Sunday, May 25, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

As far as movies go, the new Indiana Jones movie isn't terribly sexist. It has strong female characters in Cate Blanchett's Irina Spalko and Karen Allen's Marion Ravenwood... but they're the only female characters at all. It's a 100% ratio of strong female characters, but there's not much else to go off.

Does it pass the Bechdel test? Well, there are two female characters - check; do they have a conversation - no; is it about something besides men - no. Unfortunately.

Marion Ravenwood is pretty badass, even from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy sometimes talks to her in a patronizing manner, acting as if she's overly emotional. It wasn't horrible but it was annoying enough that I noticed. However, considering a lot of the movies and female characters out there, Marion's leaps and bounds ahead of other characters. She doesn't need to be rescued and she can hold her own. If the only annoying sexist part of Indiana Jones was that he was a little patronizing, I can deal with that.

Here's Women & Hollywood's take on Marion Ravenwood. Also, Karen Allen was once considered for the role of Princess Leia. I love her even more. If anyone wants to buy me the Indiana Jones boxed set, I would gladly accept that gift.

48 comments:

La Pobre Habladora said...

Hey - thanks for finding a good explanation for what I've been calling the Mo Movie Measure... it has been a real headache to briefly explain in the past. I've also been giving credit to the wrong people for its invention.

Was Harrison Ford still a believable action hero? How did this one compare to Raiders of the Lost Arc? I never really liked Temple of Doom- which Indy movie would you say Crystal Skull most resembles? Yes - the crowd calls for spoilers!

Anonymous said...

That's about the most ridiculous "rule" I've ever seen.

The rule itself is sexist.

Also stupid. In order for a movie to be not sexist, it HAS to feature women talking to each other?

Look, if you want Lifetime, it's on cable.

This movie isn't about women having meaningful sisterhood conversations.

It's about Indiana Jones, not women.

Jen said...

I respectfully disagree to an extent. I don't think that the newest installment to the Indiana Jones series was sexist at all. It was not feminist, because it did not empower women. However, it was not sexist, because the women featured where not just there for objectification and to be mocked and infantalized.

Thus, it is a movie I would see, but I would not laud it as a step in the progressive direction like movies like Juno, Baby Mama, and Brokeback were.

Anonymous said...

Your "rule" is a joke.

Feminist entitlement seems to think that despite a movie not calling for it, that all should have "empowered superwoman" characters, that are placed in more prominence than the males.

Secondly, not all movies have to have "strong female characters". Quit making demands on things like that. It's ludicrous.

Not every woman in the real world is some "empowered doesn't need a man" superwoman, so cinema reflects this.

It was not feminist, because it did not empower women. However, it was not sexist, because the women featured where not just there for objectification and to be mocked and infantalized.

So, in your mind, all movies should "empower women"? If a "feminist" movie mocks men, and doesn't "empower" them, would you call it sexist?

Probably not.

Thus, it is a movie I would see, but I would not laud it as a step in the progressive direction like movies like Juno, Baby Mama, and Brokeback were.

Not all movies have to be "progressive". I'm quite glad they aren't. The cinema would die out if all movies fit your "progressive" standard.

There would be no entertainment left in it. Just a dry husk of feminist-pleasing tripe.

Also, for the record, Juno, while cutely humorous on the first viewing, doesn't stand up to watching more than once, Baby Mama is garbage, and Tina Fey still continues to not be funny. The only reason the word is even associated with her, is feminists continually hold her up as "hilarious" and their example of "See, women are funny too!" despite the fact that she simply isn't.

If you want people to think women are funny, hold up better examples than Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman.

Finally, Brokeback wasn't progressive, it was boring and terrible. Ang Lee doesn't have a good grasp on what makes an entertaining, watchable film.

And one more shot: Marion (Karen Allen) was useless in this movie.

It seemed as though in the least twenty-six years, she forgot how to act. Her character is nothing like she used to be, seemed to be there for no real purpose, hardly contributed to the story, and really didn't need to be there.

The only reason she was, is to drive up interest in the movie among long-time fans.

I loved her hard-drinking, feisty, energetic character in Raiders (I mean, who else greeted Indiana Jones with a sock to the face?), but she was a husk of that character in this film.

Just compare it: Our introduction to her previously was drinking a large Nepalese man under the table, and then saying "hello" to Indy with a shot to the jaw.

Now, it's "Hi, I feel out of place here, let's have some terribly written arguments."

Lindsay said...

I'm not saying it's a sexist movie, but there are aspects of it that are sexist. In my opinion, the aspects which are sexist aren't nearly as sexist as in other movies.

Ryan Capuano said...

Well, the fact that Karen Allen had about forty minutes of screen time and maybe twenty minutes of actual dialog seems really detrimental to the cause. Her character is there to be an integral part of a couple of the action scenes, then really does nothing in the last half hour or so except scream "Indyyyyy!"

I mean, the characters were strong, but very underwritten and even Blanchett's character being the main villain didn't help this fact. It was all Ford and LeBeouf through the entire film.

Anonymous said...

It was all Ford and LeBeouf through the entire film.

Maybe you missed the title.

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".

Not "Marion Ravenwood and..." or "Irina Spalko and..."

People didn't fork over 10 bucks for "strong female leads", they forked it over for Indiana Jones.

Anonymous said...

i agree! i didn't go to the movie to watch indiana forsake who he is and go by the name "henry" (which was symbolic of his death as indiana jones, the dashing rogue, dering-do adventurer, and successful bachelor) and in the end get married.

there were subtle feminist hints throughout the entire movie. watch the original 3 and then watch the 4th and you will notice it if you're not blind.

also feminist influence has completely warped historical accuracy in movies- come on, a woman in charge of a platoon from the Red army? hogwash! the movie is set in the 50's or 60's. no such things occurred back then. at least not at any rate to justify being in every single movie.

please. indiana jones was always great because it taught boys courage, intelligence, and being driven to your goals and fighting for "the good guys". in raiders, he had a boxing match with a veritable giant nazi to save the damsel in distress.

now in the new movie there is no damsel in distress, and a woman is the antagonist.

i paid 10 bucks to go see a movie that hasn't been greatly influenced by feminism, and i was sorely disappointed on that aspect!

it seems feminists are *never happy or satisfied*- no women are empowered in the movie? really, not even the antagonist who orders men about and flaunts her sexuality like no tomorrow? hah! no one noticed that.

other than the crappy aspects, indiana jones 4 was good, and my only complaint is how he survived a nuclear blast by jumping in a refrigerator and getting launched over the desert.

Jen said...

Anonymous forgets that one of the most successful comic book movie series, the X-men, features both strong empowered females that play in leading roles, and it made a ton of money.

Anonymous said...

Jen forgets that the great majority of X-men fans went to that movie for Wolverine, which is why he's getting his own movie series.

And actually, X-men didn't make nearly as much as what's considered a blockbuster comic book movie. It made about a billion, all three combined.

Spider-man made nearly a billion each.

Amelia said...

Yeah, I'll admit. I got talked into seeing X-Men because of Wolverine.

And in the first movie, anyway, the female characters seem kind of...subordinate.

First of all, X-Men. Second of all, they couldn't seem to get their stuff together until Wolverine showed up and kicked some ass.

I wasn't impressed by it as any sort of showing of female empowerment. But I still liked the movie.

Anonymous said...

what does x-men have to do with indiana jones? nothing.

x-men =/= indiana jones.

indiana jones = indiana jones.

female antagonist =/= indiana jones.

indiana jones is not based on a comic. george lucas created indiana jones to pay homage to old comic heroes of the 30's and 40's. notice how indiana jones is set in pre-feminist times? 30's? 40's? 50's?

it's a manly movie. men go to manly movies to watch men being manly and kicking the butts of other men.

and yes, x-men. i don't go to see x-men to watch storm because she's an "empowered woman".

i went to see x-men to watch wolverine kick ass and save the day, since he's arguably the weakest mutant yet kicks the most ass because he's the underdog.

i didn't go see spiderman because of kirsten dunst. i went to see spiderman because he's my favorite comic book hero.

guys don't want to go watch a movie like pitch black, or rambo, to watch empowered women. we go to watch men kick each other's asses. we also don't go to the football game to watch "empowered" women give commentary on it; we go to watch men pummel each other on the grid iron and cute cheerleaders' boobs bounce when they cheer.

i personally don't like how women are trying to invade everything manly. and neither do most men! i've seen more than one man roll his eyes when an empowered woman struts her stuff in a manfilm. i almost walked out to the theater when i saw that indiana jones' adversary was a woman!

it kinda really ruins a man-film to see these empowered villainesses or heroins compete with men. men don't want to compete with women. we want to compete with other men, and lacking other men, monsters and demons!

Amelia said...

i personally don't like how women are trying to invade everything manly. and neither do most men!

Women aren't trying to invade everything manly. At least for me, I would be much more interested in seeing films if there was more diversity in the kinds of roles women played. I would not advocate for the eradication of "manly" films, but I would like to see more films that contain female characters outside of the love-interest, damsel-in-distress, sex-bot type.

I think all films may have certain things to offer different groups, but if the majority of what is offered fits into the interests of only a few select groups, that's not fair.

I don't watch many films for that reason.

Andrew said...

Okay, just a quick couple of comments on X-Men, then I'll put in my two cents on Indy.

Yes, X-Men is nominally sexist, but not in any other sense. They are one of the most progressive superhero teams ever devised, and have been so since the 1960s. They feature strong, complex, leading female characters, including Jean Grey, who became more or less the main character of the series during the Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas, which is, unless I'm much mistaken, the most successful and lauded graphic novel storyline ever produced by Marvel Comics. Unfortunately, you guys are right about the movies -- they did not properly translate the strength of these characters.

Concerning Indy:

It's good to be conscious of sexism anytime, but I'm not sure what feminists can reasonably expect from a movie like this. The motivations behind its production are entertainment and revival of a beloved character. Those seem to be surprisingly difficult tasks, even when both genders are prominently placed (see Alien: Resurrection), so I doubt the filmmakers were particularly concerned with how progressive Indy could be.

And, if Marion is truly as badly written as people are saying and only there for nostalgic value, I also will retreat to her bar in Nepal. Well, the charred remains of it, anyway. Stupid Nazis.

Personally, I find female characters who are present solely to provide gender equality annoying. Consider Arwen in The Lord of the Rings, played by Liv Tyler. Her presence is not only inexplicable and contradictory to the novel, but I feel like she also undermines the strong female characters who were already in the source material -- namely, Galadriel and Eowyn. Tolkien was one of the most progressive authors of his time, so it actually seems counter-productive to then rewrite his work to display another "strong" female role who is really just there as eye candy.

Andrew said...

Also, I find the comment suggesting that Wolverine is the "underdog" very amusing and, frankly, quite ridiculous as a fan of the X-Men and superhero(in)es in general. Generally I don't think of the guy with the nearly indestructible skeleton (plus claws) and the instantaneous healing factor as "arguably the weakest mutant".

Anonymous said...

"I think all films may have certain things to offer different groups, but if the majority of what is offered fits into the interests of only a few select groups, that's not fair."

it's market forces, and it's totally fair.

what's unfair is that movies marketed to men who have to depict women in certain way, or have women filling certain roles, otherwise they're screamed at for being "sexist".

Lindsay said...

what's unfair is that movies marketed to men who have to depict women in certain way, or have women filling certain roles, otherwise they're screamed at for being "sexist".

Indy isn't marketed to men - it's been marketed to everyone who loved the movies. If they were marketed to men in the first place, then the studio changed their marketing for the fourth movie.

Why does there have to be "men's movies" and "women's movies"? Can't I enjoy an action movie if I want to? It's a little patronizing to call Indiana Jones a "men's movie" when it appeals to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Yes, X-Men is nominally sexist, but not in any other sense.

So something is sexist because it doesn't feature "empowered women" that are more prominent than the males?

Then, can I say that "Baby Mama" is sexist, because it doesn't feature "empowered men"?

Personally, I find female characters who are present solely to provide gender equality annoying.

Then stop demanding cinema include them. If a story doesn't need a woman in it, don't complain that it's "sexist" for not having one.

Anonymous said...

yes lindsay, indiana jones is a manly movie. the fact that you enjoy it does not preclude it from being a manly movie- it merely means you are one of the few women (% wise) who actively enjoy/ed the film.

indiana jones appeals mostly to young men. when i went to see indiana jones, most of the women i saw there were with their boyfriends; i saw very few single women, and many single men. the crowd was, mostly, men.

seriously, i'm gonna commit logical fallacy here and just say it, because it's a no-brainer: there aren't hordes of female indiana jones fans. most of the women i know cringe when i say "hey, let's watch indy." no. but most of my male friends say "hey! i grew up with those movies; haven't seen'em in YEARS. let's go!" or something to that effect.

and no, i will not go all the way out to get facts and statistics and samplings on this no-brainer, common sense subject.

indiana jones is one of those genres that is a dying breed: entertainment that instills positive values in men: "always be prepared", "strive to make the world a better place", "stand by your morals", "fight for your love", "have courage and commitment to your goals". and it's instilled in a manly way; travel, adventure, romantic flings, fighting/violence, rugged living, etc.

there's a reason why there are "men's movies" and "women's movies" - because men and women enjoy different things. because men and women live by different values.

Lindsay said...

You said that it was a "manly movie" whereas I said that it was a "men's movie." Two different things. I think you're underestimating the appeal of Indiana Jones to all audiences, regardless of gender. When I saw Indiana Jones, it wasn't just women there with their boyfriends, but all types of different people - groups of high school kids, older couples, families, etc. And why do we assume that women going to movies with their boyfriends are just going to appease them? I'm sure at least some of those women were there because they were actually interested in the movie. I grew up on Indiana Jones and I'm sure other women did to.

By the way, if it's such a no-brainer, common sense subject, then it shouldn't be a problem to back it up with facts. Your argument will be stronger if you do. Maybe there's a reason they don't do box office numbers by gender - because it's all money to Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

"You said that it was a "manly movie" whereas I said that it was a "men's movie." Two different things."

no. no. and no. god. it's the same thing. don't even try to do that division-splitting-renaming-it'ssomethingelsethere
foreimmustbecorrect thing femmes love to do.
semantic argument = fail. the fact that you have to argue semantics shows me that you know you're wrong, but you wanna argue about it anyway.

look. manly things are for men, thus, a manly movie is a men's movie. is it so hard?

obviously, and to anyone of normal intelligence, a "manly movie" and a "men's movie" would be different ways of saying the same thing. like football. it's "manly", and it's also a "men's sport", get it. like cheerleaders. it's a manly thing to like cheerleaders, but cheerleading is an UNmanly thing to do. understand?

indiana jones is like, uber manly. seriously. temple of doom? he totally womanizes that singer chick, plays a strong father figure to that boy, and rescues an entire village and their children from certain doom. do you remember that closing scenes? when the children return, indy is standing there with his arms around the girl and the kid, protective father figure. you don't get more manly than that!

indiana jones is movie by a man (george lucas), featuring a man, and for men. just like star wars. it's meant to instill values in young men so they are productive members of society. indiana jones upholds justice and protects the weak, without coming off as a total douche bag like spiderman does. which is why indiana jones is a manly hero, and spiderman is just a comic boy hero. indiana jones trumps spiderman.

"I think you're underestimating the appeal of Indiana Jones to all audiences, regardless of gender."

the only appeal it has to women is that a woman gets saved by indiana jones in the first two movies, and that's something every woman identifies with: they all want a strong, dashing rogue manly man to come and save them, no matter if they're too "liberated" and "empowered" to ever admit it.

"By the way, if it's such a no-brainer, common sense subject, then it shouldn't be a problem to back it up with facts."

no actually it's quite the opposite. there's no need to acquire such information because, as it's a no-brainner common sense subject, most normal people know this. people know if you're gonna go watch star wars, star trek, rambo, indiana jones, or what-have-you that it's going to be a guy's night.

look honestly. sometimes you need to take a step back from trying to sound all smart and academic like. like turn it off once in a while. cuz in situations like this (trying to argue a common thing, like the fact that indiana jones is a men's movie) and trying to appear all collegiate and professional really, REALLY makes you look naive, and costs you about 10,000 respect points when you try to argue with a man, which makes that man more likely to laugh at you and flame you in the future than listen to you. which'll prevent you from reaching him when you actually have something valid and important to say.

and this is one of the many reasons so many people flame and troll these blogs, it's like you say "well cite some sources or i win the argument." and the guy's like: "oh, wow, well, she got me there, i can't say much to that.... but, she's still wrong." you can win an argument by sounding all smart-like and still be wrong.

god. look how much i have to talk to you just to get you to understand a common sense thing. i think my grandfather was right- it seems the more education people get these days, the dumber they become.

Anonymous said...

look indiana jones addresses feminism in a very real and manly way:

raiders of the lost ark- no matter how tough a girl is, or how much she acts "empowered and liberated", she still needs a man to bring her adventure, excitement, and ultimately to keep her safe and rescue her when she inevitably goofs up. otherwise, she drinks her life away in some hovel somewhere.

temple of doom- women care more about stupid rocks from the ground than they do an elixir that will save a man's life. even though she's dumb, a man should always be protective and tolerant to a woman's silliness because they are the "fairer" sex, and they can't help it. you can always count on a woman to say "ew, but there's bugs!" when you tell her "pull the damned lever or we're gonna die!"

the last crusade- golddiggin', backstabbin' women should be put in their place: at the bottom of a fault line.

crystal skull- okay, you empowered, feminist bitch wanna take over the world and think you can know everything- some alien is gonna vaporize you and you'll ultimately suffer for being a cunt.

indiana jones: manly movie, for men, women are silly.

any questions?

Anonymous said...

lindsay i'm not mad at you. and i'm not trying to put you down. i understand that this entire silly argument is just how you're expressing the need to earn approval and acceptance of a strong male figure; ie, indiana jones and/or myself. see the entire argument is about who the movie is for; everyone knows it's for men, and you know it's for men, too. but you feel left out, you feel all invalidated and stuff. so you think "okay, this guys pretty smart... if i can get *him* to admit 'okay, grrlz 2', then that means he accepts me as a human being and i'll be all validated and accepted and indiana jones and/or this strong man i'm arguing with will protect me from the witch doctor who's burning people alive." or something along those lines. i understand that as a woman you can't help it, it's hard wired in your brain to see a man's approval; which is all feminism is all about. some asshat said "women are so dumb." and, seeking men's approval, feminists decided to make a mess of society, maybe 1 or 2 of them stumble their way through medical school and become doctors, and then they get to stand up 100 years later and say "look mr. dead man, we're not dumb after all! are you proud of us?"

Amelia said...

Anon, "femmes" is a completely inappropriate term if you mean to say "feminists." It is not the same thing, so yes, I will argue semantics.

I also have a problem with your idea of "manliness."

You said: "indiana jones is like, uber manly. seriously. temple of doom? he totally womanizes that singer chick, plays a strong father figure to that boy, and rescues an entire village and their children from certain doom. do you remember that closing scenes? when the children return, indy is standing there with his arms around the girl and the kid, protective father figure. you don't get more manly than that!

indiana jones is movie by a man (george lucas), featuring a man, and for men. just like star wars. it's meant to instill values in young men so they are productive members of society."


According to you, I would have to assume that being "manly" is first and foremost about womanizing. And that is apparently one of those values the movie is supposed to instill in men? I couldn't get done with a movie that was actually like that.

You also said: "the only appeal it has to women is that a woman gets saved by indiana jones in the first two movies, and that's something every woman identifies with: they all want a strong, dashing rogue manly man to come and save them, no matter if they're too "liberated" and "empowered" to ever admit it."

Way to generalize. I mean, it makes perfect sense that there is only ONE reason that all women would like a movie. Wait, no it doesn't.

And then you said: "look honestly. sometimes you need to take a step back from trying to sound all smart and academic like. like turn it off once in a while. cuz in situations like this (trying to argue a common thing, like the fact that indiana jones is a men's movie) and trying to appear all collegiate and professional really, REALLY makes you look naive, and costs you about 10,000 respect points when you try to argue with a man, which makes that man more likely to laugh at you and flame you in the future than listen to you. which'll prevent you from reaching him when you actually have something valid and important to say."

You are wrong to tell us who to think. Telling us to turn off our brains when we talk to men is insulting to both men and women. One, you make it seem that women who are educated are uppity and not worthy of respect (losing respect points - funny, I had never heard of those), and two, you make it seem as if all men are afraid of a little academic debate, which I certainly know not to be true.

If people flame/troll this blog, it is because they were not looking for good debate in the first place. Not because we analyzed a "common" situation in an academic manner.

Just so you know, such analysis is how things get changed. Maybe that scares you.

I will get back to the other comments later. >_<

Anonymous said...

"According to you, I would have to assume that being "manly" is first and foremost about womanizing. And that is apparently one of those values the movie is supposed to instill in men? I couldn't get done with a movie that was actually like that."

okay indiana jones constantly puts women in their place in the movies. he loves them, obviously, because he protects them and sleeps with them... but seriously, he calls them "toots", "doll", "lady", and "sweetheart"- all the things any feminist would fire lazers from her eyes over. he's also the ultimate bachelor and, like captain kirk, bangs a new woman in each installment. sexual success, plus, putting women in their place, plus, rescuing children from slavery, plus, playing a father figure to an orphan child = ubermanly.

yes, it is one of the values indiana jones instilled. "women are silly, so have patience with them." luckily i am a big indiana jones fan, or i'd be frustrated with you right now and say things that wouldn't get through moderation.

"Way to generalize. I mean, it makes perfect sense that there is only ONE reason that all women would like a movie. Wait, no it doesn't."

i don't see why a woman would like the movie, other than "indiana jones is so hot!"- and he's hot because he's intelligent, strong, and a very masculine save-the-day-figure, and women love that- even if they're a ceo and "don't need a man".

"You are wrong to tell us who to think. Telling us to turn off our brains when we talk to men is insulting to both men and women. One, you make it seem that women who are educated are uppity and not worthy of respect (losing respect points - funny, I had never heard of those), and two, you make it seem as if all men are afraid of a little academic debate, which I certainly know not to be true."

no i'm not wrong. i'm trying to help you. having your head crammed so far up the anus of academic protocol in a situation like this makes you look like a sheltered naive little girl.

look okay, you want an article, here. it says that indiana jones "appeals" to both sexes; and it clearly states that he "appeals" to women because he's funny and has "emotional 'appeal'" wevertf that means.

http://www.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/story.
html?id=cc93cabf-160a-4529-9cec-63abb49992c4&p=2

still no demographics on what % of the fans are male. i guess no one bothered to do a study because it's a *gasp* no brainer that most of the fans are going to be young men.

look you can win this argument, i could care less, because this argument is like the special olympics... even if you win, you're still gonna look retarded, and you won't change the objective reality around you.

Dredz said...

It seems feminists just look for things to argue about. To me it's obvious that Indiana Jones, while have appeal to both men and women, is marketed largely to young men and adolescent boys. It's just one of those "obvious" things- like the fact that the sky is blue. You don't need any statistics for that one!

I'm sure there are women who enjoy the movies, for whatever reason, just as there must be women who enjoy Rambo (are you out there, ladies?), but these are mostly men's movies.

And yes, over-intellectualizing things like this does make one come off as a naive college student.

Lisa said...

Lindsay, thank you for this article. I appreciated the introduction of the Bechdel test. When female characters in movies don't ring true for me, I often have a hard time putting my finger on what is off. This helps me to name how women are featured as characters hovering around male leads, rather than full people in themselves.

That said, after going to Indiana Jones, I'm with ya, and am not above hinting for dvds...

Lindsay said...

First off, the post was about my opinion of the movie. I don't see how my opinion is over-intellectualized, personally. It's when you start making claims about the demographics of the movie (in case you need that in layman's terms - who goes to see it) that I want facts. If you say that it's marketed to men and it was a mostly male audience - prove it. I'm not asking for facts because I think you won't be able to find any; it's that you'll have an easier time making a strong, valid point and an easier time convincing me. I really don't see why you have such issues with backing up your claims. Any person who regularly debates or makes arguments and claims knows that no one will take them seriously if they don't show that they know about the subject and have proof to back it up. It's not cite your sources or I win the argument - it's cite your sources or you sound like you're making stuff up.

By the way, I don't like your veiled insults that my argument makes me seem like a "sheltered naive little girl." The whole comment reeks of condescension and I'm not going to argue your gender-binary view of the film. To view audiences of the movie in such a simplistic manner insults them, and in particularly, the female moviegoers who are apparently just there because according to you, "omg indy is soooo hot!" There's no point in engaging you on the merits or disadvantages of the portrayal of the characters in the film when apparently there's only "manly" and "unmanly" characters.

Lisa, I had never actually realized how often female movie characters either only interact with men or spend so much of their time talking about men. It's kinda sad - even in movies with progressive story lines (Brokeback Mountain) or strong female characters (Indy 4, Serenity), often times the women don't interact. Sad.

Amelia said...

This link is for Dredz. Please read up.

Anonymous said...

often times the women don't interact. Sad.

Again, if a movie doesn't call for it, or need it, it's not going to be in there.

This is not the meaningful sisterhood dialog hour, it's Indiana Jones.

Why would there be meaningful female conversations in a movie about Indiana Jones?

You need to realize that demanding all movies meet your feminist ideal is ludicrous.

Lindsay said...

"my feminist ideal"

My feminist ideal? Seriously? Seeing if 1-there are two female characters, 2-if the characters have a conversation, and 3-if the conversation is related to men? Ideal? If that's an ideal, then I don't want to know what low expectations are.

I never demanded anywhere that all movies should fit to my personal guidelines. I'm just looking at whether movies have those three criteria or not. The conversations don't have to be meaningful; they can be about grocery shopping for all I care. My point, and the point of the people who came up with it, is that very rarely in movies are there realistic female characters. Realistic, round, female characters that depict women as what they are - human - as opposed to stereotypes of mothers, wives, femme fatales, or sex machines.

Feminist ideal? How about some realism?

Anonymous said...

Seeing if 1-there are two female characters, 2-if the characters have a conversation, and 3-if the conversation is related to men? Ideal? If that's an ideal, then I don't want to know what low expectations are.


Why does a movie HAVE to have "two female characters talking to each other about something other than men"?

Omg, if they talk about men, society must hate women?

How many movies for women have two male characters talking to each other about something besides women?

is that very rarely in movies are there realistic female characters.

Sure there are.

What you tend to want are UNrealistic ones. Powerful superwomen that do everything, need no men around ever, and are generally superior.

as opposed to stereotypes of mothers, wives, femme fatales, or sex machines.

Women ARE mothers, and wives, and occasionally femme fatales, and yes, even sex machines.

How dare movies portray women the way they portray themselves in real life! Don't those directors understand, that women demand idealized feminist superheroes?

Anonymous said...

"First off, the post was about my opinion of the movie. I don't see how my opinion is over-intellectualized, personally. It's when you start making claims about the demographics of the movie (in case you need that in layman's terms - who goes to see it) that I want facts."

lindsay, you're over-intellectualizing this. any person on the street will tell you rambo, indiana jones, etc, are men movies and mostly men enjoy them. when told this, you want grafts, statistics, etc. i'm sorry, but you're really going way too far with it.

"If you say that it's marketed to men and it was a mostly male audience - prove it. I'm not asking for facts because I think you won't be able to find any; it's that you'll have an easier time making a strong, valid point and an easier time convincing me."

at this point i don't care about convincing you. i don't care about convincing any feminist; it's wholly impossible because you have no grip on reality or rational thought-processes. if you want to live in a fairy tale land where every woman is a huge fan of indiana jones, then so be it, go live in your silly dreamworld.

also in your silly dreamworld is the fantasy that a woman can have a career and still be marriagable matrial, and that children can grow up completely healthy without dad (which countless research has shown to be false)

"Lisa, I had never actually realized how often female movie characters either only interact with men or spend so much of their time talking about men."

ummmmm they're reflecting what women do in real life. go to any public space and you will likely hear women talking about one of two subjects:

1) men
1a) what their boyfriend bought them
2a) complaints about boyfriend
3a) what their boyfriend "has" (his material worth)
4a) who their boyfriend "is" (his social status)

2) their local bra-burning rally.

so women are obsessed with either men, or overthrowing the "patriarchy". such silly creatures.

"This is not the meaningful sisterhood dialog hour, it's Indiana Jones."

another person even agrees. it's not girl time. it's man time. ie, the man being indiana jones and his hordes of male friends who have dragged their girlfriends along.

"My point, and the point of the people who came up with it, is that very rarely in movies are there realistic female characters."

how many movies have realistic male characters? like riddick? how realistic is that? the man takes on an undead super-creature with super-human abilities and wins. um, right, that is very realistic!

"The conversations don't have to be meaningful; they can be about grocery shopping for all I care."

but wouldn't that be sexist gender stereotyping? please. where's your consistency? if you want talk about grocery shopping, watch sex in the city and martha stewart. shopping has no place in indiana jones, unless he's running through an indian marketplace to rescue the damsel in distress.

"Feminist ideal? How about some realism?"

you mean how indiana jones survived a nuclear blast by crawling into a refridgerator, and then survived being propelled half a mile through the air and impacting the ground at high speeds?! yay for realism!

puhleeeeeeze. it's a movie. stop trying to force your gynocentric ideals on artistic mediums. it's -OBNOXIOUS-.

Amelia said...

hahahahahahahaaa. Thanks for that, Anon. :) :)

Lindsay said...

Over-intellectualizing, next it'll be over-emotional when I get upset at your generalizations and strict gender binaries. At least I know I can't be respected as a person.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry but you are over-intellectualizing it. you want graphs and charts and "proof" in an argument over something as silly as the fact that indiana jones is a man movie.

Angelia Sparrow said...

I'm doing the 50 movie project on my LJ and tracking them by Bechdel measure as well.
Odd ones are passing:
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Howl's Moving Castle
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Full Metal Alchemist: The Conquest of Shamballa.
The Court Jester

Hardly the Meaningful Sisterhood Hour.

I'm not surprised this Indy failed it. Raiders passed. (Marion and Fayah talk about the monkey) The others didn't.

I'll be seeing Crystal Skull. If only for the homage to the old Us vs. the Commies (including super-sexy Comrade Irina) plot. Anon must never have seen an episode of "The Man from UNCLE" or a James Bond movie to not know that the high-ranking Russian woman is a classic feature, not a bug.

(I also submit he saw Brokeback in the wrong theater. In the one I was in, no one moved until the lights came up because we were all crying)

Anonymous said...

"high-ranking Russian woman is a classic feature, not a bug."

all i said was that it is historically inaccurate, feminized movie garbage.

Faith said...

"i don't see why a woman would like the movie, other than "indiana jones is so hot!"- and he's hot because he's intelligent, strong, and a very masculine save-the-day-figure, and women love that- even if they're a ceo and "don't need a man"."

I LOVED the Indiana Jones films...and never because I thought Indiana Jones was hot. I never once fantasized about Indiana Jones. I have always watched so-called manly movies because I find them entertaining, and in the case of the Indy films, FUN. The Indiana Jones films, to me, were pure fun. When TNT (or Tbs) aired an Indiana Jones marathon recently, I sat down and watched the movies...all by myself (gasp!!). And I assure you, I was not fantasizing about being swept away by Indiana Jones or Harrison Ford.

"just as there must be women who enjoy Rambo (are you out there, ladies?), "

Yep, we're out here.

Faith said...

To all who think women only watch Indy because they find Indy so damn hot because he's so damn manly, has it ever occurred to any of you that maybe women who enjoy these movies enjoy them because they are fantasizing about being female versions of the superhero???

Nah, that couldn't be a possibility. Women only want to be rescued and swept off of their feet...no matter what any of them say....

Anonymous said...

Name 1 believable action-movie heroin.

Faith said...

"Name 1 believable action-movie heroin."

Anony,

I'm not sure I could name even one believable male action-movie hero. I'm not even sure that I'd call Indiana Jones fully-believable. Action movies aren't typically big on realism. I believe it's perfectly possibly to create both a believable male action hero and female action hero tho. Lara Croft was just as believable as any male comic action hero.

Lindsay said...

Isn't the point of action heroes that they're unbelievable? I want to make a distinction between identifiable and unbelievable, because I think you can identify with a totally unbelievable action hero character. Not that being unbelievable is bad, just that there's a reason there aren't any action heroes in real life - because they don't exist.

Anonymous said...

If you want to play it that way, then fine.

I can play the "how much" game.

Name 1 female action hero that is more believable than the least believable male action hero.

Faith said...

"Name 1 female action hero that is more believable than the least believable male action hero."

Anony,

I haven't got a clue who the least believable male action hero is. Your not asking these questions because of any real curiosity. Your asking with the hopes of trying to prove a sexist belief that females can't be as good as men as action heroes. I think my original statement stands just fine:

"Lara Croft was just as believable as any male comic action hero."

Faith said...

"Isn't the point of action heroes that they're unbelievable?"

I would say so. But I'm guessing that many men would like to believe that the standard male action hero is believable. I'm guessing the so-called "manly action hero" provides a fantasy for men who wish to believe that men can really be that dashing, daring, and strong (and if I had to wager a guess, the men who believe it the most are likely the ones who fit the action hero profile the least). In real life, Indiana Jones would have likely been dead by the second film at the latest.

Anonymous said...

What about Ellen Ripley and Beatrix Kiddo?

Also, the second film was a prequel to the first film, so if Indy was dead by the second film, the first film would have been a lot more boring. :)

That said, Crystal Skull was about on par with Temple of Doom, an okay movie, just not as good as Raiders or Crusade.

Lindsay said...

Crusade is my favorite by far, but I do enjoy a good search for the Ark of the Covenant. It's pretty universally acknowledge that Temple of Doom, although good, is at the bottom of the original three.