Thursday, 21 February 2008

I'm with her.

Excellent post from Katherine Way on Shooting People this morning. Bulletin 3198, article 05. I would have reproduced it here but kept getting error messages.
She writes eloquently on the paucity of decent roles for women in Hollywood.


potdoll said...

aw, would have loved to read it. i don't subscribe to shooting people now because it got so negative i used to feel depressed reading it.

Elinor said...

I know what you mean, Pots. Even now I still want to scream LESS WHINING, MORE WRITING!

It's a bit more positive these days because Andy Conway is a good editor.

I shall try posting the article again tomorrow.

Jon Peacey said...

Could it be because most Hollywood films are written, produced and directed by men and aimed specifically at 15 year old boys? Not that I'm cynical.

Elinor said...

That accounts for some of it I think, but then you look at a film like There Will Be Blood. Who is it aimed at?

Jon Peacey said...

I haven't seen There Will Be Blood yet (probably won't until DVD) but from what I hear... masochists? ;)

Seriously, from all I've heard it sounds like a very male film, made by men for men (more critics and other film people than general audiences). It strikes my uninformed fancy as being of that Scorsese-de Palma-(recent)Eastwood school. I haven't heard of any romantic story to it: isn't that what 'they' tend to fling in if 'they' want a gender cross-over! ;)

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the spotty 15-year olds but they seem to be the main desired audience demographic for Hollywood blockbusters these days. However, the intended audiences for most films generally seem to be male. Particularly the prestige, critic-pleasing types of more-independent films seem for the male cineastes.

Elinor said...

Tell me about it! When I review arthouse films for Smell of Napalm, women in the audience are definitely in the minority.

Rachael Howard said...

Hi Elinor. Read it too. I'd like a few more with women over 40 with real bodies. Or even some over 40 at all would be nice. Without it being the MOTHER part.

I've turned the tables and done a couple with older women and toyboys. Will they ever be made. Hmmmmm.

And if I see one more wimp in a horror film get her top off and scream instead of kneeing them in the nuts and running.

One reason I loved Severance and Dog Soldiers. The women kicked back. Just wish they weren't so young and pretty?

Jon Peacey said...

It's not just a problem for women when you think about it. I'd rather like a few over 40 men with real bodies and real faces; even over 30...

How do I compete with a Johnny Depp or a Brad Pitt; a Heath Ledger or Owen Wilson. Any older bloke (a Jack Nicholson or Harrison Ford) in a film is invariably shot in such a way as to remove imperfection and any sign of the ravages of time and they still always get the young woman (which is actually quite creepy). Any older bloke who isn't 'charismatic' is the over-bearing father, the professor, the mentor while anyone younger and not possessed of good looks (especially in horror) is invariably the threat/ serial killer/ computer geek/ pervert who is striking back at society for, surprise, surprise, being ugly!

The mainstream cinema is apparently meant to be solely for and about attractive, (more often than not) Aryan teenagers. And that is what we, the poor beleagured audience, are being taught we should be aspiring to... hence the huge increase in the amount of plastic surgery in the US & UK.

In the Indie side of things they may choose to cover more unusual looks (ie not blond(e)-haired and blue-eyed) but it's still depressingly macho (e.g. PT Anderson, La Bute, Mamet, Tarantino, David O. Russell).

Dear Gawd, I sound so angry... I'm just not an angry person... honest! :)

Elinor said...

You're telling it like it is, Jon!

Rach, I loved Dog Soldiers too for that very reason, a woman with some guts (pun intended) and - dare I say it - a bit of character development (gasp!)

Rachael Howard said...

That does it. After I finish my black comedy (which does have a young male lead I'm afraid), I'm finishing my other comedy.

The three mains characters (all female) are a 40yr old dumpy empty-nester, a 50yr old ex-pinup who's losing to gravity and a 60yr old ex-highclass callgirl who isn't getting any.

They eventually get sex, drugs and rock and roll. Oh and the men are all over 40 and normal too Jon.

Will it get made? Will it sod. But I'm going to write it anyway.

Elinor said...

Go Rachel!