Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Ought To Watch Monster

You know what my brain did a bit of hop.  I was going to talk about Michiko next but. Yeah.

So Thelma and Louise is legendary as a feminist film and I don't like it. Mostly for two reasons. The least complicated is the Roots effect. Let's rewind. I ha...dislike Roots at least the miniseries and since it's more about the Black experience I feel a bit freer to talk about it than Louise though almost everything I say is the same.

The more serious your message the more subtle and nuanced your execution has to be because otherwise your audience won't feel a connection to the problem. In its depiction of slavery Roots has a lot of telegraphing. Who's a good guy? Who's a bad guy? What specific action made them a bad guy? All of this reveals the artifice of it all. Making the audience feel more comfortable blowing it off as a mere story. A fiction.

Screw that!

When talking about slavery (or rape) I want to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as possible. (Twelve Years a Slave is on my list) I want the camera pointed at them and for them feel is if they are in some way complicit. You know I should watch Gunslinger Girl. That show is basically 6 hours of the screen looking into your soul and saying, "Happy asshole! Is this what you wanted to see you sick bastard? IS IT!"

That show largely does it by humanizing they guys who are participating in child exploitation and in sympathizing with them it makes the audience question their own morality. They see the harm their doing feel bad about it but keep on doing it because they don't have an easy out.  What the hell would you do!? What the hell are you doing!?

Anyway that's a tangent. My big problem is that the central conceit of Thelma and Louise is that the two leads have such little faith in the justice system doing right by them that they are forced to spend the rest of the film outside of the law. "On a whirlwind buddy adventure" For the two leads that seemed like an exaggeration for the benefit of the (middle class) audience as they yuck it up vicariously but there are women in the world where that is the reality.

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