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June 1994


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David Desser <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 2 Jun 1994 14:26:27 -0500
text/plain (53 lines)
>Mail*Link(r) SMTP               RE>>American
>>>Subject: re: American
>>>Sandy D. says that we (Americans) want our women in films to act like
>>>ladies.  More than that, I think we want out women (speaking from the male
>>>perspective) to be weak so that men can come to their rescue.  As much as I
>>>can recall at the moment, most films allow women to be tough--they can hold
>>>their own in an argument, don't take crap, are resourceful--and smart, but
>>>just physical enough to whack the bad guy with a vase or frying pan to save
>>>the good guy in a critical moment.  Or to beat up another woman.
>>>The only mainstream American film with a physical female lead that comes to
>>>mind is _Point of no return_ (or the poor man's _Femme Nikita_).  Then
>>>again, she is not so much physical as she is good with a gun.  _The hand
>>>that rocks the cradle_ and _Total recall_ have a scene or two where the
>>>women mix it up and it looks convincing.  And Sharon Stone beats the crap
>>>out of Schwarzenneger (sp?) a couple of times.
>>>Stephen Hart
>The problem with this discussion is that it only applies to a subset of well
>publicized, mainstream films.  There are a lot of films out there that depict
>strong physical women AND in a positive light.  These films may not be well
>known or very popular, but they do exist in large numbers.  Unfortunately,
>films of this kind have a stigma associated with them and are considered
>"sexploitation" (AIP and New World have always specialized in these kinds of
>movies).  THey are available, even at Blockbuster in the action and martial
>arts sections.  They star actresses like Rachael Hunter, Rae Hollett, Pam
>Grier, Sybil Danning, Corey Everson, etc.  The Picasso Trigger series is
>anexample of strong physical female characters, though I will admit that the
>sex scenes do reduce them to bimbo status at times.
>Guy Rosefelt                     Cartoon Law of Physics IX:
>Chanon Services                  Everything falls faster than an anvil.
>Los Angeles, CA
And as my daughter, who I do not yet let watch such films, also points out,
let's not forget Cynthia Rothrock!  Rene Russo's character in _Lethal
Weapon 3_ also brings a bit of the old macho attitudue to a mainstream
film.  And it is not true that Bridget Fonda as the American "femme Nikita"
is just good with a gun.  She does a nice little number, so to speak, with
a #2 pencil early on, along with other non-technological actions.  And
there was Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid as action/mom-and-pop spies in
the recent (failed) _Undercover Blues-.  Etc.
David Desser, Cinema Studies
2109 FLB