Sunday, June 7, 2015
but once more I feel compelled to stick my neck out on the subject of gender in film.
Yesterday, against the passionate opposition of our film-connoisseur 16 year-old, we went to see San Andreas.
There weren't too many surprises. Our hero, the bulky, part Polynesian who looks pure Maori, Dwayne someone, you probably know more than I do, is fairly stock macho, if a little browner. I hate the name Dwayne. He should be Hene, or something like that.
And why isn't his daughter in the film part brown? To me he looks all Maori and his children should be at least part Maori or Polynesian-looking too.
Altogether, having reviewed Mad Max Fury Road on a gender front here:
I can now report that COMPARED WITH OTHER ACTION FILMS Fury Road is far far far into the progressive future of gender-blended film than they are. Unlike San Andreas, Fury Road doesn't exaggerate the natural heroism of men, that's the first big difference.
San Andreas can't help but exaggerate male heroism. It almost makes a point of it. Our Dwayne does little wrong and practically saves the world; the scientist guy, with the face for radio, is a hero for forecasting the earthquake, which saves loads of lives; the English guy, who goes back for the daughter and prizes her out of the car just before it collapses on top of her, is a hero, if in a slightly more modest, smaller and Englisher, guise.
There are strong-ish female characters: the wife and daughter. But both have to be rescued in the course of the film, at least once each and both by our all-round hero, Dwayne. They also both have to have big boobs, boobs that are obviously Made in Hollywood.
There are no fake boobs in Fury Road. If anything, our hero, Furiosa, has her boobs strapped down to de-sexualise her.
We need to get Hollywood boobs out of disaster-action films. They couldn't be tackier. Even Dwayne's tattoo is less tacky than the fake boobs. If he were Maori, he could claim it as a tribal marking. But it would still look silly poking out of his shirt.