"The AP tally is more than double the UN’s April estimate of at least 2,000 killed in the sectarian violence."
My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.
And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie."
Snakewife’s excellent tags added: “i really really hate the chosen one trope, because the one chosen is always invariably some slacker dude who doesn’t even really want the job, the only trope i hate more is fun-loving-divorced-dad-with-a-stick-in-the-mud-shrew-of-an-ex who he will prove wrong.”
Can we please retire this one and the white savior one? Please Thanks.
The library has the “Forbidden Hollywood” collection of films, from the period when the code was in place, but not really enforced. (Known as “Pre-code” films). I’d been reading/hearing about these films for ages, but hadn’t had the chance to watch. Mostly the subject matter isn’t my thing, so I’ve given myself permission to skip ones that don’t much interest me. Waterloo Bridge was fascinating, especially given all I know about James Whale, but I tried explaining my reaction last night and couldn’t get it clear in words.
Today’s selection was the uncensored “Baby Face.” I’ve never seen the censored version and I expected to skip it after a few scenes, because the summery was very similar to that of “Red headed Woman,” but the first few scenes grabbed me and I ended up watching it all the way through. Barbara Stanwick’s performance fascinated me. She didn’t show much, but she had this way of projecting a cynical weariness with masculine nonsense that I had a certain sympathy for. The character was brutal a sort of indictment of the femme fatal and female ambition and materialism that was surface misogynistic, while at the same time, indicting the man’s world of the 1930’s that gave women so few options and out lets for their ambition. For all the moments that didn’t work, where the acting and/or dialog were stilted, it had a power to it. I think a lot of that power came from that tension, that capturing of the circumstances that made the main character who she was as well as the damage she did. I could never forget that the men chose too. They had agency in their choices. She didn’t force them to throw everything away. Most of them were pretty clearly taking advantage what they thought was her vulnerability to use her for their own ends and simply didn’t know how to cope when it turned out she had been using them back. Which doesn’t make her a nice person or an ethical person, but neither were the men. At least what was happening was mutually consensual. I am of the opinion that often this sort of thing wasn’t RL. I kept thing of “The Apartment.” I kept thinking of what I’ve seen of “Mad Men,” which feels like the other half of the conversation about sexism and gendered power in business environments in the middle of the twentieth century. The movie was Nietzsche themed, interesting for a movie made in the early ‘30’s in so many ways, but I kept thinking about Ayn Rand. So much of this movie was about self interest above everything else in a very Randian way. One of the minor characters was even named something like Gault. It seems to me the main character was very much the sort of heroine Ayn Rand and her followers praise(d) and encourage people to become. I have a whole lot of conflicting thoughts about the ending that I’m not convinced I could word with enough nuance. Was it a pleasant or easy movie to watch? No. I do think it was an important one though. It is the platonic ideal of the certain people look at women with ambition and will continue to likely long after I am dead. This is the seed of Evita, of the very gendered attacks on Hillary Clinton in the ‘90’s, on and on in art and politics. This movie asks questions about power structures and gender we are still fighting about in the 21st century.