistant Director Job was given to a man who didn't know what the term "Speed" meant on set.

The one major field where it seems that women are always welcome, besides Make up, is in editing. And that is only because in the early days, editors had to stitch pieces of film together, and it was considered to be "Women's Work." And it slowly shifted to a more male oriented job when, over time, people realized the editor is JUST AS important as the Director. Still, there are just as many female editors as male. Of course, Quentin Tarantino claims he chose a female editor because they are probably not going to judge him as harshly as a male editor, and they would listen to what he says alot better then a male would.

This is becoming more of a rant then anything, so I think I should let it go. Many people with strong opinions get frustrated in this industry, so I think I've lost my original point.
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Postby remix17 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:00 pm

Ironically, I am in my filmography class editing and waiting for the teacher as I read/reply.

I have never seen The Hills Have Eyes--either version--since I am not a horror fan, but this review doesn't give me any inclination.

I honestly dislike seeing women in movies for the most part, because I think, "Oh no, here's the love interest," and such. I can't help but be suspicious.
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Postby furikku » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:49 pm

remix17 wrote:I honestly dislike seeing women in movies for the most part, because I think, "Oh no, here's the love interest," and such. I can't help but be suspicious.


Yeah, that's my problem a lot of the time; even when the Main Female is a badass, I always <i>know</i> that by the end of the movie, she's at least gonna kiss the Main Male, and it's inescapable, and that just annoys me.

My only actual film experiences have mostly been school-related, and those usually involved crews of almost all gals, generally because I was working with my female friends.
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Postby Ayezur » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:57 pm

As a horror fan, I can tell you that the devolution of the Final Girl is really a goddamn shame. Even Alice, limp wet noodle that she was, could break any one of the horror heroines from the past decade without a second thought.

Oh for the days of Nancy Thompson and Jamie Lee...
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Postby Saturniia » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:46 am

Wait. There have been horror heroines in the last decade?

With the exception of maybe the one girl from The Craft, I thought they were all Star-clones who mistakenly got cast in a leading role.

(Star being "that girl from The Lost Boys; you know the one.)
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Postby Ayezur » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:06 am

Saturniia wrote:Wait. There have been horror heroines in the last decade?

With the exception of maybe the one girl from The Craft, I thought they were all Star-clones who mistakenly got cast in a leading role.

(Star being "that girl" from The Lost Boys; you know the one.)


And people wonder why I occasionally sob watching the original NoES and have to eat ice cream to console myself.

Of course, most people don't take horror as seriously as I do, so go fig. Also, on behalf of the women in the fandom, I demand an apology for Lori. And that she, or someone obviously like her, be killed in a horrible, horrible way very very soon.
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Postby ChthonicSpirit » Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:55 am

*fails at getting references*

I don't have any opinions of sexism in movies. I can readily believe that there is a lot of it on the set, though. Hollywood has a lot of (bad) history in that respect.

On the subject of female characters in Horror, Candyman had a notably capable heroine.
Last edited by ChthonicSpirit on Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shameful Jenny » Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:22 am

Wasn't there a recent UK horror movie with an all female cast? The Descent I think it was called.

I wouldn't really know because I don't watch too many horror movies (I scare too easily and always get taken in by those "sudden shocks" :oops: ). I do love me a good horror comic though.
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Postby Comrade_Newski » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:16 am

Ayezur wrote:As a horror fan, I can tell you that the devolution of the Final Girl is really a goddamn shame. Even Alice, limp wet noodle that she was, could break any one of the horror heroines from the past decade without a second thought.

Oh for the days of Nancy Thompson and Jamie Lee...


Exactly. A cynic could look at the seventies and eighties horror heroines as symbols of purity-Often times they don't have sex. Very noticeable in Halloween, since every critic thinks it's an anti sex movie. John Carpenter said it wasn't that she didn't have sex- That is not what tied the victims together. It was that they left their responsibilities in order to have sex that connected them. It was a movie that was, in every aspect, about babysitters.

But I'm not going to say it wasn't at all sexist. I am going to say that these heroines of the past WERE different from the ones that die early on in the film: They stand strong, they fight, they don't give up. They don't follow the same standards everyone else does; Those kids always die horrible deaths.

You brought up Alice, I assume you mean Friday the Thirteenth Alice. Remember, Jason's mother was an Amazing killer in that movie. She didn't merely "Slice and Dice." No, in the tradition of Wes Craven (who would have made the movie much, much better) she set up more elaborate traps. She was not invincible, just more intelligent. Wes Craven continued the tradition of intelligent female killers going in the Scream movies, each one being a throw back to the older slasher films.

See, I see the Horror Genre (and, Ironically, the exploitation genre) to be some of the most pro woman genres out there. And I see that going down. Of course, an exploitation film like "Tromeo and Juliet" depicts women better then the average Romantic Comedy. A movie based of showing lots of bare breasts and head crushings is better then a romantic comedy. Doesn't that say something to everyone?
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Postby Lena » Wed Feb 14, 2007 11:16 am

Saturniia wrote:Wait. There have been horror heroines in the last decade?


The girl from House of Wax was pretty cool - she was the one who held it together and got her and her brother out. And, with the Main Male being her brother - no gratuitous snoggage as they rode off into the sunset!
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Postby Ayezur » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:09 pm

Comrade_Newski wrote:You brought up Alice, I assume you mean Friday the Thirteenth Alice.


Actual, I meant Alice from the walking train wrecks that were Dream Master and Dream Child - fourth and fifth NoES movies (yes, I have the entire series in a shiny box set on DVD. No laughing).

Having never actually bothered to see the first F13, I have no comment on the wet-noodlehood of that Alice. Ginny rocked my socks, though, and would have gone from spiff to awesome under a better director.

You know, the F13 series really had incredible potential in the right hands. Frankly I blame Kane Hodder. Then again, I blame Kane Hodder for lots of things; he's like Canada, in a way.
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Postby Thom » Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:02 pm

Ayezur wrote:Actual, I meant Alice from the walking train wrecks that were Dream Master and Dream Child - fourth and fifth NoES movies (yes, I have the entire series in a shiny box set on DVD. No laughing).


I won't laugh. I have the same set. I also have the Friday the 13th Box set though...

Ayezur wrote:You know, the F13 series really had incredible potential in the right hands. Frankly I blame Kane Hodder. Then again, I blame Kane Hodder for lots of things; he's like Canada, in a way.


Curious as to why. I mean, he kind of brought a personality to Jason. Of course, I would have done the franchise entirely differently, so who knows. :)
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Postby Comrade_Newski » Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:08 pm

I'm not up on my Nightmare Sequels.... I'm a Wes Craven purist here. He considers the series to consist of the Original and New Nightmare, and I respect his wishes, because they make more sense then Gene Roddenberry's "Star Trek the Animated Series doesn't count" decision.

But I think we are getting sidetracked with the horror conversation. And I don't necessarily mind always having a love interest if it's done right. Every movie has death because we all understand death. Most movies have romance because we all understand, if anything, the concept of romance. A good movie, anyway, will try to tap into things we all feel and understand. Which is why there are so many 'Either you love it or hate it" movies.

As far as the industry goes, right now I'm having trouble with a friend who is in the same world as I am, but with only a foot in. She wants to be an actress. She is not unattractive. As a matter of fact, I find her to be beautiful. But she is not the Hollywood standard of beauty, so therefore even student films won't accept her. Thing is, she is talented. Exceptionally so. Image standards for women are so strict compared to the men. (If standards are to be strict, it should be equal, as Sam Arkoff said, you need as much half naked man as you do women if you want a sexy movie. And I'm an Arkoff/Corman/Kaufman type)
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Postby Ayezur » Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:12 pm

Thom wrote:
Ayezur wrote:You know, the F13 series really had incredible potential in the right hands. Frankly I blame Kane Hodder. Then again, I blame Kane Hodder for lots of things; he's like Canada, in a way.


Curious as to why. I mean, he kind of brought a personality to Jason. Of course, I would have done the franchise entirely differently, so who knows. :)


Aaaaaand that would be the problem; not that he brought personality so much as I feel he brought the wrong personality. Rage is surely a massive part of his identity, but what Kane seemed to forget over time was that under that rage was basically a lonely little boy who loved his mommy and missed her very much. The Jasons from the previous movies (and Ken Kirzinger, whom I fangirl), seemed to communicate this much more effectively, largely I think because they were willing to take direction.

I mean, it's great that Kane "knew" who Jason was, but I look at his Jason and the other Jasons and they're completely different. Respecting an established personality is a good thing, you know?

Comrade_Newski - you're not missing anything in terms of the NoES sequels. Well, Dream Warriors was kind of awesome and eee, Nancy! - and the second one was lame but hilariously so.

The others, aside from New Nightmare? So not worth it.
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Postby Thom » Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:26 pm

The second Elm Street is just hilariously filled with gay subtext all the way through(not in the sense that gay subtext is hilarious in and of itself, rather the way the film portrays the subtext).

I get what you are saying about Hodder (Ken was from the Freddy Vs. Jason film-as well as Hodder's stunt double-correct? I thought he kept the finer points of what Hodder brought to the character while bringing the wounded child aspect back to the forefront). My feeling is that Jason's rage should have been a controlled and directed rage.

I thought about how I would revamp Friday the 13th-reboot it so to speak a couple years ago. My take was to use Jason as a “misguided Seeker of Justice”. He didn’t kill anyone in his path, he killed those he thought deserving.
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