The movie Gravity is coming, like tomorrow, the 4th of October, which also happened to be the anniversary of the launching of Sputnik I. Funny how that works out, right? This is something I’ve wanted to see since I’ve heard about the concept, and after seeing the trailer–which, once again, give away a few too many plot point, particularly if you know your space suits and hardware like me; thank you for nothing, Hollywood–I’m considering seeing it in 3d, as it looks stunning as hell.
What more could you want? It’s Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and space–or should I say, “SPAAAAAACCCCCCCEEEEEE”? Throw in Alfonso Cuaron on the screenplay and directing, and it’s a winner.
But I know some of my friends won’t see it. Not because it’s about space (no, Space Core, I won’t say it), but because it won’t pass The Bechdel Test.
I’ve discussed The Bechdel Test before. The criteria is simple:
1. Are there two women in the movie?
2. Do to speak with each other?
3. Do they speak about something other than a man?
It’s meant to give some indication as to the amount of gender bias in a flick, as in, “Do the women play an important part in the movie, or is the flick a total bro fest?” And lets face it, the majority of movies are a total bro fest, with dudes totally saving the day and shit being blown up left and right, while the ladies are little more than lampshade meant to get all hot and bothered over Bro One’s flexing.
The problem is, a smart writer or director can game this easily. Just slip in a scene with two women talking about something other than a guy, and suddenly you hit the criteria. Here, let me show you:
Scene: in the middle of monsters tearing up (name of city here, but probably New York, because screw that place), Main Female Character runs into a bathroom to wash the blood from her face. There’s a commotion in a stall behind her:
Female voice OC: “Oh, dammit!”
(Woman steps out of the stall) “I’m having my period and I don’t have any tampons.”
MFC: (reaching into breast pocket of her combat overalls to remove a tampon) “Here, take one.”
SFC: “Wow! You’re a lifesaver!”
MFC: “Yeah, well . . . the last thing I want when I’m kicking some monster’s ass is to have blood flowing from my uterus–”
MFC: “You know it. So I always carry spares.” (Looks into the mirror) “Okay, time to save the world!”
SFC: “Go get ’em!”
Yes, that was a cheap way to do it, but it’s one of the ways a flick like GI Joe: Retaliation and Sharknado can make the list, but Anna Karenina, Bullet to the Head, and Chernobyl Diaries can’t. And the odds are Gravity won’t make the list, either, though I could be wrong since it appears there is a female captain in the movie, and she may give a few orders to Sandra before something horrible happens.
The Hollywood idea that women can’t carry a movie is crap. The idea that if I don’t throw some bros into a flick I’m going to alienate my public and a flick will lose money is crazy. Take a look at the movies out in 2013: of the ones that crashed and burned, how many of them were strictly a couple, or more, dudes on the screen? (I’m lookin’ hard at you, Lone Ranger.) Woman can’t carry a flick? The majority of movies with men in them aren’t making cash. I believe this is known in many scientific circles as, “Your hypothesis is bullshit!”, and Hollywood should take note when they’re not handing Micheal Bay a half-billion dollars to blow up stuff with toy robots.
I don’t see a lot of movies in a year; if I’m lucky, maybe two or three. So far I’ve seen one this year, and that was Pacific Rim, which I loved. I’ll go see Gravity and probably dig the hell out of it. And then I’ll likely be through for the year, and wait to see what next year brings.
In the meantime I’m gotta write about these two woman about to unleash Hell . . .